Thursday, 13 February 2014

On The Path Of Winners BY BAYO OGUNMUPE They Conquer Who Believe They Can

On The Path Of Winners
They Conquer Who Believe They Can

‘THEY conquer who believe the can’ is the motto of Okebadan High School, Ife Road, Ibadan, Oyo State. As a teacher, vice principal and Acting Principal there in the 1970s, I imbibed the spirit and intendment of the motto. That aphorism marked out the pace of my progress through life, I had left journalism before then, for not being lucrative. This motto: you can conquer if you believe you can, drove me back into newspapering – it taught me that money isn’t paramount in life but that only happiness counts.
  The contentment derived from the perception, the motto has given me happiness, good health; making me look younger than my years. Which is why it is important to know when you are under spiritual attack – and when you are not. Indeed, there is a tendency among Nigerians to view unpleasantness as spiritual warfare rather than retributive justice, i.e. reaping what you have sown. For example: If you have rejected your role as spiritual teacher to others, as an elder, pastor or man of letters, God may let your children fall into sin. If you have been dishonest, Jehovah may let you reap the consequences. God disciplines those He loves. It would be foolish to ask Him to ease your discomfort when He is disciplining you so as to get your attention. However, it is tragic if you never uncovered the connection. Thus, God’s discipline won’t help you if you dismiss it as satan’s doing. In your mischief, you may blame Allah for not answering your prayer by failing to protect you. Meanwhile, God may be warning you of an impending danger. “For a little while you may have had to suffer that your faith may be proved genuine,” 1 Peter 1: 6,7.
  A blacksmith with a chunk of metal on his anvil envisions what he wants. But it means melting down the old, recasting it, repairing scars, and purging impurities until what was useless becomes valuable. Finally he plunges it into cold water until it hardens into unbending tool. An instrument is useful only if it is in the right shape. So if God could place you on His anvil, be thankful, He thinks you are worth reshaping.
  George Bernard Shaw, Irish literary critic and the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1925 said: “People always blame their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get ahead are those who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, they make them.” As man, thinketh in his heart, so is he! Put another way: what you can conceive and believe, you can achieve.
  Your mind is a fertile land. It doesn’t care what you plant in it, what you sow returns to you. Success lies in your reading of scriptures and prayer. Be of service to somebody everyday. Do something for somebody who cannot repay you. Do something that will take you out of your comfort zone. Be thankful for what you have. Ask for help when you need it. Give God through prayer the best part of your day.
  Paul writes: “For a great and effective door has opened to me and there are many adversaries.” What are you focusing on, opened door of adversaries, obstacles or opportunities? In 1866, a geologist discovered diamond in South Africa. Later a Scot, James Gregory was sent to investigate. He reported back that South Africa wasn’t suitable for finding diamonds, he speculated that previous discoveries were brought by gem eating ostriches from distant lands. But a few days after the Gregory report, an eighty-three carat diamond was found. That launched South Africa as the world’s largest producer today. And what about Gregory? His name lives but not as he might have wished. When somebody exhibits bad judgment, it is called “pulling a Gregory.” If you ask Jehovah, He will help you find the treasure in your family farm, Mat 13:44. If Jesus could turn water into wine and feed five thousand people with a boy’s lunch, there’s nothing God cannot do through you. You only need to believe you can do a thing and nothing will stop you. They conquer who think they can.
  Our champion for today is John Forbes Kerry, the American politician, who was the 68th and current United States Secretary of State. Born in 1943, he turned 70 last December. He served as a senator from Massachusetts from 1985 to 2013, and was chairman, senate Foreign Relations Committee, Kerry was the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party in the 2004 election, which he narrowly lost to incumbent George Walker Bush.
  Son of an Army Air Corps veteran, he graduated from Yale University in 1966, majoring in political science and thereafter studied law at Boston Law School. Then he co-founded a private law firm. Kerry served as Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts under Michael Dukakis from 1983 to 1985. He was elected senator in 1984, and was sworn in January 1985.
  Prior to his senate career, he had enlisted in the Naval Reserve in 1966 and during 1968-69 served in South Vietnam as officer in charge of a Swift Boat. In 2002, Kerry voted to authorise the President “to use force to disarm Saddam Hussein,” but warned the President should exhaust all diplomatic avenues before launching war.
  Kerry became chairman of the Senate foreign Relations Committee in 2009, and 2011 he was appointed to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. Having been nominated by President Barrack Obama to succeed Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, he was confirmed by the Senate in January 2013 and he assumed the office on February 1, 2013.
  Kerry was married to Julia Thorne in 1970 and they had two daughters. Thorne who was suffering from severe depression asked Kerry for and was granted a divorce in July 1988. Thorne later remarried but died of cancer in 2006. Kerry also remarried Teresa Heinz, a widow in May 1995. Though Kerry is a Catholic, his grandfather had converted to Catholicism from Judaism. Kerry believed the Torah, the Quran and the Bible share the same story, which connects with readers. He is fluent in German and French.

On The Path Of Winners BY BAYO OGUNMUPE How Persistence Aids Success

On The Path Of Winners
How Persistence Aids Success

WHATEVR you do, persistence ensures success. For example, if your prayers are not being answered, ask yourself the following: One, how is my relationship with the creator? If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me,” Psalms 66:18.
  Anything that adversely affects your relationship with God also affects your prayers. Friendship gives you favour, intimacy gives you access. Jesus said, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you,” John 15:7.
  Two, how strong is your faith? Without faith, it is impossible to please Jehovah, for he who comes to God must believe that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him,” Heb. 11:6. Notice three words – (A) ‘Believe,’ God’s deepest longing is to be believed, regardless of emotion or circumstance. (B) Diligently. When you pray, put your heart and soul into it. Paul speaks of ‘labouring’ in prayer, Col. 4:12. (C) Him: God isn’t some force out there. He is your Heavenly Father, who knows that you need all these things.
  Your priority should not be getting your needs met, but building your relationship with Jehovah. Three, I am showing patience and persistence? Until God’s time finally came, how God tested his patience. Joseph was tested by the very promise God gave him. Can’t you hear satan whisper, I thought the dream said you were to be the prime minister, what are you doing in prison? But it only looks like a prison, in reality, it is the birthplace of destiny. Joseph saw God’s promise fulfilled – in God’s time. With perseverance you will attain greatness too.
  Being double minded is the cause of the failure of the majority of humanity. The Bible says, “he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” A dream that isn’t clear won’t get you anywhere. What do you want to accomplish? In other words what is your take on success? If you don’t define what success means to you, you won’t be able to achieve it. Most people don’t get what they want because they don’t know what they want. Instead of saying I want to get out of debt, say, “I will pay off all my credit balances by 31 December.” Instead of saying “I need to improve my leadership skills,” say: “I will read one leadership book every month.”
  Being specific doesn’t necessarily mean having every little detail thought out before hand. But your main goal should be clear. The rest will unfold as you move forward, making adjustments as you go. The answer is, you must pursue your goals single handedly. “Fix your gaze directly before you,” Prov. 4:25. Your mind might drift and dream at no effort, but it takes great effort to set your mind at a task and developing a goal. Your dream is rooted in you, according to your experience, circumstances and talents. Let your intuition guide you. Just keep working at your dream for a clear dream is worth fighting for. Get a clear sense of where you are, what you know, and what you want, you are well on your way of embracing the thing God put you on earth to do.
  Moses spent the first two-thirds of his life working out what Jehovah wanted him to do, trying to do things in his own way, only to fail. But he had a heart for God and a vision from the Almighty. Eventually Moses succeeded. In the same vein, you can succeed.
  Be passionate about your goals. Nehemiah was passionate about rebuilding Jerusalem. When his enemies tried to sidetrack and discourage him, he answered, “I am working so I cannot come down.” Passion is the starting point for all achievement. There has never been anyone who achieved anything of value, who wasn’t passionate about it. Passion is the energy that fuels your dream. The road to success is cluttered with adversaries and distraction. If you don’t have the right mindset your dreams can die there. Don’t dispair. Remember God gave you your dream, go back to Him in moments of dispair.
  Our champion this week is Hillary Rodham Clinton, a former U.S. Secretary of State, U.S. Senator and former First Lady of the United States. Born in October 1947, in Illinois, she was the 67th Secretary of State, serving under President Barrack Obama from 2009 to 2013. She previously represented New York in the U.S. Senate (2001 to 2009). Before that as the wife of President Bill Clinton, she was First Lady from 1993 to 2001. Also in 2008 presidential election, Hillary was a leading candidate for the Democratic Presidential nomination.
  Hillary Rodman earned a Juris Doctor’s degree from Yale Law School in 1973. Then, she had a stint as a congressional counsel, she moved to Arkansas in 1974 and married Bill Clinton in 1975. As first lady of the United States she polarized response from the American public. She was the only First Lady to have been subpoenaed, testifying before a federal jury in 1996 regarding the Whitewater controversy. But she was never charged with wrongdoing in investigations during the Clinton presidency. Her marriage also endured the Monica Lewinsky scandal in 1998.
  Thereafter, Hillary was elected the first female senator from New York State, she is the first First Lady ever to have run for public office. Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, she supported military action in Afghanistan and the Iraq War Resolution. But subsequently, she objected to the Walker Bush Administration’s conduct of the Iraq war. Senator Clinton was re-elected in 2006, running in the 2008 primaries, Hillary won for more primaries and delegates than any other female candidate in American history. She narrowly lost to Illinois Senator Barack Obama who went on to win the national election.
  President Obama appointed her as Secretary of State. She was at the forefront of the U.S. response to the Arab Spring, advocating for the U.S. military intervention in Libya. Hillary visited more countries than any other secretary of State. She advocated a strategy for asserting U.S. leadership and values by combining military power with diplomacy and U.S. skills in economics and technology. She encouraged empowerment of women everywhere. She is poised to run for president again in 2016.

On The Path Of Winners BY BAYO OGUNMUPE How Persistence Triggers Success

On The Path Of Winners
How Persistence Triggers Success

WE are treating the secrets of success. In the pursuit of your desires, purpose precedes persistence. You can only persist in the pursuit of a life purpose. Purpose is the greatest ingredient of success. God is a God of purpose. Martin Luther King said, “If a  man has no purpose for living, he is not fit to live.” Andrew Young, the American diplomat and friend of Nigeria eyed a seat in the United Nations for 18 years. He didn’t let it get off him until he saw it happen.
  That is what purpose does, it drives you on. Until you are a goal setter, you can never become a goal-getter. Thus, to be a success, you have to set goals. Lifelong learning is the prescription for success. You can discover your life assignment or purpose by knowing the area where you are gifted. “A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men,” Proverbs 18:16. God created everyman with a peculiar gift. Your gift points to your purpose. In your pursuit of greatness, you must be single-minded. You must have only one goal. The eye is the light of the body. If you want to shine, have a single purpose.
  Peter said, “We have left all and have followed you.” It means they have left fishing for good. But you must pursue your purpose to win. Pursuit is the force that transforms purpose to reality. Only runners get the prize. The Nobel prizewinning apostle of non-violence – Martin Luther King said,” if you cannot fly, run. If you cannot run, walk, if you cannot walk, then crawl. By all means, keep moving.” You cannot stand still and expect success.
  God is a worker. Your work determines your worth. “In all labour there is profit; but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury,” Proverbs 14:23. Jesus said, “My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work,’ Jn 4:34. “The hand of the diligent shall bear rule; but the slothful shall be under tribute,” Pro 12:24.
  After you have found your purpose, you can only make a mark on your generation through persistence. To persist is to pursue a purpose tirelessly. That is, you are absolutely sure of the end result. So, you put everything you have into it. No matter how it looks now, you decide, ‘I must not miss this chance. I must get the prize.’ You will never amount to much in life without persistence. Hit and run people never make the race. It is those who stick to it that  make it in life.
  Alhaji Aliyu Dangote and I used to seat at the feet of Alhaji Garba Nautan hamza of Apapa, Lagos. Dangote sat as a businessman, I as a publicist. Dr. Hamza used to lecture us on persistence. He said when you strike a wall with a hammer, the wall doesn’t come down at once. It perhaps gives way at the 50th strike. But the 50th blow wasn’t what actually felled the wall. It was the cumulative effect of the previous 49 blows. The 50th blow just happened to be the one that received the ovation. God ordained every purpose to start as a baby. It will then grow to maturity, till it is set for exploit.
  No previous commodity begins in its fullness. It starts as a seed, with persistent pursuit, it develops into the great thing God destined it to be. Persistence is the rule of champions. In Genesis 25, from 15 to 22, you will read how Isaac became a king in a strange land and the land’s natives envied him. Isaac digged new wells in place of those dug by Abraham his father which the Philistines had stopped. Isaac dug new wells he called Rehoboth, for Jehovah had made room for him. Isaac out-dug those that were filling up the wells, so the Philistines gave up on him. They even had to sign a peace treaty with him. “And let us not be weary in well dong; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not,” Galatians 6:9.
  If even you are dong the will of God, you still need patience. If you lack patience, you will be trapped in doubt, and subsequently your destiny will be doomed. So be patient. Instant wealth lures culprits into robbery. Many kiosks have become a network of supermarkets. Persistence wears out all frustrations, just as it more out the Philistines in the case of Isaac. God will always make room for the persistent. Rehoboth is the biblical name of El Dorado, a land of great wealth, that is the destination of every patient person.
  However, you may be valiant in the pursuit of your purpose, you may even be persistent, but nothing would work until you are grateful to God. The way to gaining outstanding success is in your lifting up your hands in thanksgiving. Thanksgiving invites divine presence into your affairs. Jehovah’s presence renders your enemies helpless, clearing the field for your greatness. Great success is the heritage of grateful people.
  Our champion for today is Eusebio da Silva Ferreira, the Mozambican-born Portuguese football forward. He is regarded as the greatest footballer of all time. During his professional career, he scored 733 goals in 745 matches. He was born in January 1942, he died on January 5, 2014; 20 days shy of 72 years.
  Eusebio helped the Portuguese national team reach third place at the 1966 World Cup, being the top goalscorer of the tournament – and received the Bronze Ball award. He won the Ballon award in 1965 and was runner-up in 1962 and 196. He played for Benfica for 15 out of his 22 years as footballer. Thus he is mainly associated with the Portuguese club. He is Benfica’s all-time top scorer. Eusebio was the European Cup top scorer in 1965, 1966 and 1968. He also won the Bola de Prata (Premier League’s top scorer award) a record seven times. He was the first ever player to win the European Golden Boot in 1968 and 1973.
  Nicknamed the Black Panther Eusebio was known for his speed, technique, athleticism and his ferocious but accurate right footed shot. Whereby, he became an outstandingly prolific goalscorer and the greatest free-kick taker in history. He was Portugal’s most renowned player and the first world-class African striker.
  Although Eusebio was born in Mozambique, he had an Angolan father, like others before him, he could only play for the Portuguese team since both African countries were overseas territories and their inhabitants were considered Portuguese. Eusebio’s name often appeared in best player of all time lists and polls by football critics and fans. He was elected the 9th best footballer of the 20th century in a poll and the 10th best footballer of the 20th century by World Soccer magazine. He was 7th in the online poll for UEFA Golden Jubilee Poll. In 2003, to celebrate UEFA’s Jubilee, he was selected as the Golden Player of Portugal by the Portuguese Football Federation, as their greatest player in 50 years. He was called Africa’s greatest-ever player.

On the Path of Winners By Bayo Ogunmupe Doing the will of God

On the Path of Winners
By Bayo Ogunmupe
Doing the will of God

DOING the will of God in order to gain fulfillment is the forgotten secret of success. Jesus said, “my meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work,”Jn 4:34. Hardwork isn’t what determines how great you become. Neither does persistence bring automatic success. It takes your doing the will of Jehovah for you to succeed. Increase comes after planting and watering. The pursuit of your purpose and persistence in that pursuit is planting. What then does watering mean? The watering stage in the pursuit of happiness is where we often miss the point.
  But until you plant and water, it is then that God can give you the increase desired. “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God concerning you,” Thessalonians 5:18, Doing the will of God through thanksgiving grants you access to success in life. You don’t gain greatness until you are grateful to God. You cannot gain outstanding success unless you penetrate the mystery of thanksgiving.
  Ingratitude stops the finger of God which brings success to you. “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise,” Hebrew 10:36. Here, we are told we can only receive the promise after we have done the will of the Almighty. And what is the will of God? It is in everything you must give thanks, until the will of God is done, you cannot obtain the promise.
  So, every pursuit in your life must culminate in thanksgiving, for it to end up in success. If there was no sale yesterday, thank God there was no robbery attack also. For today, thank Jehovah for being divested of fraudsters or that there was no fire outbreak in home and shop. Thus, if you want to receive the hand of God, then lift up your hands in thanksgiving to Him. You may be valiant in the pursuit of your purpose, you may even be very persistent in that pursuit, but nothing will work until you are genuinely thankful to Allah. Divine presence is the ultimate in your clarion for recognition.
  God’s presence is your guarantee for the accomplishment of your goals. His presence renders your enemies helpless, paving way for the establishment of your goal.
  There are many workaholics who died in penury, because of the missing God’s presence. Thus, it isn’t enough to have a goal and the persistence to pursue it. The answer is that you strive to carry God’s presence and praises creates a conducive atmosphere for His presence.
  Until you Praise Allah, you are not worthy to carry His presence. Until you register in the school of thanksgiving, you will never be successful. No one ever gets anywhere with complaints. Never complain to God, ask Him what you want; “For no good thing would He withhold from them that walk uprightly.”
  Great success is the heritage of the thankful. The ones full of praise for Jehovah and the joyful are those that can provoke the hand of God to produce results. You reign by working. You cannot substitute work with prayer. Life does not reward wishers, it rewards workers. Work strengthens you while laziness wears you out. Hardwork is the secret of success. It provokes God to help you. You cannot succeed alone. Stay connected to God, rely on Him. Envy no one.
  Know what you want and be ready to give it whatever it takes. Work hard and work smart. The use of your senses is what enhances your results. Always get persuaded by available facts. Then get to work on your field of interest where you wish to excel. Believe in facts and information. Do everything to acquire them, for they will give quality to your reasoning and planning. When facts are applied in your decision making, you come out with excellent results.
Work is a commandment from heaven. Prayers are spiritual wishes, and if wishes were horses, beggars would ride. You reign by working, Jesus said, “I must work the works of Him that sent me, while it is day, the night cometh, when no man can work, John 9:4. “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before Kings, he shall not stand before mean men, Proverbs 22:29. Diligent in his business, not diligent in prayers. Jehovah God works. Work authenticates faith (James 2:18). Life doesn’t answer wishers, it only rewards workers. The harder you work the more profit you gain. Moreover, hardwork keeps you healthy.
 Our champion for today is Frantz Omar Fanon, the Martinique-born Algerian and French Psychiatrist, philosopher and revolutionary. He was a writer whose works are influential in post-colonial studies, critical theory and Marxism. As an intellectual Fanon was a radical and humanist concerning colonialism and the cultural consequences of decolonization.
  In the course of his work as a physician and psychiatrist, Fanon supported the Algerian war of independence from France. He was a member of the Algerian National Liberation Front and for four decades, the life and works of Fanon have inspired anti-colonial liberation movements in Palestine, Sri, Lanka and the United State States.
  Frantz Omar Fanon was born on the Caribbean Island of Martinique, then a French Colony but now a French county. His father was of African descent, his mother was of Indian and European descent, whose White ancestors came from Strasbourg in Alsace, France. Fanon was born in July 1925 and died in December 1961. After France fell to Germany in1940, at the age of 18, Fanon fled Martinique to the British Dominica to join the Free French Army. He enlisted in the French army and joined an Allied convoy that was stationed in Casablanca, Morocco.
  When the Nazis was defeated by the Allied forces, Fanon was among the Allied forces that crossed the Rhine into Germany. Then he returned to Martinique in 1945 but didn’t stay long. He then left for France where he studied medicine and psychiatry. In 1952, Fanon wrote Black Skin, White Masks, reflecting his service in the Army. Later he published. The Wretched of The Earth and Toward the African Revolution. There, Fanon revealed himself as a war strategist. Still later, A Dying Colonialism he published before dying as Algerian ambassador to Ghana in 1961.