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Strongholds

A perfect portrait of our mind’s thoughts

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,”
‭‭II Corinthians‬ ‭10:4-5‬ ‭

There is a warfare that takes place in the mind of every human. It is the pitting of ideas against another; each idea wants to be the dominant one. It is a real struggle.

What caught my eye in this Bible text is strongholds. Based on this, let us look at this word and define it.

A stronghold is a castle or a fortress. It has the idea of fortifying and holding things safely. So how does a thought become a stronghold? It is when you have a particular train of thought (either good or bad) that has built a fortress in your mind. In today’s world, we will call it a mindset. A mindset is simply a fortified thought.

Ideas entertained over a period of time builds a thought pattern in our lives, which defines our very existence and being. Man is the summation of his thoughts and beliefs on which he acts.

So someone may ask, “how do I identify strongholds in my minds?” Look at the most dominant train of thought. An example of a positive stronghold, is one who determines he can’t fail at an exam, no matter how difficult it is. He may pass because he has put in the work and hours of studying, but undergirding that state of preparation is a mental resolve. A bad example too could be one who believes, nothing good will come out of him. It shows in his demeanor- normally timid. People like that rarely contribute in meetings thinking they are stupid. They will even fight you if you compliment them on a good point they made, believing they are stupid indeed.

So strongholds manifest in our thought patterns, what we say and believe, and what we do (our manner of life). So after knowing these, how do we deal with especially, negative strongholds?

God willing, we will look at that in our next post.

Trust you were blessed reading? Please leave a comment underneath this. I look forward to reading and correspond as always.

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Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love

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Our Thoughts

Hello, glad to come your way again after a month’s absence. All too soon, an eventful year (2020) will come to a close. I believe all of us have a story.

Today, I want to look at our thought life. Your outlook in life is determined by how you think. Healthy thinking produces a healthy life, stinky thinking produces a stinky life.

“For as he thinketh within himself, so is he…” Proverbs‬ ‭23:7‬

It is important to think, however it will be more prudent on our part to monitor the state of our thought life and improve upon our thoughts. That will help us to think even better. With that said, how did we get the thoughts we are accustomed to? What influences a particular way of thinking?

Please, join me as we look at a few of them.

1. Words– they come in the form of conversations we are engaged in, books we have read/are reading, movies we have watched and music we have listened to. Words create images and when they are created, it registers in your sub conscience which becomes a train of thought in the process of time. The way we think is not a happenstance, it is time invested to create that.

2. Environment- when I talk about this, I am looking more at your surroundings or neighborhood you grew up in or where you currently live. Environments create climates or an atmosphere. They impact our way of thinking. For example, people who grew up in an abusive place end up becoming abusers, generally speaking. The force of that environment forces you to think in a way and you gradually become your thoughts. People who haven’t let their environments determine their destiny are often hailed as heroes. It is a difficult feat, yet not impossible.

3. Culture- culture is a way of life. It has to do with people. That and environment are closely related, but there is a difference. Environment is a physical place, and the influence that shapes the people in the environment can be culture. Culture is knowing why this group of people think or act this way which affects how they live. With environmental influence, once you move out, the power of an environment is broken over you. With cultural, moving doesn’t do it. You have to commit to unlearn some things and relearn to break its hold.

It will be good on our part after reading to consider the impact of words, our environment and culture on our lives. It will definitely give us cues to why we think the way we do. A quality life is antecedent on quality thinking.

May God bless our minds!

Let me know what you think by posting in the comments section underneath. I love reading your comments and feedback.

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Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love

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Why Do We Speak The Way We Do?

Hello, glad to come your way again. Trust we all had a good weekend? Last week, we looked at the power of words. It should be treated than just mere vocabulary. In fact, they are things- words carry and contain substance.

In today’s edition, we want to focus on the factors that contribute to one’s speaking. No one was born to talk the way we do. With that said, let us dive straight in.

1. What you hear- the first step to speech as a baby is linked to what he/she hears. It is impossible to be mute without being deaf first. There is a connection between the ear and the mouth for intelligible speech. Guard what you hear and filter through your sources, else it will affect how you talk. What do you listen to? Your influences, your mentors and teachers surely impact what you will say.

“Where can we go up? Our brethren have discouraged our hearts, saying, “The people are greater and taller than we; the cities are great and fortified up to heaven; moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakim there.” ’” ‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭1:28‬ ‭

Reading this story in context talks about Israel going forth to possess a land. They were confident of the prospects till they heard “fake news” from their brethren. With that said, it impacted their speech from “we are able” to “we are not able”. So many have suddenly become unable to complete certain tasks, not because they are incompetent, but because of the information that has discouraged their hearts. Guard your ears.

2. Your company- this is closely linked to the first point. Our sources of information can come from conversations we have with our family, friends and the like. You can’t choose your family, but you can with your friends. Have you realized no one talks vulgarly naturally, till they hang around a vulgar company? This brings it home to me in sports. No matter how refined your skill is, the team that surrounds you including your coach can be a lid on your greatness. “All of us have lids”, according to John Maxwell, and the ability to raise our lids somehow determines greatness. You can’t win if you are not surrounded by a winning team. Your vocabulary will change, if you let go of that relationship. Someone will ask, “what about my family?” You can limit contact and love the person from a distance.

3. Books– they impact vocabulary and build our skill on the use of words. Most competent public speakers are readers. It is no secret. Personally, anytime I read the Bible, I become a man of faith and it affects what I say in the time of circumstances. If I haven’t read that, I notice my response- very different. People who tend to develop weird conspiracy theories do so because because of what they surf on the internet and the books they read. Books are a huge factor in what we say.

May God help us all become better in our use of words from today. We are going to be intentional on the things that comes out of our mouths.

I will like to know your thoughts by posting your comments. I always enjoy reading that.

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Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love

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The Things We Say

The words of my mouth are edifying like a fruit. It shapes things around and causes movements.”

“Lord, set up a guard for my mouth; keep watch at the door of my lips.” Psalms‬ ‭141:3‬ ‭

Glad to come your way again. As a matter of fact, this was supposed to be last’s week’s, but it got deleted when I pressed the ‘publish’ button which was strange and annoying at the same time. Let us have a crack at it again. Shall we?

Today, we want to focus on the importance of words that come out of our mouths. My prayer is, after reading, one will take into account how he/she talks. Words are not just words, they are things- it carries substance, there is a weight behind what you say and it also can impact your destiny.

How do I know that? Look at this scripture with me:

“Words can bring death or life! Talk too much, and you will eat everything you say.” ‭Proverbs‬ ‭18:21‬ ‬‬

Anything that is life or death related has something to do with destiny. I think, when it comes to bridling our tongue from speaking carelessly, one has to rely more on the grace of God than on willpower. The first quoted scripture is an excerpt of a prayer made by King David.

How do we keep our mouths from just saying anything? Before, you come to the place of resolutions, steps, and principles. You first have to come to the place of prayer. Believe in the power of prayer by surrendering your vulnerability when it comes to the area of speech and you will leave empowered to practice the steps and principles you have in place.

People who can keep their speech in check are commended to be perfect (mature) because of their ability to control their bodies.

“All of us do many wrong things. But if you can control your tongue, you are mature and able to control your whole body.” ‭‭James‬ ‭3:2‬ ‭

Anybody who struggles with self mastery has to check the ‘health’ of his tongue. I am using health here because how wholesome are your words- are they fruitful, do they build people up? Sometimes, when in the hospital to check on your health, a thermometer is stuck in your mouth to check your body temperature.

You see, it goes beyond physics and science. Our tongues determine our world we live in and the state of our spirits.

Let us stop here and continue on this next week. Hope you were blessed reading? Please let me know through your comments.

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Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love

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Put Your Work Clothes On

“Through [skillful and godly] wisdom a house [a life, a home, a family] is built, And by understanding it is established [on a sound and good foundation], And by knowledge its rooms are filled With all precious and pleasant riches.” Proverbs‬ ‭24:3-4‬ ‬‬

Hello, glad to come your way again. All too soon, we are in the last quarter (4th) of an eventful year. Today, I want to use this bible verse to talk about the family, particularly marriage.

First and foremost, marriage is a difficult (not impossible) enterprise to build. It involves many, many hours of labor, sweat, blood and tears. The illusion that marriage affords me to live with my other half “happily ever after” is a myth that needs to be shattered.

In this scripture, we see three virtues, though unconventional, that builds a family.

1. Knowledge- knowledge is generally defined as the acquisition of information. So before you step into a marriage relation; you have to know about the family dynamics, responsibilities of the spouses, what is entailed in a marriage, the challenges at each phase and stage of the marriage… so much we can list here. Reading books and having mentors are great ways of receiving information. Don’t only be enamored with preparing for the wedding (event) which is good, also invest an equal amount of time on the marriage (lifetime) knowledge wise. Knowledge fills the room of your house (marriage) with all pleasant and precious riches like peace, compatibility and the like.

2. Understanding- the general definition of understanding is comprehension. Anything comprehendible means you have been schooled in that area that you can answer majority of the questions asked. Understanding of the marriage relation establishes the union. Most quarrels and fights stem from a lack of understanding- the root cause. One general understanding we should have is the nature of marriage conflicts and effective conflict resolution skills. Every home is bound to experience conflict(s). You can’t pray it away or wish it away either. Be more concerned about how to handle conflicts when they rise. Have a general understanding too of crisis. It is bound to happen. It is amusing to watch people think, once married then all their problems will go away. Not quite true. Understanding how to deal with crisis and conflicts among many others stabilizes the union.

3. Wisdom- you build a family, house or for that matter, a marriage on wisdom. It is the practical application of knowledge you understand. The goal of knowing is to practically apply. Knowing and learning without application destroys the fiber of the marriage union and erodes trust. A wife will roll her eyes at her husband when he suggests they go for another marriage retreat or family conference. Every book read, all information gleaned and any advice received should be put to heart and practiced. Trust is built between spouses when they are “doers”, rather than “talkers” and “learners”.

I hope this has been a blessing reading? Let me know. Will love to read your comments and feedback as always. I enjoy interacting with the community that gives me feedback on a constant basis. Thank you.

Please like and share today’s post. Subscribe to this blog too if you haven’t.

Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love

NB: I dedicate today’s blog to Albert and Darla. They counseled us prior to getting married and are our marriage mentors presently.

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Why Read The Bible?

“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” Romans‬ ‭15:4‬ ‭

For the past two weeks, our focus has been on the Bible- the world’s best selling book of all time. We have looked at some factual truths on the Bible. Today, we want to focus on why should we read the Bible. I quoted this verse as my basis to explain the reasons.

Please follow me along on this journey as we glean.

1. Learning- the Bible was basically written for our learning. One may ask, “what do I learn?”. You will learn about the central theme and focus of the Bible which is Jesus Christ. You will learn of his attributes, his character, his teachings and his lifestyle. Asides that, you also learn certain Christian attributes and principles like justice, honesty, truth, diligence among many others.

“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew‬ ‭11:29‬ ‭

Jesus invites us to learn from him. The best way is through the medium of reading the Bible.

2. Patience- patience here refers to steadfastness, constancy and endurance. Being steadfast especially in a time of uncertainty comes from what you have read and known. You are guided when navigating uncharted waters. The Bible also extols certain virtues like faith, a good attitude and the like when we are going “through the mill”. Being constant (consistent) at a thing also comes from certain instructions you might have read. For example in the Bible, it is written, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians‬ ‭6:9‬. When a scripture like this becomes the bedrock of your life and forms part of your principles, you will keep on keeping on. One of the things we learn from Jesus as we keep reading the Bible is endurance. Deliberate on this scripture after you are done with this post, “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews‬ ‭12:2‬ ‭

3. Comfort- you are encouraged by the contents of the Bible when you read certain stories like David, who made a bad decision by sleeping with his colleague’s wife and killed him on top. This is a bad recipe to build your life on. With these negative implications, David still turned his life around and became one of the greatest kings in history. With a story like this, I am encouraged that one bad turn should not alter the course of my destiny, if I am only prepared to pay the price of change. There are many life lessons like this which will serve as solace and change our paradigm.

4. Hope– hope means being optimistic, but in the Bible, it has quite a different meaning: a confident and positive expectation of good. The source of expecting something good can come from reading the Bible. One of the things we are confident about is, one day there will be an event- the end of this age. We believe having a relationship with God gives us a better standing in eternity. That is the greatest hope of a professing believer. Personally, as a Christian, I am very hopeful of seeing God face to face based on this scripture, “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” I John‬ ‭3:2-3‬ ‭

So anybody that starts the journey of reading the Bible should expect these four life changing benefits.

Happy Labor’s Day on this side of the world and to everyone else, have a blessed week.

Will love to read your take on today’s post. Please like, share and subscribe to this blog if you haven’t.

Till, I come your way again…

Peace & Love

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The Integrity Of The Bible

“But anyone who examines this evidence will come to stake his life on this: that God himself is the truth.” John‬ ‭3:33‬ ‭

Hello, glad to come your way again. Today, we want to focus on the Bible’s integrity. The quote referring to this evidence has to do with Jesus’ testimony about who He is. That is the central theme and focus of the Bible.

Let us now look at the word integrity. It basically means wholeness. On a personal note, it means your thoughts, words, actions and deeds of your life are integrated or in alignment. When we talk about the integrity of the Bible, we are talking about the wholeness of it and its inerrancy- free from error.

As you examine the Bible, there is both external and internal evidence which conclusively verdicts the Bible as true. I will focus on these two factors.

External evidence- the Bible has been subjected to archaeological, historical and scientific evidence to verify its authenticity. For example, when it comes to archeological facts, we can talk about the discovery of the Ebla tablets in 1970s in Northern Syria. Documents written on clay tablets from around 2300 B.C. demonstrate that personal and place names in the Patriarchal accounts are genuine. “Canaan” was a name used in the Ebla which before was a subject of contention among critics dismissing it as mere legend. The tablets also refer to all “five cities of the plain” mentioned in Genesis 14 as true. History has proven the Bible to be accurate by the artifacts gathered in the British Museum in London, like the existence of Sodom and Gomorrah. Time and space won’t allow me to talk about Hugo Winckler who discovered the Hittite capital which was given prominent mention in the Old Testament of the Bible. Science caught up with the Bible on issues such as the earth being spherical. Isaiah in the Bible quoted, “It is He who sits above the circle of the earth…” between 740 B.C. and possibly 686 B.C. Now it wasn’t until the 3rd century that Hellenistic astronomy established the spherical shape of the earth and calculated the earth’s circumference. Prior to that, it was believed the earth was flat. Job, the oldest book in the Bible, written around 7th and 4th centuries BCE quoted, “…He hangs the earth on nothing.” Later, in the 16th century in 1543, Nicolaus Copernicus discovered that the earth is suspended in space. There is no book that has been subjected to scrutiny under the court of public opinion than the Bible. So John was indeed right when he concluded that, the evidence of the Bible will cause you to stake your life on it exclaiming, God himself is the truth… Indeed!

Internal evidence– it has more to do with eyewitness accounts. Information that is second or third hand is not trustworthy at times and a reliable source for that matter. So for example, when it comes to some instances and events in the Bible, it was recorded by people who were present and not told a story. Like, the Red Sea parting into two was witnessed by Moses. It was a real life account and not a story. The Jericho Wall falling down was witnessed by Joshua and accurately documented which has proven to be verified information. Most importantly, some of the disciples wrote about Jesus who is not a myth. An instance is this testimony from John, a disciple of Jesus and one of the early apostles of the Christian church.

“From the very first day, we were there, taking it all in—we heard it with our own ears, saw it with our own eyes, verified it with our own hands. The Word of Life appeared right before our eyes; we saw it happen! And now we’re telling you in most sober prose that what we witnessed was, incredibly, this: The infinite Life of God himself took shape before us.” 1 John‬ ‭1:1-2‬ ‭

I want to conclude on this note that the Bible is infallible. Is it any wonder it is the best selling book of all time? Something to think about here.

Let me know what you think of today’s post. I am eager to read your comments and feedback as always.

Please like, share and subscribe to this blog if you haven’t’.

I wish all my readers an upcoming happy new month.

Till, I come your way again…

Peace & Love.

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Let Us Talk About It- The Bible

“Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.” 2 Peter‬ ‭1:20-21‬ ‭

Hello, honored to come your way again. I trust your weekend was restful? Today, I want us to focus on a book which has been the best selling book of all time with an estimated 5 billion copies sold and distributed as of 1995, according to Guinness World Records.

Yes, I am talking about the Bible. I used this scripture passage above to let us know the origins of the Bible. From my experience of reading and studying the Bible for more than thirty years on almost a daily basis, I can confidently say, the Bible is more than an informative book. It also transforms lives by shaping our thoughts. Fact is, I am also an avid reader of books, so I have a basis for comparing the Bible to any other book for that matter.

Today, I just want us to focus on some truthful facts.

1. Who wrote it?– a book is as credible as its author. To read a book, it is worth examining the author. The author is God. You might be saying, “what?!! God?!!” Yes, it was God who spoke through different authors who were called prophets. They didn’t speak from human understanding or initiative, but were inspired by God. So, you will see books of the Bible written by Moses, King David, Apostle Paul and the like. But the credit goes to God.

2. When was it written?– it was written over a 1500 year time span on three continents and by 40 authors- people from every walk of life like kings, shepherds, fishermen and tax collectors etc. The amazing thing is, most of the authors never knew themselves or were in different eras, but there is a strand of consistency and they sing the same chorus. The Bible has been proven to be accurate. Next week, we will deal more on that when we look at the integrity of the scriptures.

3. What is the theme of the book?– any book which makes for a good read has a central theme and the focal point of the story. Only one story from the beginning to the end: God’s love and salvation for man and how he came into this world through Jesus Christ, who is the focal point.

May I recommend the Bible (either hardware or software) to you if you have not read it before. It comprises of 66 books. Someone will ask, “where do I start?”. Good question! I will say, start from the book of John which has 21 chapters. From there, it will be easier to guide you on what to read next.

I believe when we have experienced something positive or life changing, we have no hesitation in sharing and recommending it to our friends. That is how I am feeling this morning.

Thank you for making time to read my blog and constantly supporting me. Really do appreciate it a lot.

I look forward to reading your comments as always.

Please like, share and subscribe to this blog if you haven’t.

Till, I come your way again…

Peace & Love

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“I Don’t Like My Current Situation!”

Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom.” Ecclesiastes‬ ‭9:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Hello, I hope you had a great weekend? Lately, there has been a surge in unemployment rate. Economies of many nations are shrinking which has made it unbearable on its citizens. Major retailers and small businesses all seem to be closing down or downsizing. This calls for alarm and many people who are unfortunately victims are crying out aloud, “I don’t like my current situation!”

As a result, most people are in between jobs. There is a dilemma here: most will have to settle for a less paying job, others feel like “a square peg in a round hole” situation- they are not liking their current situation as in regards to the new job they are doing.

I have done jobs I didn’t like. What motivated me was the above quote from King Solomon. I have made it my matter to do what I do well irrespective of what kind of job it is or the pay packet involved. I must admit, it is refreshing having that kind of outlook. Just want to share some truths as we all go through this difficult journey together.

1. Your job doesn’t define you– mostly, men gain their significance from what they do which is tied to how much they earn. So most struggle during a transition phase. Your significance is derived from who you are- your identity. You may have worked at a high end job like, say, Wall Street in New York. The fact that you may lose your job because of the economy and do something less glamorous shouldn’t define you. You are not the position of your current job or past job for that matter. YOU ARE YOU.

2. Your skills are still relevant– there are currently professionals who have degrees, yet misplaced. Skills don’t make you unsettled, no matter the new work environment or experience you find yourself in. Degrees and qualifications can only work within a certain context, skills however have a universal reach. During this pandemic, don’t focus so much on your academic certificates. I am certainly not downplaying them, it should be celebrated. But to make yourself hirable, focus on the skills you have acquired from your previous work experience(s) like problem solving, being a team player, coachable, leadership skills, emotional intelligence etc.

3. You might not get a job like your previous one– brace yourself for this uncomfortable truth. It could be many factors, for instance, this pandemic will certainly make some jobs obsolete. In addition to that, you might be overqualified, or the particular industry you are searching into might be choked. With these realities, what are you going to do? It is not the end of the world certainly, and your job doesn’t define you. Sometimes losing a job (especially our preferred ones) can help us go on the road of self discovery. During this time, ask yourself these three words, “who am I?”

4. You might need to upgrade your skills– it might be time to pick up a course, learn new skills during this time to augment everything you have acquired during your working years.

It is my prayer you will be encouraged especially if you are between jobs. My heart goes out to you. I thought of you, that is why I wrote today’s post.

Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love

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MEANING

Hello, glad to come your way again and trust you had a good weekend? During this COVID-19 season, it is said that many people, particularly the young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 years old have been searching for and asking questions on meaning. In the past five months, I have had some conversations mainly on this topic.

With this in mind, I want to talk on meaning today which has to do with living your life’s purpose. What I know is from a combination of reading, good counsel and mentoring. Out of these, permit me to give a few pointers.

1. Live beyond yourself– there is nothing as gratifying than to stop living for yourself and think of others in the big picture. Living beyond yourself means serving one another. During this time, relationships are not only essential, but a lifeline. It starts with a smile, or a simple “hello”. Think of what you can offer today to make one’s life better. If this becomes our mindset, we will live a rich life. I am not necessarily talking about money and stuff, but rich in influence. I once heard an unconventional definition of a millionaire- one who has affected a million lives. Too many people have been cocooned in self and all they think of is “me, myself and I”. People who live like that always feel hollow. I issue a challenge to us all, that may we be the reason for someone’s joy, happiness and uplifting this month.

2. Passion– let me look at the other side of passion which is not excitement or energy. Mother Teresa is a perfect example of this. She had passion, but hers was seen as she fed the hungry, aided the distressed and cared for the poor. She did not do it with hands raised up, but with hands outstretched to feed the poor and embrace the little children. She did not shout out “Hallelujah!”, but had a quiet laughter that showed us her love for Jesus Christ. That is passion. I am talking about the quiet burden in your heart that keeps you going. Anybody that can keep on ticking is passionate. It isn’t always expressive in emotions or exuberance.

3. Your natural gifts and talents- What are you naturally inclined to do without too much effort? What brings you joy? What can you do for free without worrying about renumeration? What is your hobby? It is said, we should be careful with what we call “our hobbies”. It is also said that most hobbies are what we are naturally gifted at. Some of these questions can serve as clues. Believe it or not, everyone on this earth has a talent, and if there has ever been a time to showcase your talent. Now is the time. Why wait?

I trust you have been inspired by today’s post. Please, I will like to read your comments. Subscribe to this blog if you haven’t. I will also appreciate your likes and shares on today’s post.

God bless and till I come your way again…

Peace & Love