Category Archives: Life

Mobile Lies – What About It?

It was a Tuesday morning and I boarded a danfo from the popular CMS bustop, heading towards VI. We were over halfway through to the final destination of the bus and I was getting ready for a new day at the office when my thoughts were interrupted by a phone call nearby.

“I am at the gate… I went to use the ATM”

What? Really? A couple of heads turned towards the passenger that made the comment. Uncle, you can lie. Haba!!

Within minutes, as I walked towards my office, behold, I heard another:

“I dey Mowe now, I dey come”

My God. Mowe is a town in Ogun state, very close to Lagos and this man is in Victoria Island, 90 kilometers away. Why would he do such?

I began to ponder why we make such lies especially via phone calls and social media. It is rampant. But what the bible says about lies?

 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” – Exodus 20:16

Do not steal. Do not lie. Do not deceive one another – Leviticus 19:11

“There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.” – Proverb 6:16-20

The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy. – Proverb 12:22

Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom – Song of Solomon 2:15

A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will perish.” – Proverbs 19:9

A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump – Galatians 5:9

Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices – Colossians 3:9

“But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” – Revelation 21:8

We know the story of Ananias and his wife in Acts 5. You know how it all ended. God wants us to always speak the truth, even if it hurts. God would rather have us tell the truth and suffer for it than to tell a lie to avoid the consequences. This doesn’t exclude “white”, “helpful”, “minor”, “tiny”, “little”, “tactful” lies like padding your CV, covering up for your boss, selling a product etc. Be wise. Read more about white lies.

As we have read, all liars who refuse to repent and trust in Christ are headed for the worst judgment imaginable (Rev 21:8). We all lie but we can all be forgiven (1 John 1:9) and have the righteousness of Christ imputed toward us (2 Cor 5:21) but only for those who repent and believe the gospel (Mark 1:15) and that’s the truth.

Telling the truth is not an option but a commandment. You don’t need to remember anything when you tell the truth.

Enjoy your day.

@AmosCP

Handling Criticism

Today is the 102nd day in 2017. As you may have read in previous posts, I am on a daily bible reading plan and part of its 100th day section was from Proverb 9:1-12. It talks about handling criticism. 

When we are criticised, there is no point in replying to those who are merely mocking us (v.7). If we do they will hate us even more. But it is worth replying to the ‘wise’.

Our response to criticism should never be to ‘insult’, ‘abuse’ or ‘hate’ (vv.7–8). Rather, we must learn from it in order to become ‘wiser’ and to ‘add to [our] learning’ (v.9). Indeed, our response to a rebuke should be increased ‘love’ (v.8b).

This is far from easy – our natural reaction to criticism is often to lash out, or try and justify ourselves. Yet the wise path is to seek to learn from the rebuke or instruction, however difficult that may be.

For example, I have noticed over the years that those speakers who do not like their talks criticised seldom improve. Those who invite constructive criticism and are not threatened by it often improve rapidly and become far more effective. A right relationship with God will increase your wisdom (v.10), and enable you to hear constructive criticism and grow through it.

Lord, give me wisdom to be constructive when I give criticism and gracious when I receive it.

I believe this will help you become better today. Have a nice day.

AmosCP

With Love From The Bible

Few days ago, it was celebrated by many as Valentine’s Day with “love in the air” but what does the bible say about love?

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. – I John 4:8

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. – John 15:13

Do to others as you would have them do to you. – Luke 6:31

Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12:29-31

And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. – Mark 12: 33

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. – I John 3:18

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. – I Corinthians 13:4-8

See what kind of love the Father has given unto us, that we should called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him – I John 3:1

Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. – Romans 13:8

Hatred stirs up  strife, but love covers all offenses. – Proverb 10:12

Do everything in love. – I Corinthians 16:14

Applying Lessons Learnt

After the test, I walked out of the hall, worried and lost. I was disappointed at my performance and couldn’t believe I was only able to attempt just one out of four questions. It was a disaster and below my expectation. I was devastated. As I took calculated steps towards my hostel, I knew I had to do something to avert the slide. We were heading for an unknown period of school strike no thanks to demands from the National Universities Commission (NUC).

We were taking stocks some weeks ago. I was taking stock of my academic life that fateful day. Have you been able to document your life in different fields? I bet you have taken your time to play back 2016. You smiled at some and frowned at others. You wished for a replay of some events and hoped that some others will never occur again.

Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible. -St. Francis of Assisi

There were some highlights you would love to hold on to for the new season. There were some methods that produced so much fruits. There was a reading pattern that helped you pass your exams. There was a bible app that helped you draw closer. There was a routine that made you healthier and happier. There was something that stood exceptionally glorious. There were friends that brought out the best in you. Hold on to them or still look for further improvement.

There were few that held you down and restricted your flight in some fields. There were colleagues that made you feel less of yourself and had a way of talking you away from your divine goal. There were patterns that hindered your activities. There were some activities that drew you away from God. There were some apps that took much of your time. Prune them. End them. Turn around.

If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. – Matthew 5:29

Back to my opening experience story, I spent the 2 months NUC strike on that course – Engineering Thermodynamics. For the first time, I bought two past question booklets with answers. One was for Engineering Thermodynamics and the other for Computer Studies. I just didn’t understand the latter. I buried myself in these past question booklets, answering them over and over again. I was still dazed by my performance in that test.

It is not enough to be compassionate – you must act. -The Dalai Lama

These are lessons learnt but they are not just for documentation purposes. They are for your improvement. Wouldn’t you like to be better in the New Year, the new season? There is always room for improvement. You shall have no better yesteryears.

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. – Philippians 3:12-15

Cheers. @AmosCP

Originally posted on Exceller Blog

Time To Take Stock

write-down

Growing up in the suburbs of Lagos, my mum had a shop – not as big as a supermarket but big enough to cater for the house and provide for normal expenses associated with kids. There was a culture I grew up to learn from my mum and that culture is STOCK TAKING.

I resolve for 1920 to sit down all by myself and take a personal stock-taking once a month. To be no more charitable in viewing my own faults than I am at viewing the faults of others. To face the facts candidly and courageously. To address myself carefully, prayerfully, to remedying effects. – B. C. Forbes

After the noisy crossover nights, infested with loud firecrackers and “Happy New Year” shouts, my mum took to the solace of the quietening environment to look back at her shop and make preparations for the New Year. She would take me and any other member of the house and we would assist her in taking stock in her shop. She needed “actuals” and not mere assumptions, generalizations nor sight deceptions.

Galatians 6:3-5 – For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbour. For each will have to bear his own load.

It was a very serious exercise for her because it gave her the opportunity to know how much goods she had and which of these goods will expire in the next 365 days and the actions thereof to eliminate them. We had our pens and papers and we divided the shop into various sections. Expired goods were disposed. Those that had 30-60 days validity period were marked out for immediate consumption while records were kept and made reference to.

As Christians, it is expected that we take time out to examine our lives and deeds with the objective of running The Race lighter, earnestly contending for The Faith, achieving the divine goal and making improvements where needed. This is usually achieved if we look at our lives into three phases: Past, Present and Future.

II Corinthians 13:5 – Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

Without the past there will be no lesson learnt. Within the walls of the higher institution, the availability of my result after every session was a catalyst to taking stock of my academic life. Every present result emanated from actions in the past. These past actions have to be closely dissected to draw out lessons learnt in order to make appropriate improvements for the present and the future. If we must change, we must first recognize what is wrong. It requires deep and fearless personal searches without meandering away from the “dark spots”. This inventory has to be done accurately else the result will be skewed wrongly.

Lamentations 3:40 – Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord!

We are in the month of December and it sends different signals to different people. To many, it is the end of the year and a period to round off plans for the year. To others, it is just another month with nothing special other than what we decide to make of it. Make December a month for you to take stock of your life so that the New Year will kick-start on a positive note.

Press the pause button and take stock of your life. Are you on the downslide or on the rise? Take an inventory of your relationship with God, relationship with man, academic pursuit, personal goals, collective goals, family etc. No one knows you better than yourself. Put it down in black and white. It is one of those vital steps to excelling in the nearest future.

What next after taking stock? We would talk about that in the next post. For now, just take stock. Pray for the courage to take an honest assessment of your life.

@AmosCP

This was originally posted on Exceller Blog as Experience 6: Time To Take Stock. Do well to follow the Exceller Blog.

The Fear of Being Known

Read: James 5: 16-20

One of the most most difficult inner conflicts we have is our desire to be known versus our fear of being known. As beings created in the image of God we are made to be known – known by God and also by others. Yet due to our fallen nature, all of us have sins and weaknesses that we don’t want others to know about. We use the phrase “dark side” to refer to aspects of our lives  that we keep hidden. And we use slogans like “put your best foot forward” to encourage others to show their best side.

I acknowledge my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will
confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.
Selah. – Psalm 32:5 KJV

The voice of sin may be loud but the voice of forgiveness is louder – D. L. Moody

One reason we are unwilling to risk being known is that we feat rejection and ridicule. But when we discover knows us, loves us and is willing to forgive even the worst things we have done, our fear of being known by God begins to fade away. And when we find a community of believers who understands the dynamic relationship between forgiveness and confession, we feel safe confessing our sins to one another (James 5:16).

Lord, help me to expose my sin,

Those secret wrongs that lurk within;

I would confess them all to Thee;

Transparent I would always be. – D. Dehaan

The life of faith is not about showing only our good side. It’s about exposing our dark side to the light of Christ through confession to God and also to others. In this way we can receive healing and live in freedom of forgiveness.

@AmosCP

Culled from Our Daily Bread – 2016 Annual edition for September 19 “On Being Known” by Julie Ackerman Link.

 

 

Trash Right, Live Right

It was an evening after close of business. Home was calling and the roads were busy. He finished his wrap of sausage roll and out of the window of the car, the wrapper flew. 


Saturdays have a way of making us do some kind of sanitation – wholesome or partial. Homes are cleaned up, surroundings are tidied up and the resulting trash is packaged or heaped outside the gates for the authorities to pick up. 

In Lagos, the Lagos Waste Management Agency (LAWMA) is in charge of managing the trash from such sanitation exercise with trucks coming around almost every weekend to pick up trash and refuse but I am more interested today in the trash they gather on the roads and highways.

When you enter a City, the roads are the first things you notice – good & clean or bad & dirty or a mixture of both. The 1st day I stepped on the city of Owerri, I was marvelled. Clean roads from Orlu road through Wetheral and along Douglas. I trekked in admiration and wondered. I heard it was once the cleanest city but within the next 5 years after my 1st visit, the city had great moments of being gardened in huge dumps of refuse.

Douglas road was oozing to the heavens despite having one of the largest market in the City. Recently I heard the state government had to leave the mountain heap of refuse that took as much as a lane on each side of the road as a payback to the people. Seriously? Let’s not talk about Aba. We can say positive things about Enugu, Ilorin, Abeokuta and a few other cities.

That aside, nothing bothers me most than seeing a road commuter throw thrash through the car window on the road. On my way back from work few months ago, a plastic bottle flew out of a public bus into the road with so much velocity that it could crack the windscreen of another vehicle. We had to swerve to avoid the bottle. The bottle with other of its cousins will play along the road until someone picks them up. Who? The street sweeper from the waste management agency.

What kind of education do you have that gives you a pat on the back for throwing thrash on the road and expecting an “uneducated” person to pick it up and make the city clean for you to brag that “I live in a clean city”?

A testimony was shared in a big branch of a very big church in Lekki. The lady stopped on the bridge to throw thrash into the waters below. She noticed a man on the other side of the bridge crossing over to most probably rob them. They had to zoom off without polluting the waters. Everyone praised God but the water had the ultimate victory – saved by an unknown.

Cleanliness is next to godliness it is said but it is not restricted to how clean your clothes are or how tidy your living room,  kitchen or other room are. How do you affect your environment? Do you also fling plastic bottles, snack wrappers, papers off the vehicle? You would prefer to have your car tidy to causing nuisance on the same road you ply? Tomorrow, you would be the first to say the roads are untidy? 

They may be doing the dirty job of keeping the roads clean but I must commend the street sweepers and members of the waste management agency that ensure the roads are swept regularly. This post is for them. They endanger their lives, working on the roads and highways, picking up the products of your iresponsibility. Please respect them. Drive carefully when you see them in action. 

More importantly, live responsibly. Keep your trash in your car till you see a trashbin. God abhors dirtiness and irresponsibility. Check yourself and live right.

Trash right.

@AmosCP