TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

This must be said.

It grieves me when I wake up early to go to work only to find another man who had woken up much longer than I did preaching to souls that need to be preached to.

I am not saddened that they preach, but I think that if you’d go through all that sacrifice to do a noble thing, then that thing should be done right.

Painting pictures of hell, creating awareness about the existence of demons isn’t what the gospel is about. In fact, a strong rebuke against sin isn’t what the gospel is about too.

All that will never CHANGE a man. Only the gospel is the saving power of God. Only the gospel CAN make men be BORN AGAIN.

Think about it…The only reason why a *danfo driver uses a seat belt is because he sees that he is approaching a Lastma official. The instance he gets past the checkpost, he throws it away like we dispose used toilet paper. The Fear of *Lastma bends him to use the seat belt, but as soon as the sight is gone, he returns to his posture as a non seat belt user.

All those sermons about hell and the rest only put fear in the hearts of men. Fear bends people’s will, it doesn’t change it. As soon as the picture you paint fades from their heart( and it will fade b’cos really, we’ve got important issues like fuel to think about too ‪#‎lol‬), they soon return to the very things you tried to save them from.600x600

The gospel is the GOOD NEWS. It is a story of LOVE and perfect love casts out all fear. The Gospel doesn’t DEMAND change from people who can’t even change in the first place, it OFFERS change to those who would BELIEVE. The gospel doesn’t say go to church, rather it says God is running back to you, open your heart to him. The Gospel doesn’t demand that you love God, it preaches that God loves you, has sent his son to die for you so you can be forgiven of ALL sins, and so you can receive NOW, eternal life.

Think of it, who wouldn’t love God back after he has received God’s love and forgiveness. And love is the fulfillment of all the Law. When we see the love God has for us, we are propelled to reciprocate the love to him and the people around us.

So the next time you decide to preach the gospel, ask yourself, is my message a GOOD news? If no, then it’s probably not news at all.

Before you repost that facebook message, will this sow the seed of LOVE in men’s heart? If it won’t, then it is probably not worth your time.

Selah

*A Danfo bus is a commercial peassenger bus popular in Lagos Nigeria

*Lastma is a traffic enforcement agency in Lagos.

Plans, Purposes, and Pursuits

imagesPlanning is so important that even God in all his might doesn’t fail to plan. He always has a plan- A plan for the whole world and a plan for you and i. That’s why he is way ahead of the adversary because the next set of moves he’d make are plain before him. He is never caught off guard. (Jer 29:11)

So if God makes plans, why don’t you?

Some take consolation in verses in Matt 6 which advices that we take no thought of what we will eat and drink and of our tomorrow. But really, that verse had no reference to planning! What Jesus was addressing in that portion of scripture is worry; and even though there is a thin line between both, there is also a huge difference between them.

So if God makes plans, why don’t you?

Worry is negative. It drains you. It is an abuse of your imagination and as such should be avoided. Planning is positive. It requires you to stretch yourself, task your imagination, and exercise your faith in God and his abilities in you and through you.

In Luke 14:28 Jesus advises that whoever who set out on a project must first sit to count his cost to see if he has enough to complete it. He said that whoever fails to do so is at risk of failure and shame. Planning is a preparatory act that can’t be ignored. Opportunity only favors the prepared; the man who has planned.

Many people refuse to plan because they don’t want to risk failure. They have probably set goals in the past that they failed to meet and are afraid to repeat the same. I heard once that If you aim at nothing, you will hit it a 100% of the time. Refusal to plan and set goals for those people will never make them better. If you refuse to take risks, you might not fail, but you’d definitely not win. So I advise that you set those goals. Really, you have nothing to lose but everything to gain.

Opportunity only favors the prepared; the man who has planned.

When you make plans and set goals properly, you’d most like succeed at them. Properly means that you set appropriate and worthy goals and that you map out strategies to score them.

Other people fear making wrong plans that are contrary to what God has planned for them. In someone’s opinion, why make plans for myself when God has already made some for me? My question to that is- is that a submission to fate or a confession of faith? The former I dare to say. God indeed has plans for you but he won’t force them on you. He needs you to take those plans for yourself and work them out through his help. Proverbs 16:3 (GNB)- Ask the LORD to bless your plans, and you will be successful in carrying them out.

is that a submission to fate or a confession of faith?

My plans? I want God plans! So do I. Nothing stops you from making God’s plans for yourself. God is always trying to let us on in on the plans he has for us. Php 2:13(GNB) says God is always at work in you to make you willing and able to obey his own purpose. Isa 55:8 wasn’t referring to you. It is the wicked man that God asked to forsake his ways. Yes, God’s thoughts and plans are higher and better than the ones we can make for ourselves. But God wants us to know that we can attain those thoughts (1Cor2:9-10). He has no glory in hiding them from us but takes all glory in us living them out.

So, don’t be afraid to make plans for your life. Set BHAGs and pursue them. Commit your desires to God who is able to do immeasurably than you can plan for yourself and watch him do wonders through you and for you. You’ve got nothing to lose!

 

Afolabi Soaga

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In the face of Disappointments

Depressed Person

Everyone gets their own dose of it at some point in their existence on the earth. Disappointments in the story of our lives are like Snow fall in winter, you can bet on it. For some people it could be a failed examination, interview, business contract or relationship; or even the betrayal of friends and family; everyone of us at some point in life set our hearts on certain things and we just don’t get them while some others get certain things they never really wanted.

In a good number of cases, we don’t get what we want because we are not qualified for it or because someone else was more qualified than us. Relationships fail because people who were not ready for it delved into it. Interviews fail because people don’t prepare adequately and so goes the same for examinations.

Solution to this isn’t difficult to see. You don’t need to understand rocket science or see a prophet to know what to do here. If its qualification, get it. If its preparation, get it! If its timing, wait and be patient till you are ready. Whatever the case maybe, keep a positive attitude and try again more intelligently and appropriately.

But at times, the disappointments we face are entirely not our faults. There are times you felt that you’ve covered every possible angle and done all you can do and in all honestly feel you deserve the government contract or the A grade in that course but you still don’t get it. You’ve done your best and maybe didn’t even leave any ‘rest’ to God and yet still got disappointed. Such was my case in a recent project I embarked upon; uhm…..I did leave a ‘rest’ to God though 😀

The question then is, what do we do next after such?

Every disappointment poses a question to you. What are you gonna do next? You’ve got only 2 options. React or respond.

People that react either over react or under react. Hardly can anyone ever find balance when they are reacting because reaction is often outside your control. It is you taking action based solely on what occurred to you- in other words you become a thermometer whose results are influenced by external conditions. You are not in control, you are controlled and so you most likely act out-of-control. When the query is the right you also become right, but when its wrong like a disappointment then you become wrong too.

Responding to issues on the other hand is bringing things under control. It is you being a thermostat which regulates external conditions. It is you giving a reply based on the quality of yourself and not the disappointment of the stimuli. It’s is you being the influencer and not the influenced. You don’t just get to do what is normal or what you are expected to do; rather you do what is better, sometimes abnormal and most times extraordinary or what you ought to do.

See Proverbs 25:4-5. Don’t answer fools according to their folly, or you will become like them yourself. Answer fools according to their folly, or they will deem themselves wise.

Don’t the two statements sound contradictory to one another? Maybe not if you put sequence and scenario to it. The author there was saying that you shouldn’t hastily react to a fool’s utterance; you should respond to it. Hence, first it says don’t answer/react, then it says answer/respond.

Now lets talk about answering disappointments.

Its a mind thing. Disappointment troubles your mind. It tries to reconfigure your heart status. Hope took you on a high and reality is pulling you back…..managing the instability of this process is what dealing with disappointment is.

How do you win?

Stay hopeful by keeping your eyes on the bigger picture. Give substance to your hope by having faith and faith is a product of a belief in certain things like ‘all things are working together for your good’; ‘God loves you and wants the best for you’; ‘You are God’s investment in the world and his attention is on you as he is interested in every detail of your life’. He won’t let you fail.

He is able to do exceedingly and his plans are always better. And as he has begun a good work in your life, he is faithful to complete them. You didn’t come this far to lose.

When you shift focus from the disappointment of the hour to the bigger hopeful picture of life, then there becomes no challenge greater; no valley too deep and no mountain too big. We draw strength from our knowledge that the adversary has been defeated and so we are victors through God. And though a chapter of our lives may contain pain, suffering, and disappointment; we know that this book has a happy ending.

I’ll end on this note is stumbled upon once. It read “Sometimes when we don’t get what we want, it is because we are about to get better things”.

Soaga Afolabihopeful__always_by_sweetxxxgirlxxxjo-d4u7nxw

photo credit: Google

Two classes of people.

The other afternoon I was all by myself in my big little world and in front of me was this huge audience comprising people of all age, race, class and sizes. This is what I said to them.

There are certain things I want you all to know today. Very important things I should add. People go all around not knowing who they are or what they are worth. And so they end up living life as it is rather than how it ought to be. They play with the cards they are dealt without knowing that they could be served better ones. They settle for less when they could be having much more.

Today is correction day! If you fall into this category of people, do not be dismayed b’cos that is changing today. If you’ve ever felt bad about yourself or felt like life is not worth it or that you are not worth it. If you’ve ever felt like throwing in the towel, giving up or thought death to be better than life….then this is for you.

Let me show you who you are.

You are not a biological mistake or the worthless product of a failed abortion. You are not a mere offspring of a rape incident, one night stand, or someone’s uncontrolled lust and passion. You are way more than that.

You are created by a God of love. You are his investment in this world. A gift from him to mankind. You are a masterpiece. Carefully and thoughtfully put together. Another wonder of the world. And you are loved by him and priced far above iphones, Ferraris, private jets, and exotic vacations.

You are not just God’s investment, God also invested in you- talents, abilities, gifts, beauty, life, a mind with imagination, a spirit with resilience, a smile that inspires hope in you and others. He also invested in you people and quality relationships, and very importantly Dreams! You are a man/woman loaded and filled with substance. You have worth and value beyond what you can ever imagine. More still, you have all it takes to be all God has made you to be.

You are not just 1 of the 7 billion people in the world; you are 1 in 7 billion- Special, divine, unique and one-of-a-kind.

But I hear you say ‘I’m not fabulous’; I’m not fantastic and do not have greatness in me. Note this….we are not who we are, who we are, we ought to become. Man was not made a finality but rather a possibility. You can decide to be better than your present state……you can best your life!

That same creator that formed you also created the sun in all its efficiency, the stars in all their beauty, the moon in its tranquil, the ocean in its massiveness, the fishes and the birds and the entire universe and all its simple complexities. And so just like them, you are efficient, beautiful, and yes you are a BIG DEAL.

Hear this….

He also made the seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years and the whole of time. He is creator of time and seasons and though he is not in it, he made them all. And all the things he made he did for a purpose for he is a producer with intent.

He made you; he made them, and made all things for a reason. the question then is, what is that reason? this is the question many people seek answers to but not many people find. so today we have 2 types of people- those who know what purpose is about  but not what it is (purpose seekers), and those who know what it is and are living it (purpose doers). the difference between them is questions they seek answers to.

A lot of people chase after purpose all their days when those days ought to be spent living that purpose.

But you won’t be a part of that crowd anymore because now you know what purpose is. you know that purpose is a question of:

  • What are the things that I have at hand?
  • What is the best use of these things?
  • How can I profit with them and how can they profit other people?
  • What is the best use of my time NOW?

The answers to these questions are what you should find out. Find them out and let them be your daily guide.Let them decide what you pursue and how you spend your time. Its time you quit the race of people who are searching endlessly for the reason for their existence…people who in the quest to find a life for themselves have stopped living the life they have only to merely exist. Purpose isn’t something you merely ought to know, its something you should be constantly aware of; it is not something that will happen, but something that is happening.

I’m challenging you to live life, unleash potentials, and make impact every day, anywhere and in anyway. Each day has a purpose it ought to fulfil. If you can help each day of your life find its purpose…..then you would have fulfilled the purpose of your life.

Soaga Afolabi

the blessing of a disability: a fable!

Everyone I’ve had to share this story with had a good laugh and also a great lesson to go home with. Today, I want you also to have a taste of it. Its source is not known but its morale is similar to what the bible teaches when it tells us in Rom8:28 that we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good(MSG).
The story starts with a powerful king of an ancient city and his faithful friend who seemed to have a quite disturbing problem. This friend that I’d today call tony for the sake of identification, had a problem of not being able to see anything bad in any situation. To every event and occurrence in his life, tony would always respond by saying “It is good; it is in fact very good”. This had always disturbed this powerful and sometimes irrational royal friend of tony, but he never paid any attention to it until one faithful day.
Tony on that day crossed the limit of his friend’s patience while they were on their usual hunting spree in the thick of the forest. A wild beast attacked the king and bit off his right thumb. The king struggled to deliver himself from the beast’s grip with little or no help from tony but had to settle with his thumb forever gone, and his blood spilling all over the place…. To his great displeasure, all tony responded with was his usual saying “my king and friend, this is good; it is in fact very very good”.
Not the kind of thing anyone would want to hear after losing a member of the part of his body, the king got a little infuriated rebuking his friend and his comment for as far as he was concerned, there is nothing good about losing one’s finger. But like I said, this is something Tony seemed unable to help. So he maintained his position. “This is good my king” he kept on saying.
By the time they got back to the city, the king had it full and was fed up with his very uncompassionate and unreasonable friend and so ordered him to be locked away in the dungeon till further notice. Anything to keep his friend’s constant ‘it-is-good’ nagging would be fine he thought especially when this friend has refused to be unrepentant about this.
And so many months passed, perhaps even years. Many waters passed under the bridge and the king had gotten used to being without his friend. Deep hunting was the king’s hobby and was ingrained in his character and so in the absence of his imprisoned friend, the king had to do it all by himself.
On one of those faithful days, the king encountered yet another misfortune. This time not with a wild beast, but rather with people of his own kind but who had a habit of eating people. We call them cannibals. The brave king could not fight himself out of this one and so he found himself in the cannibal’s tribe camp in front of this massive pot about to be cooked.
As they stripped him of his hunting costume and dressed him like a Christmas or thanksgiving chicken about to be launched into the cooking oven, one of them noticed that the king was thumb-less. The unfortunate day turned out to be fortunate for the king because it was an abomination for the people of that tribe to eat anything that was not whole or complete. To their greatest disappointment, they had to release the naked man to go. The king managed to cover his nakedness a bit and made his way back to his palace.
After such a dramatic near death experience, understandably, the next few days were ones of deep reflection for the king. As he settled back to his daily routine, the king remembered again his old friend whom he threw into prison. He remembered the circumstances that surrounded that and remembered his famous words that made him irrationally lock up his friend. He had now come to agree with his friend that losing his thumb that day was a good thing because that singular ‘lil-evil’ prevented him from the greater evil of losing his whole life.
With deep remorse, he asked that his friend be released from the prison for he had treated him unjustly. While the king was still contemplating in what manner he’d apologize and try to make it up to his old friend, tony sprang in once again shouting and screaming what has become his trade mark saying “it is good, it is very good”. Neither the sight nor demeanour he expected from his friend whom the king knew had by now heard of the story of how he was saved by his ‘prophecy’ years ago; tony whom the king expected to be angry and gloomy was bubbling with sincere joy and happiness. ‘My dear king, it is good!!!” he kept on saying.
“I can understand that you are happy that I’m alive and well and that is good. But it is certainly not good that I locked you up all this while for saying something that turned out to be true after a long time”. This time around, the king would demand an explanation from his friend.
Like someone who had thought well about the question while spending his lonely days in the dark dungeon where he had been locked up all these while as if he were expecting the question, tony responded with a spontaneous sporadic but yet sound answer.
“Well my king, it is good that you lost thumb that day because clearly it has saved your life this time. Also, it is also good you locked me up because that also has saved my life. If you hadn’t, it would have been both of us hunting that day….they would have captured us both. You are incomplete, I am not….they would have released you while me…….uhmmm, you know what would have happened to me!” then he added, “my king, it really is good……in fact, very, very good.”
The morale of this interesting story is this. There is always something good about everything that happens to us. In comming to terms with this truth, we’d learn to be more grateful and appreciative of the situations that life throws our way. Even when we can’t seem to see any good in those things in the present, we can believe this that good can and will come out of them in the future.
This helps us live life enthusiastically. Enthusiasm stems from the greek word entheous; which means God within. That’s the kind of force and spirit we need to live the God life here on earth and secure the God-kind of victoty over our adversities.
Let me leave you with what joseph said in Gen 50:20. “Don’t you see, you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good, as you see all around you right now–life for many people.”
It’s possible that Joseph probably heard this fable too, or maybe it was tony that read the bible. But they both were able to see and focus on the silver lining in their dark skies and were both successful at the end. You too should. Have a blessed week!

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

a white lie fed to black men

One lie most of we black have grown up believing is that the white race made life better for us. So we think they are a superior race. Despite all the campaign against such silly thoughts, many people where I’m from still believe the same. We think that as long as it is white, then its right; or that if it is from the UK then it must be really OK; and that if it is from abroad then it is divinely from above; but men…….all this is really not always true.

They told us that the white man gave us electricity. I say False! Edison and Tesla did. The white man didn’t give us Microsoft, bill Gates did. And like bill said in an interview once, he wasn’t the only white kid that had the resources, information and opportunity he had then, million other whites also did. But bill (1 individual person) started the company Microsoft. The white man didn’t give us airplanes, the wright brothers did. They didn’t give us what has been termed the next best gift to mankind after Jesus- Google; Larry Page and Sergey Brin did. I like million other young men love the video game; but that also was not the white man’s invention; Ralph Baer did. E-mail was by Ray Tomlinson, camera by Stephen Sasson, and our beautiful Facebook was by mark Zuckerburg; not the white man. Indeed, all these men I’ve mentioned thus far were white in colour, but their colour wasn’t what produced the solutions and inventions, rather their hard work and geniuses which are exclusive of their race did. So I won’t attribute those inventions to the white race rather, to the men who worked hard to make them realities.

Creativity is inherent in every man God made. In the bible book of Genesis, we are told that we are all created in his image. Men, women, children, aged, black, white, Hispanic, tall, short, potbellied, hour glass shaped, and every other categories and human types in between; we are all created in the image and likeness( i.e. similitude which refers to the very substance that makes up his being) of our creator.

In the same chapter of the book of Genesis, we see that one major feature or characteristic of God is creativity. That’s what he is and that’s what we all are- creative and innovative. Many of us have lost touch with that part of us due to our dogmatic daily routines and other creativity-killers we are involved with, nonetheless, that doesn’t change the fact that it is in us- both white and blacks.

Let’s take this a bit further. Men of African descent have also made their own inventions. Did you know that the Air conditioning unit was made by Frederick M. Jones in July 12, 1949. Richard Spikes made the automatic gear shift in February 28, 1932. The cellular phone was invented by Henry T. Sampson in July 6, 1971. The elevator was by Alexander Miles(the man in the picture below), fire extinguisher by   T. Marshall, guitar by Robert F. Flemming, Jr., hair brush by a 19th century woman named Lydia O. Newman. Walter B. Purvis made the hand stamp, Sarah Boone invented the ironing board, the lantern was created by  Michael C. Harvey. The lawn mower was invented by  L. A. Burr. Refrigerator, spark plug, tricycle and even the type-writer were all made by people whose skins were black.
Don’t get me wrong, I must say the black man didn’t any of the inventions I have thus far listed in the previous paragraph, noble men and women who fortunately had black skin did. So don’t say that the black man invented the traffic light, because it was actually Garrett Morgan who had a black skin who did.
So it is really not a function of their race or skin colour. Its about who we are and who God has made us. He made us all equal, no one is superior to the other. I must admit that they have a structure over there (abroad) that allows people reach their potentials better than we have here. All the black inventors I have mentioned and the ones I have also omitted probably made their inventions in the white man’s land……but even that isn’t a function of location but rather of the systems and the individual and collective men and women that made those systems. (there is this stuff I heard that if we move all the Americans and relocate them to some parts of Africa, and do the same to those Africans by moving them to America; in a few years’ time, those remote places in Africa will become as America…and America will become in most ways as the Africa we have today. It’s just a thing about our mind-sets)

We Africans can imagine, and so we can invent, we can innovate, we can create. Yes we can! If we can, we should; if we should, we must. So lets arise o ye Africans. Its time to write new chapters in the books of history……..chapters about a glorious Africa; a Africa of good people, great nations, new inventions and innovations. A Africa that is not just receiving from all others, but rather one that is making solid contribution to the development of the global world and the achievements of the goals and objectives of the entire humanity.

Soaga Afolabi Olusegun.
Inspireda4.wordpress.com

i wont give my life to christ, pls dont give yours!!!

WARNING: this piece is hazardous to the religious mind of a Christian. Reader’s discretion is advised. 🙂
I have spent the past 5 years of my life as a student of the prestigious and highly religious Obafemi Awolowo Univeristy, ile-ife, Nigeria. About 2 to 3 years of that time, I served as a pastor to a campus fellowship…… a responsibilty I’m pleased to have been trusted with because it gave me a platform to bless people. Those were perhaps the best periods of my life. Having said that, something like what I titled this piece many would reason should not be heard from my lips and many of my friends and colleagues will be deeply surprised and some disappointed I am posting something like this. Despite all, I choose to maintain and stand upon what I’ve said; it isn’t a mistake, I won’t give my life to Christ and if you stick to this a little longer you’ll know why and probably opt to do the same.
First, I searched through the KJV bible (using my e-sword) and shockingly, I did not see ‘literarily’ anywhere in which Jesus asked me to give my life to him (methodology: type give your life to christ( or me) in your bible search engine and scroll through the results if you find any). I searched the epistles again which I personally attach a lot of importance to and disappointingly I still couldn’t find any such request or instruction there. Desperate to be convinced, I opened the highly contemporary THE MESSAGE translation hoping someone would have sneaked in something king James mistakenly omitted but it was still the same story.
All my life as a Christian, I’ve seen and heard many preachers (myself inclusive) ask people to give their lives to Christ. All that while all of them seemed to have used a bible when preaching but now I wonder which bible they got that idea from because I can’t seem to find it in mine.
I then decided to do something else. I replaced the ‘g’ from give with an ‘L’ to get the word live. I re-did my search and this time I came across some scriptures and I’ll love to point your attention to the one below
2Co 5:15 And He died for all, so that all those who live might live no longer to and for themselves, but to and for Him Who died and was raised again for their sake.
(AMP) emphasis mine

We are asked to live for him rather than give our lives to him. Now, this is the point I get to say that living for Christ and giving our lives to him pretty much mean the same thing. It’s just plain semantics but I believe it got some people’s attention but before you get at me for that let me now also state and explain the point I am really trying to get across. What I really want to bring out here however is that our life is meant to be lived not given away. God gave us life so we can live it and not just keep it or store it up somewhere.
Here is the problem with ‘giving our lives to Christ’. Most people who have this mentality tend to fall into either of these 2 groups. The first group are those who claim with their mouths to have ‘given Christ their life’ but who then go behind and take it back by the way the live that life. They are the ones who live life as they please with no regard for the precepts and instructions of God (they place all the importance on the moment they ‘confessed Christ’ and have no regard for the period after that).
The second group are the ones who ‘give their life to Christ and refuse to do anything else with it. They prefer to leave it all to him so he could do it all for them (looking at this closely, most people here do it not out of love for God but rather out of fear of hell and a selfish desire to have him do things for them). Many people that live with this give-away mind-set refuse to really live life. They are the heavenly-conscious-earthly-irrelevant-people who have trusted their lives in God’s hand waiting for Jesus second coming and doing all they can to avoid the world, its people and its system so as not to get ‘corrupted’ with the sins of this world. They won’t go into politics, entertainment, business or anything. They are okay with just getting by….they sing ‘this world is not my own, I’m going home one day to meet my God’.
So its like 2 extreme positions. Those that are over-living and those that are not living at all. Once again, balance is our problem.
Really like Dr Myles Munroe said, there is indeed no greater burden than freedom as freedom requires the highest level of responsibility. Christ has bought us freedom. However, he didn’t pay the price of his life so that we can be dummies and robots for him, rather like the verse above said, he wants us to live our lives for him. See this…..he lived because of us and died/ gave his life FOR us so we can die to self first and then LIVE FOR him. Christ expects us to be responsible enough to live right, choose right and by our living, reveal his love and wisdom to the world, spread his gospel, all of which will eventually bring glory to his name.
So salvation is not an escape route from hell as some people view it, but rather a door into a new life of kingdom responsibility. God wants us to live life and do good works here on earth while we are at it. He didn’t ask us to receive him only to wait till when he’ll return to receive us, but rather that we should get busy living our lives to establish his kingdom here on earth. In essence, the essence of salvation is not so that you will make heaven but beyond that, that we should create heaven here on earth for others around us thereby leading them in the process to God.
Jesus instructed in Luke19:13b that we occupy till he comes. In other words he was saying get busy with living life! Jesus was telling you here not just to give your life to him, fold your arms and expect him to keep it for you only, but rather that you live your life, unleash your potentials, make impact, and Achieve Greatness.
Let me state it clearly again as I conclude. Giving your life to Christ and living your life for Christ really mean the same thing. I made that decision for him a while back and it is the best I’ve made so far and I stand by it. What I have tried to point out is the problem having a ‘give your life to’ mind-set creates. It produces Christians who are either living life in their own terms with no regard to God’s will and desire, or Christians who have decided to stay alive but stop living life because Jesus is coming soon. If you fall into any of the 2 camps, you need to get out now! Start living life and this time live it for him. To do that, you’ll have to ‘die’ to self first so you can begin to live for a greater cause (john12:24-25). Remember he lived first and then he died and now he lives for ever. So live for him on earth, be his representative, touch lives, make impact, create an heaven experience for those around you, invade the systems and take over them for God, bless your generation and leave your foot prints on the sand of time. Christ’s finished work avails you all these and more. To whom much is given much is expected…. Achieve greatness.
Soaga Afolabi Olusegun
@inspireda4

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clutter: guttermost or uttermost

What we call store room in most homes and offices is actually where we have chosen to keep all our clutters. Clutters refer to those numerous possessions we have but don’t really need, or those we no longer use but then for some strange reason or the other, have simply refused to dispose.
In elementary science, I remember being taught that matter is anything that has weight and occupies space. Well, I have reached a conclusion that this definition applies to our subject matter today. Clutters have weight and occupy precious space; Space that ought to be used for something else is what most of us use to store up unnecessary clutter. One obstacle to progress and increase in life I believe is clutter. Clutter isn’t meant to be kept, but rather thrown away. And the following few paragraphs will attempt to convince you on why you clear your homes, offices and yes heart of all that is unnecessary.
Although, Clutters generally refer to materials and stuffs, but in the context I am writing from, it could also mean habits, character behaviour, desires, goals and ambitions. The morale and what needs to be done is the same. Whether it’s an idle ambition or an old skateboard, or some familiar habit, or that old shirt in your wardrobe; all clutter pose the same problem and so require the same type of counter measure.
You have probably heard about the sermon on the old wine bottle and new wine (Luke 5). These 2 Jesus taught are non-compactible. They simply can’t go together. If new wine is gonna come, old wine bottle must go. And this applies also to other life in general because if new stuffs will come in, old stuffs must go. Unaware to most people, the Clutters we keep prevent new stuff from coming in. if new stuff meets clutter inside your home, there would be chaos everywhere. And so the new prefers to stay away until you make room for it.
But then, have you ever wondered why do people tend to keep clutter? I learnt something called the revealed preference hypothesis in micro economics. Basically, this says if the new is better, the new is preferred. And this is the psychological reasoning of every rational person. So everyone wants better and everyone wants the new. So if clutter keeps stuff from coming in, why do people still keep it? The great rabbi Jesus also reasoned along this line and proffered some answer to this. He explained that no one who takes the old wine straightaway desires the new because he will feel the old is better. This is a classical problem of the human mind.
This is what I call an illusion of abundance. It has been our general assumption that having is always better than not having and that half bread is always better than none. But in reality, half bread at times is what keeps full bread from coming in. our human nature of always wanting and acquiring has mis-programmed us such that we are deceived into thinking we have abundance when we don’t dispose unnecessary stuff away. But then, it is only an illusion because that abundance is of little or no use and so doesn’t profit or bring gain. The truth however is that plenty doesn’t always represent prosperity and there are times when less is more.
There is a law that says until there is a release, there can’t be an increase. Jesus told his disciples that there is a man that scatters and yet increases but another that gathers and yet tends to nothing. The illusion that this false abundance brings is only temporary because we soon discover (even though we mostly choose to disbelieve) that the clutters we have refused to let go of so it can cause new to come in soon becomes so stale that without choice it has to go but this time it is without the ability to reproduce and cause new things to come in.

Change is not always without pain and sacrifice but still yet it is one thing I life that is inevitable. Everything changes with time either for the better or the worse. When we don’t allow for positive change that though painful, makes us better; then negative change which is even more painful would be imposed on us.
A seed needs to be killed for it to reproduce. A seed not released and sowed (killed) cannot reproduce itself. And seed just like opportunities have life span. When stored longer than necessary, they become stale and unable to reproduce. When your seed goes stale, it becomes a total loss. You can make that clutter a seed. Its your choice; will you rather sow it and let it multiply or keep it while it decays and rusts away.
In conclusion, your old wine or clutter are not necessary bad things or spoilt things nor are they bad habits or failed goals and ambitions. They could be good stuff. They don’t just refer to obsolete possessions of yours; in fact at times they might still very useful stuff. Yet, we still need to let them go. Realize this, the best enemy of the best at times is the good and so if we let go of these good stuffs, better ones can come.
The message here is to clear our clutter. Get rid of the unnecessary and stale. Give away the ones you can, sell some and others are best in the dustbin. Check your habits too. Some don’t make for greatness. Get rid of them too. Re-examine your vision, goals and ambition. Some of them need to be re-casted; others are just not in tune with what God as revealed to you as his intentions for you. No matter how wonderful they are, let them go. Re-appraise your knowledge base. The illiterate of this century are not those who can’t read or write, but rather those that can’t learn, un-learn and re-learn. Equip your mind and be willing to let some things go so that better ones can come in.
To go up, we need to give up. When we release we increase. When we clear our clutter, it moves us from the gutters to the utters of life. It teleports us from the lowest grounds we might have been struggling in to life’s peak and zenith. It’s your time to shine. Succeed
Soaga Afolabi

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shift: from backseat to center stage

I recently told a friend that if people tell you after seeing you for the first time after a long while of no contact that you haven’t changed, you shouldn’t regard it as a compliment but as a remark of failure. Abraham Lincoln said once that “I don’t think much of a man who isn’t wiser today than he was yesterday”. And so in the church I attend, it’s our custom to conclude each service by saying to ourselves ‘every day and in every way, I’m getting better and better’.

I pleased to say that this has been the testimony of my life. I’ve moved from being that guy that sits at the backseats of meetings to the man who owns the centre stage. You might have heard me say it before that there was a point in my life I could barely speak to one person, talk less of addressing a crowd, but today I look forward to opportunities to speak before multitudes of any size. In fact the bigger the crowd, the more excited I am about speaking. I’d love to share some of the keys that helped me practically break out of that limitation timidity placed on me. If you want to build your self-esteem, confidence and move from back seats to having the spot light on you, you could also adopt them.

First, solve your identity crisis and come to terms with who you are. When a man identifies the purpose for his life and the reasons for his existence, then and only then can he move from merely existing to really living life. To solve this crisis, ask yourself the following questions.
Who am I?
Why am I here?
What do I have?
What can I do?
Where am I going to?
Providing answers to this both spiritually and otherwise will start you along the path of self-confidence. There is something that makes you unique and special, when you find it, it will transform the way you view yourself and view things and people around you. Discover your purpose

Second, build your knowledge base. One of the reasons why some people can’t face a crowd is usually because they don’t have anything to say. A lot changed for me when I started reading books. Even the bible tells us plainly, that knowledge puffs up (1cor8:1).i.e. It has the inherent ability to make proud and boost confidence. Pride is evidently not a good thing but confidence is a quality characteristic to develop. Seek to know; when you know, you’d be known. Not because you’d be shouting your name on the rooftop, but there is a way knowledge announces itself. Remember, when the clouds are full, they empty on the earth. In the account of job, Elihu was too loaded with sound knowledge to be timid in the presence of Job and his friends.

Thirdly, work and earn yourself some cash. If you aren’t already doing this, you need to start planning to. There is something money being in your Pocket does to even the way you walk. It just has a way of influencing you and boosting your confidence. Being rich even has a way a people and crowd respond to you. Trust me, there is no easier audience to face than a willing and receptive one.

Fourthly, make impact. Do something with your life and touch someone’s heart no matter how little that touch is. There is a kind of feeling that helping someone especially when they can’t repay you gives you that nothing else does. It could be of your knowledge, skill, substance, time or whatever it is that you can use to be a blessing. I can assure you that as you do your confidence and esteem would grow and grow.

Last but not the least is to know God. This has worked wonders for me. In all sincerity, life really started for me when I got to know God for myself. Not just knowing about him like I did all my life, I got to really know him. Not as what the pastor or books said, nor what friends suggested, but what my spirit came to understand. I came to a realization of his plans for me, his will, and his love and that revolutionized the way I perceived myself. I’m not talking mere religion as I do not regard myself a religious fellow but a personal deep rooted knowing of who your creator is to you.

A mixture of these 5 keys alongside some other principles that time, space, and purpose will not permit me to tell here was my recipe for breaking out of timidity into the realm of good esteem and confidence. It basically moved me from the backseat to the centre stage. With this basic 5, I’m sure any timid man can be transformed. If I who was the least of timid people could get over it, so can you. I charge you to go for it, do what you’ve gotta and be what you ought to. Don’t be satisfied with the status quo timidity and shyness limits you to. Remember, our greatest fear isn’t that we are inadequate, but that we are more powerful, beyond what we can phantom. Be the best you. Succeed!

Afolabi Soaga.

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AP: lincoln’s real secret to success.

Probably the greatest example of persistence is Abraham Lincoln. If you want to learn about somebody who didn’t quit, look no further. But is persistence the only lesson we can learn from one of the greatest presidents america has ever had? I don’t think so.

Here is a sketch of Lincoln’s road to the White House and underneath it is a brief comment on some other things I think we can learn from him.
1816: His family was forced out of their home. He had to work to support them.
1818: His mother died.
1831: Failed in business.
1832: Ran for state legislature – lost.
1832: Also lost his job – wanted to go to law school but couldn’t get in.
1833: Borrowed some money from a friend to begin a business and by the end of the year he was bankrupt. He spent the next 17 years of his life paying off this debt.
1834: Ran for state legislature again – won.
1838: Sought to become speaker of the state legislature – defeated.
1840: Sought to become elector – defeated.
1843: Ran for Congress – lost.
1846: Ran for Congress again – this time he won – went to Washington and did a good job.
1848: Ran for re-election to Congress – lost.
1849 Sought the job of land officer in his home state – rejected.
1854: Ran for Senate of the United States – lost.
1856: Sought the Vice-Presidential nomination at his party’s national convention – got less than 100 votes.
1858: Ran for U.S. Senate again – again he lost.
1860: Elected president of the United States.
 
Lincoln himself once said “My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure” For a man who lived the life just narrated above, its clear he was speaking from experience and that he lived his own advice. I however believe that his discontent with failure not only moved him to try again, but also to learn, un-learn and re-learn certain things.

Ordinarily, we’ve been taught that persistent was the major tool he used in his life and somehow we have believed it was the only tool. But I discovered that persistence alone can’t achieve much. A wise man commented once that “it is foolishness to do the same thing the same way and expect a different result”. If you persistently do things the wrong way, you’ll consistently be wrong and you’d consistently fail.

I discovered that lincoln was a progressive learner. He learnt new strategies and increased in wisdom. And though he was persistent in his pursuits, he understood the importance of growth. He didn’t allow failure at one exam stop him from preparing for another. He kept on advancing and progressing, seeking greater things. Contesting for higher positions showed that he didn’t remain at one level of development as what is required to contest at stage 2 is always higher than that at stage 1.

We need opportunities for success; and opportunity comes to everyone. But opportunity alone is not enough, as opportunity without corresponding strength, ability and preparation would end up being a waste. Benjami disreali said that “the secret to success is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes”.

There is such a thing as active patience(AP). Its something we all have to learn. It is what makes persistence profitable. It means doing the required things while being persistent. It is taking the bull by the horn and not just waiting for life to swing luck your way. It is understanding that opportunity is attracted like a magnet to those actively positioned for it. This is what distinguished lincoln and what made him a success. Whether you fail or succeed, there is always something you need to do to maintain or repeat success. Success is never automatic.

So the message today is this: keep learning, growing, and improving. Acquire new strategies, there are times when winning strategies fail (for the first time). Don’t just relax and call it persistence. Great men who make impact and register themselves in life’s history books are always on the offensive. Lincoln was a learner; you should be too.

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