Monthly Archives: March 2013

The King’s Mother

A heavy silence – a potent concoction of the depths of evil and the
inevitability of what is about to take place – the reality of what needs to
be done to save mankind.

Hope will be restored, sickness cured, love given life, and the sting of
death removed forever.

But at what cost?

“There’s no escaping this mother.

It must be done.”

“But why you?

Why my son???

Haven’t you done enough?!!”

“Mother..”

” Is this some kind of sick joke???

What did I do to deserve this?

To watch my son be put to death?!!”

He smiles at her.

His is a gentle smile of affection, understanding, and such compassion.

But there is more to this particular smile; more meaning – as though there
is far more to His impending ordeal than just being put to death.

The undercurrents of the smile do not go unnoticed.

“What….what is it? There’s more isn’t there?!! There’s more to this than
you’re telling me.

What….what exactly are they about to do to you?”

“Mother….I…I’m not sure you want to hear this.”

“Tell me…tell me now,” she says, as a well of emotion seizes her entire
body – floods of tears streaming out of her tender eyes.

Jesus looks at his mother – intently this time.

He now sees something in her that he hasn’t noticed before – a strength of
mind and purpose.

When the time comes she will be a source of strength.

Better to tell her everything now, so as to strengthen her resolve for what
is to come.

“Mother, you are most blessed among all women. For you are the mother of the
Son of the living God.

But you are about to see things that will push you to the very depths of
despair.

“See what my son? See what?”

“I shall be whipped in public – over 600 lashes. I will be ridiculed,
abused, laughed at, spat at, and beaten, even as I carry the weight of the
world on my shoulders.”

“Wh…what do you mean the weight of the world?”

“Remember mother…I came so that you will have life.

I must die for all the sins of the world, so that mankind is reconciled to
my father – He who sent me.

I must do His will.

They will torture me – physically, mentally, and emotionally.

They will make me carry a heavy plank of wood for many miles – beating and
abusing me along the way.

Then they will crucify me on a wooden cross and leave me there until my last
breath.”

“No son..,no..you don’t have to do this.

Why not flee now?

Flee so that you can escape this evil!!

I will find you.

Go!

Go my son!”

“I can’t mother.

I must do my father’s will.

It is why I am here.

It is the only way.”

His reply does not surprise her.

She knows her son.

A man of dignity and honour.

A man that always does exactly as He says he will.

A man who has always known His destiny and purpose, and never for one second
shied away from it.

Silence reigns, as Mary allows all that is to come to fully sink in.

The tears begin to subside – gradually replaced by a renewed strength and
vigour.

She knows her son will not run from His mission.

She also knows that when the time comes she will have to be strong – for His
sake.

She will be with Him every step of the way.

Thank you Mother.

“For what?”

“For being you.”

His mother has finally accepted His fate, and will be a source of strength
in His time of need.

“Get up! Get up King of kings!

Or do you want me to bow to you first???” mocks the soldier.

He had fallen to the ground again – His strength waning.

Skin parched by the scorching heat of the sun – a vicious thirst obstructing
his breathing.

As he lay on the floor, the plank still weighing heavily on His shoulders,
sand in His eyes and mouth, ridicule and abuse all around Him, He sees His
mother.

Despite being in the midst of chaos, as those around her hurl insult after
insult at her son, she is a vision of calm and surety.

No more tears

She finally understands what her son is doing for the sake of mankind – even
those that are presently leading Him to His death.

His eyes remain fixed on hers – as though drawing strength from them.

Though the final stage of His journey to Golgotha will be no less painful,
He is strengthened in the knowledge of His mother’s presence.

Yes, of course His real strength comes from His father in heaven. But His
mother is also playing her part – by His side in this momentous hour.

As the sun goes down only a few remain – Mother, son, and a lone soldier.

Despite the fact his comrades have long gone, this soldier remains.

He relents in his inquisitive gaze at the man on the cross – eventually
kneeling down before Him as it dawns on him that this is no ordinary man.

As he kneels down he observes the woman on his left. The one he now knows to
be the mother of the Son of God – his eyes pleading for her forgiveness.

“What have we done?!! What have we done?!!” he mutters to himself.

Mary looks at him and smiles – a smile of love and forgiveness.

Although he has played his own devilish role in the brutal murder of her
son, she is not angry.

She is thankful that he and his comrades have played their part in what must
surely have been ordained a long long time ago.

©Segun Akande

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What Women Want

Thanks so much to those of you that answered the questions posed to you a few days ago.

Men

What do you want most from life?

What do you want from a woman – character wise?

Women

What do you want most from life?

What do you want from a man – character wise?

Before going any further I want to say something to you women.

“You Are Absolutely Fantastic!!!!”

Especially those on my bb. Your swift and detailed responses were superb!!

Just one question ladies

“Why did the majority of you start your answers with lol???”

Below are the results of my mini survey.

What women want most in life 

Happiness – 70%

Success in Business – 50%

Fulfilling purpose – 50%

What women want from men

Fear of God – 90%

Honesty – 80%

Drive and determination – 70%

Men

What Men want most from life

Peace – 80%

Happy Family – 30%

Fulfilling purpose – 30%

What men want most from women

Friendship – 70%

Make them a better person – 60%

Honesty – 60%

Let’s start with our adorable women.

Yep – I love you ladies. You’re all troopers!!

Happiness

I often wonder where true happiness comes from – on what or whom it depends on.

About a year and a half ago I asked myself the following question.

“Segs, what makes you happy?”

The answer was actually fairly simple – tennis, children, God, work, watching films – either cinema or dvds (I just love my series’!!!!), adventure holidays, family and friends – not necessarily in that order.

Though fairly straight forward I was surprised by how the simple things in life seem to be what make me happy. It revealed to me that many of the things that I was doing, or attempting to do in order to find excitement or happiness were a pointless exercise.

And there’s the rub.

Many of us spend so much time doing what everyone else is doing because we think that is what will make us happy. But in reality what will make you happy is most likely very different to what makes others happy. In other words we are all intrisically different – in  character and in DNA.

So stop doing things, or attempting to do things just because others are doing them.

If the world says that what makes you happy is boring then so be it!

Tell the world to take a hike. 

And don’t make the mistake of depending on other people to make you happy. That is both a futile and unfair burden on those around you.

It is interesting that most of us say ‘happiness’ and ‘purpose’ in the same breath.

The two are linked.

Once you know your purpose in life and start to walk in it, you will ultimately feel a lot happier about life – even in challenging times.
Nope. This is not an article about purpose so that’s enough on that point.

Just remember – happiness is very strongly linked to walking in your purpose.

Let’s proceed

“Let love and faithfulness never leave you, bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart”

Proverbs 3 vs 3

“Now I want you to realise that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.”

1st Corinthians 11 vs 3

A man’s biggest responsibility in life is to his God; to love and serve His God with all his heart, stength, and mind.

In other words to love Him faithfully – no matter what.

The man’s greatest mission in life is to fulfill the purpose that God set out for him.

Please note – God is perfect in love and therefore understands that women need to be loved.

Indeed He expects nothing less from the man – to love his partner.

“Husbands, love your wives”

The woman’s greatest mission is to be her husband’s helper.

“The Lord God said, “it is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

Genesis

Note ladies – a helper ‘suitable’ for him – to help him fulfill his God given purpose.

Note chaps – “suitable for him”.

So when chosing a partner, ask yourself this question.

“Will this beautiful lady help me fulfill God’s purpose for me?”

If the answer is no then gird your loins (literally), take a bow, make your apologies, and leg it!

And ladies, when deciding whether or not to date a guy, ask him what he believes his purpose is.

Yep – ASK HIM NOW.

Who cares whether or not it’s too soon. You don’t have time to waste. Better to find out nice and early so that you both don’t waste each other’s time.

If he doesn’t know where he’s going then scarper.

If he does know where he’s going, but you’re not even vaguely interested in going there then scarper.

If he knows where he’s going and you believe in his mission and want to help him get there then he’s your guy.

What’s that saying?! You can tell a man / woman by his or her friends??

Hence the reason friendship comes up high on the list!!!!

Genesis 2 vs 18

Now this is where the challenge begins.

We live in an age in which women want to be equal to men – equal in power, equal in money, equal in influence, and equal in authority.

As much as I love the thought of this, it simply cannot work.

Please DO NOT misunderstand me.

I am not saying that women should be muppets for men to tread all over. I’m also not saying that women shouldn’t work or aspire to do great things.

Certainly not!!!

Remember – “husbands, love your wives” – listen to, take care of, respect their opinions and protect etc.

But so long as women embrace this new found liberation and equality which the world, aptly aided by the media, is feeding them, then relationships will continue to be fundamentally challenged.

Why?

Because most men want peace – peace of mind.

Peace of mind to follow their purpose – no matter what, and to be rest assured that their partner will support and help them – no matter what.

For a man to flourish – to fully focus and succeed in obeying and serving – oops!! – let me put this another way – –  for the man to fully succeed in this “fear of God” desire that ladies so desparately crave, he must be allowed to walk in His purpose – to obey and serve his God.

Ladies – you cannot desire or expect the man to ‘fear his God’ and at the same time challenge every decision he makes! If you do so, and he changes or dilutes his course then who is he actually fearing – God or you??

Remember ladies – you also want a man who is driven.

Am I making sense??

I really hope so.

I’m trying I’m trying!!!

Finally, men please take note – ladies want a man who ‘fears God’ and who is ‘driven’.
 
In other words a man who is determined to succeed in fulfilling his purpose.

The moment you start to dilute your course is the moment your partner starts to feel insecure and unsure.

So as my dear friend Dejoooo quite correctly stated, consistency is absolutely key.

Another dear friend of mine succinctly put it this way,

“We are gradually doing away with old fashioned values.”

I couldn’t agree more.

These old fashioned values that we are doing away with are the necessary ingredients to peace, unity and happiness in relationships.

The interesting thing is that we all know what we want; and deep down – beneath all the garbage that the world’s media has fed us, lies a deep and sincere desire for those very things that God placed in our hearts when He first created us.

This article really didn’t pan out the way it was supposed to.

It was supposed to be a funny article.

When I woke up at 2.30am (yep – finally realised that there’s a reason why I wake up in the middle of the night. Lol) and started writing what I thought would be a fun filled message I was shockingly led in a completely different direction.

I guess God had other ideas all along. Lol

It’s 5am in the morning.

I pray I’ve made sense.

Hopefully I can sleep now.

Tata.

©Segun Akande

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The Two Princes

Attending public events had its’ pluses and minuses. On the one hand they presented an opportunity to convey how well he was doing – the money, the power, the adulation, and the glory.

In a 3rd world country such as the Republic of Granaria, where money rules, it’s fairly easy to dazzle the public.

Granaria’s citizens – both rich and poor – are easily impressed with displays of power and wealth.

On the other hand there were times when Ethan would rather be doing something else – especially on weekends.

Still, no point dwelling on things.

Another moment of public adulation had presented itself.

He may as well enjoy it.

“Has the event actually begun?” he asked his assistant as they approached the venue.

“Yes sir, it started a few minutes ago.”

“Good stuff.”

His assistant smiled.

She knew what he meant by those words.

Although he had never spelt it out she knew the man she worked for well enough to understand that he enjoyed grand entries – arriving late – for all to see – being announced on his arrival as he takes his seat.

Not that she feels the same.

But she understands why her boss enjoys it.

He had risen from humble beginnings; risen to the very top – now the Group Managing Director of the nation’s second largest bank – Soveriegn Bank.

The press had been informed of his imminent arrival and had positioned themselves at the main entrance of the Exhibition Centre.

As his motorcade arrives, escorts and all, a mini stampede begins as press photographers jostle for the best position – the best angle – the best picture.

He alights from his car to proceed towards the main hall, enjoying another red carpet moment – the ‘sirs’, the courtsies, the bows, the pictures.

Not that he allows himself to be seen to enjoy it.

Not at all.

As usual he assumes an air of indifference.

“Hey look, that’s Ethan Mogambi, Group Managing Director of Soveriegn Bank,” says one of the guests in the hall, as Ethan makes his grand entrance.

“Wow! All the big boys and girls really are here today,” replies his friend.

“Is Gibson here?”

“Who?”

“Gibson Clarke, Group Managing Director of ALL Africa Bank.”

“Oh, ok…yea I think he’s here somehwere. But what’s the big deal about Clarke? He’s not one of the big boys, and certainly isn’t interesting.”

“Are you being serious???? All Africa Bank is the country’s largest bank! Besides the president himself Clarke is probably the most powerful man in the Republic.

His bank has five times as many customers as any other bank in the whole of West Africa.”

“Why do people like his bank so much?”

“You don’t have an account with All Africa Bank????”

“Nope. Why should I?”

“Mate, you haven’t lived. All Africa has the best customer service you can possibly imagine. Being attended to by them is as though one is being served caviar in a five star hotel.

The attention to detail, the display of love and care, the courtesy, the constant smiling. They never behave as though they are doing you a favour.

No airs and graces.

Just a complete focus on meeting your needs.

It’s like they understand us – like they know exactly what we want – what we need – getting things done as quickly and as smoothly as possible, and being treated well whilst doing it.”

“Sounds like I should open an account with them.”

“I can’t believe you don’t have an All Africa account. Who do you bank with?”

“Oh, me?! Soveriegn Bank ofcourse,” he replied with great pride – pride in the fact that he banked with Ethan Mogambi’s bank.”

“What’s their service like?”

“The service is really….em….it’s really….come to think of it the service is quite awful.”

“How do you mean?”

“The queues in the banking hall are slow and often chaotic, and the staff are seriously arrogant. In-fact they actually DO behave as though they’re doing you a favour.

They hardly even look at you when talking to you, let alone pay any kind of attention to detail. To be honest, now I think about it, they are blatantly arrogant.”

“Wow! That doesn’t sound too good. So why do you stay with them?”

“I…I really don’t know. Never thought about it until now. I …I ….think I basically fell for all the hype – the razmataz – Ethan Mogambi and all.

You know what?!! I’ve just realised that the attitude of Soveriegn’s staff may actually stem from being trapped inside their own hype.
 
Their service is so poor. They just don’t seem to care about us. It’s like we’re lucky to have an account with them or something!”

On the far side of the hall is a table of men and women in blue and yellow T shirts. They are in deep discussion as they assess something on an Ipad.

“Nope, can’t say I fully like this Charles.”

“Why’s that Gibson?”

“The car park is too small, and way too far away from the banking hall. We can’t have our customers being inconvenienced in such a way. We’ve got to do everything we can to ensure that we make life easy for our customers. They are what matters most.”

Gibson surveys the faces around the table, looking for signs of their understanding of the point he has just made.

The expressions on his colleagues’ faces do not convince him.

They haven’t got it.

He proceeds to emphasise his point.

“Six years ago, just a few weeks before I was formally asked to join All Africa Bank, I went to the head office of MVB (the cable tv provider).

Not out of curiousity, and certainly not by choice, but out of necessity. I needed to renew my subscription.  There was nobody else at home so I had to go and do it myself.

I was horrified by the state of their customer service centre.

The payment centre was dark, smelly, and to make matters worse totally chaotic.

I remember feeling disgusted.

Disgusted that this foreign firm that had been given free reign to monopolise our country’s television satellite provision, was displaying such blatant contempt for its’ customers – the nation’s citizens – you and I.

The state of that place conveyed scant respect or care for any of us.

I decided there and then that my number one focus during my tenure as Group Managing Director of All Africa Bank will be the customer – making life convenient for our customers.”

“Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, before proceeding any further with this evening’s proceedings, we want to recognise the presence of two princes of the world’s financial markets – Ethan Mogambi, Group Managing Director of Soveriegn Bank, and Gibson Clarke – Group Managing Director of All Africa Bank.”

The audiance cheers – Ethan revels in the attention – Gibson appreciates.

The evening’s proceedings move along swiftly.

The event ends early enough for Gibson to ask his team to take a quick trip to the bank’s new site – the new head quarters.

He still isn’t satisfied that they fully appreciate his concern about the size of the customer car park, and its’ distance from the banking hall.

As they exit through the long corridor, along with the rest of the guests, they pass a big screen showing a CNN interview with Gibson Clarke.

Charles stops to watch for a few seconds.

“I have one more question for you Mr. Clarke.”

“Just one???” laughs Gibson Clarke.

The interviewer laughs along with him, before asking,

“What drives you?”

“Hmmm…you know, every single one of us – human beings – has an inate desire for power and adulation. Nobody can claim not to have this desire embedded in them somewhere.

But the biggest gift, and indeed the greatest power of all is one’s ability to serve others – one’s ability to make life better for those around him.

That’s what drives me.

Making life better for others.”

Charles nods his head in agreement, smiles, and continues walking.

He now appreciates his boss’s concern about the size and location of the bank’s customer car park.

©Segun Akande