Dear Parents, Forgive Your Erring Children

The account of the ever popular story of the prodigal son in the Bible is one of the greatest stories of forgiveness ever written. Jesus told the story to demonstrate the unconditional love of God for us mankind.

No matter how much we think we have erred against God, He will always forgive and accept us if we come back home to Him. As Jesus Himself assured us, “…he that comes to me, I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37).

As parents, can we learn and apply that principle in the way we treat our erring children? I will like to answer ‘yes’ to that question.

The prodigal son’s father forgave his betrayal, disloyalty, rebellion, foolishness, greed, recklessness, haughtiness, impatience and extravagance. There is no reason we should not extend same kind of forgiveness to our erring children – irrespective of the offences they have committed, or will ever commit against us.

We do not easily give up on those we love – whatever they do to us. And we love our children. So why shouldn’t we always forgive them when they err against us?

As humble parents, we will admit that our children constantly do things that annoy us. Blame it on the effect of hormones or peer pressure or whatever reasons that may be adduced, our children may not always be at their best behaviours towards us. That’s the reality of the life we live in as the earthly custodians of those precious souls.

A humble parent forgives his/her children all their wrongs because he/she too needs forgiveness from the Father above.

So when our children fall below our expectations (they will definitely do), should we continue to hold it against them? I think we should forgive them!

Should we ostracize them when their behaviours embarrass us? I think we shouldn’t!

First and foremost, we owe forgiveness to our children for whatever offences they have committed or will ever commit against us. Forgiveness is good for our overall mental and emotional well-being. Besides, God Himself does not expect any less from us.

Secondly, we should never cut-off from our children because they broke our hearts. Whether we like it or not, we are bound to them forever by our blood relationship. So as parent’s we cannot should not disown our children when they err.

Just like the loving father forgave the biblical prodigal son, we should always forgive our erring children. No matter how grave the offences might be, let us find it in our hearts to forgive them. It is part of our calling as parents.

How do you think parents should handle their erring children?

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The Mistakes Of The Sadducees

You have probably heard about the over-zealous group of people in the Bible known as the Sadducees. But if you are not sure who they are, the Gospel of Matthew has it that they are a group of religious leaders who did not believe in resurrection from the dead.

That same day Jesus was approached by some Sadducees—religious leaders who say there is no resurrection from the dead – Matthew 22:3, NIV.

These same arrogant people came to Jesus and began to ask him an impossible question about marriage after resurrection. Relying on the provisions of the laws of Moses on the responsibility of a man to his deceased childless brother, they contrived a theoretical case of seven brothers who had died childless and who had in turn been married to the same woman.

Let us read the encounter with the Sadducees together:

Matthew 22, NIV: 23…They posed this question: 24 “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies without children, his brother should marry the widow and have a child who will carry on the brother’s name.’ 25 Well, suppose there were seven brothers. The oldest one married and then died without children, so his brother married the widow. 26 But the second brother also died, and the third brother married her. This continued with all seven of them. 27 Last of all, the woman also died. 28 So tell us, whose wife will she be in the resurrection? For all seven were married to her.”

Wait a minute, I thought the Sadducees didn’t believe in resurrection from the dead? How come they were asking Jesus about “who will marry who” in the resurrection?

Obviously, they must have had an ulterior motive just like their counterpart, the Pharisees, who wanted to “trap Jesus into saying something for which he could be arrested” by asking Him the question of whether or not tax should be paid to the government authority of the day (see Matthew 22:15-22).

Gratefully, Jesus caught them in the act and He gave them the profound answers that inspired this post.

29 Jesus replied, “Your mistake is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God30 For when the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage. In this respect they will be like the angels in heaven (emphasis mine).

How I love the wisdom of Jesus in tackling knotty situations!

There you have it. According to Jesus, the mistakes of the Sadducees are in two folds: Not knowing the Scriptures and not knowing the power of God.

What do you think?

Why Share Your Testimonies?

Has God ever done anything great for you? If nothing (which I doubt), what about the testimony of your salvation?

That’s assuming that you have given the lordship of your life over to Jesus Christ. And even if you have not, it doesn’t mean God never been good to you.

The truth is that if you think well enough, you will find something in your life that you are immensely grateful for, that you should be thanking God for and also be sharing with people around you.

It is a good thing to stand before people and testify of the goodness of God in your life. David once declared, “I will praise you to all my brothers; I will stand up before the congregation and testify of the wonderful things you have done” (Psalm 22:22, TLB)

So why don’t you want to share your testimonies?

Is it fear or shame or pride that is hindering you  from talkingt about the Lord’s goodness in your life? Aren’t you grateful God came through for you when you needed His help?

Whatever is it, let nothing stop you from sharing your testimonies of what God has done for you.

Sharing your your testimonies will bring the following benefits:

sharing your testimonies

1. Sharing your testimonies brings glory to God

The purpose of your testimony is to draw attention to God, not to put you on a pedestal of some sort. It is to exalt the name of the Lord before your audience.

Provided that you do not lie or exaggerate your testimonies, you bring glory to God whenever you share or testify of what God has done for you.

When you hoard your testimonies (and that’s what you do when you refuse to share them with people), you deny God the opportunity to be glorified or exalted before the people around you.

Don’t hold back any more; Share your testimonies with people, because doing so brings immense glory to God and shame to the devil.

2. Sharing your testimonies strengthen your faith in God

It is a thing of joy for you to openly talk about what God has done for you. Apart from the emotional relief or satisfaction it brings to you, it also empowers your faith in God.

It gives you that feeling that the God who delivered you now will do so for you again next time.

In the dialogue between King Saul and the shepherd boy David before the latter when to fight Goliath, David testified,

“The LORD who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you” (2 Samuel 17:37).

It was this testimony that inspired David to confront and completely defeat the war veteran known as Goliath

Testimonies are part of your spiritual weapons. Remember the following words in Revelation, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony…” (12:11).

3. Sharing your testimonies encourages other people to trust God more

Apart from strengthening your own faith in God, sharing your testimonies can also encourage your hearers.

Let’s say you were in a pit and God delivered you from it. Right now many people are in the same pit you once were. Sharing the testimony of how God delivered you will inspire hope in them and strengthen their faith in God for possible deliverance as well.

Your testimony has the potential of revealing God to people or pointing to them to God. So it is a great disservice to people around you if you fail to share your God-given testimonies with them.

4. Sharing your testimonies slaps the devil big time

If sharing your God-given testimonies brings glory to God, it automatically has the opposite effect on the devil. It shames him and beats him up big time.

Understand this: if your pride stops you from sharing the testimonies of what God has done for you, you are in effect giving the devil opportunity to smile. I will assume that’s not what you want to keep doing.

***

It is a good thing to share with people the testimony of what God has done for you. When you do so, you bring glory to God, you strengthen your faith in God, you encourage other people to trust in God more and you bring shame to the devil.

Do you find it easy or feel ashamed to share your testimonies? Leave us a comment or two.


©Copyright 2019 | Victor Uyanwanne

Has God Heard From You In a While?

prayer

I recently watched a movie that inspired the title of this post. It was about a best–selling author who suddenly began to face unexpected personal and financial challenges.

Missed writing deadlines, tax issues, relationship break downs, debts, etc. were some of the pressing issues she was seen to be grappling with. All these made her insensitive, irritable, rude, cold-hearted and unproductive – to the dismay of her friends and family.

The good part was that she knew things weren’t going on so well with her. So she tried to concoct various plans as quick-fixes for her nagging problems.

At one point she seriously contemplated ‘relocating’ to another continent (from America to Africa) to have more time for herself. But she never went through with the plan.

In another occasion, she tried selling off her father’s restaurant business in order to raise the needed funds to settle her outstanding tax and other financial obligations that threatened to have her being put behind prison bars. But her parents opposed this idea very strongly, assuring her that there must be better ways of handling the issues.

Now this is where I am going…

In the heat of her crisis and rejection, this protagonist knelt down in her room and began to sob and to pray saying, “Oh Lord, I know You have not heard from me in a while…”

In what seemed like a short but a heartfelt prayer to God, she poured out her confusion, fears, and problems before God. Although all her problems didn’t varnish all at once, it seemed that things began to work out better for her from then onward.

“Oh Lord, I know You have not heard from me in a while…” That opening line alone got me giggling aloud.

God hasn’t heard from her, or rather, she hadn’t talked to Him in weeks, in months or possibly in years. But now in her predicaments, she remembered she could still talk to God.

You see, it reminds me about people who once had a relationship with God but are now estranged from Him. God hasn’t heard from them in a while too!

May be you are even one of such people. If only you would get back to God like this woman in our discourse or like the prodigal son got back to the waiting embrace of his father. Things would be better for you again.

***

Do you have any comment about this post? Let’s have your opinion in the comment section.


©Copyright 2019 | Victor Uyanwanne

Another Look At The Meaning Of Tolerance

What does “tolerance” mean to you?

I know the word is not new to you as people frequently use it. What I don’t know is how much of its real meaning you have understood and applied in your own sphere of influence.

You may probably have been tempted to think that tolerance strictly means to put up with something or someone with very nasty, horrible, terrible or poignant attributes. Not really!

Please take a good look at the definition below and compare it with what you already know about the meaning of the word:

Tolerance:

“Willingness to accept behaviour and beliefs which are different from your own.”

 

I don’t know about you, but the definition above opened up an entirely new vista to me, of which I am glad.

It shows for instance that tolerance doesn’t say we should put up with evil or bad things or bad people. But it clearly portrays “willingness to accept behaviour and beliefs which are different from [our] own.”

Now let’s take a closer look at the key aspects of the said definition:

• Willingness to accept…
• Behaviour and beliefs…
• Different from your own…

Tolerance would be required wherever there are inter-human relationships because you will always meet people whose behaviour and beliefs are different from yours.

That’s why tolerance may also be understood as “the ability or willingness to tolerate the existence or opinions or behaviour that one dislikes or disagrees with.

That means you can disagree with someone without going to war with him or her.

It means you should have an open mind towards someone even when he or she has an opinion that is completely different from yours.

Due to a number of varied factors such as genetic make-up, family background, religion, education, geography, exposure, life experiences etc, all of us believe different things and behave differently from one another.

That means that at any point in time in your chequered life, you will always see people who behave or believe differently from you; whose opinions about issues are not like yours. 

The question would then be, “how would you deal with such people?”

group of people standing on dock beside body of water

In order to coexist harmoniously with such people, you should be willing to tolerate them if you cannot change them.

Talking about changing people, experience has shown that many people are aware that some other people do not share their opinions, behaviour or beliefs.

But some times, they are unwilling to accept such other people who do not share their outlook. This is often the beginning of unnecessary conflicts in human interactions.

However, you may only try to effect some changes on peoples’ behaviour or beliefs if possible to suite yours; but you shouldn’t try to use force.

By the way, you can’t change anyone who doesn’t really want to be changed. You can only influence such person.

When it comes to changing someone’s behaviour or beliefs, influence should be the operating word, not force.

Otherwise, you must bring to bare the willingness to accept their behaviour and beliefs which you perceive to be different from your own and which you cannot change.

That, my friend, is the real meaning of tolerance.

Bear in mind that tolerance is a seed; as you sow it, you will reap the sweet harvest.

Don’t you realise that other people would have to tolerate you too?

I believe you know that not all your opinions, behaviour and beliefs are acceptable to everyone you come in contact with!

Although, I cannot guarantee it, other people too ought to be willing to accept your opinions, behaviour and beliefs which are different from their own. That is if they know what it means to practice tolerance.

There is no worthwhile relationships with people that do notnot requ tolerance in between.

Like all good habits, tolerance doesn’t just happen to us; it has to be cultivated deliberately and ‘open-heartedly’.

It is very important to cultivate it because you will need it if you desire to build a meaningful, harmonious and long-lasting relationship of any kind.

Here are a few areas where we can apply the principle of tolerance:

At home, between spouses , amongst siblings or other family members;
At work, between you and your boss, colleagues or direct reports;
In your neighbourhood, amongst co-tenants, etc
Amongst your friends, classmates in schools etc
In churches, with members and leaders alike;
In other organisations /relationships, etc

In fact, anywhere you come in contact with humans, tolerance is needed. As you well know, no body is perfect.

People are different. You are not everyone and everyone is not you. Therefore, there will always be differences in opinion, behaviour and beliefs between you and others.

There would be conflicts all the time in all kinds of human relationships if the principle of tolerance is not imbibed.

The extent to which you realise this differences and how well you are willing to accept and manage them depict your level of tolerance at any given period.

What does tolerance mean to you? Let’s hear from you in the comment section.

******

Previously published on this blog in 2015 as “What tolerance really means.”

Mr. Know All

Because he is so bright.
He thinks all his ways are right.
So he went only his way.
But, alas, he went astray!

He feels he knows everything
He doesn’t want to be taught anything
But indeed he is truly short-sighted
He who doesn’t want to be guided

Whether in his aggressive action
Or in his cool but calculated inaction
If he doesn’t want to hear out any body
He might end up becoming a nobody

Portraits of Mr Know All

“It’s my life; this is my world”
Will always be his word
But he forgets to remember
That one alone is too small a number.

He’s been planting the seed of loneliness
Sure he will meet with shameful ugliness.
If he doesn’t change now his ways
He’s heading for the way that never pays.

If he never learns from the rest
His abode will soon turn into a forest.
Cos he’s standing on the sand that sinks
He’ll end up in a hole that stinks.

Already, he’s heading towards destruction
Because he completely abhors instruction.
Soonest will be his day of reckoning
Clearly, to him the devil is beckoning.

Had he loved good instruction
He wouldn’t go in the wrong direction.
Could we then say all is well?
He’s gone farther than we can tell.

There might still be a way out
If for help he’ll open his mouth to shout
But his pride reaches the imposing sky
Like the Everest standing so high.


First published in two parts as “Mr Know All 1&2” on my Wise Poems blog.

©Copyright 2019 | Victor Uyanwanne

Three Lifelong Useful Skills You Should Start Developing Right Now

men's black suit jacket

The following is an outline of a 15-minute pep-talk I delivered at a breakfast meeting held by a small group of professional friends. I thought I should share it with you. Who knows, you might pick up one or two things from it.

1. Oratorial Skill 

Meaning

Ability to speak properly and eloquently.

Benefits:

  • Helps you to create the right impression
  • Enables you to be more persuasive
  • Enhances your leadership skill

Cautions:

  • Don’t talk too much.
  • Don’t say what you don’t mean.
  • Don’t manipulate people.

2. Negotiation Skill

Meaning

The process by which compromise or agreement is reached while avoiding argument and dispute: a method by which people settle differences.

Benefits:

  • Makes you less confrontational.
  • Helps you to save cost.
  • Increases your sense of satisfaction in any deal.

Cautions:

  • Don’t take advantage of people.
  • Don’t be mean.
  • Be fair; seek win-win outcomes.

caution wet floor signage on gray rocks in seashore

 

3. Selling Skill

Meaning

Ability to hand over or give something in exchange for money.

Benefits:

  • Boosts your self confidence.
  • Helps you to market your ideas, service or product better.
  • Increases your income or earning power.

Cautions:

  • Overcome the temptation to lie.
  • Don’t sell what is against your conscience.
  • Sell only what has value.

Ways to develop your oratorial, negotiation and selling skills

  • Desire
  • Observation
  • Learning
  • Preparation
  • Practice
  • More Practice

Ending Quote:

“I really believe that everyone has a talent, ability or skill that they can mine to support themselves and to succeed in life.” ~ Dean Koontz


©Copyright 2019| Victor Uyanwanne

New Year Musings

Learn. grow

This is a new year. I know you know that already, but I said it anyway. So what are you going to do about that? Lash me? No way… Just humble yourself a little and read on…

This new year has come just like any other one before it. And it is already rolling away just like the ones before it had done. What you make out of it is your choice.

Last year, you had some plans, and made some new resolutions. How far did you go with them? How far did you run with those plans?

Are the plans still with you or they have left you? Or is it you that have left your plans and resolutions?

Either ways, last year is gone. This year is your chance to start again.

You are free to open a new chapter or continue from where you left-off earlier. Again the choice is yours.

It is not time to throw in the towel…

But if you want a different result, be sure to do things differently from the ways you have been doing them.

Remember Albert Einstein’s classic definition of insanity: “doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” You don’t want that to be your story this year!

Your goals are still within reach if you strongly set your mind on them. In case you have not made any plans at all for the new year, you can do that right away. Don’t say it is too late to plan. No, it is not!

Set your goals. Work out the strategies to achieve them.

The point is this: have an idea of what you want to achieve this year and write out what you will need to do to achieve them. And then get to work. Nothing will work until you work at them.

“If you don’t have any plans, it means you have planned to fail.” That’s not a new statement to you. But why have you been falling victim of its’ implication every time?

Forget about the previous years and let this year be different. Truly, this year can be remarkably different for you if you commit to doing things differently.

There are many areas of your life that you can do things differently. In your thought-life for instance. Stop the “stinking thinking” that has bedeviled you all these years. Think empowering thoughts this new year…

If you don’t want to end up the same way you ended up last year and the year before, stop thinking the same way you thought last year and the year before. You know what they say, “To change your life, change your thinking.”

That’s right! The outward change you desire has to start from within you first. Once that change revolution starts from within you, it is a matter of time, it will manifest around you.

Learn new things. Unlearn somethings. Relearn some others. Grow.

Knock on more doors than you did in the year before. Reach out to other people. Don’t be a recluse.

You know this is a new year. Don’t let it roll by just like that. By all means, make the most of it.


©Copyright 2019 | Victor Uyanwanne

3 Kinds Of People To Make Peace With This Christmas

Christmas is the season we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the baby that changed the world. As we celebrate, we should not lose sight of the real essence of it, chief of which was to restore the broken relationship between God and mankind.

Remember that at the birth of Jesus, some angels proclaimed to the shepherds saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests” Luke 2:14. Because of Christmas, peace was proclaimed to those who would come into a relationship with God.

So let us celebrate Christmas with a heart of peace towards God and an attitude of peace towards fellowmen. Towards that end, here are my simple suggestions on the

Three Kinds of people you should make peace with this Christmas:

Making peace with God

1. Make peace with God

When God sent Jesus Christ to be born on earth and also gave Him up to die for the ultimate redemption of mankind, He made peace with the world. You can say the war between God and the world is now over.

On a personal level, God has made peace with you by the atonement of Jesus Christ for your sins. He is no longer at war with you over your sinful nature.

But the question now is, “Are you at peace with God?” Being at peace with God means that you have spiritual peace. It means that you have been reconciled to God through Jesus Christ.

If that is not your story yet, let this Christmas season be that opportunity you have been waiting for to be connected back to God. Without having spiritual peace, or simply put, without being reconciled to God, peace in other areas of your life may continue to elude you.  Therefore, “Yield now and be at peace with Him; Thereby good will come to you” Job 22:1.

2. Make peace with yourself

Once you have made peace with God, the next natural experience you should have is peace within yourself. Being at peace with yourself means that you have emotional peace – inner peace.

The main reason you are not at peace with yourself is because you are not at peace with God. But if you have made peace with God, it is high time you allowed the peace of God to rule your heart.

Be at peace with yourself because God is at peace with you now. Forgive yourself of your shortcomings because God has already forgiven you.

Peace at Christmas

3. Make peace with other people

If you make peace with God and you are at peace with yourself, there is no reason you should not seek to be at peace with other people around you. Seize this special season to forgive the people who might have offended you. 

I know you cannot force other people to be at peace with you. But you can at least ensure that you are at peace with other people, within your own capacity.

Free yourself! Free your mind of grudges towards people around you!

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” Romans 12:18. That’s the extent of your responsibility.

“As far as it depends on you…” – that’s the pivotal phrase – live at peace with people this Christmas and beyond.

Above that, you can trust in the promise of God for relational peace which assures us that “When a man’s ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him” Proverbs 16:7.


© Copyright 2018| Victor Uyanwanne

If You Are Blind, But Can You Hear?

Lessons from Blind Bartimaeus

You are not perfect – no one is. What you lack in one area of your life, you gain in another.

Just as all men do, you have some strengths and some weaknesses. But which ones do you focus more on?

Often times, you focus mostly on your weaknesses rather than on your strengths. By so doing, you fail to celebrate or properly harness your strengths to your fullest advantage.

How do I know you are not focusing on your strength?

  • You constantly think of what you don’t have instead of what you have.
  • You always bemoan what you can’t do instead of doing what you can.
  • You intentionally begrudge other people’s talent instead of harnessing yours.
  • You are regularly unhappy about the places you haven’t visited instead of celebrating the places you have visited.
  • You complain that you can’t ‘see’, but you forgot that you can ‘hear’.

While you are doing all that, you forget that time is not waiting for you. Opportunities are passing by that you could have harnessed to make your life a little better.

If that is you, then you have something to learn from the blind Bartimaeus in the Bible.

An account in the Gospel of Mark chapter 10 verse 46-47 has it that:


… and as [Jesus Christ] went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.

And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.


And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth… 

Did you see that?

When he heard…

That’s the pivotal phrase.

Victor Uyanwanne writes on lessons from blind Bartimaeus

This story wasn’t about Jesus Himself per se. It was the story of Bartimaeus, a beggarly  blind man, who could hear, who had faith, had courage, had focus, had a voice, who proved to be unstoppable, and who got his desired miracle: restoration of sight.

As you can see, there are many good things about our man Bartimaeus. But for many years, he failed to harness his strength, dwelling on his weakness (blindness).

Consequently, he became a despised roadside beggar until this documented encounter with Jesus Christ that completely turned his life around for the better.

In the mean time, I will chip in the following counsel:

  • Focus on your strength. If you use it very well, the resultant gains may cover your weakness.
  • Focus on doing what you can do and stop being so unhappy about what is beyond your capabilities.
  • Use the talent you have, and don’t kill yourself over the ones you don’t have.

Bartimaeus was blind but he could hear. He didn’t have the sight to see Jesus, but he had the ear to hear that Jesus was passing his way.

With that information, he activated his faith and his voice. And He called out to Jesus, “Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.” And he got his sight back.

So I will ask you, if you can’t see, can you hear? Harness the power of your hearing first. Who knows, like Bartimaeus you will have your sight back in the process.

1. Photo by novia wu on Unsplash.

2. Photo by Stephen Arnold on Unsplash.


Have you ever let opportunities pass you by because you were focusing on your weakness rather than on your strength?


© Copyright 2018| Victor Uyanwanne

6 Good Things About The Negative Criticisms You Get On Your Blog

Negative criticisms of your blog
Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

You will get criticised whatever you do. Blogging is not an exception to that fact of life.

You cannot stop people from criticising you in your blogging journey. But while constructive criticisms are good and welcome, negative criticisms are bitter pills to swallow.

And no matter how bitter the pill of criticisms can be, there are times you have to accept and swallow them as they are, even if it means frowning your face doing it.

The truth is, there is always room for improvement. That’s why you should assess every criticism to extract whatever might be good in it, with a view to improving your life.

As much as you love what you do, not everyone will love you for it. While some people may be indifferent  about your blogging activities, there are some other people that will come against you with harsh criticisms as feedback. But that you face some negative feedback doesn’t mean you should quit on your blog’s mission.

It certainly means you should find the best ways to handle the negative criticisms that confront you in such a way that they become beneficial to you.

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. Charles R. Swindoll

The question is, can there be anything beneficial in negative criticisms? I will say yes!

In this post, I will show you six good things about the negative criticisms you get on your blog:

1. Criticisms show you are being noticed.

There are millions of blogs out there. So if someone takes the time to pass a critical comment on your blog, it shows that you are gaining some visibility. Or would you rather be ignored?

2. There is some thing to learn from every criticism.

No matter how cantankerous your readers get while commenting on your blog, try not to be offended. Put a positive construction on whatever criticisms you get, because you will learn something good from it if you handle it properly.

Criticisms may cause your emotions to flare up. Learn to avoid that trap and you will be better positioned to learn something from the criticism that will make your blogging experience better.

3. Criticisms are part of your personal growth process.

You have heard the saying that if people throw stones at you, you should gather them to build a monument. You can apply that principle in blogging too.

When people throw the stones of negative criticisms at you, use them to build up yourself. In order words, don’t allow criticisms to tear you down. And specifically, do not quit on your blogging mission simply because you are being criticised.

4. Criticisms give you opportunity to be nice.

Some people have never been kind in their lives. So don’t expect them to start with your blog. When they attack you with harsh words on your blog, don’t respond to them fire for fire. Show them you are made of better stuff by responding to them as lovingly and as nicely as you can be.

Some bloggers will go the easy way of deleting negative comments on their blog, but if you do so, you would lose the opportunity of responding to someone in a way that might influence his or her life positively.

5. Criticisms make you not to rest on your oars.

Complacency may set in if you never get criticised in what you do or if all you get are only praise words.

The points of criticism you receive, if properly evaluated can be helpful to you in attaining higher grounds.

6. Some critics come as friends in disguise

Ultimately, you will get to realise that not everyone who criticises you are against you. Some are friends who wanted to help but didn’t know to frame their words better.

In dealing properly with negative criticisms, you will get to learn that some people who oppose you might turn out to become your allies.


So don’t scare people off when they leave comments you don’t like on your blog. Try your best to follow them to their own blogs. Read their posts and make valuable comments. Sooner or later, you will earn their respect.


Do you think the criticisms you receive on your blog are beneficial?


©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

You Don’t Care If No One Reads Your Blog, Really?

getting people to read your blog

I’m certainly not the only one who has come across a few blogs whose authors claim they write for only themselves, that they don’t care if no one reads their blogs.

Really? How is that so? And I hope you are not like that?

If you don’t expect to be read, why do you have a blog? Or better still, why did you index your blog as ‘public’ instead of as “private”?

Doesn’t it sound unbelievable to say that you write a blog and you don’t care if people read it or not?

Just think about it for a minute. You don’t want something to be found, yet you display it in the open sunshine, publicly?

I know you are not like that, so let’s get it straight.

You should expect your blog to be read. That’s the minimum you deserve once you have taken the pain to increase the number of blogs on the blogosphere by setting up one and publishing on it.

It does not make common sense to say that you started your blog without caring if anyone reads it or not. Enough of that self-deception!

The mere fact that you published something online is proof enough that you would want it read.

Cristian Mihai of The Art of Blogging avers that it is a false statement for anyone to say that, “I write for myself. I don’t care if anyone reads my blog.”

His argument is that “If you weren’t interested in [having] readers, then you would write all your stuff on your computer, in a notepad, [and] keep it all under your bed or in a closet.”

That sounds funny but it is true. The moment you publish something online, you can be sure that some people will find it to read it.

So stop saying you don’t care if people read your posts or not because we know you care. If you don’t really care, then you should shut down your blog.

What do you think?


©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

How Blogging Helps Your Personal Development

Benefits of blogging

One of the many side-benefits of blogging is that it will lead to your personal growth. I say that because I have experienced personal development in many areas of my life since I took up blogging as a hobby and an avenue to interact with the rest of the world in written form.

Apart from being a veritable platform to share my thoughts and experiences with the world, I have also now realised that blogging is for personal development.

In this post, I will show you several ways blogging has helped me in personal development. If you have been blogging for a while, I am sure you will identify with some of the benefits on the list.

Otherwise, feel free to extend the conversation by sharing your own experience in the comment section.

8 ways blogging has helped me in personal development


1. Blogging has made me wiser and more knowledgeable.

As a blogger, you don’t only write posts, you read other peoples posts as well. You also find yourself researching on areas of your interest. As you do all that you will pick up plenty of wisdom and knowledge.

Apart from sharing your own thoughts, a huge part of blogging involves learning from other people through what they have written.

A reader of this blog agrees with that when he stated that “… blogging is strongest in the realm of knowledge and understanding. You can gain a great deal of insight into how people think from the vast number of personalities spread across the many forums.”

2. Blogging has made me a better writer

Writing is not blogging. But blogging is writing and more. And the more I blog, the more I write and the better I become at it.

I have not arrived yet, but I know I have improved on my written communication skill since I took up blogging. For someone whose first language is not English, blogging has definitely paid-off in helping to hone my writing talent.

So if you consider yourself an aspiring writer, blogging is one step you should take in that direction.

As one commenter on this blog once stated, “I believe that blogging can definitely be helpful in achieving personal development goals. Not only with getting to develop yourself by writing out your thoughts and beliefs and helping yourself grow from laying it all there. But, you also get thousands and thousands of examples and lessons to learn from other bloggers in the community.”

Blog mission

3. Blogging has strengthened my ability to handle negative criticisms.

Believe it or not you will have fun blogging. But at the same time, you will face some negative backlashes. The fact that you are getting criticised shows that you getting noticed. Or would you rather be ignored?

I don’t know about you, but as for me, I have never faced as much criticisms and negative attacks in life as much as I have faced in my short blogging journey. I am okay with the fact that not everyone will agree with my points of view. But it degenerates to a negative experience when some people become abusive or unnecessarily annoying with their comments on my blog.

That doesn’t mean I should shut down the blog. But it certainly means I should find the best ways to handle the negative criticisms.

And I do that by learning from the criticisms,  responding in love rather than with hate, trying not to be offended and by staying focused on the bigger picture  – refusing to give up.

I already talked about that when I advised that despite the challenges you might face along your blogging journey, you should not quit on your blog’s mission.

4. Blogging has improved my interpersonal relationship skills.

I am sure you have encountered some internet trolls whose stock-in-trade is to post “inflammatory and digressive, extraneous, or off-topic messages” on your blog. To be honest, they are not fun to deal with, and I have encountered a couple of them! But I would say I am doing better now in handling such people than when I started blogging.

I have learnt the hard way! I am not saying I have arrived. But both online and offline, I have improved on the way I relate with people on the blogosphere.

Blogging has taught me to be more patient, more gracious, and more understanding with people.

Some people may behave nasty to you, that’s their cup of tea.  You have to be nice. It may not be easy, but don’t give up before trying.

5. Blogging increased my discipline with time management.

Just like many people, I have many times been guilty of wasting my free (valuable) time doing not-so-productive things (eg watching TV) and procrastinating on doing worthwhile things. But blogging has  helped me use my spare time more productively.

As blogger, you write a lot. And you need to read wide as well. You need to discipline yourself more with the time at your disposal to achieve these two goals.

6. Blogging has enriched me spiritually.

In a way, blogging has assisted in my spiritual growth. As some one whose opinions are largely based on Biblical worldview, I read several Christian blogs whose authors have continued to impress me with their deep insights and teaching of God’s word.

In that process, I have been fed with the truths of God’s word in ways that have left me spiritually uplifted. So if you are keen on your spiritual growth, be aware that blogging can help you in that area.

7. Blogging has taught me Web-designing

If you had any web-designing skill before starting your blog, could you raise your hand please?

Well, congratulations if that’s you! As for me, I had zippo idea about web designing prior to when my blog was set up.

Setting up my blog was my first experience. Thanks to WordPress’s menu-driven processes, I can set up a functional blog for you if you want.

Before I started blogging, I had thought web development was not my thing; that it was meant for only programmers or those who have a working knowledge of markup languages such as HTML and CSS.

But now having successfully designed my own blogs and a few for other people, I am convinced I would not have known web designing if not for blogging? So you see what I mean?

8. Blogging has increased my creativity

I have found that there is an improvement in my mental creativity  as a result of blogging. That’s hardly surprising because, you find that in writing blog posts, you have to be imaginative, you brain-storm on topics to blog about, you engage in meaningful conversations and so on.

That’s because creativity involves “the use of imagination or original ideas to create something.” And both imagination and originality are familiar concepts in blogging.


You have read my experience. And hopefully, you were able to observe that beyond being a form of self-expression, blogging has become an avenue for personal development for me in many ways.

My knowledge in many fields, places and people has increased through blogging. I hone my writing skills as I write posts after posts. I am being more productive with my spare time,  and I am now more self-confident than ever with blogging.

Over all, blogging is helping me become a better version of myself. I am not saying all this to draw attention to myself. Rather I am just trying to show you how blogging can help you in your personal development journey using my own experience as a case study.

I will like to hear your own story in the comment section.


©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

On Forgiveness

Revenge

1. God has forgiven your offences. He expects you to forgive other people too.

2. Unforgiveness is a big weight. Free yourself from it or else you may get crushed under it.

3. Happiness and unforgiveness don’t mix. Between the two, you have the power to choose the one you prefer.

4. You have the capacity to forgive anyone who offends you. No need pretending otherwise.

5. Forgive yourself. If you cannot forgive yourself hardly can you forgive others.

6. No matter what anyone has done against you, find a reason to forgive.

7. Forgiveness is a gift. You can give it even when someone doesn’t deserve it.

8. In the long run, forgiveness is sweeter than revenge.


Any comment?


©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

In the Dead of the Night

In the dead of the night

In the dead of one rainy night
He crept into my room uninvited
Pinning me down to the bed very tight
He began to do what his body wanted.

This has become a regular ritual
That I’ve come to endure every night
The act has never been consensual
Utterly bruised, I’ve lost the will to fight

One night I wanted to run away and shout
But he threatened to kill me if I dare
Or have me immediately thrown out
Unless I yielded to him with my body bare.

He forced his hard-self deep inside of me
Just as he….

Read the complete poem on my Living Poems Blog

See also the successor poem: In the dead of the night, again

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

Blogging For Personal Development

A few people have had cause to ask me, “Victor, are you making money from your blog?” The simple answer I always gave is “No.”

When I started this blog, money making was never part of the objective. And it isn’t till this point in time.

But that does not in any way suggest that I am totally against monetising the blog. I am simply saying it is not part of the plan, at least not yet.

You may be a professional blogger, but I am not. So how you see blogging may not be exactly how I see it.

Writing this blog is a hobby I engage in outside my full time job. And like I already stated, I am not making any income from it.

My bills and those of my family are taken care of from income from paid employment. So what is in it for me in this blogging journey?

I would say a lot: more than I had initially anticipated and definitely much more than time and space would allow me delve into in this short post.

From the outset of my blogging journey, I wanted to share my thoughts on the issues of life with anyone who would care to read. I was convinced that what I had to share could make life better for someone out there – one way or another.

To a large extent, that objective is being achieved. The feedback I get from my readers and critics alike convince me of that.

And for that I’m very grateful and also very encouraged to keep the blogging flag flying higher. As you can see, I am not about to quit on my blog mission.

However, beyond sharing my thoughts and being a blessing to my readers, blogging has become a journey of personal development for me. By that I mean my life has been improved in many ways since I took up blogging as a hobby.

I have learnt new things, improved on my writing skills, acquired new skills, met and interacted with different kinds of people from different places around the world – including avowed atheists.

I have inspired some people and I have also been inspired by many other people. I have defended my faith, read several insightful posts, gained vast knowledge in many areas of life and so on and so forth.

And I am still developing!

Now you have an idea of what I have been talking about!

Right? Yes, thank you.

In a subsequent post, I will expasiate on some of the many ways blogging has helped my personal development. Thank you for reading.


Do you agree that blogging is helpful in achieving personal development goals?


©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

When You Are Interviewed By A Parenting Blog

I recently got featured as a blog’s Parent of the Month. That happens to be the first real interview I would ever grant to any website.

I have the permission of the blog author to share the interview with you here. Enjoy it.


Aspiring Writer, Husband, Father… Parent of the Month

Welcome to our Parentinggist parent of the month. Let’s meet our guest.

My name is Victor Uyanwanne, husband to Jennifer, father of two energetic boys and an aspiring writer.

Great, can you throw more light on your writing.

For the past three years, I have been publishing posts bothering on life and living, family issues, blogging tips, poetry and many other things that tickle my fancy. My purpose is to inspire people and equip them with the right knowledge that will help them live happier.

Being a follower of Jesus Christ, the thoughts on my blogs are presented from a Christian worldview. If you want to read my writings first hand, they can be accessed via Victors’ Corner

Awesome blog, you’ve got, how do you combine your regular job, writing and family?

Thanks for the compliment. I will say, I am combining effectively well. I take my job seriously and I put in my best all the time.

Reading and writing are my top hobbies so I have fun doing both, especially at night after work and on weekends. Except because of Lagos traffic bottlenecks, anyone here should have plenty of time after work (from the close of work at 5pm daily to whenever he or she goes to bed) to do some personal things. That’s how I find time to hone my writing skills.

As for the family, I will give all the credit to my beautiful wife for holding forth strongly at the home front. She is really a gift from heaven to me; a helpmeet indeed.

Having said that, I will add that as much as possible I try to spend much time with my family whenever I’m not at work. And I usually cut out unnecessary outings. I don’t know about you, for me, family time is fun time and best time. I have two very inquisitive boys. Answering their numerous questions and bonding with them through mutual interactions have been one of my greatest pleasures as a dad.

We would like you to share some of the numerous questions from your boys, I’m sure we would benefit from them too or laugh it out.

I have had my boys asking me scores of questions. And many of those questions I answered correctly without much ado. Yet there were ones I had to think twice before answering.

For instance, one of them once asked me, “Daddy, why do we have ten fingers?” How does one answer that? Please help me out (smiles).

When they asked, “Daddy, what is the baby of a horse called?” I am ashamed to say that I had to quickly check “Google” on my smartphone before I could tell them it’s called “a foal.”

Of all the questions my boys have ever asked me, the one that impressed me most was when the older boy (then 4years plus) asked me how he could be able to make it to Heaven at the end of this life. I must say it was my privilege to lead him to Christ that Christmas morning.

Oh this is wonderful, I must say, so what advice do you have for parents who are reading this; how can we lead our kids to make Heaven?

Parents should share the simple truths of the gospel with their children and allow them to make up their mind about receiving Jesus Christ into their lives. It is not something that can be forced.

In addition, parents should always pray for their children, that they receive the Lord and follow His way. In my boy’s case, I had prayed for him even before he turned 2 years old that he would get to be born again before the age of eight. Fortunately for me, it happened much earlier than expected.

One other thing I will add is that parents should by their conducts show good examples to their children. Children are good observers and they learn alot from their parents. If we want our children to be candidates of heaven, we should not live our lives as candidates of hell.

Thank you so much for honouring our invitation.

You are welcome. The pleasure is mine.

P.S: The interview was originally published on ParentingGist blog.


What do you think?

Introducing My Living Poems Blog

Christian poems

In case you have not yet noticed, I have started another blog called, Living Poems. It is a blog I am dedicating to exploring the poetic side of me.

In other words, the blog will center squarely on poetry or inspired lines as I would like to call them. It promises to be very inspiring…

The blog will document my poems in one place. Before now, my contributions to poetry on the blogosphere were posted in the poems sub category here on Victors’ Corner.

However, the poems train has now moved to my Living Poems blog. Some of my latest poems have been published there already and more are still loading…

So if you have been following me here on Victors’ Corner, kindly join me on Living Poems as well. New followers are welcomed too! Let us explore our poetic gifts together.

However, the Poetry corner of Victors’ Corner will continue to exist; the poems there will not be deleted. But the news ones will first be posted on Living Poems before they would be mirrored here (if need be).

Right now, the living poems blog is beginning to gaining some tractions already. Thanks to all the first visitors to the blog.

As I am writing this post, a notification for the first five likes has dropped in. Let’s just say I am heralding that little beginning here.

Living poems

The poems posted on the new blog will be a blessing to you. Some of them will make you laugh, others will make you want to cry and angry at the same time.

But they will leave you inspired in the end. They are nary ordinary poems because they are inspired lines from Above.

As  you read them, feel free to share them with your friends, like them or drop your comments. Apart from sharing the value with someone else, you would also make my day by doing so.

And if you have any good poetry blog to recommend to me, feel free to do so. It will be my pleasure to check them out.

Thank you for your time. You may now follow me to Living Poems blogs .

Victors' Uyanwanne's poem site

 

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

 

2 Simple Reasons You Should Continue To Be A Good Boy (or Girl)

What does it mean to be a good boy (or girl)?

Being a good boy (or girl) involves obeying rules, treating other people with respect, not being lazy, helping out around the house, maintaining healthy habits, being studious, volunteering, not doing drugs, and so on and so forth.

Cast your mind back to when you were growing up. Your parents would always say to you to be a good boy (or girl) whenever they were concerned about your behaviours.

And in most cases you cooperated with them, even though there were times you fell short of their expectations.

You know how proud you made them feel whenever you made the right choices! They felt honoured!

That is to say, being a good boy (or girl) is one of the ways you can show that you hold your parents in high esteem.

As you well know, your parents don’t want you doing things that may embarrass your family. They are genuinely interested in you having good conducts, protecting you from harming yourself and others.

Apart from the pain your misbehaviours may cause to your parents, to you and to other people around you, you dishonour your parents (and your family) each time you engage in unwholesome activities.

Bearing that in mind, I assume you tried your best to be a good boy (or girl) when you were growing up. Now that you are fully grown and independent, do you think you should stop being a good boy (or girl)?

Honouring your parents

I bet you don’t want to do that – for two reasons:

You don’t want to break your parents’ hearts at old age.

No matter how old your parents might have become, they still want you to keep being a good kid.

And no matter how fully grown or independent you might have become, your parents still don’t you to be involved in activities that may hurt you. They love you that much!

If you don’t honour them by making right choices in your life, their hearts will ache over you and you may end up sending them to an early grave.

Even if your parents, like mine, have gone to the great beyond, still honour their memories by continuing to be a good kid in their absence.

Remember this also: besides our earthly parents, we are also accountable to a heavenly Father. So you don’t want to do anything that will impede your relationship with Him.

You want to leave a good legacy for yourself.

Come to think of it: it’s your life, you can live it the way you want. But remember that whatever you do with it is the legacy you will leave for yourself, for your children and for posterity.

That makes it imperative for you to continue to behave well, making the right choices and being a good boy (or girl).

Don’t wait for someone to force it on you. Be intentional about it. Show some commitment to making the right choices in life. And continue to be a good boy or girl.


What does being a good boy (or girl) mean to you? Share your view in the comment section.


©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

5 Simple Ways Being Grateful For Your Parents Can Influence Your Attitude Towards Them

 

Gratitude

A recent little survey on Facebook revealed (amongst other things) many christians are most grateful for two things:

  • Their salvation in Christ; and
  • Their parents.

In a previous post, I suggested five ways being grateful for your salvation can impact your life. Let’s go a step further by having a look at:

Some of the ways your attitude towards your parents can be influenced if you are truly grateful for them:

1. You will have time for them

Never say, “I don’t have time for my parents.” Create the time for them…

Your parents spent their life, health and wealth caring for you. Now that you are independent, don’t abandon them.

No matter how busy you might have become in your life, make out time for your parents. Call them regularly. Visit with them, with your spouse and grandchildren.

As you know, grandparents always adore their grandchildren. So give them that pleasure before they leave this earth.

2. You will give them gifts.

When was the last time you ever gave any gifts to your parents? They don’t have to be in need before you can buy anything of value for them.

Within your capacity, you can present beautiful gifts to your parents – no matter how little. That’s one way you can show them you love and appreciate them.

Gifts have a way of communicating some lovely things from you to the recipient: “You mean alot to me”. “I appreciate you so much.” “You are always on my mind.” “I’ve not forgotten you.” “I celebrate you.”

If you are truly grateful for your parents, learn to give them gifts. You will experience a fresh dose of happiness by do doing so.

3. Provide for their needs

Aside giving gifts to your parents, be actively involved in meeting their pressing needs.

As your parents’ age, they might gradually become unable to meet their basic needs without help. Whatever they lack, you can provide it for them to the best of your ability.

Their daily supplies. Medical care etc, whatever their needs might be, you should find a way of being of assistance to them.

Even if they are very okay – not needing any help – still find a way to be part of their lives. You owe them that honour.

Remember what the Bible says, “”Honor your father and mother”–which is the first commandment with a promise”” (Ephesians 6:2).

4. You will forgive their offences against you

Your parents are not perfect. They might have made choices in the past that affected you negatively. But that doesn’t mean you should hold it against them forever.

My simple advice is that you have to forgive whatever wrong your parents might have done against you in the past,. Apart from improving the relationship between you and them, it is good for your health too.

One sure way to deprive yourself of happiness is to hold grudges against your parents – refusing to forgive them.

5. You will continue to “be a good boy”

Your parents would always say to you to be a good boy (or girl) whenever they were concerned about your behaviours. And in most cases you always cooperated with them.

Now that you are grown, do you think you should stop being a good boy (or girl)? I bet you don’t want to do that – for two reasons:

  • You don’t want to break your parents heart at old age.
  • You want to leave a good legacy for yourself.

I hope that with those few points of mine, I have been able to show you some simple ways you can show your parents that you love and appreciate them.

In what other ways do you think you can demonstrate that you are grateful to your parents for the role they played in your life? Leave a comment.


©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

5 Good Ways Being Grateful For Your Salvation Will Impact Your Life

Everyone alive has something he or she should be grateful for. From the mundane to the sublime, there is always a reason to be thankful.

As followers of Jesus Christ, let’s relate that to our attitude towards the free gift of salvation we received from Above.

Many of us would say that our salvation is what we are most grateful for in this life. And that’s a great thing!

Jesus Himself taught that our greatest joy should be that our names are written in Heaven (See Luke 10:20). So it is well in order to feel immensely grateful to God for our salvation and also allow that joyful attitude to reflect in our daily living.

But do we really live our lives daily in a way that demonstrates that we truly appreciate our salvation? Are we as joyful as we should be?

Probably not! That’s why I am writing this post, because I’m convinced some of us are falling behind expectation in that regard.

Sometimes we are immensely grateful we are saved. Some other times we don’t even seem to remember we are saved. So we go about our lives not reflecting the attitude of gratitude both before God and our fellow man or woman.

It is my believe that if we are constantly thankful to God for the free gift of salvation we received in Christ, it will positively impact on the way we respond to God and the way we treat other people.

In this post, I will highlight five ways being grateful for your salvation will impact your life positively.

5 ways you will be positively impacted if you constantly feel grateful for your salvation

1. You will find it easier to live a life of gratitude, irrespective of your estate in life.

You have the capacity for gratitude that does not depend on your external circumstances. But the question is, “Are you using it towards God and your fellow humans?”

The Bible tells us that “In all things, we should give thanks to God.” That’s a way of saying you should always maintain a heart of gratitude.

I am not saying it will be easy to do. But it is something that can be done, even when life doesn’t go the way you want it.

As someone pointed out, “It is not everything that happens that is the will of God. But it is the will of God that you should give thanks to God no matter what happens.”

Being grateful for our salvation

2. You will live to please God rather than yourself or anyone else.

When you appreciate your salvation as something you could never achieve by your best efforts, but which God delivered to you undeservedly, it becomes imperative that you focus on pleasing the One Who got you saved in the first place.

God paid the highest price for your salvation so He deserves to get your highest love, greatest pleasure and deepest loyalty.

Before you were saved, you were living for yourself and for the devil.

Once you have been saved, you should begin to live your life to the glory of God. Always being grateful for your salvation will help you in that regard.

3. You will love other people more

When you love God with all your heart, loving other people becomes a less difficult challenge.

At salvation, you received the love of God in your heart. This love that has been shared abroad in your heart is what enables you to love other people, whether they are lovely or unlovely.

If you don’t value your salvation, you will underestimate the need to love other people with the same love God has loved you with.

4. You will not live a hopeless life

Hopelessness is a consequence of not having any expectation for a future good. But in Christ, you are guaranteed of a good future.

God has promised to bring you to an expected end. A glorious one!

Our salvation is not an end in itself. It is the restoration of our relationship with God here on earth and it points us to a more glorious future.

As a saved person you have hope in this world and in the world to come. You will not lose sight of that if you are someone that always appreciates your salvation.

Apostle Paul argues that, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable” 1 Corrinthians 15:19.

Because of your salvation in Christ, you have been born into a living hope that extends beyond this world into a glorious eternity.

5. Your faith will be strengthened

Ingratitude will drain your strength! But gratitude will empower you.

The greatest thing God did for mankind is sending Jesus to die for the salvation of the world. This singular act coupled with your positive response to it by faith is what afforded you the benefit/hope of eternal salvation.

If you appreciate this on a personal level, it will strengthen your faith in God and in the belief in His willingness to answer your prayers.

Just like Apostle Paul, you will reason that , “He [God] who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” Romans 8:32, NASB


In what other ways do you feel being grateful for your salvation in Christ will positively impact your life?


©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

What Are You Grateful For?

There is a saying in Nigeria that if you look carefully within or around you, you will definitely find something to be thankful for.

In other words, everyone has one reason or another to feel some sense of gratitude.

Look within you or around you.  Look back over the course of your life… l believe you should find some reasons to be grateful.

I dare say that it would not be correct for you to say there is nothing about you to be grateful for. So please don’t even go there…

Recently on my Facebook page, I asked this simple question:

Victor Uyanwanne asks a question on gratitude

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.


See also: What is your greatest joy in life?


Are you ready? Let me set the ball rolling.

Just like the above respondents, I am grateful to God for the salvation of my soul. But I’m more grateful that it happened early enough in life for me.

I gave my heart to God before my fourtheenth birthday. This has helped me in so many ways…

It helped me to form my values based on the word of God, shapened and steered my character – as a teenager then – in the right directions.

With my heart already dedicated to God, I found it easier to overcome peer pressure and other teenage vices that would have certainly led me in the wrong direction in life – away from God.

The core values that were instilled in me at that stage of life, have continually proved very useful in my adult life. For that I’m very grateful.

Let me not make this post about me only. It should be about all of us. So permit me to ask you the same question:

Looking back over your life these past years, what are the things you are most grateful for?

Kindly provide your answer in the comment section and thank you in advance for participating.


©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

Has Your Blog Post Ever Spoken To You Personally?

You can learn from your own post too!

Many of us bloggers sometimes make the mistake of thinking that we are writing only to people other than ourselves; that our posts help our readers more than they help us the writers.

But that may not always be the case. The posts we publish can be a blessing to us as much as it is to our readers. They can address our needs as much as they address the needs of other people.

Your blog posts should interest you. They should minister to you if you want them to minister to other people too.

That’s why I’m asking you: have you ever had your blog speaking to you personally?

In other words, have you ever learnt any lesson reading your own blog post?

That seems a fair question to ask, because if you are not learning anything from your own blog post, how are your readers supposed to learn from it?

I know from my own experience that most of the things I write on this blog often speak to me directly before they speak to my readers.

Apart from what I learn from other people’s posts, I learn from my own posts too!

The interesting part is that even months down the line, I could still find some of those posts addressing a particular need in my own life.

That was the experience I had recently. I am ashamed to say it now but I had a heated conversation with my wife.

“Over what” you may ask? Finances, aka money!

So that was it? Yea, yea…

Is money ever enough? Well, may be when we become billionaires. Smiles 😀

Just kidding…

But seriously, we had some issues at hand: Our combined income for the month would barely be enough to accommodate ‘everything’ we wanted. No extras…

Futhermore, we couldn’t quite agree with the direction of our expenses for the following month. Our budget has to be a bit tightened due to some midyear obligations that needed to be settled.

But in a bid to have them resolved, our individual tempers flared up… Between each of us, we knew we raised our voices louder than normal.

You can hold me responsible for that. But I’m grateful to God we are both calmer now.

Just like many new couples would have experienced, this was not the first time finance and budgeting issues have come between us. And even though we always navigated our ways out of it, how come this kind of reality sometimes heat us hard in the face?

I mean, I love my wife and she loves me too. We both know it… We are eternally committed to each other. But how come we still disagree?

We are humans, imperfect humans. We are different in many ways.

We are still learning…Don’t you know that already?

Okay. That’s right!

Married couples do face challenges. Is there anyone here who doesn’t know that by now?

Well, there are bound to be issues in any relationship – be it marriage or not. But it is how we handle those issues that matters.

This was where echoes from a previous post of mine – Towards a better marriage: your spouse is not the problemreverberated loudly in my ears:

A problem is a problem and your spouse is your spouse. Please don’t mistake one for another.

I had advised my readers in that post:

“Next time you have any marital issue, be sure to remind yourself that your spouse is not the problem. Identify what the issue is and focus on tackling it. That way you will achieve a healthier method of resolution than blaming your spouse.”

In this case, I knew exactly what the problem was. And it was not my wife!

During marital problems, identify what the issue is and focus on tackling it. Don’t trade blames [with your spouse. It will backfire].

It finally felt like I was talking to my point of need as well. And I was…

As I said before, ministry to self before ministry to others! I get it: my blog post has spoken to me personally once again!

Here is an excerpt from the post that came back hunting me:

Your Spouse Is Not The Problem

Just like every married couple might have come to realise, I am sure you already know that marriage is not a bed full of roses only. It is full of plenty challenges as well.

Isn’t that pretty obvious?

More often than not, it is how you handle these challenges that will go to a large extent to determine the success and happiness or otherwise of your marital experience.

The common saying that as you make your bed, so you will lie on it holds true in marriage relationships too.

Except you are married to the devil personified, I am free to say that your spouse is not the problem. So resist the temptation to see him or her as one.

Put in proper perspective, you will realise that the challenges you have in marriage are things or issues, not a person – and definitely not your spouse!

For instance, the problem could be the manner your spouse is handling an issue at hand, or it may also be the manner you are reacting to it. Either way, you must [realise] that the problem is not a person.

A vital key to amicably resolving the challenges is to learn to focus on tackling the issue at hand rather than putting the blame on a person – your partner. You may have been hurt by what your spouse said or did at some point, but the problem is still not your spouse.

“I love you but I hate how you treat me sometimes,” a thoughtful wife once said to her husband.

You’ve got the point? Identify what the issue is and deal with it [accordingly].

A problem is a problem and your spouse is your spouse. Please don’t mistake one for another.


Which of your blog post has ever spoken to you personally? You can paste the link in the comment section. I promise to check it out and leave you a feedback.


©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

Don’t Quit On Your Blog’s Mission

Don't quit on your blog

When I started this blog, it was clear in my mind that I had something in me I could share that would be a blessing to someone out there.

I did not claim to be an expert in anything but I knew without doubts that many people would benefit from reading my printed thoughts.

With that mindset, I began writing and publishing articles on the blog…

But I made the mistake of underestimating the negative backlashes that would come from starting the blog.

Initially, I felt really hurt by the unkind things some people said to me.

“There are too many blogs out there,” I was told. “Nobody will notice yours. You are just wasting your time.”

Someone opined that he was sure I would run out of ideas within three months of starting the blog.

Another person even said he wished the blog was dead already…

Such were some of the unkind things that were said to me when I started blogging.

The painful part was that these people that said those hurtful things were not people I wasn’t acquainted with.

Despite their negative criticisms, I refused to be discouraged. So instead of the blog dieing in three months as they predicted, it is still waxing stronger three years after.

The fact that you are reading this right now is an evidence that the blog has survived the negative onslaughts.

I have not arrived yet, but I have left! Looking back now, I have every course to smile…

In the midst of the harsh criticisms I received, there have also been many positive feedbacks.

These encouraging feedbacks I received coupled with the firm belief in my blogging mission has encouraged me to keep writing the blog.

And I don’t have any plan of giving up…

By not quitting, I have gained alot in terms of knowledge and wisdom. I have grown and I’m still growing.

I have sharpened my writing skills and learning new things. I have expanded my online network and networth.

I have touched a few lives with my posts. And I have been touched as well by posts from other people.

Now I look back on the blogging journey with a broad smile. And it promises to be better…

I have overcome the hurts that would have weighed me down. I have more positive energy now.

Just like me, you might be facing negative criticisms and other challenges with your blog. But you will rise above them…

One little advice I will give to you for free is this:

If you truly believe in your blog’s mission, please don’t quit on it!

 

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

4 Simple Benefits Of Having A Firm Belief In Your Blog’s Mission

Belief and blog mission

Why are you blogging? Is it simply to wile away time, or to make some impacts in the world?

Are you on a mission with your blog? How much do you believe in this mission? Do you even believe in it at all?

Hardly would you succeed at anything you do – including blogging – if you don’t believe in it.

In the world of blogging, you may have a few things going for you. There are also many odds that may be against you.

And except you have a firm belief in what you are doing, you would give up before you know it.

According to John Maxwell, “Only with a belief in yourself will you be able to reach your potential.” And having a belief in your mission will empower, encourage and enlarge you (paraphrased).

I believe that you can enjoy the same benefits – and more – if you would have confidence in what you are doing as a blogger.

With a belief in your blog’s mission you can achieve many benefits…

In this post, I will offer you four simple benefits you will enjoy if you have a firm belief in your blogging mission:

#1. You will be empowered

Having a firm belief in your blogging mission, will strengthen your ability to achieve the goals you have set for your blog.

Your first task is to specify your blog’s mission. Your second is to believe in it and then you have to run with it.

If you don’t believe in your blog’s mission, you will not be empowered to achieve it.

Lack of belief is one of the reasons people fail in life.

Similarly, many blogs have failed because their writers did not believe firmly in what they were doing. As a result they became incapacitated, felt hollow and gave up.

Empower yourself, show a firm belief in the reason you are blogging.

#2. You will be encouraged

In your blogging journey, you will face discouragement at some points. When that happens, quitting becomes a beckoning alternative.

But you don’t have to take that option, if you have a firm belief in your blog’s mission. You can overcome the challenges and achieve your goals…

You may not gain wide readership at the beginning. You will be negatively criticised to a breaking point.

Internet trolls will come after you in the comment section of your posts. You may even experience the so-called writer’s block…

And friends and family may not give you the kind of support you would expect.

If any of these things happen to you, the only thing that will encourage you not to take down the blog will be your firm belief in your blog’s mission.

Without that, you may have lost the battle before it got started. So my friend, be encouraged by believing strongly in your blog’s mission.

Your belief empowers you

#3. You will be enlarged

Having a firm belief in your blog’s mission has a way of enlarging you.

By that I don’t mean that your body mass will increase. But that it will enable you to accomplish more.

There are many possibilities that may never be unlocked to you if you are not in your mind fully committed to your blog’s mission.

Belief in your blog and explore the opportunities it brings. That’s one way you grow and enlarge.

Sooner or later, you would find yourself accomplishing things you once thought impossible.

#4. Your expectations will be deepened.

If your blog has a purpose you so much believe in, it will rub off on your expectations for the blog.

Don’t run a blog without a propose. It doesn’t make sense to do so.

For example, some people say they started their blog because they just wanted to write, not caring whether someone reads it or not. I am not like that and I hope you are not too.

I am not saying starting a blog as a writing outlet is not okay. I am saying you should expect to be be read as well.

If you belief you have something to offer on your blog, then it is normal to expect people to discover your blog, read it and give you feedback.

A good blog without readers is like a beautiful girl in the dark: no one knows she is there.

I cannot begin to explain here what you should expect in your blog. Let your heart and your blog mission guide you.

What I can assure you is that the more confidence you have in what you are doing, the more you are psychologically empowered and encouraged to continue doing it…

The more you grow and enlarge in the process, the more your expectations are deepened. And hopefully the more positive results you will achieve.


Having a belief in your blog’s mission will help you accomplish more. It will empower you, encourage you, enlarge you and even deepen your expectations.

In what other ways has your belief in your blog’s mission been of help to you?

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

On Truth And What You Believe

Belief and morality

One of the eternal words that Jesus ever uttered includes this one: And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:32).

Knowing the truth is the way to true freedom. “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.”

But first, here is the question:

What is the truth?

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” John 14:6.

There goes another audacious claim of Jesus’:

  • He is the Way;
  • He is the Truth;
  • He is the Life.

With all these assertions, was Jesus just posturing or He is who He claims to be? I choose to believe the latter.

Therefore:

  • As Jesus is the Way, if you are following anyone other than Jesus alone, you are on the wrong path;
  • As Jesus is the Truth, if you have not believed Jesus as the full revelation of God’s truth to mankind, you have believed wrongly;
  • As Jesus is the Life, you will not have eternal life except you receive the life that only Jesus offers.

I know these are the kinds of statements that make some people mad. But Jesus did not offer any apologies when He made those audacious claims, neither would I.

a) Jesus is the Truth

First and foremost, truth is a person; Jesus is the Truth and He is unchanging…

So He can be trusted. You accept the truth to your eternal benefits and you reject it to your eternal peril.

There can be no meaningful “commitment to the authority of God” without a firm personal acceptance of Jesus Christ as the Truth.

b) The word of God is truth.

Jesus is the Word and the Word is truth, absolute truth. So the question of relative truth doesn’t apply…

All contemplations of truth must be hinged on God (through Jesus) and on His Word. You rise or fall to the truth you receive or reject.

That brings us to the question of morality.

The Standard for our morality

The word of God is truth. Therefore, more than anything else, the word of God must be the standard for our lives and the basis of our morality.

More than anything else, our morality should be based on what God thinks. Everything else is sinking sand…

But the choice is ours whether to base our morality on God’s thinking or not.

Our world today gives us three options for how to discover truth: We can choose to base our morality on what we think, on what other people think, or on what God thinks. We really have no other options. Our choice will dictate how we live, how we love, and, someday, how we die. But it’s our choice. What will you choose? – Rick Warren, in the devotional article, “You can know the truth by looking at God.”

The best foundation for our morality should be on God’s truth. Atheists may think otherwise, but I reckon that any question on morality cannot but have God in the picture.

Without God, the source of truth, there can be no a proper sense of right or wrong.

Any philosophy of life not backed by the word of God, irrespective of whoever might have propounded it, cannot be the truth.

The absolute truth as we should know it is the word of God only; whether in part or as a whole, the word of God is truth. I didn’t say so, Jesus did.

Jesus once prayed for His disciples, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17, emphasis mine).

Yes, the word of God is truth!

But there is a tragedy

Instead of choosing to knowing and living by the truth of God’s word, many people today have chosen to embrace some philosophies that are now destroying the moral fabric of the society.

Many people now believe what they want to believe. And feel they can live their lives how they want it, with or little considerations for the issues of morality.

Writing along that line in a recent devotional article, author of the best-seller The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren, reminds us that What You Believe Shapes Your Life.

As he puts it, “What you believe determines your behavior. Your behavior then determines what you become, and that has a direct effect on the direction of your life.”

So you see why the behaviour of the world is going haywire? They have rejected the truth, living a lie and heading in godless directions.

If you think godless thoughts, you will believe godless things and make godless choices!

Knowing Jesus and accepting God’s word as the truth will help shapen correctly what you believe and how you live.


©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

Being A Loving Leader Doesn’t Mean You Shouldn’t Hold Your Team Accountable

Holding your team accountable

If you are leading anything of significance then you will regularly run into many uncertainties, obstacles, and failures. And it is the way you deal with these situations, how you handle things going wrong, that truly defines your leadership.”

Those were the words of Paul Hughes in the post, “Your leadership is defined by how you handle things going wrong.”

Paul is someone who believes that leadership should be founded on love.

According to him, “When a culture has its foundation in love, then it is safe to fail. People start to come out of their comfort zones because they know that even if they make a mistake they are still going to be valued. Instead of being blamed, they know they will be supported and assisted to grow.”

What that means in a way is that a leader who loves his or her team will not take pleasure in dishing out blames to the team if failure occurs along the line; neither will he or she be judgemental.

Rather the leader focuses “…on discovering and truly understanding the cause of the failure, while at the same time being attuned to the feelings of the people involved.”

Paul calls that the Empathetic Discovery Approach. The principle requires that in any situation of failure, you the leader should build shared understanding of the root-cause of the problem through exploration conversations without demoralising any member of your team.

If you jump into conclusions without this empathetic exploration, you are more likely to get your team feeling hurt and getting blamed. And as you know, no one enjoys being blamed all the time.

I agreed with that position when I read it in the original post. But I was also left with the following questions:

Does this approach (of focusing on the root-cause of failure and having respect for the team members’ feelings) preclude a leader from holding people accountable for their actions?

Or is this another way of saying, “Ask what went wrong, not who was wrong?”

Leadership and accountability
Paul Hughes-LoveYourTeam

Here was Paul’s response to that question. (I have his permission to reproduce it here):

This approach doesn’t preclude a leader from holding people accountable for their actions. In fact, it is the opposite.

If you don’t hold people accountable then you aren’t really being a loving leader.

To give an analogy of how the approach I’m describing fits in with accountability, imagine the situation when someone is speeding in their car and a police officer pulls them over.

There is a consequence for exceeding the speed limit, which is getting fined. It is the police officer’s duty to issue that fine.

But the police officer has a decision to make about how they are going to perceive the speeding driver.

One approach is to make an assumption that the driver doesn’t care about the road laws, and then to look down on the driver for this lack of care.

Another approach is to hold back from jumping to conclusions or forming a judgement.

I guarantee that the driver will know the difference, even if the police officer did not say anything. They would sense in a lot of subtle ways whether the officer was holding that judgement or not.

Now, the officer could just issue the fine and walk away. And there is nothing wrong with that.

But think about the possibilities of approaching the situation from a standpoint of unconditional love.

The police officer might want to do the best they can to help make the chance of speeding lower in future, to protect people from preventable accidents. In his case, the loving officer would be navigating the table in my article.

The system first. What if it turns out that the speed signs had fallen down and it was impossible for drivers to know the speed limit.

If this turned out to be the case, the officer would want to arrange for the signs to be fixed to help all drivers.

But let’s say the speed signs were fine. What caused the driver to be speeding?

May be they were stressed out with many different things, and weren’t concentrating while driving.

The loving officer could listen and empathise with this, while at the same time still giving the person the fine. And who knows, maybe just taking the time to listen and to offer an encouraging word letting the person know there is hope amidst their many problems, ends up being a moment that really changes that person.

And then maybe that person is able to sort out some challenges they have that help them in many ways, only one of which is not getting distracted while driving and causing them to speed.

How much better of an outcome is this than just the person stopping speeding out of fear that they’ll get another ticket?

Or let’s say it turns out that the driver really doesn’t care and is disrespectful to the officer. At that point the officer obviously still gives them the fine, which is the consequence of their behaviour. But the officer still has a choice whether to love the person.

The unloving path is to hold the innate worth of the person lower because of the attitude they expressed. Following that path, what is the chance of this interaction actually helping that person?

It’s most likely going to re-enforce the poor attitude they have.

But on the other hand, what if the officer was loving? In this case they would not diminish the worth of the person. They would feel sorry for person, knowing the expressed attitude will lead to pain for them and others.

They would look the person in the eye, and out of genuine love say something like, “I really don’t want to see you get hurt or others get hurt. I need to give you this fine today because you have broken the law and done something dangerous. But I truly hope you value yourself as much as I value you, and stop speeding”.

Now the person may snarl and dismiss the comment. But you never know what kind of seed that moment of genuine unconditional love will plant.

The authenticity of that interaction could play some small part in really helping that person change. And even if that is only the remotest of possibilities, then it is worth it.

Screenshot_20180606-015213~2

What do you think?

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

4 Admirable Things In One Of The Most Smiling Faces on Instagram

The most smiling face on Instagram

Linda Ikeji is one of the few Nigerian celebrities I follow on Instagram. In my own reckoning, she is one of the most smiling faces on Instagram.

For those who don’t know her, Linda is Nigeria’s most successful blogger by all ramifications.

According to some sources, her blog lindaikejisblog dot com is one of the most visited sites in Nigeria. And that’s no mean achievement.

From writing the blog as a hobby to becoming a strong media entrepreneur, Linda has broken many barriers and blazed the trails for many aspiring bloggers in the country and in Africa as a whole.

This post is not about her blog but about the woman behind it, especially about her ever smiling face on Instagram.

I will be upfront in informing you that I have never met Linda in person. Just like many other celebrities like her, all I know about her are things she shared about herself and from other media sources as well.

That is to say that there are many things I don’t know about her and there are many things about her I would never know.

What then is my interest about her in this post? I will answer that question in a few minutes…

Ever since I began following Linda on Instagram, there have been many things about her that I have found to be very admirable. Some of those things are worth-sharing and that my friend is the reason for this post.

Four admirable things about Linda Ikeji’s face on Instagram:

1. Linda’s posts are always inspiring.

Linda always posts her personal pictures on her Instagram page (that’s the purpose of the platform in the first place). But the notes and the anecdotes on many of her posts there are always very inspirational and full of lessons, especially for young people who want to be successful.

Without being carried away by her fashion sense or her expensive cars which she proudly displays in her posts, you will definitely learn something if you would put some thoughts to the notes that accompany her picture posts.

She encourages her followers to follow their passion, work hard and be focused.

I know firsthand the difference between reading a Linda Ikeji’s post on Instagram compared to those of a few other Nigerian celebrities on Instagram or other social media platforms.

Apart from Linda’s, another celebrity I like seeing/reading his Instagram post is Ali Baba, who is widely acclaimed as Nigeria’s king of comedy. His posts too are always filled with lessons for his teeming followers (May be I will write about that some day as well).

Back to Linda Ikeji.

2. Linda comes across to me as a humble person.

Linda is said to be a self-made multi-millionaire but I can’t say she is proud and pompous like some other celebrity millionaires on the block.

I have heard her say thinks that bespeak humility.

Like I already stated, I don’t know Linda in person. But as a distant observer of hers, I have many reasons to believe that she is more homely and more humble than some of her critics may want to admit.

Although, sometimes, she displays a facade that portrays her as proud, in the end her humility always shines through. So I tend not to believe when I hear some people say she is very arrogant.

The social media is replete with huge evidence to show that there are more arrogant Nigerian celebrities on the platform than there are humble ones. To me, Linda is remarkably different from them all.

You may disagree with me if you like, but don’t forget that, just like you, I am entitled to my own opinion.

3. Linda wears a genuine smile alot.

You can’t be a fan of Linda’s on Instagram without noticing her infectious smiles most of the time. I always see her smile in all her pictures and I like it alot.

A peep into some of her throwback pictures did not fail to reveal that this blogging queen has been smiling from way back, even before she became rich and famous.

Therefore, one can safely conclude that her ever-smiling face as we see on Instagram today is no fluke. It is a genuine part of her.

I can recall one time I didn’t see her smile in one of her pictures and I had to ask, “Whatever happened to the smiles we are used to?”

Although I didn’t get an answer (I understand she doesn’t have to respond to me), I wanted to pass the message across to her that she should keep on smiling. It is one of the reasons some of us admire her.

Some of my friends are aware that I follow Linda on Instagram.(I had remarked that I like the fact that she always wears a beautiful smile on her face).

One of them was quick to say, “Victor, with the kind of millions (of Naira) Linda has, any woman can’t but smile.”

Really?

I didn’t want to dispute so much but I quickly pointed out, “How come not every woman with millions out there are smiling like her?” End of discussion!

4. Linda believes in God

In an age when it has become acceptable to have celebrities who openly deny the existence of God, we still find a few exceptions. Linda Ikeji is one of such.

I do not know the depth of her relationship with God. But as a follower of hers on Instagram, I have observed that she always expresses her faith in God in her posts.

She often recognises that it was God who has made it possible for her to achieve fame and fortune beyond her imaginations.

Linda has shown that she is wise by acknowledging the existence and help of God in her life.

Youknow, as the Bible says, “A fool says in his heart there is no God. “In other words, only fools say God doesn’t exist.

In conclusion,

There are many things about Linda Ikeji that would be so admirable to anyone who follows her on Instagram as I do. A post like this is definitely not enough to cover everything.

But as far as I am concerned, Linda would top the list of Instagram’s most smiling celebrity faces in Nigeria, and all I can say to her, is please keep the flag flying.

What do you admire most in some faces on Instagram?

Pictures Credit: Linda Ikeji’s official Instagram handle.

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

Sad Truth: Many People Who Should Be Reading Your Blog Don’t Even Know It Exists

Why do you have a blog? Do you want to be read far and wide?

How visible is your blog?

I’m sorry to tell you that many people who should be reading your blog are not even aware that it exists in the the first place!

Well, let me clarify that this post is not for those who claim that they don’t care whether someone reads their blogs or not.

If that includes you, I think you should move on to another post right now, because there is no use you continue reading this piece.

But if you think the world should read your blog, because you have something valuable to share, I think it is worth it for you to find out how more and more people can discover yourself blog to read it.

A few times I have stumbled on some blogs with great contents (by my own reckoning that is) but with very few readers or followers.

Why is that so? I believe many people are not yet aware that such a fantastic blog exists.

Granted, some of those blogs are new on the block hence I concede that it will take some time for them to gain due popularity.

What about those blogs that have been existing for a while, have great content but not much viewership? I would say there must be something missing…

It is one thing to have a blog that publishes great contents and another thing to have people visiting the blog consistently. The good part is that the two are not mutually exclusive.

Good content should attract great readership. I wish it’s that simple!

If your blog’s content is great, then readers should be swarming in. But is that your reality?

Let’s face it, your blog is just a tiny part of the hundreds of millions of blogs existing on the blogosphere and many more millions of posts churned out week in week out.

In fact, within the next 24 hours after you have read this post, another fifty thousand new blogs would have been created around the world and over two million new posts published.

So my friend, you see, it will take some efforts on your part for your blog to be discovered, read and followed. Like me, I believe you would want your blog to have visibility.

Or don’t you want your blog to be noticed?

Four ways to make your blog noticeable

1. Is your blog private or public?

The first advice I would give you here is for you to index your blog as “public.” By so doing, it will be discoverable when people do word searches on search engines such as Google.

Only those people who don’t want their blogs to be read by just anyone should be indexed “private.” That way, their blogs will not show up in Google searches, but will be available to only those they choose to invite in.

2. Write great contents

I have heard it said over and over again that when it comes to gaining traction for your blog, content is king. The argument is that if your posts are relevant and helpful to your readers, they will keep coming back for more.

I am not saying it is foolproof but it helps to have great contents on your blog.

Generally, people are searching for solutions to something. Your post might as well be the ‘miracle meal’ that satisfies their hunger.

Don’t forget that people desire to live happier. They want to live healthier. And they want to live wealthier…

Chances are that if your content consistently provides answers in any of the three areas, more and more people will be interested in your blog.

3. Promote your posts on social media

After you have published that fantastic post on your blog, don’t call it a day yet; spread the word around about your new post.

We are in the age of social media. Take a good advantage of it to promote (I don’t want to say ‘advertise’) your posts.

Just “Share your work with the world through Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks” is the best advice in this regard.

That way you will make your article available to a wider audience. Sooner or later those who so reads your article on social networks will follow you home to your blog.

You don’t have to employ all of the social media platforms out there to be able to achieve this. One or two is enough.

In my own case, Facebook and Twitter have been useful in helping people discover this blog.

With the help of Publicize, I have linked my WordPress blog to my Facebook and Twitter Accounts.

Any post I publish on the blog is automatically publicised through the two social media handles for my followers to see, read and possibly share with their own followers. You can do the same if you have not already done so.

4. Reach out to other blogs

This is about getting out of your comfort zone and connecting with other bloggers; engaging with the blogging community.

If you want your blog to be noticed, you cannot afford to stay in your cozy corner of WordPress and expect it to happen just like that. You have to deliberately interact with other blogs.

There are many ways you can achieve that: visit and read other blogs, like the posts, share a comment, link to other posts, follow other blogs you like, join a blogging community. Guest post.

When you do any or all of the above, you leave a link-trail through which people may be ‘lured’ to your blog.

If you do not make any deliberate effort to promote the posts on your blog, chances are that not everyone who should be reading your blog would be able to find it.

How do you get your blog noticed? Leave a comment.

 
©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

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 in the past might have been.

This one 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 felt 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 each other, 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 was 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 with 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… And 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 many 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 dissuade 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 now been opened between 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

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 come 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 support explains 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 year 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

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

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

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

It’s a New Year…Just have Faith

It is  a new year, just have faith…

Have faith that your life will be better than it had been in the previous years.

Have faith that you will set goals and achieve them.

Have faith that no matter what you face during the year, you will overcome.

Have faith that you will experience happiness, joy and peace in the new year.

Have faith that you have what it takes to succeed in whatever task you set your hands on in the year.

Happy new year

Have faith that no matter the prevailing darkness, you will have the courage to step into the light ahead.

Believe that things will work out well for you.

Have faith that your health will be at its best in the new year.

Have faith in your vision, to pursue them with fervour and to realise them.

Have faith that your dreams will come through.

Have faith that you will experience love from family and friends and in all your relationships.

Have faith that your enemies will not overcome you, rather that they will bow at your feet.

Have faith that you will have sufficient finances to meet your needs and be a blessing to other people.

Have faith that your life will shine better…

Have faith that it is well with your soul.

Whatever you do this year… Just have faith!

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

Now that the Year is Ending…Be Thankful

Be grateful

Now that the year is ending…You might have had many unfulfilled goals. But you have to be grateful for the ones you were able to achieve.

You might have had many unanswered prayers. But the thankful for the ones that were answered.

Even if you still have many questions on your mind, do not give in to despair. Keep searching, answers will come.

At least you are alive. That means your hope is not dead yet. Think about that, and you will have a good reason to be thankful.

You may not be where you wish to be yet, but remember that you are no longer where you used to be.

As you take stock for the passing year, do yourself a favour: Find a reason to be thankful.

 

©Copyright 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

Echoes From My Heart 3

Inspiration

1. There is a message in the mess you might have found yourself in. Do not miss it.

2. Visit the past to learn from it. But do not settle there.

3. You need to throw up some expectations in order to catch some manifestations. You know what they, “expectation precedes manifestation.”

4. It is no use trying to please everybody. You will never be perfect at doing it.

5. Whatever you do, always try to focus well. By so doing, you will not even notice some distractions.

 

©Copyright 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

Echoes From My Heart 1

  1. Give your best to whatever your hands find to do.

  2. Find your purpose in life, pursue it, fulfil it.

  3. Love is the best living environment, create it.

  4. Hatred is toxic, you won’t survive for long living on it.

  5. Someone needs your help, give it.

  6. You will need someone’s help too, ask for it.

  7. The beginning is fine, but the end should be better.

  8. Happiness is inside you, stop looking in the wrong directions.

  9. Have a large heart, you need it to accommodate some people.

  10. Make plans for the future, especially for the hereafter.

 

©Copyright 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

The Spotlight Is On You

Every day, you watch other people do their thing. They get the applause. They get rewarded or awarded…

They are the cynosure of all eyes. No one seems to have  noticed you. And you wonder –

When am I going to be on the centre stage?

The truth is that right now, you are already on the centre stage of life. Believe it!

The Spotlight is on you, now –  whether you realise it or not.

And even if no one seems to be watching you, remember God is watching.

All eyes may not be on you, but God’s eyes are on you

Act well…

This life is your one chance to leave a positive mark. You cannot live it twice.

Make the most of it.

No compromises. Do your best and be your best.

Wherever you are, whatever you do, the spotlight is always on you because God is always watching you.

 

©Copyright 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

Should You Always Reckon With Public Opinion?

Public pulse, what people say about you

Public opinion might be a very powerful force but you should not let it shape who you are or what you become in life. In other words, you should live your life independent of public opinion.

You will experience avoidable levels of frustration if you always rely on public opinion to run your life.

I read of a Chinese proverb which says that a wise man makes his own decisions whereas an ignorant man follows public opinion. You have the right to agree or disagree with that statement but I believe there is a point in those words.

There will always be public opinion. But the choice is yours whether or not to follow it.

People will talk about you no matter what you do. So make sure you do the right things so that you will not have cause to be ashamed of yourself later.

Remember the saying “Vox populi, vox Dei” (The voice of the people is the voice of God).  Have you ever given a serious thought to that maxim? Or have you believed it completely simply because it is a popular saying?

Take another look at that philosophy and you will see that it cannot always be correct. The voice of the people most times is not the voice of God. So why let your life be guided by public opinion?

As you probably know, public opinion is not always correct. Much of what constitutes public opinion is born either out of the ignorance of the majority of the public or the deliberate acts of misinformation orchestrated by the people that have the power or the means to do so.

There are people that control or influence public opinion. If you are not one of such people, be sure that public opinion will not always be in your overall best interest.

You will be ruining your life if you completely pattern it after the opinions of the public. That is not to say that there is no time you can learn something from feeling the public pulse. But be sure to know where and when to draw the line.

Public opinion changes frequently. And you can not even change as fast as it does, so why fall for it?

How then should you handle public opinion?

If you know you are in the right just continue being right. Don’t shift ground to the wrong side on the strength of public opinion.

Public opinion may count but doing the right thing should count more for you.

Pursue your purpose in life and firmly resist the temptation to have sleepless nights over what people say about you. Those who live by purpose will not follow public opinion, neither will they be bothered by it. Be one of such people!

Even when public opinion favours you, as it sometimes will, you still have need to ride on its’ tide very carefully, so that you do not get drown by any means.

Those who praise you today will turn against you tomorrow. Thread cautiously.  Whatever you do, do not let public opinion control how you live your life.

What are your thoughts on this?

 

©CopyRight 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

Every One Has A Story And Yours Is Not The Worst

Everyone has challenges, yours is not the worst.

You look around you and it appears everyone you see are wearing smiling faces, except you.

That may not always be true, because just like you, the people out there have challenges too.

Therefore, no matter what you face in your life, just remember this: Everyone has a story, and yours is not the worst.

Everyone has challenges



©CopyRight 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

3 Simple Reasons You Should Not Judge Someone

Judge not

Some times you meet someone for the first time and all you feel tempted to do is to judge him or her, without realising that you do not even have the complete information about the person. But how correct can  your judgement be?

Just like you, the other person is not perfect. So what makes you think you are in a perfect place to judge the other person?

Here are 3 simple reasons you should resist the temptation to be judgemental:

1. You do not know where the person is coming from

A man is a product of many things in his life. One of it is his experiences…

How he behaves now is somewhat a reflection of what he has been through in the past. So if you judge him by only what you see now, you are most likely to misjudge him.

2. You do not understand what the person is going through right now

Apart from what a man might have been through in the past, what he is going through right now also affects his disposition to life.

Granted, you may see that he is going through stuff but you will never understand it in and out. So don’t judge him by what you see because there is so much more happening behind the scene that you do not see.

3. You do not know the person’s future.

What you see about any body is not all there is to him or her. So don’t judge him because he or she does not fit into your mould or expectations.

A man may be down today but do not judge him as out. Being a fellow human being, you are grossly limited by your senses. What the future holds for the person may be far beyond what your natural eyes can perceive.

Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged” Matthew 7:1-2, NLT.

 

©CopyRight 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

20 Simple Idea Topics To Write Open Letters On

Ideas topics to write open letters on

The last post I made here saw me ask the question: Have you ever written an open letter? The following suggestions were given in that post:

“Identify a specific group of people you have never met before to whom you feel you have a word for. Through the avenue of an open letter, send them your words of encouragement, hope, rebuke or advice as the case may be.
If you have an issue you feel you have a strong position for, to which you would like to draw public attention to, why don’t you air your view via an open letter? I assure you it will not go unnoticed.”

In addition to the referenced suggestions, here are some possible idea topics to write open letters on, to get you started:

1. The Families of victims of terrorist attacks.

The recent Manchester and London City terrorist attacks are still very fresh on our minds. One way or another, the reports about these ugly incidents must have filtered into your ears. You do not have to bemoan the situation only in your room. You can reach out by the means of an open letter to the friends and families of the victims of these unfortunate attacks.

Reach out by speaking up against acts of terrorism. Reach out by sending out your love to the survivors of the attacks…

Just reach out. You may not know the victims personally but send their families and friends your words of sympathy, emphathy, condolences, and assurances that justice would be found for their lost loved ones.

2. The victims of the Boko Haram Insurgence in Nigeria.

Many people in the northern part of Nigeria have been severely affected by the rapacious activities of the Boko Haram insurgents. Thousands of people have been rendered homeless, and many children orphaned.

Do you feel like you have some words of encouragement for this sect of endangered humans? The issues of the internally displaced people… whatever you have to say, an open letter can do it for you.

3. Those who are suffering from mental health issues, insomnia, depression etc

If you are a survivor or a therapist on mental health problems, you may take up this one. Share your experiences and suggestions that will help those who are presently having such issues.

Life is already difficult on its own. To suffer any of the mentioned conditions is another huge burden.

Sometimes sufferers may be languishing in their little corner on the false belief that nobody loves or cares about them. And that’s often far from the truth. Your open letter to them could be the love letter that may assuage their pains.

4. Atheists in (your location).

You believe that God exists. That’s great. But as you already know, not everyone that lives in your state or country share that same belief with you.

You may not know such people personally but you are convinced that if you ever meet them, you will have something to say to them or questions to ask them. You can do that via an open letter.

By so doing, you are not forcing them to believe in God (although it would be nice to have them believe). Rather you are bearing an open testimony to them about the fact that God exists whether they believe in Him and the need for them to get to know Him, personally.

5. Widows (and widowers?)

Widows are often neglected in some societies. Are you a widow or some one close enough to know, who wants to draw attention to the pains or frustrations of being a widow? Are there some possible joys (seriously?) in widowhood that you would like to share with the public?

No body will feel the pain of widowhood as much you do. That is to say, you are in a better position to tell your stories like they are. Write an open letter as you deem fit.

6. The president of your country.

You stay in your corner complaining that your president is not doing some things right. Given the chance, you could pass him some good pieces of advice that may help him, you console yourself.

Sorry to disappoint you: your president’s handlers may never come to you for advice. But you can get their attention through an open letter. Irrespective of your country, you can write “an open letter to my president.”

Victor Uyanwanne: 20 Simple Ideas For Writing Open Letters

7. Aspiring bloggers

You have been blogging for a while now, so you know some things new bloggers don’t know. But no aspiring blogger has come to you for guidance.

You do not have to wait for that; you can write an open letter to all aspiring bloggers, giving them insights that can help them in their journey. As I am now, if I could see “An open letter to all bloggers in Africa,” I will read every bit of it.

8. Stay-at-home moms

The idea of being a full time housewife is unthinkable for some people. Yet many women have found it very fulfilling.

What knowledge do you possess​ that can be of assistance to stay-at-home moms, to help them make the most of their status? To all stay-at-home moms, how about writing an open letter highlighting your experiences – fulfilling or frustrating?

How I wish someone will be bold enough to write an open letter to the husbands of stay-at-home moms! You will agree with me that not many a husband truly appreciate the sacrifices and labour of love of their housewives at home.

9. Those preparing for a professional examination

You are a successful professional. To get to where you are right now, you have had to write your profession’s rigourous exams. Congratulations!

But you know what? Many People have been struggling with the same exams for years. Why don’t you write them an open letter sharing some insights on how to pass the exam.

10. Pregnant teenage girls contemplating abortion

This happens alot: when teenagers get pregnant, the next thing many of them would think of will be how to abort the foetus. If many of them knew better, they might not have taken that option.

You can write an open letter to pregnant teenage girls who are contemplating abortion, giving them helpful reasons why they must not abort their unborn children. Who knows, one of them could read your letter and have a positive change of mind.

The Mirror, UK once reported that “Cristiano Ronaldo’s mother has admitted she considered having an abortion when she was pregnant with him.”

Just look at the hugely successful soccer star Ronaldo had become today! The world would have been robbed of this football prodigy had his mum gone ahead to abort his pregnancy. I hope the picture is getting clearer to you now?

11. Child prostitution

As much as we may want to shy away from it, child prostitution is a problem in many parts of the world. The problem can be reduced with greater awareness and sensitisation.

As a victim or survivor of that evil, you can raise public consciousness by writing about it in an open letter. Make it anonymous if you like, but draw attention to the issues, and recommend possible solutions.

12. LGBT Community in America

I know that a lot of stuff exists in the public space on the issue of LGBT rights. I also know that in your own little corner, depending on the foundation of your value system, you have your own opinion on this LGBT discourse.

What exactly is your own position? Are you for or against it? An open letter is a veritable avenue to let us know where you stand on the issue, without fear or favour.

13. Sit-tight Presidents of some countries

In my own opinion, any nation’s president who has spent more than 10 years (or more than two terms) in office is a sit-tight leader. African leaders are particularly guilty of that behaviour.

For such people, you cannot contribute your vote to send them packing if you are not a citizen of their country. But such a limitation cannot prevent you from writing an open letter to such president.

Irrespective of your country of residence, you can air your view in favour or against the sit-tight tendencies of some of these world leaders.

14. Facebook Founder.

Not too long ago, the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg was in my country Nigeria, on a working visit. During that visit, some young Nigerians were able to interact with him and got to hear him speak to them face to face. But some of us did not have that rare privilege.

Let’s say you were amongst those that did not get to see Mark Z on one on one basis, but in your heart you feel you have something to say to him for the benefit of the public. Just do “An open letter to the founder of Facebook.” Trust me, it will not take many hours before he or his aids will get wind of the message.

Why you should write an open letter

15. Adult Children who do not care about their parents.

Our aged parents need care and support for the rest of their lives. But more often and not, the children of these sages are now grown, living and working in different parts of the world, with little or no time for their parents back at home.

Even if the aged parents are put in convalescent homes, regular phone calls or visit from their children will make them happier human beings.

If you had the chance to talk to such people who have abandoned their parents, what would you tell them? Please don’t keep silent forever. If I were you, I would use the medium of an open letter to write, “Ten things I would say to adult children that do not care for or support their aged parents.”

May be you are the parent who feels abandoned by your children, you can think of writing “5 things I would like to tell my children who have abandoned me.” Even though your children never call home, such an open letter will get to them wherever they might be. With full disclosure of their identities, they can not escape seeing the letter, not with the power of the internet still holding sway.

16. Immigrants in your country

Immigration is a knotty issue in many developed countries of the world. As a citizen, if you feel you have some contributions to make to the discussions​ on immigration matters in your country, you can write an open letter to the government of the day​.

Similarly, you might have some things you would like to share with the immigrants in your community to foster harmonious relationship amongst them and citizens. It would be impracticable to go to them one by one to pass your advise across. But you can write an open letter in a local medium to that effect.

17. Your future Spouse

You have hopes of getting married some day. Right now, you do not know who your future partner would be. But it doesn’t stop you from thinking about him or her every morning as you wake up.

Long before I got married, I can recall writing down “Three things I expect from my wife.” I never got to publish it, but I had the privilege of showing it to my then-would-be wife when we eventually met. If it were now, I would not have missed publishing it on my blog.

Why don’t you articulate your expectations (or your fears) in an open letter? What you are feeling in your heart for your future spouse will make an interesting read for the young people out there.

18. The good friend you’ve lost contact with

Thanks to the power of social media, many of us have reconnected with our friends from the past that we have not been in contact with for multiple of years gone by. There might still be someone from your past that you would like to renew your relationship with, but you have had no way of contacting him.

Try writing an open letter giving the necessary details about the friend. The feedback might surprise you.

19. Those who want to publish a book

It is the dream of many people to publish a book in their names before they leave this world. But many of such people do not yet have a handle on what to do.

As an experienced publisher you can write an open letter to aspiring first time publishers. I am sure your ideas will prove invaluable to them.

20. Be the one to add this one…

What would you like to centre your open letter on, apart from the area’s I covered in the post? Please share your comments…

P.S. If you decide to write an open letter on your blog following this article, kindly link this post to it to enable my readers and I join in the conversations too.

©CopyRight 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

Have You Ever Written An Open Letter?

Have you ever written an open letter about anything to anybody or group of people? If your answer is “yes” I would be glad to have you share your experience with us here. But if your answer is “no,” I will suggest you give it a try. The experience may be worthwhile for you.

As I read the first epistle of Peter recently, I came to realise something I considered new to me: Peter wrote the letter to people he had never met before:

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 1Peter 1:1.

Although Peter stated the locations of the target àudience of his letter, the fact that he called them strangers indicates that he had no previous personal acquaintances with them. Yet he had to write to them to pass across the messages he had for them. In a sense, you can say that Peter wrote those people an open letter.

Have you ever felt that you have something to say to somebody, some group of people, an advice to give, a commendation to offer, a correction or rebuke to hand down, but never got to do it till now? Is there a silent issue you want to draw public attention to?

Whatever you know you could tell someone if given the opportunity, but the opportunity never came, (and you want public awareness on that issue?) you can pass the same message across via an open letter. You will be shocked to know that the message will get across faster than you ever imagined.

In the context of this discussion, you do not have to worry if your open letter does not get published in mainstream media. Your WordPress account is a sufficient platform for you to publish it. So publish it on your blog.

I can recall trying out something like that here on this blog. There was a time I began to feel that I had a message for atheists – those who do not believe that God exists. The message was nothing new really except that I put the words together after an innocous realisation that I had never physically met an atheist before.

God loves everybody including Atheists

Our experiences may differ; I grew up in an environment where everyone believes – mentally at least – that God exists. Therefore, for me and many other people then, it had never been a question of whether God exists or not. We all agreed that God exists; we only differed on the approach to Him.

However, as I began to face the larger world, it baffled me to hear some people claim that they do not believe God exists. They deny any and everything that suggest the possibility of the existence of God.

Therefore, in my own little attempt to reachout to the unknown atheists, I published the post, To those who say there is no God. The response was relatively massive, affording me the opportunity of having some online engagements with many of the atheists that responded.

Even though I could not force anyone to believe in God, the fact that my message got across to the target audience was very fulfilling to me. So in expanding the discussion, I followed up with 16 sobering things every atheist should know. That post too was very successful, further deepening my online conversations with the atheists.

Why don’t you try something similar?

Identify a specific group of people you have never met before to whom you feel you have a word for. Through the avenue of an open letter, send them your words of encouragement, hope, rebuke or advice as the case may be.

If you have an issue you feel you have a strong position for, to which you would like to draw public attention to, why don’t you air your view via an open letter? I assure you it will not go unnoticed.

Let the conversation begin…

Still Ahead: 20 Idea Topics for Open Letters.

P.S. If you decide to write an open letter following this post, kindly link to it to enable me and other readers join in the Conversations on your blog too.


©CopyRight 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne