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COVID-19 is teaching me

This year has quite been interesting, to say the least. No one could have predicted this present predicament we are in at the moment, but at the end of the day, what can we really do?

Are we going to see a silver lining behind the cloud? I realize that in life, you can’t choose the (bad) hand you are dealt with , but you have absolute power in your response to it and how you play that (bad) hand to your advantage.

I want to start on an encouraging note that, this pandemic will pass and yes, 2020 is and will still be a great year irrespective of what we have seen in the past four months. I am not of the belief that 2020 should be cancelled as it has become a popular hashtag trending on social media sites. I also don’t believe that we should look forward to next year whilst skipping this year hurriedly.

I pray as you read this, you will gain a different perspective and light on how you view this current situation. No way, am I undermining the countless deaths, the fear and angst among the masses; and all the horrible evils associated with this COVID-19 pandemic. My heart goes out to all severely impacted.

Quite honestly, this episode has got me thinking a lot which provoked me to use this platform. They are lessons I have learnt in this short time, and will share just seven of them over a two week period.

1. The world is indeed a global village– this world we live in is inter-related and inter-dependent. What affects me in a different geographical terrain has a bearing on this world. A virus that started in Wuhan in China, reportedly, has been able to keep this world presently under siege. It teaches me that I don’t have a private life, rather a personal life, because whatever I do matters to the next person home and away. If the world understands this concept, the schisms and divisions among us will subside.

2. Home is where the heart is– the heart of the matter is home. Now almost the whole world has come to a standstill and, we are forcibly quarantined against our will to stay home. People are working from home. I have seen some sports and talk shows broadcast from home. When I talk of the home, I am referring to the family unit. After all is said and done, the family reigns supreme above all. If you were a workaholic spending 80 hours a week away from home, that is not the story today. Of course, you will go back to work, but have proper priorities on what is number one. We have to focus on strengthening family ties and perhaps spend more time building the home than any other place, for that matter.

3. Relationships too matter- asides the family, the relationships we have built over the years will carry us a long way, especially in times like this where one can feel lonely. I heard an old wise man say, “man was not created for things, but for relationships”. That really ministered to me and I have taken that with me everywhere. We must focus and strive to build healthy relationships. It gives us goodwill in life. In my estimation, goodwill is more important than wealth. Mother Teresa comes to mind as I write. How much did she really have? Yet, she affected the world through goodwill.

God-willing, will continue next week. Stay safe, follow the CDC guidelines, be full of hope. There is light at the end of this tunnel.

Please say a prayer for all the first responders and essential workers. We are thankful for their services.

Keep well!

Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love

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Victory over death

I am your chosen one. You won’t leave me in the grave or let my body decay.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭16:10

Now this quote here is a prophecy of King David, who was also a psalmist. He talked about this event we commemorated yesterday as the Resurrection Sunday or Easter Sunday. This was written more than four hundred years to the event, and it happened as predicted.

The event was, Jesus Christ was going to be crucified and he will die, but on the third day, he will resurrect. Peter, one of the founding fathers of the Christian church, who was also a disciple of Jesus corroborated this fact more than four hundred years later.

““Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know— Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.” Acts‬ ‭2:22-24‬ ‭

Now you may ask me today, what significance does this hold today? Why should I be concerned about a man who died and rose from the dead? Personally, it means the Bible is proven to be historically true, so it gives me solace that I am not in a fraudulent faith. Secondly, as a Christian, it proves to me that death, an enemy has been defeated. Death is the greatest enemy of any living human being.

From the scriptures, you can clearly see this truth:

“Where, Death, is your victory? Where, Death, is your power to hurt?” Death gets its power to hurt from sin, and sin gets its power from the Law. But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” 1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:55-57‬

Death has lost its power to hurt us. The sting of death has been broken that when professing Christians die today, they will just transition seamlessly into the hands of our master, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Now we do not want you to be uninformed, believers, about those who are asleep [in death], so that you will not grieve [for them] as the others do who have no hope [beyond this present life]. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again [as in fact He did], even so God [in this same way—by raising them from the dead] will bring with Him those [believers] who have fallen asleep in Jesus.”
‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭4:13-14‬

Death becomes like sleep to the believer, so we are enjoined to sorrow and mourn the absence of the person in body, but not hopelessly because of yesterday’s event. His resurrection gives us hope that death couldn’t touch the person. Since death is sleep to the believer, he will awake again in the hereafter.

Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”” I Corinthians‬ ‭15:51-54‬

So the event, Resurrection Sunday is not abstract from humanity. It is rather about our destiny which is when we die in Christ- we only sleep and we will wake up again this time to God with a glorified body where we can all say of a truth, “death is swallowed up in victory”

When Jesus resurrected, he awoken us to this reality, which is called “a mystery”. If you are a Christian reading, have faith and hope that death will not harm you when it is your time. We should be afraid of premature death rather, but the certainty of death should not scare us at all, because we enter into a realm of glory.

The Christian Faith is hinged on this truth we celebrated yesterday as an event.

Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.” I Corinthians‬ ‭15:12-14‬ ‭

Personally, I am glad for my Christian faith. That is why I have a passion to tell all and sundry through speaking on a platform, having a conversation with a friend or a total stranger, or in this regard, writing.

Your remaining years on this earth will be good to enquire if there is an existence of God?

I will leave you to think hard and meditate on this.

Peace & Love

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Can I talk to you about Jesus?

No one has seen God [His essence, His divine nature] at any time; the [One and] only begotten God [that is, the unique Son] who is in the intimate presence of the Father, He has explained Him [and interpreted and revealed the awesome wonder of the Father].” John‬ ‭1:18‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Hello, glad to come your way again. This week is known in the Christian calendar as The Holy Week commemorating the last week of Jesus before He was crucified, died, buried and resurrected.

In the Holy Week, we have the Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Resurrection Sunday. The week celebration is popularly known as Easter. In contemporary times, I think we have reduced the sacredness of this occasion to bank holidays, Easter eggs and Easter bunnies. The fun with the commercialization is gradually making us lose the true meaning of this spiritual event.

Since the focus is on Jesus, who is He? There is a book in the Bible called John which gives us an accurate view of who He is. I will recommend that book of the Bible to read.

To answer your question; Jesus is the Son of God, and also has a relationship with God the Father. God has a divine nature, and has never been seen before. Unseen things are very much as real as the seen. Back to my point, the meaning of the word divine speaks to the truth of God having perfections. It has to do with his deity.

But Jesus answered them, My Father has worked [even] until now, [He has never ceased working; He is still working] and I, too, must be at [divine] work.” John‬ ‭5:17‬ ‭AMPC‬‬

Jesus walked on this earth to help us understand who God was to us. He did that in word and deed. So you will see scriptural references of him healing the sick, proclaiming liberty to the oppressed and the captives, and basically doing good. God is a healer. God is a liberator. God delights in doing good. All these attributes to God’s awesome wonders and also in explaining who God is.

Jesus became the window through which we can have a clear view and understanding of who God is as a father. God does not delight in being a mystery. Truth be told, he has been unveiled through the gift of Jesus and the Holy Bible.

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.” ‭‭I John‬ ‭4:7-9‬

Above all, Jesus came to demonstrate love, who is God. It is important to understand this truth about God that He is love. God has had a bad P.R. for evil things He never did. Unfortunately, it has been propounded through traditional views which are inaccurate or people who don’t have a proper relationship with Him. With all the uncertainty we are facing at this time, one thing is certain for sure: HIS LOVE FOR YOU AND ME.

I don’t know whether you will see this week as a spirtual event or just another bank holiday depending on your faith, but I will leave you with this thought that God loves you and He is as real as the person sitting next to you. God desires fellowship. Want to experience Him? Try Jesus

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John‬ ‭14:6‬ ‭

Happy Easter to all and please let us do well to follow the CDC guidelines to stay safe. With that in mind, let us filter the information we feed on, and spend the time we have in this lockdown with our loved ones. That matters the most!

Till I come your way again!

Peace & Love

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From the archives: fear II

We are continuing our series on fear. Wrote this a couple of years ago and it is worth re-reading, if you have already. The purpose is to deal with the root issue of fear at bay currently because of the global pandemic which has befallen us.

Be very encouraged in the days ahead, that it is going to get better and there is light ahead of this current, dark tunnel which looks uncertain. Whatever be the case, just decide not to live in fear.

https://abedi.blog/2018/05/07/is-this-how-you-want-to-live/

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Relationship protocol

Relationships are a blessing and you can enjoy the benefit(s) if it is properly defined. For example, is the person I am relating to a senior, a colleague or a junior? Levels of relationship have different protocols”- Stephen Ofori-Abedi’s Facebook post on 11/13/2019

Last week, we looked at strategic relationships, and today we want to focus on relationship protocol.

Merriam Webster’s Dictionary has four definitions and the third line of definition reads, “a code prescribing strict adherence to correct etiquette and precedence.” Words associated with protocol are formality, manners…

It is important to talk about this because too many people miss out on the blessing of relationships because of poor relational ethics. Like I alluded last week, everyone needs a mentor, colleague and a protégé, but how do you relate to these different kinds of relationships? I want to share a few of my thoughts and observations on this.

1. How do I relate with a mentor?

Mentors are like coaches in a sense, so you don’t relate to them like you are having a talk with your home buddy. Mentors are discerning and very wise; they can easily tell who is not worth their cup of tea by looking at certain signs. Go there as a student with questions to inquire and to know. That is the basis of the relationship in the first place. You don’t go to your mentor too, to display your wealth of knowledge and boast about your achievements. They truly are not interested. Be humble and be like a sponge soaking in all the experiences you see around when in the presence of one. One of the bad signs is for your mentor to ask, “any questions?!”, then you reply, “No!”. I am not saying you should ALWAYS ask questions, but an attitude of learning, flexibility and implementing your sessions with your mentor are great key strengths in enhancing the relationship. Most mentors will gravitate towards you and have a personal relationship, others will want to keep it strictly official. Which ever way, the purpose for the relationship in the first place is what should hold premium.

2. How do I relate with a contemporary?

You relate on equal standing. There should be parity in this kind of relationship. When one sees himself as superior than the other, it mars the relationship. This relationship thrives on networking and collaborating. When each of you know something that is beneficial, share it with each other. Be genuinely happy at the success of your partner, even if yours hasn’t happened yet. This kind of relationship easily becomes personal when both parties treat each other with respect. They end up getting to know their families and might even plan vacation get away with their families together.

3. How do I relate with a protégé?

“…but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” I Timothy‬ ‭4:12‬ ‭

This is a very powerful advice to every leader in any kind of setting. To get the best out of this kind of relationship is all about modeling. The best form of tutelage is in deed more than words. Unfortunately, many protégés have been disappointed, because they just hear a bunch of talk and little or no action. It is also important that mentors should relate with their protégés as the relationship defines; don’t relate to your protégé like you relate with a contemporary. Most times, it breeds familiarity and once the respect factor is lost in that relationship, it is over. I think of Jesus Christ who was a great mentor to his disciples and later became their friends, but you should know it took years before it gravitated towards that. Don’t be in a hurry to be friends. Let the relationship take its course and determine its pace. Most mentors have felt betrayed because they shared some personal, intimate secrets of their lives which later becomes a weapon against them, when the relationship is fractured. That ought not to be so! As a mentor, you will be honored, but please make sure, you don’t take advantage of that and abuse your liberty. Protégés are highly sensitive to that when they feel you just want to take them on a ride. They respect you, but they are not stupid. Reciprocate by also showing them honor. It will minister to them a great deal and keep the relationship binding.

I end on this note that let us observe the proper formalities in each of the relationships we are involved for our benefit. Relationships are a blessing when we relate right.

I thank you for making time to read today’s post. It will be nice if you can also share your perspective on this as well. I will love to read your comments.

Please like, share and subscribe to this blog.

Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love

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Strategic relationships

Hello, trust you have had a good weekend’s rest? Last week was a holiday on my side of town, so I just took advantage of it to rest hence not posting.

Today, I want us to focus on strategic relationships. What do I mean when I talk about that? I am not looking at the popular business definition, rather more at a relationship that gives you a vantage point to ascend up. These relationships in a bigger picture should be more than just socializing, having fun and having a good time. All of us should have certain friends for that.

This has more to do with purpose. In my own words, I see strategy as planning to get a leg up. Why do you plan if you don’t want to rise above the norm? When I think of strategy, the military comes into mind. The war is won in the boardroom first, then the troops on ground just enforce that. That is a strategy or a stratagem for that matter.

Everybody needs certain kind of relationships in this life, and this is different from your friends who you pass time with or engage in sports debates and the like.

1. Everybody needs a mentor– a mentor is a trusted teacher or coach. It is said, “the safest way to walk through a game park inhabited by wild animals is to follow the warden”. Mentors in a sense embody that. They are the portraits of your future and mostly have your ear. Please, with caution, choose your mentors wisely. If you want to be a faithful married husband, you can’t have a womanizer as your trusted advisor. Nobody knows it all! You set yourself up for failure if you think you have all the answers. In life too, it is good to be accountable to someone, so that you don’t go haywire. Mentors ensure that you stay on the straight and narrow.

2. Everybody needs a contemporary- look for people who are on the same path and on the same step ladder. You need people like that to trade ideas with and encourage each other. Unfortunately, most relationships of this nature breeds envy and unnecessary competition. To have a contemporary, both have to be secure and okay with being themselves. Contentment is key to making it work. If you are looking to be the smarter out of the two, more successful out of the two and are not thinking of corporate success; this relationship should be skipped. However, not every thing can be shared with a mentor, it is necessary to have a friend who has your view points and probably traveling on the same road as yours.

3. Everybody needs a protégé- personally, I can’t think of any greater satisfaction than to reach out and inspire someone younger and inexperienced who intends traveling the path I have been. One way or another, you can be a coach and an encourager to someone. It puts life in perspective. We shouldn’t focus on living for ourselves that we neglect others. People need guidance; some are open to admit that, the rest might think they are good which might be obvious they aren’t. Everybody has a story, a life experience that someone can benefit of and from. Think of yourself that you have something to offer after reading this. Too many people don’t think so.

I think there is no perfect time than NOW to invest into relationships. The dividends will show. Thank you for reading and supporting this blog with your feedbacks. I really do appreciate that.

Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love

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Perfect Love!

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John‬ ‭3:16‬ ‭‬‬

I believe the theme of this week is love. How fitting will it be to talk about it, looking at the total embodiment of love- God.

This scripture talks about how much He loved the world. This was written in a Greek text. To the Greek, love doesn’t carry the same meaning. There are at least four different meanings to the word, love: romantic love, friendship or brotherly love, familial love and Godly love. The first three are conditional and will need reasons to love. The last kind of love which is Godly is unconditional, have no reasons and no strings attached.

God just loves us without any reason. He loves us because it is in his nature to love. He loves us because He is love. A typical example shows in how he loved the world and sent his only begotten son, Jesus to give us everlasting life. You may be asking, “what is that?” Everlasting life means you will experience life after this age is over. I believe in life after death. The world couldn’t do anything to warrant God’s kind of love, but just to accept and receive it. Likewise, for you to be a recipient of God’s love, you have to be accepting and receiving of it.

Today, I present to you God’s kind of love which is perfect and sufficient for us all. I write from a place of experiential knowledge- God’s love is too real! In this week of love, think on this and know that God loves you. Could keep on writing, but I feel this will be good for today. This post is to cause us to muse on true love which can only come from God.

If I can get you to think on this after reading, I believe my job is done. Happy Valentine’s Day to all my readers.

Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love

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What is my life?

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” James‬ ‭4:13-14‬

Hello, glad to come your way again. Last week, I couldn’t post because the world was sent into shockwaves and still grieving at the sudden and tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and his 13 year old daughter, Gianna along with seven others in a helicopter crash. I am a basketball fan, so this really hit home.

This death has really got me thinking on all fronts. This was really a sad one. In lieu of that, I want to share some few thoughts on life. The Bible verse there explained what my life is- it is like a smoke [or mist] which appears for a while, then vanishes away. Life is really that transient. The next sixty seconds of our life are not promised, talk about even the next day. Personally, this has taught me to live in the moment and maximize today. By the time, my life on this earth is up, I want to have fewer regrets and if possible, none. Want to look at some things to do whilst we are still living.

1. Don’t hold grudges- at the beginning of this year, a name came up in my conversation with my mother and sister. This particular person was very close to me, but not anymore due to a rift that occurred more than a decade ago. Time has passed, wounds are healed and we have met on few occasions; our interactions have been brief and civil, nonetheless. But they both advised me to go a step further in calling the person just to check on him every now and then. I have reached out, life is indeed a sandglass. Make up with any you have aught with. I watched a sportscaster in tears at the devastating news begging for reconciliation on every viewer’s part if it is possible to abridge any difference(s), because life is short. That was powerful watching that.

2. Do what you truly love- life waits for no one. We have to follow our passion and do what we really love. What are we waiting for? Write that book you have put on hold, follow that hobby that tends to give you more fulfillment than your current 9-5 job. I thank God that every Sunday after church, I have a sense of fulfillment and pride in what I do- pastoring. I feel this is what I have been put on earth for. Nothing beats that feeling. Even though, I am bi-vocational and have a paid profession, I still feel I am doing my life’s worth in pastoring- never been paid before. It is not about money, but fulfilling a purpose you truly love. Dr. Myles Munroe of blessed memory said, “if you can do it [work] without getting paid and money is not an issue, then that is your true assignment”. I am glad I am walking in mine.

3. Think of others- life is not me, myself and I. Your sojourn on this earth should touch humanity. Be a blessing to someone. Take someone under your wing to teach, coach and inspire. Everyone on this earth has something to offer. After you are gone, someone should be thankful for your existence. That is how you build a legacy. Tributes are still pouring in for Kobe, because he was a big advocate of women’s basketball, coached young girls to play the game and was writing children’s books among the many notable feats. Most basketball players were crying because they had personal accounts of him reaching out to them to encourage, inspire or mentor them, especially the younger crop of players. So he wasn’t just a basketball player, he was more than that.

4. Believe in God- after all is said and done, there is a God, the creator of Heaven and earth, the maker of our soul. After this life is over, we will meet God. It is an appointment EVERYONE on this earth will certainly meet. It doesn’t matter whether you believe it or not. There is a hereafter. Life will move on and it truly isn’t over when one dies. Your time left on this earth will be a good time to know who God is and if he truly exist?

“The fool says in his heart, “There’s no God…” Psalms‬ ‭14:1‬ ‭

Let us live this life intentionally and on purpose. We have only one life. It isn’t like the video game which gives you ten lives to go on a hunting mission. You will know what I am talking about if you have played one of such games. May posterity judge us well when our chapter on this earth is done.

Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love