Jedi.

He still takes my breath (and sleep) away, the way he so trustingly rests his head on my chest is still unnerving…

Millicent introduces our son, Jedidiah Alexander, sharing her experience of being a first-time mum with her usual wit and humour.

Enjoy, share and please leave your comments.

Sista Seiz...

Surgeon 1: “Millicent, I’m going to need you to push”
Me: “you are kidding me right?”
Surgeon 2: “No he’s not. It’s ok, we just need you to push”
Me: “but I’m having a C-Section and I can’t feel my legs” (at this point, it hadn’t occurred to me to ask WHY)
Surgeon 2: “it’s ok, just push and your body will respond”
Me: attempting a semblance of a push while thinking… “They crazy!”
Bud: looking animated and sounding like a minion that just saw José Mourinho… “Oh wow! Babe! The baby just moved! I can see more of him! Push some more!
Me: thinking… “Jesus take the wheel of this drama”

Being a first time mum can be such an exhilarating feeling…

Picture4

It can also make one a Mumzilla –
“You are holding his head all wrong”
“His nappy is too tight”
“Who touched the thermostat?”
“Sssshhhhhh!…

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Reblog: Land of Blue – My Maldivian Adventure! (Part 2)

An adventure in the Maldives

Sista Seiz...

First Things First…

“First I prepare. Then I have faith” – Joe Namath

Picture6The vast and seemingly endless ocean had always been my fascination with the Maldives, I  had nursed the thought of visiting the place until I finally got the chance. However, there was just one problem.

Picture1I couldn’t swim. At all.

So I felt it was imperative I learned how to swim as my intentions and hopes for going to the Maldives was not limited to enjoying the view of the ocean and feeling the cool breeze on my face. Who does that?

Picture7In hindsight, I may have deluded myself a little (Fine! more than a little) into thinking I would be good enough to give Daryl Hannah (from the movie ‘Splash’) a run for her money after a 10-week run at the pool. However, it gave me the motivation to take my lessons seriously for two reasons:

  1. I…

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From Death Comes Life…

I lost a son of mine two days ago… Its sad that its taken his death to stir my creative juices and bring my blog back to life.

But that’s the way God works, it took the death of His Son to stir the creative juices in man and bring him back to life, back to the original purpose. It took death to bring out the best in man, to set him free to dream.

I dedicate the revival of my blog to the young man who has not died in vain, to his elder brother who I love so dearly; did I say he was a young man? NO!! He was a boy, a lively, intelligent, and entertaining boy called…

Udochi…

Still have tears in my eyes… Still have the last sms you sent to me… in which you called me a father…

I’m reminded of the fact that life is for a moment…

If I leave this earth today, what will I be remembered for, who will thank God for knowing me, and above all, where will I be headed – Heaven or eternal damnation?

I’m learning to redefine my priorities, to focus more on things that have eternal value; to touch every life I come across; to forgive all, no matter the hurt; to please God in ALL my actions and thoughts…

I’m NOT afraid to die, No… Christ took that fear away, that’s what He did on His cross and when I accepted Him, HE took the power of death and the fear that used to control me… Now I’m free to Live HIS life, above fear, above death.

1 Cor 15:55-58
Who got the last word, oh, Death?
Oh, Death, who’s afraid of you now?

56 It was sin that made death so frightening and law-code guilt that gave sin its leverage, its destructive power. 57 But now in a single victorious stroke of Life, all three — sin, guilt, death — are gone, the gift of our Master, Jesus Christ. Thank God!

58 With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.
(from THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. All rights reserved.)

Godswill Ebuka, my heart and prayers are with you at this time…

Silver Coins and the Art of Speech

Silver coins and the art of speech

We’ll  be continuing our series on Leadership qualities we can learn from the greatest MAN that ever lived – JESUS. You see, the fact that He lived on earth as a man gives you and I hope that we TOO can do the things He did and even greater (John 14:12)

**You can click here to read the first part of this series**

INTRODUCTION

Lets start with the our foundation scripture written by the renowned Medical specialist, Dr. Luke…

Luke 6:40 “A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.” ~NIV

Here we see that each of us is a potential leader, although not all of us grow to actualize that potential. It is my prayer that at the end of this series you and I will have learnt a thing or two that when applied will bring out the leadership potentials in us thus empowering you and I to influence our society positively.

PRINCIPLE 2 – JESUS WAS AN EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATOR (John 1:1-3)

In John 6:63 we see that words are spirit, words are eternal, they never die…

Have you ever said some nasty words to someone at work and find that a day or two later while rolling on the bed trying to catch a nap, those words begin to playback in your head?

Or perhaps someone  insulted you last week, do you find that each time you see that person, you hear the words all over again?

As I wrote in my article on words, Don’t use bad words and expect that an apology will make it all go away, trust me, those words live on in the mind of the person you spoke to and others who may have heard you.

**Now some of you might be wondering what all this leadership talk has to do with you especially when you feel you’re JUST a new recruit in a firm, an undergraduate or a stay-at-home mother.

Well, before God, you are a leader as long as you have ANYONE within your “sphere of influence”  be it your little nephew, your spouse or your friends at the local pub.**

LEADERSHIP IS INFLUENCE!!

Every Leader Must be a Master of Words

We must learn how to use the “instrument” of words effectively, creatively and productively.

Words are the vehicles that carry our thoughts and every leader must master how to convey the thoughts in his/her mind exactly as they are.

**Lets take two quotes, one from someone you should know and the other from a book you really should read more often**

“If I went back to college again, I’d concentrate on two areas: learning to write and to speak before an audience. Nothing in life is more important than the ability to communicate effectively.” 
~ Gerald R. Ford (38th US President)

Prov 25:11 “The right word at the right time is like a custom-made piece of jewellery”  ~MSG

The ideal communicator is one who makes use of the exact words that describe what he is thinking. Effective communication paints the right pictures in the mind of the listener, it enables your audience to SEE what you’re saying.

**Now, a few people might be asking, how good is this JESUS guy whom i’m using as a model? Yeah, He’s the Son of God and all; I know He did a couple of miracles while here, was always at odds with the pharisee dudes and even walked on water at a time to meet up with His buddies… But, we’re talking about communication in the 21st Century with platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and of course WordPress. Can I learn anything contemporary from Him?**

Let’s hear what two of His cronies have to say about His speaking prowess…

Mark 1:22 “They were surprised at his teaching — so forthright, so confident — not quibbling and quoting like the religion scholars.” ~MSG

Matt 7:28-29 “When Jesus concluded his address, the crowd burst into applause. They had never heard teaching like this. 29 It was apparent that he was living everything he was saying — quite a contrast to their religion teachers! This was the best teaching they had ever heard.” ~MSG

**I can HEAR the silence… Yeah, He was that BAD!! (or that good, depending on what generation you belong to). Now back to our class **

The Man JESUS Spoke with Authority

He spoke as one who knew who He was, what He was saying and had absolute control over the subject matter being discussed.

He did not speak with doubt, but rather with conviction and commitment, He spoke from personal experience not hearsay.

There are two kinds of speakers:

  1. Those who carry other people’s views and,
  2. Those who speak from their heart what they know and have experienced, these group of people speak with authority

You must know your subject, not only in your head but you must also live your subject in order to be a great leader/communicator

**The word “subject” in this context is not the title of a course in school, but an area of focus, one in which the leader specializes and constantly develops expertise in**

JESUS Used Memorable Illustrations (parables)

Let’s take at an one of His many parables as reported by our friend Dr. Luke…

Luke 15:8-10  Or imagine a woman who has ten (silver) coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and scour the house, looking in every nook and cranny until she finds it? 9. And when she finds it you can be sure she’ll call her friends and neighbors: ‘Celebrate with me! I found my lost coin!’ 10. Count on it — that’s the kind of party God’s angels throw every time one lost soul turns to God. ~MSG

Now, on the surface this appears to be a simple story about a pretty tight-fisted woman who seems to have a lot of time on her hand… BUT, if u dig in a bit, you’ll see that:

1. The coin is silver, of intrinsic worth and value; not base metal, as iron or lead. A coin as you know has an image on it. In this case this silver coin is stamped with God’s image and superscription, and therefore is of extreme importance.

2. The coin was lost, This silver coin was lost in the dirt; a soul plunged in the world, and overwhelmed with the love of it and care about it, is like a piece of money in the dirt;

3. While many of us may not make a big deal out of a penny or two that has fallen into the drain, here, a great deal of care and pains  is taken in the quest to find it. Depicting that God cares about EVERY soul that is lost!

4. The woman lights a lamp, to look behind the door, under the table, and in every corner of the house, sweeps the house, and seeks diligently till she finds that ONE coin. This represents the various means and methods God makes use of to bring lost souls home to Himself: He has lighted the candle of the gospel, not to show Himself the way to us, but to show us the way to Him, to discover us to ourselves; He has swept the house by the convictions of the word; He seeks diligently, His heart is upon it, to bring lost souls to Himself. ~MHC

** Now, i’m sure you’re amazed at how much information our Model – JESUS conveyed in that short story of 75 words  compared with  the 237 words of my explanation**

So what do we learn here:

1. Keep your message simple: keep it clear, be in touch with your subject and use memorable illustrations that people can remember.

Use everyday words to explain complex ideas, remember that only a few people are at your level of education, so keep it simple.

2. Don’t water down the message: While making effort to simplify the message, we must clearly define the non-negotiable part of it; i.e. Keep the essence of the message intact.

3. Speak within the context of your audience: JESUS passed his message using imagery that his audience were familiar with and could relate to. Since Isreal was agro-centric  at the time, most of His parables were related to various forms of agriculture such as  fishing and farming.

4. Variety is truly the spice of life: He used various communicating forms such as parables, dramas or a surprising statement. Attimes, speakers must make use of introductory statements that will draw people’s attention before going ahead to give the main message.

5. Be the message:  Whatever JESUS said represented who He was; He was ONE with His words. Your words should represent your character. There’s no point preaching/teaching what you don’t practice, people relate better to those who have been there, done that and got a T-shirt!

6. Challenge your audience to action: The basis for judging the effectiveness of your communication is the number of people that put your words to work. Design your message in such a way that you provide practical steps that people can follow in order to walk the talk.

CONCLUSION

Before we close today’s class, lets hear from what some notable people have to say about our subject matter:

“The language of truth is unadorned and always simple.” 
~ Marcellinus Ammianus

“Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.”
~ Attributed to Plato

“Who you are is speaking so loudly that I can’t hear what you’re saying.”  **I love this one!**
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Speak clearly, if you speak at all; carve every word before you let it fall.”
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

WORDS have creative power, they carry your Ideas and reveal your thoughts. Effective use of words is an art and you and I will (by God’s grace) become the  next ARTIST that everyone’s talking about!!

PeeJay’s Angle


P.S.

It is my hope and prayer that you have learnt a thing or two in today’s class, please feel free to drop a comment **I love comments** or a question below. You can find out more about the Author here.


 

Credits:

1. MSG – (from THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. All rights reserved.)

2. MHC – (from Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, PC Study Bible Formatted Electronic Database Copyright © 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All Rights reserved.)

Leadership Gold from the Master (Part 1) – Maths, Greek and Killing Goliath

Killing Goliath

I’m starting a series on some leadership principles we can learn from the greatest Man that ever lived!

Lets start with a brief introduction to whom we’ll be learning from – The Man, JESUS the CHRIST (a title which means “The Anointed One”)

He is referred to in Scripture as: Our Advocate (1 John 2:1), Our Chief Shepherd (1 Pet. 5:4), Our Deliverer (Rom. 11:26), Our God (John 1:1; 20:28; Heb. 1:8; Rom. 9:5), the Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Rev. 5:5), the Lord of lords (Rev. 19:16), King of kings (1 Tim 6:15; Rev. 19:16), the Man from Heaven (1 Cor. 15:48), Our Husband (2 Cor. 11:2),  Our Protection (2 Thess. 3:3), the True Light (John 1:9), the Wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:24), and the Word of God (Rev. 19:13).

** I can imagine that’s as much scripture references as some people have seen in a year! But you never know, someone might need them… *

** STOP!! DON’T PASS GO! DON’T COLLECT $200!! UNTIL YOU’VE READ OUR RULES OF ENGAGEMENT BELOW!! **

BEFORE WE BEGIN:

This will be a training session, so I will expect you to whip out a Jotter and take notes!

** No noise or side talks please **

INTRODUCTION

Let’s check out Luke 6:40: A pupil is not superior to his teacher, but everyone [when he is] completely trained (readjusted, restored, set to rights, and perfected) will be like his teacher.” AMP

Here we find that:

  1.  Leadership is transferable; it is not exclusive to a particular sect of people and certainly not to people from particular part of the country.
  2. For Perfect training to take place :
    • The disciple must place himself under the teacher
    • The teacher must not be selfish with knowledge
    • The disciple must have a passion for his lessons

PRINCIPLE 1 – JESUS HAD A SENSE OF HISTORY & TIMING  (Luke 4:14-22)

Anyone who wants to sharpen his leadership skills should have a sense of history. Every Leader must discern the moment of significance to his life and mission and should know when to move from future projection to present timing.

HISTORY = HIS + STORY

History refers to people who impacted events and the story they made at that time.

The Importance of Timing (Eccl. 3:1-11)

A leader must discern the moment in time when he must rise to fulfil the significance of his mission.

** Now introducing New word! STOP THAT!! don’t bother your dictionary, its in GREEK!! **

The greeks have a word called Kairos, It is rightly defined by wikipedia as the  right or opportune moment (the supreme moment). In rhetoric kairos is “a passing instant when an opening appears which must be driven through with force if success is to be achieved. And in the New testament, kairos means “the appointed time in the purpose of God”, the time when God acts (e.g. Mark 1.15, the kairos is fulfilled). It differs from the more usual word for time which is chronos (kronos).

Great Leaders have a sense of timing; they know how to seize that kairos moment. These are moments in time when your preparation meets Opportunity.

An example is David who seized the “Goliath opportunity”, we find that David had been PREPARING HIMSELF with skill long before his opportunity appeared. God doesn’t give you what you have for yourself, He gives it to you for a far greater/larger purpose, and when you locate that purpose, you become unimportant and that purpose becomes the most important thing.

There is no doubt that every opportunity has risks attached to it, but when you come to your moment in history, you won’t die until you’ve fulfilled your purpose. Your Life is tied to your destiny and that destiny preserves your life.

The following things will help you to seize your moment of opportunity:

  1. There must be PRIOR PREPARATION
  2. You must have a sense of vision (the ability to predict how the situation will turn out)
  3. You must have an understanding of the times and seasons. Each season in our life has a particular duty to perform. If you don’t get bitter about a particular season, then you’ll become better

** NEXT, I’ll be teaching you GREEK Mathematics!! Yeah, you finally have something to ask that “annoyingly smart fellow” at work! Please STOP smiling, you’re in a class room remember? CAN I GO ON? **

GRECIAN ARITHMETIC OF KAIROS

WRONG ACTION + RIGHT TIME = DISASTER

RIGHT ACTION + WRONG TIME = RESISTANCE

RIGHT ACTION + RIGHT TIME = SUCCESS

** There just seems to be mathematics everywhere!! THANK God for Calculators!! **

CONCLUSION

Not Every opportunity is for you, it is only an opportunist that looks for opportunities without adequate preparation for them. Our Case-in-Study, Our Lord JESUS never said anything or pushed for any form of relevance until He was empowered by the Holy Spirit!

You need COURAGE to take hold of your opportunity; courage is the ability to act in spite of danger. Courage does not connote fearlessness, but rather facing your fears SQUARELY.

P.S.

I do hope you’ve been able to pick a few things from the first part in this series; I look forward to your comments and questions. *Please scroll down and post a comment/question*

PeeJay’s Angle

Words, Love and Buying Lunch!!

Love all your Enemies!

Hi folks, been having a burden about my Words and their impact on others and also on how to deal with Difficult people.

Did a lil study to get God’s perspective on this issue and thought i should share what i found!!

Proverbs 18:20-21, Romans 12:9-21

Our words are POWERFUL!! We can KILL people with our words, a lot of people with low self-esteem today are that way because of the effect of the negative words spoken to them by their parents/siblings over the years.

We must recognize that our words move in TWO directions, OUTWARD & INWARD, so negative words spoken to other will CERTAINLY have a negative impact on our lives. (Prov. 18:20,21)

Our words should be used as a tool for encouraging, comforting, uplifting and challenging people to reach for higher heights.

If we were to playback some of the words we’ve spoken in the last week/month especially in anger, we’ll be shocked!

God holds us responsible for our words and their effect on the lives of others.

If we are to fulfill God’s purpose in our lives, then we MUST check our words, we need to take a moment to consider the impact those words will have on the person you intend to talk to…

We may apologize, but the truth is, Its HARD, VERY HARD (Its takes God’s grace) to forget certain hurtful words cos words can’t be easily dug out once they’ve been sown!

WHAT DO WE DO??

To those who have a weakness with words and have used them to their detriment and that of those around, THERE IS HOPE!!

Actions, we say speak LOUDER than words… So take out time and think of those we’ve hurt (Knowingly/otherwise) by our words (whether they deserved it or not). Start by saying “I’m SORRY”, then through consistent positive actions, show that/those person(s) true love, God’s love.

in Romans 12:14, God instructs us to bless those that persecute (who are cruel in their attitude) us, Vs. 17 says “don’t pay back evil for evil”.

So even when bad/discouraging words are spoken to us, we have a responsibility, as God’s ambassadors, not to reduce ourselves to that person’s position by cursing/responding in a similar manner BUT rather (like Jesus did on the cross & before Pilate), we are to be quiet, bless and pray for them….

Romans  12:14-21 sums it all:

14 Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. 15 Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. 16 Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody. 17 Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. 18 If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. 19 Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.” 20 Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. 21 Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.

(from THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. All rights reserved.)

Remember we CANNOT say we love God that we can’t see if we don’t love our neighbours who we can see!!

[1 John 4:20-21  If anyone boasts, “I love God,” and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see?

(from THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. All rights reserved.)]

Lets live a life with standards above those of this world, God’s Standards!!