Ideas For Open Letter: The OffShoots

Open letter ideas

Have you ever written an open letter? was a post published on this blog to sensitise readers on the need to consider writing open letters. This was later followed by 20 simple ideas for open letter as the offshoot.

In that post, a list of 20 possible areas you could write an open letter on were suggested, with a challenge to readers to explore the topics by writing open letters (on their blogs).

Amongst other things, the post had suggested that you could write an open letter to:

  • Your future spouse (if you are not yet married)
  • A friend with whom you have lost contact.

These two areas of suggestions have been further explored by some of my readers who took up the challenge and acted upon them. In this post, I am sharing those posts and their author’s blogs with you for your further engagement with them.

First to respond was Lisa, who thought the ideas I suggested for open letters were good. As she stated in her comment-response to the open letter post, she journals every night. And as a result of the open letter challenge, she has decided to start writing some journals specifically for her future spouse as well.

“… I will keep a separate journal” says Lisa, “for my future husband – letting him know I am praying for him . For his joys , for his sad days & his dreams.”  You can visit Lisa’s blog, The Whisper Within blog for more interactions with her.

Just like Lisa, another follower, Tikeetha of A Thomas Point of View, was also thinking about her future husband when she read the 20 simple ideas for open letter. But she is not keeping a daily journal for him like Lisa did. Rather, as recommended, she went the full hog by writing an open letter, 5 Things I need Babe, to her would-be spouse. I enjoyed reading the post and so would you, if you would check it out.

As an introduction to her said post, Tikeetha had graciously informed her readers that “… my friend Victor at Victor’s Corner wrote a post encouraging you to write an open letter and describing the different types of open letters you could write and I decided to do one. I thought about what kind of letter I would write and I knew that I wanted to write an open letter to my future husband…  I wanted to let you (and him) know the 5 things I need for our marriage.” So feel free to visit Tikeetha’s blog, for more inspiring posts from her.

Another offshoot of the open letter challenge was a piece titled, open letter to the girl who left us for her (not so great) boyfriend by Mikayla. In that post, she expressed a loving concern for an estranged friend of hers whom she said had left her and her other friends to pursue a relationship that might not augur well for her.

Although Mikayla is a newbie on WordPress, her written words are deep and thoughtful enough to teach you one or two things. You may follow her at Miksbullshitblog .

As I conclude this post, I’ll like to express my profound appreciation to my followers mentioned above for taking up the challenge to publish an open letter along the recommended lines. By doing so, they have expanded the conversation and also enriched the reading experiences of their blog followers.

In case, there is another offshoot post to the open letter challenge by any reader that I have not acknowledged, kindly bring it to my attention so we can also give our support too by engaging in the conversation.

 

© Copyright 2017| Victor Uyanwanne

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Have You Met The Only Heart And Kidney Doctor In the World?

Have you met the only heart and kidney surgeon on the world?
Dr. Olurotimi O. Badero / Picture Source: financialnigeria.com

Through one of my social media handle feeds recently, I saw a picture post which suggested that there is only one heart and kidney doctor in the whole world. Further research carried out online before writing this post did not find anything contrary to the claim. In fact the claim was 100% validated.

Only one heart and kidney doctor in the whole world? That’s a surprising fact, isn’t it? May be not to you, but you can take that fact from me or do your own findings and give us a feed back here. Right? Yes, thank you.

Otherwise, allow me to introduce to you Dr Olurotimi Oluyemi Badero (pictured above) said to be the only doctor in the world to have full specialist trainings and certifications in both cardiology and nephrology.  Forget about those two medical jargons. The last sentence simply means that our man here is the first and only person in the world to become a combined heart and kidney doctor.

Country of Origin

Another interesting thing about the named doctor is that he is from Nigeria, my home country.  But he has now attained international acclaim with numerous awards and recognition along the way. For instance, Ed Towns, a US Congressman from New York, while speaking at the US House of Representative to honor  Badero, was reported to have said, “…Dr. Oluyemi O. Badero has reached the highest levels of medicine in our country, all the way from Nigeria and he has used his expertise to improve the lives of his community.”

I suppose the things you have heard about Nigeria do not include the fact that she gave the world her first and only Cardio-nephrologist. But that’s an issue for another day. Today our focus is on meeting this rare gem of a doctor.

During an epic interview in November 2015, with Jide Akintunde, Managing Editor, Financial Nigeria Magazine, Dr. Olurotimi Badero introduced himself to us: “By training, I specialised in internal medicine, cardiovascular medicine, invasive & interventional cardiology, nephrology and hypertension, interventional nephrology & endovascular medicine, nuclear cardiology as well as peripheral vascular interventions. Putting all that together, I would like to think of myself as an interventional cardio nephrologist as well as a peripheral vascular interventionalist.”

Specialist in 7 areas of medicine?

In that interview, Dr Badero also stated that he specialised in seven different areas of medicine. If that is not impressive, you tell me what is!

Education

Dr Badero is currently based in the United States of America. But his journey to the world of Medicine began from right here in Nigeria at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), Osun state, where he first studied medicine. Thereafter, he proceeded to the US where he also studied at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia and Yale University School of Medicine.

“Altogether,” says Dr Badero, “I spent ten years of continuous post-graduate medical training which I later found out was unprecedented. I currently specialise in seven different areas of medicine.”

Dr Badero
Source: Alibaba’s Instagram page

Combining Cardiology and Nephrology

On why he chose to become a combined heart and kidney specialist, Dr. Badero explained that, “The heart and the kidneys are very closely interrelated… The heart pumps blood all over the body to supply basic metabolic needs. Twenty percent of that blood volume goes through the kidneys… whatever happens to the heart, affects the kidneys and vice versa.

“While I was in training at Emory University School of Medicine as a kidney specialist… I quickly found out that the commonest cause of death for the patients that died was heart disease and not kidney diseases. And we were doing a great job taking care of these patients but ultimately they died from a disease I didn’t have much control of as I would have loved to. That was a challenge I had to embrace being someone, whose decision to be a physician was to make a difference. I realized it was very difficult for me to make that difference, albeit we were taking care of patients and they were living longer.

“So that set the stage for me to decide if I wanted to explore ways of becoming more effective. I started toying with the idea of going back to specialise in cardiology because I really wanted to get to the bottom of the problem.” In the final analysis, “My training in cardiology as well as nephrology gave me a 360 degree view of a patient with a near total approach to their disease state. I think it puts me in a better position to actually treat these patients.

“Dr. Olurotimi Badero is  the only fully trained and board certified cardio-nephrologist (combined kidney and heart specialist) in the world today. And he is currently board certified and a consultant in:

  • Internal medicine
  • Nephrology & Hypertension
  • Interventional Nephrology & Endovascular Access
  • Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Nuclear Cardiology
  • Invasive & Interventional Cardiology.”

For more, see: Meet World’s Only Combined Heart and Kidney Specialist Doctor

 

© Copyright 2017| Victor Uyanwanne

3 Easy Ways To Make Your Day Completely Useless

How to be productive.

There are some days you don’t feel like doing anything productive. Right? If yes is your answer, then I am constrained to provide you with these 3 easy ways to totally make your day useless:

​1. Have no plan for the day.

One way to use your day very well is to plan for it by the night before. But if you don’t want to use the day well, there is no need to have a plan for it or draw up a reasonable ‘to-do-list’ ahead of time.

Don’t worry your self at all with all that stress. Don’t set goals for the day, just hope that things will take care of themselves. Wait till the day will be over and count your gains (I mean losses!).

2. Wake up very late

It is a brand new day, but why should you wake up early when you really don’t want to achieve anything for the day? Stay in bed as long as you want to. If possible spend the preceding night watching movies so that you can feel too weak and tired to step out of your cosy bed in the morning.

l mean have an unusually prolonged sleep; wake up very late. By the time you will eventually stagger out of bed, the day will already have been irredeemably far spent.

3. Spend most of the day entirely on social media.

Have all your smartphones, tablets and laptop devices ready. Fall in love with each of them all over again and focus on them by the second. But don’t think of doing anything productive with any of them.

Visit all your social media handles, respond to, and like, every post you see. Write no meaningful piece. No need to read online professional articles, just concentrate on posting pictures and minor updates on how much time you have to waste.

Fellows like you will soon notice and engage you in an unending chat. By the time the day will be over, you will have wearied yourself out from keeping up with the unproductive demands of social media.

What are your own suggestions?

© Copyright 2017| Victor Uyanwanne

A Conversation With A Jewish Atheist

Some Jews do not believe in God

Introduction

I see myself as a follower of Jesus Christ, who believes in the existence of the Sovereign God and whom I fully recognise as the Creator of heaven and earth and the entire universe. Having grown up in a religious country – although I did not get to accept Jesus  Christ as my Lord and personal Saviour until I was  a teenager – I can recall no time in my life that I ever doubted the existence of God.

But as I grew older, it began to dawn on me that not everyone believes that God exists. Not only that, I also came to realise that there are people whom it is that they do not believe in God, they as well either go out of their way engaging in (fruitless) exercises to ‘prove’ that God does not exist or make all efforts to discredit the notion of God in the hearts of people. These are some of the kind of people I have encountered on this platform.

Before I began posting on this blog, I never got to meet an avowed atheist face to face (I still haven’t met one yet). But after a few posts deliberately targeted at the (unknown) atheistic audience, I began to be engaged in multiple online conversations by self-proclaimed atheists on the internet. Some of those conversations were reasonable while many others were nothing but properly orchestrated hostile attacks from faceless people who claimed God does not exist.

As it turned out, one of the people who engaged me in a most reasonable manner told me he is a Jew but he does not believe in God. A few years ago, the thought of a Jew that does not believe in God, would been nothing but preposterous to me; I would have sincerely thought that all Jews believe in the existence of God, although I am aware that many of them deny Christ His Son. But the sad reality is that even though the revelation of the true God came by the Jews to the world, most Jews in the modern world have turned secular, without retaining any belief in the supreme Being.

In this post, I present to you an online conversation I had with a Jew who claimed he does not believe in God. Enter the conversation, in its original state!

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Rejection of all religions

Jayson: I grew up “spiritual” with no religious training other than the random Christianity events for holidays. As an adult, I became a Christian, then got into messianic Christianity. Then I rejected Christianity and became a Jew. Then I rejected that too. I can’t say with 100% certainty that there is no god, but I’m about as certain as saying there probably aren’t unicorns either.

Ultimately, it was my incessant needs to have questions answered. Religion couldn’t answer them. I found the natural world to provide a better source of understanding the world than a sky man watching me.

Me: Jason, thanks for stopping by and for commenting.

As you found out, engaging in the so-called Christian holiday events doesn’t make one Christian. To be a Christian is to ‘know’ God. To know God, one has to begin with a personal relationship with Jesus Christ which is based on faith.

It is not religion or religious training that can save anybody, but faith in Christ. Anyone who talks about being a Christian without a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is involved in mere Religion not Christianity.

It is good that you have not come to that point of categorically saying there is no God. I hope I understood you well there? If yes, then I take that to mean that you still have an open mind about this ‘God exist or not’ stuff.

When it comes to ‘searching’ for Him, God speaking through prophet Jeremiah said, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13). This shows that anyone who seeks God with all his heart will find Him. You can say it is guaranteed!

I am not talking about religion in the common sense of it, because religion is not what makes the difference. The difference comes from beginning a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

In my own case, I found that knowing God through Jesus Christ helped me get answers for the questions that most troubled my heart. So if you don’t mind, I would gladly recommend that you establish a PERSONAL relationship with Jesus Christ. Only then will some things begin to add up for you.

You said the natural world have helped your understanding than the “Man in the sky”. First, we believe that God put the natural world in place too. In fact the Bible has it that “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” (Psalm 19:1). Although some people do not agree, nature itself speaks eloquently of the existence of God.

Simply put the natural world was created by God. “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Romans 1:20,

Secondly, my own concept of God includes the fact that He is inside of me through the Holy Spirit, not some unimaginable being out there in the sky as you put it. I totally understand if the last statement didn’t make any sense to you.

In conclusion, let me add that what God offers us is a close personal relationship with Him through Jesus Christ, not religion. This is what true Christianity is all about. I once heard a preacher explain it like this: “Religion is man attempting to reach God, whereas Christianity is God reaching out to man.” Understanding this simple analogy will make a whole lot of difference in anyone’s life.

If you have the time, you may visit the link below for some more answers: http://www.everystudent.com/features/isthere.html?gclid=CKjkj8Hg38kCFScFwwod0dILxg

Thank you.

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More Insights on the journey to atheism

Jayson: I guess I should elaborate a while. I was a devoted Christian for about 15 years before I converted to Judaism. I no longer believe in God and have not only rejected Jesus, but also blasphemed the Holy Spirit.

The god of the three monotheistic faiths is a sado-masochistic tyrant who creates us sick and demands us to be well, at the threat of eternal hellfire. What a spoiled twat. Who needs that?

Me: Jason, thank you for throwing more light into your position. Now I know where you stand on the belief in the existence of God.

When you said you were once “a devoted Christian…” I would really like to know exactly what you meant by that. I am familiar with a few people who call themselves “devoted Christians” simply because they go to church regularly, help the needy, gave money in church, fast two times a week, ate holy communion, partake in Christian events and all that. But they have not come to the knowledge of Jesus Christ as their individual Lord and Saviour.

The next questions I would ask would be these: Did you ever come to the point of having a personal relationship with God, by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Personal Saviour and living by His grace? How did you arrive at the point of not believing in God anymore as you indicated?

I am not to speak for the other so-called monotheistic faiths you referred to. But for the avoidance of doubt, the God that I believe in is the One who “… so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). This God is calling us (all mankind) into a personal relationship with Him through His Son Jesus Christ who died and resurrected for our sake.

This God is a God of love and He could never be a tyrant as you called Him. Only someone who hadn’t known God would describe Him as such; those who truly know Him know better than that.

At creation God created man in perfect state of health. It was the corruption of sin that gave birth to the issue of sickness (and other evils), which you wrongly attributed to God. If for anything, God wants us well – in spirit, soul and body.

Hell is not a threat from God as you put it. It is a real place prepared for satan and his angels who rebelled against God.

It is not the will of God that anyone should perish and go to hell, but rather it is the will of God for all to come to repentance and be saved through faith in His Son Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, rather than accepting the Lordship of Christ, many people have sided with Satan. For such ones, hell is a beckoning reality.

But to anyone who is still alive, hell is absolutely avoidable if they accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. We definitely need that God who has made a way of escaping hell through faith in Christ. Regards.

Conversations with atheists 2

Did Jason ever know Jesus as his Saviour?

Jayson: It wouldn’t matter if I told you that I had a “personal relationship with Christ” because you would just come back with “I wasn’t doing something right and missed it.”

The long and short of it is, there is no god. There is no Jesus. Modern religion is just the Zeus stories evolved into some place where we cannot go to prove whether the gods are there or not.

I don’t believe in anything of this sort because it cannot be proven. To quote Hitchens, what can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.”

It’s all rubbish. I chose to reject the god worldview and live simply as my own man with the world around me as it is.

Good sermon though. You got it down. It’s a shame that it misleads so many people away from a life of curiosity and learning to one that is simply satisfied with not knowing and looking forward to a world for which there’s no proof or evidence for.

Me: I read your comments again Jason. I am glad that you also took time to read mine.

I am convinced you got the message already. So there wouldn’t be much use repeating myself. But allow me to say that Zeus compares in no way with our Lord Jesus Christ, who died and resurrected. Did you ever hear that that any god claimed to have died and resurrected?

Dear Jason, God is real and so is Jesus Christ His son. The proof is in me and in any one that believes. If you seek Him with an open mind and with faith, you will find Him.

Allow me to end this comment with a quote from Marilyn Adamson who once didn’t believe in God:

“When it comes to the possibility of God’s existence, the Bible says that there are people who have seen sufficient evidence, but they have suppressed the truth about God. On the other hand, for those who want to know God if he is there, he says, “You will seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you.””

At this juncture, Anne of FREEDOMBORN … AUSSIE CHRISTIAN FOCUS (lent me a helping hand with answering Jayson)

Great Message Victor, I was wondering if Jason has died and come back to be so certain there is no God or Heaven or Hell. We have our assurance through The Holy Spirit and as you shared Victor, we can see God in Creation so there will be no excuse. Also The Bible confirms God’s reality without a doubt; there are Truths that only God could have known when He had man record them, such as that the world was round when everyone believed it was flat because they had no other way of knowing and D.N.A which you can read about on the link below, also proves we could not have evolved from animals and there are other Truths too that only God could have known.

Creation – https://freedomborn.wordpress.com/2015/10/03/wow-a-new-missing-link-has-been-found/

Having been an Atheist for almost 30 years, (well I was one in my head not my heart or I would still be one), I was deceived as a young Teenager that I came from an Ape and Jesus who was my Best Friend and the Bible were just made up. I know Satan’s lies and God’s Truth shows without doubt they are lies.

I don’t accept that anyone has the right to reject their Creator but they do have free will to choose to do so and they are also choosing their own Destiny which will be a eternal suffering, it is clear Jason hasn’t asked the right questions so does not have the right answers, sad but True!

Christian Love – Anne.

Me: Thank you Anne for your contribution. Your points were very clear.

Finding the proof of God

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Jayson: Victor, you seem very nice and patient. I’m sure you’re a pleasant person to be around.

I may need to define proof in this case. Something that can be seen, tested, and repeated, like gravity. You can test gravity. Anyone can. It hasn’t been disproven yet.

You can’t test god. There is no way to see that someone is there. I could find no proof of him as much as I wanted to. And the proofs mentioned in the link: Points 1-4 have explanations in science. They’re not explanations that require faith. They’re explanations that you can see for yourself in local university or college. You can email the people who study the world and universe around us. You can also study their tests and see their failures and successes. Points 5 & 6 are completely subjective. 5 especially – last I looked, there was no one chasing me. I’m 100% confident of it. 6 is also incredibly subjective as any other worshiper of any other god, Islam is a hot topic now so I’ll go with that, can state the exact same thing about their god or belief.

Death and resurrection is a common theme in other religions. Yes, I’ve heard of other gods that died and resurrected. Here’s some proof for you: http://listverse.com/2013/03/30/10-resurrected-religious-figures/

Finally, there are over 5000 gods worshipped today. Isn’t it convenient that yours is the right one? And that the thousands of others have the same conviction of faith about their gods as you do with yours. Very convenient. And yes, Jesus has many counterparts in other ancient religions. I should have been more specific mentioning Horus, an Egyptian god, instead of Zeus. Though the Greeks and Romans have their counterparts predating Jesus’ time. Sorry for the rabbit trail…

What’s not tyrannical about a being that is solely responsible for bestowing life, tossing his creation into hell for a disease he’s not responsible for, to be punished terribly for eternity? God has to keep this person alive to suffer. Forever. I don’t think tyrannical is a strong enough word and doubt that one exists in any language to accommodate that level of savagery.

I’ll close with a small thought experiment. I’m interested to hear your response to this question more than anything else.

Stare at a dark sky and consider any one of the dots of light… “for any length of time and then try to convince yourself that God created the whole Universe for one of the 10 million or so species of life that inhabit that speck of dust [in this case Earth]. Now take it a step further: Imagine that everything was made just for a single shade of that species, or gender, or ethnic or religious subdivision. If this doesn’t strike you as unlikely, pick another dot [another star in the sky]. Imagine it to be inhabited by a different form of intelligent life. They, too, cherish the notion of a God who has created everything for their benefit. How seriously do you take their claim?” Excerpt From: Carl Sagan & Ann Druyan. “Pale Blue Dot.” iBooks. https://itun.es/us/dm6Yz.l

Me: Jason, thank you very much for the generous compliment. That was huge coming from you.

Permit me to add that I have not always been like that. It was the ‘knowing’ of Jesus Christ as my Lord and personal Saviour that gradually transformed my life. What you described of me as being “very nice and patient” is a veritable manifestation of what we refer to as the fruit of the Holy Spirit (in this case, love and patience) in the life of a believer in Christ. Religion didn’t give them to me but Relationship (with Jesus Christ) did.

I am glad you had time to explore the “Is There God” link I recommended. Did you notice that it was written by a former atheist? That speaks volume on its own!

Your observations that her “Points 1-4 have explanations in science. They’re not explanations that require faith. They’re explanations that you can see for yourself in local university or college” are very correct. Sincerely, you got the point there! Even the writer subtitled the article as “….straightforward REASONS to believe that God is really there” (emphasis mine). I assume she had people like you in mind when she penned that piece.

It has never been that the evidences that God exists are not there. But it’s just that some people have chosen to close their minds on them! Recall that you had indicated you were only interested in ‘things around you,’ that you don’t believe in God. I had also mentioned that even things we see around us have eloquent evidences that prove the existence of God, as the article you read so succinctly explained.

You see Jason, it is not everything, however, that can be seen or tested. But the fact that they can’t be tested doesn’t preclude their existence. For instance, we were told in elementary science that we can’t see air. But who will doubt that it exists? “Of course no one!” you would say.

Secondly, I know you do not see gravity with your eyes, but you acknowledged that it exists. In the same way, it is true we don’t see God but we know by faith that He exists. And some of the physical evidences of God’s existence you already have acknowledged to have been scientifically established. Those evidences were neither the product of the so-called evolution nor the aftermath of the ridiculous big bang theory. But they are the handiwork of the Creator God.

However, don’t you know that science itself is very limited in some way? It can ‘test’ only things in the physical realm – things that can be felt, heard, tasted, seen and perceived. But beyond the experiences we get in the physical world (as passed to us by our natural five senses), there is also the spiritual world, which science at its best cannot explain. That’s the truth my dear Jason!

God is a spirit and the Bible says those that worship Him must worship in Spirit and in truth. It is not everything about God that can be scientifically proven. Can you subject a Spirit Being to the crucibles of science? Impossible! This is where faith comes in. “Without faith”, the Bible says “it is impossible to please God.” I guess this is where the lacuna exists for people like you who doubt the existence of the living God!

You said that death and resurrection are common themes in religion. Well I can assure you that those concepts do not compare to how Christianity speaks about them. The crux of Christianity is the reality of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the salvation of mankind. This alone sets Christianity light years apart from the so-called other religions.

Jason, Jesus Christ is the only One whom I ever know who declared “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore” (Revelation 1:18). He was dead, but He resurrected, never to die again. Are those gods you mentioned still speaking or changing lives today as Jesus Christ is doing? I would say an emphatic NO!

I explored the link to the purportedly resurrected gods you forwarded to me. I observed (not surprised though) that there was nothing fantastic about the so-called gods you referred to; nothing inspiring – all dead stories of dead selfish gods. It leaves me curious why you seemed to have faith in them and yet you claim you don’t believe in the living God that we are talking about here, whom it was that raised Jesus Christ from the dead!

For the records, Jason, I was not born a Christian. In fact no one is born a Christian. (Hope that didn’t surprise you). One becomes a Christian only when one is able to willfully and knowingly by faith ask Jesus Christ to be one’s Lord and Personal Saviour. It is not something inherited, not something that can be forced. It is entirely by choice – the choice of the individual God-seeker.

Those who say they are Christians by birth or by association have only experienced religion and not the Relationship that Christ offers. So I did not believe in God out of convenience as you suggested, but out of my discovery of Him as the only true God, who gave His son to die for me to restore my relationship with Him.

Therefore, again Jason, I say that it is incorrect for you to say that God is a tyrant who threatens to throw us into hell if we don’t believe in Him. Don’t you realise that if what you said was true of God, you wouldn’t be alive here to be engaging in this discourse with me? Because He sure has the power to throw you into hell at once! (Pun intended please). Indeed, God is a God of love, mercy and grace! You believe, you receive!

More so, the first commandment of God remember, is, “Thou shall not have any other God before Me.” So I do not reckon with any of the over 5,000 gods you referred to. But that doesn’t stop me from loving the people that follow those gods; (as disciples of Jesus Christ, we are able to love people whether they believe in our God or not). I can only wish and pray that the followers of the other gods (some of them at least) will one day come to the knowledge of the only true God. After all, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way” until some of us embraced the saving grace God made available to all mankind in Jesus Christ.

If you say Islam is ‘hot’ these days, may be it is for those who are looking for religion. But some of us are not looking for a religion… What we have is a relationship with God through Christ. The difference between the two is enormous.
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Many years ago, a classmate of mine who is a renowned adherent of Islam asked me why I follow Jesus Christ. I answered Him it is because Jesus said He is THE WAY, THE TRUTH and THE LIGHT and that He is the only way to God. I asked Him in return if their Prophet ever said any such thing. He said no. Someone else later told me that their Prophet even said he didn’t know ‘the way’ when his disciples asked him to show them the way. Are you still surprised that I am following JESUS CHRIST, THE WAY? Smiles!

Finally, Jason, I did not really get the clear relationship between the ‘experiment’ you used to conclude your comment and the point of our discourse. It was just too hypothetical to be taken as a valid basis to advance a serious argument of this nature. But I didn’t fail to notice that the writers alluded to God being the creator of the universe. (That alone is significant).

Their argument seemed to bother on ‘whom’ the creations were made for, rather than on whether or not there is a creator in the first place. In any case, as my closing response to that, I will use the following quotations from the Bible which clearly identifies the Creator and the purpose of all creations:

“Thou art worthy, o Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou [God] hast created all things, and for thy [God’s] pleasure they are and were created” Revelation 4:11.

Jason, I know this was a very long response. So I thank you immensely for your time.

Atheism vs Theism

JaysonThat was a long response! It’s been nice talking with you, Victor. We clearly have vastly different world views. I’m not going to counter this due to time and I feel it will not do either of us much good. I have given up on believing in God, and being Jewish, I have absolutely zero interest in adding a 2000 year-old Jew (that got into a lot of trouble with the Romans) to the equation.

However, I do want to point out that patience is not a character trait available only in Christians. I am Jewish (yes, a secular Jew), and have several secular & religious Jewish friends that are exceedingly patient. Additionally, I have several non-Jewish secular friends that are also patient. You can rest assured that you can meet people that are not Christian and possess immense patience.

Take care. Thanks for the fun.
Jason

Me: You got me smiling Jason. It’s been nice talking with you too.

I would say I agree with your position to a great extent this time around. But I was surprised to hear that you were a Jew. I know that Jewish people believe in God, even though some do not recongnise Jesus Christ as the Messiah.

I pray that one day, you find reason to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour. He is the only hope of mankind in time and in eternity.

God loves you Jason and so do I. Regards.

More conversations…

Some parts of this conversations with Jay had previously been published under the series, conversation with an atheist. After reading them, Jayson showed up again and so the conversations continued:

Jayson: Victor, thank you for keeping these posts true to our conversation.

When I began commenting on your post, it was mainly for being in a bit of a mood as I had recently discussed atheism with a new Christian, and was in a bit of an ire.

I was once a devout believer. If you, or your commenters had met me, you would have accepted me as one of your own. But it was in the midst of sorrow, hopelessness, and storm that I could not find his comfort, joy, and protection – the time when I needed it more than any other in my life. My wife was recovering from cancer and our best friend was losing their child.

The loss of faith was not instant. It took years to happen. But the questions those events generated could not be sustained by faith. Faith had no answers. Faith could not make sense of these events. In turn, these events opened my eyes to the suffering not only of humanity but also to the cold indifference of nature to all of life. Then there was the matter of the thousands other faiths that exist and the sincerity and devotion to which those people practiced and believed. Then there was the idea that if other life exists in the universe, if they held similar convictions of faith to their own gods, what would be the likelihood of us believing them?

The answers Faith provided were superficial and only created more questions. The answers to those were problematic in that they only led to conflict.

There are numerous directions to take the conversation. I’ve been working on a writing project for some months to put my own path into order. I’m considering to publish it, and if you think it would be helpful for you and readers to learn another worldview (not convince of disbelief), I’m happy to start putting something together. What do you think?

Me: Jason, nice to have you back here. Not being true to the discussion we had as published here would have amounted to misrepresentation. And I wouldn’t do that!

Sorry to hear about your wife’s cancer. I hope she fully recovered. And your friend’s child too…my heart goes out to them.

Concerning all the issues you raised, please allow me to respond later. For I now I am exhausted from the day’s work and so in dire need of a good sleep. Thank you.

Jayson: No worries. I wasn’t expecting a diatribe.

The following day….

Me: Hello Jason, please further to my earlier response to your comment, here are my additional thoughts as I promised. The issues you raised were many so I take it that my (usual) long response here will not bore you.

I really appreciate the fact that you commented on the initial post. Our exchanges so far have turned that post into one of the most viewed single item on this blog. I have you to thank for it.

Jason, I know by experience that (Christian) faith has answers; answers to issues of this life and the life hereafter. The issue is that sometimes, the answers don’t please the sensual person. More so, the Christian living is a walk by faith, not by sight. That’s why so many people do miss it.

Life can be so hard sometimes that we begin to question the love of God. But it doesn’t invalidate the love. In the midst of our crisis, God promises to be with us all the way. And He comforts us through the Holy Spirit, whom we know as our comforter. God never promised us a storm-free voyage in life, but He did promise a safe-landing.

With regard to the issue of unanswered questions you had, I concede that not all questions can be resolved on this side of life. But I will tell you that there are sufficient answers in the Bible to refresh an unbiased mind. Even the fact that we may never know everything in this life is also clearly stated in the Bible.  But “He is at peace, whose mind is stayed on God.”

Jason, except you are a NASA staff, I do not see why you had to worry if other life exists outside the earth or what ‘they’ believe ‘over there’ for that matter (Pun intended please). As for me, I am satisfied with Biblical explanation that God gave the earth to man to inhabit. The (unproven) possibility of life existing in other parts of the universe, could never stop me from believing in God, the Father of Jesus Christ.

The other thousands of faith you referred to exist because human beings, irrespective of geographical locations, have always felt the need to know “God”. So in a bid to meet this need, they invented various ways to try reaching the “God” they somehow “felt’ in their inner enclaves. This was what gave (and is still giving) rise to the multiplicity of faiths you talked about.

Sadly, these efforts of man inventing ways to please or reach God, have, and will, never be able to find the true God. That’s why there is so much frustration in religion, as you might have possibly noticed.

But you see Jason, Christianity in the truest sense of it is not a call to religion. Like I explained before, it is a call to a Relationship – a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. You may ask, what’s the difference? Simple, “Religion is man’s attempt to reach God, Whereas Christianity is God reaching man.”

Religion is doing all it can to try to find God. But God is saying, “I have already revealed myself through my Son, Jesus Christ. Believe in Him and you will have an eternal relationship with Me.” This is not a thing we can grasp by our five senses, Jason, but by our faith.

Finally, you asked what I thought about your work-in-process project to publish your worldview…. I would say, you are free to publish any of your thoughts or research findings. (By the way, does it really matter what I think about it? I doubt!). I read for information, but when it comes to finding/knowing God, the Bible remains the most authoritative voice.

Thank you for your time Jason.

Anne: Thank you Victor, a Loving response for Jason with much Truth.

Me: Thank you Anne for your comment. God bless your heart.

Your comments and contributions are welcome.

P.S:

  1. This online conversation took place in 2015 as comments on my blog posts. Except for minor correction of typos, the discussions were presented unedited.
  2. It would appear that Jason has deleted his blog as it is no longer available as at the time of writing this post.

© Copyright 2017| Victor Uyanwanne

My Name Is on Facebook And On Jesusbook Too

Facebook just shared with me a ‘thank you’ message and a video they made for me highlighting some of my activities on the social networking site. The message reads, “Facebook is now a community of 2 billion people and we’re so glad that you are part of it. We have made you this video to share the good that happens when we all come together”Thank you message from Facebook

I was elated as I streamed that video on my smart phone device. I want to believe that I was not the only person that received that kind of video this time around. Besides, this is not the first time I have received a similar video from them. But that’s not where I’m going to with this post.

The interesting thing for me was the important statistics that accompanied the video. According to the report, Facebook now has 2 billion users on their platform. And they announced to me that they are happy to have me as one of the two billion people in their ‘kingdom.’

Of course, as you can see in the quote, they didn’t use the word ‘kingdom’ in the message but I am using it here for my own reasons. Hopefully, you will get a clearer picture as you read along.

Look at it this way: I am one in two billion people on Facebook, and so are you if you are a user. That may seem insignificant to you, but toone in 2 billion. think that two out of the seven billion people on earth are on Facebook is not a small thing. That means that about 2 out of every 3 human being in this world have Facebook presence. How I wish people are enlisting for the Kingdom of God in that magnitude!

On the whole, it is a great historical feat for this generation that one social network is able to have 2 billion people in their world. Who will doubt that one of the greatest innovations of our time is the emergence of social media networking services which advancement in technology has helped to drive. And of course, with such a massive number of active users, Facebook has easily become the leading social media platform on planet earth today. All of that became achieved within just a little over a decade time frame.

I joined Facebook a little less than ten years ago. I can vividly recall how unwilling I was at first to get on board the platform. Apart from presupposing that it was a waste of time, I also feared that people would not use it responsibly. And naturally, I didn’t Thank you from FBwant to be ‘entangled’ in it. But once I understood that there are embedded security settings on the social network that would allow me manage the ‘relationships and communication’ activities on the social network, I decided to opt in. And since then, I have been using the platform to my advantage without any regrets whatsoever.

If you can read and write and you are not on Facebook, I think I should ask you, “where have you been?” I am not suggesting that it is compulsory to be on Facebook. If you are not there, you must really have  a strong reason not to be. May be you can let us in on the reason you are not there.

Bottom line, I joined Facebook willingly and I don’t intend to exit the platform anytime soon except of course something beyond my control happens. On the other hand, I do respect your decision not to get involved if Facebook holds no such appeal to you.

But I hope you will be interested in Jesusbook as I am! While I will not be able to tell you categorically that it is the will of God for you to join Facebook, I can tell you without any iota of doubt that it is the will of God for your name to be written in Jesusbook.

Facebook Vs Jesusbook

But “what is Jesusbook?” you may want to ask. I will tell you in a minute. Just read on…

Jesus Christ once said to His disciples, “… Do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

Therefore, whatever you are able to accomplish on earth – whether in spiritual or secular things – should not be your greatest joy. Neither should your joy be in what this world can offer you. Rather your greatest joy should be that your name is written in the book of life in Heaven.

Similarly, while it is my pleasure that I am on Facebook, my greatest pleasure comes from knowing that my name is in Jesusbook. Beyond the temporary benefits of having a presence on Facebook in this world, I do not lose sight of the everlasting gains that will accrue to me in the world to come for having my name in Jesus’ Book of life.

You can now see that by Jesusbook, I refer to what the Bible calls the Lamb’s book of life, which is the heavenly register containing the names of all the children of God, dead or alive. “Those whose names are written in the book of life are those who belong to God, those who have attained eternal life.” Your lifetime is your only opportunity to get your name in this Book.

Facebook provided me the platform to join their online community and I did join by registering my personal account there. In the same way, by accepting Jesus as the Son of God, as my Lord and personal Saviour and by trusting in the benefits of His sacrificial death, I have got my name written in the Book of life. That is why I am saying that my name is on Facebook and on Jesusbook too.

 

© Copyright 2017| Victor Uyanwanne

150 Posts, Still Counting

Top 5 posts on this blog

If you are reading this piece right now, it means you are reading the 150th post here on  Victors’ Corner. I thought I should mention it because it has been a while since I heralded any major milestone achieved on this blog.

The first time I blew the trumpet was over a year ago when I reached the 100th- WP follower milestone. Between that time and now, both the viewership and the followership of this blog have since increased more than three folds.

The next landmark was when the blog clocked two years, which was heralded with the post celebrating two years on the blogosphere. In that post, the blog’s vital statistics were highlighted.

At 150th posts and still counting, I cannot say I have arrived but I can say I have come a long  way from that moment when I first hit the ‘publish’ button a little over two years ago to where I am presently.

My special thanks to all of you who have followed me in this very fulfilling journey of 150 small steps. I would say the relationship has been mutually beneficial. Remember we are all victors in this corner!

Right now, to commemorate this 150th post milestone, allow me to present to you the top 5 posts on the blogs so far. These selected posts recorded the highest number of ‘likes’ feedback from WP readers of the blog.

Victor Uyanwanne
Victors’ Corner

The top 5 posts on this blog right now

5. Sixteen sobering things every atheist should know.  This was an open letter to atheists that I have never met. It was a follow up to an earlier post also targeted at those who say there is no God. As I have never physically met an atheist before, I used the post to highlight some of the things I would have loved to share with an atheist if given the opportunity.

4. A broken piece of heart. The post is a poem about someone who suffered heart breaks and could not get her heart fixed for a long time until she met Jesus Christ, the greatest Friend and Lover who gave her a brand new heart. I know you will enjoy reading it (again).

3. Jesus: 8 Special things about the baby that changed the world. This was one of the posts I made to commemorate the birth of Jesus last year 2016. And it turned out to be one of my readers’ favourites amongst the lots. As you know, Jesus Christ was no ordinary person… You can check out the post to see some of those things that prove that Jesus was more than just a man.

2. Six simple reasons to forgive offences. Forgiveness is an important virtue to possess and share with fellow humans if you want to be happy in life. And if you have ever been offended before, then you have more than one reasons to check out this post which has proven to be very popular amongst my readers since over one year ago that it was published.

1. Eight simple reasons I do not follow your blog. As at now, based on readers’ ‘likes,’ this particular post seats atop the 150 different posts that have hit this blog. The post was written from a personal point of view highlighting some of the reasons your blog may have missed out on opportunities for gaining new followers. So if you desire to have new followers for your blog, you do not want to miss seeing the post.

Which of my posts so far have you found most helpful? You can leave me a word at the comment section below.

© Copyright 2017| Victor Uyanwanne

How Did Jesus Handle Favourable Public Opinion?

Jesus did not entrust Himself to the people.

In a previous post, we reasoned that you should not live your life by the dictates of public opinion. Frustration will be inevitable if you let your decisions in life be driven by opinions of the public rather than your life’s purpose.

It does not mean that public opinion will not favour you at times. But you should still embrace it with caution if it happens to go in your favour at any point in time.

You cannot afford to ride comfortably on the tide of public opinion for too long. You can learn that lesson from the example of Jesus Christ.

During His life and ministry on Earth, Jesus faced a lot of persecutions from both the religious leaders of His day and sometimes from members of the public. At various times, He saw Himself at the receiving end of negative criticisms.

But He had it good on some occasions too. For instance, at the celebration of Passover in Jerusalem at one time, Jesus performed many wonderful miracles. As a result, many people in that city came to believe in Him (as the Messiah). In other words, public opinion at that point in time was fully in His favour.

But how did Jesus handle the favourable public opinion?

  • He lingered more than necessary in Jerusalem to enjoy the favourable public opinion? No!
  • He commended the people for speaking good of Him? No!
  • He rode on the tide of the favourable public opinion to promote Himself and His ministry? No!
  • He began to base His ministry’s decisions on favourable public opinions? No!
  • He was completely carried away so much so that He miss-stepped in His missions? No!
  • Did He need or use the favourable public opinion to massage His ego? No!
  • Did he consent to the people to make Him king prematurely? No.

Jesus knew His true identity and so did not require public opinion to validate it. He was too “purpose driven” to be influenced by the vagaries of the opinions of the teeming crowd.

The Gospel of John tells us clearly how Jesus handled​ public opinion:

But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man. John 2:24-25.

Do you get the picture now? Even when public opinion was favourable to Him, Jesus did not entrust Himself to the people. Simply put, He did not reckon with public opinion. He remained who He was even in the face of His rising public acceptance in Jerusalem at that point in time.

As you can see, Jesus did not allow public opinion to direct His life. He remained focused. That’s a big lesson for you and I to learn from.

You should not let favourable opinions about you get into your head. If you do, you might be carried away with pride more than you can handle. And if you relish positive public opinion so much, negative public opinion (which are inevitable) will definitely hurt you.

Unlike Jesus, you do not even know people in and out so you cannot always be sure of their intentions. Besides, it does not mean that the crowd that gives you a favourable rating today will not turn against you in future.

Just like they did to Jesus, those who praise you today will be there to ‘crucify’ you tommorrow.

Jesus did not entrust Himself to the crowd, neither should you. Let your trust be in God only, because Psalms 118:8 tells us, “It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in humans.”

Have you ever been faced with a favourable public opinion? How did you handle it?

© 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

Why Christians Should Be Wary Of Secular Materials On Sex

Why Christians should be wary of secular materials on sex.

You are a committed Christian, a good disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. You love the Lord with all your heart. To the best of your abilities, you want to please Him in everything and in anything you do.

You are married to a spouse who is equally commited to the Lord as you are. You both trust God for the best in all areas of your marital union.

Most things have been working out pretty fine for both of you. But there is an aspect of your marriage you have not enjoyed maximum fulfilment: the bedroom department; you are convinced there is more pleasure available than you do presently enjoy.

I mean you have had moments of mutual ecstacy during lovemaking with your married partner. But they are too far in between to be completely satisfied with. Your heart aches for more…

You fear God, so you don’t want to cheat on your spouse by exploring other avenues for sexual satisfaction outside your marital union. Hence you are committed to finding workable solutions to the conjugal discontentment you have been having with your spouse.

You have been praying about it. “There is nothing prayer cannot do,” you assure yourself. Thankfully you have some evidence that it is working…

In addition to prayers, you have been exercising your faith too. You are well aquainted with Hebrews 11:6 which tells us that “without faith it is impossible to please God…” So in that essential area of your life you have not ceased trusting in God, expecting things to turn out for the better between you and your spouse.

You are also a practical person who knows that every thing does not depend on prayer and faith alone. You have to do some work too – after all, “faith without work is dead,” says the Bible.

You suspect that if you are armed with the right kind of knowledge and the wisdom to apply it, your fortune in marital bedroom affairs could improve tremendously. Off you go looking for possible solutions from whatever sources you can find.

You have in the past attempted to have frank discussions with your spouse on these matters, which yielded some good results and some negative feedbacks too. Over all, you are making some progress, but you are not ‘there’ yet…

You are hesitant in asking a few of your friends for guidance because you do not want to bring the private events in your bedroom to the public square. Besides, some pieces of  advice from some of your friends in the past have not been so helpful.

Some even had the audacity to tell you to “look outside” your marriage for sexual satisfaction, just like they have done. But as a good follower of Christ you are, you refused such an advice and decided to stay faithful to your marital vows. Your sexual satisfaction would be from your spouse and no other, you maintained.

Unwholesome sexual behaviours
Source: Dennis Prager, PragerU YouTube Channel

To a large extent, you understand the place of sex in marriage and you are convinced about its significance in all ramifications.

You have read as many Christian literatures on sex in marriage as you could find. But you still have some areas of concern that have been left unaddressed: a detailed practical act of lovemaking in a Christian home, satisfying to both parties.

Seeking For More Help

You are welcome to search for whatever help you can get but be reminded that not all available helps out there are in your overall best interest.

Why did I say so?

Apart from the fact that the sexual act in most secular media is presented in a way you may not find very comfortable with, the context of the practice of it also falls below Biblical standards.

As you already know, most secular materials you will find do not approach sex from the perspective of a committed holy matrimony. The sex practice is presented from the angle of other relationship frameworks – mostly between unmarried partners.

Simply put, not many people will disagree with the observation that secular media seem to portray more of premarital sex, homosexuality and adultery than they do of marital sex. But as a Christian you know better and you deserve better…

You must know that any form of sexual activity promoted outside the context of a marital union should not constitute a good example for you to learn from. Therefore you should be wary.

God created sex to be experienced and enjoyed only within the confines of marriage. Any thing outside that is an aberration. Therefore all forms of pre-marital sex, extramarital sex and all other forms of sexual behaviour outside marriage are not God’s perfect plan for you and His other children.

The people of the word may think otherwise but you have chosen to stand with God and His word.

Your comments are welcome.

©CopyRight 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

Happy Democracy Day To All Nigerians

Democracy Day in Nigeria, May 29, every year.
Democracy Day in Nigeria. Picture credits: Facebook

As most of you probably know, I write this blog from here in Nigeria where I was born, live and also work.

Today is work-free in the country because today is Democracy Day. Except for those on essential duties or are involved in private businesses, most people will have family fun time-out or get-together today to mark the once-a-year holiday.

This Democracy Day commemoration is different from the International Day of Democracy pronounced by the United Nations General Assembly to take place every 15 September around the many countries of the world.

Democracy Day in Nigeria is celebrated every year on 29 May, in honour of the country’s return to democratic rule in 1999 after many years of tortuous military rule.

By October this year, the country will be 57 years as an independent nation. But today, we are recording 18 straight years of democratic governance, without any military intervention like before.

Given the country’s chequered history of multiple military interventions in government, achieving 18 straight years of democratic governance is not a mean fit. And despite our numerous challenges, we give thanks to God for all His mercies over the country and her teeming populace.

Congratulations Nigeria. And happy Democracy Day to all my fellow citizens of Nigeria.

Wherever you are around the world, please join in the celebration. God bless Nigeria. God bless all of us.

Kindly leave a message in the comment box for all my fellow Nigerians.

Life Is Tough

Life is Tough
Picture credits: Pinterest

Life is tough, no doubt
You can see it roundabout.
Despite the obvious pains
There are possibilities of gains.

Some experiences you may wish to forget
And there are some you had to regret
But there are also great days to remember
Some good memories to cherish forever.

Everyone knows life is tough
And the journey through it, rough.
But it is full of lessons to learn.
And many opportunities to earn.

Life is tough, not only here
But over there and everywhere.
You don’t have to complain.
Life is not a simple plane.

 

©CopyRight 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

Making A Turn Around From The Wrong Road

Not too late to retrace your steps.
Making a turn around.

The above infograph by Charisma Bible College, Colorado showed up in my Twitter time line this afternoon. I thought I should share it with you because it summarised what I have been thinking about for a while now.

“No matter how far you have travelled down the wrong road, you can always turn around.”

If you continue in the wrong direction, you will end up in the wrong destination.

Continuing on the wrong path will never turn it into a right path.

It is foolhardy to remain on the wrong road once you have realised where you are.

Remember the prodigal son: he retraced his steps once he realised that he was on the wrong path.

A new beginning awaits you if you would make a turn around from following the wrong road to the good.

It is never too late to turn from following the wrong road to the good one. But now is the best time to do so.

 

©CopyRight 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

How About Working HardSmart?

Hustle hard and smart
Recipe for success.

What is the one greatest recipe for success that comes to your mind? You will probably say it is hardwork or working hard.

You may be right. But some other person would say it is working smart. That is not out of point too.

In order words, success is not just about working hard but working smart as well. I hope you will agree with that?

If yes, then we may as well say for short that success involves working ‘hardsmart,’ meaning to work hard and smart, together.

Therefore to be successful in life, work, work hard, work smart. That’s to say, you should work ‘hardsmart.’ 

 

P.S. ‘Hardsmart’ came from a discussion I had with a few friends recently. Seems like the word makes some sense… What do you think?

 

©CopyRight 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

Six-Day Quote Challenge – Day One

the only way to God
The Only Way to God

Let me begin by appreciating Anne for choosing me to be part of this Special Challenge. I have decided to participate in it because I love quotes and secondly the process of participation is pretty simple when compared with some other challenge invitations I have received in the past.

Incidentally, this will be the very first post challenge on WP that I have accepted to take part in. All thanks to Anne who invited me to participate. Anne herself has been a very faithful follower of my blog, always contributing her views to most (if not all) of my posts.

Here is the link to Anne’s blog: Freedomborn…Aussie Christian Focus

The words in the quote, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” from the lips of Jesus is perhaps one of the most audacious claims by anyone in the history of mankind. And Jesus either meant every word in that statement or He was an imposter. But you can be sure that Jesus was not and could never be an impostor: He is the One He said He is: the Only Way to God!

For me, that claim is a huge assurance that as a follower of Jesus Christ, I am on the right path to God – the ONLY one at that. As a believer in Him, I have believed the Truth and not a lie and also that I have the abundant life since I have given my life to Him and have accepted Him as my Lord and personal Saviour.

For this special quote challenge, I am nominating two of my top followers below to participate in it:

Tikeetha T – A Thomas Point Of View

David Ettinger – Ettinger Writings

I look forward to reading their inspiring quotes if they would accept to participate in the challenge …. at their own convenience.

Guidelines for Posting…..

1. Thank the person who Nominated you.

2. Share a Quote you find inspiring and try to explain how it inspires you.

3. Nominate at least one person or more on your first post to do the Six-Day Quote Challenge (you can but you don’t have to Nominate anybody else on the other posts).

Thank you.

P.S.What does the quote in focus above mean to you?

Share A Smile With Me

Birthday party
Victor Uyanwanne

It is my birthday.
I thought you should know.
I have come a long way.
But much more to go.

I was born for a purpose
There is no doubt about it.
No matter what life & time propose.
I will never ever quit.

It is my special day
Share a smile with me.
I know you can find a way.
To be as nice as you want to be.

 

©CopyRight 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

The Only Book That May Never Be Read

The need to write a book.

I believe that books are some of the most wonderful things on earth. And reading them is one of the most productive use of time ever – far better than sitting in front of the television for hours.

As you know, to read a book it has to be written first. Thanks to everyone who has written some thing and made it available for reading.

Writers are awesome people. They impact our worlds and experiences in greater ways than may be imagined. You too can make your own contribution to the writing experience.

When it comes to writing, there is always room for more participants. If you are not already a full fledged writer, you should accept you are a potential one; You have the potential in you. Develop it by putting it to use.

To be a writer you have to write. You might not be the best yet, but you have to start from somewhere – where you are right now.

Great writers became great by writing. And so can you…

Explore your sense of imagination… Write down your thoughts as they filter into your mind. Share your unique (or not so unique) experiences in life by putting pen to paper or hands on your keyboard.

Just write…

Writing is what writers do. So why are you not writing? Do not worry if you will have readers or not. Do the writing first, readers will come along.

The best time to get started with it is now. The world is waiting for you; you should not be waiting for the world.

That book idea you have in your mind, put flesh to it and make it a physical reality. What’s the use of a book that never got written?

Whatever you write and made available will be read by someone. The only book that may never be read is the one you failed to write.

Share your views.

©CopyRight 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

No Dead End With Jesus

No dead end with Jesus
No dead end with Jesus

If Jesus is your Friend
There is no dead end

If things don’t look okay
Trust Him, He’ll make a way.

He did it before, yesterday
He’ll do it yet again, today.

If only you’ll call on His name
You will not be put to shame

You’ll not have to plead and plead
Before He will meet your need

With Jesus as your friend
For you there is no dead end.

 

©CopyRight 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

So You Are A Life Coach?

Are you a life coach?
What does a life coach do?

Just like everyone else, I have encountered many kinds of coaches in my lifetime. And they come in different colours and shades towards a given end.

I am sure you remember your math coach, dance coach, music coach, swimming coach, basketball coach, football coach, chess coach, business coach and any other kind of coach you might have come across in your life.

As far as I know, people who answer to any of the coaches above possess some identifiable, specific, special skills and experiences with which they impart other people who learn from them.

I do understand those ones…But I am a bit curious about those who call themselves a life coach. Those are the people this post seeks to understand better.

A life coach!

So you are a life coach? That sounds too enormous a title to me, and I am making some efforts to wrap my mind around it. That’s why I am asking these questions.

Are you a life coach? Can anyone, including you, fill that shoe properly?

Coaches are experts in something. Are you an expert in life? Have you mastered all about life itself in all areas to qualify as a life coach?

Can you give impeccably useful direction, guidance, instruction, training, support, to anyone and everyone in life that comes to you for help? Do you have the global picture?

Life coach…

Are you really comfortable using that term to refer to who you are and what you do? Can you let me into your world please?

Just how did you come about being refered to as a life coach? Is it a divine calling or a training, or both?

So you are a life coach, or is it just a nomenclature? Are you well rounded in all areas of life? Or shouldn’t you be?

Who certified you as a life coach? Is it God? If it is not Him, then who is the mortal that can take up that responsibility?

Speak to me! What exactly do you mean when you call yourself a life coach? I ask because I do not want to misunderstand you anymore.

You are a life coach? Is that not what they call you? Or am I the one that did not hear well?

Have you known, seen, experienced and understood life in all its ramifications? Have you been to the highest heights or descended to the lowest depths, and covered all the breadths of life?

Please don’t say I am pushing it too hard on you. I am not… I just want to know about you.

Can you help people in all areas of their lives? Can you meet people’s needs at the “spirit, soul and body” levels?

Can you excellently direct people in business, in politics, in religious, in sports, in health, in education, in entertainment, in aviation, in construction, in computing, in communication, in relationships, etc? Doesn’t being a life coach entail all of the above?

I just don’t understand you when you say you are a life coach. Should I say you might be a coach in an aspect of life and not life as a whole?

May be you should come to my aid and explain to me exactly what you mean when you say you are a life coach.

I am waiting…

©CopyRight 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

13 Kinds Of People Jesus Encountered On His Way To The Cross

The way to the Cross of Jesus
People Jesus met on His way to the Cross.

Jesus encountered many kinds of people on the day He was crucified. This post takes a close look at the roles played by these people from His trial to His eventual crucifixion.

1. The elders and the chief priests.

These were the religious power brokers wielding tremendous influence over the people and the government of the day. Over time, this strict sect of people became offended with Jesus, because they felt threatened by His rising popularity and the way He has been tackling them on various contentious issues.

They were losing followers to Jesus. And the more accepted Jesus became amongst the people, the less relevant it appeared that these revered religious group became. Out of sheer envy, they delivered Jesus to governor Pilate to have Him destroyed.

They conspired to have Jesus crucified and they had their way, without knowing they were fulfilling a divine purpose. That is why Apostle Paul while speaking of divine wisdom to the Corinthians quipped, “None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”

Yes, the Lord of Glory was crucified over spurious charges leveled against Him by this sect of unloving religious kingpins.

2. Pontius Pilate.

He was the unwilling partner in the greatest crime of all times. But he was equally guilty as the elders and the Chief Priests who masterminded the crucifixion plan.

As the ruling governor of the land, it was in Pilate’s powers to set Jesus free, having found Him to be innocent of all the charges they brought against Him. But he did not discharge and acquit Jesus because he feared the people more than he feared God.

He yielded to the blackmail of the people that he would be adjudged not to be Emperor Ceasar’s friend if he did not have Jesus crucified (John 19:12) as they demanded.

Jesus-trial
Jesus trial, Source – Bibleexplained.com

Therefore in order to be seen as not being disloyal to Ceasar, Pilate released Barabbas, a guilty man that deserved to die and killed Jesus, an innocent man that should have been set free. What a miscarriage of justice!

3. Mrs. Pontius Pilate

Amongst the participants in the crucifixion saga, if anyone was to be adjudged not guilty of crucifying an innocent Man, Jesus, it would be this woman. She knew the charges brought against Jesus were spurious.

She reckoned that Jesus being innocent should not be killed as the people demanded. To that effect, she pleaded with her governor husband not to have Jesus crucified. But he refused to be persuaded, leaving the woman completely helpless; her plea fell on deaf ears and Jesus was sent to Golgotha to die.

4. Barabbas

This was the ultimate beneficiary of the travesty of justice that Jesus suffered. Being a condemned criminal, he was scheduled to die. But he got a second chance at life when the people demanded him to be released to them instead of Jesus.

Congratulations Barabbas! While you, a convicted criminal was discharged and set free, Jesus an innocent Man was made to face the cruelest form of the death penalty at the time – crucifixion.

5. Judas Iscariot

Everyone knows him as the mole amongst Jesus’ disciples. It was him that gave Jesus the kiss of betrayal (John 22:47-48).

Being a greedy man, the love of money took the better part of him. He sold his Master to the blood-thirsty religious leaders for only thirty pieces of silver.

He later showed some remorse for this ignominious act by returning the money he earlier collected, but it already was too late; the deed had been done. Jesus had been captured and His traducers were not ready to renegotiate the deal with Judas as requested.

In the end, Judas died before Jesus. As he could no longer live with the heavy guilt of selling out on his Lord and Master, he took his own life, thereby sealing his destiny as the confirmed son of prediction.

6. The Multitude

These people consented to have Jesus crucified in place of a notable criminal, Barabbas. Without maintaining an independent frame of mind, they became willing accomplices in the dastardly execution of the evil machinations of the enemies of Jesus.

According to Matthew’s account, the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask for Barabbas to be released to them, and destroy Jesus instead. In response, Pilate flogged Jesus and released Him to be put to death by crucifixion.

That was the final nail in the coffin, the final blow that sealed the deal. And they took responsibility for their action: “Then answered all the people, and said, His blood [be] on us, and on our children.”

7. The soldiers

These were the band of military men directly under the command of governor Pilate. Once their leader had released Jesus to them to be crucified, these soldiers began to have free reins dealing disrespectfully with Jesus.

soldiers
Roman Soldiers (C) Alamy Stock Photo

They stripped Jesus of His own robe, put a mocking royal robe on Him, fabricated a crown of thorns on His head and began to bow their knees to Him in false worship.

Before leading Jesus to the Cross, they spat on Jesus, slapped His head and spoke to Him in derision, “hail the king of the Jews.”

These soldiers gave Jesus vinegar mixed with gall, which a source explained is “...usually given, according to a merciful custom, as an anodyne to those who were crucified, to render them insensible to pain. Our Lord, knowing this, refuses to drink it. He would take nothing to cloud his faculties or blunt the pain of dying. He chooses to suffer every element of woe in the bitter cup of agony given him by the Father.”

These soldiers crucified Jesus, “and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.”

8. Simon of Cyrene

The soldiers found Simon of Cyrene along the way and compelled him to bear Jesus’ cross to the desired destination. Depending on your perspective, you can say Simon was at the right place at the right time or at the right place at the wrong time.

At the right place at the right time because he had the opportunity to enter the illustrious pages of history as a burden bearer for Jesus. On the other hand, as a man in the right place at the wrong time, you may say the soldiers victimised him by forcing him to bear a burden he did not bargain for.

Whatever your perspective is, we will all agree that the history of the journey of Jesus to the Cross would be incomplete without a mention of this (un)willing burden bearer from North Africa.

9. The two thieves on either side of Jesus’ cross.

Then there were two thieves crucified with Jesus, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Both have been found guilty of criminal acts and were receiving the reward of their rapacious iniquities by being nailed to the cross.

Their being crucified alongside Jesus was a rare privilege, one that could have changed their eternal destiny once and for all. But instead of being remorseful for his sins, the thief on the left joined in the league of people mocking Jesus, saying “If you are the Christ, save yourself and save us.” He didn’t have faith in Jesus and he was far too short-sighted to see beyond the now.

Enter the second thief…

He was remorseful for his own sins, accepted his punishment and rebuked his other guy for reviling Jesus. Most importantly, he showed faith in Jesus by making the request that made him one of the first beneficiaries of the “salvation by grace through faith,” which the cross epitomises.

“Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom,” he said. “And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise” Luke 23:39-43. The second thief was saved at the last minute.

10. The passers-by

These ones had no pity on the helpless Jesus on the Cross. Instead of keeping quiet, they joined in the mocking party, reviling Jesus saying, “…Thou that destroyest the temple and buildest [it] in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.”

They also were too short-sighted to see the eternal purpose in the suffering of Jesus on the Cross. And of course, Jesus ignored them completely without responding to them and they went down in history as mere passers-by without any specific identity given to them.

11. The centurion and the guards

These were also part of the soldiers earlier mentioned. They are featuring here again because they had the opportunity to confess Jesus as the Son of God.

They had stood directly ahead on the crucifixion stage, guarding the dying men on the three crosses. As firsthand observers, they had witnessed something that gave them the correct perspective about whom Jesus is – the indisputable Son of God.

The records in the Gospels showed that as Jesus breathed His last, the earth quaked, the rocks split and the veil in the temple split too.

“Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.”

12. The Marys and the other women

These were a group of women who have been followers and supporters of the Ministry of Jesus. “Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s children.”

They did not abandon their Lord at the time of need. Although they stood afar off observing the crucifixion of Jesus, I would say they showed courage by sticking around despite the fear and threat to life they were exposed to at the time.

13. Joseph of Arimathea

You can call this man a secret disciple of Jesus. Nothing about his discipleship was ever reported until he showed up to request the body of Jesus from Pilate for a proper burial.

As with the prevailing custom at the time, this Joseph being a rich man, had prepared a tomb for his own burial. But as a mark of respect for Jesus, he donated his final resting place for the interment of Jesus.

According to Matthew, “when Joseph had taken the body (of Jesus), he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.

This singular act is what history remembers him for from that era till today.

This article examined the various characters that Jesus encountered during His trial and crucifixion based on the account in Matthew chapter 27. It is my believe that you have gained some lessons in one way or another by taking a closer look at them.

Share your own thoughts in the comment section below.

©CopyRight 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

It Is Finished!

Statements of Jesus on the cross
Redemption: Jesus finished the work on the cross.

“It is finished.”
It is more than just a sentence…
It is the final verdict from the lips of Jesus,
Meaning, the work is completely done…
Just as it was planned from the beginning.

The price of justice is fully paid for.
The sacrifice is complete and adequate.
I am forever  ransomed, redeemed
My sins are totally forgiven…
A new beginning is now mine.

The veil is rented in two…
The great chasm bridged, blockade removed.
Access to  God the Father is granted
By the sacrifice of God the Son.
My relationship with the Godhead fully restored.

The battle is over… won and lost
My Jesus is the victorious One.
The seed of the serpent bruised His heel
But the Seed of the woman crushed the head of the serpent.
Satan is defeated, shamed, disgraced forever…

Nothing has been left undone…
My past, my present and my future
All fully taken care of by His blood.
The work of redemption is complete.
Nothing can undo what He has finished.

 

P. S: If you like this poem, let me know by clicking on the ‘Like’ button below 👇👇

©CopyRight 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

A Conspiracy That Could Not Cover Up The Resurrection Story

A conspiracy that could not cover up the ressurection story.
Jesus has risen

The religious leaders of Jesus’ day knew very well that Jesus truly resurrected. But they were too ashamed to openly acknowledge it or let their subjects hear it, so they hatched a grand conspiracy to cover up the resurrection story.

I am not setting out with this post to fundamentally prove that Jesus rose from the dead because I believe He did. But I am taking a look at the official falsehood that was concocted to suppress the truth of the resurrection.

If Jesus did not rise from the dead as some people ignorantly claim, there would not have been any need for the religious authorities of the day to invent a theory with the sole aim of trying to refute the resurrection story as we know it.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ was a historical event that took place in time over two thousand years ago. As followers of Jesus we ‘know’ this by verified Biblical records as well as the fact that the living Jesus now lives in our hearts by the Holy spirit.

“When I first began examining the evidences (sic) for Christianity, I discovered that [the] belief in the Resurrection does not constitute a blind leap into a dark chasm but rather a step into the light. Indeed, the evidence for Christ’s resurrection is so overwhelming that no one can examine it with an open mind desiring to know the truth without becoming convinced of its truth” —Hank Hanegraaff,  in Jesus’ Resurrection: Miracle or Myth?

It is unfortunate that some people in the modern world have chosen to dismiss the Biblical account of the resurrection story as a work of fiction or a product of deluded minds. But you see, anyone who denies that Jesus rose from the death does so at his or her own risk, one that has an eternal consequence.

Doubters may continue to doubt, but it does not change the fact that Jesus died and rose from the dead. He is no longer in the grave

Resurrection of Jesus Christ
Easter Celebration

Before Jesus was born of a virgin, there were prophecies that He would be born that way. The purpose of His birth was also foretold and it was fulfilled to the later.

To fulfill the purpose of the redemption of mankind, Jesus had to die. But He assured His disciples that He would rise again from the dead. Whether or not the disciples understood or believed Him at the time is a different ball game.

In the final analysis, Jesus obediently walked the tortuous way to the cross, endured the excruciating pain on the cross and was laid to rest in a cold grave.

But Jesus came out of the grave, victoriously. As the Psalmist had proclaimed centuries earlier, the power of the grave could not hold Him for long. He came back to life. “For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave,” Psalm 16:10.

Recall too that during his earthly walk, Jesus Himself had proclaimed that He would die but He would resurrect. At one instance, He declared, “…The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.” Luke 9:22.

The Chief Priests Did Not Forget The Prophecy

The records in the Gospels show that the religious authority of the day remembered what Jesus said about rising on the third day. In order to block the perceived loophole, they decided to seal the grave properly and also set capable soldiers to keep watch over it, to ensure that Jesus’ body would not be stolen by His disciples.

Matthew’s account states that “..the next day, … the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead..” Matthew 27:62-66.

Having secured Pilate’s consent, the gravestone was sealed up and soldiers were put on the watch to ensure that Jesus’ body would not be taken away and thereafter report that resurrection had taken place. But that was not the kind of resurrection Jesus had foretold.

For instance, after chasing out traders from the Temple, Jesus proclaimed that if they killed Him He would come back to life in three days:

Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.  John 2:19.

Not only did Jesus resurrect as He promised, the rising happened in a most spectacular way: There was an earthquake and a heavenly angel appeared in blazing light and glory and the guards passed out at the sight of him.

“And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead [men]” Matthew 28:3-4.

Jesus Resurrection by Victor Uyanwanne
Benefits of the resurrection of Jesus to me

An angel rolled the stone away and Jesus walked out from the grave victoriously. Hallelujah!

Why Did An Angel Have To Rollaway The Stone?

Matthew Henry explains that “… Our Lord Jesus could have rolled back the stone Himself by His own power, but He chose to have it done by an angel to signify that having undertaken to make satisfaction for our sin, He did not break prison, but had a fair and legal discharge, obtained from heaven. He did not break prison, but an officer was sent on purpose to roll away the stone and open the prison door, which would never have been done if He had not made a full satisfaction.”

Jesus did not break ‘prison’. He got a heavenly discharge. He Resurrected with power and glory.

What about the soldiers? They witnessed the resurrection but could not withstand the accompanying awesome display of heavenly power, so they fell down and became half dead.

Enter The Conspiracy…

When the soldiers awoke from their near-death slumber, they went into town to the elders and the chief priests relating the events of the resurrection as they had witnessed it. But after collecting huge bribes, they were forced to change the resurrection story to agree with the wishes of their paymasters.

The guards were made to twist their testimony to say that the Disciples of Jesus had taken His body away by night. As shameful and unthinkable as that arrangement was, there goes the grand conspiracy they hatched with which they tried to cover up the fact that Jesus had truly risen from the dead.

And when they were assembled with the elders and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him [away] while we slept. Matthew 28:12-13

That conspiracy between the chief priests, on one hand, and the guards on the other thereafter gave rise to the so-called stolen body hypothesis, which according to Wikipedia, “…posits that the body of Jesus Christ was stolen from his burial place. His tomb was found empty not because he was resurrected, but because the body had been hidden somewhere else by the apostles or unknown persons.”

Unfortunately, many people then believed the lie that His body was stolen by His disciples. But we know better: Jesus truly rose from the dead, with power and Glory.

The grave is empty. His disciples didn’t steal His body away as the religious authorities claimed. Jesus arose from the dead with power and glory, just as He promised He would.

Jesus lives forever. And He is coming back again to judge the world.

Only a living man can speak. Jesus spoke and has been speaking, saying “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and death” Revelations 1:18.

Jesus is alive and we know it. Therefore, the ‘stolen body’ conspiracy could not and will forever remain incapable of suppressing the fact that Jesus resurrected from the dead.

What is your take on the step taken by the authorities of Jesus’ day to cover up the resurrection story?

©CopyRight 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

What Is Your Greatest Joy In Life?

Reason to glory on earth
Greatest joy in life

What is your greatest joy in life? Would you mind giving an honest answer to that question right now?

Before you continue reading this article, pause for a moment. And with your eyes closed, ponder a bit on the above question.

Once you have come up with an answer you are convinced about, hold it up against the brilliant light of the Scripture quoted below. (The purpose of doing that is to ensure that what you hold as your greatest joy on earth properly aligns with what God says should be your greatest joy).

Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:

But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.
Jeremiah 9:23-24.

From the above passage of the Scriptures, you can see at least three reasons to glory in life:

  • Intelligence – The wise man glories in his wisdom;
  • Strength – The mighty one glories in his might;
  • Wealth – The rich man glories in his riches.

But God wants the reason for your joy to be beyond the fact that you possess some high level of wisdom, intellectual power, physical strength, wealth or achievements in life.

He wants you to rejoice in the fact that you know Him as “the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth.”

If your greatest joy is based on the things of the world, then your joy will be temporary. But a joy based on your knowing God will have no ending.

I first began to perceive the truths of Jeremiah 9:23-24 at a crucial point in time during my undergraduate days.

One mid-morning like that while reading my Bible, the scripture quoted above literally leapt off the pages of the Bible right into my heart with a force so meaningful that I was left without any iota of doubt on the fundamental reason I should glory in life.

I was doing relatively well in school then, despite the harsh academic environment of that time. My grades were moving up against all odds. I thought that was a good reason to praise God.

“Yes, it was,” you might want to agree with me. But God had to put things in better perspectives for me. He graciously showed me that there was a greater reason I had to rejoice than academic progress.

Now I know better… so I am sharing it with you, with the hope that you will see some light in it too.

As a disciple of Jesus Christ, your greatest joy in life should not be based on the fact that you passed your exams, you got promoted at work, you bought a dream car, moved into your dream home, married your dream spouse, or had some other great goals you have accomplished.

Those are not bad reasons to be joyful. But your joy has to be based on something of eternal significance and not on things of ephemeral value. It has to be based on your relationship with God, not on things of the world.

For emphasis sake, l will have to say it again:

  • Your greatest joy should be that you know the Lord.
  • Your greatest joy should be the joy of your salvation.
  • Your greatest joy should be that your name is written in the Book of Life.

Jesus validated this position during one of the feedback conversations He had with His disciples as recorded in the Gospels.

According to the account in Luke chapter 10, Jesus had sent out seventy-two of His followers to go preach the gospel of the Kingdom around the neighbouring towns and villages. These specially appointed men went out and accomplished the evangelistic mandate given to them by their Master.

More so, they returned with joyful testimonies, declaring that demons were subjected to them in the name of Jesus.

The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”

You would have thought that the identified reason these rookie evangelists were filled with joy was good enough for them to rejoice as they did. But Jesus raised the bar when He responded to them saying, “…do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

“That your name is written in Heaven should be your greatest joy,” Jesus says.

Therefore, whatever you are able to accomplish on earth – whether in spiritual or secular things – should not be your greatest joy. Neither should your joy be in what this world can offer you. Rather your greatest joy should be that your name is written in the book of life in Heaven.

If you are not sure your name is there already in the book of life, you can get it in by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour now. There is no other way to achieve that.

What is your greatest joy in life? Share your views.

©CopyRight 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

Remembering The Fools Around The World

What are you if you say there is no God?
Who is a fool?

Every 1st April is marked as fools’ day around the world. Many people celebrate this day by playing different so-called harmless pranks, called April fool.

But this post is not going to be a prank, neither am I going to shout “Äpril fool” at you to show that you have fallen victim.

The post is going to touch on an important matter that reveals the identity of a person you are already familiar with, or at least have heard about one way or another – a fool!

In remembering the fools around the world today, let us begin by asking this simple question:

Who is a fool?

And then provide the answer:

A fool is someone who is unwise, lacks sense, and lacks judgement. Fools don’t want to learn the truth. They laugh at the truth and turn their eyes away from the truth. Fools are wise in their own eyes failing to take in wisdom and advice, which will be their downfall. They suppress the truth by their unrighteousness…. Fritz Chery, Biblereasons.com

The above is a familiar definition of who a fool is, and I will agree with you on that. But beyond that obvious meaning, let us look at it from another perspective, a better perspective I should say.

In exploring a better perspective on the topic, it is good we refer to the Scriptures for the perfect answer. Does the Bible tell us who a fool is?

Yes it does. Let us see it in Psalms 14:1(NLT):

Only fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and their actions are evil; not one of them does good!

The Bible passage is quite clear. But in case you missed it, let us say it again: anyone who says there is no God is a fool. So the next time someone tells you there is no God, please do not take offense. Just remember that person has just revealed who he is: a fool, a big one at that.

Read: 16 sobering things every atheist should know

If you are one of those fools who have said there is no God, and you happen to be reading this post, I owe you no apologies. In the first place, I do not even expect you to be offended that you are called a fool. Why should you?

Since you are comfortable saying boldly that there is no God, in the same vein, you should be comfortable answering your Biblical name: a fool.

Today is your day. Enjoy it. But remember that one day, you shall stand face to face in judgment with the God whom you fail to acknowledge here on earth.

You have read my take on remembering the fools’ day today. What is yours?

©CopyRight 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

Learn, Always Learn 2

Learn, always learn by Victor Uyanwanne
Things to learn from 2

Learn, always learn.
Learn from your friends.
Learn from your enemies.
Learn from everyone in-between.

Learn, always learn.
Learn from your failures.
Learn from your Successes.
Learn from the processes in-between.

Learn, always learn.
Learn from those who rejoice.
Learn from those who mourn.
Learn from other people in-between.

Learn, always learn.
Learn from those who celebrate you.
Learn from those who criticise you.
Learn from the indifferent ones in-between.

Learn, always learn.
Learn when on the mountain top.
Learn when in the valley below.
Learn when anywhere in-between.

Learn, always learn.
Learn from your weakness.
Learn from your strength.
Learn from anything in-between.

Learn, always learn.
Learn from males and females.
Learn from babies and adults.
Learn from everyone in-between.

©CopyRight 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne