In the course of running this blog, I have encountered some of them and have had various interactions with them. From some of my interactions with them, I could see that even though they all claim God does not exist, many of them still have problem with God.
They sometimes question His love, His justice and His character and are obviouly angry at Him. One of them even called God ‘a baby-killer’.
To that I asked him, “I thought you claimed God didn’t exist? How could He be a baby-killer if He didn’t exist?”.
The question is, if atheists truly believe that God does not exist, why does it bother them so much when we say He does? Why do they express so much angst towards God and any mention of Him or His attributes?
I see no reason they should continue to engage in diatribes against God. I mean, what is the essence of trying to prove that a ‘non-existent’ God does not exist? They obviously have a problem they haven’t probably figured out!
As believers, atheists scorn us for believing that God exists. But they turn blind eyes to their own folly in not believing that He exists.
Also, they don’t fully realise their own limitation in not knowing all things yet are boldly proclaiming that God does not exist. Doesn’t that validate the biblical position that only fools say God does not exist?
The only way to know without an iota of doubt that God does not exist is to possess the capability of being ‘all-knowing’. As you know, no man alive or dead, including atheists themselves possess that kind of knowledge.
So I would totally agree with one Hank Hanegraaff when he said, “atheism involves a logical fallacy known as a universal negative. Simply stated, a person would have to be omniscient and omnipresent to be able to say “there is no God” from his own pool of knowledge.
“Only someone capable of being in all places at the same time — with a perfect knowledge of all that is in the universe — can make such a statement based on the facts. In other words, a person would have to be God to say there is no God. Hence, the assertion [that God does not exist] is logically indefensible.”
Simply put, atheists do not have what it takes to come to the conclusion that God does not exist. So when you have anyone claiming God does not exist, understand that he or she is either being insincere or are displaying their ignorance. Or as the Bible puts it, they are simply being foolish.
By not knowing the Scriptures here, I do not mean to say that atheists have never read the Bible, because I know many of them have. The problem is that those of them who have read it lack the proper understanding of it.
Let the conversation continue in the comment section.
That was the question someone asked on an open online social network forum I belong to. The question was asked about four years ago, but it still feels so fresh like today’s stuff. That’s why I’m revisiting it here.
Premarital sex has to do with people engaging in sexual activities before they are legally married. In other words, sex before marriage!
“What’s wrong with sex before marriage?” you may ask.
Well, let me ask you back, “What’s wrong with opening a clinic and performing complicated surgeries before obtaining the medical licence to do so?”
You may say the analogies are not the same. But that’s your perspective.
My perspective (which is Biblical too) is that sex is to be practised within the holy confines of marriage. Anything outside of that is devil’s idea.
You may disagree with me over that but it will show two things: you don’t know God and you are not accountable to Him.
If you truly know God and you see yourself as accountable to Him, you will know of a fact that there is everything wrong with premarital sex.
Forget about the unwanted pregnancies or abortions that may result from it, the diseases one may contract through it, the broken trust and disappointments that may result from it, the guilt and the shame….Think of it as disobedience to God or as Joseph put it, a “great wickedness and sin against God” (See Genesis 39:9).
Did you see that? Premarital sex is sin against God. Nothing short of that.
“Everyone is doing it.” But that doesn’t make it right!
Perhaps the person that asked the question that formed the title of this post had come to that realisation that sex before marriage is not good; or may be she has not, I can’t tell for sure.
But one thing was sure: the person was looking for answers. And I felt compelled to put out my suggestions on that online forum.
Those contributions of mine form the bulk of the text that I’m sharing below.
First and foremost, we would agree that it is good to make new year resolutions on matters that are of interest to us – like that lady tried to do with stopping sexual activities before marriage.
Whether the resolutions are kept or not is another kettle of fish all together.
But what that poor lady failed to realise was that to be able to stop engaging in premarital coitus, it will take more than a simple resolution at the beginning of the year; it would require a more compelling reason.
Like I said to her, “Ordinary resolution is not enough. If the reason is not strong enough, you can’t keep the promise.”
I don’t know about you, but what reason(s) would I consider strong enough for the lady to stop all sexual activities before marriage?
1. That she is now born again, so old things have passed away, including engaging in premaritalsex;
2. She is now convinced that premarital sex is a sin against God, so she is stopping the practice because she doesn’t want to continue in sin and continue to displease God;
3. That she is now trusting in God to help her keep the promise of abstinence till she gets married, not relying on her strength or willpower alone;
4. That she is now ready to obey God by staying away from sex until she is married, even at the risk of loosing her current man if he refuses to respect her decision to abstain.
If she is not sure of any of the above, I doubt if she can keep the promise of her new year resolution of discontinuing that practice of engaging in sex before marriage.
You have probably heard about the over-zealous group of people in the Bible known as the Sadducees. But if you are not sure who they are, the Gospel of Matthew has it that they are a group of religious leaders who did not believe in resurrection from the dead.
That same day Jesus was approached by some Sadducees—religious leaders who say there is no resurrection from the dead – Matthew 22:3, NIV.
These same arrogant people came to Jesus and began to ask him an impossible question about marriage after resurrection. Relying on the provisions of the laws of Moses on the responsibility of a man to his deceased childless brother, they contrived a theoretical case of seven brothers who had died childless and who had in turn been married to the same woman.
Let us read the encounter with the Sadducees together:
Matthew 22, NIV: 23…They posed this question: 24 “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies without children, his brother should marry the widow and have a child who will carry on the brother’s name.’ 25 Well, suppose there were seven brothers. The oldest one married and then died without children, so his brother married the widow. 26 But the second brother also died, and the third brother married her. This continued with all seven of them. 27 Last of all, the woman also died. 28 So tell us, whose wife will she be in the resurrection? For all seven were married to her.”
Wait a minute, I thought the Sadducees didn’t believe in resurrection from the dead? How come they were asking Jesus about “who will marry who” in the resurrection?
Obviously, they must have had an ulterior motive just like their counterpart, the Pharisees, who wanted to “trap Jesus into saying something for which he could be arrested” by asking Him the question of whether or not tax should be paid to the government authority of the day (see Matthew 22:15-22).
Gratefully, Jesus caught them in the act and He gave them the profound answers that inspired this post.
29 Jesus replied, “Your mistake is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God. 30 For when the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage. In this respect they will be like the angels in heaven (emphasis mine).
How I love the wisdom of Jesus in tackling knotty situations!
There you have it. According to Jesus, the mistakes of the Sadducees are in two folds: Not knowing the Scriptures and not knowing the power of God.
… Without a doubt, divorce was the worst season of my life. Nothing I’ve suffered since that time even comes close… absolutely nothing compares to the horrific pain of having a spouse decide, “I Don’t” after saying “I Do” – Laura Petherbridge.
In a previous post, we talked about the fact that God hates divorce. The natural question that would be precipitated by that statement will be:
Why does God hate divorce?
First and foremost, we all know that hate is a strong language, meaning “an intense dislike for.”
On the other hand, Divorce connotes “the legal dissolution of a marriage by a court or other competent body.”
There must be some good reasons God does not like divorce. And those reasons are what this post seeks to explore.
If you ask me, I would say God hates divorce chiefly because He loves us and wants the best for us. He doesn’t want us to go through the pains, regrets and difficulties divorce action might occasion.
God loves us enough to inform us that He hates for us to subject our spouses to divorce. We all know that if you truly love someone, you wouldn’t want something bad to happen to him or her. Don’t you think God feels that much sympathetic towards us?
I guess you too have your reasons you think God says He hates divorce. (And I would like it if you would drop your views in the comment section of this post). For now let’s focus on what we can glean from the foundation scripture for this post and the previous one.
Malachi 2:15-16 – Let’s read it together:
15 Didn’t the Lord make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are his.[b] And what does he want? Godly children from your union. So guard your heart; remain loyal to the wife of your youth.16 “For I hate divorce!”[c] says the Lord, the God of Israel. “To divorce your wife is to overwhelm her with cruelty,[d]” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “So guard your heart; do not be unfaithful to your wife” (NLT).
Based on this passage, let’s now explore further reasons God hates divorce:
1. God instituted marriage.
“Didn’t the Lord make you one with your wife?” asked Prophet Malachi.
God has made you one with the person you are married to. So why do you seek to be separated from him or her forever?
God instituted marriage for our enjoyment and His will for us is to have it as a life-long union. That’s why we say, “till death do us part” at the point of entering the marriage contract.
It is safe to say that divorce undermines the sanctity of this holy institution of marriage established by God. Therefore God hates divorce.
2. God has a purpose for instituting marriage.
God did not only institute marriage, He had a purpose for doing so. The prophet here tells us that God seeks godly children (one translation uses the word “offsprings”) from our marriages.
“… And what does he want? Godly children from your union… Remain loyal to the wife of your youth.”
In order words, God expects our marital unions to bear godly seeds, godly fruits or godly results. You will agree with me that divorce will not qualify as a godly fruit.
Secondly, God also wants married couples to demonstrate loyalty to each other through thick and thin. And divorce flatly defeats that purpose.
3. Divorce has consequences
“To divorce your wife is to overwhelm her with cruelty,[d]” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
Wow, did you see that point in that verse you just read? Divorce is cruelty to your spouse. Another translation describes it as treachery.
Many people may disagree with that, but I know God’s word cannot be wrong. God would rather not have you go through the pains associated with divorce.
Whatever you think, divorce will cost you – be it emotionally, financially or otherwise. Apart from the couple involved, other associated parties (including your children and other loved ones) also suffer when marriage fails and results in divorce. Divorce will cause you pains, anguish, depression and the like.
As Laura Petherbridge observed from her own experience, “…divorce was the worst season of my life. Nothing I’ve suffered since that time even comes close… absolutely nothing compares to the horrific pain of having a spouse decide, “I Don’t” after saying “I Do.””
“Being an atheist must be like living in a closed cell with no windows” – Anthony Hopkins.
If you are a movie enthusiast, I am sure you have heard about the name, Anthony Hopkins. But if you haven’t, a simple check on Wikipedia will convince you that he is not a man of mean achievements in the movie industry.
Let’s take a little peep:
“Sir Philip Anthony Hopkins CBE is a Welsh actor, director, and producer. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1992, and was nominated three additional times. Hopkins has also won three BAFTAs, two Emmys, and the Cecil B. DeMille Award. In 1993, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for services to the arts.”
According to a report monitored via Godupdates, “Anthony Hopkins is one of the most well-known actors of our time. For years, he was a well-known atheist, too. But all of that changed when a woman at an AA meeting challenged his disbelief with one simple question… “Why don’t you trust God?“”
It was the expression, “For years, he was a well-known atheist” that first caught my attention. But I’m glad to learn that all that has changed.
You must now use the word “former” atheist when referring to Hopkins, because he has become a firm believer in the existence of God.
Not only that, he now “lives out his real life with Christ in his heart. He’s been an atheist before finding God and now he just feels sorry for atheists, comparing a life of disbelief to “living in a closed cell with no windows.”
Sir Hopkins’s transformation and conversion from atheism to Christianity began with his positive response to that question, “Why don’t you trust God?” at a time he was dealing with alcoholism.
A reputable source has it that,”miraculously Anthony says the craving to drink was taken from him, “never to return again.” And he’s believed in God ever since, working day after day, year after year, to grow in his faith.”
In the end, he not only got helped with overcoming the spirit of alcoholism which had bedeviled him, he transformed from being a man who didn’t believe that God exists to one that now affirms that He does.
“When asked in a CNN interview with Piers Morgan if he believed in God, former-atheist Anthony Hopkins replied wholeheartedly, “Yes, I do. I do.”
It is unfortunate that some people in the modern world have chosen to dismiss the Biblical account of the resurrection story as a work of fiction or a product of deluded minds. But you see, anyone who denies that Jesus rose from the death does so at his or her own risk, one that has an eternal consequence.
Doubters may continue to doubt, but it does not change the fact that Jesus died and rose from the dead. So He is no longer in the grave.
I recently watched a movie that inspired the title of this post. It was about a best–selling author who suddenly began to face unexpected personal and financial challenges.
Missed writing deadlines, tax issues, relationship break downs, debts, etc. were some of the pressing issues she was seen to be grappling with. All these made her insensitive, irritable, rude, cold-hearted and unproductive – to the dismay of her friends and family.
The good part was that she knew things weren’t going on so well with her. she tried to concoct various plans as quick-fixes for her nagging problems.
At one point she seriously contemplated ‘relocating’ to another continent (from America to Africa) to have more time for herself. But she never went through with the plan.
In another occasion, she tried selling off her father’s restaurant business in order to raise the needed funds to settle her outstanding tax and other financial obligations that threatened to have her being put behind prison bars. But her parents opposed this idea very strongly, assuring her that there must be better ways of handling the issues.
Now this is where I am going…
In the heat of her crisis and rejection, this protagonist knelt down in her room and began to sob and to pray saying, “Oh Lord, I know You have not heard from me in a while…”
In what seemed like a short but a heartfelt prayer to God, she poured out her confusion, fears, and problems before God. Although all her problems didn’t varnish all at once, it seemed that things began to work out better for her from then onward.
“Oh Lord, I know You have not heard from me in a while…” That opening line alone got me giggling aloud.
God hasn’t heard from her, or rather, she hadn’t talked to Him in weeks, in months or possibly in years. But now in her predicaments, she remembered she could still talk to God.
You see, it reminds me about people who once had a relationship with God but are now estranged from Him. God hasn’t heard from them in a while too!
May be you are even one of such people. If only you would get back to God like this woman in our discourse or like the prodigal son got back to the waiting embrace of his father. Things would be better for you again.
Do you have any comment about this post? Let’s have your opinion in the comment section.
I know the word is not new to you as people frequently use it. What I don’t know is how much of its real meaning you have understood and applied in your own sphere of influence.
You may probably have been tempted to think that tolerance strictly means to put up with something or someone with very nasty, horrible, terrible or poignant attributes. Not really!
Please take a good look at the definition below and compare it with what you already know about the meaning of the word:
“Willingness to accept behaviour and beliefs which are different from your own.”
I don’t know about you, but the definition above opened up an entirely new vista to me, of which I am glad.
It shows for instance that tolerance doesn’t say we should put up with evil or bad things or bad people. But it clearly portrays “willingness to accept behaviour and beliefs which are different from [our] own.”
Now let’s take a closer look at the key aspects of the said definition:
• Willingness to accept… • Behaviour and beliefs… • Different from your own…
Tolerance would be required wherever there are inter-human relationships because you will always meet people whose behaviour and beliefs are different from yours.
That’s why tolerance may also be understood as “the ability or willingness to tolerate the existence or opinions or behaviour that one dislikes or disagrees with.”
That means you can disagree with someone without going to war with him or her.
It means you should have an open mind towards someone even when he or she has an opinion that is completely different from yours.
Due to a number of varied factors such as genetic make-up, family background, religion, education, geography, exposure, life experiences etc, all of us believe different things and behave differently from one another.
That means that at any point in time in your chequered life, you will always see people who behave or believe differently from you; whose opinions about issues are not like yours.
The question would then be, “how would you deal with such people?”
In order to coexist harmoniously with such people, you should be willing to tolerate them if you cannot change them.
Talking about changing people, experience has shown that many people are aware that some other people do not share their opinions, behaviour or beliefs.
But some times, they are unwilling to accept such other people who do not share their outlook. This is often the beginning of unnecessary conflicts in human interactions.
However, you may only try to effect some changes on peoples’ behaviour or beliefs if possible to suite yours; but you shouldn’t try to use force.
By the way, you can’t change anyone who doesn’t really want to be changed. You can only influence such person.
When it comes to changing someone’s behaviour or beliefs, influence should be the operating word, not force.
Otherwise, you must bring to bare the willingness to accept their behaviour and beliefs which you perceive to be different from your own and which you cannot change.
That, my friend, is the real meaning of tolerance.
Bear in mind that tolerance is a seed; as you sow it, you will reap the sweet harvest.
Don’t you realise that other people would have to tolerate you too?
I believe you know that not all your opinions, behaviour and beliefs are acceptable to everyone you come in contact with!
Although, I cannot guarantee it, other people too ought to be willing to accept your opinions, behaviour and beliefs which are different from their own. That is if they know what it means to practice tolerance.
There is no worthwhile relationships with people that do notnot requ tolerance in between.
Like all good habits, tolerance doesn’t just happen to us; it has to be cultivated deliberately and ‘open-heartedly’.
It is very important to cultivate it because you will need it if you desire to build a meaningful, harmonious and long-lasting relationship of any kind.
Here are a few areas where we can apply the principle of tolerance:
• At home, between spouses , amongst siblings or other family members;
• At work, between you and your boss, colleagues or direct reports;
• In your neighbourhood, amongst co-tenants, etc
• Amongst your friends, classmates in schools etc
• In churches, with members and leaders alike;
• In other organisations /relationships, etc
In fact, anywhere you come in contact with humans, tolerance is needed. As you well know, no body is perfect.
People are different. You are not everyone and everyone is not you. Therefore, there will always be differences in opinion, behaviour and beliefs between you and others.
There would be conflicts all the time in all kinds of human relationships if the principle of tolerance is not imbibed.
The extent to which you realise this differences and how well you are willing to accept and manage them depict your level of tolerance at any given period.
What does tolerance mean to you? Let’s hear from you in the comment section.
Previously published on this blog in 2015 as “What tolerance really means.”
The following is an outline of a 15-minute pep-talk I delivered at a breakfast meeting held by a small group of professional friends. I thought I should share it with you. Who knows, you might pick up one or two things from it.
1. Oratorial Skill
Ability to speak properly and eloquently.
Helps you to create the right impression
Enables you to be more persuasive
Enhances your leadership skill
Don’t talk too much.
Don’t say what you don’t mean.
Don’t manipulate people.
2. Negotiation Skill
The process by which compromise or agreement is reached while avoiding argument and dispute: a method by which people settle differences.
Makes you less confrontational.
Helps you to save cost.
Increases your sense of satisfaction in any deal.
Don’t take advantage of people.
Don’t be mean.
Be fair; seek win-win outcomes.
3. Selling Skill
Ability to hand over or give something in exchange for money.
Boosts your self confidence.
Helps you to market your ideas, service or product better.
Increases your income or earning power.
Overcome the temptation to lie.
Don’t sell what is against your conscience.
Sell only what has value.
Ways to develop your oratorial, negotiation and selling skills
“I really believe that everyone has a talent, ability or skill that they can mine to support themselves and to succeed in life.” ~ Dean Koontz
In a sub-article , How Israel and the Jews have shaped history, Adrian Rogers observed that “As you study history, you learn that the indestructible Jew has left his indelible mark upon history. The Jewish people are not great in number. Of the world’s population, they are only 0.2%. That’s not two percent. That’s less than one-fourth ofone percent. Yet did you know that 22% of Nobel Prize winners have been Jews? In 2013, six of the 12 laureates were Jewish…”
Rogers argument is that although the Jews are few in number, they have made tremendous contributions to the development of the world as we know it – be it “…in medicine, health, music, and public life.”
Buttressing his point, Rogers employed rhetoric by drawing attention to some of the useful inventions by Jews:
“Have you ever taken an aspirin? Friedrich Bayer, whose company developed aspirin, was a Jew. Were you vaccinated for polio as a child? The injectable and oral polio vaccines of Salk and Sabin were so effective, the disease has been all but eradicated.
Has the dentist ever deadened your tooth before he started to drill? Alfred Einhorn, who developed Novocain, was a Jew…”
You can head over to Crosswalk.com to read the full article. But here in this post we will further examine it’s concluding paragraph:
“All history has been dramatically impacted by six Jews: Moses, Paul, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein, and above them all, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
There are many things we know about these people that make them great. Time and space will fail me to delve into how all six of them dramatically impacted history.
So let us take a little peep into three of them with Biblical history: Moses, Paul and Jesus:
There many things that are remarkable about this man referred to as the meekest man on earth. As one source noted, Moses is “Universally recognised as the deliverer of his people, the Israelites, from slavery in Egypt, biblical and human history also credit him with establishing Israel’s judicial and religious systems.”
2. Apostle Paul
Paul has been described as the Apostle of Apostles and the writer of two-thirds of the New Testament Bible. As noted in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, “Paul is often considered to be the most important person after Jesus in the history of Christianity. His epistles (letters) have had enormous influence on Christian theology, especially on the relationship between God the Father and Jesus, and on the mystical human relationship with the divine.”
3. Jesus Christ
Indeed, Moses, Paul, Freud, Einstein and Jesus impacted the history of this world as we know it. However, Jesus Christ is the greatest of all. He is the Saviour of the world. and you know what? He is my Saviour too!
Of all the thirty five questions on the list, this one (which was incidentally no 1) tickled my fancy the most:
“If you had the chance to find out where your final destination would be after you die right now at this moment, would you wanna know?”
My immediate response to that question was, “…I am glad that I don’t have to wait till I die to know where I would be when I die. As a believer in Christ, I know I will be with God when I die. Can one be sure about this on this side of the earth? Yes, but’s that’s a story for another day.”
Further to that impromptu comment of mine, this post is my humble attempt at addressing that question in detail. And I am speaking as someone who believes in God through Jesus Christ and accepts the Bible as the authentic word of God.
I reckon that we would understand the discussion better if I broke my ‘story’ into smaller units as follows:
1. There is an “after life”
First of all, let me affirm here (as rightly presupposed in the question) that there is life after death. And whether you believe in it or not does not change the fact that an ‘afterlife” exists.
If you are a believer, we have an assurance from Jesus Christ that a place is being prepared for us to be when we die. “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” John 14:3.
Apostle Paul also made reference to the ‘afterlife’ in some of his Epistles. “If I am to go on living in the body,” he says, “this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far” (see Philippians 1:21-23).
So my dear reader, recognise that it is a fundamental human error – with an eternal consequence – to believe that we cease to exist when we die; that all we have in this life is all there is, that there is no life after death.
In the article What happens when we die?, Matt Slick points out, “Some people believe that when we die, we just stop existing. Biblically, this is not true. According to Scripture, we continue after death. But, if we stop existing we will never know it. Therefore, the only thing we could “know” after death is if we continue. Is it worth taking a chance on eternity in the afterlife by hoping you don’t exist anymore? It’s a huge risk to take.”
2. You don’t have to wait till you die to “find out where your final destination would be.”
If you have to wait till you to die to determine the question of the ‘after life’ then it would have been too late. Your time on earth is your opportunity to “decide” your final destination when you die.
If you don’t consciously decide on it before you die, you would have automatically decided that you would spend your afterlife without God. Continue reading to see ‘how’.
3. What the Bible teaches
We understand from the word of God that there are only two possible final destinations for man at the end of life here on earth. One is Heaven, and the other is Hell (Matthew 25:46).
I am sure that you have heard about heaven or hell spoken of from many perspectives. What I am not sure is whether you have firmly understood in your mind what they each stand for.
Suffice to say here that Heaven, is the presence of God, a place full of bliss. Hell, is a place without the presence of God, a place of damnation.
In Revelation 14:11, we are given a glimpse of the kind of torment that will be experienced by the occupants of hell – satan and everyone else who sides with him. “And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name.”
4. Your destiny is in your hand.
When it comes to deciding where you will spend your after life, I would say it is up to you to decide. First, you have to ‘accept’ that there is an “after life.”
And there are only two possible places you can spend it. It will either be in heaven or in hell.
The only way to spend it in heaven is to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and personal Saviour while you are still alive here on earth. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
So it is in your best interest to not only acknowledge that there is an afterlife, but also to plan or prepare for it.
Do you believe in the afterlife? What’s your view?
One of the things I learnt from starting a blog was that not all your family and friends will be enthusiastic about your blog as you would want them to be. And there could be many reasons for that…
You know what they say, “A prophet has no honour in his own country.” So it could mean that some of your friends and family who do not read your blog do not believe in you enough to do so. After all, don’t they read other blogs on the internet?
If the answer is ‘no’, then I will exempt those of your friends and family who are not internet savvy or are not disposed to blog reading.
On the other hand, you might want to say they are very busy people and so could not make out sufficient time for your blog. That’s possible too, but don’t we all create time for what is important to us? I dare to say that if they considered your blog important, they would make out time for it.
Have you also thought of the fact that some of them could be jealous of you over your blog? Please forgive my frankness, but that’s the reality of our world.
Suddenly, you are doing something different (or even better) than all of them are doing. And you want them to heartily urge you on by checking out your blog and supporting it? I bet you that some of them might not want to do that wholeheartedly.
You have the freedom to expect that your friends and family members would be the most ardent followers/readers of your blog. But you might get to find out that they are not even interested. That awful reality should never discourage you.
Consider yourself fortunate if your family and friends are part of the ardent readers of your blog. I congratulate you on that too. But never you take them for-granted because they are giving you all the needed support.
There is nothing in this post that suggests that you should badger your friends and family into reading your blog. If it is okay by you, you may just let them know about your blog. But it is not okay to try to ‘force’ them to read it.
I don’t know what your experience is, but in my own case, it has not really worked out very well for me in trying to ‘get’ family and friends to regularly check out my blog. I have left that decision to them.
Let me even ask you: do you mind if your friend and family read your blog? For me, I don’t mind! But I know everybody is not like me. (Obviously!). There are some authors who don’t even want the closest people to them to read their blogs.
One of such people claimed that what she writes on her blog are things her family do not know are part of her life. So because of some kept personal secrets, she doesn’t want her family (especially her mum) to read her blog. I wonder what you think of that!
My take is that if you are not keeping personal secrets on your blog, there is no reason you shouldn’t want your friends and family to read your posts.
That brings me to the question in the heart of the post: Do your friends and family read your blog? We would like to hear from you in the comment section.
Towards the end of 2018, I read a Keith Haney’s Five ways to expand your ministry capacity. As you can see from the headline of this post, it was that referenced article that inspired this one. Thank you Keith!
Although Keith’s post was predominantly about leadership, I reckon that the things he wrote about – confidence, connections, competence, character and commitment – could also be applied in the world of blogging. Hence, I will expatiate on them here – with the hope of deepening your blogging experience.
1. “Build your confidence”
Anyone who has been blogging for sometime now will admit that blogging is not a bed of roses, neither is it a piece of cake.
Apart from the joy blogging brings, there are also moments of self-doubt, of discouragement and of negative criticisms. Building your self-confidence will help you manage better some of those less exciting moments.
In what areas do you have to build confidence in? As far as your blogging journey is concerned, any area you feel a sense of fear is the area you should start building confidence in.
Have confidence that you can write and start writing. Do not be paralysed by fear.
Have the confidence that your blog will be read and that someone out there will find your posts beneficiary.
Without the minimum level of confidence, your blogging journey will not be too enjoyable.
2. “Expand your connections”
In blogging, you cannot afford to be an island to yourself. You have to connect with other bloggers, both on their blogs and on their other social media handles.
Read other blogs apart from yours. Click the ‘like button’ on any post you have read and liked.
Most importantly, engage the author in further interactions by leaving a suitable comment on the posts you have read. Any reasonable blogger will not fail to respond to your comments.
Reach out to bloggers you admire. Deepen your connections with them.
You have to admit that you will have a lot of things to learn from them, especially if you find that they have done what you want to do or have been where you would desire to be.
Another thing you can also do is to join a blogging community, particularly those in your niche area or that similar values with you. When it comes to blogging, you cannot afford to be a recluse.
3. “Improve your competence”
Most people did not start out on their blogging journeys as pros. They were once amateurs like you and I; but they improved on their game over time.
So if you want to expand your blogging capacity, you have to improve your competence – “the ability to do something successfully or efficiently.”
You may be a noob today but don’t remain that way forever. Learn. Grow.
Improve on your grammar, improve on your writing/editing skills, improve on your posts’ delivery style.
Whatever, you do on your blogging journey today, do it better that you did it yesterday. That’s how we know that your competence level is improving.
Competence goes beyond words. It’s the leader’s ability to say it, plan it, and do it in such a way that others know that you know how – and know that they want to follow you – John C. Maxwell
4. “Strengthen your character”
To deepen your blogging capacity, it is also important you strengthen your character as a person as well. Your character is who you are, your distinctive moral qualities. And just like your shadow, your character follows you wherever you go
Approach your blogging with a sense of honesty. Don’t deceive your readers. Don’t scam them. Deliver on your blogging promises to them and apologise to them where necessary.
If you are a phoney person, it will eventually manifest – no matter how much you try to hide it. And once your readers discover that you can’t be trusted, you will lose their loyalty.
I am not requesting that you should be a flawless and perfect person. While being true to yourself, be a better version of yourself. The bottom line is this: do not sacrifice your character on the altar of success, fame or fortune.
5. “Increase your commitment”
Nothing worthwhile will ever be achieved without commitment. And that’s applicable in blogging too.
“Without commitment you cannot have depth in anything – Neil Strauss.
You cannot expand your blogging capacity if you are not committed to it. Just like a serious athlete commits to his or her daily exercise routine, you have to commit to your blog.
Whether you are blogging professionally or it is a pastime for you, you have to show some level of commitment to it. This is not negotiable.
By increasing your commitment, you will be able to write posts as and when due, respond to your readers’ comments and emails. You don’t want people visiting your blog only to find out that the last time you updated it was three months. Do you?
In what other ways can you expand your blogging capacity? Leave a comment.
This is a new year. I know you know that already, but I said it anyway. So what are you going to do about that? Lash me? No way… Just humble yourself a little and read on…
This new year has come just like any other one before it. And it is already rolling away just like the ones before it had done. What you make out of it is your choice.
Last year, you had some plans, and made some new resolutions. How far did you go with them? How far did you run with those plans?
Are the plans still with you or they have left you? Or is it you that have left your plans and resolutions?
Either ways, last year is gone. This year is your chance to start again.
You are free to open a new chapter or continue from where you left-off earlier. Again the choice is yours.
It is not time to throw in the towel…
But if you want a different result, be sure to do things differently from the ways you have been doing them.
Remember Albert Einstein’s classic definition of insanity: “doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” You don’t want that to be your story this year!
Your goals are still within reach if you strongly set your mind on them. In case you have not made any plans at all for the new year, you can do that right away. Don’t say it is too late to plan. No, it is not!
Set your goals. Work out the strategies to achieve them.
The point is this: have an idea of what you want to achieve this year and write out what you will need to do to achieve them. And then get to work. Nothing will work until you work at them.
“If you don’t have any plans, it means you have planned to fail.” That’s not a new statement to you. But why have you been falling victim of its’ implication every time?
Forget about the previous years and let this year be different. Truly, this year can be remarkably different for you if you commit to doing things differently.
There are many areas of your life that you can do things differently. In your thought-life for instance. Stop the “stinking thinking” that has bedeviled you all these years. Think empowering thoughts this new year…
If you don’t want to end up the same way you ended up last year and the year before, stop thinking the same way you thought last year and the year before. You know what they say, “To change your life, change your thinking.”
That’s right! The outward change you desire has to start from within you first. Once that change revolution starts from within you, it is a matter of time, it will manifest around you.
Learn new things. Unlearn somethings. Relearn some others. Grow.
Knock on more doors than you did in the year before. Reach out to other people. Don’t be a recluse.
You know this is a new year. Don’t let it roll by just like that. By all means, make the most of it.
Many people will take the wonderful decision to start a blog this year. If you are one of such people or you have recently started a blog, I will like you to know some things which will help you in the blogging journey.
1. Your decision to start a blog is a step in the right direction
Some people would start a blog and then begin to wonder if they are doing the right thing. If you are thinking like that, then the following words are for you.
I wouldn’t know the reason you started your blog, but one assurance I can give you is that starting a blog is a good step you have taken. So don’t give in to self-doubt!
However, if you are not sure why you started a blog in the first place, take some time off to get that settled. You don’t want your blog to be directionless and purposeless. Do you?
When I started this blog, I saw it as an avenue to share my thoughts with the world and also to explore my writing skill which has remained latent over the years of my life. But I soon discovered that blogging is also a journey of personal development.
Apart from the many other benefits you will get to enjoy from starting a blog, you will get to discover that blogging will help your personal development in many ways. I don’t want to over-flog this point because as you know, the taste of the pudding is in the eating. So ride right ahead on your blogging journey.
2. Read and write extensively
As you have embarked on the blogging journey, know that you have headed in the writing direction. In other words, a blogging journey is largely a writing journey.
One notable thing that writers do is that they read a lot. So if you want to go far with your blogging experience, you have to read and write extensively. By so doing, you will gain more knowledge, have fresh ideas and improve on your writing skills.
If you have the dream to be a published author one day, know that your writing blog is a veritable platform to hone your skills. You get the point?
Your blog is new on the block hence I concede that it will take some time for it to gain due popularity. 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 take some steps to make the blog more visible than it is right now so that more and more people can discover it to read.
For instance, you should make sure your blog is indexed as ‘public’ rather than as ‘private’ to make it discoverable by search engines. Also when you publish a post on your blog, don’t go to sleep. Promote it on social media and encourage your readers to share it as well.
Those are just a few tips on how to make your blog more visible. You can find out others for yourself.
4. You need to interact with other blogs regularly
I already said you should read very extensively. Part of what you should be reading regularly are posts on other blogs – whether they are in your area of niche or not. I know from my own experience that there are many benefits of reading other people’s blogs.
Don’t be an island to yourself. Reach out and interact with other bloggers. Follow their blogs. Read their posts. Hit the like button on the posts you have read and liked.
Most importantly, leave meaningful comments on other blogs’ posts you have read. Both the writers of the blogs you comment on as well as some of their other readers may follow your trail to your blog to read your posts as well. And please, for goodness sake, don’t tell me you don’t care if no one reads your blog, because that would be a lie!
5.You will face some negative criticisms on your blog
Let no one deceive you, blogging is not a piece of cake. There would be times the feedback you get would seem like a bitter pill to swallow. But it is up to you how you would react to it.
Apart from the hard-work and personal discipline that your blog requires from you, know also that some people will harshly criticise you for it. There are those who will question your decision to start a blog. Some will dismiss your posts as irrelevant and some others will even attack your person.
6. If you leave your blog, your blog will leave you
I don’t mean that to be taken so literally. But I do want to emphasise on the need to stay ‘close’ to your blog. I have a personal rule that no day passes without me checking up on my blog. That way I am able to make draft posts, review pending posts, or catch up with responses on my readers’ comments.
I am not saying you should be like me; follow the pattern that works for you. The important thing is that you don’t leave your blog ‘unattended’ to for weeks or months. Your faithful readers will be left hanging if you do that!
In a way, having a blog is like having a baby. You have to nurture it, feed it regularly and ensure that it remains healthy. That’s what you should do to your blog too.
Respond to readers comments your posts. Write new posts regularly. If you choose to post daily, weekly or monthly as the case may be, please be consistent about it. To keep your readers coming back, you have to give them something good to regularly come back to.
7. You might see the need to start a second blog too
I already assured you that your decision to start a blog is a step in the right direction. So I take it that we are settled on that.
What about starting a second or even a third blog? That’s not a bad idea either. But you have to wait until there is a compelling need for it. Otherwise, your energy might be spread out too thinly across multiple blogs and you might stifle your main one to death.
When I started Victors’ Corner, I didn’t see the need for another blog until three years after. Being a personal blog, I had about six categories of posts I crammed into it. But I have recently seen the need to create a separate blog from the Poems’ Category. That has given rise toLiving Poems blog.
As as you make progress with your current blog, you might sense the need to set up another blog, that’s okay. You are not doing that with the aim of shutting down your current blog but with the purpose of furthering another blogging objective.
Thank you for reading my suggestions to new bloggers. Let the conversation continue in the comment section. What will be your advice to a new blogger?
Part of the joy of blogging is having people following your blog, regularly reading your written thoughts and sending you feedback through their comments, likes, emails, reblogs etc. If you have ever wondered why people are not following your blog, these may just be some of the reasons:
They don’t even know that your blog exists in the first place…
You are not following their blogs…
People get to your blog, but find out your posts care less about their core values…
Beyond sharing my thoughts and being a source of inspiration to my readers, blogging has become a journey of personal development for me. I have learnt new things, improved on my writing skills, acquired new skills, met and interacted with different kinds of people from different places around the world.
I have inspired some people and I have also been inspired by many other people. I have defended my faith, read several insightful posts, gained vast knowledge in many areas of life and so on and so forth
Racial discrimination and prejudices wear attires in Nigeria different from the ones they wear in America. While racism exists as a result of differences in colour of the skin, tribalism hinges on differences in birth-roots. Both are common societal evils that must be dealt a decisive blow in order for us to have a better world.
No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite – Nelson Mandela.
Thank you for reading and happy new year in advance.
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.
In response to that apt observation, I am writing this post to highlight some of the expectations from the husband as well. While the former post was for a predominantly women audience, this is directed mainly at men.
That not withstanding, if you are a (married) woman reading this, be sure to continue reading to the end. I assure you, you will not regret it.
Now here are:
8 Things Every Christian Man Should Regularly Give His Wife
This is the first thing a Christian man should give his wife. It is commanded of him by the Lord.
The wife expects her husband to love her wholeheartedly and unconditionally. Your wife is not perfect, but you should love her still!
A husband should ensure that the wife’s (emotional, physical, financial, spiritual) needs are provided for.
Not providing for the woman will leave her feeling stressed, frustrated and insecure.
The husband should provide protection to the wife against the harmful effects of the elements, hurtful people and other harmful things;
The husband should provide security to the wife so she has “freedom from, or resilience against, potential harm (or other unwanted coercive change) from external forces.”
The christian husband should provide all kinds of leadership, including spiritual leadership, to the wife.
The wife may be disillusioned if the husband fails to show or lead the way.
Commitment in marriage is a journey not a destination. The husband should daily demonstrate his commitment to his wife.
The wife expects her husband to be committed to her and only her. The commitment is not for a short while, she (rightly) expects it to be forever.
The Christian man should not share his affection with any other woman; he should continue to demonstrate continuing loyalty and support to his wife only.
The man should emotionally and intimately commit to being faithful to his wife. He should not seek sexual gratification from anyone other than his wife.
The wife is called the help-meet for the husband. But that doesn’t mean the husband cannot be a helper to the wife too.
A wife expects her husband to help out (especially with the chores) around the house.
The husband should seek to understand and share the feelings of his wife.
He should give a listening ear to his wife, be patient with her and forgive her a million times in a day.
Remember what the Bible says:
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” Ephesians 5:25-27 NIV.
Thank you for reading my thoughts. Feel free to tell me what you think in the comment section.
I was recently invited to be part of the discussants in a church’s women’s end-of-year conference. But I sent them my apologies because I had another engagement billed for the date and time they chose.
However, the organisers requested that (since I could not be physically present at the event) I sent in my contribution in writing on Things Every Christian Woman Should Give Her Husband. I obliged their request by sending them a written short note as I thought it out.
The feedback I got after the programme was that my note was a blessing to them in that meeting. So in this post, I have decided to share with you the same thoughts I shared with those church women in their conference. I hope you find something useful in it.
Like I said, I drafted the write-up for a predominantly women audience, but that does not mean that you should not read it if you are a man. So let’s go there…
7 Things Every Christian Woman Should Regularly Give Her Husband
A husband expects his wife to respect him in two ways:
By words – what she say to him and about about.
By action – how she treats him at home or outside the home.
A Christian wife should understand that intimacy and sex is very important to the husband, as this is a need only she can meet;
A wife should not deny the husband his right over her body.
A wife should provide good food, timely and regularly for the husband/family;
A wife who doesn’t know how to cook good food should go and learn.
A husband expects the wife to appreciate him for providing for the family.
A woman should have an attitude of gratitude, not grumbling, not complaining.
A wife should show trust and confidence in the ability of the man to lead the home;
A wife should support her husband’s vision or project. She should not use her mouth to tear it down.
The man will never feel peaceful at home if the wife is always nagging.
If a wife fails to create a peaceful home, the husband will not feel happy returning home.
A husband expects his wife to take good care of herself.
She should maintain good personal and family hygiene.
Remember what the Bible says:
The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. Prov. 14:1.
Thank you for reading my thoughts. Feel free to tell me what you think in the comment section.
The Sun was already going down for the day. And there I was seated by the window side on our staff bus being driven home after work.
The vehicle was filled with other staffers who like me had equally earned a living for the day. We were all eager to get back home to our families and to have a well-deserved night rest.
But the ever busy Lagos traffic was hampering our speed; we were moving at snail’s speed. We are used to that kind of experience!
At the moment, I was gazing blankly at the evening sky through the window screen of the vehicle. And suddenly, I perceived in my spirit something I now consider a personal revelation from Above: Your is your reward.
Really? I should have known that a long time ago!
“Your wife is your reward,” I reechoed under my breath.
But how come those words have never formed part of my regular vocabulary? After all, I have always called my wife a “Gift From Above.” And I believe that with all my heart.
Something was happening here: the eyes of my understanding were further being enlightened, with a clear message out from the blues or better put, from the Spirit of God.
Your wife is your reward! It struck me so much that I knew there must be more to those words than I had previously known. So immediately, the researcher in me was called to work; I pulled my smart phone and did a quick Google search of “Your wife is your reward.”
Instead of a preponderance of web articles being thrown up, a Bible reference was atop the search result. And I wasted no moment in opening it to examine.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that these same words, “Your wife is your reward,” are in the Bible (Ecclesiastes 9:9). I took that as a confirmation that it was God that spoke those words directly to my heart moments earlier.
Since then I have read the verse over again from different versions of the Bible. The translation in the New Living Bible helped me understand it better:
Live happily with the woman you love through all the meaningless days of life that God has given you under the sun. The wife God gives you is your reward for all your earthly. Ecclesiastes 9:9, NLT.
By ordinary meaning, we know that a reward is “a thing given in recognition of service, effort, or achievement.”
And there in the Bible verse we just read, we have it that your wife is your reward for your earthly toil.
I wouldn’t know what you think of that. But As God is the One who said “Your wife is your reward,” we can be sure that He cannot be mistaken about it.
Quite recently, I ordered a copy of The House Girl, alongside two other titles by the same author. It was a privilege to have the mentioned books autographed and delivered to my door-step by the author herself.
During my meeting with the author, I had promised her that I would read the books and give her a review. (In case you missed it, you may read From a Blog friend to a true life friend, being the post I used to share my face to face meeting with the author on that fateful day).
What follows in this post will be my review of the first of the three books I purchased from her stable which I have read completely so far. Subsequent reviews will follow once I have finished reading the other titles.
Ufuomaee, the brilliant author of The House Girl, is “a young professional, a social entrepreneur and the Founder/CEO of Fair Life Africa Foundation, a charity that supports under-privileged children” in Nigeria. She is the author of Ufuoma series blog where she shares about her faith in God, and also writes “Christian romantic fiction, with lots of drama and scandal, that challenges all to think about their lifestyle and choices.”
Her blog is worthy of your visit or follow if you are interested in reading very insightful posts on faith, life and living.
About The House Girl.
The book is about a village girl who was taken to Abuja city to work as a domestic staff for a rich interracial married couple who have also promised to send her to school. While in the employ of the family, the girl discharged her house-duties as expected. But much time passed and she wasn’t registered in any school as promised to her parents.
That made the girl to feel very unhappy and this caught the attention of the man of the house. As a result, both of them began to have short but secret conversations that made them more familiar with each other. Soon enough they each began to have unholy ideas…
With their hearts burning for each other already, “all that restrained them from doing what they both desired to do was self-will and self-control. And that thing called conscience.” But they could only hold out for a little while, as it did not take long before the spirit of lust took the better part of the duo, leading to numerous consensual sexual encounters between them.
Unsurprisingly, the madam of the house soon began to suspect that there was something clandestine going on between her maid and and her husband. It was only a matter of time before her worst suspicions were validated and the aftermath shook her marriage to it’s deepest foundations.
Thankfully, in the end, the marriage narrowly survived from the brink of complete collapse. But not until after all the parties involved in the unfolding drama had been to hell and back.
In more ways than one, I found the book easy to read and the characters largely credible. Anyone who reads the book objectively will admit that that the personalities represented by each of the characters are ‘things’ that are not so far-fetched in whatever society we may find ourselves.
The main characters
Each of the characters, just like any mortal alive, has his or her strengths and weaknesses. And it is how they are managed that determines the results or consequences.
For the protagonist, Chinyere, as vulnerable as she was, she could be considered a victim of her own circumstances. At the same time, it may not be wrong for one to say that she was all too willing to engage in unwholesome canal encounter with the man of the house.
For a teenage girl whom it was implied was without a previous experience in that area, she could have exercised a bit of constraints – may be out of fear or respect, but she didn’t. So instead of one saying that Chinyere was taken advantage of by Donald, the man of the house, one can safely say that she was a willing participant in igniting the fire that almost completely engulfed her life and existence.
Donald, although a seeming gentleman became overcame by lust and exercised no sustained power of restraint in cheating on his wife again and again… May be that’s one of the consequences of his never having to acknowledge that there is a God to whom we are all accountable to.
Besides, even though he claimed he didn’t plan on cheating on his wife with their house maid, he shamefully admitted to “not being strong enough to resist [the beautiful] temptation” under the same roof with him.
The emotional and mental trauma, bribery, blackmail and risk of imprisonment that followed Donald’s misadventure remind everyone that our actions have consequences. And infidelity, like the Bible points out, is like fire. You cannot put it in your bosom and expect not to be burnt (Proverbs 6:27).
As for Osinachi, the madam of the house, at a point she was more or less an absentee wife. Her frequent trips outside the home contributed in creating the vacuum that her husband exploited to begin cheating on her with the house maid.
She also made some avoidable choices that blew up in her face. For instance, in her desperate bid to become a mother after she could not carry a baby to full term, she went on a misguided journey of adopting a child without her husband’s consent, leading to a further alienation from him.
Even after the husband had accepted the new reality of becoming a dad by force (thanks to his wife’s desperation), the adoption was later reversed contrary to their expectation and they found themselves back to square one.
Couples should endeavour to agree on issues of strategic importance in the family. If either party goes solo on such issue, it may not augur well for them at the end.
My favourite character
If I were to choose a favourite character in the book, it would have to be Mrs. Oji, Osinachi’s mum. I like the way she put things in proper perspective for her daughter, when she was seriously heart-broken over her husband’s serial infidelity.
I consider her advice and pep-talk as one of the key things that empowered Osinachi to fight to save her marriage.
“If you don’t know God for yourself…,” said Mrs Oji to her heart-broken daughter, “If you are not walking in His will, how can you lead another to Him? You are in this situation first because of your own sin! When you address that and learn from God what His will is, then you can make corrections in your life. Whether or not your marriage survives is secondary! You just have to get right with God, Osinachi.”
It was this friendly hard-knock that jolted Osinachi to reality. At that moment, she came to realise that “She has been practicing religion all these years; she didn’t know God for herself. No wonder her life could not influence her husband’s.”
Mrs Oji might have been advising her daughter over her husband. But I feel many wives around the world who love their husbands and want to save their marriages could use her other advice too: “Don’t relent in praying for him. Don’t stop forgiving him. Don’t hold back love and respect for him.”
In The House Girl, the author did a good job in telling a relatable story in such a way that vivid life lessons can be drawn from it. Each character presents a different angle to the lessons of life that can be gleaned from the book.
I found that that the following themes were covered in the book: The vulnerability of the girl child (especially the one from a less privileged background) to sexual exploitation, making an interracial marriage work, issues around child-bearing, challenges with child adoption, teenage pregnancy, living with a mental health issue, secrecy in marriage, love and commitment, forgiveness, personal relationship with God, role of parents in-law in saving a troubled marriage, rape, infidelity, blackmail, bribery, to mention but a few.
I liked reading the book and I would not hesitate in recommending it to you as well. I think that irrespective of one’s age or experiences in life, anyone that reads that books will definitely find a lesson or two to draw from it for personal application.
In closing, I will leave you with the following quotes from the book:
“It takes strength to give grace to others.”
“We are only as strong as our minds, not even our bodies.”
“We have to make sure we are working in faith and obedience if we want God’s best.”
“In service to others and in simplicity, there is so much joy to be found in life.”
“Never close the book on anyone, nor underestimate what you or anyone can be[come] tomorrow.”
“Never miss an opportunity to make impact in some one else’s life. Even if they never pay it back, they will pay it forward through the contribution they will make in the world.”
“Do not be afraid to challenge the system you enter. Do not be afraid to be the difference. All life is growth and change and you are the change the world is waiting for.”
The House Girl is available for purchase on Amazon.
In a previous post, I suggested that you could turn some of the most outstanding comments on your blog into full-fledged posts. The idea is that turning outstanding comments on your blog to full-fledged posts will open up the comments for more visibility, further discussion and more impact and penetration.
To show that I have already walked the talk, please allow me to briefly share 5 of my readers’ comments that were turned into full-blown posts on this blog. (Clicking on the highlighted titles will lead you to the full version of the post).
This particular post captured the true-life story of one of my blog readers who experienced racial discrimination in Southern Africa. It was her personal response to an earlier post of mine, namely Racism in the US Vs tribalism in Nigeria.
In the reader’s words,
“Discrimination is something that really pricks me because I have experienced it. For the life of me, I just cannot understand why people choose to look down on other people because of intangible attributes/features.
“The funny thing is that you don’t have to go as far as America to witness and feel the effect of racism. Come down to the southern part of Africa, you would see and feel it yourself. It’s more transparent in South Africa and Namibia than in other Southern African countries.”
As the discussion on racial discrimination continued on the blog, another reader introduced a different perspective saying,
“…Being prejudiced comes in many forms and it isn’t just restricted to those who have a different skin-colour – although that is one of the more obvious forms. …All of us are prejudiced in some ways; it could be education, upbringing, intelligence, success or failure and a host of other “particulars”.
But does that mean racism is justified? The answer is No!
As the reader further expatiated, “Racial prejudice is wrong in all of it’s various forms but I fear it is a condition of the human heart regardless of our skin-colour, regardless of our education or upbringing or success or failure…
“We all are creations of our Creator, made in His image and we [are in] error if we think otherwise. And most importantly, we all need the saving Grace that God in His wisdom holds over to us, namely the acceptance and saving shed blood of His Son, Jesus Christ, to make us new.”
This post captured some of the most interesting conversations I have had with some atheists on this blog. One of them claimed nature has helped his understanding of life more than the ‘man in the sky.” But he would not acknowledge that the man in the sky, so-called, is the Architect of the Universe, the One whom it was that put the natural world in place.
“God is out of touch with the world” claimed another so-called atheist. To that I responded, “It is even more appropriate to say that it is the people of the world that are losing touch of God. All men, including you, need to get know God better.” How can someone who doesn’t exist lose touch?
Yet another self-professed atheist got carried away during one of our conversations and he kept saying, God is wicked, God doesn’t love humans, God enjoys to see people suffer, etc. Really? I couldn’t hold back asking him, “How can the God you say doesn’t exist be wicked and loveless?
All these led me to surmise that many atheists are living in self-denial when they say that God doesn’t exist, because deep in their hearts they know that they are wrong.
In this post, I shared the comment of a reader, who in a very frank manner, identified with the pervasive personal struggle against lust and pornography, as well as the ways to overcome them.
According to this reader, we must all understand that pornography has harmful effects on our lives, careers and family. Therefore, it should not be accepted as a normal thing in our daily living.
To deal with addiction to pornography decisively, the reader recommends that we must identify the things that trigger the desire in us and set up adequate defences against them.
Worthy of mention, is the readers suggestions that “we need to spend quality time with GOD every day, not as a to-do-list or a good christian checklist. But because God wants a relationship with us, and how do we have a relationship with anyone we never spend time with?”
As a leader, you should love your team members, even when things do not go according to plan.
As one author observed, ”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.”
And when things do go wrong, you as the leader should build a shared understanding of the root-cause of the problem through what the reader called “exploration conversations” without demoralising any member of your team.
“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.”
You have read some of the blog comments on this site that I turned into full-fledged posts. You can click on the embedded links to read the complete posts.
Have you ever turned a reader’s comment into a full-fledged post on your blog? Feel free to leave a feedback or reaction in the comment section below.
Treasures are useless if they are buried away in the earth. But once they are brought to the surface, they can be appropriately harnessed and put into meaningful uses.
That’s how it is with your readers’ invaluable comments; they will not be so useful to your other readers if they are not given the optimum attention they deserve.
Let me state categorically that it is very important you don’t fail to peruse your blog’s comment section. That way, (apart from responding to all the comments as appropriate), you can sift out the gems in your readers’ thoughts or the feedback left for you in print, and then give them maximum exposure.
Talking about maximum exposure, that’s what you should give to your readers’ most outstanding comments. You can do that if you would use some of your readers’ most impressive contributions to write full-blown posts on your blog.
My point is that as you explore your readers’ comments, you might come across veritable comments that could be converted to full-fledged posts.
As you already know, not everyone who reads your blog posts has the patience and time to go through all the other readers’ comments one by one. But you, as the blog author, should not fail to do that.
You may even find some comments on your blog that can be directly lifted and turned into full-fledged posts. And that’s the reason I am using this post to drum that point home.
Needless to say, I have been able to convert some of my readers’ comments into full-fledged posts a number of times on this blog. And the experiences have been great. So I will not hesitate to suggest you do the same thing on your blog.
Turning outstanding post comments to full-fledged posts opens up the comments for more visibility, further discussion and more impact.
One advantage of turning a good blog comment into a full-blown post is that the valuable information or insights shared by your readers will not be not buried or lost deep down there in the comment section.
It would be great if you can have everyone who reads your main post to also read all the blog comments generated by the post. But as I already pointed out, not all your readers will be able to quarry through the depths of the many comments on your blog to extract out the hidden gems.
You can help out occasionally by turning some of those invaluable comments into full-fledged posts. Doing so will make it more accessible to more of your readers.
In a subsequent post, I will highlight some of my readers’ comments that I successfully lifted and turned into full-blown posts on this blog.
What do you think of the idea of turning some outstanding comments on your blog into full-fledged posts?
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?
The whole experience of blogging is not about you churning out posts after posts for people to read, to like, to comment on and to share. It is also about you reading other people’s blogs and interacting with them as much as you can.
There are many benefits you will derive by reading other people’s logs. In this post, I will highlight seven of such benefits.
7 Benefits of reading other people’s blogs
1. You learn from other people
People share ideas, experiences and insights on their blogs. They do so not for self-amusement but for you to read them. You will learn as you read those sites.
As one of my readers once stated, “What I love about blogging is taking the time to read other people’s thoughts about faith stuff as its important to get perspectives different from my own.”
Every opportunity you have to read is an opportunity to learn something new or remind you of something’s you have forgotten.
Be honest with yourself for once: you don’t know everything. That’s why you should read what other people have written on their blogs so that you can know what they know.
2. You discover new blogs to follow.
People follow your blog and you should follow other people’s blogs too. Reading other blogs will help you determine whether or not to follow such blogs.
Although there were some blogs I followed at first sight (especially the ones recommended to me), my guiding principle is that I would need to read two or three posts on any blog before I make the affirmative decision to hit the follow-button.
3. You sharpen your writing skills.
Writers do not only write, they read a lot as well. By extension, as a blogger, in addition to updating your own blog, you should also read blogs other than yours and learn from the writing styles employed by the authors of such blogs.
Personally, I learn a lot from reading other people’s posts. Just like many WordPress users, I did not attend any training on blogging before I got started. Everything I know, I have learnt from reading what other people have written and putting them into practice.
4. You attract more followers to your blog.
“One good turn deserves another” they say. If you want people to read your posts, you too should read other people’s posts.
There is a great chance that if you add value to a blog as you read it – by leaving a comment for instance – you are likely to attract more followers to your own blog.
5. Opportunity to interact with fellow bloggers.
For you to comment on a post, you have to read it first. I would expect that you don’t want to comment on a post you haven’t read.
Essentially, a post is someone’s idea or opinion about something, somebody or some place. Your comment on the post will be your own response to it.
You could also respond to other people’s comments on the post, thereby expanding the sphere of interactions.
6. Community, fellowship and friendship.
As you interact with other bloggers, you form a kind of bond and friendship that might prove valuable to you. Some of your online or blogging friends may eventually turn into your friends in real life.
I started this blog because I believed (and still believe) that I have something good to share that would be a blessing to someone out there. I also wanted to use the blogging platform to hone my writing skills.
Over all, blogging is helping me become a better version of myself.
Another side benefit of blogging is the opportunity it has afforded me to interact online with people from across all continents of the world. In the process, I have forged many beneficial online relationships with people I am yet to meet physically.
And I know I am not the only one who has had that beautiful experience. There are bloggers who have been able to turn their blogging friends to real life friends. And it looks like I am joining that league now. Hang on, I will tell you about that in a moment…
Ufuomae (in the picture with me above), author and founder of Grace and Truth and Ufuomae’s Series Blog and Fair Life Africa was one of the earliest followers of this blog when I came on the blogosphere three years ago. Since then our interactions have continued and remained online. But all that got to change (for the better) during the week.
I have been aware that Ufuomae had published a couple of books in e-books and paperback formats. So finally I decided to place an order online for three of her books on paperbacks: The Church Girl 1&2, The House Girl and Perfect Love.
I was expecting the books to be delivered to me through a courier service. But I was pleasantly surprised when she contacted me to say she would deliver the books to me in person.
“Are you home today?” she asked. “I was thinking of bringing the books in person.”
Ostensibly, she only recently realised that we have been living in the same city all along.
“Oh really, you will bring the books in person?” I enthused. “Wow, it will be such an honour to finally meet you in person.”
Being someone I admire a lot, it had crossed my mind on several occasions that I would one day meet this passionate Christian blogger in person. But I had thought I would be the one to go look for her.
You can now see why I was feeling so excited to have her come look for me. The experience was wonderful for me. It would not be wrong to say I count it as one of the most important moments in my blogging journey.
And at the end of the day, this was how Ufuomae herself on her Instagram handle captured her experience of meeting me physically for the first time:
It was really lovely to meet you in the flesh @Victor_Uyanwanne! Wow 😎 This world is small… I think I first discovered your blog, VictorsCorner in 2015, and I was super pleased to find another African representing Christ on the blogosphere and doing it so unashamedly 😉 It was a while before I realised that you were Nigerian too 😁
The biggest surprise came when you ordered three of my books, and I learnt you actually live and work in Lagos!!! But the biggest biggest surprise was realising that you’re actually a BIG FAN of mine 😲 Wow, you made me feel like a real celebrity today 😎 thank you! It was nice getting to know you in the flesh, and I hope to learn more from you too.
Shout out to your office colleagues! Let them head over to books.ufuomaee.org and start ordering their own books.
(Yes, she met with some of my colleagues at work too. And they were pleased to meet with her as well).
Let me end this post with my response to Ufuomae’s Instagram post shown above, with the assurance that she and I have moved from being just blog friends to real life friends.
You made my day. It was my pleasure meeting you… in real life. Wow… Thank you so so much for everything. You are as fantastic in real life as you are online, even more.
Yea, it’s true I ordered your books.. The good part, noooo, the great part is that you graciously autographed them for me. You are doing great [in your blogging journey]. And I know you will do more. Just keep the flag flying. I will be there to cheer you on.
Have you ever had anyone you met through your blog become your real life friend? I look forward to reading your experience in the comment section.
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.
A few people have had cause to ask me, “Victor, are you making money from your blog?” The simple answer I always gave is “No.”
When I started this blog, money making was never part of the objective. And it isn’t till this point in time.
But that does not in any way suggest that I am totally against monetising the blog. I am simply saying it is not part of the plan, at least not yet.
You may be a professional blogger, but I am not. So how you see blogging may not be exactly how I see it.
Writing this blog is a hobby I engage in outside my full time job. And like I already stated, I am not making any income from it.
My bills and those of my family are taken care of from income from paid employment. So what is in it for me in this blogging journey?
I would say a lot: more than I had initially anticipated and definitely much more than time and space would allow me delve into in this short post.
From the outset of my blogging journey, I wanted to share my thoughts on the issues of life with anyone who would care to read. I was convinced that what I had to share could make life better for someone out there – one way or another.
To a large extent, that objective is being achieved. The feedback I get from my readers and critics alike convince me of that.
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.