Category Archives: life

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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My Dear Val

Can you remember that wonderful film ‘Love Actually’?

You already know I’m a hopeless romantic so why be surprised about my deep fondness for ‘Love Actually”?????

The scene at the airport – where it shows loved ones, be they couples, parents and their children, family members, friends – greeting one another in feverish excitement – a range of emotions – tears of joy – tears of sadness – a seemingly endless display of love in all its various forms – I JUST LOVE IT!!!

Ok…before going any further I have to confess that I’ve been struggling as to how to explain this next bit. Whether to tell you exactly the way it is, or whether to mix it a little so as not to sound weird.

I’ve decided to tell you exactly the way it is.

If you think I’m weird then so be it! I’ll still love ya!

The reason I love that scene so much is because it is something I’ve always enjoyed observing at international airports.

Ask anyone in my family and they will tell you that Segs has always enjoyed going to the airport to meet family members or friends (maybe not so much in Nigeria, as it really isn’t much fun having to wait outside!!).

Why?

Because there are few things more facinating than observing the wonderful reactions of loved ones greeting each other at airports. I’ve always found it so moving.

For years I would jump at every opportunity to go and meet a family member at Heathrow or Gatwick airport.

I always got to the airport at least two / three hours before the flight arrived so that I could observe passengers of other flights meeting their loved ones at arrival.

Each greeting told its own story – love, excitement, sadness, dread, fear, you name it – all there – plain to see.

Why on earth am I wittering on about Love Actually and airports????

Ah yes…LOVE – and its countless depictions.

Our generation seems to have allowed the media to decieve us about the true meaning of love.

Love is painted as a somewhat magical feeling of romance, excitement, physical beauty, and all manner of extravagance.

Add to the mix expensive jewelry, watches, holidays, cars, apartments and so forth, and I’m sure you’ll agree with me that love seems to have given way to ‘material gratification’.

I’m certainly not against excitement or expensive gifts. Indeed such things can be very pleasant.

But this media conjured ‘love’ that we all seem to subscribe to is simply NOT sustainable.

For many of us it certainly isn’t financially sustainable.

But more importantly, for all of us, that magical feeling of romance, excitement and passion is most definitely NOT sustainable.

Once again, I am absolutely NOT against romance and excitement.

In-fact the more the better.

I did a little research with regards to the origins of Valentine’s day.

Emperor Claudius II banned marriages because he believed that his soldiers would fight more effectively if they were single. In other words he didn’t want to have young married men who were missing their wives leading the front line. Can’t say I blame him to be honest.

However there was a priest called Valentine who believed in the importance of marriage. As such he proceeded to marry young couples in secret.

When the emperor found out he was incensed.

Valentine was imprisoned, tortured and executed.

One of the people who was supposed to judge him was a man called Asterius.
Asterius’ daughter was blind.

It is believed that during his incarceration Valentine prayed with and healed Asterius’ daughter.

This led to Asterius giving his life to Christ.

In a letter Valentine wrote to Asterius’ daughter just before he was executed, he signed it ‘from your Valentine’.

The meaning of all this?

Valentine was willing to sacrifice his life for what he believed in.

Despite his incarceration and torture he continued to love others unconditionally.

We can all learn from this.

I love this quote from a priest called Father O’Gara.

“Valentine has come to be known as the patron saint of lovers. Before you enter into a Christian marriage you want some sense of God in your life — some great need of God in your life. And we know, particularly in the modern world, many people are meeting God through his Son, Jesus Christ.”

“If Valentine were here today, he would say to married couples that there comes a time when you’re going to have to suffer. It’s not going to be easy to maintain your commitment and your vows in marriage. Don’t be surprised if the ‘gushing’ love that you have for someone changes to something less “gushing” but maybe much more mature. And the question is, is that young person ready for that?”

“So on the day of the marriage they have to take that into context. Love — human love and sexuality is wonderful, and blessed by God — but also the shadow of the cross. That’s what Valentine means to me.”

So, what exactly is ‘love’?

– Love is patient

– Love is kind

– Love does not envy

– Love does not boast

– Love is not proud

– Love is not rude

– Love is not self seeking

– Love is not easily angered

– Love keeps no record of wrongs

– Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth

-Love always protects

-Love always trusts

-Love always hopes

-Love always perseveres

1st Corinthians 13

In summary, love is everything Christ is.

Every relationship is meant to be a mirror of Christ’s love for His bride (the church – the body of Christ).

I’ve said it before, and at the continued risk of sounding like a broken record, I shall not stop saying this until things start to change.

If our churches focus more on ‘Love’ and less on the ‘me me me’ nature of how God can bless us and help us to be successful then we all stand a better chance of leading our lives in the loving and selfless manner that Christ commanded.

Isn’t it rather odd that there are so many better examples of loving and selfless people OUTSIDE of our churches?????

Indeed, contrary to the nature and design of Christianity’s message of love and forgiveness, us ‘Christians’ are actually the most unforgiving of people – world-wide!

Something isn’t quite right there!!???

Who is to blame?

We are ALL to blame.

Let’s focus less on how we can be blessed and focus more on how we can love and serve one another.

For those that went out with loved ones on Valentine’s, I hope you enjoyed every second of your night out.

For those who plan to make a whole weekend of it, please do your utmost to enjoy and cherish every blessed moment.

Romance is bliss!

Fun is awesome!

You deserve a good time!!

God is NOT boring.

He wants us to have fun.

But spend a little time reading and digesting 1st Corinthians 13.

Yep – today.

And do the same for the next one week.

Apply the love described in 1st Corinthians 13 to your relationship.

To those that were on their own I say this;

“Do not despair. Remember – ‘Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.’ ”

Be thankful for the most unconditional and secure love that any man or woman could wish for – the love of Christ.

And remain steadfast in hope.

God will give you exactly what you need.

©Segun Akande

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Loadsa Money 2

Thanks to all those that sent me their views regarding ‘Loadsa Money’.

Indeed your views and comments made me feel a little ….well….cowardly, to say the least.

It seems that once again I was a little too light on the grim reality that’s been staring us in the face for the past decade or so.

In my defense (hey! gotta defend a little bit …pleeaaase???!!);

I know where I am coming from in terms of the many mistakes and errors I’ve made in my past, and the faults and defects I continue to do battle with today. Therefore I am always very conscious of not wanting to sound too harsh or ‘holier than thou’ – in any shape or form.

But – on the prompting of many readers I feel obliged to delve a little deeper into the heart of the matter.

The question is this-

How far and how deeply has the lust for wealth seeped into every facet of society – relationships – work – church.

Here are two quotes from two readers – in response to ‘Loadsa Money’;

Quote from Tolu

“Why do you often not go to the heart of the matter? In Nigeria of today: our entire value system, personal scorecard, the respect you command in society… associations… among your peers… and in your extended family, the way you’re treated by those who don’t know you, whether you receive good service in a public place, the manner in which you’re welcomed and treated at social events, the manner in which your children are treated at school etc etc, are ALL strongly influenced by the actual (or perceived) wealth that you have! We were sold to mammon a long time ago and there’s growing inflation!!”

I must confess that I love the bluntness, and the pure but controlled rage that underlies the above quote.

Nigeria seems to be a complete contradiction of the term ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’.

In Nigeria we not only judge the book by its cover, but proceed to judge the next four generations of the book – by that same cover.

The manner in which one is treated in the market place (working environment) largely depends on the fabric of one’s suit, shirt, and tie; and for the ladies – clothes, shoes, and handbags.

Whether or not the security guard allows you to park inside largely depends on the make, model and year of your car.

A man enters a restaurant with his wife / girlfriend / mistress ( yep, no pretence here – let’s keep it real), or business partner – the door man greets the man with a respect that implies that the president himself has just arrived, and then completely ignores the woman.

Why?

Because he or she naturally assumes that the man will be paying, and hence immediately pays homage to the person he believes holds all the aces – all the wealth.

The woman in search of a boyfriend /partner / husband – introduced to a handsome, polite, and very loveable man, but loses interest as soon as she sees his 1997 two door Honda.

The man in search of a girlfriend /partner / wife – befriends a gorgeous and amiable lady but loses interest because she isn’t of the same social standing.

Yep – works both ways.

The church car park – glittering with shiny new cars – range rovers, mercs, all manner of SUVs – a true sign that God Himself visits that particular church every Sunday!

Material wealth IS the new God’s love!!!!

The prestigious front row of churches – reserved for people of affluence – people of influence – people with LOADSA MONEY.

The second quote is from my good friend Nana.

Quote

“Just read your article, and the truth is that people go to church mainly to be blessed with “wealth” – in this case solely “loadsa money” and its all in the frame of mind,homes and state of country plus the portrayal of the finer things of life right in church as the “sign” that you are a true christian…cliques in churches of the who’s who and who wants to be “who” starting from the heads of churches…..people dedicate cars and material stuff in church and no one questions how they were able to afford them…our society and generations before now put in place the loadsa money = respect trend and now people of my generation have no integrity. I am afraid I will have kids who will be governed by thieves and live in a society morally stripped …I can go on but what good will it do?? The world is deaf!”

During a chat with some young (much younger) female colleagues at work earlier today I asked them what they think of our churches.

I was shocked when they all told me that they are Anglican (one naturally assumes that most of the younger generation go to pentecostal churches).

I asked them why.

Their reason – the Anglican church isn’t all about money, sowing seeds, and prosperity preaching.

They may be a little extreme in their view point but I can see where they’re coming from.

Quote

“At our church they don’t force you or put pressure on you to give offerings.”

Having said that I must point out that I have attended a few Anglican services, and they most certainly did not dissappoint with their prowess for collecting ‘big bucks’.

Let’s be honest – no church is perfect – just as no human being is perfect.

But my concern is that our imperfections regarding the love / lust for money passed the tipping point a long time ago.

The interesting thing is that our saviour, Jesus Christ, was a carpenter whilst on earth; and led a very simple life.

Final quote of the day in relation to Loads Money goes to Lanre.

“Awesome piece…. ” You CANNOT Serve two Masters. It’s Either You Serve one or Despise the other, or use one to Serve the other” This scripture is the ONLY Evidence we have in the bible where God compares our servanthood to Him with our servanthood to something else. For God to state this categorically, it means that it is a very CRITICAL PROBLEM. Many use God to serve mammon, whilst others use mammon to attempt to serve God.
SERVE Him because of who he is, and for His Mercies, Love, Faithfulness, Grace etc Not Because of What He Will do For You…So Next Time you’re Praising, Worshipping, Praying and Even Giving in church, Ask Yourself “What is my Motive” ? Love of God or Love of Self and Money?”

People – I most certainly am NOT perfect.

So very far from perfect in-fact.

But I do recognise, as do so many others, that something is not quite right.

A body that is supposed to epitomise love, selflessness, and humility, is strangely reflecting something entirely different – greed, selfishness, lust for money, and the all too familiar judgemental attitude that tags along with them.

To coin a phrase from Shakespear’s Hamlet, ‘Something is rotting in the state of our churches’.

Jesus said;

“Come to me, all you who are heavily burdened. My yoke is light”

Going to church – fellowshipping with one another should be a time / day we look forward to – to get away from the stresses and burdens of everyday life – to immerse ourselves in an environment of love, truth and humility.

But we seem to have made church another market place

– a place to talk about business, success, and Loadsa Money

– a place to flaunt success and wealth

-a place to seek opportunities to climb the wealth ladder.

Surely this is NOT the way it was supposed to be!!

Rather than finding a truth that set us free, we seem to have found another type of truth – one that has further ensconsed us in more bondage.

Can any of us really claim to regularly find peace in church?

Or do we often leave church feeling even more troubled – wondering why we haven’t received our breakthrough.

Christ’s message is one of unconditional love, peace, and humility – NOT WEALTH.

The population of Nigeria is in the region of 150 million people.

There are over 60 million Christians in Nigeria.

If just half the Christians in Nigeria can actually attain the ‘light yoke’ of Jesus then our environment will change over night.

But so long as churches continue to focus on the number of ‘bums on seats’ and the building of wealthy congregations, mammon will continue to influence every sphere of society – ‘with rapidly growing inflation’.

©Segun Akande

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Loadsa Money!

What I’m about to say is not directed at any group or person in particular.

But rather, consider it a wake-up call for ALL of us.

And remember – I did warn you a few weeks ago that as well as encourage and uplift you this year, I will always tell you as it is.

I begin

During a chat with my dear friend Lanre this morning, it became all too apparent that mankind has more often than not being his own worst enemy.

Waaaaaiiiiit!!!!!

It really is about time I did this.

Before going any further I want to sincerely thank those very close and so dear buddies of mine; yes you guys – Tolu O, Gbogie B, Toyo O, Lanre O, Temi P, Tosin O, David A, and that tall chap that never likes being mentioned.

Thanks guys!!!

Time and time again our chats, arguments, and even at times the odd agreement, have been important and indeed necessary ingredients to most, if not all of my articles.

Right – back to the matter at hand.

A few weeks ago I woke up at about 4am (whenever that happened last year I got upset. Now I’ve accepted that it’s part and parcel of getting old). lol 

As soon as I awoke my thoughts went straight to that little town in the US where 20 kids were shot dead a few months ago.

What an absolute tragedy!!

Now – I follow Piers Morgan on twitter.

If you don’t then I suggest you do. He’s superb – brutally honest, and at times absolutely hilarious.

And as a fellow passionate Arsenal fan, it’s strangely comforting to read his angry tweets on Saturday afternoons – as that hallowed (yes hallowed!!) team from north London – yea the one that is forever in transition – continues to push the boundaries of pain and torture to new and unbearable heights.

Why am I talking about Mr. Morgan???

Oh yes – ever since the tragic incident in that little town in Conneticut, Piers Morgan has been agressively campaigning for a review of America’s gun policy.

He believes, as I do, that guns should be banned.

Ban ’em!!!! (yes yes, I did purposely omit the ‘th’)

Simple!

Full Stop!

No flipping excuses!!

Just ban the damn things!!!!!

But we all know that ain’t gonna happen.

Why?

Because the US government and its’ backers are making way too much money from the arms business.

I could write about this all day, but I’m going to give you just a couple of examples.

In which sectors do the biggest financial donors of US governments do business?

Yep. That’s right – Oil and Arms

What did Iraq have?

Who led the war in Iraq?

Who got the contracts for the rebuilding of Iraq?

The commercial arms sales, reviewed by the State Department in 2011, was in the region of US$44 billion.

The figure for 2012 was expected to be at least 60% higher.

Now here’s the rub.

Quite a few of the countries that the US sells arms to are routinely acused of human rights abuses by the US Government.

That seems to me a rather odd contradiction.

I’m going to stop there.

This is not a tirade, or even a complaint against the US government.

My point is this –

As a result of incessant greed, mankind seems to have pressed the self destruct button – steadily destroying millions of lives across the globe for the sake of financial gain.

Back home – we all know the damage and destruction that oil has inflicted on Nigeria; not least to our brothers and sisters in the Niger Delta region.

Whether previous governments are to blame for allowing foreign oil companies to literally rape and pillage our land, or whether we should lay the blame firmly at the door of the foreign oil companies, one fact remains –

It Should Never Have Got This Bad In The First Place!!!

Why did it get so bad?

The answer is simple

Lust for money

To be perfectly frank my concern lies not in who’s to blame, but in the state of human nature – our mindsets – what we’re all willing to do for the sake of a few million dollars.

Now let’s bring this home.

Yep. That’s right – bringing this to your front door – and mine.

My dear friend Lanre explained something to me this morning.

“When you allow your mood and emotions to be determined by the amount you have in your bank account you are allowing mammon to be your God. But when you remain faithful, grateful, and trusting in God no matter what, then you are walking in the spirit and not the flesh; thereby allowing the Almighty and living God to be your God.”

Pause for thought anyone????

Deep breath

So what to do?

I’m not saying we should all just sit at home and not face up to our financial commitments.

After-all we’ve got to eat; and so do the kids.

But who are you going to allow to be your God?

Who will determine your moods?

Who or what will you place your faith in?

On whom or what will you place your worth?

Once again, I have to ask this question.

Is It All About Earth?????

Is the reason you fast, pray, and go to church because you want God to bless you with “loadsa money”?

I’m exaggerating???

Ok..next time you go to church, listen out for the reason behind the loudest Amen.

I’m referring to ALL of us now.

It seems to me that we all need to be very honest with ourselves in order to make a decision.

Are we in this for ourselves?

Or

Are we in this for God?

Do we prefer ‘loadsa money’ on earth – at any cost?

Or

Do we do things properly – with love, and humility, in the knowledge that our real home – our real life – is in heaven.

Before I ask the next two questions I want to emphasise once more that I am talking about ALL of us – myself included.

When we spring to our feet during church services as the pastor makes a powerful prayer / declaration about money and success;

Are we praying to God?

Or

As a result of our desperation for wealth, possibly paying homage to mammon?????

©Segun Akande

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Think Again

A few days ago Christiane Amanpour’s CNN programme featured Nigeria.

We were informed that statistically Nigeria is the third worst place to live on this planet.

The statistic not only made me sad but also rather irritated – verging on angry.

“How dare they?” I thought.

“What or who gave these guys the right to decide which places are good to live in, and which places are not?”

Needless to say, once my patriotic emotions gave way to our dear but often ignored friend, ‘Mr.objective’, I started to see reason.

Despite the valiant efforts of the present government, Nigeria continues to experience a myriad of challenges.

– serious security concerns

– unstable power supply

– a poor education system

– a non existent health care system

– inadequate housing

– bad roads

I said to a friend in 1999 that it would take fifty years for Nigeria to get to where it should be.

Why?

Because decades of military rule, constant abuse of power, and the blatant pillaging the nation’s resources resulted in not just stagnation but abject decline.

Hence, rather than blame this present government we need to bear in mind where we’re coming from.

1999??? That’s just thirteen years ago people!!

By my estimations we still have a another thirty seven years to go!

But one thing is for sure. We are finally moving in the right direction.

So for those who like me felt a little disheartened after the CNN programme I say this;

“Fear not!

And be not sad!

We are finally on our way. We may not see it in our life time but be rest assured that our grand children will live in a great Nigeria.”

But hang on!

This is not supposed to be a political article – not in the slightest.

My topic today is discouragement/encouragement.

Ahh yes – now it makes sense.

The reason I started with the CNN programme is because of how I felt after watching it; just a tad discouraged.

Nigeria is a country in which we all need regular doses of encouragement. Lol

I’m sure you’ve all noticed an increasing number of articles and phrases designed towards encouraging and uplifting us.

I genuinely thank God for such articles and phrases.

I’m sure you agree with me when I say that this journey we call ‘life’ can at times be so arduous, and so very dis-heartening.

But is it possible that the reason we are so easily discouraged is because we subconsciously believe that this is it?????

In other words despite our faith, we still seem to live our lives with a mind-set that screams,
“IT’S ALL ABOUT EARTH! IT’S ALL ABOUT EARTH!”

What on earth is Segs going on about now????

Very simple

The greatest security anybody can have is God

The greatest blessing anybody can have is God’s grace

The greatest gift anybody can have is Christ

The greatest wealth and power we can have is the spirit of the living God dwelling inside us

The greatest treasure anybody can have is Heaven

Is it possible that we are so easily disouraged because our focus is on the wrong things?

I’ll let you into a weee little secret. This is actually the article I was supposed to write yesterday. But when I woke up yesterday morning I kinda chickened out of it.

Why?

Because I was concerned that it may not be what you want to hear.

I’ve noticed something very interesting recently.

Whenever I write an article that is designed to uplift and encourage people to be the best they can be in this life – promoting success and wealth, I always get fantastic feedback.

But whenever the message is about Christ, and hints at the importance, relevance, and reality of life after earth the feedback is …well …non existent. Lol

So I guess I kinda (ok – no more kindas’) got addicted to the wonderful feedback.

That is until a dear friend of mine sent me a message late yesterday afternoon.

She has no idea how her message affected me.

She forwarded a message from Rick Warren’s Saddleback church to me. The message was about serving God.

In her personal message to me she said,

” But I guess you already know the importance of serving God. Keep up the good work.”

The vanity in me was so chuffed.

Absolutely delighted!

I even called her to confirm that the message was indeed for me!!

I went home feeling so good about myself.

But on waking up this morning her words came back to haunt me. Lol

Her words opened my eyes to the fact that due to wanting to give readers what they want to hear, I have buckled time and time again at the prospect of preaching this particular message.

So here goes

People!

This life is NOT the end!!!!!

In comparison to the real meaning of life -an eternity in Heaven -we are here but for a few miliseconds.

Our aim in this life is to be the best we can be for God and those around us – so that we can all enjoy that wonderful place we call heaven.

We must bear this in mind in absolutely everything we do.

In other words – yes, of-course, try your very best whilst you’re here on earth.

Love those around you

Provide for those around you

Protect those around you

Aspire for great things

Aspire for wealth

These are all good. There is absolutely nothing wrong with pushing aggressively for all the above.

But remember to always bear this mind;

Your real treasure – your real home – is heaven.

In all things you do, consider the reality that you are here to love and serve God before moving on to love and serve Him for an eternity in heaven.

So it’s up to us.

Do we want to continue living our lives as though this is it??? All about earth???

Or do we want to embrace the greatest security of all – salvation and God’s love.

The irony of all this is that if we think again, and re-direct our focus, our tendency to be easily discouraged and disheartened will reduce significantly.

There!

I’ve said it.

Sorry if you didn’t like this

Actually – no I’m not

Not sorry at all.

Think again, and do your best to embrace this message.

I know I certainly need to.

Let us regularly encourage ourselves in the knowledge that there is indeed a heaven.

There is an eternity of love, joy, and service to God.

This is what REALLY matters.

Finally, it’s befitting to conclude this article with a quote from my dear friend.

Quote

“The reality is that we will all die one day and we pray its at a ripe old age, but whatever age it is, there is heaven or hell; and we all know no one wants to go to hell. I’ve never heard anyone elect for it.

So it’s good to be reminded that it doesn’t end here, or even with death; and that it’s the aftermath that matters most.”

©Segun Akande

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The Way You Are

Did you help Jesus die on the cross???

Or did you share in His suffering on the way to the cross???

I think we can safely agree that the answer to both questions is a loud and resounding NO.

By dying for us on the cross Jesus ensured that ALL our sins are forgiven.

He also ensured that we have a permanent guarantee of salvation.

Jesus didn’t die on the cross ‘with’ us.

He died on the cross ‘for’ us.

Unfortunately we seem to have developed a rather different kind of Christianity.

One in which we were actually there with Jesus – being nailed to the cross with Him.

One in which we carried our own crosses as we staggered with Jesus to Golgotha.

In-fact we were also whipped by the Roman soldiers at the same time as Jesus was!!!

Weren’t we?????

Hmmm…so why do we behave as if we were?

We have devised our own formulas for earning God’s love – via our own power and our own will.

Unfortunately there is only so far that our own power and will can take us.

I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine about a book called ‘The Secret’.

The question on both our minds was whether this book is God based or not. I went to sleep pondering on this. When I woke up the next morning the answer was clear.

Yes – the universe does have power. However that power stems from God. God created the universe and every drop of power that it has comes from God – not the universe.

In other words let’s not attribute one miliscule of God’s power and glory to the universe or anything else.

God shares His glory with nobody.

He sent His son to die for you so that He can forever be at peace with you.

He then blessed you specifically with unbelievable talents in order for you to serve Him – through His purpose for you.

The peace of mind that He so desperately wants for us is supposed to enable us to quit worrying, in order to focus purely on fulfilling our purpose.

However, as a result of our determination to do it on our own – by our own strengths and formulas – our minds are not at peace enough to focus fully on His purpose for us.

When God asked Solomon what He wanted, Solomon asked for wisdom. God blessed him with a wisdom like no other person on earth. In-fact his was a wisdom so great that rulers from across the planet journeyed thousands and thousands of miles just to witness him in action.

But guess what?

They all knew where the wisdom came from. They all recognised that his wisdom came from God.

In other words the glory was the Lord’s.

Your purpose, the very reason you are still alive, the very reason you are reading this article is for the sake of God’s glory.

This is why I continue to emphasise this important point; and be warned – I will do so over and over and over again.

Your talents are not for your sake or your glory. They are for the sake of God and those around you.

So you are successful and have millions, billions even, in your bank account. You have the best cars and the most amazing houses. But will you be taking them with you when heaven calls?

Maybe I’m wrong but I very much doubt whether an old man/woman on his/her death bed will be lamenting about not having made enough money. I’m pretty sure that the main concern will be whether or not he or she fulfilled their purpose in life, and what kind of legacy they are leaving behind – for the sake of God and others.

The really successful people in the world today didn’t set out to be marvelously wealthy. The wealth naturally followed as a result of their dedication to creating value for others.

Bill Gates wanted to make sure that every home has a computer.

Ford wanted to ensure that every man on the street can afford a car.

These guys were passionate about adding value to people’s lives. They were passionate about serving mankind.

Is it any wonder that Bill Gates has basically taken it upon himself to use his billions to eradicate malaria in Africa?????

Their number one passion is to better people’s lives.

We live in a world which is fast becomming all too much about money money money.

Don’t get me wrong now, I’m not saying that money is not good or that I don’t want any.

Sure I do!

Who doesn’t want comfort???

But an environment in which people will do anything for money can only spell doom.

Sorry people – not trying to make you depressed.

I’m merely trying to wake us up – myself included.

For Nigeria to change we need to think less about ‘money’ and ‘self’ and more about ‘purpose’ and ‘service’.

My purpose?

Helping you identify what your purpose is, and helping you to achieve it.

I have a vision of a Nigeria in which every man is his brother’s keeper.

– helping one another to be the very best they can be -in order to love and serve God, and to love and serve each other

-a Nigeria in which every man and woman has equal opportunity to succeed and prosper, for the sake of each other and for the sake of our country.

Whilst this cannot happen over night or by magic; it can happen over time if we all play our part – by discovering and fulfilling our purpose.

We are all here for a purpose. If we all discover what our purpose is and pursue it with all our hearts / strength and minds, Nigeria will most definitely become the great nation it was always destined to be.

Why?

Because it will be a country that is focused on God’s purpose.

The way you are is not by chance.

You are the way you are because God designed you that way.

– To love and serve Him,

– To love and serve others

– To love and serve your country.

If you are reading this article it means that God still has a plan for you.

In other words you still have a wonderful opportunity to fulfill your God given purpose.

God hasn’t given up on you, so why give up on yourself?????

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Where Is She?

I recently gave you two articles regarding discovering and fulfilling your purpose.

I hope you took some time out to do some personal digging.

If you didn’t, it’s not too late.

Give it a go!!

Hey! I even gave you a warm Christmas message in between!

Gosh I’m a nice guy!

But today …hmmm….sorry ….just a little bit of controversy. Tiny.

Weeny. Honest!!

During a bbm chat with a friend of mine about ‘finding the right partner’ I asked her, “So what type of man are you looking for?”

No I was NOT chatting her up.

Actually now I think of it maybe I was!

“A man who is God fearing, and who I respect,” she replied.

A decent enough answer.

“I can do that” I thought to myself.

Only joking people!!!

I repeat – I did not have a hidden agenda. Although she really is damn fine.

But alas, a friend she is, and a friend she shall remain.

But as I reflected on her answer a few hours later I coudn’t help feeling a little saddened by it.

Why?

What about love?????

For what for many is a Continuous roller-coaster search for the right partner / package,  love not only seems to have flown its nest, but has also purchased a non refundable single ticket to the kalahari desert!!

When did she leave?

No idea.

Rumour has it she created a clone and left decades ago. And now it seems that even her clone has had enough, as she (the clone) was spotted walking out of the travel agents’ a few days ago!

Am I exaggerating???

Hmmm…

An old family friend recently said to me “Young man(I love it when he says that – makes me feel young again – like I’m in my 20s or something!!!), what are you waiting for? Find a good woman; one that is God fearing and respectful. Start a family with her. You don’t need to be in love.”

I must admit that whilst a little shocked by his statement it actually seemed to make a little sense – for a few seconds anyway.

Call me a prehestoric romantic, or whatever you want to call me, but I choose to believe in ‘LOVE’.

Surely even in this day and age it is still possible to meet someone, fall in love, be friends, plan together, and live happily ever after. Surely????!!

Or

Meet someone, be friends, attraction increases, fall in love, plan together, and live
happily ever after. Surely!!!!!!

So – what is Segs talking about today?

Simple

Where has love gone?

Will she be coming back?

And is she (love) a necessary ingredient for a happy relationship / partnership / marriage???

I’ve touched on more than one occasion in my articles about the “package deal”. By this I mean the “doing well, upwardly mobile, great potential, has a nice car, nice watch, fears God, and ambitious – doing well”.

We hear this in most churches accross the nation every Sunday.

Whilst there is nothing wrong with this,  I’m rather concerned that not only is mammon chipping away at the fundamentals of Christianity – love and serve God / love and serve your neighbour; but that old lover of money is now niggling away at the fundamentals of relationships / partnerships / marriages, friendships, unity, LOVE – selfless love.

We live in an age in which selfless love seems all too alien to our natural senses.

I of-course include myself in all this.

We have perfected the art of “loving on condition of”.

Think about it – on condition of;

For you ladies;

– Financial Liquidity

– Has a nice car

– Has a good job and is going places 

– God fearing (whatever that actually means)

For you men

– respectful

– good wife material

– good mother material

– humble

Very rarely do we hear the word “love” mentioned.

There is of-course nothing wrong with any of the conditions listed above.

Indeed every man and woman is entitled to freely make their own choice – and should never be judged.

But when was the last time you heard someone say ” I want to meet someone I’ll love and cherish, and who will love and cherish me”?

Would be quite refreshing wouldn’t it??!!!

Maybe our churches should focus a little more on the importance of love in relationships????!!! And what love actually is??!!!

Heaven knows we ALL need it.

There is however a more recent and more radical view point, which whilst at first sounds utterly ridiculous and more than a tad ‘immoral’, but on reflection actually makes a some sense.

Are you ready for this????

Get out there and have as much fun as you can. If you have a few flings along the way then so be it.

Why?

Because by doing so you stand a better chance of finding a friend – one way or another.

My concern with this view however is that the chances of hurting a few feelings along the way are fairly high.

The alternative of-course is to sit still, behave, and hope for the best. Also a good option.

The one thing that most people seem to agree on is that your partner / wife / husband should be your friend – your companion – warts and all. Lol

Can you remember the parable of the sower? The seeds that fell on good soil but were suffucated by the thornes of the pressures of this world?

This parable relates to love – both in terms of our love for God and our love for each other.

Most of us have a natural inclination to love and be loved.

However is it possible that the pressures of this world, as stated in the parable, have suffucoted our ability to love and be loved???

Pressures??

What pressures???

Oh let’s’see now – he / she must look right, talk right, walk right, sound right – be going places, cook well, is financially liquid, nice car, property, excellent prospects, fear God etc etc.

Why all these conditions?

Because they are fed to us directly and indirectly on a daily basis by friends, family, tv, magazines, gossip, and so much more – leading to an inevitable tendency to compare, compare, and compare some more.

Can you see it now?? – the good seeds of love that were suffocated by the pressures of the world?????

By the way – this ‘fear God’ thing that we all love to say – even demons fear God. But that doesn’t mean that they want to do good.

Surely better to change this to ‘loves God’ – right??!!!

Just a thought.

So – in a nutshell what I’m saying is this;

Love was NOT on that BA flight to the Kalahari desert.

She’s still here.

Keep searching

And if you make a few mistakes along the way, dust yourself up and try again.

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Who You Are

Did you listen to the Queen’s Christmas Day speech?

Was it an absolute gem or what??!!!

It was the first time in a long while that I heard a Head of State speak so openly about Jesus Christ.

She reminded us of the reason we celebrate Christmas; the birth of the son of God – who came to earth to die for our sins – teaching us true life and true love in the process.

To hear a Head of State – a European one at that, speak so openly about Christ, was wonderfully up-lifting.

It was a timely reminder to all believers to be proud of who we are – children of the most high God.

I’m sure you agree with me when I say that mankind has an uncanny ability to make everything about himself / herself.

We are highly skilled in the art of making everything about me, me, and me also.

As we enter a new year my message to you is very simple.

Focus especially on two things.

1. Who you are and what it means

You are a child of the most High God.

This should be reflected in a selfless love for those around you.

-the manner in which you behave

-the manner in which you work

-the manner in which you run your business

2. Honouring God in everything you do – at all times

As a father / mother

As a husband / wife

As an employee

As a business owner

As a brother / sister

As a son / daughter

As a friend

A a neighbour

2012 has been and gone – along with the mistakes, the failings and the mis-givings. The fact that you are alive and reading this article means that His grace has enabled you to give it another go; to try again; to do your best to fulfill God’s’purpose for you.

Knowledge of who you are is so very important.

It enables you to walk with confidence; to know your rights; to know what you can and can’t do; and most importantly to know that you are loved unconditionally by your father in heaven.

A lack of knowledge can lead to awful mistakes, and at times rather awkward moments.

Many many years ago, as a thirteen year old in boarding school in the UK, my lack of knowledge of who I am led to a rather embarassing situation.

Let me give you a little backgroud.

I had attended an all boys’ prep school from the age of seven to thirteen. Hence my knowledge of the female sex was …well… nothing.

Correction – I have two sisters. So I guess I was vaguely aware that the female sex existed.

As I’m sure many of you male readers can relate, by the time I was thirteen the urge to know much more about the female sex was increasing by the second.

So when it came to choosing which secondary school to go to – given the choice between St Edwards, Oxford (all boys school), Cheltenham College (all boys school) and Dean Close School (mixed), the decision was a no-brainer.

Dean Close school – boys AND GIRLS.

Till this day – unless he’s’reading this article, my dad has absolutely no idea why I opted for Dean Close School.

All it took was one look at the pretty girls in the school prospectus and my decision was made.

If you’re reading this dad – sorry – but at least I did wonderfully well. Evenutally anyway.

So – my first year at Dean Close School – a great school by the way – with the best choir in the world, awesome rugby, hockey, and cricket teams; and superb tuition.

Highly recommended.

Just look at me! There’s’no better advert!!

Stop Segs!!!

2012 may have been and gone but Segs still possesses a great knack for wondering off track!!

Back to my first year at Dean Close School.

We used to have PE every tuesday morning.

PE alternated between gym and swimming; one week gym (yipeeee!!) and the following week swimming (boohooo!!!).

I hated swimming.

I would do absolutely anything to avoid swimming.

One Tuesday morning, as I walked back to the house after breakfast, desparately trying to think of a new excuse for missing swimming, I overheard one of my female class mates tell her friend that she wouldn’t be attending the swimming class because she was on her period.

Remember – I was thirteen – had previously attended an all boys’ school and therefore knew zilch about the female anatomy.

‘Aha! Got it. That’s why I can’t attend today’s swimming class’ I thought to myself.

During swimming classes those that were unable to take part were required to sit in the balcony over-looking the pool.

So there I was, sitting in the pool balcony, pleased as punch with myself for finding a new way to escape swimming, when all of a sudden the PE teacher looked up to the balcony, and on seeing me shouted;

“Akande, what are you doing up there? Why aren’t you in the pool?”

“I’m on my period sir,” I replied with absolute confidence.

“You’re what???” he asked, looking both shocked and confused.

“I’m on my period sir,” I replied, resolute in the knowledge that I had a valid and excellent reason to be absent from PE.

By now the whole swimming class was looking up at the balcony in total disbelief.

” Akande!!! You’d’better get yourself in this pool before I come up there and drag you down here myself” he screamed at me – with a mixture of shock, displeasure, and more than a hint of incredulity.

I had no idea why he insisted that I should join the PE class. After-all if the girls on the balcony were allowed to miss swimming because they were on their period then why shouldn’t I be??!!!

As far as I was concerned he was being extremely unfair – just picking on me.

I had to go swimming that day.

I later found out that it was physically impossible for me to be on my period.

My lack of knowledge had landed me in an unenviable situation, to say the least.

Christ died for you – in order for you to have direct access to your father in heaven – who loves you unconditionally.

Walk in the knowledge of who you are

Work in the knowledge of who you are

Relate with people in the knowledge of who you are

Fear not

Worry not

You are a child of the most high God

A God perfect in love

A God perfect in power

Honour Him in all you do

I wish you all the very best for 2013.

I pray that His good and perfect will, and not your will, be done in your life throughout this year.

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Merry Christmas

Although the actual date of Christ’s birth is closer to October than it is to December, never-the-less on this day we formerly remember the birth of our saviour.

He came in order to give you an everlasting life of love, joy, peace, and prosperity.

He came to enable you to walk in the truth of who you are – a child of the most high, and only living God.

He came to show you the way – to life, to love, to peace, and to your heavenly father.

2012 has been a challenging year for many.

Yes – you may not have reached the heights you set for yourself at the beginning of the year.

But you are alive

You are well

His spirit dwells within you

By His grace you can get up and try again

Be thankfull for His love

Be thankfull for His mercy

Be thankfull for His Grace

Be thankfull for your family and friends

There is no greater love

Make a decision today to love others as He loves you – unconditionally.

Merry Christmas to you

Love, love, and love some more

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Still On His Shoulders

Can you remember the article titled ‘Now Picture This’?

I didn’t ask whether or not you liked it.

I asked whether or not you can remember it.

There was an interesting mix of reactions to that article.

Some people loved it.

Others thought that I may have been smoking some herbs or something!

Why did I write it?

I’ve always wondered what the mood in heaven was like during Jesus’ torture and crucifixion; and what transpired when Jesus returned triumphantly to Heaven.

I want you to try something.

Remember Handel? That’s right – he of Handel’s Messiah.

I want you to listen to the Amen finale whilst reading the second half of the article – when the gates opened for Christ to enter.

Don’t be shy.

Give it a try

It’s good to allow your imagination to free flow every now and then – in a positive way of-course.

Although it’s nigh impossible to fully grasp the magnificense and majesty of it all, it’s good to imagine what heaven is like – the beauty – the splendour – the glory; reminding us that despite the trials and tribulations of this life, there is a place we can look forward to going to – where there will be everlasting peace and everlasting joy.

No no no – this is not an excuse to give up on life on earth. You still have a lot do here – for God and for those around you.

Remember – you are here for a reason; to serve and bless the King of kings.

Imagining heaven every now and then serves as an effective reminder of the absurdly high price that Christ paid for us; a constant reminder of what is really important – love and service to God and each other.

So what is dear Segs saying this time????

Very simple

Stop living life as though earth is where it all ends.

Do your best to love and serve God.

Do your best to love and serve those around you.

Do all you can to bless those in need.

No matter what you’re going through there’s someone in a much worse situation.

Let go of the self pity

Let go of the anger

Let go of the anxiety

Let go of fear

Remember – God says ‘blessed is the man / woman whose iniquities are forgiven’.

Through Jesus all your sins are forgiven.

You don’t have to earn it.

It’s a free gift.

It’s not about which church you attend.

There’s no ‘them’ and ‘us’ in Christianity.

Which church you attend, whether Pentecostal, Baptist, or Anglican is irrelevant.

So stop comparing

Stop competing
We are all one family – united in Christ Jesus.

The only factor that is relevant is Jesus.

His two greatest commands are to love God with all your heart, strength, and mind; and to love your neighbour likewise.

Finally, I want to tell you how God cheered me up last week.

I was invited to say a few words at graduation ceremony last Saturday.

My message was on Vision and the importance of Adding Value.

After speaking, I felt rather unsatisfied with my performance. The students and guests really enjoyed my message. But as far as I was concerned I didn’t speak well at all (I’m a wee bit of a perfectionist).

As I’m sure you can imagine I ignored all the good points and focused only on the things I didn’t do well – the points I missed out.

Slowly but surely my mood descended into one of irritation and disappointment; getting more and more upset by the second.

Add to that the weekly Saturday afternoon torture of watching Arsenal disintegrate further and further into something more resembling of an under 9s’ girls team (sorry ladies) than a premier league side and I’m sure you can well imagine how I was feeling on Saturday evening!

Yes, Arsenal won 2 nil but the manner of the victory was so poor. And who knows what they’ll do on Monday night!!

Anyway, I digress.

Fortunately for me a good friend of mine called me on Saturday evening.

Being an astute observer of people’s moods he was quick to ask me what was wrong.

After explaining myself ( I left out the Arsenal bit) he told me some very important facts of life.

1. It’s not every day that we’ll get things spot on.

2. It’s the mistakes and failures that enable us to succeed

3. As sure as night will turn to day God will not give up on us – so we must not give up on Him or on ourselves

The next morning (Sunday morning) I woke up feeling a whole lot better.

A new day

Another chance to be the best I can be

On my way to church I remembered (actually the Holy Spirit reminded me but I don’t want to sound all spooky) that The Experience had been held on Friday.

I remembered that the House on The Rock usually has a service at Eko Hotel’s Expo Hall on the Sunday immediately after The Experience – giving us another chance to worship with Don Moen. There were off-course other excellent international and domestic artists but I’m a huge Don Moen fan so that’s all that mattered to me.

So I decided to go to House on The Rock’s Sunday service at Eko Hotel’s Expo Hall.

After parking the car, I decided to walk through Eko Hotel’s reception area rather than take the more direct route from the car park.

On my way to the Expo Hall I bumped into an old friend.

Whilst chatting in the reception area something wonderful happened.

Can you guess????

Don Moen walked out of one of the lifts.

Like a star struck teenager I said to my friend ‘that’s Don Moen. He’s my favourite Christian musician. I have to say hi. I just have to.’

‘Cool. Go for it,’ she replied.

“Naa, let me not bother him,” I replied.

Fortunately for me my feet decided to ignore my shyness, and before I knew it I had walked over to Don Moen to introduce myself.

“Mr. Moen, so good to see you. I’m attending this church today because of you. You are an inspiration.”

He was so nice. He put his arms around my shoulders and thanked me.

I was absolutely chuffed; totally made my day.

Needless to say the worship service that morning was awesome. Indeed it was during that service that God gave me my previous article – ‘On His Shoulders’.

It later occurred to me that it wasn’t a coincidence that I opted to take a different route from my car to the Expo hall.

It wasn’t a coincidence that I bumped into an old friend in the reception area of Eko Hotel.

It wasn’t a coincidence that Don Moen walked out of the lift whilst I was chatting with my friend.

God simply wanted to cheer me up.

God cares about you.

He’s going to do something to cheer you up today.

Just follow His lead.

Have a fab weekend.+

 

©Segun Akande

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