Why first love never dies, and genuine love never get out of style -

True love could be romantic, or not so adoring and tender, but realistic and sincere.

Valentine – Boy meets Girl. Boy and girl keep in touch, seriously, and not necessarily romantically, as they grow into likeness, and later into loving relationship and deep affection.

Life interludes and challenges comes in-between, and true lovers and genuinely affectionate couples marry this way.

Not every Val, of course. But for those who do, and end up saying “I do”, it’s a lifetime experience of attachment and being there for each other through thick and thin.

 

Valentine Day is more about love,

affection, and dedication to the marriage vow;

and not sheer lust.

 

Meeting – Chance or Design?

Donald was fourteen years old when he met Dianna at the wedding of Uncle Fred, the younger brother of Mr. Reinhardt, Donald’s father. Dianna McCarty was a girl of thirteen. It was one of those Valentine’s Day wedding.

Was it a coincidence, or a friendship that was already written in the stars?

Anyhow, it did not take Donald so much gazing at crystal balls to discover that the little girl sitting beside him inside the church was not just another girl across the street. He made full use of every opportunity to look her well in the eyes, touch her dress, hold her palms, and force exchanges when the opportunity came.

However, little Diana did not make much out of all these. What else does a girl of thirteen cares about than to play, meet people, and get busy with her stuff and her little world?

How Love Grows

Though their rapport and exchanges at the august meeting encouraged Donald to start writing mails to the girl, most of which were favorably replied by Dianna, he was not bold enough to clearly declare his affection and love for her.  He usually ends up around the topic, but never really got there.

At the peak of his deep feelings for her this year, Donald had become confused, and disinterested in his studies. How badly he wanted to see her, hold her and touch her.  Yet she was so far away. His school mates and friends noticed his terrible mood, but Donald would not share the truth with anyone.

He picked up the courage to write a special letter to his “girl” this time.

The letter got to Dianna late, in the midst of the end-of-the year examination.

Upon her reading the contents, she was equally confused and unsure of the message.

She went to Jane, a senior girl and close confidant of nineteen.

Jane explained to her that there is no problem having a male friend. “You just need to be careful, and take full control of the relationship, and never mess up with boys.” With experience and maturity, Dianna was guided into better understanding on how to play with boys without getting into trouble.

Life Staircase

Donald graduated from high school, and was admitted to read polymer science at Cambridge University.

Two years later Dianna had become a medical student at Kettering University.

During the fall semester of his last year at Cambridge, Donald came home to visit his mum and brother, Steve. However, top on his mind was the thought of meeting Dianna, looking into her big blue eyes, and holding her tender hands.

 

 

Family is Key

As soon as she got wind of his plans, Dianna shared the news with her parents, and they did not hesitate to welcome Donald into their home.

The homecoming was great for Donald and his elder brother, Steve.

Steve read economics, and found a job as an investment banker at a Wall Street business firm after his graduation three years ago. The two young men were always a source of joy and inspiration to their mother, after the sudden death of Mr. Reinhardt four years ago.

“Would Donald be coming home to stay a while with me upon his graduation?” Mum asked Steve.

“I really don’t think so. He wants to start a project right away with a colleague of his from college. It is a United Nations atomic energy project, and he would not want to miss the opportunity.”

After meal, that night, Donald informed her mother and brother about Dianna.

“She has been a good girl from a good and respectable home.  We hope to meet this Valentine after many years of telephone calls and emails.”

“Are you getting married so soon”, Steve interjected more out of jealousy, but also as a result of genuine concern for his younger brother and his immediate plans after college.

“Marriage is out of it!  I met Dianna a long time ago during my last year in high school. We became friends, yet we never met since our first meeting.  Both of us agree it’s time to see each other again after this long time.”

Steve and his mother remained quiet, hoping to hear more from Donald about this mystery girl. They were not disappointed.

“She wants to be a surgeon, studying at Kettering. I hope to meet her and parents next tomorrow. It is arranged that I drive with them to the Allegheny Beach. The two of us will drive behind her parents on the way to the beach but she would ride home with her folks, while I drive home alone carrying mum’s Tuareg Jeep.”

It was Donald’s great joy to get the approval of his mother and brother.

When Shall I See You Again?

Donald met Dianna at the front door. They shook hands, and he kissed her hand.

Donald was warmly received by The McCartys as Dianna introduced him as a friend and student of polymer science at Cambridge University.

The parents chatted with Donald, discussed about his mother and brother. The young man hit them as an intelligent youth and humble person. They felt sad he lost his father as a little boy. Mr. McCarty was particularly glad he was no longer a novice about polymer science and related subjects.

Meal was served, and Donald graciously declared that Mrs. McCarty was a great cook. They all took off for the beach after meal. Donald drove with Dianna in front, but they were closely followed by Mr. and Mrs. McCarty.

The two spoke of their plans after graduation from college. They discussed about job prospects and career pursuit, life choices, and life on campus.

Donald mustered great amount of effort to declare his long-held opinion to Diana. “If I could have my way, with a great douse of luck and the blessing of Heaven, I would say that it’s the greatest wish of my life to spend more time with you, holding your hands, touching your palms, and just keeping you company all my life.

This was too much for Dianna to handle.

She blushed, looked away from the driver into the open field beside her as they drove along, and quickly changed the topic.

“I just cannot wait to get started as a licensed medic. It will be wonderful to have my internship at Kettering with their fantastic equipment and organizational structure”, she declared.

“I should probably be your first patient. Need to get my head checked really fast. Since I set my eyes on a smart girl with blue eyes from the McCarty clan my blood pressure has ever been on the rise, my affection growing deep, while my gaze has never wavered to any other, yet she avoids all attempts to get close to her.”

“Bet you need to see a psychoanalyst fast, and not a surgeon.”

“May I plead with all my love that you take me out to see one within your domain?”

Dianna busted into laughter, unable to continue with the lovely exchanges from this not-so-well-know and not-too-distant friend.

Loving Somebody, and Somebody Loves You Back

The beach was a great part of the meeting. Donald was able to touch, feel and hug Dianna. She was still immature, unexposed, and green, sort of. She resisted all attempts by Donald to kiss, but had intimate hug and embraces from him.

He gave her a special card for Valentine, with a unique red rose from England.

Diana loved and appreciated the beautiful card with the red rose flower.

She felt the natural plant send the scent of English love all over her surroundings.

It was there and then that she really hugged and held him, with a promise to love him.

It was the first experience of such a close encounter for the two of them, but they were both aware they truly like and love each other.

They went back to her parents, shared a meal at a special eatery, took some ice-cream, and departed. It was indeed a day Donald, and Dianna in her very secretive mind, would always wanted to look up to.

As they drove out of his sight, Donald reminded himself that his first meeting with Dianna was casual, at a Valentine wedding. This meeting was real.  He hope the next meeting should be their Valentine wedding day.

Ides or Karma

On his way home from the camp, as he approached the bridge, Donald heard gun shots. He slowed down, turned off the road and waited to find out the position of things. Without thinking twice, he switched off the car engine, jumped out and locked up the car. He dashed into the nearby bush.

Five minutes later a car pulled up, and stopped right beside his jeep. A man pulled out of the grey saloon car, holding a pistol in his right hand. Donald could see him very well, as the man surveyed around the jeep, trying to open it. He couldn’t. He looked round, could not see anyone, and did not hear any voice. This bearded man in thick moustache and a small sombrero yelled some command,

“Lay him on this car, and leave him to join the chorus in hell singing praises to the Devil!”

Within seconds, Donald saw two men brought out a blood-soaked man from one of their cars, and placed him on the bonnet of his car.

“Perfect. What a neat job! He would never try such a trick on me ever again. Off we go.” As the leader shouted his command, the team entered their cars and zoomed off towards the road to Allegheny Beach.

Donald was too scared to speak, he was so confused to realize whether he was dreaming or seeing the scene . The sight of the gun, the bloody dead body, and the criminal activities of the gang sickened him.

The young man waited where he was for a moment, then he pulled himself together, wanted to run, but remembered he left his telephone in the car. He took a quick survey of the environment, and decided to reach for his car.  As he attempted to open the car door, take his phone and call 911, the police arrived.

A Price for Love

Donald was arrested and accused of robbery and murder. His mother got him an attorney, while Steve, his elder brother give much moral support. Six months later he was convicted and placed on death row, awaiting execution.

His mother and brother were totally depressed.

His friends and colleagues were distraught.

Dianna’s life was shattered, but she was strong. She stood with Donald throughout the trials. She vehemently believed that Donald was innocent. Her parents cursed the day they met the “brute young man”, and wondered why on Earth “such an armed robber and murderer” should cross their path.

When Love is True

Dianna prayed more regularly for divine intervention.

She implored God in the day, she prayed fervently at night. She had a strong faith. Many suitors and lovers came, seeking her hand in love or marriage, but she turned them all flat. She was used to this chorus:

“They say that love’s a gentle thing
But it’s only brought me pain
For the only man I ever loved
Has gone on the morning train

I never will marry
I’ll be no man’s wife
I expect to live single
All the days of my life”

Well there’s many a change in the winter wind
And a change in the cloud’s design
There’s many a change in a young man’s heart
But never a change in mine

I never will marry
I’ll be no man’s wife
I expect to live single
All the days of my life. 1.

Prayer Seals Love

Six months after Donald’s sentencing, the Legal Council for Truth and Justice, a Non-Government Organization, took over his case, and enlisted it for re-trial.

Panoramic sketches of the scene of the crime were taken from Donald. A new Prosecutor was found who took time to do a thorough investigation and findings.

With the aid of forensic experts and fingerprint extracts, the hoodlums who committed the crimes were apprehended, tried and convicted.

“The state and Jury are sorry for the wrongful carriage of judgment during your first trial. You are hereby pronounced not guilty and free to live your life as you please”, the Jury declared.

Donald was freed. Ovations and accolades were poured on him from far and near. A lot of praises and recognition were accorded Diana for her faithfulness and true love, especially in times of trial and tribulations.

He completed his education at Cambridge, while Dianna was practicing as a surgeon. They got married on the lover’s day of St. Valentine, and settled down in England, living in a country home with plentiful English red roses.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven. (Mat 5:16) .

1. Traditional- arranged by Linda Ronstadt
© 1977 Normal Music (BMI).

It is a brand new year, a great new dawn!

The beginning of a new walk, a brighter journey,

The resumption of a pilgrimage in faith with Christ,

With His Light to daily shine and brighten my pathways

His Spirit to guide my thoughts in serene prayers with God,

His Word, a lamp to my feet; road-map leading me to The Lamb!

What a new dawn, what a new year,

A time not to be heard, seen, praised, but Christ!

What a new me, what a transformed self,

A time to live anew with Christ from day-to-day!

What a wonderful time, full of expectations great,

That I, by grace and not by works, will be fit for His Throng

When He comes to call up His saints in Rapture!

O God “teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” (Psalm 90: 2).  Traditionally, a new year is often attached to new beginnings, new orientation and new resolutions. Time has become a constant issue in the affairs of man.

Like money in the bank, time is a vast resource available for your judicious use as we wade through the New Year. However, many of us failed to use our time wisely just as we most often fail to handle wisely financial and other resources put into our care.

As time is difficult to manage and elusive to control, the best is to manage one-self and develop habits that keep you in checks and balances through time and space.

God exist changeless from everlasting to everlasting. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He has a grand Plan for all His created beings, especially you and I, the crowning glory of His works.

Because death is certain, not many people live above a hundred years anymore, we need to live well before we die.

Because judgment is sure, after death comes judgment, we must choose to live right to be judged right and not condemned.

Because proper understanding of God, time and eternity reveals that there is a Redemption Plan for man after his fall into sinfulness, and that embracing this Plan, man could live in glory eternally after death.

Steps To A Fruitful New Year

  1. Commit Thy Way unto God

New Year resolutions become mere wishes and empty desires when they are unrealistic. Setting realistic goals and aims for every discernible project is the hallmark of serious-minded people and successful men and women.

To set forth at dawn, to plan well for every twist and turn in life affairs and matters is the way of those who plan to make headway in life.

Setting out in life with absolute trust in God, unflinching faith in His promises and holding forth doggedly without any iota of doubt to His Word is the only sure way to make it in this life and in the Kingdom to come.

Why not make your resolutions attainable, your goals achievable, and your dreams come true this year by committing your way unto God in all matters. Commit unto God whatever realistic goal you plan to meet this year.

The Lord “giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.  Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isa 40: 29 – 31).

2.    Keep Faith in God and Focus on Your Goal

God is who He is, and knowing who God is makes the believer to be “fully persuaded that, what He had promised, He is able also to perform” (Romans 4:21).

Faith is an active demonstration of personal principles and belief in what is yet to manifest as if they already exist.

Maintain positive postures, regularly declare affirmative speeches, while keeping faithful thoughts to excel and be successful in chosen goals through the year –  as a man thinketh in his heart so is he.

You become literally changed to the thoughts and affirmations of your mind as well as the declarations of your mouth. Faith is a deep-down belief that, regardless of the present circumstances, you are going to make it, and meet what you have set out to do. Having faith in God gives you extra strength in seeking to achieve what you know to do best.

3. Commitment & Integrity

Power as of old confirms the capabilities of God in modern times as it happened during Biblical eras. Nelson Mandela rose from prison to become the President of South Africa just like Joseph, who came out of prison to rule Egypt as a Prime minister.

 Be confident in your God-given talents and endowments with unflinching commitment and integrity. Whatever and whoever you are, painter or Professor, orator, writer or musician, engineer, technician or technocrat, salesman, marketer or preacher, whatever it may be, you always need to work in partnership with God and His Plan to achieve success from difficulties, trials, and tribulations.

Be committed and dedicated to the goals and aspirations well-thought out and adapted as your purpose and dream in life, your  raison d’être for life and living.

4. Persistence

Have what it takes to go get it. The tough guy keeps going, even when the going gets tough!

The determination and persistence to find and make concrete the desires and aspirations of the heart would definitely lead to creativity and success in the end.

Whatever we long for, yearn for, struggle for, and hold persistently in the mind will eventually turn out to become materialized just in exact proportion to the intensity and persistence of the thought and our actions. The man who set his mind firmly toward achievement is in himself success in areas where many have failed and others see nothing but impossibilities.

Impossibility is nothing

You always find out the tough guy in times of adversity, when obstacles looms large, and in situations when recurring challenges seems unwilling to abate. Persistence and resolute determination keeps you from getting discouraged come rain or sunshine. Think out your goal in concrete and plausible terms, be persistent and dedicated unto it, and you’ll soon see the concrete realization as days go by in the New Year.

5. Passion

Working with passion and commitment is the hallmark of mentally strong people. However, no mental trick or hypnotic device could make you successful without the special collaboration of hard work, common sense, intuition, personal skills, creativity, discipline, organization, resolute determination, and passion.

Passion for one’s calling in life demands the discovery of a clear vision. It requires flexibility, knowledge, communication, and hard work. These are essential characteristics of the man and woman desirous of making his/her resolutions come true.

Strive to develop these essential qualities as valuable habits for success as you journey through the New Year.

6. Flexibility

Flexibility is an important quality against futility, because, without some flexibility in your approach, you could end up trying to move an immovable object for the rest of your life.

It is the man that makes needful adjustment to original plan, and flow with it, while keeping his eyes on the goal, that delivers at the end of the day.

Successful people are willing to reinvent themselves while staying focused to their dream and resolutions. Those who stay stagnant and ignore trends will be left.

Take off with the master plan early in January; update yourself on new ideas, trends or innovations by month end or agreed period with critical assessment, review and take necessary adjustments with new skills to sharpen your focus on the master plan.

7. Gratitude

Gratitude is fundamental to maintaining an optimistic outlook on life, even in the face of difficulties. To be thankful to God and appreciative of humanity attracts blessings and goodness; it cast away depression and stress, with resounding progress and growth in personal and social adjustments. Learn to be thankful and grateful this New Year, and always.

Learn to thank God and man for past mercies, while imploring Him for expected blessings, casting all your cares and worries upon God, who alone can do all things. Attitude affects so many things in life.

Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.” (Gen 45: 4 – 5).

Despite the harsh and wicked treatment from his brothers, the dehumanizing circumstances that he went through from Portiphar, Joseph down-played the negative aspects of his predicament in life, while emphasizing the positive outcomes of those events.

8. Open-mindedness

Open-mindedness implies “having a mind open to new ideas”. Giving recognition to the rights of others, to be unprejudiced to other people’s ideas and opinions is open-mindedness. Let not rigidity take over you this New Year. Be tolerant as tolerance is open-mindedness on all subjects”. It is not a willingness to change one’s own opinions but rather a recognition of the rights of others to have their own opinions.

It was open-mindedness that made a Thomas Edison saved a lonely baby from the tracks of a moving train; made him engrossed self into the work of telegraph operator which transformed his life from a newspaper vendor into one of the greatest inventors in history.

Tolerance and open-mindedness is the habit of great men, and the hallmark of successful people. We all need to receive our peculiar endowments with open mind and enthusiasm, work with it in positive outlook to get the best for self and civilization. The Divine influence will definitely guide and lead you as Daniel was guided, as Joseph was led, and as Jacob was assisted, to meet your lofty goals and dreams this New Year.

9.    Renewed Authority

The New Year demands that you come off the old era with brand new authority over obstacles, disappointments and principalities. You must be on the side of Christ to have and manifest such authority. It is a gift in faith from Jesus.

Take His way this New Year, and not your selfish path, to move mountains, to overcome situations, and to attain sweet and enduring success. The Almighty God will confirm His Word in the believer’s mouth. Learn to pray in faith today to be able to sing praises in thanksgiving unto God at the end of year.

 

 

Dr. Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela – The Madiba Enigma -Leadership Code for African Rulers

http://www.scribd.com/doc/193426033/Nelson-Mandela-The-Madiba-Enigma

“I haven’t scratched the surface yet of what my real purpose is for being here.” (Michael Jackson).

Purpose is the raison d’être of our existence; it is that major driver for that which we seek most in life. Purpose is the embodiment of our resolutions or sought goals and aspirations. A man of purpose is a man that has a focus and a noble desire or goal to carry out. Man is always what makes man to be. You are what you purpose yourself to be.

Leading people and nations out of dangerous segregated and peaceful coexistence after a very bitter past calls for leaders with courage and conviction, leaders with the ability to develop a vision of what can be, to mobilize the people as a body into agreement to live and work together in harmony. These are the qualities embedded in Nelson Mandela which set him in a different class far above many corrupt and greedy ruler found in Africa.

Nelson Mandela lived and set a good standard for leadership, a leadership code for African rulers and presidents.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/193426033/Nelson-Mandela-The-Madiba-Enigma

There is a time to be born, and a time to die. The bell finally tolled for Mr. Nelson Mandela December 5, 2013. The man died, and it quickly becomes a big miss, not only in South Africa, not only to Africans, but to all and sundry all across the world.

South Africa’s greatest son and one of the world’s greatest personalities finally took a bow and passed on in death after a prolonged illness.

Life holds a specific purpose for each of us, but the most important thing is to find out, step out of our comfort zones and discover that purpose.

The Boers, who are complete aliens in South Africa, virtually usurped the rights of the local indigenes and lord it over them. It was so sad and precarious situation. The African National congress, ANC, was formed to oppose racial and territorial segregation. Nelson Mandela, after experiencing racism firsthand at the University of Witwatersrand, joined the African National Congress in 1944, and rose through the ranks as a legal attorney to become a leading light and the main player in the movement. Using nonviolent approaches to prove and protest, but with a very clear resolve, Mandela declared: “I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

Mandela came to the opinion that the ANC “had no alternative to armed and violent resistance” after taking part in the unsuccessful protest to prevent the demolition of the all-black Sophiatown suburb of Johannesburg in February 1955. He declared: In a way I had never quite comprehended before, I realized the role I could play in court and the possibilities before me as a defendant. I was the symbol of justice in the court of the oppressor, the representative of the great ideals of freedom, fairness and democracy in a society that dishonored those virtues. I realized then and there that I could carry on the fight even in the fortress of the enemy.”

http://www.scribd.com/doc/193426033/Nelson-Mandela-The-Madiba-Enigma

  1. Nelson Mandela was so successful a man to be tagged South Africa’s “greatest son”, and his death a profound loss to his country and the entire world.
  2. Rather than embrace the popular divide and rule tactics common among African leaders, Nelson Mandela brought his mixed multitude nation of black, white and colored people together with equality and uniform national pride.
  3. Nelson Mandela brought dignity and respect to the Republic of South Africa, a former pariah nation, often despised and derided among the comity of nations. He emphasized and built a united non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa.
  4. Nelson Mandela reminds the world about the possibility of a self made man, a man who succeeds in life as a result of his work and dedicated calling rather than ride the luck of rich parents or relationship with influential men. If Nelson Mandela could make it after the long struggle and long term prison incarceration, any African should.
  5. Despite his captivity and long prison sentences, Nelson Mandela was the man who destroyed apartheid, and became a worldwide symbol of resistance to racism.
  6. Years after his 1999 retirement from the presidency, Mandela was considered the ideal head of state.
  7. He became a yardstick for African leaders, who consistently fell short when measured against him.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/193426033/Nelson-Mandela-The-Madiba-Enigma

 

At in-gathering offerings and celebrations, we give thanks to God for bountiful harvests and joyfully celebrate as a family and congregation the successful completion of another season.

Though their first winter in the New World was hard, tough and difficult, the Pilgrims and many early settlers took the spring to learn from Native American Indians how to cultivate their new lands and adapt to their new home.

The peace pact between the settlers and the natives gave a peaceful atmosphere that colored their first in-gathering celebrations in the fall of 1621, and thus the first American Thanksgiving.

In 1881, great-grandfather Jonathan was described as “the foremost Christian gentleman” in his town by the great historian Rev. Johnson.

Grandfather Emmanuel left his wealth and immense connections, prepared a trust and care for his family, and went on Christian evangelistic campaigns. He died in the course of these missionary works, and was buried within the courtyards of one of the churches he helped to set up.  His family thrived and remained in Christianity.

Dad and Mum were Roman Catholics, and so were we.  We later learn to become Christians through personal conviction. No one get saved or converted into Christianity by virtue of religious background or lineage but through personal encounter with Jesus Christ.  It is a greater thanksgiving being in Christ.

In our clime, it is a great challenge to be born and bred in a city and country where corruption is rife, but great blessing to have parents who imbibed in us good manners, upright characters and noble attitudes. Money does not fetch such traits, and it makes you stand out in the midst of many dishonest circumstances and situations without being tainted by their dishonest dainties and gains of corruption.

To have caring tutors, wonderful schools, and a very rich education is not just a coincidence, but the privilege of a good life. What tremendous privilege and uncommon opportunity to share and mingle with different people from various parts of the world, most of whom one could confidently call friends. Korion came from Armenia, Barn is from Lebanon, Newborn is an American, Phillips is from Trinidad and Tobago, Murray is a Canadian, Tabingo is from the Philippines, Bacha came from Ethiopia, Takeo is Japanese, Burgess is English, Emilio is Argentine, Gramkow is German, Luigi is Italian, Zekry is from Egypt, Sonig is from Syria, and so on. I sincerely thank God for each of them.

Not much of a swimmer, I made for the beach in company of about ten other friends, good swimmers. I stayed at the brooks, playing in the shallow part of the waters while my friends were catching fun in the deep.  Before I knew it, I was caught off-guard, the sand before my feet just gave way, and I realized that I was sinking deeper into the water. I felt a sort of magnetic force pulling me deep down into the water.

At a point I shouted the name of JESUS right inside me! Immediately, a force pushed me up out of the water, but not ashore. As my head got out of the water, I remember shouting, or rather yelling atop my voice, HE! HE! HELP!!! My friends sprang forth to rescue me, drained so much beach water from my belly, and nursed me back to full recovery. If you ever have a second chance to live, as I do, you should give thanks to God, the giver of life.

Having the basic essential things of life is worth thanking God for. A lovely spouse, loving children, adoring octogenarian mother, caring sisters and concerned brothers, good friends, and respectable colleagues, a home ‘built firm upon The Savior’, regular good food, a sound mind, a good spirit, and a fit body are great pointers to longevity, and heritage of The Lord.

Thanksgiving is a golden opportunity to remember that life has been so good, and God has been so caring despite daunting challenges, difficult moments, and unpalatable circumstances.

As a Graduate Assistant at the Lebanese American University to Professor Robert Polhill, the famous American Professor of Accounting who was kidnapped in Beirut in January 1987, I thought it was all over after his capture. Some terrorists mistook me for another American because of my special relationship with Professor Polhill and his wife, Ferial Seikley. Polhill was very fond of me as a lecturer, boss, friend and counselor. Nevertheless, I graduated in fine colors, and Professor Polhill was released in April 1990 after 39 months in captivity. What a thanksgiving memento. Surely, Jesus answers prayers.

Denied, due to nepotism, after almost clinching a Federal government appointment in 1990, but as the scourges of nepotism can never break a tough guy, I learn to move on, and do better in other areas. It is great thanking God as you go to Him in solitude, shedding the penitential tear, claiming all His promises and assurances, as you plead where no one else, except God can hear.

As a project manager, I travel a lot, either in the airplane, on the roads, and on the waters. There had been times when an airplane that I missed to board would have been  in some terrible situations; or occasions when I narrowly missed or escaped a road accident, not by being smart or magical, but rather because The Lord of the ways always send His angels ahead to clear the way for His children. What a great privilege to thank Jesus.

I may not be rich or wealthy, but Jesus makes a great difference in my life, and in the lives of my family.  What great joy to have parents who are conscious of heaven, siblings who are saved and sanctified, and children who choose to live by “thus says The Lord”. Do you take time to thank God for your Mum, sharing with your brothers, sisters, children and almost everybody that “Others may, but I can not.”

Business thrives, and sometimes investment fails to yield expected returns. There is always hope while we live. A recent Federal Government promulgation on cement favored the mighty at the cost of the new entrants into the sector. Thousands of employees and families were suddenly thrown out of job and livelihood.  Nevertheless, we survive the struggle despite loss of investment, capital, business, and income. Give thanks you were sacked, fired or hindered while on the right. It always create opportunities for greater prospects.

On this day of Thanksgiving remember that God’s only Son came to change your gloom to brightness. He has come on wounded feet to roll out your ailment and smooth your scattered sick-bed. He enters your life with spike-pierced hands to sooth your pain with His balm and washes away your grief and discomfort with undefiled living waters. Jesus is knocking the door of your heart to come in and breathe His words of faith into your gentle ears that “fear and anxiety, grief and gloom could not live where He is.”

Does Jesus care when my way is dark

With a nameless dread and fear?

As the daylight fades into deep night shades,

Does He care enough to be near?

O yes, He cares, I know He cares!

His heart is touched with my grief;

When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,

I know my Savior cares.

Penguins (2)

Making The Right Move - Decision-Making to the Top 

 “Deliberation is the work of many men. Action, of one alone.” - Charles de GaulleMémoires de guerre.

The keys to success in anything are hard work, effort, drive, motivation, patience, etc, etc.

The world has become so opened and informative that both learned and uneducated people could easily affirm that the genes and the DNAs within us are unique to each personality, and are not just the same for everyone.

Any average person could also tell that we are all differently disposed to the vagaries of the genetic endowments as well as the environmental impacts and influences to which we are differently exposed.

Nevertheless, each person on the surface of Earth is wonderfully created and greatly talented in some unique ways to become the best person he could ever be, if he could make the right moves.

The real secret of success is to learn and use the very same principles employed by the most highly successful people as best suitable and applicable to your peculiar situation and circumstance. This can literally propel you toward the kind of success you really want and deserve to achieve.

Getting to the top of your chosen field demands that:

-you understand your life purpose,

-you have quantified your mission,

-you have identified your most important goals and

-you are working seriously, truthfully, effectively,and efficiently toward achieving them.

Success is something that you will need to define for yourself if you are ever to achieve it. Once you know what success means – for you, personally – then you will have made a good start.

If success is, essentially, an effect, what, then are the causes of success, so we can effectively work on them?

By the law of cause and effect, outstanding success is your dream or goal, that is, something so profound which you need to achieve; and making the right move to realize that dream is the key to its achievement.

You will certainly be on the right track into making the right moves for success if:

  1. You fully realize and accept that your life has a purpose and a realistic meaning.
  2. You fully know your goal, where you want to go, or what you want to achieve.
  3.  You have developed a mission to pursue your goals so you could fulfill your purpose.
  4. You are well-focused on goal attainment rather beating about the bush – do not just bounce like a butterfly, but sting, and sting often, like a bee.
  5. You set mile-posts with a time-frame. Tick, tick, tick! Time is nobody’s friend.
  6. You get in the trenches for desired results as opposed to just doing something.
  7. You hold the fort tenaciously with results, as if your entire destiny depends on it.
  8. You are not a groupie, but the star of the show, who love every episode, and enjoys the entire real-life act while fully focused on the dream with resolve to earn it.

The simple formula for success in virtual any sort of business, career, and life in general, is to make realistic attempt to launch whatever you really want to do, sell, serve, or present. Then, you make a critical observation of your primary attempt, and seek for corrections and improvement to move forward. Next, repeat the scenario all over again, injecting every improvement possible, till you feel fulfilled and satisfied on your effort.

1. Attempt

2. Observe

3.    Repeat

 

A wise man makes his own decisions; an ignorant man follows the public opinion.”  (Chinese proverb).

At relatively young age of 28, Mark Zuckerberg made a calculated move, attempted his   creative work in the unfriendly and highly competitive world of communications, and the rest is history. Mark attempted, observed, repeated, and lo, and behold, he became wealthy, probably the richest young man at that age, with a world-known and highly rated global corporation – Facebook. He made the right move.

Mark Zuckerberg knows his purpose in life, quantified and set up his mission, perfectly understood his life purpose, identified his most important goals and worked hard at them, launched, observed, and tried again till it was eureka!

Steve Wozniack and Steve Jobs had equally been transformed instant millionaires and national heroes when they surprised the world in 1976 with their launch of Apple Computers. Jobs and Wozniack discovered their niche, pursued it vigorous, and invested everything of worth they ever got into its development, till Apple Computers was created. The two young men made the right move, and Apple Inc. is today over the top.

Andrew Carnegie immigrated into America as a child laborer in the cotton industry. But with vision and dedication within the boundless opportunities in the New World, Carnegie made the right moves as he pursued his dream, and became one of the richest men ever.

Deceived into London, all the way from America, Benjamin Franklin wasted no time in sorrow. He made the right move, caught his teeth in the printing trade on the streets of London, and went back to America to turn his disappointments into opportunities. Benjamin Franklin became one of the greatest Americans ever.

Elvis Aaron Presley became a truck driver after school. Presley, as a young boy, heard gospel music in his Pentecostal church, and listened with rapt attention to western blues and country music. Very early in life, Elvis won a song contest, taught himself to play the guitar. Discovered in 1953 as a talent while recording some songs as a birthday gift for his mother, Elvis Presley made the move, and became one of the greatest entertainers of the 20th century.

To many people, conglomerate raiders such as Henry Ford, Howard Hughes, J. Paul Getty, Alfred P. SloanWalt Disney, and a host of such well-known successful business moguls seem to have possessed something about them to achieve such tremendous success in their personal lives and corporate entities.

Some others try to underpin such successful turnouts to the dynamics of game theory in decision-making. Such people go all-out to understudy and apply the elements of game theory into their decision-making tactics and approaches.

However, strategic thinking is all about moves. And making the right moves depends upon the ability to make the right choices when the chips are down, leveraging your strength and capabilities during crucial moments of decision-making.

Like a game though, strategic thinking is tantamount to striking the right chord when a chord must be hit; or clarifying in specific terms your mission and vision, your major goals and aims, with functional policies, plans and structures to meet those goals and dreams within the context of a fast-changing environment.

Create opportunities rather than wait for Chances

Napoleon Bonaparte, like most successful people, once said, “Circumstances? I create the circumstances that affect, me”. Rather than waiting for Mother Luck to scoop up good fortune, you should open your eyes wide and use your strong will to make opportunities. Never think you will cross the channel when you get to the bridge, because this world is owned by men who have ‘crossed bridges’ over and over again in their mind before getting to it.

Applied Knowledge Is Power

Knowledge is power, applied knowledge that is. Once you are adequately equipped with useful information and sufficient learning, skillful men and women should be able to determine the right move to make in order to gain the most competitive advantage.

Competitive advantage

Use your will-power, talent, business acumen and absolute belief in your own abilities to achieve success. Predestination, education, family, luck, or family connections rarely create genuine success.  You must be ready, not counting on supports, to go all out and contend for your rightful space and place in all conflicts of life. Success is the birthright of all men, attainable if only we could persevere, seeks it in all sincerity, making the right move.

  1. Practically exhibit a clear mental image of your goal. Be specific about what exactly you want in life. Practically develop and display a very strong desire to attain this goal.
  2. Prepare your written goal statement, clearly and concisely in positive language of attainment, with clear-cut figures, time frame, and method of attainment.
  3. Set up your repayment program. It takes your effort, your time, your determination, your resources, and virtually all that you can give to gain excellence, and be successful in life.
  4. Produce definite date of goal attainment in time, day, week, month, and the year of achievement on the short range as well as the long range goal.
  5. Plan and start up execution right away.
  6. Affirmations. Read your goal statements, at least twice daily: as you rise up in the morning, and before retiring at night.
  7. Religiously follow this program while watching improvements and progress.
  8. You MUST DISREGARD DOUBTS AND FAILURE THOUGHTS, and detest doubters and distractions. Be well-focused and determined to arrive at your set plan and goal.
  9. Exhibit faith and confidence with unflinching desire to succeed.
  10. Seriously persevere or keep on keeping on in the face of challenges or set-backs until you gain your goal and attain the desired success.
Michelle Obama, official White House portrait.

Michelle Obama, official White House portrait. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Michelle Obama – An African American’s Glorious Homecoming to Door of No Return

http://www.scribd.com/doc/163877906/Michelle-Obama-An-African-American-s-Glorious-Return-to-Door-of-No-Return-BB-pdf

Impossible is nothing!

It is usually thought that one “must be a fox in order to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten off wolves”, but the reigning First Lady of the United States of America, Michelle Obama, is neither a fox nor a lion, yet she had conquered the whole wide world with good deeds and the grace of a pivotal place in the history of America.

Coming to the “door of no return” in Africa, she suddenly woke up Africans, nay the whole world, to the fact that “impossible is nothing”!

Without much ado as the spouse of the President, or as an appendage to the office of the President, but rather in her own right as the first African-American first lady in history, and probably the most highly placed African-American with proven lineage to enslaved African ancestors, Michelle Obama returned, in grace and glamour, to Senegal’s Goree Slave Island’s ‘door of no return’.

Opportunities can be found in the most unlikely situations as well as in mundane circumstances. The Lord uses adversity and difficult obstacles to strengthen us. He does not always cause the situation, but He will take every hard thing in our lives and use it for our good.

When Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers, little did the brothers realize that the young lad will one day turn out to be a Governor in Egypt?

When a great number of Africans were sold into slavery between the 17th and 19th centuries, they were made to pass through the “door of no return” in Goree slave Island, Senegal, to emphasize the impossibility of coming back to the continent, as they had been sold out as slaves, properties and assets of the white men buyers; with an imprint on their minds never to come back to motherland Africa again.

Michelle Obama, against all odds, returned recently to Africa, the homeland of her ancestors, not in captivity as her progenitors were made to leave, but as one of the most powerful and influential women in the world. “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.  Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.” (Gen 50: 20, 21).

Coming out of almost four centuries of unyielding struggle, slavery, segregation, protests and civil rights agitations, African-Americans have made substantial gains and moved quite considerably up the ladder socially, politically and economically that they are nowadays a major force to reckon with in the scheme of things in America. Jesus saith unto them, “Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?”  (Mat 21: 42).

When next you are cornered by very difficult obstacle which brings losses, lacks, and limitations into your life, then read this: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Rom 8: 28).

Obstacles Are Opportunities in Disguise

The ugly history of slavery in the United States continues to loom over this country as an unfortunate reminder that African Americans were once seen as being no more valuable than farm animals. For almost four hundred years African-Americans never gave up their unshakable hope that they would be free one day, that one day America will “rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed:- ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

Daring in yards, gaining by foot, and winning in inches, African-Americans continue to fight through thick and thin for emancipation and equal rights. Their cause and dedication are bold testimonies of the willingness and resolution of men in making giant strides to open big doors once the mind is firmed up. It was first through gaining a say in the councils, later a shot at the office of the Mayor, then having “one of us” in the state congress, and gradually a representative at the federal Capitol, and later an African-American senator legislating among towering statesmen in Washington or a Federal Cabinet executive. Today, the President of the most powerful nation on Earth, Barack Obama, is an African-American, and so is the first lady. Impossible is nothing!

The foundation stones for a balanced success are honesty, character, integrity, faith, love, and loyalty. (Zig Ziglar)

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Michelle Obama would later become a lawyer, Chicago city administrator, community outreach worker and—as the wife of U.S. President Barack Obama—the United States’ first lady. Raised in a one-bedroom apartment by a city pump operator father, Fraser Robinson, and a Democratic precinct captain, Michelle and her brother were raised to love to study and seek after knowledge. Her mother, Marian, was a Spiegel’s secretary who later stayed home to raise Michelle and her older brother, Craig. “You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win”. (Zig Ziglar).

Why you must live your dream

Every right thinking person wants to live out his dreams and achieve the pressing desires of his heart. But it often takes dedication and struggle to most of our goals. Once you accept the fact that you are the chief architect of whatever befalls you in life, you become a winner; because you will always strive to design the best life pattern for the real you.

Though sold into slavery at the shores of their homeland by their own people, and ferried by human merchants and slave traders as unfit beings and inadequate humans into the plantations, industries and homes of their white equals, the plight of the African-American has been legion and counting since 1619. While a lot of activists and goodly spirited people had tried to ameliorate the sufferings and improve their slavish lives and general condition, the trend of change and the tempo of agitation increased since Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. caught his mountaintop vision.

Michelle Obama might not have dreamt of being a first lady of the United States of America, but she definitely has goals for great expectations in life, and prepares herself adequately for it. That is why she became an instant good match for the big events. For choosing to come to Goree Island’s “door of no return”, Mrs. Obama has sent a great challenge to all Africans not to give up the dream that Africa can be great again, if only we keep our focus and the dream alive, just like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. kept the mountain top vision and dream ever alive. Impossible is nothing.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/163877906/Michelle-Obama-An-African-American-s-Glorious-Return-to-Door-of-No-Return-BB-pdf

Creativity is the result of imagination that was put into action.

Heroes and heroines have left great landmarks as a result of their noble lives and gallant achievements. The ability to make prompt and proper changes in one’s thinking, plans, and methods for life-changing results and outcomes produces creativity.  While we often think of creativity mainly in the generation of new ideas, it is equally noticeable in our ability to solve problems of daily lives doing normal things outside the norm.

Our thought are vital to our creativity, what man’s thought can make up, man’s thought can liquidate. Though we hear too often that the voice of the people is the voice of God, you do not have to accept any thought merely because millions of people have thought it for thousands of years. Rather, never be afraid of starting a new train of thought, denying all negative symptoms, you would be appreciated if it yields new idea or creative thinking.

Men and women who had performed so wonderfully well are often seen as if they were created or born differently than others, possessed extraordinary perceptive, intuitive and creative powers not found in their contemporaries; thus their ability to excel in one area or another. Mozart, Albert Einstein, Galileo, Joan of Arc, Alexander the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte, Winston Churchill, Isaac Newton, etcetera, are regarded as men and women of extraordinary gifts and talents not common to others. This is not so.

Whether you realize it or not, you are wonderfully gifted with power to create, to shape and mold your life in ways so wonderful as to beat your imagination. You are equal to the best of men, and are capable of the greatest feat of any man. No matter your past failures and disappointments, the best of your achievement are yet to come, as you have only been limited by the smallness of your vision. Life is a petty thing unless there is pounding within it an enormous desire to extend its boundaries. We live in proportion to the extent to which we yearn to live more.

1.    The Essence of Life

 

Find out what God would have you do

And do that little well

For what is great and what is small

‘Tis only He can tell.  (Anonymous).

 

The whole essence of life and living must be clear to every person. We should have a raison deter for life and resources to live on.

Where do I come from?

Where am I heading to?

Why am I here?

Where do I go from here?

How do I get there?

What next after life and living?

Is death the end of it all, or is there really an eternity?

To address all these issues life must have a realistic meaning to me personally, and equally to you. We must each strive always to play our true and profitable part in the drama of life, not the second fiddle or the appendage.

2.    Believe

What do you believe in? Goddesses and gods abound in primitive cultures as well as in the municipalities. Ideas and philosophies are many in the realm of the intellectuals, the psychics, soothsayers, necromancers, occultists, pagans, religionists and Satanists alike.  Those so-called beliefs have not only failed people over and over, but lack the promise of the meaning and essence of life now and hereafter.

Lula disappeared amid a family feud in 1970, and was believed dead for 41 years. A mother of 14 children, Lula, due to some mental health problems, had left home before and returned. But she did not return after leaving in 1970. The family buried a human remain presented by the Police as Lula’s, and rested the case. Recent improvements in technology made DNA checks prove that the buried remains were not Lula’s. Further police investigations using her name and birth records led them to an 84-year old woman Florida resident, who turns out to be Lula.

You just have to believe in something stable, reliable, dependable, and trustworthy for inner confidence and general security. There is no god but God. Jesus Christ is the Son of God. The Bible is the word of God that proves and confirm our faith in God with incontrovertible evidences and proven track record.  You should believe in God, His Christ, and His words as presented in the Bible.

3.  Hope For The Future

The cycle of life is woven around hope. Life after birth places our hope and confidence on parents and guardians. But, upon instant realization through growth, we seize the wheel of control with the hope to learn at school, to graduate from college, to pursue chosen career, to marry and settle into family relationship. We constantly keep alive our hope for the future with great and interesting expectations.  While you cannot tell with certainty how the future will play out, you are privileged to know God who holds and controls the future. Placing you future in His hands gives you a better edge than those who cast their lots in the hands of some armless deities and personal glory.

4.    Develop Your Gifts and Talents

Life holds a specific purpose for you whether you realize it or not, and the most important thing you can do is find this purpose to pursue it with passion for maximum output and creativity. There is always something you can do better than most people, you will do well to discover the worthwhile endeavor and happily throw  yourself into it for worthy and creative outcome. The Bible teaches how to find, develop and make best use of your endowed talents.

5.    The Laws of Life

There are laws that govern the way we live and the means to excel in every aspect of life. We follow the way to know the way. You must follow the rules and regulations, the modus operandi of your sphere of activity to excel in that area, otherwise you will just be beating about the bush. We marvel at the great accomplishments of the Apostles and early disciples after the death of Jesus Christ. Though untrained at the colleges of theology of the Pharisees and Sadducees, they excelled because they refused to deviate from the pattern of the Master Teacher.

6.    Character

Above every other quality and traits of a man, his character rings out loud and clear. A man should be trusted in very essential and basic aspects of life. Our integrity speaks volumes about our personality. You may be vilified or slandered by an envious public, but your impeccable character and uprightness will eventually give you the upper hand.

Though it is the lot of man to err, but there is a power greater than man’s that is ever ready to lift us up when we fall into the gutters of bad manners like the prodigal. A Lance Armstrong might have cheated the system, a Tiger Woods might not have been so faithful in family affairs, an Arnold Schwarzenegger might have failed to terminate some besetting sins, while many a Bernard Madoff still prowl Wall Street and Main Street for easy targets of their financial scams, there is One who, like the Father of the Prodigal, want us back home to Him much more than we desire. He places all the resources of Heaven at our disposal, saying “Come, for all things are made ready”. He says neither do I condemn thee, but go, and sin no more!

7.    The Final Reward

The UEFA Champions League is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world and the most prestigious club competition in European football. There are similar comparative categories in tennis, golf, basketball, athletics, and other sports and games. The Nobel Prize award is regarded as the peak of academic attainment and statesmanship. Nevertheless, there exists a final reward at the end of life for every man.

After making rich and profitable lives individually, Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller, and a host of other business moguls created philanthropic institutions that live after their lives for the benefit of mankind. What creativity we hasten to say!

Your choice of the final reward in Heaven or hell is made by the kind of life you live on Earth. It is an open book quiz. How you measure up is determined by how truly creative you are here on Earth.   “Look! I am standing at the door and knocking. If anyone listens to my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he will eat with me.”

If you could imagine yourself in Heaven after this life, then put that imagination into action. That will be your greatest creativity!

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