Categories
Inspiration

THE BEAUTIFUL GIFT!

THE BEAUTIFUL GIFT!

This season is special to everyone, especially to Christians. The season is special for many reasons. For some, it is a time of rest while for others it is a time of gift giving and fun.

Personally, I have been blessed with a lovely nuclear and church family. That means a lot of love, cards and gifts from hundreds of people. Yet each of those gifts are individual and mean so much to the givers, and to me the receiver.

With all the beautiful gifts, which I am still in the process of opening, I realised that despite my many beautiful gifts, there is still a gift that surpassed them all and for you and I – that makes Christmas extra special.

The gift that we should always remember and use daily through the year is the gift of the son of God, Jesus. This gift gives daily and keeps on giving.

When Jesus was given to us as a Beautiful Gift, a few words were given through the angels to men.

The word says

‘Glory to God in the highest heaven and on earth peace to those on whom His favour rests’ Luke 2:14

Jesus as a gift gave us and still gives us peace. Peace is one of the best things a man or woman can ever have. Irrespective of how successful you seem, if you have no peace the seeming success is useless.

Peace is a beautiful gift which however can only be given by God. A solid relationship with Him brings you genuine and lasting peace – so pursue one and enjoy not only this season; but your life as well.

Merry Christmas!

 

PB

Categories
Leadership

I BLAME YOU!

I BLAME YOU!

United Kingdom for the second time in three years had to go to the election polls on the 12th December 2019 and some unsettling situations happened which taught me a lot of lessons. I will like to share one of such lesson with you today.

A lot of upset happened during the election results announcement, mainly because some traditional behaviours were changed. Areas that used to vote for a certain party changed their pattern and voted for another. The above led to over 100 Members of Parliament (MPs) losing their seats.

Amongst many things, losing a seat means losing a well-paid job for the MP. They earn in excess of £70k per annum. The loss of seat therefore, though political, was also personal. A lot of those who lost their seats were terribly upset and resorted to ‘Blame game’ and ‘Finger pointing.’

The finger pointing from MPs was towards the opposition party leader; who partially took responsibility for the loss of seats of his team and then blamed the press for how he was projected during the campaign. So, the blame was passed by the leader to another ‘person’ or organisation.

Blame is a sad but real attitude that many have whenever we are thinking of the things that haven’t gone right in our lives and it didn’t start from the MPs, the opposition leader or yourself; it started in the Garden of Eden. It is part of human nature and something you need to fight against if you plan to take move forward successfully in life.

The first family when they sinned blamed others; Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent…I guess if the serpent was allowed to speak, it probably would have blamed God (Genesis 3:12-13)!

However, the bible urges us not to blame or judge but to take responsibility and adjust accordingly. See the scripture for the day:

‘Therefore, you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges (blames). For in passing judgement (blame) on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.’ Romans 2:1

When you review your life or actions this year, do not be quick to pass the blame of non-achievements on to others, but take personal responsibility for events in and around your life. Ask yourself the candid question of; where did it go wrong? What did I not do right and how can it be changed in future for a better result?

The blame game is a pointless game so do not engage in it.

God is on your side!

PB

Categories
Inspiration

I HAVE NO CLOSE FRIENDS!

I HAVE NO CLOSE FRIENDS!

I heard the interview of a gentleman with an interesting story this week. I am certain you will learn from this story.

The gentleman by the name of Mark Gaisford did an interview where he mentioned that though he was a married man with two grown up children and loads of work colleagues who he sees regularly on Monday to Friday; he discovered that he had no friends. Marks wife works away most weekends and he realised that despite a supposedly busy professional life and the trappings of life which he had and for which most people would deem him one of the luckiest people on earth, he had no friends.

According to Mark, he had no mates to call and go to activities and other social outings with. He realised that he got more and more miserable about his state and decided to do something about the ‘No Friends’ issue. This situation got this gentleman to start thinking of what statistics say about middle aged men and friendship. YouGov poll of September 2019 showed that one out of every five men has no close friends; that is twice the number in women. Which means that one in every 10 ladies don’t have close friends either. The charity, Age UK said the problem has gone considerably worse in the last decade with 50% more men admitting to feeling lonely.

The statistics seem shocking, particularly now where social media seems to give the opportunity to reconnect with old friends and make it easier to communicate. It is however becoming more evident that; social media is not particularly helping when it comes to the issue of developing genuine friendship. Developing that close heart to heart; brother to brother or sister to sister connection is now becoming more and more of a challenge for most. How can a man with over 1000 friends on Facebook and loads of following on Instagram and twitter be lonely? It is ever so easy because there aren’t deep and genuine connections built between people.

Let me then address a couple of our assumptions. Some of us assume that as a Christian that belongs to a church family where you are an involved part of the congregation, your experience might be different. And others think that loneliness will not apply if one comes from an Afro-Caribbean background where there seems to be a stronger sense of culture and community (that’s debatable these days). The assumptions are not always right and being part of these communities does not particularly guarantee lack of loneliness or building genuine friendships.

Building genuine friendship is important, Jesus had close friends and the word of God recognises the need for a close friend and the counsel of such.

The bible says

‘The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.’ Proverbs 27:9

One very interesting thing I learnt from Mark was that he did not just identify his problem and sit in a corner feeling sorry for himself nor did he wait for someone else to solve the problem for him. He decided to join a local group then went to his local pub where he has now started the process of building genuine friendship. Maybe your case isn’t as extreme as that, but you need to decide to build real Godly friendships.

Real friendships are developed intentionally and over time. A true Godly friend is the one you can call at any time, spend valuable time with, speak your heart to, listen genuinely to and get Godly counsel from. They are worthwhile gems to search for and invest in.

Make it a goal and work on developing real friendships in 2020.  (I have got a little cautious advise here though …be mindful of whom you choose to develop friendship with. Ensure they can add value to you and help you get better in your own walk with God and as a person) No negative influence please!

God is on your side!

 

PB

Categories
Inspiration

WHAT WILL YOU DO?

WHAT WILL YOU DO?

A couple were interviewed earlier this week based on the work they do and the impact they are making in their immediate society. I was fascinated with this couple and learnt a lot from them – which I thought to share with you.

This couple, Pete & Sarah Portal are based in Johannesburg in South Africa. They open their home for rehabilitation and discipleship programme for young men and women who have been rescued from drugs and gangs from the streets. The programme they set up is designed to show love and teach Christ to these group.

A few of the ex gang members were interviewed and they said they knew that if they had not been rescued and shown love by this couple, they could have died due to overdose or gang shooting activities. It wasn’t however just the discipleship programme that drew them near but the love shown them which they mentioned they had never experienced before.

The gentleman, Pete was asked if all the people just start walking on the straight and narrow after joining their programme; but he said some do relapse and go back into their old habits, but the couple leave their doors open for them to come back and join the family as well as get welcome back with love.

While being interviewed, the wife said ‘love indeed is an action that anyone will respond to, no matter how low their lives have degenerated.’

Love is indeed a powerful tool and Jesus used it to draw many to Himself. It overcomes every form of negativity and sets people up for higher and better lives if we allow God use us to show love to the people around us.

Gods word says

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8

The love this couple have for the people around them totally overshadows the weaknesses and errors of these gentlemen and ladies. The powerful tool of love indeed is capable of transforming any society or group if we allow ourselves to be used by God to reach the people around us.

You and I have got this tool called Love and just like Pete and Sarah Portal are using the tool, we can change lives. What will you do with yours today?

God is on your side!

PB