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Inspiration

MAKE A U-TURN

MAKE A U-TURN!

‘Make A U Turn When Possible’. Our Satellite navigator tends to give us this advise ever so often and we sometimes listen to the advise, depending on how much of the route we think we know. The more we think we know the route, the more likely we are to ignore the advise. As I thought about this, I remembered the inspiring story of a young man I heard this week.

This week saw the announcement of the winner of the Princes Trust Award, Hezron Brown. He won the award because he overcame a life of crime and homelessness to help steer thousands of young people away from gangs and violence

His story goes: when Hezron was five, he fell into a bath of boiling hot water. The right side of his body was severely burned and, despite months of skin grafts in Birmingham Children’s Hospital, he was still badly scarred. It led to bullying from other children and Hezron resorted to violence as a coping mechanism. His violence led to him being expelled from schools and thrown out by his mum at the age of 13 and eventually he joined a gang.

He recalls: “I knew gang culture was wrong but I had been on my own for so long, it was like a family to me. I’ve had guys try to stab me, guns to my head but it wasn’t until I was looking at up to 10 years in prison that I realised I needed to get out.” Facing a long sentence for robbery, Hezron, now 29, was given a second chance by the judge, who did not jail him. He left court determined to change his life. He went back into education and enrolled in as many courses as he could. He chose to make a u-turn when he was ready for a change.

A friend directed him towards The Prince’s Trust Get Started with Theatre, a week-long programme at Birmingham Rep. After impressing bosses with his attitude and work ethic, he was offered a job at the theatre when the course finished. With his own life back on track, he turned his attention to helping others. Over the past seven years he has told his story to thousands of youngsters to help steer them away from gangs, drugs and violence.

The change that happened in this gentleman’s life was a decision he made when he was ready to make a u-turn. There was so much awaiting him with regards to the exposure he had after his change as well as the lives he impacted. None of them however was going to come if he did not make the decision to have a turn around. The bible says;

“To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God. That they my receive forgiveness of sins and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me” Acts 26:18

Turning around or making a u-turn opens up so many opportunities. As in the above scripture, it helps to turn from darkness to light and also from the power of the enemy to the power of God. Finally, so the persons turning around can receive forgiveness of sin and then their inheritance.

Hezron had so much great exposure ahead of him, also an opportunity to help any youth and a reward of meeting Royalty, but none of those could have happened without a turn around. Looking at the story of this gentleman and what awaits you if you will turn around, I will advise giving full attention to today’s write up and take action accordingly because God is on your side!

PB 

Categories
Inspiration

LET GOD USE IT!

LET GOD USE IT!

A few months ago, we had a young lady come to work with us in the office as an intern. As it was my practise, I had my music on and was singing along ever so noisily as I worked. I noticed she had a smile on her face and I thought it was only fair for me to ask her if she was ok with me singing so loudly along. Her response surprised me and also pointed my attention to the lesson today.

She said, ‘oh please don’t stop, definitely sing all you like. In actual fact, I love that artist as he sounds so cute when he sings because of his lisp.’ Ok! What lisp I said, I had never heard any lisp and I play the song almost daily! She said, she has the gentleman’s music playing in her car and he surely has a lisp. I let the discussion go, but felt as if she was making it up, as I tried to listen for and didn’t hear any lisp afterwards.

Following on from that experience was the visit of another lady a couple of weeks later, who came to see me in the office and said exactly the same thing. At this point, I had to ask her to identify exactly where the lisp was in the gentleman’s song (s). She played the same song I had on from her phone and I heard it loud and clear. He surely had a lisp and the lady in question mentioned the fact that she loved to listen to his songs much more so because of that as he sounds genuine and not doctored.

Now, a lisp is considered a form of speech defect and I can imagine how much stress the parents and this artist himself would have gone through when he was younger. The thought of managing what is considered a possible speech defect alongside a gift of singing seems hard. Supposing he chose not to embrace his gift and calling to sing publicly because he thinks he has a defect and would not be able to pronounce some words properly? He would have not reached millions of people around the world with his amazing songs and ministry which is global and I am certain gets sung in numerous churches globally every sunday.

Many of us will shy away from using a gift when we think it will put emphasis or focus on areas where we think we are weak or not good enough. It’s amazing to note that God uses the things we think are inadequate to show forth His glory. God’s word says;

‘God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong’ 1 Corth 1:27

Never allow your limitations become a barrier for you expressing all that God has put inside of you. God who made you knows who you are and your capacity and He can use anything as long as we present it to Him, allowing Him to take total control and glory. He will use you and the weakness for His own good; so allow Him.

Btw: lets have a little quiz…which artist do you think I am referring to? Have you heard the lisp yourself? Send me your thought/guess.

God is on your side!

PB

Categories
Inspiration

MAKE YOUR MARK!

MAKE YOUR MARK!

Within the last two months, both Princes Harry and William as well as their spouses have gone on some royal trips that have been well publicised in the media. Whether you’re a royal watcher or someone with no interest in the royal family, I am certain you’ll learn a thing or two from this message today.

The most remarkable thing I noticed however in the last two trips these gentleman have taken was the clear comparison with the trips that their mum made over two decades ago. Many of the people they met, places they went seemed like a replay of the visits their mum made in the past. I actually heard a few of the commentators from the media houses stating that the gentlemen were walking the path their mum did and one mentioned the fact that no one can have a bigger impact on the town than what princess Diana had on her visit over two decades ago.

Though these gentlemen have a large pair of shoes to fill, they never shied away but went ahead to do their bit in making a mark in the same places but in their own way. At the end of each trip, the people who had repeatedly said they were totally taken by the mum and couldn’t see how anyone else could do any better, came back to talk more about how these gentlemen made a mark each in their own way.

Making a mark in a place where the audience has already made up their mind on how to accept whatever you want to offer before you come can be very hard, but it is important to note that we all have our own individual gifts and personality to show anywhere we go, leading to us making our own unique impression and achieving results in our own way. We however must be determined to push ahead to make our own mark.

God’s word in encouraging us to make our mark in our world says

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good works and glorify your father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16

The thought of making a positive impact in a big world with so many complex issues can be overwhelming, but there surely are so many things you can do personally to make a big change in the life of one person.

You can make a mark if you choose to and when you do that, you will influence and change someone’s life for good forever. Never shy away from an opportunity to make a mark in someone’s life or in a place daily as it brings in great reward.

God is on your side!

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Inspiration

DO NOT COPY!

DO NOT COPY!

Eddie and I went away to spend time together to celebrate our wedding anniversary, while reading what the hotel we stayed had to offer, we realised that they had a bicycle club. That was fascinating, so on one of the days, we decided to go get the bicycles and ride round the hotel. It was interesting but I learnt a lesson from it which I want to share with you today.

The area where the hotel we were staying in is quite hilly and as I have not ridden a bicycle consistently for over 3 decades, I decided to take it easy and enjoy the ride on the level platforms only. I started out there and then Eddie ‘encouraged’ or ‘lured’ me – I prefer the second word on this occasion! He went on and kept asking me to come along as we rode down into a steep valley. I felt as if I was going beyond my comfort zone, but also didn’t want to be left behind, so I did it. Going down wasn’t too much of a problem, then came the journey back up the hill and that’s where drama erupted. As we were pushing the bikes up with a lot of effort, I decided to look up and saw that Eddie stood up while pedalling. I felt that assisted him in his ride  – he looked like he had it easier and then I decided to copy him. 

As you probably would have guessed by now, as I stood up and pedalled a bit, off went the bike and I; one fell on the other and I was on the ground, twisted into the bike. It was painful, yet funny. I didn’t laugh as I was in pain and bruised, and needed to get out from under the bike. I called Eddie to the rescue and after he extracted me from the bike, I told him it was all his fault as I copied him (lol). Well, I got back on and rode the bike back to bay, not without pain and my bruised knee still hurts now. But I’ve learnt a valuable lesson I want to share with you today and that is – Do not copy others. Even God said so – though in a different context.

God’s word says;

‘Do not copy the behaviour and customs of others, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.’ Romans 12:2 NLT 

Why shouldn’t we copy others? Because our destinies differ and we must learn to look to God for what His blueprint for our lives are and then follow them, rather than following that which has been planned for someone else.

Copying can sound and look so easy, but it’s never the best way to live life. It ends up leading to painful falls you don’t need in your life. (As I can show you now…)

Focus on your journey, your path and your goal, let God show you the best way for you to take and then pursue it. You will surely arrive without delays, drama or dissatisfaction. 

God is on your side! 

PB 

Categories
Inspiration

SIMPLY THE BEST!

SIMPLY THE BEST!

Earlier on this week, I read the news that Justin Bieber decided to marry his wife again after one year! Whether you like Justin Bieber or not, or whether you think it is too soon to do a wedding renewal or not; I think it’s a great thing to stay grateful and appreciative of great things in your life – irrespective of what the world around us thinks or how such can be trivialised. 

This week marks 26 years since I said ‘I do’ to the most amazing, considerate, loving and stylish husband ever – He is simply the best! Eddie and I met in our penultimate year in uni and became very good friends as well as prayer partners. Over the years, Eddie has shown leadership and love; and created many laughing moments in my marriage. For all this and for Eddie himself as a person, I am deeply grateful to God.

I remember Eddie saying to me as far back then that he will take care of me. I literally saw that displayed on a day when we were still students. It was during the examination period and there were so many students in the library and that meant there was nowhere to sit in the library. As Eddie and I got into studying while standing, I got exhausted and needed a seat. There was no option, but to decide to leave the library and go home. Eddie at that point said, don’t worry, I’ll get you a seat. I remember thinking, “how does he plan to do that?”. The next thing, he looked at a seat and said, that gentleman will soon stand up for you. Shockingly, after a couple of minutes, the gentleman sitting on it just stood up to leave and vacated the seat. 

I was surprised but took the seat. I asked him what happened and he informed me that, he prayed! Wow, I was well impressed and even more so when we continued with our study time, I saw the same gentleman who left his seat come back looking for a seat. That was shocking to me and made me know that indeed this Eddie had a direct line to God!! But much more important was the fact that God who brought us together will always provide for us. It was really reassuring to see God show Himself faithful in our lives as far back as that time. That was over 30 years ago! And God is still faithful and showing Himself as such in our lives today.

I will like to use this little story to encourage you that God’s word of assurance about my life and yours gives us something to rest on. Isaiah 46:4 says;

‘I am your God and will take care of you until you are old, and your hair is grey. I made you and will care for you. I will give you help and rescue you.’

God is capable of taking care of you. My advise to you will be to rest in Him totally, allowing Him to make the choices for you, knowing fully well that at the end of the day, with Him everything will be all right.

Over the last three decades, I have enjoyed God’s help and goodness as He blessed me with a man that loves and knows the Lord; not only that, he also cares for me and shows it in the little as well as the big things of life. That’s genuinely why I say he’s simply the best! – so help me celebrate the gift of God in my life.

God is on your side!