Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: 4 Interesting Things About The Royal Wedding

Prince Harry And Meghan Markle - at the altar

In an epoch-making ceremony, Prince Harry took his beautiful bride, Meghan Markle, to the altar to be his lawfully wedded wife.

The whole world stood at attention as the graceful royal event took place at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle in London.

In many ways, the marriage between the two lovebirds has been described as a break from the norm; a royal wedding with a difference.

In this post I will talk about 4 interesting things about the couple.

Royal wedding

4 Interesting Things About The Royal Wedding Between Prince Harry And Meghan Markle

 

1. The couple loves each other very much.

The union between Price Harry and Meghan Markle is not a loveless union in any way as some royal marriages might have been in the past.

This is a special marriage between two special people that specially love each other against all odds.

The love of the couple shone through every inch of the wedding ceremony. Meghan was particularly full of smiles as she pledged her marriage love and commitment to Prince Harry.

The sparks of love in her eyes were indescribable. And Prince Harry was like, “You look amazing. And I am so lucky to have you.”

I am sure the elegant Megan feels the same way too; they were visibly happy throughout the ceremony.

This couple followed their hearts, without minding what the world around them would think. They fell in love and stayed in love, standing before the Lord to be joined man and wife in holy matrimony.

From the year of our Lord 2016 when they reportedly first met to this year 2018 when they walked down the isle, their love for each other stood strong, overcame many negative criticisms that arose against the royal union along the line.

The royal wedding

2. The couple met through a blind date.

It has been reported in the media that Prince Harry met Megan Markle through a blind date orchestrated by a mutual friend of theirs.

Really?

Yes! Their first time meeting each other was through a blind date.

Meghan confirmed it when she confessed in a BBC interview that the blind date…. (Wait for it)..  “was a set-up.”

Now we can all see the result; that “set-up’ was definitely a blind date with a difference; It worked out gradually but surely, leading to a grand royal union.

Before now, one would have thought that this kind of blind date only happens in movies. But here we are celebrating the strong love that developed from a blind date to friendship and then to marriage into royalty.

With this development, it looks like the next (even the present)  generation of young people now have a veritable example of a blind date that worked for them to imitate.

But they should remember that they are not Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Interracial marriage

3. Welcome the Biracial royal bride

As far as I know, never in the history of the British monarchy has there been a biracial bride amongst the wives of the men of their royalties. But with Meghan Markle coming into the fold, as wife of Prince Harry, a great history has been made.

In the words of Katie O’Malley, “…a mixed race woman has married into one of the whitest institutions in the UK…” This is reality my friend!

It means that Prince Harry and Meghan have chatted a new course for mankind in matters of race relations on earth – in an unprecedented way.

As one media analyst pointed out, “Ten years ago, this would have been impossible.”

Yes, a decade ago, a marriage between a British royalty and a biracial woman wouldn’t have been possible. But it is now…that’s progress for us humans.

When the first man landed on the Moon, it was dubbed, “one small step for a man but one giant leap for mankind.”

In the same vein, Prince Harry’s marriage to a biracial Meghan could be seen as a giant leap forward for mankind in the history of interracial relationships, not only in Britain but in many places around the world.

Meghan has now moved from being an American actress to Britain to being a royal bride with a difference.

And the good part is that most people love and adore her, calling her and Harry, “a perfect couple.”

Everyone that matters, especially Harry’s dad, Prince Charles and his grand mum, her royal majesty, Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II, understandably approved of the union.

This is not to say that the couple didn’t initially face some persecutions from some sections of the public because of Megan’s racial background.

They did, but they overcame. Thanks to Prince Harry who stood firmly behind his gorgeous lady.

Royal wedding

4. The Divorcee Question

When in 2017 Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their engagement, some questions arose about her previous relationships.

As it turned out, Meghan had been married before but the marriage did not work out between her and her then spouse. We now know the name of her ex husband as Trevor Engelson, a Hollywood television and film producer.

As at the time she met Prince Harry, Meghan was already officially divorced. But the ‘divorcee’ tag on Meghan did not disuade Harry from marrying her.

In any case, Meghan’s failed marriage to Engelson is now in the past where it belongs. A new marriage chapter has been opened  Prince Harry and her, not only as husband and wife but also as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

 

What is your take on the royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle?

 

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

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Don’t Use God As An Excuse For Laziness

Ministers and secular jobs

There is an error that is gradually becoming endemic in our days.

I have seen young energetic men become lazy, laid-back, lethargic and beggarly all in the guise of pursuing God or working for God (Ministry).

Those that are married lean on their wives’ income as sole income and not complementary income to support what they bring.

The ones that are not married seek ladies with steady flow of income to hook up to thereby abusing God’s order.

Some others want their wives to stop working and take care of their children without showing them practically how they intend to provide for their homes.

This laziness has led many preachers to sell their soul by engaging in many unspeakable things to make endsmeet. They are deluded by a voice supposedly from God telling them not to work.

My concern is simple; if God tells you not to work, be sure God’s provision will always be ahead of your needs.

Paul in his missionary journey worked with his hands when there was no provision. And where there was provision, he devoted the entire time in preaching the word of God.

My heart reaches out to women that are saddled with so much burden to ensure their family have the basic needs (food, shelter, clothing and basic-education).

With all these burden, many ‘MOGs’ [Men Of God] expect their wives to perform their nuptial duties at night as and when due. Failure to do so due to fatigue has been used as an excuse for extra-marital affairs.

Let us grow up and revert to the divine order where husbands provide for their homes and wives support.

Full-time ministry is to do the work of God fully with your heart, might and strength and that is also the first commandment. This is God’s minimum requirement for all Believers.

It doesn’t hinder any Man of God from working with their hands pending when their congregation is financially solvent enough to accommodate their financial burdens.

Get this fact straight, dust your certificate, get a skill and start working.

Your heart is with God even at work. Become productive, unburden your wives and lean solely on God.

Shalom!

Jude Agbontaen


Jude recently posted this article on his Facebook page. I obtained his permission to share it with you here on this blog.

You may follow Jude directly via his Facebook handle for more insightful posts.


Question: Should young gospel ministers do other jobs to earn a living? What is your view?

A Man of God Should Bear Good Fruits

The imperatives of bearing good fruit

A man of God will bear good fruits. He is not a man of God if he doesn’t!

In my Nigeria where I live, just like in many places around the world, I have realised that many people are quick to be called “men of God.” But the question is, “are all of them truly men of God?”

What I have also come to realise is that some of those so-called men of God hardly live up to that identity.

I am not saying this because I am judging them. But rather because, it can be seen that many of them are not conducting themselves in ways that bring glory to God.

If someone is a man of God, he should not say and do things that are attributes of men of satan.

How can you be a man of God and your lifestyle has no regard for the word of God?

  • A man of God should conduct himself in obedience to God.
  • A man called of God should seek to please God more than men.
  • A man of God should bear fruits that bring glory to God.

Otherwise, it gives room for avoidable doubts.

The sad truth is that many people who claim to be men of God are really not what they claim. And from such people, we should be wary.

Remember the warning Jesus handed us in Matthew chapter 7:

15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.

Beware of fake men of God.

The above advice is as relevant today it was when it was given over two thousand years ago. It will be to your own peril to neglect it.

Many people who claim to be prophets are ravenous wolves in sheep clothing. But as Jesus hinted us, “we [will] know them by their fruits.”

A man of God will bear good fruits. He is not a man of God if he consistently bears bad fruits.

One source quoted the late American evangelist, Billy Graham to have said:

“A Man of God is one who depends on the Grace of God, preaches the Word of God, stays in the Will of God, fulfils the Purposes of God, respects the Servants of God, edifies the Family of God, is filled with the Spirit of God, devotes himself to the Ministry of God, loves the Word of God, and lives for the Kingdom of God!”

What’s your own idea of a man of God?

 

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

Birthday Reflections…

Birthday reflections
Victor flanked by colleagues at work on his birthday in 2017

Yes, it is my birthday again
I wish I’m without any stain

It comes once in every 365 days.
I wish I’ve improved in 1,000 ways.

Yes it has been a year of many gains.
But they didn’t come without any pains.

Another day to mark a personal new year.
But not that there hasn’t been a drop of tear.

Not every day of the year has been so wonderful.
But I have many reasons to be very thankful.

It’s been a year full of blessings.
And also one full of many lessons.

I pray that as my days on earth increase.
May my happiness in life never decrease.

There’s a reason I’m still alive, I suppose.
Yes, I’m here to fulfill a divine purpose.

I will always go the way my Lord chooses
Even when it is not all a bed full of roses.

Either now on in the many years ahead.
I will ever trust in the One who is my Head.

Please join me with one accord.
As I lift all the praises to God.

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

What Drives Traffic To Your Blog Or Where Do Most People View Your Blog From?

Victor Uyanwanne

What drives traffic to your blog? Any idea how many readers landed on your site from search engines word searches?

Have you figured out which country most of your blog traffic comes from?

Where do most people access your blog from? Do you have more or less viewers from within your geographical location or from abroad?

You may be surprised to find out that people are viewing your blog from many countries far away from where you are.

If you are interested in knowing more about this, you will have to take a good look at your blog stats page. And that is not a bad thing to do provided you approach it without being so emotionally attached to it.

WordPress states that “Your stats page includes a bunch of nifty graphs, charts, and lists that show you how many visits your site gets, what posts and pages are the most popular ones, and much more.”

Why don’t you take some few minutes to explore your site’s stats page? You will find some interesting results.

Just like many other parts of your wordpress site, the navigation of the stats page is menu-driven so it is not difficult to explore at all.

I’m aware that many business blogs take their blogs’ analytics very seriously. But even if yours is a personal blog, it doesn’t stop you from taking a little peep into your blog’s stats.

In this post, we are focusing on just the number of blog views by highlighting two broad ways you can review the sources of readers to your blog.

However, bear in mind that I am not an expert in blog analytics. This post is based entirely on the observations made on this blog.

You may use the comment section to share your own experience if it is different from what I am sharing here.

2 Broad Ways To Analyse Your Blog’s Traffic

Your blog’s traffic can be analysed in terms of the total number of “views by country” or in terms of the total number of “views by referrer.”

We will now take a deeper look at each of the two:

1. Analysis in terms of geographical Location

Do you have any idea in which country most readers access your blog from? You can know it by simply analysing your blog views by country.

It is important you know your blogs views by country because it will help you in some ways. If you are not sure how, this post will show you something about that.

One surprising thing I found from analying this blog’s view by country was that although I write this blog from Nigeria, majority of the people who view it are based in the United States.

I was conscious of that when I wrote the post,  When Will Americans Stop Disrespecting Their President?

Though, I was initially reluctant to publish that post, the realisation that most of my readers live in America made me overcome the initial inertia.

Second on the list is Nigeria, my country of birth and residence. Interestingly, Australia which used to occupy the second position has now been displaced to the third.

Since the year 2018 began, over 5,000 people have viewed this blog from around a hundred different countries of the world. (I know it because I counted).

But interestingly, more than 65% of the views came from within the US alone.

Don’t you think it makes great sense for you to know where majority of your readers are?

As an example, you can take a look at the following record showing the top eight countries from which this blog has been viewed from January 2018 to date:

Blog stats on victorscorner

2. Analysis in terms of Referrers

How do people get to discover your blog? What are the sources of traffic to your blog?

Apart from the ones that came through mouth to mouth recommendations, have you bothered to check your blog stats to see your highest source of referrer?

There are many sources of referrals to your blog – search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing), WordPress Readers, other blogs or sites, social media (Facebook, Twitter)  etc. One of these will top the list as your main referrer.

For instance, from the first quarter of this month till now, here is the summary of how readers were referred to this blog:

Victor Uyanwanne

As can be seen in the above summary, most of the people who viewed this blog from the beginning of the year till now were referred here by search engines. And this is consistent with observations in the previous years too.

In a way, I see it as a good thing because it points to the fact that my posts show up when people do specific word searches on the internet.

Some people have suggested that SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) helps a lot in this regard. They may be right but I have not fully grasped how that works…

I simply write my posts as the words flow from my mind to the blog page, hoping that they provide answers to someone’s questions out there.

It is my belief that knowing a bit about your blog’s stats with respect to traffic referrers to your blog or where most people view your blog from will improve your total blogging experience.

Is it Google or social media that drives most traffic to your blog? 

 

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

Pornography: Setting Up Defences In Our Daily Lives And Taking Them Seriously

You are not alone!

Addiction to pornography is a real issue in the world, even amongst some Christians. So if you are one of those fighting the battle against this unwholesome habit, know that you are not alone in the struggle.

But do not lose sight of the fact there is a way out for you. I mean, do not give up on yourself, thinking you have lost the battle already.

No, you haven’t!

The good news is that you can be helped – just like some people have been helped and have overcome the addiction to pornography.

dangers of pornography viewing

The rest of this post is a contribution from one of my readers. In response to my post On Billy Graham’s famed scandal-free life, the author openly shares his struggles with lust and pornography as well as the ways to gain victory over them.

And because I didn’t want the gems in the contribution to be buried away or lost all-together in the comment section of my blog where it was first posted, I have obtained the commenter’s permission to share the full text of the comment here so that many more of my readers can benefit from it.

I have inserted appropriate headings to make navigation of the article easier. I believe you will benefit from reading it.


Hello Victor,

Yes, pornography and lust have been my greatest of struggles. I wish I could say one day Jesus delivered me from those desires but to this day I have to remain on guard at all times.

For your readers I would start with how harmful pornography is, as many people think it is just a normal part of daily life, and countless Christians regularly view it…

Gaining the victory

Victory (which I am hesitant to call it) comes from three things.

First you have to HEAL the wounds of your past that drive you to watch pornography (or any other sin). This healing came to me through Celebrate Recovery, a Christ-centered 12 step Program.

What drives sinful behaviours?

Our sinful behaviour is driven by SOMETHING and often times the source lies in our past. When we can learn to truly heal those wounds, we can begin to be free of the bondage.

How do we heal those wounds?

[Through] Forgiveness!

[Realise that God has forgiven us and we should accept that forgiveness. We should also forgive ourselves and others who have offended us.

Recommended: 6 Simple Reasons to Forgive Offences]

Second, we have to set up defences in our daily lives and take this seriously.

The enemy is roaming about like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. The enemy wants to kill us and everything we have worked towards the kingdom of God… So we NEED defences.

Keith - Stand tall for Christ
Keith Mosher – standtallforchrist.com

What are the defences we need against pornography?

1) Accountability partners. We need to have a team (2-3) of trusted people of the same sex we can speak to about our most intimate sinful thoughts. People that won’t judge us and will support us by holding us accountable.

These people should be fellow Christians and it helps if they struggle in the same areas… or better yet have victory in your area of struggle. YOUR spouse should never be on this team… they are usually the victims of our stupid behaviour.

2) Accountability software. Personally I use Covenant Eyes, which sends a weekly report of all my computer and device activity to my accountability team. It’s only $15/month… but is invaluable. There are a bunch of others out there as well.

3) Identify your triggers and defend against them. TAKE Extreme measures if necessary, this is your marriage, your family, your ministry even your life that is on the line!!

For six months I pulled the TV off the wall, and read more books, because there were too many triggers on TV of sexual imagery and I could never predict when they would show up.

I quit ALL social media and still haven’t gone back to any of them. I gave up my smart phone for over a year and bought a flip-phone with no pornography access.

The last thing I will mention, not last in importance, but FIRST… is 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?

It is Jesus Christ alone that will eventually demolish any strongholds of sin in our lives… but we have to do our part and turn away from our sinful desires.

I am always available for support and questions if any of your readers need help overcoming pornography or lust in their lives. We are in this together, we need to stand shoulder to shoulder on this battlefield.

Stay Strong & Stand Tall.

Keith


Thank you so much Keith for this awesome contribution.

Dear reader, please feel free to make your own contribution to the discourse via the comment section. And if you have any questions, Keith – “a Christian writer and Apologist who spends his time defending the faith, encouraging other Christian believers and serving in his local church” – has offered to provide answers.

Feel free to download his new ebook Shattering the chains of sexual addition. You may also visit his blog, Stand Tall For Christ, for more helpful resources.

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

Not Everyone…

Not Everyone, a poem by Victor Uyanwanne

Not every one will love you the way you are.
But do not be depressed by thinking no one loves you at all.

Not every man will treat you nicely and kindly.
But make not the mistake of assuming all men are beasts.

Not every one will have unflinching faith in you.
But do yourself a favour, never fail to believe in you.

Not everyone will truly understand you.
But never you take for granted those who do.

Not everyone will know where the shoe pinches.
Because not everyone has been in your shoes.

Not everyone will show you how they made it in life.
But when you make it, be kind to show the way to others.

Not everyone will celebrate you and your dreams.
But when your dreams come through, you will be celebrated.

Not everyone will be there when you need them.
But not everyone who isn’t there is against you.

Not everyone around you will do the right things.
But always do things right whomever you are around.

Not everyone believe there is God.
But you know that’s a sure sign of foolishness.

Not everyone will do whatever you love.
But that doesn’t stop you from loving everyone.

Not everyone can please you all the time.
They’re just like you, you can’t please everyone every time.

Not everyone will smile at you every time.
But it may not mean they are not happy with you.

Not everyone will be grateful for your help.
But never fail to show gratitude to whomever helps you.

Not everyone will forgive all your offences.
But always forgive everyone who offends you.

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

Introducing all the Marys in the Bible

How many Mary's are in the Bible?

The name Mary we understand is a modern form of the Jewish female name, Miriam (the other variants being Maria, Mariam, Maryam). For instance, in the Old Testament, Moses’ elder sister was called Miriam.

In the New Testament, there were several important women called Mary that were specifically mentioned, especially in the various Gospels.

There was a time I couldn’t perfectly distinguish from amongst all the Marys. But once I was able to clear the confusion, it became easier for me to do so.

Hence this post highlights some things I learnt about the women called Mary in the N.T. One striking discovery was that all these Marys where one way or another associated with Jesus Christ and/or His Disciples.

The 7 Women Called Mary in the Bible

Bible scholars have been able to identify that there are seven Marys in the Bible. In this post, we will take a close look at all the people called Mary as the Bible tells us with a view to understanding them better:

In no particular order, we will now begin the journey…

1. Mary the wife of Joseph, Matthew 1:24

This Mary was the one who found favour with God (Luke 1:30).

She was the virgin through whom Jesus was born; Matthew 1:23: the mother of Jesus.

She was the wife of Joseph, the ‘earthly’ father of Jesus;

She was also the mother of Jesus’ step brothers – James, Joses, Juda, Simon – and sisters. You know that Mary gave birth to other people apart from Jesus!

She was one of the four women that stood close to Jesus while on the Cross. The rest were her sister, Mary the wife of Cleopas and Mary Magdalene.

2. Mary Magdalene

This Mary was from Magdala, from which Magdalene was coined in reference to her home town;

Jesus cast out seven spirits and infirmities from her, Luke 8:2. She later became one of the prominent women who ministered to Jesus.

This was one of the four women that stood close to Jesus while on the Cross. The rest were Jesus mother, Jesus aunty (his mother’s sister) and Mary the wife of Cleopas.

She was also the woman, first disciple and first person to see Jesus Christ after resurrection. Hence, she was the first to bear the testimony of the resurrection to the rest of the disciples (John 20:13-18).

3. Mary from Bethany

This was the sister to Lazarus (whom Jesus raised from the dead) and Martha;

She was one of the 3 woman recorded to have anointed Jesus with oil and wiped His feet with her hair woman John 11:1-2, 12:1-8.

This Mary was from Bethany. During an outreach Jesus had to that village, Martha, this Mary’s sister invited and hosted Jesus in their home.

This was the same Mary Jesus commended for choosing to listening to the Word while Martha was busy in the kitchen (Luke 10:38-42).

4. Mary the mother of James and Joses/Joseph

Two James easily come to mind in the N. T. One was the step brother of Jesus while the second one was the son of this Mary in focus. Matt 27:56.

This Mary was mother of two disciples of Jesus. Both James and Joses also known as Joseph were disciples of Jesus Christ.

This Mary was part of the women that ministered to Jesus, and even followed Him to the cross; Matthew 27:55-56.

This Mary sat on his grave after Jesus was crucified

5. Mary the mother of John Mark

This woman was a widow in Jerusalem, and she owned property in that place.

She was the mother of John Mark, Acts 12:12.

She made her house available for the disciples to gather for prayers, once the persecution escalated; Acts 12:11-17.

James had been kill by King Herod and Peter imprisoned. So the remaining disciples were hiding (or fellowshipping secretly) in this Mary’s house;

Peter after being supernaturally freed from prison made straight to show himself to James and the other disciplines who were gathered in this Mary’s home. From here, he left town and went to other places to continue ministering.

This Mary was also the sister of Barnabas, the one who sold his landed property and laid the proceeds at the Apostle’s feet (Acts 4:37).

Paul in his letter to the Colosians (4:10) exposed the relationship amongst Mary, Mark and Barnabas when he identified Mark or Marcus (John Mark) as the cousin of Barnabas, that is the son of the sister of Barnabas.

6. Mary, the wife of Cleopas

John 19:25

This was one of the four women that stood close to Jesus while on the Cross. The rest were Jesus mother, Jesus aunty (his mother’s sister) and Mary Magdalene.

7. Mary of Rome

Not much record was kept about the character of this Mary. However, the writer of the epistle to the Romans gave special recognition to this woman.

She was greeted and mentioned as the one who laboured greatly for the Apostles. At this point, Paul had joined the believers and had obviously benefited from the labour of love of this Mary. Hence, a special mention was made of her in his letter to the Romans.

This post took a look at the women called Mary in the Bible, with the hope that we can learn one or two things from each of them. What are your thoughts about them?

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

Words Of Commendation From My English Teacher From Way Back

Friendship with your teacher

Every once in a while we are able to remember those who positively impacted our lives in one way or another. The last weekend afforded me such an opportunity, and it is my pleasure to share the story with you in this post.

I returned from Church last Sunday feeling very physically exhausted and I decided to take a little nap on my bed. As usual my smart phone was handy, so in the interim I began to surf through my messages and social media notifications.

In the process, I came across one message from Facebook informing me that, “Victor, you and G are celebrating one year of friendship on Facebook.”

Just like any other Facebook user, I know this type of message is a common one. But this very one meant a lot to me because the G in question is someone I have held in very high esteem ever since I was a teenager.

“…One year of friendship”?

Really?

I had chuckled as I read the message because although I recently reconnected with this awesome person via Facebook, we had known each other for more than two decades – long before Mark Z ever thought of gifting the world with his pervading social media platform.

Apart from once being a spiritual mentor to me way back in Secondary school, He was my English teacher at some points too. Needless to say, I owe a lot to him and to other people like him for the good foundation they laid for me while learning English as a second language.

For those of you who don’t know, English is the official language in Nigeria my home country. (Thanks to Britain, once our colonial master). But we usually learn it as a second language, after our mother tongue. And now it is a compulsory subject in both primary and secondary schools across the nation.

Teacher-Student relationship

So this friendship notification from Facebook made me share the following message on my Facebook wall in celebrating the English Teacher from way back that so much impacted my life. (I’m sure he doesn’t mind my mentioning his name):

I celebrate you sir, Geoff Uti. You were an English Teacher like no other, to me. There is no doubt that I drew inspiration from both your spoken and written English.

Wherever you are right now, I’m giving you a shout out. Today, Facebook notice says we are celebrating one year as friends. But I will let the world know that I have known you for almost 3 decades. God bless you sir. May your legacies remain forever.

What happened next after I wrote the above words on my FB wall gave me the reason to share this post with you.

Although I did not expect it, I was pleasantly surprised to see a comment or response from this rare teacher. I felt humbled, or I should say honoured, by his words of commendation so I decided to share them with you here as well:

Friendship they say is not proximity but trust and fulfilment. Going back nostalgic to the days of yore when you exuded great intelligence and ingenuity academically, one is forced today to let the world know that you are a rare gift to your generation.

A figure par excellence in whom I am always well pleased and of whom the school was proud of, you are one of the rewards of the profession I am proud to belong.

A product that has today put me on the globe even when I would not have been worth it without the likes of you. You have remained a goal-getter and the sky is your stepping stone.

Your dearness to me will flourish the more as our friendship is beyond that of Teacher- Student but to father-son relationship.

All I could say after reading those sweet words was ‘wow.’ Thank you sir for this honour!

Do you have any teacher who you would never forget for the impact he made on you? Any comments?

©Copyright 2018|Victor Uyanwanne

You Love Your Wife and You Know it

A poem on Spousal love

You love your wife and you know it.
And she knows too that you love her.
Your love languages are truly in sync.
All is going well and good for you both.
No slacking, keep the flag flying.
That is how it is supposed to be.

You love your wife and you know it.
But your wife doesn’t think you love her.
In many ways you try to prove that you love her.
But she never really gets to understand you much.
You are speaking a love language different from hers.
It is time you began to learn her own love language.

You don’t love your wife and you know it.
But somehow she thinks that you do love her.
All because you have been acting like you love her.
Is it not time you stopped deceiving her?
And begin to make your love acts true to the heart?
Loving is a choice you have to make in her favour.

You don’t love your wife and you know it.
She too knows that you don’t love her.
But somehow, you are both managing each other…
You are the one failing in your responsibility here,
Because you were the one told, “Husband love your wife.”
Now is the time to make the choice to love her.

 

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

10 Easy Ways to Appreciate Your Favourite Blogger

Show a blogger some love

Many people simply walk away after reading their favourite blogs, without giving any feedback to the author of the blog.

By so doing, they miss the inherent opportunities to appreciate or encourage the blogger to keep on writing.

If you have not been doing so, you should learn appropriate ways of giving appropriate feedback or appreciation to the blogger you like. Consider it your own little way to show the blogger some love.

In this post, I will suggest:

10 Simple Ways to Appreciate Your Favourite Blogger

1. When you read a post and you like it, hit the ‘like’ button below the post, share it with your friends on your social media handles. Leave a comment for the author or send him or her an email to let them know how good you felt about the post. Reblog it and link to it in your own posts.

Remember: Treat other bloggers the way you want to be treated. The saying that “What goes around comes around,” applies in blogging too.

2. If you don’t like a post or you disagree with the author’s position, don’t walk away just yet; leave him or her a comment or send an email expressing your reservations or why you disagree with the post.

Caution: Be nice about it or else walk away quietly. Inconstructive criticisms are not easy pills for anyone to swallow.

3. If you have better insight on the issue on hand than the author displayed in a post, feel free to offer such insights or perspectives via the comment section of the post or through an email.

Advice: Be humble about it, because even you don’t know everything! We learn from one another to play the game better.

Blog comments

4. If you notice some fundamental errors in someone else’s post or you have some suggestions for improvement, do the writer (and the blogging world) a favour by informing him or her via an email or private chat. (Some bloggers, including yours truly, would not mind you using the comment section of the post to register your suggestions).

Caution: Please give your corrections and/or suggestions in love, no better way around it.

5. If you have an experience that validates the author’s position in a post you have read, be magnanimous enough to share it in the comment section so that other readers can learn from it too.

Advice: If protecting your privacy is of concern to you, you can share the experience anonymously.

6. If you have a blog that you read and you really love it so much, promote the blog on your own blog or on your other social media handles.

Reason: There is love in sharing and good news is for sharing. Assist other people to discover your favourite blog and follow it so that they too can be as well.

7. If you feel a sense of gratitude to a blogger for being a blessing to you, send him a “thank you” card or write a post or poem about it. That was what inspired my post on  the best way to appreciate a blogger who blesses you.

Remember: It feels good to be appreciated. Don’t you know that by experience?

10 ways to show a blogger some love

8. A blogger may also be appreciated or feel loved if you nominate them for blogging awards – online or terrestrial. Now you know better!

Caution: Not all bloggers will accept award nominations. So do your findings first before you nominate someone.

9. Invite the bloggers you love to speaking engagements in your community or around you. What some of this bloggers write online they can also present or speak about physically.

Advice: Be convinced about what the blogger has to offer before you give him or her a speaking invitation or else you may feel disappointed.

10. I didn’t want to add this one. But I feel like this post will not be complete without it: You may give financial support to a blog you really like. Yes, you heard me right: extend financial support to your favourite bloggers.

Reason: Some bloggers are not in a full-time business or paid employment. Your gifts to them in kind or in cash will mean a lot to them for the sustenance of their work.

What others ways can you can appreciate your favourite blogger? Let’s continue the conversation in the comment section.

 

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

How Can You Show the Blogger Some Love?

Every day of the week, millions of posts hit the blogosphere. Out of this teeming number, you are able to stumble on and read some posts you really like.

Good!

What do you do after reading? Walk away, just like many other people do?

Haba, I know you can do better…

“So what do I expect you to do?” you may ask. Simple: show the Blogger some love. Appreciate him or her.

How can you show the blogger some love?

You can do so by giving him or her an appropriate feedback on the posts you have read.

The feedback after reading the post can come in form of “likes” for the posts, comments, follows, reblogs, sharing of the posts, emails, experience sharing, suggestions, testimonies, etc.

I tell you, by so doing, the blogger will feel mightily appreciated and greatly encouraged to continue writing.

Thank You

Part of the joy of personal blogging is receiving appropriate feedback from your readers.

To be clearer about the point of this post, I’m saying there is need for you to appreciate your favourite bloggers who have been a blessing to you in one way or another.

I learnt that lesson early enough in my blogging journey. And I have had several causes to express my gratitude to some bloggers whose writings have consistently been a blessing to me.

On one of such instances, I had to write a simple poem to a particular blogger whose writings (coincidentally poems too) have been so enriching to me and my reading experience on wordpress.

All I did was write her a poem, first as a comment in her own post, and then as a full-fledged post here on my blog.

And how do you think she received my feedback?

Here was what she had to say to me afterwards:

WOW, you have blessed me so much with “your poem.” I was not expecting anything like that and have never received anything like it before.

Each day I pray for the Lord to inspire me and that He should send me something from time to time to quicken to my spirit that I am indeed doing this all for His glory and His purpose. Every now and then I get a word of encouragement from someone that confirms I am using my gift for Him. This not only confirms it but it solidifies this is w[h]ere God wants me. Thank you again for giving me such a huge blessing. ~ Have a wonderful day with Jesus.

And after I had turned my ‘poem of gratitude’ into a full post, she also remarked:

There you go again Victor blessing me again with your post! I love that you turned it into something that we can all do to let others know that we appreciate what they do. Encouraging others is so important for us to do and this is a great way to do so. ~ May God continue to use you to bless others ~

I am not trying to be sycophantic or eager to blow my own trumpet here by sharing theses comments. Rather I am only trying to reecho the sentiment that in this world of blogging, “Encouraging others is so important for us to do…”

So is there anyone whose blog posts have greatly impacted your life? Why don’t you reach out and appreciate such one?

There are a few things you may want to do to show some love to the blogger you read his or her post. In my next post, we will explore some 10 simple things you can do to make your favourite blogger feel appreciated.

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

Echoes From My Heart 4

Words of inspiration from my heart

1. God knows what He is doing, even when it doesn’t appear so. Our walk with Him is a walk of faith, so we should just trust Him.

2. When you magnify God, you are dignified. Your personal dignity comes from your relationship with God. No true self-worth without an identity with God.

3. When anything or anyone is important to you, you will create time for it or for him/her. If you feel you don’t have time for God, it shows He is not your priority.

4. Many people are looking for love, but are unwilling to embrace God’s love for them. Be different because you will never find unconditional love anywhere else.

5. God is not mad at you. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross has appeased God’s anger towards humanity. So rather than run away from God, you should run to Him.

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

On Billy Graham’s scandal-free life and what we can learn from it.

Keeping the faith

In a previous post about Billy Graham, I came to the conclusion that “Just like Apostle Paul, we could say of him “Graham fought the good fight, Graham finished the race, Graham kept the faith.”

It was also pointed out in that article that most people that know him acknowledge that Graham was a man of great character and integrity, who stayed true to his divine calling of evangelism throughout his active life in ministry.

Unlike many preachers of his day and in modern times, it is widely acknowledged that despite his tremendous success in ministry, Billy Graham led a scandal-free life.

I’m not saying he was a perfect man. But he was a light in the midst of darkness. A mentor to many leaders and an example to his followers.

If you are like me, then you must have wondered how he was able to achieve so much success and fame in life and ministry without being tainted with the popular character pitfalls that bedeviled some preachers of the gospel in his time.

You can say it was a miracle and you are probably right. But apart from that, one thing we cannot disprove is that this highly respected preacher took personal responsibility for his character and integrity. And by the grace of God, he held out strong till he breadth his last.

The Resolve for a Life of Integrity

In an article by a Scott Wise on WTVR, we were given a tremendous insight on how Billy Graham and some members of his preaching team made the commitment to uphold their honour and integrity as ministers of the gospel of Christ:

“In 1948, at the beginning of his rise to fame, Graham and his tight circle of traveling evangelists gathered in California and catalogued the sins that had destroyed the careers of other Christian preachers. Money, sexual temptation and hubris topped the list.”

Please take another look at the three:

  • Money
  • Sexual temptation
  • Hubris (pride or overconfidence)

Are these not the same areas where many Christians leaders have fallen short of the moral standard required of them as followers of Christ?

Graham and his men pledged to avoid all the three. Shouldn’t we do the same?

The ministry team of Cliff Barrows, Grady Wilson, Billy Graham and George Beverly Shea
The ministry team of (L-R) Cliff Barrows, Grady Wilson, Billy Graham and George Beverly Shea. Source: Billygraham.org

The Modesto Manifesto

This was the documentation of Billy Graham’s and his core ministers’ personal resolution to uphold “the highest standard of Biblical morality and integrity” in their lives and ministry with respect to financial integrity, sexual, publicity and partnership with the local church.”

Cliff Barrows, close associate of Billy Graham who was also a member of the manifesto-drafting team was quoted to have said that the Modesto manifesto made it “…settle in our hearts and minds, once and for all, the determination that integrity would be the hallmark of both our lives and our ministry.”

As one commentator also noted, “Billy Graham’s standards are imperative requirements for all ministers” of the gospel and indeed for all those who profess to be followers of Christ.

 

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

All Hail the King Who Died to Redeem Us

A poem on the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ

His death brought salvation to mankind.
A Saviour like Him no one can ever find.
Without Him we would be forever lost.
With Him we overcame the devil’s worst.

They had Him despised and rejected.
But He refused to be utterly dejected.
They numbered Him amongst criminals.
And sent him to death terminals.

He took on the journey with sheer courage
The soldiers paid him a mocking homage.
He carried the cross and paid the price.
Giving His life for the ultimate sacrifice.

They put Him in a very cold grave
With armed soldiers strong and brave
To stay there and take watch over…
The devil thought it was all over.

But on the very third day
An angel rolled the stone away
And in that same glorious hour
He arose from death with power

He overcame the power of hell
Now rings the victory bell.
All hail King Jesus
Who died to redeem us.

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

World Water Day: Are You Thirsty?

Water, Water Everywhere…

World water day

As you already know, over 70 percent of the earth’s surface is covered with water. That makes water one of the most abundant natural resources available to mankind.

From the waters we see in open oceans, the breath-taking water falls, vapour in the air, water in rivers, lakes and lagoons and the water under the soil, water can be found almost everywhere on earth.

No one can deny the importance of water, especially fresh water.

Fresh water is necessary for the survival of all living organisms on Earth. Our bodies are made up of about 60% water and we cannot survive more than a few days without it.

Water is a precious substance that meets our physical needs while at the same time being of great spiritual importance to many people. Water is also an integral part of many ecosystems that support us and a myriad of other species (Water is Life project, McGill University)

Despite this reality, there are various challenges associated with water and its uses. In many places across the world, especially in developing countries, access to portable water is limited.

While portable water is sufficiently available in some parts of the world, it is a scarce commodity in some others.

As I write this, reports filtered in about the acute water shortage presently ravaging Cape Town, South Africa. That’s shocking, to say the least.

In many other places around the world, water pollution, flooding etc are the order of the day.

Water is important for the activities of man. But man’s activities are having huge impact on the availability, accessibility and sustenability of that natural resource.

It therefore becomes imperative that the attention of the people of the world be drawn to all water-related issues around the world. So water day is cerebrated annually for that purpose.

Water falls

A day for water

“World Water Day is an annual observance day on 22 March to highlight the importance of freshwater. It is also used to advocate for the sustainable management of freshwater resources” (Wikipedia).

Taking it further…

Today, the attention of the world is focused on water as a natural resource without which no life can thrive. All well and good!

But how about taking it further? Taking it further by drawing attention to another kind of water that is on offer!

This kind of water is spiritual. Jesus is the One offerring it. And it is available to everyone who will gladly receive it.

Are you thirsty? Jesus is saying to you: Come to me and drink!

Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. John 7:37, NASV.

And here is the ultimate assurance from the lips of Jesus about drinking the kind of water He offers: eternal life is guaranteed!

But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” John 4:14, NLT.

To drink or not to drink of the water Jesus offers, the choice is yours.

 

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

500 WordPress Followers, 500 Thanks

Blogging milestones

“Congratulations on getting 500 total follows on Victors’ Corner.” That’s the notification I recently received from WordPress.

What that means is that this blog has reached yet another milestone, just like the 200th post milestone achieved a few weeks back.

I am not writing this post in order to blow my trumpet. Rather, I just want to use the rare avenue to convey my heartfelt appreciation to everyone of you who have been so kind to be one of my WordPress followers. Therefore kindly accept some 500 rounds of applause from me to you.

Secondly, I will also use the opportunity to invite more WordPress users to join the over 500 amazing followers of this blog. I assure you that there is so much more to gain and nothing to lose by joining this blog’s community.

You may extend the favour by recommending this blog to your friends and family so that they too can benefit from the things we share here. I hope that is not too much to ask?

Once again, thank you for your immense support this far.

Finally, what has been your experience following this blog? Kindly drop a comment.

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

My Experience with WordPress Conference and Why You should attend one

#WCLagos2018
WordCamp Lagos 2018 @ Civic Centre, Victoria Island

“Bringing the WordPress community closer.

Thanks to WordPress, I was able to set up this blog three years ago without any professional help.

Since that time, I have had the privilege of having several online interactions with many other WordPress users and I would say, it has been mutually benefiting. But the interaction has remained online as I have never attended any terrestrial event for all wordpress users.

All that got to change over the last weekend as I attended the WordPress Conference – codenamed Wordcamp Lagos or #WCLagos2018 – on 10 March 2018, where the beautiful packages embedded in the event’s theme of “Bringing the WordPress community closer began to be unfolded before my very eyes.

Networking at WCLagos 2018
L-R: Feyi, Victor, Francis & Michael @ WCLagos 2018

For the first time in my life, I was under the same roof for a whole day with many people that have anything to do with WordPress.

Bloggers, Coders, web designers, digital marketers, lawyers, entrepreneurs etc, were there. And you know what, there was something for every one…

Understanding Wordcamp

According to the information provided by the organisers of wordcamp Lagos on the event site, here is an insight into what a Wordcamp is all about:

WordCamp is an all-encompassing term referring to a conference, a community organized and officially sanctioned event to deal with all things WordPress

They range from a one-day event to a three-day event depending on the local community organizing it. They comprise of but not limited to conference-like sessions, panels, interviews…, kids-camp, short or multi-hour workshops, and (en)lightning talks.

People attend to share ideas, learn about WordPress, talk about opportunities, and meet other WordPress users in person

For over a decade now, Wordcamp sessions have been reported to have taken place in many cities across some dozens of countries of the world. Lagos has now joined the league of world cities to have hosted a WordCamp conference.

Victorscorner @Wordcamp Lagos

WordCamp in my City of Lagos

Earlier in the year, I became aware that such a program was coming up here in Lagos – my city of residence; and I had made up my mind to attend.

Gratefully, I realised that my schedule could accommodate it. So three days to the event I was able to complete the online registration and on the D-Day I showed up for the workshops.

This was my first experience with a WordPress wordcamp and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Wordpress seminar

In fact, I later got to understand that this was the first city WordPress conference in Nigeria and in West Africa for that matter.

It was such a huge success by my own estimation, I had to go to one of the organisers to ask, “When is the next one holding please?”

Apart from the fantastic venue chosen for the event – The Civic Center, Lagos – there were many other reasons that made it worthwhile for me. And it is my pleasure and privilege to share my experiences with you.

8 reasons I think you should attend a WordPress wordcamp

1. Improve on your knowledge with WordPress

Generally speaking, the conference improved my understanding of the workings of WordPress as an “online open-source website creation tool” which presently powers 30% of the internet.

And specifically, I also gained improved knowledge in some areas of blogging, search engine optimization, digital marketing, web development in a developing country, to mention but a few.

I guarantee you that should you attend a WordPress conference as I did, there would be something new for you to learn from the various ideas exchanged at the forum.

2. Networking opportunities

It was not all about learning new things. The conference also afforded me the rare opportunity of having face to face interactions and networking with all kinds of WordPress users, from within my country and abroad as well.

Victor with Nobeel Molham @ WCLagos2018
Victor with Nabeel Molham @ WCLagos2018 Lagos

From bloggers to web designers, coders, CEOs, digital marketers, online payment companies, photographers, etc, I was able to engage with some of them in very meaningful conversations.

Now I can say that I have expanded my physical sphere of the WordPress community by reason of that conference.

Indeed, the WordPress community was brought closer to me on that day! You can have the same experience too.

3. Inspiration from people

There are many ways to receive inspiration; one of which is through the the people who have gone where you wish to go or have done what you want to do.

Wordcamp West Africa
Victor with Labi Francis @ WCLagos2018

Many things about the conference left me largely inspired. But the one that stood out for me was the personal story of Labi Francis, “a blogger, front-end developer, SEO expert, social media strategist and tech enthusiast.”

I sat in his class as he shared the story of how he grew from being a new comer with WordPress to the enviable position where he is right now. His humility was so apparent as he told his story of how WordPress has transformed his life.

And who says WordPress is incapable of changing your own life as well?

4. Very affordable fee

For a pre-registration fee of N3,500.00 (about 10 US dollars) per person, I found the conference to be very affordable and easily within the range of anyone who has any interest in WordPress.

To think that for that amount, you got to listen to multiple speakers, used one of the choicest high profile event centres in town, got one WordPress branded T- shirt for free, had a sumptuous lunch at a magnificent lagoon-front restaurant is nothing short of amazing.

It was an experience you would not like to miss. And I’m glad I didn’t miss it. That’s why I’m sharing my experience with you, hoping that you would be encouraged to attend the next WordCamp event in your community.

5. Some Freebies for everyone

Apart from the free WordPress branded T-shirts already mentioned, there were other free items given out to all participants as well. These included, small shopping bags and WordPress branded stickers of various sizes.

WordCampLagos

Also, for anyone who needed a taxi ride home after the program, a taxi company which was on ground at the event offered free (or discounted) taxi ride to the tune of two thousand Naira, an equivalent of about six US dollars.

I would definitely have benefited from the offer if I hadn’t driven to the event myself. So you see? There are alot of side benefits waiting for you when you attend a WordPress conference.

Victor Uyanwanne @ WCLagos 2018

6. Kids’corner

The kids were not left out of the conference. The organisers made arrangements that also included kids (under their parents supervision) who have interest in coding, web designing and WordPress generally. The good part was that they were separately and specially catered for, for a fee less than 30% of what the adult participants paid.

Although there might be limited spaces for kids, parents and guardians are encouraged to attend WordCamps with their kids. So next time you want to attend a WordCamp, please do not say no to your teen or preteen geek who wants to tag along with you. Both of you will learn and have some fun in the event.

7. Opportunity to volunteer

I learnt earlier that “All Wordcamp organisers and speakers are unpaid volunteers; they offer their services as a labour of love.

In the Lagos event, I could see that the volunteers were extremely friendly and very helpful, giving guidance and directions to the attendees during the program. And the help desk lived up to their name: very helpful.

WCLagos

So if you are a WordPress user – front end, back end or anything in between – and you want to offer your services free of charge, for the benefit of the WordPress users around you, a Wordcamp will be a good place to volunteer your time and talent.

During one of the side conversations I had with some people at the conference, I learnt that there are other WordPress meetups which also offer the platform for sharing ideas, volunteering and mentoring.

You may want to seek out the one in your community for active participation and collaboration with other WordPress users.

8. The after-party.

An “after-party for you to meet new friends, business partners, employees, employers, and life partner,” scheduled to take place at the conclusion of the day’s events was also included in the package promised by the organisers.

Unfortunately, I am unable tell you how this one went down because I didn’t wait to witness it. Sorry!

Wordpress conference
Some attendees of WClagos 2018 having their lunch

In the final analysis, I was convinced beyond all reasonable doubts that the the Wordcamp event delivered great “content and value” to all the participants.

So if you want to have a swell experience like I did at the just ended #WCLagos2018, please make plans to be part of the next WordPress Conference holding in your community.

What are your own experiences with WordPress Conferences? Share your story in the comment section.

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

Stephen Hawking: Why I’m Sad About Him

Stephen Hawking
Source: Hawking.org.uk

It is no  longer news that the popular British physicist Stephen Hawking has passed on at the age of 76 years.

However, as his life is being celebrated around the world, it is imperative that we reflect on a few things we know about him.

In this post, we will take a look at some things we know about Stephen Hawking and the only reason I feel sad about him.

Writing  in Christianity Today about the death of Hawking, James Macintyre, described him as “the peerless scientist and leading atheist whose curiosity about the universe shaped our understanding of modern cosmology.”

Similarly, a statement reported to have been released by Hawking’s family announcing his death also recognised that “He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years. His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humour inspired people across the world.”

Snippets from Hawking’s biography

  • His full name is Professor Stephen William Hawking and was born on 8th January 1942  in Oxford, England;
  • He wanted to study mathematics at the University College, Oxford. But Mathematics was not available there, so he pursued physics instead;
  • In addition to the Phd he obtained in 1965, Hawkings had 13 honorary degrees in his life time;
  • At the age of 21, he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease which made doctors think he would die within 2 years. But he lived for additional 53 years;
  • He became wheelchair-bound and dependent on a computerised voice system for communication;
  • He published many books but the most popular ones include: A Brief History of TimeBlack Holes and Baby Universes and Other EssaysThe Universe in a NutshellThe Grand Design and My Brief History.
  • He had three children and three grandchildren.

We would all agree that Hawking was an extraordinary man by all means. But the only thing that makes me unhappy about him is to have heard that he remained an atheist throughout his life. And if that  report is true, then it saddens my heart to note that death has now made it too late for him to change his mind about the question of God.

Unfortunately, the same God whom he rejected on Earth will be the same God whom he, just like everyone else, would face in judgement.  As the Bible clearly states,

“Everyone must die once, and after that be judged by God”

(Hebrews 9:27, Good News Translation).

 

Reference:

Stephen Hawking, Brief Biography; http://www.hawking.org.uk/about-stephen.html, accessed 14/03/2018

 

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

Peter, Jesus and the Question of Forgiveness

Forgiveness

The 7 Times Forgiveness Question and the Surprising Answer

The Gospel of Matthew (18:21-22) has a record of an important conversation between Peter and Jesus which bothered on the question of forgiveness.

Peter had sought a validation from Jesus on his belief about the subject of forgiveness. But beyond Peter’s wildest expectation, Jesus taught him and the other disciples an expanded lesson of a lifetime.

Was Peter simply trying to show that he was magnanimous, or he merely wanted to validate his 7 times forgiveness theology? Either way, Jesus had him covered.

Validating your beliefs

When you seek information to validate your beliefs, one of two things can happen if you eventually find the truth:

1. If your belief about a subject is right and you come to find the truth, your belief will be validated by the truth you have discovered;

2. But if your belief is wrong, the truth you find will burst your bubble, deflate your ego. But you will be a better person if you would take dressing from it.

Peter’s experience

The second scenerio was the one faced by Peter in the conversation with Jesus concerning forgiveness:

Peter: Lord, how many times should I forgive my neighbour when they offend me? Is it seven times?

Jesus: Peter, I did not tell you seven times, but seventy times seven.

Wow! Peter was dazed by that response. He just learnt that 7 times forgiveness offered to someone is not magnanimous enough. Four hundred and ninety times was Jesus’ new standard measure.

Of course Jesus was not limiting forgiveness to only 490 times. But that was not what Peter expected to hear. He got the lesson anyway.

Some credits to Peter please?

Despite this shocking revelation from Jesus, I think we should still give Peter some credits here.

First he knew that he ought to forgive his neighbours when they offend him. But he got it wrong when he thought that a neighbor deserves to be forgiven only seven times and not more.

We can see that Peter’s focus was on himself and what he had the capacity to do, without knowing that with a relationship with Jesus Christ, he could have the capacity to forgive infinitely.

Perhaps he had reckoned that he could forgive a person only seven times and nothing more because he couldn’t imagine that one should go on and on doling out forgiveness limitlessly. As we saw, Jesus stretched the limits farther than Peter had imagined.

Another thing we should give Peter some credits for is that he willingly held out his belief about forgiveness against the light of the truth to be revealed by his Master.

I wouldn’t say Peter was testing his popularity by the question he asked. But rather, I can say he was on a quest for the truth. And it paid off because Jesus had the real truth about forgiveness to neighbour revealed to him in a way that he (Peter) never knew.

But then, this revelation of 490 times forgiveness rattled Peter’s theology, deflated his ego and settled the issue once and for all.

What is your take on the number of times we should forgive? 

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

Parenting is Learning

Parenting
Source: Pinterest

“We learn every day,” so says that popular saying.

I know that is true in many aspects of our human endeavours. But being a relatively new parent, I have come to also realise that the statement is particularly true of parenting.

Parenting is a huge responsibility. But it is also full of opportunities to learn new things. 

As parents we know that our children learn from us. But beyond that, any sincere parent would acknowledge that every now and then, he or she also learns from his or her children as well.

I have experienced it several times…

I have a three-year old and a five year old. Sometimes I set out to teach them some things and in the process I learn new things from them as well. Best & Newman UyanwanneEven I have enriched my vocabulary merely listening to them. And I believe I’m not alone here.

There have been times they asked me questions I didn’t have immediate answers for. But as I looked around for the most appropriate feedback to give to them, I got to learn new things in the process.

I also get to use my experience in guiding them. But I have since realised that experience is not enough; my experience is my experience, not theirs.

Just like many new parents, I would admit that I don’t know it all. So I am still learning… And it seems to me that every opportunity that gets created for me to teach my kids something is also an opportunity for me to learn something too – no matter how small.

Granted that when I am teaching them, I tend to do most of the talking most times. But it pays to listen to what they have to say as well. Listening is a key part of parenting. Every parent should develop the skill.

I would not say I have arrived in that respect. But I know I’m no longer where I used to be when the parenting journey got started.

Parenting and learning

Now I’m learning to be a little more open and more accommodating to their many ideas and perspectives. They don’t have their way most times (obviously, they shouldn’t). But I shouldn’t have my way all the time either.

They may not be aware yet that relating with them opens a new vista of knowledge for me. But I have come to realise that I am learning a lot from them.

So in only five years experience on the job, I am convinced that parenting is learning. That’s my  perspective. What’s yours?

 

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

Billy Graham: I Wish I Had Met Him

Billy Graham's Quote

Like Bishop Benson Idahosa, Like Billy Graham

In 1998, Bishop Benson Idahosa went on to be with the Lord.

A fearless Charismatic Pentecostal preacher, and founder of the Church of God Mission International with headquarters in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria, Idahosa, remains one of the greatest ministers to have come out of Africa.

Bishop Benson Idahoha
Picture Credit: DunamisBlog

He was a man that preached the gospel of Jesus Christ to the uttermost part of the world. From Nigeria to Africa, America, Europe and other parts of the world, Idahosa took the supreme task of evangelism to all nations with courage, faith and power of the Holy Spirit.

As the first televangelist I came to know growing up in the 80’s, I had great respect and administration for Idahosa. And for many years, it was a secret desire of mine to meet him face to face some day.

As God would have it, that silent wish came to fulfilment in 1997 when he happened to pay a scheduled visit to the Polytechnic town of Auchi where I was schooling at that point in time. Needless, to say, I made it a point of duty to see the Bishop that day and even touched him. It was a fulfilling experience for me – a dream come through!

Outside this shores at that time, one renown evangelist I also heard about so much then was American preacher, Billy Graham. I was not born yet when he held some of his gospel crusades across some cities in Nigeria in the 60’s, but his reputation as a fiery, respectable man of God did not escape me.

In some ways, one could say that Bishop Benson Idahosa was to Nigeria and the world what Billy Graham was to America and the world. While I had the privilege of meeting the former before he passed on to glory, I was not able to meet the latter in person. And sadly, I would no longer be able to do so again on this side of life.

Every one must confess there is God - Victor Uyanwanne
Billy Graham. Source: Billygraham.org

It is no longer news that the legendary American evangelist has recently passed on to glory. He was indisputably one of the greatest Christian leaders ever known in this century; he was a good soldier of Christ here on earth who was highly respected around the world.

As the stories about Billy Graham’s  ministry, life and time on earth continue to pour into our consciousness through various media, I came to realise something I never really knew I had – a wish to have met him.

Unlike being able to meet Bishop Idahosa before he passed on, I would be unable to meet Graham any more.

However, from the many available reports about him, there are some interesting things that one would easily cherish:

  • He was a man of great character and integrity;
  • He stayed true to his divine calling – evangelism;
  • He was highly respected around the world;
  • He was “a spiritual adviser to American presidents…”
  • He was very influential as a christian leader;
  • He insisted on racial integration in his crusades;
  • He remained conscious of Heaven all through his life.

Billy Graham has now left the world to be with with Lord. And it is gratifying to note that he finished strongly.

Just like Apostle Paul, we can say of him “Graham fought the good fight, Graham finished the race, Graham kept the faith.”

Though I never got to meet him while on this Earth, I take solace in the fact that we shall some day meet at the Lord’s bosom – in Heaven that he so much believed in and preached about.

My home is in heaven. I’m just travelling through this world – Billy Graham.

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

 

I Can’t Convince You There is God

God exists

I believe there is a God who loves me.
I know Him as my heavenly Father.
I came to know Him by faith,
Faith in His Son Jesus Christ alone.

I say to you there is God in heaven
But you wouldn’t believe me one bit
All you ever do is scoff at the holy idea
That there is a God who made all things.

You see the Sun, the Moon and the Stars;
The Oceans and seas, trees and the wild…
All are enough proofs there must be a God
But you chose to believe what you want.

no one can convince you there is God

You say it is foolishness to believe God exists.
But truly, the fool is the one who believes not.
Trusting in your worldly wisdom
You are ending up being a big fool.

You said to convince you there is God
But no matter how much I try to do so
You wouldn’t see the sense in my point of view
Because your mind is closed to spiritual truth.

How long wouldn’t you believe there’s God?
How long can you live without believing God exists?
Don’t you know even your breadth is from God?
Remember one day you would be gone from here.

I can’t convince you there is God
You’ll have to discover Him by yourself.
And your lifetime is the only chance you’ve got
It’ll be too late once you’ve crossed the Rubicon.

 

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

200 Posts Milestone

I just received the notification from WordPress that I have reached the 200 posts milestone on this blog. So I decided to share the good news with you.

Good news because it brought 200 shades of smiles to my face. And the fact that I have you reading the posts is very heart-warming.

I would have let it pass unheralded but I don’t want to miss this opportunity to say:

Thank you 200 times for reading and following this blog.

reaching the 200 posts mark

Remembering the Enduring Love of a Couple-Friend

Victorscorner

I just stumbled on this personal picture featured here and it brought back wonderful memories that precipitated this post.

I remember the day I snapped it exactly 3 years ago. It was at the church wedding of a very close friend.

The wedding took place at a location far away from my Lagos base. But I had to be there, irrespective of the distance.

The friend deserved the love and support I had to give, even more.

We are friends. We have been friends. We have come along way with each other and for each other as well.

There was a lot of significance to that wedding. The enduring love of the couple for instance: They loved each other against all odds. Believed in each other. Courted each other for several years. Planned being with each other for life…for better or worse.

But there were pockets of challenges here and there before the wedding – all through the courtship period – chief of which was that their families opposed the marriage.

However, in the end, the patience and the love of the couple paid off; they eventually got parental blessing for the wedding and the marriage was allowed to take place.

I was glad I was there to witness it all. I was glad that their love triumphed over all obstacles, giving all glory to God who made all things possible.

In more ways than one, I had a personal sense of fulfilment over that wedding. Mission accomplished for the couple; joy for all of us friends and family.

Even in times of doubts before the marriage, I stood with my friend and his love. Though a long tedious journey, it came to a beautiful climax: united in holy matrimony, against all odds.

I saw it coming. I prayed with them. It seemed impossible at first but it still took place in the end – happily.

Uyanwanne V.
Going for the Wedding

When I was setting out for that wedding event, I took two days off work to enable me arrive the location ahead of time. The traditional wedding was for a Friday afternoon while the white wedding was to take place the following Saturday.

I was well prepared for the wedding. I bought a brand new pair of suit for the occasion, along side the accompanying accessories.

I was happy… I was longing to see my friend walk the aisle with his bride. A big day, it would turn out be!

On a Thursday, the day to the Friday of the traditional wedding ceremony, I arrived at the inter state bus terminal not too far from my Lagos home to begin this important journey I had looked forward to for at least three months prior.

It was midday, so I had said to my self, “In the next 5-6 hours on the road, I should be with my friend ready to cheer him on as he bade goodbye to bachelorhood.”

You know that feeling you have when someone you love is celebrating! I felt it and I felt good about it…

My close friend from way back was getting married. I had to be there in flesh and blood, with all pleasure.

Some years ago when I got married, he was with me all the way. He flew in to Abuja into my waiting arms. And then together we flew further to Sokoto where he joined me to pick my beautiful bride.

I still remember how we felt when the plane touched down at the Sadiq Abubakar III International Airport.

“So Victor you are getting married?” he had asked me. You see what I mean when I say we have come along way?

“Yes” was my heartfelt response to him. “It is my turn now, it will be yours soon,” sounding very sure of the future.

As we stepped out from the air-plane then, we were both greeted by the dry very winds of the North West and the scorching Sun of the seat of the Caliphate, with temperatures measure reaching the 40″C mark.

I had never felt so much heat before my life. But it was all well and good: I got married in Church as planned without any hitches, whatsoever!

Now it’s this friend’s own wedding, and my mind was already made up  about being there. “I have to be there by all means,” I had promised myself.

And the day finally came!

There were no direct flights to the local town venue of the wedding; no airport there in the first place. So the journey had to be done by road. And I was ready to take it on, joyfully and wholeheartedly!

There was the option for me to fly to the nearest airport located at the State Capital, some kilometres away from the place, and taxi inwards to the venue. But my budget was very tight, so that idea flew away from my head as quickly as it had come.

In the end, I had to travel by road. I didn’t even see it as a sacrifice even though I had to travel several rough miles to attend the marriage ceremony. Like I said earlier, I was still happy doing it.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get there until the Friday of the traditional marriage ceremony proper. In fact I arrived in the middle of the ceremony, with friends and family already seated,  appropriately dressed in colourful attires.

The event was peaceful and successful. And on the following Saturday, my friend and his bride were joined in holy matrimony to begin their life together as man and wife. I thank God, I witnessed it all.

Rewind a day backwards

As you might have observed, I arrived a day later than I had planned to. The late show up was due to a setback in transportation the day before.

That Thursday when I got to the bus park, I bought my fare ticket and sat down on the public bus waiting for the journey to begin. The waiting turned from minutes to hours, and we were still there. Not enough passengers for the bus to depart the terminal.

At the end of the day, I couldn’t continue the journey same day, else I would have to get there at very late hours. And that’s not good enough, for security reasons.

I departed from the bus park for home, forfeiting my fares – as they insisted there would be no refunds.

But I had still had to make that journey. So I shifted it to the following Friday morning. This time, I switched Inter State bus terminal.

Thankfully I didn’t have to wait for too long. So the journey began and to the glory of God, I arrived safely for the wedding, stayed with my friend as he took his bride to the altar. And together we all savoured the joy of the couple that had the enduring love that conquered all odds.

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

Prejudice Comes in Different Forms – A Reader’s Perspective

Racism is the belief in the superiority of one race over another, which often results in discrimination and prejudice towards people based on their race or ethnicity –Wikipedia.

The post you are about to read is the contribution of one of my readers to this blog’s discourse on racism and other forms of discrimination and prejudices around the world.

It was a comment by Bruce, author of the blog, Reasoned Cases for Christ, in response to a Misggrace’s true life experiences of racial prejudices in Southern Africa, as published on this blog. I have his permission to publish his comment as a full-length post.

Prejudice

In Bruce’s Words

...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.

I’ve often wondered why it is that we almost automatically zoom in on those who are different from us, be it a mannerism they have, or a defect of any kind.

Recent studies in DNA show that all of us can trace our ancestry back to Africa, which I think, is kind of ironic, when you stop to think about it. I have a gut feeling that a lot of our prejudice stems from a feeling of superiority, where we think we are better than someone else.

And it should be noted that being prejudiced is not restricted to only those who have a lighter or white skin colour. I’ve seen and experienced prejudice flow both ways.

Prejudice
Bruce – Reasoned Case for Christ

I actually think that all of us are prejudiced in some ways, it could be education, upbringing, intelligence, success or failure and a host of other “particulars”.

Short story is that it is all wrong, because regardless of what colour we are, we all are sinners and there is no “coloured section” at the feet of Jesus. Nor is there a section for the “educated” or a section for those who have been “successful”.

God is no respecter of persons, He looks at the heart and the last time I checked, we all have hearts.

It is sad that prejudice exists, in all of it’s various forms but I fear is a condition of the human heart that has not come to understand how we all are alike, 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 our to us, namely the acceptance and saving shed blood of His Son, Jesus Christ, to make us new.


Thanks to Bruce for this wonderful contribution.

I agree that prejudice or discrimination exists in many forms other than racism based on skin colour. But it has to be reiterated that such prejudice or discrimination is bad, irrespective of the form it is presented.

You should feel free to lend your voice to the conversation by leaving a comment below👇

 

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

 

Racial Discrimination in Southern Africa: A True Life Experience

Racial Discrimination in South Africa

I recently published a post that took a look at racism in the US and tribalism in Nigeria. One of the readers who responded to that article was Misggrace, the author of the blog, Forgotten Empathy.

Misggrace has been a victim of racism herself. Although my post which she responded to examined the issues of racial discrimination and prejudices with specific references to America and Nigeria, she expanded the discussion by sharing her personal experience of racism as a black foreigner living in Southern Africa.

I have her kind permission to share the story here so we can all see things for ourselves:

In Misggrace’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.

You can google some of the stories of how whites treat Black workers in South Africa, you would be disappointed. I must say that there are good white folks out there that don’t belittle other people.

Racial discrimination
Misggrace: Forgotten Empathy

The first time I visited South Africa, we stayed in a neighbourhood at Randsburg and due to the condescending attitude of white folks towards us, it dawn on me that we were in a predominantly white neighbourhood. There were police cars patrolling the area more often and if you are black, you automatically become a suspicious character. 

Most of the black people you see around the area were cleaners and gardeners and if you were not wearing the attire for this domestic duties, the police patrolling will ask for ID’s. I was so disappointed.

We rented a house for one week in Ransburg because we came to SA to do our Nigerian passport from Botswana. When we first arrived, I just couldn’t understand why the white old lady was acting rudely towards my family (I, my parents and 2 younger brothers).

My Dad being who he is paid no attention to the woman but I and my immediate younger brother did. I kept quiet because I was dumbfounded plus I was 8 years younger than I am now.

After this woman finally gave us the keys to the house we had rented, we had to walk about 200 meters to the house. Our last born was about 2 years and we pretty much had to carry him alongside all our luggage.

One of the domestic workers quickly volunteered to help us and he told us that they would usually drop their white clients to their houses but they could have at least pitied us since we had a small child and heavy bags. I was initially just annoyed that we had to walk a long distance to the house but knowing that it was because we were blacks, I was boiling in me.

It made me observant throughout our stay in SA and in deed, anytime I visit, I am observant. I tell you that it is painful to witness black people being belittled just because of their skin colour. Its was as if white people were afraid of black people in their neighbourhoods or work buildings.

Seeing a black person in a predominantly white area signals thief, beggars, cleaners unless of course you’re a black person with a known professional reputation.

———–

Thank you Misggrace for sharing this story. I felt touched by it in no small measures. How I wish the human race did not have to experience racism anywhere around the world!

Do you have any personal experience of racial discrimination in any part of the world? Feel free to share your story in the comment section.

 

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

Racism in America Vs Tribalism in Nigeria

Learn love, unlearn racism
Source: WisdomToInspire.com

First words first

I was born here in Nigeria and it is where I have lived all my life. I have never had the privilege of travelling outside the country. (I hope that would soon change!). So consider the views expressed in this article as one from an interested distant observer…

If there is any destination I would love to visit first outside my country, it would definitely be the US – yes, the United States of America. And that’s understandable for so many reasons – some of which are outside the scope of this piece.

As the Land of Promise, America remains a beckoning place to many of us from the so-called Third World countries. The people from our backyards who have visited the US or who live there have shared with us stories that are good enough to act as veritable attractions to that country.

I love the level of development in that country. The right infrastructures exist in the right places. The schools. The technology…Hope you got my drift?

Now let’s delve into the heart of the post…

Racism in the freeworld

As someone that views America from far across many seas and oceans, there is something I often ‘see’ or hear about America and Americans that I would say I can’t so much relate to. It is the disheartening issue of racism in that country.

But that I cannot properly relate to it now does not mean I want to underestimate its reality. More than many people are willing to admit, racism (that “prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior”) is still an in issue being grapled with in 21st Century America!

While I was making the draft of this post, I came across the following confession by a blogger, an American citizen, who was wondering if racism also plays out in other parts of the world as it does in America. Hear her:

As an American I often wonder does the racism here play out the same in different parts of the world? What does racism look like other places? I also often wonder of the races within each country, The world is so big there has to infinite potential of races and mixed races living in different countries. Are they accepted in there own country or are there still barriers and such around? — TruthsOfaLostKid

Well, I’m glad to offer a little  insight as it pans out here in my native country Nigeria. But first, let us put the question in a more direct way:

Does racism exist in many other places around the world?

Yes, it does exists – even in the so-called freeworld countries!

Unfortunately, not everyone agrees that it is wrong, neither is everyone actively engaged in fighting against it.

Is racism right?

No, it is not! And it cannot be. As Linda Lee remarked in the post What Colour Am I?,

What is wrong with people, that anyone would think racism is right? We are all human beings, we have all been created by the same Almighty God, and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US was made in His image.

I would agree that, black or white and everything in between, we were all created in the image of God. Unfortunately, not everyone would agree with that position.

While some people may deny that racism exists in the US, even at institutional levels, many people agree that it does exist.

Racism in the world

From the way I have read about it in prints, watched it on the news and seen in movies, I can conclude that the issue of racism in America (especially as it affects black Americans) is real. If this were not so, why do we have such outspoken movements as “Black Lives Matter,” and not “All Lives Matter”?

The black people in the US claim they are the victims of most racial prejudices in that country. But there are some reports which also claim that white people suffer some discriminations too.

Like I pointed out earlier, I speak as a far-flong observer from another side of the world. So feel free to enlighten me more on the issue if you have firsthand experiences on racial issues. I may not know so much where the shoe pinches, because I am not wearing it.

You already know I am not living in America. So I do not have any firsthand experience of racism in that country. But that does not mean that I am looking forward to being discriminated upon or being subjected to an unwholesome treatment on the basis of my race like several people have been reported to have experienced (or still experiencing).

I am simply saying that due to my limited exposure, I am unable to comprehend the full  breadth and depth of the issue of racism as it affects non-white Americans – the black Americans – in America.

The Toga of Racism in Nigeria 

Does that mean we do not face the challenge of racism here in Nigeria, my country of birth and residence? Probably not!

But I do not want to pretend and say all is well with the way we the citizens relate with one another and with non-citizens around here. In fact, what you refer to as racism in America, takes a different hegemonic form here in Nigeria.

It is called tribalism, which, just like corruption, manifests itself in all aspects of our collective existence. But unlike racism, tribalism has nothing to do with the colour of one’s skin.

So you can imagine how odd it felt to be referred to as “people of colour” when you know that everyone else around you has the same skin colour as you.

People of Colour? No way!

I was taken aback a few years ago when a popular Hollywood celebrity actress who visited Nigeria during a movie award event referred to her audience (predominantly Nigerians) as “people of colour.”

Watching her on primetime television, I was like “hello, hold it…this is Nigeria, not America; we do not see ourselves as “people of colour” around here.

My point is that racial discrimination and prejudices wear attires in Nigeria different from the ones they wear in America.

In the words of Chimamanda Adichie, award-winning author of Americanah, “In Nigeria race is not a conscious and present means of self-identification. Ethnicity is. Religion is. But not race.”

This response she gave in a Goodreads interview as far back as 2013 aptly captures the differences between race issues in America when compared with same in Nigeria.

Unlike the experiences often reported amongst blacks in the US, no one in Nigeria is identified or should I say discriminated upon on the basis of the colour of his or her skin.

All of us are black! Instead of race, we talk of our ethic origins, religious affiliations and regional bases.

  • Ethnicity – the question around here is often, are you Yoruba, Ibo or Hausa? (Those are the three major tribes that constitute the vast population of the country);
  • Religion – Christian or Moslem? (These are the two hegemonic religious groupings but there are some insignificant others in between);
  • Region – Northerner or Southerner (broadly speaking) or (in terms of the six geographical regions), South West, South East, South South, North West, North East, North Central).

To our undoing, political decisions most often than not, are made on sentiments contrived along those three lines of ethic origin, religious affiliation and regional heritage. Unfortunately, the story is not so different in some other institutions such such as schools, labour market, and even in some churches!

While racism is the issue in America, tribalism it is in Nigeria. 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 color 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.

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne