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Grief

I haven’t come your way in a while; after my two week break, the last three weeks were difficult to post due to a technical glitch with the site which has been resolved.

I hope you are enjoying November thus far? About some weeks ago, it was my father’s commemoration, which really got me thinking. It led me to write today’s topic which might be a bit morbid for some, but still needs to be addressed.

I am talking about grief. What is it? Allow me the liberty of quoting Webster’s 1828 dictionary on this one:

GRIEF ,noun [Latin gravis.]

1. The pain of mind produced by loss, misfortune, injury or evils of any kind; sorrow; regret. We experience grief when we lose a friend, when we incur loss, when we consider ourselves injured, and by sympathy, we feel grief at the misfortunes of others.

2. The pain of mind occasioned by our own misconduct; sorrow or regret that we have done wrong; pain accompanying repentance. We feel grief when we have offended or injured a friend, and the consciousness of having offended the Supreme Being, fills the penitent heart with the most poignant grief

3. Cause of sorrow; that which afflicts.

I want to focus on the first definition as pertaining to loosing a loved one. I think we all have experienced that. Some are more personal like a spouse, child, sibling or parents…

It is a very tough situation one can find him or herself in. The toughest part about grief is almost 90 to 95% of the time, it comes unexpected which can be tasking and very weary to your soul. Who wakes up expecting the news of a dead loved one?!

No matter how much pain and emotional torture you are in, a time comes you will have to give yourself the gift of closure which can bring inner healing. Recovering from grief is like a scar from an injury- the scar will bring painful memories, but the hurt attached will be gone, or in this case, minimized. Because with the death of a loved one, that feeling is never gone, but the pain can be minimized anytime there is a memoriam.

My heart really goes out to anybody at this present moment experiencing some kind of pain due to the loss of a dear one. I pray for you that the sweet memories of that person can light some warm flames in your heart during this time.

For some that are still reeling after years of this, my heart also goes out to you. You are suffering and I totally get it. I am praying for you that you will have closure at a point and experience inner healing. How tough it is?! It is an upward hill to climb, but it is possible.

When grieving, allow yourself to go through the process- don’t rush it and don’t suppress your emotions either. It is okay to mourn and not be the strongest person you are known to be. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and don’t stop the comfort you will receive from a support system of some family members and some friends. Trust me! It won’t come always, so take it when given.

However, if you aren’t feeling better over time, or your grief is getting worse, it maybe a sign that your grief has developed into a more serious problem which can be a major depression or what therapists term as “complicated grief”. Please speak to a counselor and seek help if you are at this stage. The implications can be far reaching, negatively speaking and let me outline a few.

1. You become bitter

But she said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara [bitter], for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.” Ruth‬ ‭1:20‬ ‭

If you look at this story in the Bible, it was about a widow who was also grieving the loss of her two sons. Her emotions got the better of her, that she admitted she was bitter. Becoming bitter and living bitterly is a very dangerous way to live. You develop a critical attitude and will hate everybody that comes your way. If that is not enough, you will become pessimistic of the future. Bitterness also makes you lonely. Nobody wants to hang out with a bitter person.

2. Grief makes you stand still

The harsh reality of time is it keeps on ticking regardless. Time is not a respecter of anything including emotions. Time won’t stop for you because you are sad. It reminds me of one my favorite story books as a child, The Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. One of the popular characters in the story was Miss Havisham, a reclusive wealthy spinster who wore her wedding dress for the rest of her life because she was jilted at the altar. She stopped living and time passed her by. Never went out, so her long life away from the sunlight aged her. She had the clocks in her house stopped at twenty minutes to nine. Yes, the clocks in her house had stopped, but life’s clock was still ticking. There are many “Miss Havishams” today who have stopped living. It is a sad reality.

3. Grief kills!

According to this article, people who are not recovering are more prone to cardiovascular illnesses and deaths. During that state, your health doesn’t matter to you but playing along to the tune of your emotion which can be deadly. Emotion is a good thing to have, but when it starts governing your life, you are just an accident away from happening.

Please, if you know someone grieving, put a loving arm around the person and comfort that person with a word of hope and prayer.

God bless all those who survived a loss. You are true heroes in my book. You are limping but walking. You are scarred, but have learned to live with it.

Father, I pray your peace on all who are mourning presently. Show yourself strong to them like you did to me personally. Let them be assured of your love, your warmth and embrace. I have experienced that and pray that may be their story too. Amen

Have a blessed week and thanks for reading.

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The perseverance of Job

“Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.” James‬ ‭5:11‬ ‭

Last week, we looked at Job, a biblical account of a Jewish man who faced hard and trying circumstances. We looked at how he dealt with inferiority.

Job is a book in the Bible with 42 chapters. Great wealth of wisdom we can glean from that book. The beautiful thing about Job’s story was he had a better ending.

“Now the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; for he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys. He also had seven sons and three daughters. And he called the name of the first Jemimah, the name of the second Keziah, and the name of the third Keren-Happuch. In all the land were found no women so beautiful as the daughters of Job; and their father gave them an inheritance among their brothers. After this Job lived one hundred and forty years, and saw his children and grandchildren for four generations. So Job died, old and full of days.” ‭‭Job‬ ‭42:12-17‬ ‭

So the question is, why didn’t Job commit suicide? Why didn’t he just give up? The answer is in the first quote which spoke of his perseverance.

What is it? Words associated with are steadfastness, constancy and endurance. It is the ability to endure pain and unfair circumstances, like Job. The notes on James 5:11 in the Thayer’s Greek Lexicon reads like this, “the characteristic of a man who is unswerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty [to faith] and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings”.

Perseverance is needed in times of trouble to stand, else you could end up a casualty. Troubles don’t develop perseverance but brings out that quality.

It’s like Clark Kent who is also known as Superman. Troubles don’t make Clark Superman. He was already Superman because of where he was born and who his father was. But when troubles come and the need for emergency arises, Superman is brought out of Clark Kent. Did you catch my drift?

So before we face troubles, afflictions and trying days, we should be storing ourselves up with “perseverance pills”, so that when the need arises, you can fight through and endure to the end. We will live in a fool’s paradise if we think for one moment, we are exempted from all the ills of life.

This is my most important part. How do we develop perseverance? Look closely at this Bible passage:

“strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy;” Colossians‬ ‭1:11‬ ‭

The key to perseverance is being strengthened with all might. Not your own might, but that of God’s. I just quoted an except of an Apostle’s prayer for his congregants. Take note that when you are filled with God’s might, it helps you to be patient [persevere] and develop long suffering with joy. You have joy in a problem not because you enjoy pain, but you have hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel and you will end up a victor when all is said and done.

Before you sign off today, say a prayer to God to strengthen with you with His might. When you have that, the offshoots are perseverance, longsuffering and joy. We are having too many casualties especially among the youth. They check out when they are faced with trying times because all hope is gone.

Let us do this now and say this prayer together, “God, I come to you this day and ask you to strengthen me with all might according to your glorious power. I thank you for answered prayers. Amen”.

Just like Job, you will be an encouragement to someone watching how you handle pressure and keep your head above water.

Have a good week and look forward to reading your comments as well. Let me know what you think, any ideas or suggestions are also welcome. Please don’t forget to like, share and subscribe to this blog.

Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love

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Inferiority complex

“But I have intelligence as well as you; I am not inferior to you. And who does not know such things as these?” Job‬ ‭12:3‬ ‭‬‬

In life, there is nothing more painful than been doubted by people who you call your friends and believe the worst for you, when you are going through a rough patch. That was Job’s story.

This is a biblical account of a wealthy man who lost his wealth, his business, his health and his ten kids, save his wife. This was really a trying time. At a point, his wife told him to abandon his faith and curse his God in whom he trust for their unfortunate plight; he didn’t. Everybody had abandoned him except three of his friends who came to console him. They were Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar.

You never know your loved ones and friends till “you are going through it”. Sometimes problems can be a blessing in disguise because it sifts the genuine from the fake real quick like our friends. These three initially did well to respond when their friend was in insufferable pain, but when you read the story, it would have been better if they didn’t come. They started to diagnose his problems and assume why he was going through such hardships. That is a kick in the gut.

Eliphaz accused Job of sinning that was why he was suffering, which wasn’t the case. His two other friends didn’t help matters either and urged him to repent to God if he had truly sinned, so that this unfortunate episode in his life could end sooner. This is what brings us to today’s topic: inferiority complex.

What is it? It is the feeling of being inferior. Such a state produces one to be either reticent or overly aggressive. Job was a wealthy man and an important man in society with an elevated status. People who come from such backgrounds tend to be very confident, most of the time. So I am very sure he was. But as time went on, the hardships in life and the miserable comfort he received from his friends started to make him feel inferior about himself.

Most times, it is said people with certain temperaments like a phlegmatic can easily suffer from inferiority complex. However, there are external factors that can trigger that like having people who don’t believe in you and always talk down at you. Most people who feel inferior about themselves, largely has to do with their company. Either, they had unsupportive parents who abused them, or the wrong company of friends who clowned them and made them the butt of every cruel joke. People like that tend to doubt themselves greatly, doubt their abilities and capabilities, and expect the worst out of themselves and for themselves.

Job was feeling inferior and it made him blurt out the words which is our quote for today. Sometimes, the best way to deal with inferiority complex is to speak out for yourself, and then change your circle of association. Your circle of association will form your environment and atmosphere.

As we enter a new month, take a good look at people you call “friends”. Are they really one? Do they support your dreams? Are they genuinely happy for you? Do they seek your welfare? Do they talk down at you in order to feel good about themselves? How do they affect your mood when you see them? Look at yourself: are you docile or overly aggressive? It could be a sign to end those friendships. Until then, you will walk in self pity and self doubt for the rest of your life. How long do you think you can do that?

People with an inferiority complex always put a ceiling on themselves. It is painful to watch when you see a brilliant person who believes he is so stupid and dumb, or to see a beautiful lady who believes she is ugly. May our external factors like our company create the right vibe for us to fully express ourselves to the best of our abilities. Job spoke out! What will you do?

Blessed to come your way again with another blog post. Let me know if this ministered to you. Looking forward to reading your comments as always.

Have a blessed upcoming month!

Till, I come your way again…

Peace & Love

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Part 2: When we fail, what next?


Hope you had a great weekend? Over here, we have moved from one season to another. Last week, we talked on failure. This topic struck a nerve with a lot of people and thank you to our community for sharing and promoting this blog. Just last week Monday alone, the traffic on this site increased by 313%!

We can all relate to this common phenomenon. It is okay and permissible to fail, but not to stay at the place of failure and wallow with a belly full of regret. A larger percentage never shake the dust of failure off them. Please, may we all do this assignment this week- find someone who has failed and be an encouragement. Become a reason for someone’s uprising this week. You may ask, “what about me, I failed?!”. Sometimes, the best way to heal is to forget about your problems and reach out to one who has the same need as yours and probably greater. 

There is a scripture in the Bible I love so much and always want to model that kind of life. 

“And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace God gave the churches in Macedonia. They have been tested by great troubles, and they are very poor. But they gave much because of their great joy.” ‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭8:1-2‬ 

Truly, I have helped and reached out in my direst of straits to others, and it was so rewarding and fulfilling. It made me forget about what I was going through and also had the inspiration to heal alongside the others who were being helped.

So with that in mind, let us look at what to do when all falls down.

Pick yourself up- I recently saw a tweet and it goes like this, “Emotional pain lasts for 10 to 20 minutes, anything longer is actually self inflicted by overthinking, making things worse.” Do you agree? Personally, I think emotional pain is temporary, but I don’t know its duration. Will like to pick your brain on that! When we fail, we are in an emotional trauma and shock, the pain is temporal but make choices that won’t prolong the pain and make it a permanent fixture in your life. You pick yourself up by encouraging yourself. Sometimes, your most trusted allies might not be in the mood to pick up your call. Well, I know a friend who sticks closer than a brother and his name is Jesus. He is there by your side, at all times- 24/7. I have a very real and personal relationship with Jesus and will invite you to make room in your life for Him. God is needed in tough times like that. There comes a period when life won’t make sense and this is where God comes in. I don’t know about your religious beliefs or inclinations, but this is my reality.

Look at it from another angle- I heard the great John Maxwell quipped, “…when you fail, use the opportunity to count your lessons and not your losses. You miss the bigger picture if you focus on just the loss”. Sometimes failure is good, because it gives you an opportunity to sit down and look at it again, apply critical thinking and try again. I remember our church organized a community outreach event for its residents. No body and I mean none showed up, except our church members. I felt very discouraged and like a failure, but had to put on a brave face and go ahead with the planned programme. After the event was over, I had the chance to sit down and give it another look. I didn’t just count my losses that day, but numerous lessons which are jotted down for the future. Someone once asked me, “how are you able to give good advice and wise counsel?” I told him, “I have failed some and won some, no secrets really!”

It might be time for closure- this can be a tough pill to swallow, but the writing is clear on the wall: you have lost enthusiasm, the perpetual failures, “the square peg in the round hole situation”, you are always gassed out with little or no energy, always in fear and trepidation, too much effort with very little or nothing in return… the list is endless. There comes a time you have to face the reality it is over and have closure. It doesn’t mean you are a failure. The truth is you failed but it is just an event and don’t let that define you. Move on to what is in line with your strengths, talents and passion, then surround yourself with the right company and the requisite knowledge needed. The fact that you closed a venture doesn’t mean your life is over! No experience is a wasted experience. Be very encouraged!

Rise from the ashes of failure, take off the sackcloth of mourning, self pity and complaints. Be the phoenix that rises out of the ashes- impossible situations! I speak to the champion in you! Win! 

Looking forward to reading your comments, which means a lot to me. Thanks again for your support and words of encouragement which has spurred me on to keep writing. Blessings!

Please don’t also forget to like, share and subscribe to this blog.

Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love

NB: send me an email at icharismaticchurch@gmail.com on questions about religion, faith, and any matter for that reason.

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Failure

Today’s topic can be a nightmare for some people, because they are still reeling from the effects it has caused. Failure is the modern day “leprosy”. Nobody wants to be tagged with that word or hang around anything or anybody for that matter who has that aura.

One thing we can all relate to is we have all failed before. As far as you live in this world, failure is inevitable. Today’s post is not necessarily on how to avoid it- it is not really possible, but how to look at it in a different view.

I once heard, “your view point will determine your point of view”. Each one of us narrates things by how we look at it in our thoughts or perspective. If you have a healthy perspective, the matter will be a healthy one; a negative outlook will produce a negative point of view. My prayer before I wrote today is someone’s mind will be disabused from the fear of failure.

What is failure then? It is when you have come short of your goal. Your goal was to pass an exam, you failed. Your goal was to start a business, you failed. Your goal was to have a healthy marriage, you failed at that and divorce.

We can give many more of that. There are many reasons why we fail at some things, but don’t beat yourself over it and have a belly full of regret about it. What really can you do when an egg is smashed? You can either mope about it or get the bucket and mop to clear the accident. If you are reading and have failed, welcome to life 101. It’s normal and not that strange- we have all experienced it one way or another.

Facts on failure

It is an event, not your identity– don’t attach failure to your identity. The fact is you failed, but please listen to me because I came with the truth, “you are not a failure”. You need to repeat this to yourself. People have felt depressed and committed suicide because they see failure as part of their identity and make up, so they conclude, “I am dumb, useless, worthless, good for nothing”, “how can I make such a silly mistake?!”. It is nothing more than an event. It is just a page in your book, but it doesn’t tell the whole story, flip a new page and create something new until your story book is complete. Don’t determine your intelligence on some exam you failed, you are smart, dude! Don’t let the 48 interviews you have failed label you as a burden to the society and nothing to offer because you are unemployed. In life, people call the package what has been labeled. If you see yourself as a failure, people will start calling you that and it will affect your self confidence.

Successful people fail a lot- that is why they are successful. They have tried so many avenues, many methods, hit and miss a lot, done “trial and error” before hitting their break. Thomas Edison upon inventing the light bulb failed several times and this is what he said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work…”. Failure is at times an indicator you are very close to success, if you don’t give up. Failure should serve as motivation that you are at least trying. People who claim to have never failed before are lazy and complacent people. The folding of the hands is no adventure really! Keep pounding the pavement.

Failure can contain you- one of the many battles we fight is that of containment. To be contained means to be restricted to go beyond what you were wired. Say, if you were to go at 5,000 miles and you are doing 2,500, you are contained. Failure has such a devastating effect that if not checked, can paralyze you and cripple your hopes from ever trying again. Some never finished the course, because of one failed test- they couldn’t get over it. You have gone back to alcohol because you relapsed when you were sober. I understand the pain, disappointment and frustration, so don’t throw all the years of sobriety away because of a relapse. If you truly can’t be celibate and not called for that, why have you given up on marriage, because of a past divorce?

I pray all of us reading today will be set free from the sting of failure so that we can have the freedom to be.

I will like to read your comments on this one. Your feedback means a lot to me. Please don’t forget to like, share and subscribe to this post.

Let me thank you all for the reviews, feedback and the traffic I have had on this site in the past month because of your unwavering support. I am deeply appreciative.

Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love

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Character IV

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…”– St. Paul the Apostle

Last weekend was a holiday here, hence not posting. I trust this weekend went well? In this part of our world, we are counting down to the end of summer, which I personally do not look forward to.

For sometime now, we have been looking at character. We looked at what it is and how it was formed in the first part. The second and third parts have dealt with the entire make up of character culled from Paul’s letter to the Galatian church which is the quote above.

There are nine virtues which make up character in a biblical context. The first three dealt with our attitude, the second trio focused on social relationships. Today’s triad focuses more on principles guiding a person’s conduct. Let us wrap up with the remaining three:

7. Faithfulness– the meaning of faithfulness is fidelity. Another word used is loyalty. Loyalty shows in three areas: how committed you are to your word, to your work and how you relate with authority figures. Most people who are insubordinate are unfaithful. Unfaithful people are very disloyal people. In my humble opinion, I value faithful people than skilled people if I am to choose between the two. Skill is scientific- it can be taught; faithfulness on the other hand, is a character trait- it is a matter of having it or not. Of course, people can be taught to be faithful with time, but it is an uphill task than teaching skill. It is difficult but not impossible.

8. Gentleness– sometimes our definition of being gentle is incomplete but not incorrect. Mostly, it has to do with appearances pertaining to the men: good grooming habits, a sense of fashion, and having good manners and etiquette. That is one half of the definition which is very laudable and needed in society to stand out sometimes. The other half of gentleness shows in how composed you are when you are faced with pressure or meted out with an unexpected circumstance. The person who can keep his or her cool in times of unpleasantness is considered gentle. So in relation to the men, have a high fashion sense, wear a nice cologne & dress the outward, but don’t forget the inward as well. Having a nasty attitude and temperament in a designer suit with expensive shoes is a misnomer.

9. Self control– let me use one word for this: restraint. It shows in our speech: how we talk, how we answer to questions and how graceful we are in our conversations. It also shows in how we relate with people of the opposite sex for that matter, or people in general. Can we relate in decorum and decency without the slightest smell of a scandal? Will we take the advantage or give them the advantage? With that quality, you don’t easily give in to a fight or quarrel. You don’t bite the bait! It takes a strong person to be self controlled. Honestly, I pray to God a lot for this quality, because I cannot think of any man made tactics and strategies that will enhance this attribute in my life better than prayer.

I will like to end on this note that none is perfect. We are all a “work-in-progress”. We will all get to our destination if we don’t quit and put in the work required. This should rather encourage you to be your best you. One of the ways to be that is to allow these fruits to show forth in your life.

Believe that you can do it! Will like to read your thoughts on this one. Your feedback means a lot to me. Please don’t forget to like, share and subscribe to this blog.

Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love

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Character III

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…” St. Paul the Apostle

I trust you had a great weekend? Last week, we looked at character in the nutshell using Apostle Paul’s letter to the Galatian church as our template. We dealt with the first three in love, joy and peace which speaks of our attitude.

The second triad we will look at deals with social relationships. In the last year and half, I have personally been studying on emotional intelligence. It is a skill I really want to be great and adept at. Looking at these three shades and applying it to our lives personally can help at that.

4. Long-suffering- long-suffering in a biblical context means long tempered. It speaks of the ability to patiently forbear without cracking up in relation to an unpleasant circumstance meted out to you. It also talks in regards to dealing with difficult people. My mother comes to mind as I write. She embodies this quality. Long-suffering means I will weigh the consequences of my actions and speech when I am under pressure. This trait helps you respond rather than react. A response is premeditated, calculated and well thought out, whereas a reaction is impulsive and off the handle based on your current feeling at that particular moment. One practical way that will enhance this trait is learning to take your time, and make it a habit not to follow your emotion but your head in those times.

5. Kindness- this has more to do with your disposition or nature. The Greek meaning of this word conveys having a benign manner. Benign can be used adjectively which means kind, warm-hearted, good-natured, warm, friendly and the like. Kindness here is also defined as moral goodness. We start relationships on a kind note and sustain the relationships on that. Most kind people have very long-standing relationships. In this day and age of social media, most relationships are fickle like a fake dollar bill. The ingredient of kindness is a missing trait and a rarity hence the disintegration of all relationships from personal to corporate ones, and even to marital ones. Kindness means I think good of and about you, that is, I will give you the benefit of the doubt before jumping into conclusions. One type of strong people I know are kind people. They don’t easily give in to gossip or contribute to that. The world will be a better place when kindness comes back to the fray.

6. Goodness- you can’t be good without having a kind nature. They work hand in hand. The fruit of kindness shows in your goodness. How do I define goodness then? Kindness in action! I have heard people say, “I wanna be good!”. The better way should be, you want to be kind. It is then out of kindness, that goodness will emanate from. Goodness is second nature to kindness, and focuses more on our acts and actions.

I will suggest read books on emotional intelligence and take tests which are available on the internet. Most are free. They will help gauge where you are in relation to these three and start to work your way up. They have many practical ways that can enhance these traits. As a Christian, I also believe prayer can help and goes a long way in the development of these aforementioned.

Will like to read your comments on this one. Your feedback means a lot to me. Please don’t forget to like, share and subscribe to this blog.

Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love

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