Friday, December 1, 2017

Change Your Life Forever!

Sometime ago, I came across a powerful quote by Dwight D. Eisenhower that got me thinking about the power of our choices. He said, and I quote “The history of free men is never written by chance, but by choice - their choice”. Powerful. In my humble opinion, I think it’s not only the history of free men that is written by their choices. It is the history of everyone. You are where you are today as a result of the choices you made, or did not make yesterday. The choices we make today will colour the spectrum of our life in the future
“The history of free men is never written by chance, but by choice - their choice”
The direction of our lives is determined by the choices we make every day. They accumulate and add up to our ultimate destiny. Success in life is not a gift. It doesn’t just fall on people like ripe pawpaw! It is a choice that you have to make. You are a direct product of your choices. You are going to live tomorrow with the consequences of today’s choices. It is futile to squander today and hope for a generous tomorrow. Everything that happens in your life - both what you are thrilled with and what you are challenged by - began with a choice.

In order to create for a life of abundance and prosperity in all areas of your life, here are some choices worth considering

 1. Choose to become balanced spiritually, emotionally and physically. 

Our lives are best when we have these three major areas in balance. Never leave God out of the equation of your life. In fact, He needs to take first place in everything. That is the starting point. Spend some time cultivating your spirituality. Spend time to develop your emotional health. Spent time to be physically fit.

2. Choose to grow personally. 

This sounds simple but many people only wish to grow personally. They never choose to grow by taking action, such as actually learning new things, taking exercises, saving more money etc. Make a decision today to be a person who is on the never ending journey of personal growth.

3. Choose to always treat others right. 

We come across all sorts of people, many of whom will treat us poorly. We can choose to treat them right, no matter how they treat us. When they lie, we will tell the truth. When they cheat, we will play by the rules. We may get the short end of the stick some times, but on the long-run we will win. And most importantly, we will be able to sleep at night!

4. Choose to break a bad habit. 

Take the big ones first. Tackle it head on. If you don't know what it is, ask a friend. Then spend every effort you can to break that habit. Forget about the others, as you will get to them later. Stop smoking, get out of debt, lose your excess weight. Exercise the power to choose!

5. Choose to work smarter. 

Many people I work with feel like they are out of balance. One of the first things I do is try to find out how much time they are wasting at work, which makes them work longer, which throws the rest of their life into chaos. Getting your work done by diligently working with the time you have will free your life up extraordinarily.

6. Choose to see your work as a way to help others, and not a way to make money. 

If you put your heart into helping others, the money will most assuredly come. Spend time helping others grow, solving their problems or adding value to them and your finances will grow with it. This is a profound truth.

You can indeed change your life forever. DO it now. 


Monday, August 21, 2017

Organize or Agonize

Something simple but profound struck me this morning. Our living room looks much more spacious when everything is in order- in its place and well arranged. Are you familiar with this? Try arranging your office table and you’ll discover there’ll be room for more things. Try arranging the clothes in your closet properly and it will be evident you can still handle a few more clothes. The message is then very clear and simple – order makes for increase. The more organized you are, the more ready you are to handle more!

Let me start from what I hope to conclude with – It takes far more time when disorganized than it does when one is organized because disorganized people loose so much time to inefficiency. Have you tried looking for something you misplaced of late? You know the thing is somewhere nearby …maybe in your bedroom. You are dead sure you kept it there the last time but you can’t seem to just find it! The experience can be very frustrating (I get really frustrated) and can make you lose quality time. Can you relate to this situation…or even worse ones?

It’s important to note that order makes for increase. A simple illustration to prove this is when you are packing for a trip. If you decide to dump all your clothes and personal effects in a suitcase just like that, the suitcase will be full in no time. However, if you take your time to neatly fold your clothes, and arrange everything in an orderly manner, you will be amazed at how much space you still have for more! If you want to increase in your life, business, career and what have you, pay attention to order. If your life is in order, then increase is guaranteed. If your life is surrounded by clutters and you don’t just seem to get organized, you will have no room for more.

There is a mystery about order. Order makes for increase. Anywhere you see order, increase will not be far off. Have you noticed something about developed countries and economies? There is a high degree of order. You’ll see order everywhere. The opposite is true for developing countries and economies. Little wonder why some of us are still where we are!

Getting organized is a process and it doesn't happen overnight! It's like quitting a bad habit. In the beginning it is very difficult but it gets easier until one day....you've begun the new habit of "being organized" without even thinking!

One of the greatest lesson I have learnt about order and organization is this - “A place for everything; everything in its place”. Let me share with you some tips that I have learnt about getting organized. Some of these tips will work for you, others won't. You don't have to do everything; you just have to do something!

Have a plan for each day

Before you leave for home each day, take the time to review your calendar for the next day and prepare any documents that you might need during that day. The truth is that you will most likely not follow this plan 100% but you will be more organized and get more done when you have a clear plan.

Give every object a home

Assign a home to each item. Where will you put those old bank statements? Where will you keep the magazines? Where should all those design notes go? First go through those items and note what should have been thrown away, then assign a convenient home to every item, you will be much more inclined to put them away in the right place.

Put it away!

It’s very important that you act fast on things that you do not need. Put them away as fast as you can. Throw away junk mail without even bothering to open it! If there is a trash bin close to the mailbox, dump junk mail there and don't even bother taking it to your office. Touch each piece of mail only once. This means you need to make a decision on what to do with it. You can:
-POST it wherever you post information
-DISTRIBUTE it to the person who should have gotten it in the first place
-TRASH it
-FILE it in the appropriate file (Not a "to be filed" file!)
-ACT upon it.

Prioritize

This is not as easy as it sounds but it is a vital point in creating order around you. It’s not likely that you will be able to do everything you want to do every single day. The chances are that you won’t! When your list of “to do’s” is quite long, you will be more organized of you learn to prioritize. This simply means putting the most valuable items on your “to do” list at the very top of your list. Schedules should follow a progression of priority, energy, and natural setting. My priorities begin with the Lord, then my wife, then my children, then work. When I have time left over, I can dedicate it to items lower on my priority list.

I am still leaning on this topic, so, if you have any other idea, the floor is open. Shoot!


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

What's The Score At Half Time?

One of the most unimportant statistics in a football match is the score at half time. In the 2001/02 season, Tottenham were 3-0 up at half-time in this classic FA Cup clash against Manchester United, thanks to goals from Dean Richards, Les Ferdinand, and Christian Ziege. Whatever Sir Alex Ferguson said at half time worked wonders as goals from Andy Cole, Laurent Blanc, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Juan Sebastian Veron and David Beckham sealed a dramatic comeback for the Red Devils. A couple of hours ago, the half time whistle for this year sounded on all of us! The referee has called for a time out, and it provides a wonderful opportunity to review the strategies of the first half, and decide if we will still continue with it, or make some changes.
One of the most unimportant statistics in a football match is the score at half time
Every new day, new month, or New Year, provides us with an opportunity to start again, but more intelligently. Today presents such wonderful opportunity. It is a great opportunity to look back at the last 6 months and evaluate how far, or how not far, we have gone. I encourage you to take time out in the next few days to do a thorough evaluation of the last 6 months. I can predict to you what will happen at the end of the year if nothing changes now. You will get exactly the same results that you have got in the last 6 months! Remember the definition of insanity. It is “doing the same thing in the same way, and expecting a different result”. My question to you as you read this is – do you like the results coming your way in the last 6 months? Are you satisfied with the level of success you have enjoyed in the 1st half of the year? If your answer is NO, then, something needs to change in the 2nd half. Once this happens, the result at half time will be immaterial.

Here are a few things i encourage you to do:

Take Stock

May I encourage you to balance your account for the last 6 months? Take stock of the important things in your life. How have well have you done in your relationship with God? How well is your finance doing versus your budget? Are you making considerable progress? Sometime earlier in the week, I took stock of my spending/expenses for the last 6 months. I was humbled. I saw areas where I didn’t believe I was spending as much as I was doing. One of the smartest ways to progress in life, is to take stock at intervals. That’s what a smart football team does at halftime.

Focus on Your Strength

When people evaluate themselves in this part of the world, there is a great tendency to always focus on their weaknesses. Let me explain using this example. If you have a child that came home with the following scores - English Language (85%), Mathematics (92%), Physics (87%), Biology (50%) and Chemistry (90%)- which subject teacher are you likely to recruit for him/her soonest? My guess is that you will be recruiting the best Biology teacher in town to help your ward become “all rounder” by improving his/her Biology scores. This may be far from being right! While I am not advocating that you close your eyes to obvious opportunities in your life, I am insisting that you should also place close attention to your strengths. In the example above, the ward in question can go on and become the best engineer we have ever seen, without improving much in his/her Biology scores! What are the things you did so well in the 1st half of the year? What are the things that brought you’re the best results? Plan to focus on them and repeat them, even in a better way, in the 2nd half of the year. 
The greatest definition of insanity is this - doing the same thing in the same way and expecting a different result
Improve on Your Opportunities

Like I said earlier, I am not asking you to close your eyes to your opportunities. You will need to do something about them too. Write down somewhere the list of things that didn’t go your way in the 1st half of the year. Write down the things that didn’t work so well. What are you going to do about them? What skills are you going to acquires to do better? What relationships are you going to cultivate to improve in those areas? What seminars are you going to attend to bridge the knowledge gap? What habits are you going to bade farewell to in order to reach your goals? My advice is that you pick 1-2 opportunity areas that you want to focus on and deal with them squarely.

Adjust Your Sail

Have you ever wondered what goes on in the dressing room at half time? Anyone who has played a team game will remember those half-time discussions with the coach when things have gone badly and everything depends on going back out for the second half and turning the game around. It’s like being on the sea during a stormy weather. Survival depends largely on how well you can adjust your sails accordingly. Sometimes, you change strategies in the dressing room. Sometimes you change people or players. Sometimes you change the pattern of play. Sometimes, you just motivate the people to use the same strategy in a better way. Eventually, for any change to be effected in the 2nd half, something has to change in the dressing room. Do you need to change your strategies? Maybe it’s your association that needs to change. Maybe it’s just down to your attitude. Adjust your sails accordingly

Give Thanks

Many times, we think about the things we do not have and forget to appreciate God for the things we have. Someone who doesn’t have a car yet is angry. He is not thankful that he a pair of legs to walk! He is taking the ability to walk for granted! Someone is angry that he doesn’t have a job yet. He should be thankful at least that he has an opportunity to go to school and get a degree. I know you are behind on your dreams and your goals but be thankful for the ability to dream in the 1st place! Don’t forget the many things that the good Lord has done for you. He gave you life, and that alone is worth every other thing in the world. Count your many blessings. Don’t discount them! When you learn to thank God for what he has done, you compel him to do what is left. Have a thankful heart.

As we begin the 2nd half of this year, I comment you to the hand of his Grace. May the almighty God add the “extra” to your “ordinary”, so it becomes “extraordinary”. Remember that you have another opportunity to start again- albeit, more intelligently. All your sins/mistakes/errors of the 1st half of the year are hereby forgiven. Go and sin no more!

Monday, June 12, 2017

One Virtue Fix It All Syndrome

A couple of weeks’ back, my pastor (Debo Omotunde) was sharing on a very important principle during a church service – that at the core of who we are is what we believe. While at it, he mentioned something that really got my attention, and made me study a little more on the subject. He called it “The one virtue fix it all syndrome”. I will explain...

There are many of us who would not believe an outright lie, especially when we know it is a lie. But we fall for half-truths easily. Half-truths are quite dangerous – often more dangerous that blatant lies, as they contain in them an element of truth.

Take a virgin for example. He or she will be suffering from the “one virtue fix it all” syndrome, if he/she believes that ALL that is needed to have a blissful marriage is to marry as a virgin! Believe it or not, there are people who thinks like this. They feel that life owes then a great marriage because they’ve kept themselves for their spouses all these several years. While virginity is a great virtue (and one that is VERY crucial at that), a great marriage is a function of several other virtues. Without great character, communication skills, conflict resolution skills, money skills, relational skills etc, your virginity alone is not likely to take you that far if a great marriage is your goal. That one virtue cannot and will not fix it all for you. 
At the core of who we are is what we believe.

Take a very honest business man or entrepreneur as another example. Honesty alone cannot give you success in business. Please do not misunderstand me. I do not and will not discount the place of honesty in doing business. It is a very critical virtue for business success, but will not by itself deliver business success to you. It is great to tell the truth and not to give bribes and all that – but what about hard-work? What about time management skills and people management skills? What about financial planning and budgeting? What about customer service skills that distinct you and make you different from the crowd / competition? If you think business has been unfair to you, just because you are the honest guy, you need to have a rethink. Honesty, plus a couple of other virtues is what brings business success.

Let me share a final example. I once met a friend whose church was not really growing, despite the fact that he was a great preacher. He was very eloquent and could hold you bound with his story telling skills. His thoughts were that once he was preaching great sermons and he focusses entirely on that, people will come to his church, This is true – but only a half truth. What about the other parts of the service? What about the flow of the service, as well as its timeliness? What about the ambience and the “fellowship” after or beyond church services? The ability to preach great sermons is a wonderful one, and very crucial to church growth, but to believe that that is the ONLY thing required to grow a church is not wise.

My point is this – there is a grave danger in a belief system that says that once I have a particular strength, that area of my life should be sorted. This singular virtue that I have and I hold dear to, should be able to sort me out. Life is not structured that way. Success in any area of life is a combination of several virtues (or skills), and progress is only guaranteed when you operate in that space. Don’t be caught in the “one virtue fix it all” syndrome.



Monday, April 10, 2017

The Many Names I Call My Husband

My beautiful wife, Olubukola, wrote a beautiful piece earlier today about me. I feel so proud reading it, and most importantly, more determined to finish strong, and to finish well. Let me let you read her pen.

What is in a name? This is a question some ask, sometimes with disdain, it is why they probably take for granted what they call others. Oh, but a name is key to who you are. It’s why we are even guaranteed new names when we cross over into eternity. Even Kunta Kinte knew this and fought so hard to keep his name till he got broken to accept ‘Toby’.

As my husband celebrates a milestone today, I will share some, just a few, of the names I call him…

Temitope

This was the first name I got to know him as. Even before realizing he was OAU, Ile-Ife’s CASOR’s PastorTea. It was with this name I found a friend and then a best friend. It was with this name I found love, true and real. It was with this name I made one of life's most important decisions - to partner with another for the rest of my life. I must have called him this for about 2years after meeting him, before the next phase of our friendship. I still use it though, when I refer to him and yes when I have to discuss something serious…lol

SweetHeart

Interestingly enough I can't quite remember how we got started on this name but it has stuck. Stuck so much that even in the midst of other people, I utter it without realizing it's not his first name. And that there may just be others present whose beloved call them that as well. But how easy it is to call him this, he has one of the sweetest hearts I know. Taking well after the one who first loved me and gave His life for me. O yes, this Sweet Heart of mine lays his 'life' for me too. Well he always tries to. He considers me and the children first all the time. And when I consider a colour to depict his heart, gold comes to mind and very easily too.

Purpose Partner

Ok so I’ve been privileged to share godly perspectives on marriage with intending couples, and one thing I keep bringing their attention to is the need to see that one as a partner in & for life. When you have tasted something great, being a witness or evangelist of that truth is easy. I have being blessed with an amazing partnership with my husband. Together we are a team. With God, we take on life with grace, and purpose with deliberateness. All the time we tackle issues and handle projects, back to back and side by side. My husband is indeed my partner in fulfilling purpose. He’s not intimidated to see me fly and will always be the one to challenge me and cheer me on. He’s aware of where I fall short (o yes the many gaps) but will always use wisdom, love and gentleness to support me. And again with ease I call him this.

Baba Feyi

This one actually makes me laugh. One, it's the local & traditional way we refer to folks here in Nigeria and it may seem strange that I would ever use it for him. But some names come so naturally. Many times uttered before one even thinks deep. But anyone who knows how my husband is with his Feyi, his best buddy, cannot agree any less. Even Feyi's teacher had to mention recently that he loves his dad. And sure their love is for real and here to stay. It's wonderful to know that Feyi's siblings aren't quite perturbed about it though. My husband has shown them as much love, care and friendship that has set them comfortable enough to enjoy the joys of Feyi and Baba Feyi's love. He's an amazing father. He’s their first role model and they cherish his presence. This is obvious by the way they shout with excitement whenever he returns home, and the way they cry when he's off for a trip...mmmmhhh....Baba Feyi.

Pastor Tea!!!

LOL, Yes indeed. I also join the many who call him this. They are not the only ones who have enjoyed the ministry of an outstanding vessel of God. I have learnt the deep meaning of pastoring, deep yet simple. A shepherd. In my life my husband is the No1 Pastor. No minister comes before, with no intention to despise others I know  of course. But it’s an honor that my husband is PastorTea. There’s a tone I call it with though, especially when I want to tease him….PaaasstorTea, stressing the T there. Feel free to ask me to pronounce this when next we see, but this offer lasts just 7 days from this post…lol. But truly PastorTea is a leader, and shepherd. In our home, he is prophet and priest. One special privilege I have with him on this is sharing the learnings God pours out to us. He learns something at the Feet of Grace Himself and before another hears, he teaches me. He doesn’t just preach what He learns though. He exemplifies it. To top it up, he remains teachable despite. When I learn as well, he’s open to hear from me. And when I have reservations about something he’s into, he listens. PastorTea!!

King Maker

Many strive for places of honor. Many are ambitious about opportunities, which in itself isn’t bad, but can be at the expense of others… but my husband has been of the few who are not just into being made Kings but are actually King Makers. Interestingly enough, some of us are yet to learn that King Makers don’t necessarily or ever take the lime light, but are always strong influencers. I have seen and heard of the many my husband has been used by God to help usher into positions of opportunities and blessings. If he believes in your potential or capacity, he will push for you. Not with aggression or violence, but with the grace bestowed upon him. It’s easy for many to wander, “but we know you can be this too like others we knew you with”, but in my heart I smile and sigh, because I understand the ministry of King Makers. They are positioned to make kings, to build leaders, to influence causes, especially those that bring glory to God. I call my husband, Maker of Kings….


Temitope, Sweetheart mi, my Purpose Partner, Baba Feyi aka Best Buddy, PastorTea of God, King Maker, King of my castle….I celebrate you. As you step gracefully and gallantly into this decade of reigning, may this mark a season of exploits for you. May your heart continue to love and fear God. May your understanding of your maker never grow stale, may His anointing on you remain fresh. May you remain a light in our generation that reflects God’s true light. May He prosper the works of your hands and grant you favour. May Kings come to your rising. May you fulfill purpose. With long life He will satisfy you and grant you His salvation. Happy 40th Birthday my Darling!!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Impossibilities Often Aren’t

Several years ago, a colleague sent me an interesting piece while at work. It was indeed one of those write ups that left me with a smile, and a challenge at the same time. Please permit me to share with you (again, if you’ve ready it before). I am sure you will thank me after reading this piece. 

Japanese grocery stores had a problem. They are much smaller than their US counterparts and therefore don't have room to waste. Watermelons, big and round, wasted a lot of space. Most people would simply tell the grocery stores that watermelons grow round and there is nothing that can be done about it. But some Japanese farmers took a different approach. "If the supermarkets want a space efficient watermelon,” they asked themselves, "How can we provide one?" It wasn't long before they invented the square watermelon. Yes, they did!

The solution to the problem of round watermelons wasn't nearly as difficult to solve for those who didn't assume the problem was impossible to begin with and simply asked how it could be done. It turns out that all you need to do is place them into a square box when they are growing and the watermelon will take on the shape of the box! That simple? Yes, it was that simple!

This made the grocery stores happy and had the added benefit that it was much easier and cost effective to ship the watermelons. Consumers also loved them because they took less space in their refrigerators which are much smaller than those in the US - which resulted in the growers being able to charge a premium price for them.

What does this have to do with anything besides square watermelons? There are a few lessons that you can take away from this story which will help you in all parts of your life. Here are a few of them: 

Don't assume: 

The major problem was that most people had always seen round watermelons so they automatically assumed that square watermelons were impossible before even thinking about the question. Things that you have been doing a certain way your entire life have taken on the aura of the round watermelon and you likely don't even take the time to consider if there is another way to do it. Breaking yourself from assuming this way can greatly improve your overall life as you are constantly looking for new and better ways to do things. 

Question habits: 

The best way to tackle these assumptions is to question your habits. If you can make an effort to question the way you do things on a consistent basis, you will find that you can continually improve the way that you live your life. Forming habits when they have been well thought out is usually a positive thing, but most of us have adopted our habits from various people and places without even thinking about them. 

Be creative: 

When faced with a problem, be creative in looking for a solution. This often requires thinking outside the box. Most people who viewed this question likely thought they were being asked how they could genetically alter water melons to grow square which would be a much more difficult process to accomplish. By looking at the question from an alternative perspective, however, the solution was quite simple. Being creative and looking at things in different ways in all portions of your live will help you find solutions to many problems where others can't see them. 

Look for a better way: 

The square watermelon question was simply seeking a better and more convenient way to do something. The stores had flagged a problem they were having and asked if a solution was possible. It's impossible to find a better way if you are never asking the question in the first place. Always ask if there is a better way of doing the things that you do and constantly write down the things you wish you could do (but currently can't) since these are usually hints about steps you need to change. Get into the habit of asking yourself, "Is there a better way I could be doing this?" and you will find there often is. 

Impossibilities often aren't: 

If you begin with the notion that something is impossible, then it obviously will be for you. If, on the other hand, you decide to see if something is possible or not, you will find out through trial and error. I like the way a wise man puts it. He said “Impossibility only exists in the dictionary of fools”.

Apply the lessons from the square watermelons to areas in your life (work, finances, relationships, etc) and by consistently applying them, you may continuously improve all aspects of your life.

See you at the top.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Wanted: Loyal Friends.

A couple of weeks back after having dinner with my family at home, we had gist time as we do regularly to check up on each other. This time we wanted to know each person's 5 closest friends. While the exercise is always easier for the kids, it isn’t for me and my wife.  So, we each took turns in listing our 5 closest friends, with a bit of explanations here and there. Of course, by virtue of my position in the family (lol), I went last. My list included my wife (who is my closest friend by far), then 3 other friends and I got stuck. I was thinking hard on who the 5th person would be.  I saw my last son (Feyisayo) looking at me intently and “expectantly”. Before this time, we have always called each other “best buddies” around the house. He would say stuffs like “ Dad, you are my best buddy”, “Best buddies don’t do that”, “Best buddies always share. You are not sharing daddy”. So, I received wisdom and said “And no 5 on my list is FEYISAYO!”. What happened next was almost unbelievable! He was shouting and screaming and then gave me several hugs. Even his siblings were so happy for him that he made my list. It was an electric feeling. Honestly, I was glad I named him that night. He would have been very disappointed if I didn’t and it would have taken me a long while to make amends. Interestingly, I didn’t make his own list (lol), but I am an adult and I understand. He would probably not have understood. What he expected from me at that time was loyalty. “Best buddies are loyal to each other, and they stand up for each other” he must have thought.  The truth is this – it is difficult to find loyalty in our world today. We have fair weather friendships, marriages, work relationships and partnerships. What a shame.

Some years back, I read the story of two young men, Jim and Philip. They were the best of friends. They did everything together. They went to high school and college together. They played sports together. Even after college, they both joined the marines. They were inseparable. And one day, they were out on the battlefield in Germany, in the midst of a very fierce battle. Gunfire was everywhere. Bombs were exploding. It got so bad that they were given the orders to retreat. As the men were running back, Jim noticed that his friend Philip wasn’t with him. His heart was gripped with fear, he panicked. He rushed over to the commanding officer and requested permission to go back to the battle zone. The officer said “Are you crazy? You don’t have a chance. I will be committing suicide going back in there”. Without missing a bit, Jim turned around and ran back, defying the orders. In a few minutes, the officer saw Jim hobbling back across the field, carrying the lifeless body of his friend Philip. He screamed at him “I told you not to go. You could have been killed. I knew your friend was already dead”. Jim said “No sir, you were wrong. He was still alive when I got there, and his last words were ‘I knew you would come back’. Anytime I read or hear this story, I am always close to tears. Even as I write this, I marvel at the level of loyalty exhibited by a friend. Awesome! 
“No sir, you were wrong. He was still alive when I got there, and his last words were ‘I knew you would come back’

We live in a world where selfishness seems to be the rule of the day, and personal gain the objective of most relationships and endeavors. One of the most honorable character traits a person can develop is the ability to be loyal, whether to family, friends, an employer, or clubs and organizations to which they may belong. There are too many fair weather friends these days! There are too many people who will only stick with you when things are perfect, when the going is good and when all seems to be going well with you. The next minute that things change, they take off. They bad mouth you. They join others to run you down. I can’t think of a better place that this plays out than in sports world – one moment you are the hero. A couple of weeks later, you have a couple of bad games and everybody is booing you and trying to run you out of town! We need friends who are committed to us for the long haul. We need people who will be by our side, committed to us through thick and thin. A true friend defends, a true friend restores and a true friend is committed.

Perhaps the most familiar story in the Bible about loyalty is found in the book of Ruth. Really, the whole book is the story of Ruth's mother-in-law, Naomi. She, her husband and two sons had traveled to the land of Moab to escape a famine in Israel. Naomi alone survived and with her were the two Moabite widows of her sons. When she decided to return to Israel, the women embarked with her on the journey. She, however, urged them to return to their birth families. One did. The other, Ruth, swore to go where she went, to die and be buried where Naomi was buried, and to adopt Naomi's God. As a result of this commitment to be loyal to Naomi, Ruth found a new and affluent husband and became the grandmother of King David and a direct ancestress of Jesus Christ. Her loyalty booked her a place in history books! Chances are that you don’t even remember the name of the other woman, do you?

Another story of loyalty in the Bible that really moves me is the story of David and Jonathan. Jonathan knew that God had chosen David to be the next King of Israel after Saul (Jonathan’s father). To his father’s surprise and dismay, Jonathan was still very loyal to his friend David. Infact, he schemed severally to save his friend David from being murdered by his father Saul. Now, that’s interesting. Jonathan knew that only David stood between him and the throne of Israel. He also knew that God had chosen David. He decided to be loyal to him, even till his death! What an absolute show of loyalty. He was with David all the way – during the good times and the bad times, during the time of war and the time of peace. I like the way his loyalty was summarized. 

Jonathan, Saul's son, visited David at Horesh and encouraged him in God. He said, "Don't despair. My father, Saul, can't lay a hand on you. You will be Israel's king and I'll be right at your side to help. And my father knows it." Then the two of them made a covenant before God. David stayed at Horesh and Jonathan went home.
                                                                                                                                1 Samuel 23: 16-18). 

A friend strengthens. A true friend lifts up. A true friend stays with you, in your low moments.

In the New Testament we have the moving account of Peter's failure to be loyal to Jesus in his final hours. At the supper in the upper room Peter had vowed to lay down his life for Jesus. Jesus, however, knew better; and later that night outside the temple court Peter denied not once but three times that he even knew Jesus. When he realized what he had done, he wept bitterly. The story has a happy ending, however. For, although Peter failed in his loyalty to Jesus, Jesus continued to be loyal to him and after his resurrection entrusted his mission to him once again. There are several people today who will behave like Peter. They are with you only when everything is going on smoothly. They deny you vehemently when you are in the midst of troubles. Unfortunately, that is the time that you really need them the most. 

Everyone needs a true friend, especially when you are down. It’s easy to cheer people when they are on the mountain top. It’s easy to cheer people up when things are going their way. But a loyal person, a true friend, is going to be there cheering you on, even when nobody is around. That’s the type of friend we all need! That’s the type of friend we should all be!


Will you be loyal to your friend? Your spouse? Your partner?

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Called To Commitment

Do you know the first American to win 3 gold medals at the Olympics? She was born premature with severe Polio and was the 21st out of 22 children. She was confined permanently to braces. At age 11, she started herself out on a self-rehabilitation course with the help of her loving family. She practiced 4 times a day (at 6.00a.m, 10.00a.m, 3.00p.m and 8.00p.m) for 1200 consecutive days! No wonder she was the first American to win 3 gold medals! Her name is Wilma Rudolph. She backed her dream and attitude with a commitment. She gave it all it took and booked a place for herself in the hall of fame. What price are you willing to pay to see your dreams fulfilled?

The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endevour. There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love. There is only a scarcity of resolve to make it happen. The achievement of your goals/dreams is assured the moment you commit yourself to it.
“There’s only one way to succeed in anything, and that is to give it everything. I do, and I demand that my players do.” Vince Lombardi
Take a moment to think about the goals you've set for yourself in the year 2017. How committed are you to achieving these goals? Under what conditions would you give up? What if you could significantly increase your ability to achieve these goals?When you are truly 100% committed to reaching your goals, you move from hoping to knowing. If you want something badly enough, then quitting is simply not an option. You either find a way or make one. You pay the price, whatever it takes. You are committed to it.

When you are interested in something, you do it only when it is convenient. When you are committed to it, you accept no excuses, only results. Yes. Are you interested in success or committed to it? If you are committed, then you’ll be willing to go the extra mile. You will be willing to take personal responsibilities and develop yourself. You will register for that course. You will attend that seminar. You will give up that habit. You will wake up early. You will do whatever it takes to get the results!

Most of his life, Thomas Edison worked 18 hour days. Until he was 65, he only took catnaps and occasional breaks to eat on most workdays. By the age of 75, he had cut his workday down to 16 hours. Can you imagine that? He was committed to a course. No wonder we are still talking about him today. There is no overnight success my dear friends. Are you committed to your dreams?
"Put all your eggs in one basket, and then watch that basket!"
Commitment is like burning the bridge behind. It leaves you with no chance to go back on your words. For instance, if you want to launch your own business, you can begin by making the commitment to quit your job. Write a letter of resignation, put it in a stamped envelope addressed to your boss, and give it to a trusted friend with firm instructions to mail the letter if you haven't quit your job by a certain date. As Andrew Carnegie once said, "Put all your eggs in one basket, and then watch that basket!"

When Julius Caesar landed on the shores of Britain with his Roman legions, he took a bold and decisive step to ensure the success of his military venture. Ordering his men to march to the edge of the Cliffs of Dover, he commanded them to look down at the water below. To their amazement, they saw every ship in which they had crossed the channel engulfed in flames. Caesar had deliberately cut off any possibility of retreat. Now that his soldiers were unable to return to the continent, there was nothing left for them to do but to advance and conquer! And that is exactly what they did.

Let me close with the words of a wise man. “Losers make promises they often break. Winners make commitments they never break”. Be committed to your commitments, and see yourself win, every-time!

See you at the top!