Sunday, 16 November 2014

Let us Pause a Little


Let us Pause a Little

By Bayo Ogunmupe
LET’S Paulse a Little is the title of a book by Tosin Akande, a lawyer, pastor, printer and motivational speaker. While Pastor Benny Hinn explained the Holy Spirit in his book, Good Morning, Holy Spirit, Akande appropriated the triune God in his Let’s Paulse a Little. Thus, this book is about giving God His incontestable and unassailable place in the life of a Christian. It cannot be over emphasized that we must give Him top priority, making Him the only reason, to the exclusion of any other reason for any action on the body of Christ. Like the Christ deferred to God, we also began to defer to Him, with fiery worship power as in Bible times.
  Let us Paulse, clearly inspired by the Holy Spirit, and with the aid of the Principle called 35 of 32, Tosin Akande, the author drives home the point of the power and supremacy of Jehovah over everything. This goes against Nigeria’s emerging belief in a triune God where God shares power with Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
  Another higher point of the book, which inspired its Pauline title is the assessment of the life and times of Apostle Paul as the builder of Christianity. The author rejoices with Paul in boldly establishing, without reservations, the fact of the sovereignty of Jehovah over all including the Lord Jesus.
  Perhaps it is necessary to explain the current role of Jesus the Christ. While he was on earth, Jesus cured the sick, raised the dead and rescued people in peril. He thereby demonstrated what he will do in the future for all obedient mankind, Mat. 15: 30, John 5:28. After Jesus died, God restored him to life as a spirit being, 1 Peter 3: 8. Jesus then waited at God’s right hand until Jehovah gave him power to rule as King in heaven, Daniel 7:13, 14; Mathew 24:14. The Pauline connection calls for the title of this book: Let’s Paulse A Little, meaning, let us pause a little to straighten some of Paul’s errors during his evangelism. In these days of grand deception, it is necessary to clarify the Word of God lest the people are deceived. Akande hereby clarifies the spoken words of Jehovah as a necessary ingredient of navigating a successful and daily Christian living.
  Published in 2013 by Pass Mark Associates, Mafoluku, Lagos; Lets Paulse A Little has 10 chapters, an introduction, a dedication, endorsements and 194 pages. Since the author is a publisher, it is boldly printed. In the introduction, the author avers that Benny Hinn the Jewish American pastor said in his book, Good Morning Holy Spirit, that the holy Spirit is individually given. Thus, this arrests the dogma that the Holy Spirit is one, which most if not all Christians religious denominations in Nigeria preach. However, he went out to repudiate this allusion to Unitarianism which stresses reason in religion. Unitarians believe God exists in one person. They deny the divinity of Jesus and the doctrine of Trinity.
  To me, Akande’s allusion to Benny Hinn was unnecessary since he later embraced the triune God, and going in great length to explain the hierarchical relationship among the persons of the Trinity. He put God at the apex thereby bringing readers to remembrance that all flows from God alone. Like most Nigerians I have met, except the Jehovah witnesses, he lacked the courage to denounce the trinity.
  A strange feature of God’s sovereignty is the bargaining tendencies of Jehovah. Unlike despots, who never negotiate with their subjects, the Most High God negotiated in the scriptures with such persons as Abraham, Cain, Ezekiel and even Satan.
  However, another Biblical proof of God’s supremacy is 3 John 14:28: ‘‘ You have heard me say,” I am going away and coming back to you’ if you love me, you would rejoice because I said, I am going to my Father,’ for my father is greater than I.” A statement from Jesus like this is likened to what you cannot ignore. It was revealed by God himself in chapter eight of the book of Ezekiel, Acts 17:11, which gives an insight into the Berean Christians. This chapter defines the Christian heritage. In the chapter, Luke commended Bereans for their passion for the reading of the scriptures, their belief in their pastors including Apostle Paul, Luke himself and the early church.
  ‘‘These were more fair minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the Word with all readiness, and searched the scriptures, daily to find out whether these things were so,” Acts 17:11. It is this Berean way of life that the author wishes to promote. That way of life seeks to give Jehovah greater priority over the church. Thus, if the bible praised a people for doing exactly what this book seeks to do, then it is a welcome development in heaven and here on earth.
  Therefore, the aim of Let’s Paulse A Little is to give greater priority to God’s direct words. We need to understand clearly that both the Spoken and Written words of God are our guides but more important is the spoken word. Emanating from this is the principle which emphasizes the need for Christians to put into perspective that every doctrine must be measured with the settled, direct and personal words of Jehovah.
  My grouse with the author lies in the title. Paulse does not exist as an English word and therefore should not have been used as a book title. What he needed to do was to explain what he meant as the need for Christians to redefine Pauline Liturgy. It means we should situate Paul’s interpretation of scripture in the context of the Written and Spoken Words of Jehovah. Perhaps it will be necessary to retranslate or revisit the original Greek and Hebrew scripts of the Bible to get to roots of the confusion.
  However, Tosin Akande has done a good job by writing the book. Born in Ebute Metta, Lagos, Toyin now coordinates the Forum for Senior Citizens of Nigeria (FSCN), on online forum that seeks respect for senior citizens aged 65 and above. Though not a subsistent  pastor, Mr. Akande has taught the scriptures in Lagos, Abuja, Ghana and the United Kingdom. He studied Mass Communication at Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta and took a law degree from the University of Lagos. As a publisher, he is the spokesman for Christian Writers Association of Nigeria (CWAN), an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM), and the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM). He works at the National Assembly in Abuja as a Parliamentary Counsel. He is married to Titilope and they had a son and daughter.

HOW TO BUILD TRUE HAPPINESS


By Bayo Ogunmupe
THE ultimate goal of human life is happiness. Since a man can be prosperous without being happy, the greatest good then is happiness. We are all seeking prosperity in order to be happy. But true prosperity is the ability to use God’s power to meet the needs of the people. This covers much more than finances. Money isn’t the only factor in happiness. You can have all the money and still be poverty-stricken spiritually, mentally and physically. God’s power to give happiness covers the entire spectrum of human existence. To live a happy life, your soul must prosper in all the truth of the scriptures.
  Lasting happiness isn’t based solely on achievements or acquisitions. Rather like good physical health, true happiness depends on a variety of factors. Every human is unique. What makes me happy may not make you happy. Likewise, we change as we grow old. Moreover, some things are more consistently associated with happiness. For instance, happiness is linked to contentment, avoiding envy, cultivating altruism and emotional resilience.
  ‘‘Money is a protection,” observed King Solomon of ancient Israel. He also wrote: ‘‘A lover of silver will never be satisfied with silver, nor a lover of wealth with income. This too is vanity,” Ecclesiastes 5:10, 7:12. The point is that while man may need money to survive, we should avoid greed. The writer, King Solomon actually experimented to see whether wealth and luxury fostered true happiness.
  Having amassed great wealth, Solomon built grand houses, built beautiful parks and pools and acquired numerous servants. He got whatever he wanted. These experiments made him somewhat happy. But not for the length of his life. Thus, Solomon learnt that everything was futile. ‘‘There was nothing of real value,” Solomon said: Ecclesiastes 2:11, 17, 18. The lessons he learned were that a life of self indulgence ultimately leaves you empty and unfulfilled.
  Fortunately, modern studies support this ancient wisdom. An article in the Journal of Happiness studies observed that ‘‘after one’s basic needs are satisfied, additional income does little to advance one’s subjective well-being.” Indeed, findings show that increased material consumption especially at the cost of moral and spiritual values, do erode happiness. The scriptures aver: ‘‘Let your way of life be free of the love of money, while you are content with the present things,” Hebrews 13:5.
  For envy, this is defined as the painful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another, accompanied by a desire to possess the same advantage. Like a malignant growth, envy can takeover one’s life and destroy one’s happiness. How might we recognize and combat envy? Psychologists observe that people tend to envy their equals in age, experience and social background. A journalist for example, may not envy a famous film star. But he might envy a more successful fellow newsman.
  To recognize envy, ask yourself if you delight in a peer’s successes? Are you gleeful when your classmate fails in some way; then you are nurturing envy. Sadly, envy can poison your capacity to enjoy the good things of life, for it can snuff out feelings of gratitude for your life’s many gifts. Such tendencies are hardly conducive to happiness. You can combat envy by cultivating genuine humility and modesty which enables you to appreciate and value the abilities and the good qualities of others. ‘‘Do nothing out of contentiousness or out of egotism,” the Bible says ‘‘but with humility consider others superior to you,” Philippians 2:3.
  To gain happiness, avoid sin. When lust concedes, it brings sin and when sin grows up, it brings forth death to paraphrase a biblical aphorism. When we were young, we think we can sin and get away with it. But as we grow wiser and more mature, we know better. You will never meet a smoker who recommends his habit. Besides, you will meet few whose marriages have been shipwrecked, recommending an affair. The law of harvesting is: ‘‘Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap,” Galatians 6:7.
  Happiness does not come by getting. It comes by forgetting yourself and living for others. Job, one of the richest men in the ancient world lost his health, his wealth and his family. Then an amazing thing happened. Jehovah restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. He actually got back twice what he lost, by reaching out to others instead of dwelling on his own problems. That principle still works today. God blesses you so that you can become a blessing to others. You are not supposed to be a warehouse, but a clearing house.
  Our champion today is Jim Yong Kim, the Korean American physician, anthropologist and philanthropist. He has been the President of the World Bank since July 2012. He was president of Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, USA, from 2009 to 2012. He was formerly the chair of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a founder and executive director of Partners In Health.
  Kim was born in December 1959 in Seoul, South Korea. He moved with his parents to the U.S. at five and grew up at Iowa where his father taught dentistry at the University of Iowa.
  After two years at the University of Iowa, Kim transferred to Brown University, graduating first class in 1982. He was awarded an MD at Harvard School of Medicine in 1991 and a PhD in anthropology by Harvard University in 1993. Along with four other distinguished physicians, Kim co-founded Partners In Health (PIH) in 1987. The PIH achieved remarkable progress treating hundreds of thousands of tuberculosis patients in Haiti in the 1990s.
  The PIH model was expanded in Peru in 1994, its extreme success prompted the World Health Organisation (WHO) to embrace the model. Kim left PIH to join WHO in 2003. From post of adviser, WHO appointed Kim the director of its HIV/AIDS. Kim started as lecturer in Harvard in 1993, eventually he became a professor of medicine and an authority in tuberculosis. His quarter century career working to improve health in developing countries earned Kim the presidency of the World Bank in 2012. Kim was named the world’s 50th most powerful person by Forbes magazine in 2013. He is married to Younsook Lim, a pediatrician. They have two sons.

The Habit Of Highly Motivated People


On The Path Of Winners
BY BAYO OGUNMUPE
url.jpgThe Habit Of Highly Motivated People

EXRAORDINARY achievers are driven to go above and beyond; they are trusted by others, they are focused and confident of their own abilities. They dream of endless possibilities and are extremely satisfied with their lives. They often raise a dream project, maintain longer relationships and they get recruited more often than their unmotivated peers. The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential are the keys that unlock the door to personal excellence and fulfillment.
  Seeking and achieving your dreams means you are really living your dream. So, to get motivated and become all you can be, try these habits of extraordinarily motivated people. Soon you too will find the courage to live the life of fulfilled dreams. One, achievers are internally motivated. It is their intrinsic desire to succeed, the urge to be their best selves drives their motivation, driving them toward new adventures, the unfolding journey and possible outcomes, which they relish, challenging themselves with new avenues for learning and exploration.
  Two, they don’t waste time judging where to go. They objectify the success and failure of others, instead of judging or comparing themselves with others. They don’t waste their time being judgmental and gossipy. Winners are humble, willing to admit their mistakes and apologize. They encourage feedback from others and use it to take steps in the right direction.
  Four, winners focus on what is working rather than bad experiences which many mediocre tend to focus on. They often focus on what others are doing right. Five, they are authentic, true to themselves in spite of what others may think. They don’t live their lives to please others. Six, they push beyond their comfort zones by facing discomfort head on in the pursuit of their dreams. They never choose the easy route in order to get what they want. They trust their abilities to gain success by shunning annoying internal voices that say, ‘‘you are going beyond your powers.”
  Seven, extraordinary people are lifelong learners. They read a lot and are brilliant observers. They are always searching for new, more efficient and faster ways to achieve their goals. They understand that in order for them to grow, as a person, they must always continue to learn.
  Eight, they know what they want because they have a clear vision of what they want to be at the end of their lives. This clarity of vision grants them the wisdom to know what things to harness and what to avoid. Their motto is ‘‘All things are possible to him that believeth.” They believe anything is possible. Nine, they don’t give-up. When they stumble over a problem, they come up with a plan to solve it, take action and surmount it. They never quit because they understand quitting is the surest way to lose a battle.
  Ten, they don’t blame others or create scapegoats for their failures. They believe that ultimately they alone are in charge of their lives, actions and choices. Eleven, they take time for themselves. They know that in order to stay motivated, they have to carve out niches for themselves. They believe taking care of their persons are more important to them than material possessions. Finally, they surround themselves with highly motivated people. Their friends are those who are trustworthy, positive and supportive of bringing out the best in others. They make friends with helpers who help them to take on the world side by side and help them to get back on their feet again, when needed.
  The hallmark of winners is to believe while others are doubting. Plan while others are playing. Act while others are delaying. Prepare while others are day-dreaming. Begin while others are procrastinating. Work while others are wishing. Save while others are wasting. Listen while others are talking. Persist while others are quitting. To win in life requires three things. One, you must start immediately that seems obvious, but many of us are stuck in the starting blocks, waiting for something to propel us on. What has God called or equipped you to do? Step out and do it, and He will empower you.
  Two, you must give your ambition your all. Divers in the Olympics don’t save any of their efforts for their final dive. They concentrate on nailing every single one, increasing their chances for a gold medal. Don’t settle for mediocrity at any stage of your life. You must never quit. In the 1992 Olympics, Derek Redmond of Britain was in the 400 metre race when he suffered a torn hamstring and fell. As the other runners breezed past him, he began struggling to his feet. His father in tears, suddenly ran down from the stands to help him. Slowly, agonizingly, they made their way to the finish line as the stadium in Barcelona burst into thunderous applause. Redmond didn’t win a medal, but he won something greater, he won the respect of the world. The scriptures say, ‘‘Run in such a way as to get the prize,” 1 Corinthians 9:24.
  Our champion this week is Neville Chamberlain, the British Prime Minister from May 1937 to May 1940, whose name is linked with the policy of appeasement toward Adolf Hitler’s Germany in the period preceding World War II. Neville was the son of Joseph Chamberlain, British  businessman and former secretary of state for the colonies, Neville was also the younger half brother of the 1925 Nobel peace prize winner, Sir Austen Chamberlain – who was British foreign secretary from 1924 to 1929.
  Neville Chamberlain was born in Birmingham in March 1869, elected lord mayor of the city in 1915 and elected a conservative member of Parliament from 1919. He served as postmaster general (1922-23), Minister of Health (1923, 1924-29, 1931) and chancellor of the exchequer (1923-24, 1931-37). He became prime minister in 1937. In a futile attempt to sway Benito Mussolini’s Italy from German influence, Chamberlain barred British ships from the Mediterranean, recognizing Italian supremacy in Ethiopia.
  In an effort to prevent the outbreak of World War II, he acceded to Hitler’s demands which left Czechoslovakia defenceless. When Hitler seized Czechoslovakia in 1939, Chamberlain had to repudiate the Munich Agreement of 1938. He started peacetime military conscription for the first time in British history. Then Chamberlain took into his war cabinet his foremost critic – Winston Churchill as first lord of the admiralty, that is, the minister responsible for the imperial navy.
  After British defeat in Norway in 1940, Chamberlain lost the support of his party in Parliament and was forced to resign in May 1940. For his background as a soldier, the Queen appointed Winston Churchill as prime Minister to help her return peace to Europe. Chamberlain served Churchill loyally as lord president of the council till he died a few weeks later. My choice of Chamberlain is meant to rebut the Presidential Assistant on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe who said no leader ever resigned during war. Medical doctor Okupe is an example of putting square pegs in round holes, which has bedeviled public administration in Nigeria.

Living According To The Will Of God


On The Path Of Winners
BY BAYO OGUNMUPE
Hebrew-Scripture.jpg

Living According To The Will Of God

HERE are six steps by which you can enjoy the life God wants you to live. One, believe that Jehovah wants you to succeed in life, so abandon the unscriptural notion that this life has no meaning. Allah has a special work for you which was why He created you. You ask, ‘‘What defines success?”
  The progressive achievement of your God given goal resulting in feeling good about yourself is the answer to your question. ‘‘Carefully follow the terms of this covenant, so that you may prosper in everything you do,” Deut. 29:9. Two, consult God before setting your life goals. According to the scriptures, ‘‘We can make plans, but God determines our steps,” Proverbs 16:9. If you are constantly tired and confused, you may be on the wrong track. Go back and check with God. Perhaps you misconstrued His goal for you. But certainly, it is His will for you to triumph in such areas of your life as: spiritual, relational, physical, mental, social and financial.
  ‘‘Whatever he does shall prosper,” Psalm 1:3. Three, invest in yourself. ‘‘Though it costs all you have, get understanding,” Proverbs 4:7. If you are willing to spend money in fine restaurants but not on good books, your future is already determined. Cultivate a teachable spirit. ‘‘Let the wise listen and add to their learning,” Proverbs 1:5.
  Four, do something by mapping out your goals. Five, do something on your goals today. Six, do something everyday. We read about those who sail around the world in a thirty foot sailboats or those who overcame great handicaps to win gold medals at the Olympics. We later find their stories are all about persistence.
  If you want to know your future, look at your daily routine. You don’t determine your future, you determine your habits and your habits determine your future. The secret to success lies in doing the right things day after day. If you do that, you will eventually succeed. But here is a caveat, important priorities have a way of slipping out of place while you are focused on less important things. Some sacrifices are simply not worth it. One, in your attempt to build a reputation, do not lose your character. Reputation is what people think you are, character is what God and your associates know you are. Two, don’t sacrifice your family for your career, if you do, you will end up winning the admiration of the mediocre while losing the love of those who matter.
  Three, do not sacrifice your relationship with God for material things. Jehovah said: ‘‘You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me” but remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth; if you ever forget the Lord, you will surely be destroyed,” Deut. 8: 17-18. Furthermore, ‘‘Be careful not to do your acts of righteousness in front of others, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven,” Mathew 6:1.
  What you think, know or believe is, in the end of little consequence. The only thing of consequence is what you do. If you are serious at succeeding in your calling, you must take steps through action. Sir Edmund Burke, the British orator and statesman said, ‘‘Nobody made a greater mistake, than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.” Praying is good, but there comes a point when you have to step out in faith and act. And if you are the diffident type, you have to confront your fear and take the step by acting. God promised the Jews to part River Jordan so that they can enter Canaan. But the waters parted only after they stepped into the river, Joshua 3: 11-17. The same principle applies to you. It is easier to learn by doing. It is easier to stear a car when it is moving than when it stands still. So before the sun sets today, do something that will move you further toward your dream.
  Our champion today is Carl Lotus Becker, the famous American historian known for his work on American intellectual history and on the 18th century Enlightenment. Born in September 1873 near Waterloo, Iowa, Becker died in 1945. He was educated at the Universities of Wisconsin and Columbia, Becker taught at the University of Kansas, Lawrence from 1902 to 1916 and at Cornell University, New York, from 1917 until he retired in 1941. In The Beginning of the American People (1915), he advanced in his doctoral thesis of a dual American Revolution – the first being the struggle for self government from Britain and the second, the ideological battle over the form such government should take.
  In the Eve of the Revolution (1918) and the Declaration of Independence (1922), Becker probed the relationship between 18th century natural rights Philosophy and the American Revolution. During the 1920s, he began challenging the orthodox assumption of the superiority of a scientific methodology in historical study. Becker examined the ideas of 18th Century Enlightenment Philosophers, stressing their intellectual fervor and their success in bridging traditional Christianity with Enlightenment secularism. During World War II, he urged the need for a reinsertion of moral statements in historical writing.