Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

Tips to a brighter Relationship
The wise couples (you know the ones that most people say “they were meant to be”) turn into wine and keep on getting better with age. Yet, lots of relationship fade away after the excitement phase is over and separate themselves like oil and water.

If you want your relationship to have the long life it deserves, have a look at our 10 things to do for a brighter relationship.

1. Have a positive attitude towards life

Everyone wants to be around cheerful people that seize the moment and take the best of everything.

A constant attitude of dissatisfaction, complaining and nagging — attracts negative emotions creating a terrible mood, and implicitly creating bad relationships between people.

Having and keeping a positive attitude towards life makes you a more attractive partner while at the same time, makes you a happier person overall.

2. Love yourself

Your partner doesn’t want to be the object of your sacrifices. He wants you to be happy with him just as much as he wants to feel good with you.

You both need to be pleased and fulfilled with your own individualities in order to be able to draw the same emotions in your relationship. And, more importantly, you need to preserve your own personality above and beyond the things you’re doing to please the other person.

3. Pay attention to your partner’s wants and needs

Men and women are different and inherently share different perspectives on relationship and what makes them happy in life. Acting controlling and trying to change your lover around to like the things that you do and undertake the actions and reactions you see as righteous — is an instant major turnoff for your partner and extremely frustrating for you.

4. Show admiration and gratitude

If you are in a relationship with someone — it goes without saying that you appreciate them for a series of qualities, the way they treat you, how they make you feel etc.

The key here is to REMIND your partner CONSTANTLY just how much you admire the things he/she does for you and the way those makes you feel.

5. Be careful with words

“Words cut deeper than swords” is more than just an idiom. It is a universally valid truth.

You cannot take back an offense, an insult, a humiliation, a lie or any verbal abuse. No matter how much you’ll excuse yourself after the storm has passed. It will irreversible linger in the back of your partner’s head and “scar” her/his feelings or opinions about you.

6. Show respect

Any kind of healthy relationship needs to be built on mutual respect.

Respect is multi-leveled and shows that you have common-sense and value the person for what they are and stand for. Therefore, you need to respect them verbally (see item 5), you need to respect their opinions and decision even when you don’t agree with them, you need to respect their friends and family even if sometimes it’s just for the single reason that “they come with the package”.

7. Be empathetic

We all go through stressful periods, have bad days and lazy moments and get affected by various factors which alter our spirits and self-worth. Having someone besides you who accentuates your awful mood rather than ameliorating it — is even worse.

So, try to cheer up your other half when they’re down, accept that your partner might be upset by something that does not impinge on you (and vice-versa) and show them compassion. Bear in mind that once in a while, we all need some time alone.

8. Make memories together

There is nothing that brings you two closer than going through happy, adventurous and also less joyful experiences together. Try to make an effort towards taking some trips, lessons (dance/music), doing whatever you find exciting and fun (scuba-diving, camping, participating in a contest) as long as you do them TOGETHER.

Take a lot of pictures and souvenirs to reinforce your good times and to remember that blissfulness, if and when things become tedious.

9. Fight routine

Sometimes, life just seems too demanding and tiring to find the time, patience and will to fight daily routine. Still, as I said previously, memories are what make your connection deeper and more meaningful. Sitting in front of the TV the whole afternoon and ordering dinner every evening is not too much of an experience.

10. Spice up your love life

Routine is again a turnoff when it comes to your most intimate moments. Once again, being adventurous and open to trying new things can make a huge difference.

You need to constantly find new ways to appeal to your partner’s senses and outreach his or her desires.

Try new positions and / or locations, anticipate the moment (through messages, notes, phone calls) and value foreplay in order to relate at a deeper emotional level. Dare to dive into each other’s fantasies and be that person that he or she never had and never wants to leave.

There’s nothing wildly spectacular about the pieces of advice shared throughout the article yet that’s precisely the reason why they work — always! They fit with any person and any type of personality, it’s what people in successful relationship do, and what keeps them in those relationships.

So, are you ready to brighten your relationship with these 10 easy and natural things?

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Almost everyone has had a bad sales experience. You know, where some shady salesperson is trying to get you to buy something you don’t need, like a timeshare, a gym membership, or a car. Behind their smile and smooth talk lies an opportunity to take advantage of you and leave you with a decision you might regret. Promises are often inflated, and the deals are covered in glitter and made to look irresistible.

Our enemy, Satan, uses many of the same tactics (for the record, I’m not saying all salespeople are evil. I used to be one myself) to get you to follow your flesh and leave you with decisions you’ll regret and that will cost you dearly.

Over the past few weeks at The Porch, we’ve been talking about the unseen realm and how it affects us, and some of the steps you can take to combat such a force. Last week we talked about the lies the enemy throws your way, and seven truths that can help you combat them.

The enemy is out there

The first step is always admitting there’s a problem, and the same concept applies to evil: you don’t stand a chance of surviving if you don’t acknowledge that there’s something out there trying to make you stumble.

Let me spell it out for you: Satan is real, and he wants nothing more than to see you wreck your life by following your flesh, not trusting God, and pulling you out of fellowship with Him. If you want to see real-life examples of Satan at work in our world, go to any major news site and spend a few minutes there; you’ll quickly see what I’m talking about.

Just as Satan disguises himself (2 Corinthians 11:14), he also disguises the consequences of following your flesh. A fish doesn’t see the frying pan when it bites the hook, and you’re probably not thinking about the consequences of disobeying God when you’re making the decision to do so. Satan has been around a long time, and he knows what makes humans tick. While he doesn’t know you nearly as intimately as God does (Psalm 139:13-18), he knows what our flesh craves: pride, money, sex, vengeance…you name it.

Satan’s lies and attacks

One of Satan’s biggest lies is to make you think that God is trying to keep you from having fun and that He is trying to keep good things from you. Satan wants you to think that you deserve whatever you feel entitled to, and that life is found in giving your flesh whatever it wants. Feeding these desires, however, always leads to negative consequences. Some of those consequences, for example, are broken families, unintended pregnancies, STDs, emotional baggage, discontentment, addictions, etc.

Satan will attack anyone. His goal is to try and ruin your usefulness for God. He tries to get you to waste gifts God has given you, and to hurt those in your life (John 10:10). It’s so important to surround yourself with other believers who are pursuing Christ alongside you, to help you fight those attacks. God gives us one another to strengthen and sharpen each other (Proverbs 27:17Hebrews 3:13), push us into a deeper relationship with Christ, and get us back on track when we veer off the path.

If you know that the attacks are coming, you can prepare yourself to defend against them.

How is Satan trying to trip you up, right now, and how can you defend yourself against it? This is one of the most important questions you can ask yourself. Answer it well.

– JP

Jesus was so large of heart, so large of spirit, so endless in consciousness. Like, you don’t even need to think he is the son of God. Just think of him, first, as a man. He was such a man of beauty. Impatient with hate, dismissive of judgement, large of heart. Jesus was a beautiful man. Giving, forgiving, listening, understanding, relating, empathising. He was what some call, a son of mercy. How did his followers get so angry, and faithful and full of the fury of condemnation, and … xenophobia.

It’s all this ‘heretical’ teachings that take symbols and words and twist and bed them to fit whatever prejudice is in vogue in that age. Every generation has had its interpretation of the book of Revelations for 2000+ years. To fit its social context, and in this generation, our apocalyptic influencers insist the job of Christians is to delay the anti-Christ. *Shudders* And delaying the anti christ often means, in their telling, fighting ‘sin’, attacking the ‘sinful’, fighting cultural wars. To do this, they often descend on the book of Revelations and stretch and pull every word and symbol until it fits that assignment.

I have no doubt that they truly, truly believe in what they say, and their hearts may be in the right place. But it’s oh so dangerous. When Christians leave the simple, clear words and teachings of Jesus and the example of his life and witness, to pursue… evil.

Like sometimes I understand why the world is so cynical, so suspicious of Christians and Christian motive. Why they disconnect from our culture, and attack beautiful experiences like worship, or tongues, or prayer. They don’t see what I see when I am in many gatherings and I see the family of God’s children in worship, in fellowship, Connected, broken, emptied of self and ego and ambition, and fear and hate. Ah, worship, it’s a blessing to watch people in worship.

Then, those same people get into the world after service and then they become this judgemental, angry set of people. It really confuses me. Really confounds me. Like, how did you lose that pure state, that Jesus-state, so soon? How did you let it go? How did you let love go? How did you let compassion go?

Jesus was a disruptor. He was a spiritual disruptor. And that disruption was to the Judaism, Zoroastrianism, and all of that of the times the eye-for-an-eye, God-of-wrath stranglehold. His disruption was love. If it wasn’t love, then there was no point of His coming. The religions of the time already had judgement, condemnation down to a part. If that’s what he came here for, then it was unnecessary. But he came because his message was radical and revolutionary.

The way I see it. God was tired of the disruption of his true image for millions of years. He sent Jesus to make it right. To reveal his true nature that prophets and priests had struggled with for years. Jesus came to earth to model God’s true nature. That’s why it’s so difficult to justify a gospel of hate with his life. You can’t use Jesus’s words to justify this self-righteousness. You often have to turn to flawed apostles, or visioners. I’ll stick with Jesus. I’ll always cast my lot with Jesus. Stop “fighting for God”. He doesn’t need your help. What he asked you do is work on your life and bring others to him through that life. 

Listen, Jesus didn’t send the church to fight the devil for him. Nope. Jesus already won that battle on the cross. It is finished.

Anytime the Bible teaches about the Devil, it’s in relation to a Christian’s personal life. Resist the devil and he will flee “FROM YOU”. It’s not for you to carry weapons and go claiming you are fighting the devil. God doesn’t need your help to fight the devil. God needs you help to fight for your salvation and to draw others to him. And his weapon for that is love. The more you spend time fighting the world, the less time you have living a better life as a Christian. 

Matthew 7:5

Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye. (NLT) 

When Christians stop persuading and start coercing, we have moved so far from what Jesus thought, we’ve practically turned our backs on Him.  Here’s what Walter Brueggemann has to say about “Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God.” 

I so desperately want people to meet Jesus. To meet this beautiful, incredible guy. All this hate from Christians makes it so hard. 

Important reading: “The Problem with, Hate the Sin Love the Sinner” 

“Using “hate the sin” as a license for cruelty defeats the purpose of proclaiming truth.”

  • Phylicia Masonheimer

The Problem with "Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner"Social media has brought out a dark side of Christianity. Torrents of hate spill into Facebook comments. Names are called. Insults are hurled. And somehow, we’re expected to win people to Christ through all of this. It’s this dark side of faith that the world reacts against so violently; their scapegoat for subjective morality. If Christian love looks like this – who would want it?

Hate the sin but love the sinner.

We use the phrase liberally, but are we liberal with the love?

There are plenty of Christian leaders who see this hatred and say, “No more!” But with the same breath that claims the love of Christ they write off the law that made Him necessary. Blurring the created lines of right and wrong, they “love the sinner” – and lie about the sin. Thus we end up right where we began: Striving for the ever-evasive balance of love and truth.

Our faith is like walking a tightrope. With each step, we are in danger of a wild swing into legalism or compromise. We walk the thin line – this narrow path – only by keeping our eyes fixed on the perfect balance of love and justice: God Himself. For if God did not define these things for us, we would have no measure of right versus wrong. We would be unable to give grace because there would be no reason to give it – without sin, there is no cause for mercy.

I’m the first person to call us to a higher standard of holiness. But as we navigate this sharply divided world, both online and in real life, we need to ask ourselves the following questions:

DO WE ACTUALLY HATE SIN, OR DO WE SIMPLY LOVE JUDGMENT?

Using “hate the sin” as a license for cruelty defeats the purpose of proclaiming truth. The gospel needs no help causing division; it is foolishness to those who reject it (1 Cor. 1:22-24). Because the gospel will divide based on its exclusive nature, our job is not to further that division but to simply love the Lord our God with all our hearts (emotions), souls (being), minds (thoughts), and strength (effort). Our second directive is to love our neighbor as much as we love ourselves.  (Matt. 22:37-40)

God hates sin because He is holy. Sin is contrary to His nature and prevents humanity from approaching Him. But because God is also loving, He desires a relationship with humanity. Jesus was the solution to the problem of sin, atoning for our unholiness and making possible what would otherwise be an impossible relationship with God.

Thus, God doesn’t hate sin arbitrarily. He doesn’t take joy in condemnation (2 Pet. 3:9). He judges because He is holy and sin must be judged. Yet it is by God’s mercy that any of us are able to claim the name of Jesus today. We are called to discern right from wrong in the world, but we are not called make judgment our hobby. To hate sin doesn’t mean we point it out at every opportunity, finding satisfaction in the failures of others. Our hatred for sin should be a direct result of our love for gospel hope. We only hate sin because it prevents a relationship with God. God is the judge; we are just the messengers, and we would do well to remember that.

SEE ALSO: 5 Ways to Protect Your Marriage on Social Media

DO WE HATE SIN IN THE LIFE OF OUR NEIGHBOR BUT IGNORE IT IN OUR OWN LIVES?

This question convicts my heart whenever I scroll through social media. Rife with animosity, Christians go to battle against even more malicious commenters in a never-ending debate about homosexuality, abortion, alcohol, and politics.

Yes, we should stand for what is true. But if we really hate sin, we will hate all sin, starting with the sin in our very own lives.

It’s really easy to point fingers at people who live a lifestyle devoid of God. It’s not so easy to see the sin in ourselves. Modern Christians, we are a speck-picking bunch. In the name of “truth” we seek out sin and we point at it like an over-eager hunting dog, waiting for God to pat us on the back. We are not called to seek out sin but to seek out those who need the gospel (Matt. 28:20). In the process of presenting the gospel, sin must be addressed. But hating sin is not our Christian day job.

The best way to understand, recognize, and address sin is to hate it in our own lives first. That means knowing the Word of God – really knowing it. Really studying it, not just proof-texting passages for Facebook debates, yanking phrases out of context to prove a point. We hate sin best when we love God most, because only His hatred for it is a direct result of His love for mankind.

SEE ALSO: How Sin Kills the Pro-Life Mission

DO WE ARGUE OVER THE DEMISE OF SOCIAL MORALITY WHILE IGNORING OUR OWN LACK OF HOLY LIVING?

Lifestyles of sin are celebrated in cultures worldwide. It seems to be all the rage. Morals are relative. Everyone does what is right in his own eyes. Society is indeed descending into moral chaos. But before lamenting the rapid descent, we should check our own moral thermometer. Are we ignoring the same heart attitudes that have been our culture’s demise?

Pride. Selfishness. Anger. Materialism. Envy. Lust: “…after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” (James 1:15) Our world is dying because of the idolatry of desire. Where self replaces God, there is no room for abundant life. The eternal is replaced with the material, and separation from God is the inevitable result.

We bewail politicians and feminism and Common Core but the harsh reality is that this society is the way it is because of human hearts just like ours. We cannot expect a transformed culture when we have not transformed our very own minds. We cannot expect society’s sins to be conquered when we refuse to acknowledge our own transgressions.

So before arguing about abortion online, shut off the sexually promiscuous TV show.

Before bewailing the demise of the family, respect your husband. Love your wife.

And before burning sinners on a verbal stake in the name of “hating sin”, ask yourself: Does this action reflect the holiness of God? Am I really presenting the truth in love, or have I lost my love in zeal for truth?

I’m preaching to myself here. Instead of repeating, “Hate the sin, love the sinner”, I’m telling myself something else:

“Hate my own sin, love the way God does.”

Mercy is what draws us to repentance; it is the hope of our gospel. It’s the most lasting, loving way to truly hate sin.

This article originally appeared on phyliciadelta.com. Used with permission. 

Phylicia Masonheimer blogs at Phylicia Delta, where she teaches women how to preach the gospel with their lives: proclaiming Jesus in work, love and home. Her eBook Christian Cosmo launches March 1st, 2017

Let me just start straight up, exactly how I see it. ​In some sense I don’t think the colonial project really ended in Nigeria. We just shifted the tyranny and extractive ethos to a local elite.

What difference is it to a Teacher in Takum, A Farmer in Otukpo or a Fisherman in Ekim,  if his faraway oppressor is in Abuja or in London, or indeed, in Jalingo, Makurdi or Uyo his state capital?

When people talk about a country growing from poor to rich, that gets lost in the jargon of income per capita and other metrics.

In fact, what that looks like is a fisherman in Ekim in 1923 has grand kids who have vastly better incomes, education, health, opportunity. It means that a fisherman’s grandchild has the opportunity to compete to be a bank manager or even CEO today. That’s progress. 

It’s about people, en masse, moving from a life where they have low productivity to vastly higher productivity. But what I think has happened since 1923 is that children of fishermen mostly became fishermen themselves, with no change in productivity. Or they moved to cities to work in other low productivity jobs. Comparing his grandfather’s life to his, it hasn’t changed much (or has grown worse).

This is the challenge. How does a society develop to ensure that each successive generation lives better and has a better shot: progress.

So many problems just vanish when people are well fed, life is not bitterly difficult, the kids are looked after, etc. People keep looking to the various governments. We expect that an omnipotent Federal Government has the resources to fix all problems: It can’t. 
Looking at the 2017 budget across Africa, it is clear that the Federal Government of Nigeria is broke. We plan to spend roughly $120/Nigerian. The Kenyan Government is spending $560/Kenyan. South Africa: $2180/SAn. That is a big difference. 

But that doesn’t tell the full tale really, because as the saying goes: ‘Every Nigerian is a Local Government’. We are paying for that budget. We are paying in hardship, in the high cost of living, the lack of opportunity, one of the lowest life expectancy rates on earth and so on.
Of course, in the middle of all this, we supposedly have one of the biggest economies in Africa. I always find that one hilarious. If we had the productivity of the average South African worker, our economy would be two or three times its current size (our labour pool is 3 times larger than theirs). Also, SA’s government is spending about 33% of GDP. We, with our unsigned budget, are spending 7%. Again, pointer that Government isn’t that big.

The Government has to start working to empower Nigerians. It cannot be this colonialist mafia that just extracts from the population. They sit in Abuja with the best roads in the country, but a man in Nnewi or Aba cannot ship his produce through Calabar or Port Harcourt. Buhari is ‘recuperating’ in London claiming to be taking made in Nigeria drugs, while doctors are being tassed in LUTH over salaries that they are actually owed. This is colonialism!

I think it is so bad that we do not EXPECT things to get better in the next 25 years, so we optimise towards the proximate next best. 

Always interesting to read about America after the war (and California in the 70s). Phrase ‘alive with possibility’ always seems to come up. What phrases come up in your everyday experience? Of course we hear ‘there is money in this country,’ but it rings hollow for most people. What tends to ring true are things like: ‘This country is finished’; referring to other countries ‘these are serious countries’ and so on. You face a self-fulfilling prophecy situation — you think the country is finished, so you behave like a person living in a finished country. You don’t inflate the contract by 20% and fix the road well, you under-engineer the road and inflate the contract by 200%. 10 people do well, 1,000,000 suffer. The same road is re-tendered in a different budget cycle and the sham is repeated. 

2019 is coming. There will be an incredible amount of energy poured into it from that 7 trillion naira budget (and other budgets to come). To what end? The person is inheriting a mess. (And the funniest part is that we are going to hear the same vacuous, platitudinous slogans!). Actor, Andy Roid in Game of Thrones described it as “focusing on the politics of the Red Keep while White Walkers, Dothraki Hordes and Dragons are coming for you”. We aren’t talking about our real problems. 

The country is broke; y’all are marrying and having babies far too much; the government is choking off progress. We need to think about how govt can become more accountable, become less colonialist, to actually work for the people. Maybe that is confederalism or true federalism, I don’t know. I’ll leave thoughts on how to change the status quo for another time. I drop my pen here. We all need to start thinking right and start acting.

I personally never thought anyone would actually say, “sell me this pen” in a sales interview. I was wrong. It will happen to you too. And to avoid panic, you should know exactly what to say back.

I am going to give you the right sales framework to respond perfectly every time.

On a quick side note, did you know this sales interview question has been around for millions of years? Its origins date back to the earliest of cavemen. Selling slingshots cave-to-cave. Except back then, they asked, “sell me this bowl of crushed berries.”

Anyways. The point is, one day it will happen to you and I want you to be prepared.

Because if you start to describe how smooth the pen feels and how shiny the pen looks, just like you saw in the Wolf of Wallstreet…

You probably won’t get the job.

 Why it matters to sell me this pen

At first, I didn’t realize why it mattered. It just seemed like a silly question. But, you’ll see.

When you become good at answering this question, you actually become one hell of a salesperson.

And that’s why people still ask it in interviews. It shows your creative approach and how good you are at actually selling product (not just reading your resume).

There are exactly four sales skills the interviewer is looking to see when you answer:

  1. how you gather information
  2. how you respond to information
  3. how you deliver information
  4. and how you ask for something (closing)

Now, since I had a lot of sales interviews lined up at the beginning of last year. I thought, I better practice my response just in case.

The “just wing it” strategy is best for making pancake mix, not for sales interviews.

So let’s go through exactly what you can say to address each sales skill. Because when you do it right, you will blow their mind!

Here’s exactly what you can say

Just to back up for a second, I had 26 sales interviews in a period of three months. Someone was bound to ask me.

Ok. The Director of Sales stood up and said, “it was great meeting you Ian. Let me go grab the CEO to come in next.” Moments later, the CEO of the 30 person startup walked in the small conference room.

Shortly after initial greetings, the CEO wasted no time to start the interview.

I practiced my answer beforehand. I made sure my answer displayed the four sales skills the CEO needed to hear.

Now you can read it for yourself. And then use it for yourself.

At the bottom, you can see a simple sales framework to memorize that will make this work for you in any situation.

You can memorize the script, but more importantly, memorize the sales framework at the end.

Here you go…


CEO: Do me a favor, sell me this pen. (reaches across to hand me the pen)

Me: (I slowly roll the pen between my index and thumb fingers.) When was the last time you used a pen? 

CEO: This morning.

Me: Do you remember what kind of pen that was? 

CEO: No.

Me: Do you remember why you were using it to write? 

CEO: Yes. Signing a few new customer contracts.

Me: Well I’d say that’s the best use for a pen (we have a subtle laugh). 

Wouldn’t you say signing those new customer contracts is an important event for the business? (nods head) Then shouldn’t it be treated like one. What I mean by that is, here you are signing new customer contracts, an important and memorable event. All while using a very unmemorable pen. 

We grew up, our entire lives, using cheap BIC pens because they get the job done for grocery lists and directions. But we never gave it much thought to learn what’s best for more important events. 

This is the pen for more important events. This is the tool you use to get deals done. Think of it as a symbol for taking your company to the next level. Because when you begin using the right tool, you are in a more productive state of mind, and you begin to sign more new customer contracts. 

Actually. You know what? Just this week I shipped ten new boxes of these pens to  Elon Musk’s office. 

Unfortunately, this is my last pen today (reach across to hand pen back to CEO). So, I suggest you get this one. Try it out. If you’re not happy with it, I will personally come back next week to pick it up. And it won’t cost you a dime. 

What do you say? 

CEO: (picks jaw up off floor) Yes.


See how simple that was. The CEO loved it. Why?

Because all four sales skills were displayed.

Here’s the simple sales framework I used to answer “sell me this pen”. Memorize it for yourself.

  1. Find out how they last used a pen (gather info)
  2. Emphasize the importance of the activity they last used a pen (respond to info)
  3. Sell something bigger than a pen, like a state of mind (deliver info)
  4. Ask for the buy (closing)

 Does that make sense? Yes. Ok, good.

Conclusion

Remember, it’s not about actually selling a pen. It’s about showing how well you can sell a product.

And even though there are an infinite number of answers to this interview question, it’s easy to memorize a simple formula.

Now that you have a formula, next time you need a quick, go-to answer, remember this. 

Take 15 minutes today to practice the script above. I promise you will benefit.

Plus, would you mind doing me a favor. Share this with ONE person in sales. It could save their career

Highlights:

For the LORD shall smite Israel, as a reed is shaken in the water, and he shall root up Israel out of this good land, which he gave to their fathers, and shall scatter them beyond the river, because they have made their groves, provoking the LORD to anger (I Kings 14:15).

There is always a cost for being disobedient to God. Sin definitely has it’s price. It separates us from God. It’s final results, unless one repents, end in death and hell. 

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Rom. 6:23).

Israel had fallen prey to the same sin many times. It seemed they had lack of trust in the One True God which they could not see. Consequently, they found it easy to turn their backs on God and turn to false gods for which they could construct idols in which to visibly worship.

The worship of false gods is strictly forbidden throughout the Word of God. In the Old Testament, the nation of Israel had heard this from God through Moses. 

Thou shalt have no other gods before Me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: (Ex. 20:3-4).

 In the New Testament, Paul lists the worship of idols with works of the flesh that separate anyone from God. 

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God (Gal. 5:19-21).

Therefore, Israel knew that what they were doing was sin, but they continued on in their ways. The price they were to pay would be a high one. It would destroy them as a nation.

The consequences of their sin would be the downfall of these people as a country. They would be separated and scattered all over the world. This separation would last for nearly 1900 years. It began after Christ and His apostles died and lasted until 1948. That is the year Israel was established again as a nation.

One thing about the ongoing Big Brother Naija reality TV show is the fact that whether you watch it or not, it’s in your face. As such, the concern of many over it’s value to the Nigerian society cannot be pushed aside. Unfortunately, the show has thrived on catering to the naughty or vice instincts in most people, with rated and raunchy scenes being the order of the house. Not surprisingly, many had called for a government action against broadcasting such content to a Nigerian audience in the future. Expectedly, that threw up mixed reactions from the Nigerian populace. While some find the entertainment exciting, other more serious folk are concerned about how the content affects values. Either way, the show has continued.
But perhaps more compelling in the argument against the continued airing of the show is one of the housemates, Tboss’ inability to recite the Nigerian National anthem in a routine truth or dare game. Since then, social media Nigeria cannot seem to recover from the shock that a potential winner of a show which is purportedly meant to be won by representing Nigerian values cannot recite something as basic as the national anthem. Shame!
More annoying to many is the fact that rather than own up to the goof and find a more intelligent way to placate her fans, the said housemate, Tboss, went on a tirade against her fellow contestant, Debbie-Rise, who posed the harmless kindergarten question to her, blaming her for the negative blowback her failure would do her chances of winning the show! Unbelievable. But then, nature has its own ways of shaming misfits. As it is, Tboss’ goof clearly, barring any miracle or organisers scam, makes the coast clear for other show favourites Efe or Bisola, who those following the show say are more deserving.
But much more than expose Tboss’ detachment from her country’s ideals, her national anthem disaster does also expose an aspect of our general failure as a people without deeper values for what is truly important. The national anthem of any country is the soundtrack of national existence. Footballers cry out of passion for their countries when singing before a game. Soldiers too. Great political leaders world over do too. The anthem is the soul of the country. But obviously not here in Nigeria. Only last year, two ambassadorial nominees, Alhaji Ibrahim Bida from Niger State and Mrs Vivian Okeke from Anambra State couldn’t recite the anthem at a Senate screening. Still, they were screened. The message is clear, it doesn’t matter whether you are passionate about the country or not, once you’re connected you have your way!
At the end of the day, beyond all the fuss about Tboss’ national anthem fiasco, Bisola’ blowjob on Thin Tall Tony, Kemen’s violation of Tboss’ womanhood, the free kissing sessions, the boobs baring moments and all the bad drama that Nigeria has been made to see on the road to creating a Big Brother model, we must all ask ourselves Olamide’s poser: who did the show epp? Apart from the organiser making loads of money off subscribers and voters, what else? Thin Tall Tony says he can make the prize money in three months on his own, meaning he or the others don’t necessarily need the show to make it!
As a final word to Tboss and all those who are privately guilty of this crime of passion for country, go on YouTube and find American singer Beyonce to teach you how to sing the Nigerian national anthem
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When it comes limits, I’m one of those people my friend Nicole Unice would describe as having a “dessert-sized plate”—I can only add so much to my schedule, my ‘plate,’ before anxiety sets in and overwhelm begins.

This is hard for me because I live with and find community with a lot of ‘big plate’ people – the type who fill their time with amazing ministry endeavors and projects and events, all with a certain amount of adrenaline fuelling them—they find life in full schedule. Like my friend Cara, for instance, who admits she’s not only comfortable with a high amount of chaos; she actually thrives in it. Thrive and chaos are never used in the same sentence in my world.

So right on the outset, this isn’t intended for everyone. If you’re like my friend Cara and thrive when your big plate is filled to the brim, this isn’t necessarily going to resonate. But if you’re wondering if maybe you’re stretching yourself past the God-given limits of your personality and phase of life, read on, dear friend.

Here are a few sure signs you’re living outside your limits:

1. The relationships closest to you are suffering. Who are you closest with (husband, children, best friend, mom)? Write your top 5 people down if you need to. Now, think about your relationship with each one. How are they fairing? Are you finding the time and emotional energy to care for these people, or are they getting the dregs of your time and love? When our plates are too full, the people we love most are usually the first to suffer. Committed, intentional time with your loved ones is crucial for your flourishing. (Nicole touches on this in a Q&A I did with her on knowing your limits—I’d encourage you to check it out!)

SEE ALSO: How Taking Care of Your Body is an Act of Worship

2. You no longer make time for the things that bring you life. Think about the things that bring you joy and refresh your spirit. My list would include taking walks in sunny weather, gardening, reading a good book, sitting down to a home cooked meal with my husband, and one-on-one time with a good friend. For you, it might look like going to see a movie, listening to music, taking a car trip to a new place, etc.

When we’re living outside our limits, often the first things to go are the things that refresh us and bring us joy. For example, I’ll skip a walk at lunch because I feel pressure to reply to all the email in my various inboxes. But when we don’t take the time to refresh ourselves, we become overwhelmed and our zest for life runs low.

Related, we might be tempted to think that God would rather us give all our free time to service projects or nightly bible studies or work or whatever good ministry opportunities crop up. But when things, even good things, overwhelm our schedule to the point where we no longer have the time or energy to enjoy what God has uniquely created us to enjoy—that’s a problem.

I’ve found some of my most worshipful times are when I’m immersed in an activity that brings me joy. Whether I’m out in nature or after a conversation with a good friend – I’m just overwhelmed with thankfulness and often pray prayers of gratitude to God for those sweet times of restoration. But those moments wouldn’t happen if I was so busy that I didn’t have time for the things my soul delights in.

SEE ALSO: When God Won’t Take Away Your Anxiety

3. Things that should be effortless become taxing. Think about the things you’re naturally gifted in – this can include spiritual gifts, natural talents, or skills you’ve honed over the years through hard work and study. For me, these things include writing, ministering to other women through my gifts of listening and good question asking, and strategic/creative idea curation at work.

When you’re at your best and living inside your limits, these giftings flow freely out of you. My friend Tabitha calls this getting into “flow” – when you’re in the “flow zone,” all other thoughts, distractions and anxieties are gone and you’re delighting in and completely focused on whatever the thing is you’re doing.

But when we’re living outside our limits, these natural gifts stall out. For example, I know I’m outside my limits when I find myself sitting across from a friend and have no capacity to ask good questions or listen thoughtfully to what’s going on in her life. It might not just be that I’m tired; I might be thinking about the dozens of other things I have going on that week. I might be feeling more anxious or insecure than I normally would, more self-focused and not friend-focused. What is usually a natural skill for me becomes totally nonexistent when I’m past my limits.

These are just a few key indicators that you’re living outside of your limits. If some of what I’m saying resonates with you and you think you might be trying to stuff too much on your plate, I hope you see how much might be gained by reassessing your schedule and learning to say no. When you live within the natural limits God has set for you, the relationships that are most important to you have a chance of thriving, you can better utilize the gifts you were born with, and you’ll have more time for the things that God created you to find joy and life in.

SEE ALSO: 3 Ways to Overcome the Fear of Missing Out

How do you know when you’re past your limits? How do you reclaim time for the things that matter most? Share in the comments section!

Kelly Givens is the editor of iBelieve.com.

Kai, stop bringing up such a senseless topic. How can you be raising such a sensitive political matter at a palm wine joint? And please, stop denigrating baba by likening him to your failed Jonathan. Jonathan failed all of us and that is why we all voted him out, including you. You were part of the change. Sai baba! Baba for life! Baba and Chelsea are the same. I love baba just as I love the blues. We will vote him again in 2019 if he agrees to run. Sai baba. Why are you laughing now? Does this sound funny? I have my dagger here to finish your life fa!

Sorry, I wasn’t laughing. But why are you this ferocious? Does viciousness run in your blood or is it because you are from… Where are you really from sef? Anyways, it doesn’t really matter. I hear most of your people are like this. You must not talk about their pinup even when they are being roasted by the same obsession.

Grammar…but who told you baba is roasting us? Are we chickens? Besides, your people are more violent than my people. I hear sound of bombs and grenades coming from there every now and then. They are claiming they own the entire country. Is it not only Boko boys that are troubling my people? Have you ever heard of kidnapping and militancy around my area? Take your time please! Sai baba!

I can’t just control this laughter but in a rancorous manner. Did I hear you say sai baba again? Well, I remember how it was activated. We all started with the stimulation of ‘sai baba,’ but at the middle of last year, some people started chorusing ‘why baba’. I have heard ‘chie’ baba from a few people and very soon, it will be ‘haba baba.’

Shut your ‘moronic’ and odious mouth. Buhari can never end up like Jonathan. Forget about what PDP is saying. They are trying everything possible to sabotage his government. I will continue to support baba, even if…

Even if what? Baba has failed us; he has even failed the group he used in removing Jonathan. I mean…ennnnn. What’s the name of the group again? This Oby Ezekwesili’s group, I mean that Aisha Yesufu’s group.

You mean BBOG?

Exactly! Can’t you see that they are now asking baba to be cautious, if not he will end up like Jonathan? In fact, they are like cat and dog now, and baba does not want to see them. I wonder why he is doing that, even when they staked everything for him and helped him win the election.

What did they stake for him? Are you daft? Did you ask why they formed the group? It was for appointment, but since baba only considered one of them, the rest are now angry. Could he have appointed all of them as Ministers? It’s not fair. Do they think baba is too old that he can’t decipher blue from white?

But he used them? Why is he now refusing to dine with them?

Because they are making impossible demands. They are asking baba to rescue the abducted Chibok girls. Is that not suicidal, I mean cheerless? How can you ask our President to go to the Sambisa forest to liberate those girls? I pity the security forces in the forest because it’s an awkward task. No government can rescue those girls. The forest is a noxious zone. After all, your Jonathan said the abduction was a facade’ so why troubling my baba?

Gbam! You don dey speak oyibo now. But baba said he was coming to rescue those girls or has he now agreed that there were no such girls?

Baba is also a politician. Baba is not just a military man. A politician capitalizes on every little opportunity to triumph over his challenger. At least, he got our votes with the sentiments of that abduction. Whether true or false, baba has won the election and now he is our President. He used the group wellaaaa.

Tufiakwa! He is not my President. I wish Jonathan won. I regret everything today. The sleepless night, the argument at newspapers stands, the social media campaigns and everything. I think I betrayed my people who would have preferred Jonathan to continue.

Jonathan would have killed this country.

So what has your Buhari done to this country so far? Revived it? Name one thing that your baba has done positively?

Okay wait…he has decimated Boko Haram.

How?

Don’t you read papers and press releases? Do you know why SK Usman always uses ‘remnant’ when he is issuing a press statement on Boko boys?

Talk is cheap!

Be serious my friend. The era of Boko Haram is over.

How can you say that? Where then are the abducted Chibok girls? Where is Shekau? Is he now dead for the third time?

You see, you don’t read. Shekau is a title. They have killed two title holders. One was recently wounded on the arm.

That sounds very funny. So we can say Shekau, the Emir of Sambisa. How many of the dead bodies have they recovered? How did the military know he was injured in the last raid? If they could be specific about the nature of the injury he sustained in the raid, then why didn’t they capture him or are they turning Sambisa to Boko Haram forest reserve? Very soon, the military will tell us the name of the hospital Shekau was taken to, and mention even the name of the doctor handling his case. Abeg, don’t let me derail from the topic. All I know is that baba has done nothing. He is living on his past glory.

Thunder fire you! Will you stop this nonsense?

No! The nonsense makes sense.

No sense. Jonathan finished our economy before baba took over.

But baba said he was coming to change things. Was he coming to lay blames? He studied the economy and said there was need for change. Now people are already saying we need to change the change. And I’m wondering what he has changed so far?

So many things.

Like wounding Shekau in the arm? Like promising that we will soon be out of recession? Like taking pump price of fuel to N145. Like promising that price of rice will soon fall from the current N20,000. Like completing the Abuja- Kaduna rail project Jona started? Honestly, he has tried to convince us to be a little patient with him. He may end up being worse than Jonathan. If I want to juxtapose, then I will say Jonathan was the best president we didn’t give a chance.

You are mad! You call yourself a media practitioner, yet it’s only at ‘palm wine joint’ you can claim super man in politics. How many articles have you written against the government of the day or are you afraid too?

I’m not afraid of anything. What is there to be afraid of? Is this situation not even worse than prison? What’s the difference? Didn’t you see Dasuki that day? That man don chop up. At least, he has rest of mind. Ask other journalists. People have refused to give brown envelops because they are also managing to survive. Many companies are folding up. Even Dangote is wailing, so I’m no longer afraid. Even Salkida willingly handed himself over to the security forces the other day.

Nonsense! ‘Jagbajantic’ bear parlour journalism. No matter the badbelle, baba will bounce back.

I won’t take it personal with you. I will be here next week to continue the argument with you. But remember I bought a bottle for you today, so you must return same next week. This is an era of change.

Useless man! Where is the money? I’m even thinking of how to survive this weekend. I have only 500 naira left for tomorrow’s garri. You know a cup now sells for as high as 50 naira.

Call baba to epp you. After all, who him epp for this country?

Ali Adoyi is an Abuja based journalist.