The responses I received to that question are what I present to you in this post, with the hope that you too will join in the conservation aimed at identifying the things you are most grateful for in your life.
Interestingly, I didn’t have this post in mind when I asked that question. But as I examined the feedback I received, I began to feel the need to use them as basis to write this post.
The following points are the feedback I received from 4 respondents as the things they are grateful for:
1. My salvation. My parents for being there in my formative years. And many other things;
2. For God’s elaborate salvation plan that included me.
3. My salvation, and other priceless gifts too numerous to mention!
4. The legacy bequeathed me by my dad and mom.
All the responses came from very mature people (all of them over 50 years of age each). I would take that to mean that they know what they were talking about.
From the responses of these friends on Facebook, I was able to see that there are majorly two things they are grateful for:
1. For the salvation they have;
2. For the roles their parents played in their lives.
If necessary, I will explore this two reasons in subsequent blog posts. But here, let us just continue the conversation by having you identify what you are grateful for in life.
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:
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 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.
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.
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.
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 Time, Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays, The Universe in a Nutshell, The 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).
Stephen Hawking, Brief Biography; http://www.hawking.org.uk/about-stephen.html, accessed 14/03/2018
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.
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.
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.
...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.
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👇
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.
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.
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.
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.
As much as possible, you should endeavour to maintain a good communication flow with your spouse. That means you have to promptly take care of anything trying to impede appropriate communications with your spouse. Failure to do so may later lead to sad moments or other unpleasant consequences which you would not like.
In a thorny situation, your spouse is not the thorn.
If your spouse wears an unusual outlook, you as the other half should show persistent care (by asking) to find out what the problem is.
If your spouse slows down in communicating with you, that’s not the time for you to withdraw from him or her.
Be strong for your spouse by whispering to him or her that you are there for him or her.
There are “three levels of knowing God: recognition, acquaintance, and friendship.” To know someone deeply, you have to regularly talk to, or spend time with, him or her.
Knowing God deeply is not different from that. Except you are willing to regularly fellowship with God, talk to Him as a friend and let Him talk to you too, you may never get to know Him at the deepest level possible.
Except you are married to the devil personified, I am free to say that your spouse is not the problem in your marriage. So resist the temptation to see him or her as one.
A vital key to amicably resolving the challenges between you and your spouse is to learn to focus on tackling the issue at hand rather than putting the blame on a person – your partner.
You may have been hurt by what your spouse said or did at some point, but the problem is still not your spouse. A problem is a problem and your spouse is your spouse. Please don’t mistake one for another.
I can’t force anyone to believe in God. But I can at least let them know some things that may help them make up their mind in the affirmative. After all, acknowledging Jesus Christ as one’s Lord and personal Saviour remains a decision everyone has to take by him/herself. So if you are an atheist, here are some sobering truths I wish you to know:
Jesus Christ is the only Way to God.
You are not the first person to doubt the existence of God.
The Bible has a word for anyone who doesn’t believe there is God…FOOL.
There have been people who turned from atheism to God and so can you.
Your lifetime is your only opportunity for you to know God.
Whatever misgivings you have about God can be handled.
God has numerous children and He has room for you too.
In His birth, divinity became humanity. It was the beginning of the unfolding of the grandest heavenly agenda in bringing salvation to mankind. Here are some of the things that proved Jesus was not an ordinary person:
Jesus’ miraculous conception by a virgin.
His conception by a virgin and birth were undeniable fulfillment of Prophecies.
Jesus got His name several centuries before He was born.
He wasn’t born to earthly royalty, but angels heralded His birth.
The birth of Jesus is the proof of God’s love for the world.
Jesus was born to die.
Jesus is the only man in history with the complete tripartite cycle of birth, death and resurrection.
He is the only one giving eternal life to anyone who believes in Him.
Part of the joy of blogging is having people following your blog, regularly reading your written thoughts and sending you feedbacks through their comments, likes, emails, reblogs etc. If you have ever wondered why people are not following your blog, then you have to check out the post.
Based on my own experience, the post was used to highlight 8 possible reasons, just like some other people, I have not been following your blog:
I don’t even know that your blog exists in the first place.
You are not following my blog.
I got to your blog, but your posts care less about my core values.
The first three posts I read on your blog did not make much sense to me.
Your picture is not on your profile.
You did not join any blogging community.
Your blog language is totally different from mine.
No one has recommended your blog to me yet.
Thank you for reading. Please feel free leave A comment and share the post.
Kindly share the post with your friends via any of the following media:
It couldn’t be, because we know better: God exists. But do you know what, it doesn’t really matter; whether people believe that God exists or not, it does not invalidate who He is.
Be an atheist if you want. Remain one if you have been. But know that it is in your better interest to believe in God than to believe that He doesn’t even exist.
For the records. God is God all by Himself, and He will continue to be God all by Himself till eternity.
Neither you who do not believe in God nor I who does believe in Him have anything to add to who God is. He is the all-sufficient One.
I believe in God at my own risk. You disbelief in Him at your own risk as well. So what’s all this argument about whether God exists or not?
I am convinced that God exists and I try to live my life to please Him. So it is understandable if I am filled with God-consciousness every time. In fact that is what is expected from me.
How about you? It should be a different thing all together, but it isn’t.
You are convinced God doesn’t exist. Right? Why then don’t you get on with your life and forget about all this diatribe on the notion of God’s existence? Can you do you that? May be, you can’t after all!
Honestly, I don’t even understand you! Why do you get yourself so worked-up trying to prove that the non-existent God does not exist? It doesn’t sound logical… Are you even sure of what you claim?
I say that God exists, you get displeased. Why? Should you be annoyed about Someone who is non-existent?
You have said with your own mouth that God doesn’t exist yet all your discussions and writings are not complete except there is a reference to God. Why should you be bothered so much to talk about God if you truly believe He doesn’t exist?
Somehow, I believe that even though you call yourself an atheist, you know in your innermost heart that God exists, but you just don’t want to acknowledge it. As usual, you will deny that you know… But I am hardly surprised.
May be we should settle it this way: I believe in God through Jesus Christ, leave me to enjoy the benefits of it here on earth and in the world to come. You deny that God exists, feel free to savour the ‘benefits’ of that here on earth and in the world to come.
One day, both of us, individually, will stand before the God whom you deny…
Are you all right with that? So continue to be an atheist if you want. Don’t give it up!
Did I just say that you can remain in your atheism? Oh please pardon me! What I really mean is for you to come out from atheism to God and out of foolishness into truth.
Foolishness, because atheism is foolishness. According to the Bible, only a fool can say that God doesn’t exist. (Psalm 14:1; 53:1). It is deception to think that it is wisdom to deny the existence of God.
Truth,because God exists and it is something you will get to acknowledge one day – either willingly on your own while you are still alive on earth or by default (force) after the breath of life is gone from you. By then, it would have been too late.
For those who arrogantly declare that God does not exist and rail against any mention of His Name, the Scriptures declare all people everywhere will one day confess that indeed there is a God… Until then, we must understand that all men—atheist, agnostic, secularist, humanist, moral and immoral, educated and uneducated—are under God’s judgment apart from saving faith in Christ…Billy Graham
Perhaps I should say this as a parting shot:
The God that you say doesn’t exist loves you unconditionally. All He wants from you is a relationship with Him by faith through His Son Jesus Christ.
Every year at Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Some people say we are not sure of His date of birth. “Definitely not 25 December” they say.
It is true we can’t be sure about the date. But there is something we can be sure about: A Saviour was born at a point in time in history.
This is no fiction. No fabrication. No figment of man’s imagination as some people suggest. It was a recorded historical event orchestrated by the finger of God.
Jesus was born. And He was born with a purpose. His purpose was announced before He was born. An angel of God had announced to Joseph,
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Matthew 1:21
That is it! The purpose of Christ’s birth was to save us from our sins. That’s the reason we celebrate His Birth. That is the reason for Christmas!
That tells me that if your sins have not been forgiven – or better still, if you have not received the forgiveness of your sins – by giving your life to Jesus Christ, the purpose of Christmas has not been fulfilled in your life.
As the saying goes, “If the purpose of something is not known, abuse is inevitable.” That seems to be the case with Christmas; many people are celebrating without knowing the essence of it. As a result, they end up abusing it.
I used to be like that. For many years, I looked forward to Christmas for some other reasons other than the birth of a Saviour. But once I got born again, I began to understand the real essence of Christmas.
The real essence of Christmas is not the beautiful carol we hear or sing, not the ambience, the special shoppings, the fanfare, the feasting, and all other kinds of activities we enjoy during the season. The real essence of Christmas is found in the original purpose: Jesus was born to save the world.
Christmas is a celebration of love. The love of God to the world in sending a Saviour to die for us. That popular Bible verse says,
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
So as you celebrate, do not forget the real purpose of Christmas.
Recently, I commented on a post appearing on the blog The Closet Atheist. Following that comment, I found myself also responding to other comments clearly directed at me by some readers of that blog whom I perceived to be atheists.
Amongst other issues raised, the author while relating his experience in a so-called secular university in defence of the purported claims of an unnamed professor from an unidentified Christian college, ostensibly suggested that Christians think that atheists must be savages – brutal and vicious, lacking in morality – because they have rejected the notion of God…
My initial response to that post and part of the conversations that later ensued between other readers and I form the bulk of the texts presented in this post:
My initial response…
The point of being a Christian is not on the basis of simple morality… It is about having a relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ. One is not a Christian if that understanding is not there, including the so-called Christians cited in your statistics.
Even if someone rejects the notion that God exists, that doesn’t automatically make such one a ruthless savage, contrary to the picture painted in the post. That much is clear to me and to most other true believers in God.
Besides, there are already enough laws in the civilised world to hold people accountable for their behaviours.
What should bother one is the eternal consequence of a disposition that rejects God. And it would be laughable to suggest that the Creator will have no way of holding His creatures accountable.
Let me add that the whole notion of God is grossly misunderstood and misrepresented: Misunderstood by those who don’t believe in His existence and sometimes misrepresented by those who do.
For the records, God loves everyone -whether they believe in Him or not. And contrary to the picture you painted, He loves gay people too – although the gay lifestyle is what He doesn’t approve of – according to Biblical guidelines which clearly show that heterogeneous relationship is God’s perfect plan for mankind.
God gave us a special gift called freewill. Unfortunately some of us are using it against Him. But we can never outsmart Him. In any case, we make our choices and our choices make us.
God’s love and hellfire?
One of the readers took the reference to God’s love out of context by bringing in the issue of hellfire, saying:
“So, he (God) loves us so much he invented Hell to reinforce that fact? Sheol wasn’t good enough, so he had to up the ante? Misunderstanding is not the sole province of unbelievers. Believers seem to believe what they want to believe and disregard the rest.”
Well, I was obliged to respond to that as well:
God loves us so much He has made a way for us to have an eternal relationship with Him through His Son Jesus Christ. Hell wasn’t originally meant for human beings. It was meant for the devil and his demons. Unfortunately, anyone who rejects God has sided with the devil. As a result, such people will end up where the devil himself will end up.
Believers in God don’t believe what they want to believe as you suggested. What they believe about God is what God’s book, the Bible, says about Him. It is another thing if one doesn’t accept the authority of the Bible.
Talking about Freewill
The reference to freewill in my initial comment appeared to have been misunderstood by some of the readers of that blog who commented.
One of them questioned, “…People rape, murder, abuse, rob and torture because YHWH has given them free will? So, his sovereignty allows their heinous crimes to happen?…”
“…Yes God is responsible for giving humans the freewill,” I replied, “but He is not responsible for what we do with it…
We would be mere robots if God took away our freewill. That’s why it is important He left it with us. He gave us the CHOICE…”
Along the same line, another reader scoffed the idea that we have freewill saying, “Some guy is raping a woman and he says, “But officer, free will!”. Would that fly in court? lol.”
To that I responded:
That was never implied in my comment. But I did say that everyone would be held accountable for whatever he or she did with their freewill.
Of course, freewill as an excuse to commit rape (or any other crime at that) will not fly in court. The rapist will be judged according to the law.
In the same way, God will eventually judge everyone who rejects Him based on their freewill.
The moral compass inside every man
Speaking further, another reader opined, “The moral argument for God’s existence just shows an ignorance of the field of ethics in general. There are many accounts of morality without God, but apologists won’t even address them. Most of the time they pretend that they don’t exist.”
To that claim, I simply pointed out that:
God is the original Source of morality. Inside every man is a moral compass called the conscience. And whether we agree or not, it was God who put it there.
Feel free to lend your voice to the discourse.
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There were many wonderful memories I had growing up in that predominantly agrarian village where a sizeable portion of the population, with a few exceptions, professed to be Christians.
One of such memories is that of various celebrations which took place in the community on an annual basis. Apart from the universal Easter, Christmas and New Year celebrations, there were other big festivals that were equally engaged in.
The New Yam Festival,Iwaji, is celebrated in the third quarter of the year to mark the beginning of farm harvests and then followed closely with a festival of dance and music, known as Ogbanigbe. Both festivals which attracted visitors from far and near, were ‘traditional’ in nature and were celebrated by almost everyone in that serene community.
However, many ‘serious’ Christians in the land, especially those from amongst the Pentecostal circle, did not join in the Ogbanigbe celebration for fear of being ‘contaminated’. Their sentiment for not participating in the festivals was that such ceremonies were rooted in idolatory and ancestral worship, giving glory to demons and not to the true God.
And they were right – because of some reasons outside the scope of this post.
In those early days, my siblings and I saw ourselves as Christians, having been following our mum to church. But our personal convinctions were not very deep. So we were passive participants in the festivals until we became fully detached from their celebrations.
Personally, I can still recall previously having some pleasures in the festivals during my pre-teen years, especially as far as the family feasting aspect of the celebrations was concerned. This was due mainly to the influence of my father in the home, making provisions for special meals to be prepared during those festivals.
Unlike my mother, my father – although a very morally upright man – wasn’t a christian and so he had a longstanding belief in those festivals. But he never forced any member of the family to participate in them.
By virtue of his status as as an ‘elder’ in the village at the time, he was given special recognition which required that the festival’s dance-parties visited our house to pay the traditional ceremonial homage to him during their main street ogbanigbe carnivals.
The beginning of Change
As time went on, I gave up whatever pleasures I might have had in those festivals. This happened after I became born again in my early teens and began to be taught the living word of God which empowered me spiritually and also enabled me to make decisions that were in line with my new found love and passion for the only true God, the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ.
While it is true that becoming born again helped in realigning my values and focus with respect to the annual festivities of those years, it was not an over-night change. I gradually refrained from having anything whatsoever to do with the ceremonies. The rest is history!
Therefore come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. 2 Corrinthians 6:17.
Cerebration by all
Christmas, though popularly known as a Christian festival, was celebrated by everyone around me, irrespective of religious background. But in those days the real essence of it was lost to me and, I believe, to majority of the celebrants as well.
Growing up then, it didn’t matter if one was a Christian or not, Christmas was a feast for all to celebrate; everyone one around, whether they went to church or not, or were involved in the so-called traditional worship, all of us participated in Christmas celebrations.
The only exception I can remember was a girl two years my senior in secondary school, a member of the Jehovah Witnesses. Including Christmas, she never joined in the celebration of ‘anything’ at all. She even refused to join in reciting the national anthem and other songs we sang on the assembly ground every morning.
Before the essense of Christmas hit me
Christmas is the commemoration of the birth of Jesus. But while we all celebrated it, most often than not, not all of us remembered or even cared about the real purpose of it.
We all focused on the fanfare rather than on why Jesus was born in the first place. Sadly that mistake is still observable in many places around the world today.
In my pre-teen years, Christmas time for me meant that we were approaching the time for the longest school holiday in the academic year. That meant I would have more time to play street football with my friends from school and around the neighbourhoods.
Christmas also meant that I was going to get a new set of clothes, a new pair of shoes, a wrist watch and a pair of sunglasses to match. It was particularly fun wearing those pair of eye-classes; once you had them on, the grounds appeared to be shifting and un-levelled. Still we managed to move around in them and then returned home to mama, safely.
At Christmas, relations who lived in cities would return home for family reunions, a once in a year ritual. We also visited relations and family friends around town, especially on the boxing day. We would be lavishly served with rice and chicken and in some cases soft drinks.
And once we stood up to go back home, we would be given some money which the giver would often say, “This is for all of you.” That announcement was necessary to avoid a situation were the direct recipient would think the money was meant for only him or her.
Reports were rampant then of children or teenagers fighting over such money… But fortunately for me, my ‘visitation’ groups were always cooperative, so at the end of day, we always amicably shared all the accumulated moneys from such visits.
You can say Christmas was another way of getting money from people you knew, as it appeared everyone was more generous during that time.
Rice and stew very plenty
Back at home from Christmas day service in church, there would be plenty of food to eat. Some people would prefer specially made local delicacies on this day. But the children (including yours truly) would relish the specially made Christmas rice and stew.
Our parents made sure they ‘killed’ chicken to serve it along. If anybody’s mum failed to prepare rice and chicken in special stew, especially on the boxing day, he or she would have the feeling that the Christmas for that year was not fantastic.
So basically, our Christmas then like in many other places was full of eating and drinking (mostly soft drinks, no alcohol) visiting families in new outfits and other forms of celebrations. Not many people remembered or even knew the real essence of Christmas.
Understanding the real essense of Christmas
After I got born again, I began to understand the true meaning of Christmas. A Saviour was born to save the world. The slogan Christ is the reason for the season became a living reality.
I still wore new clothes at Christmas. I still ate specially prepared meals. But those were no longer my main focus: Christ was and still is.
We became challenged to share the love of God in more active ways – reaching out to people with the true meaning of Christmas.
Yes, we went out for evangelism, sharing the love of Christ in any way we deemed fit. What better way to celebrate Christmas than to tell people the Saviour was born to save them from their sins?
As we celebrate ‘Christmas’, let us remember the ‘Christ’ in it!
Atheists know there is a God even though they wouldn’t admit it. And it seems to me that the more their hearts condemn them, the harder they try to put up the front that denies the existence of God.
If atheists truly believe that God does not exist, why does it bother them so much when we say He does? I believe their conscience is working them up!
There is no excuse good enough to justify a disbelief in the existence of God.
The Scriptures tell us that the things in us and outside us bear evidence that God exists. So one must have suppressed this knowledge of God over time to reach the point where one can willfully and deliberately assert that there is no God.
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. Romans 1:20-22.
Professing to be wise, they became foolish
That statement aptly describes the situation of atheists. Their so-called wisdom in denying the existence of God is at the same time their foolishness.
Just like every human being born into this world, they were not born without an inkling of the knowledge of God. Rather, out of their own sheer volition, they gradually stifled the voices in their hearts which tell them that there is a God.
And in “professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” I could say I have observed that firsthand more than a few times…
During our discussions, I could see that many of them tend to assume an air of superiority in knowledge. They seem to want to show that they have read so many books, and have known much about the universe, life and existence to know that God does not exist. And nothing could be farther from the truth!
We know who the foolish one is
Granted, some of the atheists I have encountered are quite knowledgeable! To that extent, they appear to think that we believers must be foolish to believe that God exists. But any form of knowledge that denies the existence of God is not a correct knowledge.
Atheists may be wise in their own eyes, calling us, believers, uninformed. But between they and us, the Bible is very clear about who the foolish one is:
The fool says in his heart that there is no God… Psalm 14:1
Those words were spoken over two thousand years ago and they still hold as true today as they have always done. According to the Bible, it is the person that says God doesn’t exist that qualifies to be called a fool, not the one that believes in His existence.
Another thing I observed from my conversations with atheists is that they are not absolutely sure that God doesn’t exist as they would want to claim. In their unguarded moments they do make claims or raise objections that presuppose that there must be a God. Yet they are reluctant to admit it.
In other words, I could surmise that many atheists are living in self-denial when they say that God doesn’t exist, because deep in their hearts they know that they are wrong.
A wicked, loveless non-existent God, Really?
On one occasion, a self-professed atheist got carried away during our conversations and he kept saying, God is wicked, God doesn’t love humans, God enjoys to see people suffer, etc. Really?
I couldn’t hold back asking him, “How can the God you say doesn’t exist be wicked and loveless? How can He even enjoy the suffering in the world except He exists in the first place?”
You see, that atheist knows there is God. May be what he doesn’t understand is the nature or character of God.
It is one thing to doubt the goodness; of God and another to claim His non-existence. I think that so-called atheist got it completely mixed up…
No matter how hard they try, atheists would never be able to prove that there is no God. (We know He does exist!). The more they try to do so, the more of their folly they put on display.
God exists, and anyone who seeks Him with all his or her heart will find Him.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart Jeremiah 29:13.
When a Princeton educated atheist cried out to God
It is a hard truth, but it still has to be said again: Deep in their hearts, atheists know there is a God, but they just don’t want to admit it.
In his book, The War Is Over, Andrew Wommack expressed it better when he wrote that:
(Atheists) know that there is a God. It is just a lie (when they say there is no God). You don’t have to try and convince people of their need for God. Everybody in their heart already knows it. Every body!
For emphasis sake, let’s echoe it again: everybody, including atheists, already know in their hearts that there is a God… They may deny it or suppress the knowledge, but they still know!
To further illustrate his point, Wommack tells of an experience with an educated atheist who cried out to God to save him when he faced enemy-attacks during the Vietnamese-American war:
While I was an American soldier in Vietnam, many told me they were atheists. I remember one guy, a Princeton educated atheist, made me look like an absolute fool because he was a better talker than I was. But when the bombs started dropping and the bullets began to fly, this guy cried out to the God he said he didn’t believe in… saying “Oh God save me!” It’s all just a mind game let them get into a life-and-death situation and they will say, Oh God help me!”
The question is, if the atheist Andrew refered to truly believed there was no God, why did he cry out to Him for help when his life was in danger?
Disclaimer: This article is not a political opinion. It is just an observation I wanted to let off my chest.
First and foremost, I am not an American, neither do I live in that fantastic country. However, it is my dream to be there some day, hopefully in the nearest future.
Just like many other people around the world, most of what I know about America and her president come from all sorts of media. To that extent, I would admit that not everything I have heard or read about America and her people would be perfectly correct.
At the same time, you will not need to look too far to see that all is not well with the way some Americans see and address their current president.
From the people in mainstream broadcast and print media to the ones on the blogosphere, there seems to be an unprecedented attack on the office of the president of the United States, or better put, on the person of the present occupant of that exalted office, Donald Trump.
I feel that some, if not many, Americans are yet to come to terms with the realities of who this newest occupant of the White House is.
Why did I say that? Just turn on your news channels and you will easily see so much disrespect as it were in the way some Americans talk about president Trump.
Most recently, there was an outburst in many quarters over the president’s comment on some NFL players not standing to sing the national anthem. You saw the way some people reacted or responded to Trump on that, didn’t you?
I do not need to cite multiple examples here to drive home my point. Everyone around the world knows that the office of the POTUS is a respectable one. So why are this generation of Americans proving otherwise by the way they talk about Mr. Trump?
Besides, I am not trying to hold brief for anyone with this post. But as a distant observer on this other side of the Atlantic, it is observable that some of the remarks coming from some Americans about president Trump are either too uncomplimentary or out-rightly disrespectful.
Some people reportedly went as far as calling Trump the new Hitler. Really? Is he? May be I should consult my history books again!
Right now, many Americans I see on international media seem to always take an exception to anything their President says or does, and responding publicly to him in most critical terms.
For God’s sake, it is the POTUS we are talking here! So why all these unsavoury name-calling and dirty jokes about president Trump by Americans?
Like him or not, he still remains the president. Besides, he is a father and a husband. So needless to say, he deserves more respect than some Americans are presently showing to him.
It would have been understandable to some extent if all these perceived disrespectful attitudes and denigrating remarks towards president Trump had emanated from people other than from American themselves. To think that some Americans seem to take immense delight in openly deriding their president is shocking to say the least.
I am not saying a president may not be criticised. But it calls for concern when it becomes a virulent personal attack.
In his time, I can recall that President Obama was also criticised by the American public on several fronts. But it seems the criticisms have gotten worse with President Trump, especially as far as the media is concerned.
Some of the unpalatable things we now hear some Americans say of their president are a huge departure from what we know (or think we know) of how average citizens of America hitherto saw their number one citizen.
But is President Trump bothered in any away? Let’s leave that question for another day!
Anyone who is a detached follower of the American mainstream media may agree that there are many Americans who do not speak well of, or who are out-rightly disrespectful to president Trump by the way and manner they talk about him. But the question remains, “When will some Americans stop disrespecting their president?”
Do you agree that some Americans are disrespecting President Trump by the way they talk about him in the media? Feel free to air your views in the comment section.
Disclaimer: This post is not an endorsement of rape. It is a humble reflection on the realisation that God can bring out utmost good from a bad situation (such as pregnancy from rape) if we let Him.
God has a purpose for everyone, including a child who is a product of rape. I hope that is not contrary to what you may have been told before now? If it is, feel free to leave me a comment at the end of the post.
However, the fact that God does have a purpose for children born out of rapes does not mean that it is the will of God for such rapes to happen. Rapes happen as a consequence of the depravity of the human nature, not by divine orchestration.
I did not say it was God’s plan to have me raped. That’s insane! Human beings make their own decisions, good and evil, and we all live with the consequences of those every day. I don’t believe the “rape pregnancy” was a gift. I believe my son was — not BECAUSE he was conceived in rape, but in spite of it. Jennifer Christie, A rape survivor, in My son was conceived in rape, but his life has dignity and a purpose.
It is God’s will that even when rapes happen (and pregnancies result), we can trust Him to bring out some good out of the horrendous experience. He is the only One that has the absolute capacity to bring good out of such evil.
One good outcome from such ‘evil’ cases I heard about, forms the basis for writing this post.
Over one weekend recently, I had a swell time listening to some soul-lifting messages on SoundCloud. In one of the messages, the late popular International Speaker, from the Bahamas, Dr. Myles Monroe, said something that I found very interesting and worthy of further exploration.
“It doesn’t matter whether you were born within or outside wedlock,” said Dr Monroe, “God still has a purpose for you. One of the greatest men in the world today is James Robison and he was a product of rape. He is doing many great things for humanity…”
Pastor James Robison, a product of rape? I wasn’t sure about that claim but it got me really curious. So I had to check it out…
Prior to the point where Robison was mentioned in that message as a child born out of rape, Dr Monroe was explaining the fact that God has a purpose for every one of us, irrespective of the circumstances of our birth. And that purpose was pre-determined long before we were conceived.
As he put it, “Your purpose in life precedes your conception.” In other words, God had determined your purpose even before you were formed in your mother’s womb.
I agree with the assertion because it is in line with what God said to Jeremiah, for instance, when he was being called to ministry:
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations. Jeremiah 1:5.
God knew Jeremiah even before He was formed in his mother’s womb. And He had a purpose for him before he was born.
Isn’t it wonderful that God has had a purpose for you too even before you were born?
Our finite mind may not be able to fully comprehend the import of that in all its ramifications. But God cannot lie. As He said He knew Jeremiah before he was conceived, and had a purpose for him that preceded his birth, then that’s the truth we can hold on to!
Consider the case of our Lord Jesus as well. Even before He was born, God, through an Angel had announced both His name and purpose to His ‘father’ Joseph:
But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. Matt. 1:20-21 (Emphasis mine).
Back to the question of God having a purpose for a product of rape. Yes, even a child born out of rape has a purpose from God. Let’s take a closer look at the case in point.
The James Robison’s case
I didn’t know very much about Robison before now, so I had to do some findings to cross-check the claim that he was born out of a sexual encounter that his mum was forced into. And it didn’t take me much time to find that information available in the public space corroborated the story.
[I am] a product of rape. My mother was a practical nurse and was raped by the alcoholic son of the elderly man she cared for. It was a forced – I don’t think we would call it violent – but he forced his affections on her, and at age 40 she conceived me.
Today, this so-called product of rape is now a notable pastor, televangelist, theologian, author and a founder of an international humanitarian agency which embarks on many relief efforts, bringing smiles to many needy people across the world.
So indeed God can use anyone, even a product of rape, to do great things. But we will miss out on them except we give them a chance for life. Pastor James Robison is a living example!
When pregnancy results from a rape, many people will take it as a good enough ground to abort the baby. But there can be an exception to that kind of natural response if one understands that God has a purpose for everyone including those that are products of rapes.
Do you have a comment? If yes, talk to me in the comment section.
Whatever you do in life, criticism is one of the ways some people will ever respond or react to you. There is no one who is reading this post right now that may not have faced criticisms in one way or another.
It is okay if the criticisms are positive, because positive criticisms give room for process or self improvements. However, it is another kettle of fish if the criticisms are largely negative.
No matter how nice you are, not everyone will be happy for you when you succeed. Naturally, because they are not happy at your good fortunes, the next thing they will try to do is to churn out negative criticisms against you.
Negative criticisms are not sweet pills to swallow, but you will keep getting them. That is because you cannot control people’s thoughts, words and reactions towards you.
The best thing to do is to learn how to how negative criticisms when they come so that you don’t have to be so frustrated by them. Understanding why people criticise you negatively, will position you better to be able to handle the unpleasant and such inconveniencing situations when they do arise.
One of the ways to appropriately manage negative criticisms is to know why people harshly criticise you in the first. So let us consider the question,
Why do people criticise you negatively?
In a recent post I made on Facebook, I opined that “The fact that some people criticise you does not mean that they hate you; they might just be jealous.”
It was my little way of saying that negative criticisms can stem from pure hatred or concealed jealousy. Obviously, there could be other reasons.
To expand the discussion, I asked the question across my social media handles, “Why do some people criticise you negatively? Any ideas please?”
A follower who responded to the post via my Instagram handle, suggested that some people may criticise you because either they feel intimidated by you or they are afraid of you.
Thanks to that respondent, because in addition to hatred and jealousy, we can see that people may also criticise you because they feel intimidated by you or are out-rightly afraid of you.
Responses from Facebook
I received some responses via Facebook comments as well. In the following paragraphs, I will share with you the thoughts of some people that commented:
“They [criticise me negatively in order] to bring my morale down. They also know they don’t know and have what I’ve got.”
“Negative criticism is an excuse from a lazy person. Because he cannot attain that level which you are, the only encouragement he gives to himself is to criticise u negatively.”
“Some criticise you out of jealousy and some due to lack of understanding.”
“Complex, self defence, jealousy and ignorance I think.”
“Just out of envy and jealousy and hate.”
“They do so Primarily out of envy, ignorance & lack of understanding.”
“Sometimes they may not understand me. Sometimes they may be misinformed about me. Sometimes is in their nature . Sometimes they just want to get my attention. Sometimes it just happens like that.”
“Some criticise you out of mere jealousy, while some others criticise you based on what they have heard about you.”
Let us hear your thoughts as well. Why do people criticise you negatively?
In that post, a list of 20 possible areas you could write an open letter on were suggested, with a challenge to readers to explore the topics by writing open letters (on their blogs).
Amongst other things, the post had suggested that you could write an open letter to:
Your future spouse (if you are not yet married)
A friend with whom you have lost contact.
These two areas of suggestions have been further explored by some of my readers who took up the challenge and acted upon them. In this post, I am sharing those posts and their author’s blogs with you for your further engagement with them.
First to respond was Lisa, who thought the ideas I suggested for open letters were good. As she stated in her comment-response to the open letter post, she journals every night. And as a result of the open letter challenge, she has decided to start writing some journals specifically for her future spouse as well.
“… I will keep a separate journal” says Lisa, “for my future husband – letting him know I am praying for him . For his joys , for his sad days & his dreams.” You can visit Lisa’s blog, The Whisper Within blog for more interactions with her.
Just like Lisa, another follower, Tikeetha of A Thomas Point of View, was also thinking about her future husband when she read the 20 simple ideas for open letter. But she is not keeping a daily journal for him like Lisa did. Rather, as recommended, she went the full hog by writing an open letter, 5 Things I need Babe, to her would-be spouse. I enjoyed reading the post and so would you, if you would check it out.
As an introduction to her said post, Tikeetha had graciously informed her readers that “… my friend Victor at Victor’s Corner wrote a post encouraging you to write an open letter and describing the different types of open letters you could write and I decided to do one. I thought about what kind of letter I would write and I knew that I wanted to write an open letter to my future husband… I wanted to let you (and him) know the 5 things I need for our marriage.” So feel free to visit Tikeetha’s blog, for more inspiring posts from her.
Although Mikayla is a newbie on WordPress, her written words are deep and thoughtful enough to teach you one or two things. You may follow her at Miksbullshitblog .
As I conclude this post, I’ll like to express my profound appreciation to my followers mentioned above for taking up the challenge to publish an open letter along the recommended lines. By doing so, they have expanded the conversation and also enriched the reading experiences of their blog followers.
In case, there is another offshoot post to the open letter challenge by any reader that I have not acknowledged, kindly bring it to my attention so we can also give our support too by engaging in the conversation.
Through one of my social media handle feeds recently, I saw a picture post which suggested that there is only one heart and kidney doctor in the whole world. Further research carried out online before writing this post did not find anything contrary to the claim. In fact the claim was 100% validated.
Only one heart and kidney doctor in the whole world? That’s a surprising fact, isn’t it? May be not to you, but you can take that fact from me or do your own findings and give us a feed back here. Right? Yes, thank you.
Otherwise, allow me to introduce to you Dr Olurotimi Oluyemi Badero (pictured above) said to be the only doctor in the world to have full specialist trainings and certifications in both cardiology and nephrology. Forget about those two medical jargons. The last sentence simply means that our man here is the first and only person in the world to become a combined heart and kidney doctor.
Country of Origin
Another interesting thing about the named doctor is that he is from Nigeria, my home country. But he has now attained international acclaim with numerous awards and recognition along the way. For instance, Ed Towns, a US Congressman from New York, while speaking at the US House of Representative to honor Badero, was reported to have said, “…Dr. Oluyemi O. Badero has reached the highest levels of medicine in our country, all the way from Nigeria and he has used his expertise to improve the lives of his community.”
I suppose the things you have heard about Nigeria do not include the fact that she gave the world her first and only Cardio-nephrologist. But that’s an issue for another day. Today our focus is on meeting this rare gem of a doctor.
During an epic interview in November 2015, with Jide Akintunde, Managing Editor, Financial Nigeria Magazine, Dr. Olurotimi Badero introduced himself to us: “By training, I specialised in internal medicine, cardiovascular medicine, invasive & interventional cardiology, nephrology and hypertension, interventional nephrology & endovascular medicine, nuclear cardiology as well as peripheral vascular interventions. Putting all that together, I would like to think of myself as an interventional cardio nephrologist as well as a peripheral vascular interventionalist.”
Specialist in 7 areas of medicine?
In that interview, Dr Badero also stated that he specialised in seven different areas of medicine. If that is not impressive, you tell me what is!
Dr Badero is currently based in the United States of America. But his journey to the world of Medicine began from right here in Nigeria at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), Osun state, where he first studied medicine. Thereafter, he proceeded to the US where he also studied at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia and Yale University School of Medicine.
“Altogether,” says Dr Badero, “I spent ten years of continuous post-graduate medical training which I later found out was unprecedented. I currently specialise in seven different areas of medicine.”
Combining Cardiology and Nephrology
On why he chose to become a combined heart and kidney specialist, Dr. Badero explained that, “The heart and the kidneys are very closely interrelated… The heart pumps blood all over the body to supply basic metabolic needs. Twenty percent of that blood volume goes through the kidneys… whatever happens to the heart, affects the kidneys and vice versa.
“While I was in training at Emory University School of Medicine as a kidney specialist… I quickly found out that the commonest cause of death for the patients that died was heart disease and not kidney diseases. And we were doing a great job taking care of these patients but ultimately they died from a disease I didn’t have much control of as I would have loved to. That was a challenge I had to embrace being someone, whose decision to be a physician was to make a difference. I realized it was very difficult for me to make that difference, albeit we were taking care of patients and they were living longer.
“So that set the stage for me to decide if I wanted to explore ways of becoming more effective. I started toying with the idea of going back to specialise in cardiology because I really wanted to get to the bottom of the problem.” In the final analysis, “My training in cardiology as well as nephrology gave me a 360 degree view of a patient with a near total approach to their disease state. I think it puts me in a better position to actually treat these patients.
“Dr. Olurotimi Badero is the only fully trained and board certified cardio-nephrologist (combined kidney and heart specialist) in the world today. And he is currently board certified and a consultant in:
There are some days you don’t feel like doing anything productive. Right? If yes is your answer, then I am constrained to provide you with these 3 easy ways to totally make your day useless:
1. Have no plan for the day.
One way to use your day very well is to plan for it by the night before. But if you don’t want to use the day well, there is no need to have a plan for it or draw up a reasonable ‘to-do-list’ ahead of time.
Don’t worry your self at all with all that stress. Don’t set goals for the day, just hope that things will take care of themselves. Wait till the day will be over and count your gains (I mean losses!).
2. Wake up very late
It is a brand new day, but why should you wake up early when you really don’t want to achieve anything for the day? Stay in bed as long as you want to. If possible spend the preceding night watching movies so that you can feel too weak and tired to step out of your cosy bed in the morning.
l mean have an unusually prolonged sleep; wake up very late. By the time you will eventually stagger out of bed, the day will already have been irredeemably far spent.
3. Spend most of the day entirely on social media.
Have all your smartphones, tablets and laptop devices ready. Fall in love with each of them all over again and focus on them by the second. But don’t think of doing anything productive with any of them.
Visit all your social media handles, respond to, and like, every post you see. Write no meaningful piece. No need to read online professional articles, just concentrate on posting pictures and minor updates on how much time you have to waste.
Fellows like you will soon notice and engage you in an unending chat. By the time the day will be over, you will have wearied yourself out from keeping up with the unproductive demands of social media.
Facebook just shared with me a ‘thank you’ message and a video they made for me highlighting some of my activities on the social networking site. The message reads, “Facebook is now a community of 2 billion people and we’re so glad that you are part of it. We have made you this video to share the good that happens when we all come together”
I was elated as I streamed that video on my smart phone device. I want to believe that I was not the only person that received that kind of video this time around. Besides, this is not the first time I have received a similar video from them. But that’s not where I’m going to with this post.
The interesting thing for me was the important statistics that accompanied the video. According to the report, Facebook now has 2 billion users on their platform. And they announced to me that they are happy to have me as one of the two billion people in their ‘kingdom.’
Of course, as you can see in the quote, they didn’t use the word ‘kingdom’ in the message but I am using it here for my own reasons. Hopefully, you will get a clearer picture as you read along.
Look at it this way: I am one in two billion people on Facebook, and so are you if you are a user. That may seem insignificant to you, but to think that two out of the seven billion people on earth are on Facebook is not a small thing. That means that about 2 out of every 3 human being in this world have Facebook presence. How I wish people are enlisting for the Kingdom of God in that magnitude!
On the whole, it is a great historical feat for this generation that one social network is able to have 2 billion people in their world. Who will doubt that one of the greatest innovations of our time is the emergence of social media networking services which advancement in technology has helped to drive. And of course, with such a massive number of active users, Facebook has easily become the leading social media platform on planet earth today. All of that became achieved within just a little over a decade time frame.
I joined Facebook a little less than ten years ago. I can vividly recall how unwilling I was at first to get on board the platform. Apart from presupposing that it was a waste of time, I also feared that people would not use it responsibly. And naturally, I didn’t want to be ‘entangled’ in it. But once I understood that there are embedded security settings on the social network that would allow me manage the ‘relationships and communication’ activities on the social network, I decided to opt in. And since then, I have been using the platform to my advantage without any regrets whatsoever.
If you can read and write and you are not on Facebook, I think I should ask you, “where have you been?” I am not suggesting that it is compulsory to be on Facebook. If you are not there, you must really have a strong reason not to be. May be you can let us in on the reason you are not there.
Bottom line, I joined Facebook willingly and I don’t intend to exit the platform anytime soon except of course something beyond my control happens. On the other hand, I do respect your decision not to get involved if Facebook holds no such appeal to you.
But I hope you will be interested in Jesusbook as I am! While I will not be able to tell you categorically that it is the will of God for you to join Facebook, I can tell you without any iota of doubt that it is the will of God for your name to be written in Jesusbook.
Facebook Vs Jesusbook
But “what is Jesusbook?” you may want to ask. I will tell you in a minute. Just read on…
Jesus Christ once said to His disciples, “… Do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
Therefore, whatever you are able to accomplish on earth – whether in spiritual or secular things – should not be your greatest joy. Neither should your joy be in what this world can offer you. Rather your greatest joy should be that your name is written in the book of life in Heaven.
Similarly, while it is my pleasure that I am on Facebook, my greatest pleasure comes from knowing that my name is in Jesusbook. Beyond the temporary benefits of having a presence on Facebook in this world, I do not lose sight of the everlasting gains that will accrue to me in the world to come for having my name in Jesus’ Book of life.
You can now see that by Jesusbook, I refer to what the Bible calls the Lamb’s book of life, which is the heavenly register containing the names of all the children of God, dead or alive. “Those whose names are written in the book of life are those who belong to God, those who have attained eternal life.” Your lifetime is your only opportunity to get your name in this Book.
Facebook provided me the platform to join their online community and I did join by registering my personal account there. In the same way, by accepting Jesus as the Son of God, as my Lord and personal Saviour and by trusting in the benefits of His sacrificial death, I have got my name written in the Book of life. That is why I am saying that my name is on Facebook and on Jesusbook too.
You are a committed Christian, a good disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. You love the Lord with all your heart. To the best of your abilities, you want to please Him in everything and in anything you do.
You are married to a spouse who is equally commited to the Lord as you are. You both trust God for the best in all areas of your marital union.
Most things have been working out pretty fine for both of you. But there is an aspect of your marriage you have not enjoyed maximum fulfilment: the bedroom department; you are convinced there is more pleasure available than you do presently enjoy.
I mean you have had moments of mutual ecstacy during lovemaking with your married partner. But they are too far in between to be completely satisfied with. Your heart aches for more…
You fear God, so you don’t want to cheat on your spouse by exploring other avenues for sexual satisfaction outside your marital union. Hence you are committed to finding workable solutions to the conjugal discontentment you have been having with your spouse.
You have been praying about it. “There is nothing prayer cannot do,” you assure yourself. Thankfully you have some evidence that it is working…
In addition to prayers, you have been exercising your faith too. You are well aquainted with Hebrews 11:6 which tells us that “without faith it is impossible to please God…” So in that essential area of your life you have not ceased trusting in God, expecting things to turn out for the better between you and your spouse.
You are also a practical person who knows that every thing does not depend on prayer and faith alone. You have to do some work too – after all, “faith without work is dead,” says the Bible.
You suspect that if you are armed with the right kind of knowledge and the wisdom to apply it, your fortune in marital bedroom affairs could improve tremendously. Off you go looking for possible solutions from whatever sources you can find.
You have in the past attempted to have frank discussions with your spouse on these matters, which yielded some good results and some negative feedbacks too. Over all, you are making some progress, but you are not ‘there’ yet…
You are hesitant in asking a few of your friends for guidance because you do not want to bring the private events in your bedroom to the public square. Besides, some pieces of advice from some of your friends in the past have not been so helpful.
Some even had the audacity to tell you to “look outside” your marriage for sexual satisfaction, just like they have done. But as a good follower of Christ you are, you refused such an advice and decided to stay faithful to your marital vows. Your sexual satisfaction would be from your spouse and no other, you maintained.
To a large extent, you understand the place of sex in marriage and you are convinced about its significance in all ramifications.
You have read as many Christian literatures on sex in marriage as you could find. But you still have some areas of concern that have been left unaddressed: a detailed practical act of lovemaking in a Christian home, satisfying to both parties.
Seeking For More Help
You are welcome to search for whatever help you can get but be reminded that not all available helps out there are in your overall best interest.
Why did I say so?
Apart from the fact that the sexual act in most secular media is presented in a way you may not find very comfortable with, the context of the practice of it also falls below Biblical standards.
As you already know, most secular materials you will find do not approach sex from the perspective of a committed holy matrimony. The sex practice is presented from the angle of other relationship frameworks – mostly between unmarried partners.
Simply put, not many people will disagree with the observation that secular media seem to portray more of premarital sex, homosexuality and adultery than they do of marital sex. But as a Christian you know better and you deserve better…
You must know that any form of sexual activity promoted outside the context of a marital union should not constitute a good example for you to learn from. Therefore you should be wary.
God created sex to be experienced and enjoyed only within the confines of marriage. Any thing outside that is an aberration. Therefore all forms of pre-marital sex, extramarital sex and all other forms of sexual behaviour outside marriage are not God’s perfect plan for you and His other children.
The people of the word may think otherwise but you have chosen to stand with God and His word.
As most of you probably know, I write this blog from here in Nigeria where I was born, live and also work.
Today is work-free in the country because today is Democracy Day. Except for those on essential duties or are involved in private businesses, most people will have family fun time-out or get-together today to mark the once-a-year holiday.
This Democracy Day commemoration is different from the International Day of Democracy pronounced by the United Nations General Assembly to take place every 15 September around the many countries of the world.
Democracy Day in Nigeria is celebrated every year on 29 May, in honour of the country’s return to democratic rule in 1999 after many years of tortuous military rule.
By October this year, the country will be 57 years as an independent nation. But today, we are recording 18 straight years of democratic governance, without any military intervention like before.
Given the country’s chequered history of multiple military interventions in government, achieving 18 straight years of democratic governance is not a mean fit. And despite our numerous challenges, we give thanks to God for all His mercies over the country and her teeming populace.
Congratulations Nigeria. And happy Democracy Day to all my fellow citizens of Nigeria.
Wherever you are around the world, please join in the celebration. God bless Nigeria. God bless all of us.
Kindly leave a message in the comment box for all my fellow Nigerians.
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