It is evident that we live in a broken world and nothing we do will fix the predicament we the inhabitants find ourselves because we ourselves are imperfect and there is no way we can create a perfect system out of an imperfect mind.
    The mere fact that we go from one tragedy to the other shows that the change we seek has to start with us, otherwise, we will remain in the same dysfunctional state where things seem to work, only to take turns for the worse and degenerate into terrible situations which jolts us back to reality.
    That some of the tragedies we have witnessed in recent times are man-made and preventable is enough reason for us to realize that we need to consciously work on renewing our minds. Where’s the love gone? Love for self precedes love for others and this will breed fore-thought and help your decision-making process such that you consider the consequences of our actions or the lack of it.
    When you choose to live our lives by your own rules, you tend to sink to record lows every single time; and over time, you suppress, all to the point of silence your conscience such that you become numb, with no feeling, stone-cold, callous and selfish. You make decisions with only yourself in mind, this, as history has shown, is a recipe for disaster.
    What can you do? While the losses that resulted from the tragedies are real and caused countless pain and suffering, it can cause you to lose faith in humanity when you focus all your attention on everything going wrong. There is hope, when we reach for something more, and in the face of hate, pour out LOVE like rain.
    Studies have shown that humans can survive,
    40 days without food,
    4 days without water,
    4 minutes without air,
    and all but
    4 seconds without HOPE.
    Hopelessness is a state where there is nothing left and the proverbial silver-lining is not visible; the foreboding, overwhelming, almost horrific feeling that all is lost, gone and there is no reason to live.
    The families of the countless hundreds that have lost their lives are still mourning and for years to come will carry the pain, the shattered dreams, and a life of hardship awaits some of them. You can make your voice count towards a significant change in preventing future occurrences of the man-made tragedies that claimed those precious lives, cutting short their dreams and aspirations.
    We have a larger platform in this age than all of history put together, with this platform comes a massive responsibility – use it as an instrument for change. Life is too short to live for yourself alone; when you are all wrapped up in yourself, you make a very small package, making a difference in nobody’s life.
    When you get a novel idea and are about to post, ask yourself this; will this touch anybody’s heart and compel it to action? If the answer is no, you may want to review it and make changes. Won’t this make you uptight and serious? It will make you accountable for every word you say/write because they have the potential to bring about a turn-around in someone’s life and the reverse holds true as well.
    Carelessly-placed words have the potential to tear someone down emotionally and cause more damage than physical injuries do. More importantly, we need to ACT; go beyond talking into taking necessary steps to lend a hand, give time, resources and thoughts to make a change, no matter how insignificant it seems.

  • Forgiveness 2.0 – Can you go back?

    Forgiveness, just like Love, has definitions to varying degrees or like an onion—layers. I always thought I had the forgiveness thing locked down, yeah right! Just like the proverbial out of the blue, it hit me that I had just erased that part from memory and decided the type of forgiveness I wanted to extend. I found out that I couldn’t (or at least that’s what I had subconsciously agreed) go back if I had the chance.
    On my way home, it became evident that this sealed can of worms had been in the basement and it is already stinking. It took an interviewer’s probing questions for me to shed light on that chapter in my life’s story.
    Forgiveness is absolute, but just like everything else, we make it relative and as such varying standards abound. This means what I call forgiveness may not cut it for someone else. While my version of forgiveness may be shallow and warped, yours may be brutally honest.
    Ultimately, we are responsible for our versions of forgiveness, while it is in our best interest to forgive and let go; it is not as easy as it sounds. You need to decide first of all which version of forgiveness you would like to exhibit, partial or complete.
    While we may grapple back and forth in our minds about how badly we’ve been hurt and tabulate cogent reasons why we can’t let go, let us remember that they are humans after all and we are all greatly flawed.
    Sometimes, we have unrealistic, astronomical expectations of our mere mortal neighbors and more often than not, you get disappointed. I have discovered (all be it painfully) that our pride gets in the way of our forgiving those who have wronged us. We subconsciously want to stand for our perceived right, and forgiving feels like we are positioning ourselves to being run roughshod, but on the long run, we do ourselves a great disservice by refusing to give allowance for human weakness.
    What you can do is ask yourself if you have given the person who hurt you yet another chance, with no guarantees that they will not go down the same race track and cause you another bout of heartache.
    There is a balance however, but I hope you see the underlying principle.

  • Spotlight

    Something we all shy away from, well at least most of us do, but we secretly crave it and would do anything to get it. As with everything on earth, it comes with both good and not so good sides. Once you break into the spotlight, center of attention, even if it is for twenty-four hours, you have gone down into the history books and your every move becomes an interest to everyone around you. 
    Then you have media houses like hawks hovering above your life, waiting for a slip up from you so they can sell their stories through their papers, ads, or whatever their means of transmission. 
    While you may be oblivious to the consequences or the burden that accompanies fame, it is in your best interest to look beyond the popularity and perks that it alluringly promises, the responsibilities are equal and can sometimes outweigh what you stand to gain from becoming famous. Also, you should have in mind why exactly you want to be in the spotlight, so that when the time (your time) comes, you will not be carried away with its mostly subtle tempting offers. 
    It is worthy of note that empty fame or popularity or time in the spotlight is why many a celebrity feel all alone in the midst of all the attention, money, and popularity. When there is a purpose for your fame, you can channel all the clout to the cause you set out to start or support. 
    While the spotlight is not for everybody, many an individual have been thrust into the same without ever dreaming of it, and while that is not as common-place, it does happen, and could happen to you reading this piece as well, then what? Nothing! There is no one-size-fits-all rule about prepping for fame, but common sense applies. 
    Most humans worship and adore people in the spotlight and often to a god-like reverence, they look up to them as role models (often as a replacement for failed authority figures in their lives) and take in their every word and actions. This is by far the heaviest burden celebrities are laden with, and while most ignore it and say they are not directly responsible for what people believe or do, it doesn’t change the fact that they have knowingly or otherwise enrolled an audience more than all their previous generations ever saw in all their lifetimes combines. 
    I suggest you sit for a while and decide what you want to do with your time in the spotlight, because just like a play, it has acts and scenes, and as soon as the curtain falls, your time in the spotlight is over and you will be replaced by a younger, more contemporary version of you. What will you be remembered for?

  • How Strong is your Judgmental Bone?

    Guilty! Hang Him! Serves him right! He got what he deserved! He’s had it coming! That’ll teach him a lesson! 
    Have you found yourself thinking or worse still, saying any of the above judgmental phrases, then, you are not alone. We humans have a sense of judgment, which can sometimes be lopsided and skewed, and we erroneously picture God, as a deity who, like a loan shark is out to collect from everyone who has been a bad apple. Not so! While we sow seeds with our words and actions, we get to experience the consequences—good or otherwise less pleasant ones as well. 
    It is a huge reflection on our heart when we secretly rejoice over the misfortune of others and it is a proof of the absence of true love within us. 
    True Love does not cry “Aha! Gotcha! It does cry however, “Alas! Brother! Are you okay? Are you hurt?” 
    While we may no longer pay attention to these seemingly insignificant thoughts, they, to a large extent define our humanity because deep down, we all truly care about one another. Those cares and affections however, have a way of being buried deep under the rubble of hurts, disappointments, fear, rejection, loneliness, envy, strife, insecurity, and depression. 
    The yearning for the warmth we once knew can turn us into cold and distant, almost callous individuals, if we let it. It is until we are honest with ourselves that we truly get on the path of healing, for our bodies, spirits and souls (will, intellect, emotions). 
    The way some of us were raised is usually a huge determining factor in how we communicate our needs. For some, it was throwing tantrums or fits of rage that got them what they wanted; while for others, it was being withdrawn and moping all over the place. Whichever your style is, we all have to learn to communicate properly, so that we can have our needs met, or have realistic expectations regarding our needs or wants. 
    Isn’t it ironic that we say one thing, yet we act the splitting opposite? Unless we have been broken within and have lost our sense of dignity, we should be able to make our requests known in understandable format, devoid of coding in reverse psychology. 
    If you want someone to change the way they relate to you, it is only fair that you communicate exactly that to the person. You will be short-changing yourself when you assume the other person would deduce the core of the message you are trying ever so hard to pass across. There is room for being misconstrued when you do not communicate in clear terms. Say what you mean, and by all means, mean what you say! No more, no less.

  • Fresh, New, Another Word

    Isn’t it funny how we always look forward to hearing something new from God when we have conveniently chosen or otherwise to ignore His previous words. We derive a kick out of being connected to the divine and having proof which over time, become monuments, devoid of any transformational power. It is in our best interest to act on the instructions we have received from God, for it is in the doing that the power lies, well, the real power that is, one with the power to course permanent alteration to our life’s journey and make us into better persons.
    Seeing that all of humanity is flawed, it doesn’t make much sense to measure us against anybody else, but our yardstick should be the Word of God; that which is truth no matter the time, language and place, then we will have true progress and the only person we will be in a race with will be ourselves.
    Once we can conquer ourselves, we are translated into the class of those who can be bestowed with limitless power and resources for the good of mankind as a whole. Conquering ourselves also includes but not limited to dying to self, our selfish tendencies and the ever-nagging-yet-fleeting feeling of security.
    So, before you go on ahead and feel all spiritual, awaiting yet another word that will excite you for yet a little while longer, you may yet unlock the latent power stored up in the last word(s) you have received in your heart, in a dream, via pastors, close associates, folks you look up to, and more importantly while you were studying the word, either by reading, listening or watching the word or the sharing of the same. One with the word is transparent because having looked at himself in the mirror of God’s word, we see ourselves the way we are and we, more importantly see ourselves the way God sees us.
    Ever-so-often, the enemy lies in wait for us to poison our minds and get us to take our eyes off the prize, even for the briefest of moments and as such, sow seeds of doubt and fear such that if/when we allow them grow, will contradict God’s word in our heart and what we were once sure about one hundred percent now becomes hazy and cause us to doubt and to lose heart.
    There is a caveat here though, God is faithful and he has made everything to fit together like a jigsaw puzzle, so, there is no single thing that has happened in your life that is not useful or relevant in His Grand Master Plan. When we see that instead of feeling like helpless victims, we are actually royalty with a father who is more than willing to give us anything if and only if we prove that we are well over ourselves and He is owner of all.

  • A Whole New Level of Relevance

    As we grow up in our human interactions, our roles change ever so slightly. Once we looked up to the people ahead of us and all we wanted was to be like them; we were like sponges soaking both the said and unsaid. Observing people with relative influence over our lives and mimicking their every move, long before we knew what was wrong or right. Our underdeveloped sense of morality was the definition of our innocence and made us gullible and susceptible to suggestions and manipulations.

    Fast-forward a couple of decades and we are back to where we started from. Now we know our right from left, but the influences over our lives in those formative years have made indelible impressions in our minds. An old saying goes – what goes into a mind, comes out in a life. Now, we see and interact with the world through the colored glass of our past. Our sense of morality sometimes is skewed and lopsided that we end up with dysfunctional relationships.

    What is right? What is wrong? The fine line between them ought not be so, if a chasm was separating them, it would be easier to choose, I reckon. Rewind a decade or two, around the time when we planned to carry out mischief; when we started to lie, steal, connive, manipulate and deceive, they were possible because that was what we observed the influences over our lives doing. Saying one thing and doing something else does more than insult our young minds back then, it erodes our innocence and set us up to fail.

    In order to make Honesty, Love, Integrity and Compassion values that are worthy to live by, we have to go back to the beginning. While it is not too late for you and I to embrace these values, it would have been better if they had been ingrained in our subconscious from inception. This begs the question, what shall we do about the present state of things? The responsibility now rests on us to embrace these values whole-heartedly and make deliberate efforts to imbibe them into the younger generation.

    This, we will do, if and only if we embrace them wholeheartedly and practice them. Young people don’t do what they are told, they do what they observe the influences over their lives do. That is the singular reason why actors, musicians, become popular- the younger generation is easily influenced. Why don’t we use the opportunity wisely and invest in our collective future? The seeds we sow today are the harvest and seeds of tomorrow. Honesty breeds honesty, dishonesty breeds decadence, corruption and all sort of sordid vices.

    We have our consciences to help us discern between right and wrong, however, not all of us listen to its promptings and we have seared it such that we are numb to its nudges. When our sense or compass is out cold, then we can get lost at will and justify our every action. If we want a better society for our children, we will act on this starting now. I do not have children yet, but my heart is heavy for them and I do not want them to meet the decay, moral erosion and godlessness that have overtaken the world we live in.

    I have chosen to make a difference in this world, one person at a time; by showing love, being honest (with God, others and myself) and living my life with others in mind.

    If you are reading this and you do not believe in a higher power, I am glad to let you know there is and while you cannot see Him with your physical eyes or with your other senses, you cannot deny His existence. All things going on in this world have a purpose and either we understand or not does not disprove the fact—God exists and He has our best interest at heart. Yes, He has a heart. We were created after His likeness in the first place. So, if you were wondering what God looks like, take a good long look at the person next to you. The sheer diversity and variety in the world, as dizzying as the numbers are, they confirm unequivocally that God exists and He is in control of everything.

    No coincidences with you, understand that the master planner does not leave any stone upturned  He created the human brain with trillions of synapses and they all interconnect and deliver information to and from the body, plus the amount of white and red blood cells in the body, coupled with the uniqueness of each human’s fingerprint, the DNA structure that determines a lot of the physiological makeup of each of us—hair, eye color, skin color, and so much more.

    God is real, and no matter how much we try to disagree and argue Him out of our curriculum, He remains. When we take a look at the hundreds of thousands of species of animals and how their behaviors complement each other to ensure the balance of the ecosystem and the biosphere. Then there is the vast unknown expanse called the Universe which sees massive, gargantuan objects called planets/planetary bodies floating around in an orderly fashion with another object at the center which the others revolve around. Chance? Not a chance!

    If you are still reading, then you have a choice to make (if you haven’t already). You can also get access to the infinite wisdom and artistry that created the world and everything in it. Turn to God today, accept Jesus Christ into your life and watch Him dissolve your doubts as He opens your eyes to a whole new world you never thought existed, not even in your wildest dreams.

    The existence of God cannot be explained or rationalized (seriously, He defies logic), it can only be revealed. You either believe it or you don’t, and this is not a “maybe, maybe not” situation in which you have neutrals sitting on the fence. If you want to know for certain, you can pick up a Contemporary English Version of the Bible or the Amplified Bible or better still, the Message translation. Whichever you choose, read with a hunger/desire to find out more about the God behind it all. I guarantee you one thing though, if you stay and don’t quit, God Himself will reveal to you all you need to know and more. Selah.
  • Breaking News

    My heart breaks when we seem not to care about what happens immediately after a tragedy. We have a knack for wanting to be the first to ‘break’ the news, the drive erodes our sensibilities and we post words, photos or videos we regret later on. If we had our heads screwed on properly, and our faculties are in good working order, we will empathize with the families of victims and allow the appropriate authorities to break the gut-wrenching news of the loss of their loved ones.
    We need to exercise restraint when we are faced with very sensitive information and consider the lives that would be potentially altered drastically as a result of what you know. Also, it is highly insensitive, grossly irresponsible and reeks of utter disregard for the feelings of the affected families, when we keep posting and reposting gory photos of mangled, dismembered and charred human remains on social media outlets after the tragic events have occurred.
    Let the dead rest and circulating such traumatic images will not do anything to alleviate the pain and suffering of the affected families or prevent future occurrences. We have all become information junkies, inadvertently throwing caution to the wind before ‘breaking’ the next big story and in the process; we lose ourselves, our sense of human feeling and compassion.
    We can tell ourselves that we are informing people and are doing what is right, just and true or even our jobs, but there is that deep-seated subconscious feeling to be the first, the one with the exclusive. If we don’t decide ahead of time, what we’re going to do when we have access to highly sensitive and often-traumatic information, we will continue to blurt them out as we have been doing beforehand.
    I know for certain, that these disasters will not abate, they will keep coming, just take a look at the news filtering in from all over the green globe, and you will see reason and by inference, there are no sacred cows, as it is happening in third world nations, its hitting the first and second with equal and sometimes greater ferocity. We see earthquakes, floods, typhoons, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, and the ever-present nuclear threat, bio-weapons and the like.
    The world seems to be breaking at the seams, but don’t be overwhelmed, the end is near. This is not the end; it’s only the beginning! He that reads let him understand.

  • Grayscale

    That is exactly what I feel like, dull, uneventful and monotonous. Seems someone flipped a switch and sucked away the color, flavor, joy, hope, excitement from my life and I looked on with helpless demeanor, wondering how I ended up in this horror movie-like reality show called my life.
    All I crave right now is some warmth in my heart; in all, it feels like the stream is in trickles now and I really need a word to speak to the rock to produce water for this dying generation. “I need your help, Lord!” who knew that the valley of dry bones in reality isn’t a very nice experience. Well, now I know; it shall come to pass, if I recall correctly. Once the word came, the hopeless situations rearranged themselves with help from winds of change from the cardinal points of the planet.
    So, the seemingly dispirited situations now will themselves rearrange when the word given is SPOKEN! After they came together, bone to its bone, then flesh came upon them, not before (order, then increase), then sinews, until they were completely fleshed up. However good it looked, they were still lacking the breath of LIFE. Then at the SPEAKING of the sent WORD, they received LIFE and were all high and dandy, or were they? It is clear, the process, isn’t it? Order is the first law of increase, and as such, no amount of prayer will make your business grow to make your desired monthly target unless you put a working structure in place.
  • Falling Out of Love

    It is very easy for me to change my mind, based on prevailing circumstances, so as to minimize exposure/vulnerability. However, it appears He is always in love with me and all the junk I have allowed into the room of my heart have blocked the ray of God’s love from illuminating my heart and thus, the warmth I have been accustomed to is glaringly missing, hence, the gloom, depression, constant feeling of loneliness and lone-ranger attitude while maintaining the outward appearance of keeping it together all the while feeling like crap every day.

    Someone said “loneliness is not a loss of someone, but a loss of direction and vision for your life” I couldn’t have put it better myself, we are usually tunnel-vision-minded that we pay so much attention to the physical that we ignore the most important and yet invisible parts of our lives. A saying goes thus “the most important things in life are free”, and while you may find reasons to dispute it, the fact remains, you can’t see love, hope, joy, and the like physically, but you do feel their effects.

  • You Have Everything 2

    Luke 13:7; “then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up ground?’” (emphasis added)
    You have time to cultivate your gifts and harness them to produce positive results to benefit others. Imagine, the fig tree gets what it needs from the earth, air, rain but it produces fruit instead; the tree does not eat of the fruit does it? This is why our gifts don’t work for us when we turn the focus on ourselves. The principle is set, live for others, and then you will live a truly fulfilling and happy life.
    It is never too late to become of value, seeing that everyone has a latent form within but only those who have gone on the discovery journey are able to fully take advantage and use it to benefit majority of the people around them and beyond. In case you were wondering, this confers a huge responsibility on us all; otherwise, we will each lose our estate.
    Why are you using up other people’s opportunity when you are not being productive? It is only a matter of time before you are given the booth, so that someone more productive than you are will be given the opportunity to be a source of encouragement to people around.
    There is a highway connecting productivity in seemingly little tasks and huge responsibilities. While we humans measure productivity in quantity (amount), God measures in quality (percentage). It does not matter if all you can do is talk, sing, dance, run, swim, write, as long as you do it with all your heart and strength and do not hold back, you will get the pass mark—FRUITFUL.