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Life is war!

Living is a great battle if you want to be someone of note.

Life is full of conflicts that must be won, if one is to live well here, and gain the glorious eternal heritage.

Despite the daunting challenges and recurring difficulties in life, the future yields, more so always, to the brave, to the bold, and to all people of righteous faith who must contend for the Truth once delivered to the saints.

The future yields to the brave and bold man, woman, boy or girl:

  1. Who refuses to settle for business as usual!
  2. Who has consecrated himself to run to the battle of The Lord!
  3. Who has put on the whole armor of Christ to confront evil in its many forms, and refute all the works of the devil in its various permutations!
  4. Who has resolutely committed himself, through prayer and entire sanctification, to the Way of The Cross!
  5. Who has the singular focus to make Heaven when this life finally ends!

The future yields to the brave and bold Christian:

  1. To receive genuine salvation, holy sanctification, and enduement of Holy Ghost power, not for show-off but to enlist as soldiers for Christ,
  2. To so live, preach, and capture prisoners from Satan and his evil enclave into the Kingdom of God,
  3. To earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints, without giving room to any form of heresy and false doctrine.
  4. To boldly live for Christ, and only for Christ, solely for Truth, in this evil world, never mind the persecution, affliction, tests and trials, and all sorts of antagonism from Satan and the world.
  5. To vehemently fight in truth and spirit to fulfill the Great Commission, win the world for Jesus Christ the King, and receive the Savior’s “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

The best days of your life still lies ahead, but you must need hold fast to fulfill the dream and gain the glory.

Satan will not just get away from detracting, deceiving, assailing, and beguiling you from attaining the great future of Christ’s calling and commission, but you must hold fast your godly vision to attain the holy mission.

Let him that thinks he stands high take heed and be brave unto the Lord in the day of temptation and in times of peace, because the enemy is prowling here and there like a roaring lion seeking for who to devour.

The key to gaining self-control is yielding control of the self to the control of the Holy Spirit.

When you yield your entire self in spirit, body and soul to the guide and direction of the Holy Ghost, your life is so transformed and wholly redeemed that the great future and its glorious heritage is yielded unto you!

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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.

Today I give thanks to God for a good life, a happy family, a kind, understanding, and loving wife and godly children.

It’s been a wonderful experience in life to be transformed from a gentile into partakers of the blessings and covenants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It is great to understand that God loves me so dearly and gives me the wonderful gift of Jesus Christ.

Life has given me caring tutors, wonderful schools and colleges, and a very rich education to touch and gladden other lives and people. This is not just a coincidence but the wonderful benevolence of God to His undeserving children. God I thank you. Jesus I praise you.

Life has taught me many things, one of which is the fact that God cares, and performs His wonders in mysterious ways.

Heikki Koivu was once the MD of Perusythyma, the Finnish Civil Engineering Construction Company, where I started my working career.

Armed Robbers attacked one of the project sites of the organization where I was the Accounting Officer. The Police arrested me and locked me up as their prime suspect. Heikki Koivu trusted me, flew down to site, and went through a rough ride with the police to get me released. Though the police vehemently refused but Mr. Koivu spoke glowingly of me and stuck out his neck to sign all necessary papers which led to my release from detention.

Three months afterwards the robbers were caught and tried as they attempted to cash expatriate staff’s traveler’s checks stolen during the robbery. Heikki Koivu was proved right and I was vindicated. Had Mr. Koivu not taken the risk my life would have gone in a different direction, probably pitched with gangsters and criminals. Have a great thanksgiving day, Heikki!

Thanksgiving is a golden opportunity to remember that life has been so good, that some people such as Heikki Koivu had been so nice and supportive, and that God has been so caring despite daunting challenges, difficult moments, and unpalatable circumstances.

You may not be rich or wealthy, but if Jesus makes a great difference in your life then you must be living a rich, peaceful, virtuous and abundant life. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

You must remember on this day of Thanksgiving 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.

Christ enters your life with spike-pierced hands to soothe your pain with His balm and His precious blood that was shed on Calvary.

Jesus Christ washes away your grief and discomfort with His undefiled living waters.

Whatever need or challenge you may have in life, you only need to “taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”

Oh give thanks to The Lord; Call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the people!
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
For His steadfast love endures forever! 
(1 Chr 16:8,34).

Jesus is knocking the door of your heart to come inside. He wants to breathe His words of faith into your gentle ears and your soul because “fear and anxiety, grief and gloom could not live where He is.” He cares for you, even while you were running from Him.

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 Saviour Cares.

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!

“Business is not just doing deals; business is having great products, doing great engineering, and providing tremendous service to customers. Finally, business is a cobweb of human relationships.” Ross Perot.

In whatever color, shape or form, business is a vital aspect of life. People make honest businesses as much as dishonest ones. To be shrewd is being accurate or clever at judging people and situations, especially in business and projects. Honest business people abound as much as we have honest people. The world is equally awash with dishonest people and businesses. Your kind of person and the way you execute your business are closely intertwined.

An honest man is someone who:

Says what they mean,

Does not steal,

Does not lie,

Respect their responsibly to self,

Respect their responsibility to family, and

Respect their responsibility to society

What then makes an honest business person?

Honesty to self

To be honest and truthful to self is a major hallmark of an honest business person. This principle denotes doing business with a clear conscience and peace of mind. To be honest to oneself equals being honest to humanity, and to God, truthfully doing what you set out to do, honestly professing what you claim you are, and justly serving or selling you displayed goods and services.  Your mind is thus free from all guilt.

Honest to Family

To be honest to one’s spouse and family is the greatest indicator of the faithfulness and fidelity of a spouse and her innermost cell and members of her most private caucus in life. To deny one’s spouse and children of essential personal and private matters in the relationship and family life is a great indicator that one would not be truthful to business partners as required, which may lead to fraud, cheating, deception and lack of trust among the business parties.

Responsibility to Society

Those who tried to cheat the society in one way or another, or through tax payment evasion, eventually come back to pay heavily for it. “He that walketh uprightly walketh surely: but he that perverteth his ways shall be known. The labour of the righteous tendeth to life: the fruit of the wicked to sin. Pro. 10: 9, 16).

Truthful to one’s calling

A thorough search and development of one self, and the pursuit of that business in which one has profound knowledge or is an authority makes you excel without taking undue advantage of others. Doing what you know best prevent you from presenting a shoddy product or sub-standard service. While getting business is needful, not all businesses are expedient to one. Therefore, truthful pursuit of the trade in which you are best gifted prevents you from cover up and dishonest practices.

Fair and just measures

An honest business person would endeavor to be honest even in the slightest of all his transactions. He would not accept dishonest deals and illegal transactions. Neither would he take undue advantage of people and government. He uses proper measures and standards. He avoids deception, and does not cheat. He is fair and just in all his dealings; would even go the extra mile to forgive people who are unfair to him.

 Veracity

While seeking success, the honest business person is habitually truthful, does not lie, and not a charlatan. He is principled, truthful, and consistent as he strives to succeed in businesses and deals.

Strict integrity

The man who has set his good moral principles, and steadfastly adheres to those principles in all situations and transactions is an honest business person. He is undivided in his ways, completely and always in a sound state of mind and state of being.

Generosity

Because he is honest, he is also kind and generous. His generosity enhances his principle of honesty, keeping him good to people and the society without any expectation of reward, returns or public recognition of his goodness and philanthropy.

 Accountability

He pays taxes, public dues and levies without cutting corners. He renders proper and true accounts, records and reports without fair or favor to self, organization, or business transactions and projects.

Not selfish

An honest business person is not selfish. Even though he believes that profitability is the soul of business, he prosecutes his transactions without being self-centered. He makes more business and profit because of his selfless attitude.

Not Slothful

”Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man”.  (Pro. 6: 6 – 11)

 Goodwill

An honest business person has goodwill towards staff, employees and business partners. As a result, he is not envious of the progress or achievement of other people. He is equally free from the negative tendencies of hatred, jealousy, malice, pessimism, fear, and doubt which are the recourse of a dishonest life and deals.

 Support the needy

An honest business person is a philanthropist deep in his heart. He gives in support of worthy causes, not to evade the tax but rather out of principle and attitude towards life. He understands the intrinsic benefit of helping others, and the enduring happiness of supporting the needy.

In conclusion, the person who has principled his life on the path of the golden rule, never to do unto another that which he would not be willing for other people to do unto him in return, or in a reversed condition, is the honest business person.

What is character?

When a President of the most powerful nation in the world had to leave office without being impeached, without an election, it speaks much more of nothing else, but of his questionable character and the great demands of his office.

When a leading presidential candidate had to withdraw abruptly from the race, even before the battle lines were fully drawn, such a move is closely hinged on the tainted character of the candidate, as well as the impeccable standard of the office he was seeking.

Whether you stand out under the brazen sunshine, or before the radiance of the bright light, or go ye into the darkness of the night, your character is what you are.

Fame is what you have taken,

Character’s what you give;

When to this truth you waken,

Then you begin to live. (Bayard Taylor, Improvisations).

As humans, we are identified by one trait or another. Whether good or bad, these traits are the features or characteristics of the person, the embodiment of those traits is called character. The character of a man or woman is made up his or her traits. Such traits include, not exclusively:

Honesty

Intelligence

Inspiring attitudes

Imaginative mind

Fair-mindedness

Competency,  etcetera.

Our character send signals to people around us about the kind of person we are.

Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship, rank among the most common sought traits that easily tells of the nature of a person. The more of these positive traits we manifest in our lives, the more people believe in us, and accept us for who we are.

We need good character to be well accepted in the society. The character in the person supersedes everything else about the person; it declares the integrity and self-worth of that individual. Our character emboldens and strengthens the energy of our will to seek to attain that which we hope for in life.

Where character comes from

The genes determine and form the man, while the environment shapes the person. The genetic tendencies of our parents go a long way through the genes transferred into us to determine our natural tendencies. This is nature at work. However, the environments in which we are brought up, where we grow up, school and work, also has its vital impact upon us, and go a long way to decide the kind of person we eventually turned out to be in life. In-between the operations of nature and nurture are the development of the traits of the man, which go ahead to determine or form his character, and his personality.

According to Jeanne Piaget’s presentations in child psychology, children are species that had been given their respective genetic characteristic minds or mindsets. This occurs in stages of Sensorimotor, Preoperational, Concrete Operations, Abstract Thoughts, and Deductive Thoughts. Intrigued by children’s thinking aspects and patterns, Piaget became more focused on moral development. Moral development is hinged on character.

Korand Lorenz also did great works on natural tendencies and genetic factors. B.F. Skinner, however, had his focus on developments that manifest largely from the environment, or nurture.

We are able to understand, through the works of Jeanne Piaget, that nature and nurture actually work together in the individual to bring forth his eventual development. The active interaction of the mind of the child on the activities of his surrounding environment interacts and produces a resultant effect on that child. He “assimilates predicted experiences and accommodates it to unexpected experiences.” While we have the genetic tendencies as our inner guide, the environment remains largely a big influence on that genetic tendency, and shapes us a great deal, from where comes our character. 

Character Refinement

“Man uses that which he perceives to be unlike himself. But he searches for a common understanding and common harmony with that which he perceives to be like himself. The former perception leads to manipulation and authentic technology: the latter perception leads to understanding and authentic science.” (Hanna Thomas, Bodies in Revolt, 250). It is the strive to develop this authentic science that aid in the refinement of the character of man.

Why was it that Mary Magdalene tarried longer than the rest of the inner-circle disciples to be able to break the news of The Lord’s resurrection. Of all the Apostles, Paul, formerly Saul of Tarsus, did extraordinarily well for the gospel. This confirms that we could attain that which we desire and seek, if we do it with our entire mind, our heart, our soul, and spirit. This is the character of the winner. You need to build it.

An avowed felon was convicted of murder and robberies. As he awaits execution on death row, he found a Bible in his little room. After a long neglect, and with nothing really to do, he picked up the Bible and began to read. He read it over and over. Somehow, something happened, as he began to imbibe the new knowledge. He learned how to believe in the God of The Bible, a power bigger than the street gods and demons that ruled and reigned in his life began to manifest in him.

He learned how to trust and pray to Jesus Christ.

He confessed all his sins, felt sincere remorse for them, and prayed genuinely for forgiveness. He even willingly tried to reach unto those he had offended for repentance and forgiveness. The entire inmates and staff of the prison knew he had a character change, because he lived it, and practiced it, witnessing Christ to all that came his way. He was happy rejoicing on the day of execution, believing he would see The Christ in Eternity.

Our character is essentially made up of the Commandment we uphold, our Conscience, our Conversation, our Constitution, the Counsel we take and give, our Confessions, and our Courage. Have you checked your character lately? Quite advisable you do, and improve on it.

Mr. Andrew Young emerged from a mainly white constituency to become the first black United States Congressman from Georgia. He later became the U.S. Representative to the United Nations.

General Colin Powell was the first African-American Secretary of State, followed by Ms. Condoleezza Rice.

Barack Obama handsomely won the American elections to become the first African-American President of the United States of America. He was sworn-in today for the second-term as the 44th President of the most powerful nation in the world.

There are many more people in dignified callings and respectable careers, African-Americans, Latinos, Arabs, and Asian-Americans, even under-classed white people, who would have otherwise been pushed under for racism, but for the deft, perseverance, dedication and struggle of the nonviolent movement championed by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. These are testimonies to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Though African-Americans were denied rights and liberties, Dr. King had “a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed.” In celebrating him, we read about him, reflect on his works, his methods, rejoice in his accomplishments, and resolve to carry forward, in the spirit of non-violence, the unfinished tasks of a non-racial egalitarian society where one is judged “not by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character”.

The Supreme Court in March 1857 gave a landmark judgment where Justice R. B. Taney declared that African Americans were not citizens of the U.S. and should not derive any right from the constitution of The United States. It became clear that African-Americans needed more than the response of Abraham Lincoln that “the authors of the Declaration of Independence never intended ‘to say all were equal in color, size, intellect, moral developments, or social capacity’, but they ‘did consider all men created equal—equal in certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’.” (Abraham Lincoln, 1858, Jaffa, pp. 299-300).

The history of African-Americans in the United States has some similarities to that of the children of Israel in Egypt. The goodness of Joseph and the famine in the land of Canaan led to the movement of the House of Jacob to Egypt. But when the king that knew Joseph was no more, the circumstance of the Israelites in Egypt turned into nightmares. Moses led the liberation squad.
A great population of Africans were captured and transported to the New World as a workforce for the agricultural fields, and later, the industries. Many died on the voyages; others became casualties to the climate of their new world, while some others fell to the harsh working conditions and severe taskmasters. The survivors were subjected to slavish struggle from one generation to another.

When slavery was abolished, African-Americans were declared free to live as they wish, where they want, and with whomever they choose. But most of the slave-owners, particularly in the southern territory of the United States, reneged on this arrangement. The post-war era witnessed the wanton application of segregation laws which subjugated formerly freed black slaves into the firm control of the whites. Every aspect of the life of the black man was segregated all across the southern states. These codes, called Jim Crow Laws, forced the black people into the rural regions where they were subjected to forced labor on the farmlands.

Congress legislated to correct these anomalies through constitutional amendments.
The Thirteenth Amendment to the constitution in 1865 confirmed the Emancipation Proclamation setting free the slaves.
The Fourteenth Amendment constitutionally granted citizenship rights to the African-Americans in 1868.
The Fifteenth Amendment of 1870 confers on all male adult citizens the rights to vote without denial as a result of one’s race, color, or past record of servitude.

However, one hundred years after the Proclamation of Emancipation, almost all African-American population were not free, were not proven citizens, and could therefore not vote or be voted for.
It was into this kind of parlous situation that Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on January 15, 1929. Living and growing up as a child in Atlanta, little King was able to understand racism and segregation firsthand when he found out that the children he used to play with as a child were no longer his friends when he started school. He found out that his parents could not just go anywhere they wished to go, and that he could not just attend the schools of his choice because of some certain laws of segregation and discrimination.

Martin attended Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta, from where he proceeded to Morehouse College. Martin graduated in 1948 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology. King later obtained a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Crozer Theological Seminary, Chester, Pennsylvania in 1951. King got married in 1953, was ordained, and became the pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, Montgomery, Alabama in 1954. Along with the work of the Ministry, King worked on his Doctoral Degree in Philosophy, which was concluded in 1955. Dr. King took serious interests in Mohandas Gandhi’s methods of nonviolent protest.

Two occurrences happened in 1955 that were to have significant impact on the Dr. King: the black struggle in America, and the image of the black man all over the world.
Claudette Colvin refused to comply with the Jim Crow segregation laws in March 1955 by an utter defiance to give up her bus seat for a white man. She was arrested and tried. Dr. King was the African-American representative on the investigating committee. Colvin went scot free.
On December 1, 1955, Ms. Rosa Parks refused to give up her place in the front row of the section reserved for colored people to a white man. She was arrested and jailed. The Montgomery Improvements Association, led by Dr. King, intervened, boycotting the local bus network for 381 days until Ms Parks was released, and the bus network was desegregated.

From this point onwards Dr. King resolved to give the civil rights movement his entire life, support and dedication.
The Montgomery bus boycott had not only been very successful, but also proved to be a good and fruitful testing ground for Dr. King’s strong conviction in non-violent protest method, and its ability to bring about fruitful results, despite many arrests and intimidation that he and his family suffered. Other civil rights activists who were hitherto bent on forceful means borrowed Dr. King’s non-violent approach, and were able to get good results.

Dr. King went ahead to lead, coordinate and participate in various non-violent civil rights activities that aided in bringing the African-Americans to their land of freedom. The Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the SCLC, was established in 1957 as an umbrella body for Christian leaders to utilize the voice of the churches for successful conduct and execution of non-violent protests. NAACP, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, had been in existence for similar objectives, but the SCLC was an effective vessel in this regard, using the church and the legal approach to get results. Dr. King led the group until his death in 1968.
Despite his tight schedules, Dr. King wrote a great deal. He missed death by the whiskers in 1958 when he was stabbed while signing autographs on copies of his book, Stride towards Freedom.

He further enunciated his Mohandas Gandhi’s style of non-violent protest in another book published in 1959 titled The Measure of Man. That year, Dr. King visited India to learn first-hand the principles of nonviolent persuasion, satyagraha, from Mohandas Gandhi. Later, Dr. King, after being saddled with more responsibilities in the Human Rights movement, stepped down as the Pastor of the Montgomery Baptist Church in Alabama to co-pastor the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta with his father.

Many protests and demonstrations were organized under the leadership of Dr. King. Most often his life was endangered through outright attacks and visible as well indirect threats from racial white opponents. He was arrested and put in jail several times. He was castigated as an anti-social communist, a traitor of the state, and a friend of the enemies of the state. Dr. King neither bothered nor waivered; he rather went about his plans and aspirations for the unfairly treated black people, and the common good of all people no matter their color, creed or lineage.

Dr. King was able to persuade some whites and the American leadership to address the burning subject of inequality that was pervading the American society. Through his leadership, many African-Americans were inspired and led to support his activities. This brought about a new dimension in the lives of the black Americans themselves as well as a new wave of positive reassessment of the black communities by their white folks. Segregation policies were confronted; racialist tendencies were attacked and opposed more than ever. The ultra-racial white supremacy group, the Ku Klux Klan, was greatly intimidated by the style, tactics and wisdom with which Dr. King prosecuted his non-violent campaigns.

The effort of the SCLC in Albany, Georgia in 1961 to demonstrate against segregated facilities failed woefully to accomplish the designed objectives. Nevertheless, Dr. King’s team was able to garner prime national awareness for the plight of African-Americans.

In the spring of 1963, the SCLC protested in Birmingham, Alabama. School children and teenagers were engaged. The police, in the attempt to frustrate the march, pelted them with water hoses and ferocious hounding dogs. These ugly scenes were circulated across the world, giving rise to condemnations of the segregation laws, as well as the retributions of the agents engaged to enforce it. Dr. King and his team won. The authorities were forced to rethink on the real benefits of Jim Crow laws.

Out of spite and anger, the authorities in Birmingham arrested and jailed Dr. King, but he took full advantage of the undeserved punishment. He wrote the famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail” in which he successfully defended and justified the protests. The letter was given wide media coverage, and enhanced Dr. King’s good standing as a moral leader.

Right on the hills of the Birmingham protests in Alabama, Dr. King worked in collaboration with other black leaders to organize the 1963 peaceful march between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. It was in this protest march that Dr. King delivered his famous “I have a Dream” speech. In the epic speech, the entire world was addressed on the impatience of African Americans to continue wallowing in poverty and left devoid of basic rights of citizenship and freedom. The march was a great achievement and moment of glory for the civil rights movement and the black community. Its direct effect was the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Dr. King was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in the same year.

Dr. King coordinated the march in 1965 on Selma, Alabama, which proceeded to Montgomery with the purpose of drawing national attention to the lack of voting rights by black youths and adults of voting age. The civil disobedience effort was a tough battle with white segregationists and civil authorities. Dr. King narrowly escaped being lynched and brutalized, while many of his colleagues were terribly beaten and maltreated. The day was called Bloody Sunday.
A direct benefit of the Selma march was the signing into law by President Lyndon Johnson in August 1965 of the Voting Rights Act, opening the floodgates for black people of age to vote and be voted for.

Dr. King kept up the tempo to fight injustice in the land in every aspect of the American life till he was assassinated April 4, 1968. He never applied violence, nor did he bear a gun. He was opposed to warfare, a gentleman of peace, law and order. He fought for the causes of the African Americans, but supported, as well the noble causes of other Americans, white, colored, and various immigrants.

While lifting up the status of the African-American to the point of holding the highest office in America, he had made the United States of America a better place than he met it. Yes, celebration is in the air, as we rejoice this January 15th, the Martin Luther King Jr. Day, because all over us, and all around us, are the testimonies and legacies of his achievements, despite the frailties of being human like us.

(http://www.helium.com/items/2208061-the-legacy-of-dr-martin-luther-king).

A tear and a smile
Life is mostly a mixed bag of a tear and a smile.
Without counting on outside supports, go all out and contend for your rightful space and place in all conflicts of life. Take up your gauntlets when apparent adversity comes, making the best of it, while keeping stern focus of better outcomes and prosperity.

Never give in to Regrets
Have you ever been pained by a certain action you took which could have been handled differently?
Do you ever wonder how well the matter would have turn out had you given your decision a second thought?
Yet, you should not give in to regret.
The refusal to give up on the resolution to turn anguish of suffering into stepping-stones of prosperity is the mark of the true man. To keep up a steady and unshakeable mindset in the face of the shocks of adversity forms the highest honor of man.

True life Affliction and Adversity
At seven, I took a penny from mum to school. After-all it belonged to my mother. It became one of my greatest afflictions turned into profit.
Class lesson was in full session. Suddenly, Danielle started to cry. A little gently sob suddenly developed into a loud cry amidst the teaching. The teacher quickly moved to her side, calmed her down, and asked her, “Danielle, what is wrong with you? Is it you mummy at home, or is someone sick or missing?”
Danielle cried a little more, and finally calmed down.
“It’s my penny. Someone took my penny from me.”
How did it happen? The angry teacher demanded, unwilling to allow any distraction disrupt her teaching.
“It was in my pocket, and was still there before the change of lesson and the short recess.”
“I went to sharpen my pencil at Frank’s, sitting beside him on his seat, then came back here. I did not get out for the long break ‘cause of my home-made snacks. I just put my hand in the pocket as you came in to teach, and the penny was gone. I searched everywhere but could not find it.” She started crying again.
Everyone knew the money was stolen by Frank. He actually spent it to buy candies during the lunch break. He was spotted at the candy shop, where he bought so many candies for one penny, and shared with some pupils, including two girls in our classroom.
“Yes, I bought candies, but I did not steal Danielle’s money. No, not me.”
“Where did you get your money? You never come here with a dime for a long time.”
“Frank, will you tell me who gave you the penny?” the class teacher retorted.
“I did not take her money”, Frank retorted over and over again. The little boy was always in trouble, being accused of one little crime or another.
Suddenly, the teacher came up with an idea. “I will search all pupils in the class. If I could not find the money I will take you all to the Headmistress.” It must have been a trick, to make Frank agree to a confession. Everyone dreaded visiting the headmistress.
Still, Frank did not budge. The pupils were searched, and my penny was discovered. The class teacher refused my explanation, but claimed the penny was Danielle’s since we usually did not come with money. The class was left in confusion and disbelief. The teacher took my penny and gave it to Danielle. The class went into frenzy and confusion.
Disagreeing students trooped out of class shouting “No, never. Mike is not the thief, Frank stole the money.”
The noise and confusion attracted pupils in the senior classes. Other teachers intervened, but the matter was not resolved.

Saul’s Visit to The Woman of Endor
At the close of school, a group of primary six pupils took us to the herbalist nearby to find out the truth. Deep within, I did not want to go to a herbalist, but conscious that the truth will be known, and as the central figure in the eye of the storm, I could not decline.
The occult man instructed that everyone would hold a flat oily object with a spindle on his palm, one after the other. That the object will turn in the hand of the person that stole the money. To most people’s chagrin and disbelief, the object only turns when it got to me. The shame, the disbelief, the utter disappointment was overwhelming. Even as a little kid, the effect of that terrible moment failed to rub off my mind, even into adulthood.

I could not remember how I was able to get home that day with the shame and disappointment that enveloped me. Mum and dad were not only angry that I was caught stealing, but that I should visit a sorcerer was too much for them to bear. I was scolded and heavily punished, even as an innocent child. I always remember the trauma of that dark period in my life.

Winning Ways
I came out of this difficulty with serious distrust for the herbalist and all fetish powers. The Parish Jesuit priests helped me through confessions, catechisms, and novenas. I grew out of it a truly trusting Christian, and a praying child. It got stuck to this day.
I discovered the failures in idolatry, and the limitless grace of God through Christ. It has become my winning way through life.

1. Because “attitude, not aptitude, determines altitude”, develop positive habits that takes you from the valley of adversity to the mountain top of prosperity.

2. Confront adversity with the firm purpose and resolve to overcome the unpleasant situation for positive prosperous outcome.

3. Set up your game plan. Never be a drifter, but transform into a man with the plan for success.

4. Work strenuously to get to the pinnacle, as you will surely do, if you keep up focus.

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