Tag Archives: determination

On His Shoulders

Anybody that knows me well will tell you that Segs has an irritating fondness for Mondays.

Another week

Another chance to get up and go again

An opportunity to reach even greater heights

Or maybe it’s simply because my social life is nothing to write home about these days??!!!

Yep – I confess – aside from working six days a week my passion for watching series such as Homeland, Game of Thrones, Suits and The Good Wife seems to have dealt a vicious and quite possibly fatal blow to my desire to socialise!

How on earth did I manage to start talking about my dire social life?????

I am supposed to be talking about Handel’s Messiah.

Back we go.

I’ll say it again – what an absolute masterpiece!

I’m sure Handel regularly plays his magnificent work of art for God in heaven; especially the Amen finale.

That awesome piece of music was surely a direct download from the maker of Heaven and Earth Himself.

Attending an enchanting performance of Handel’s Messiah on a cold December evening at the Royal Albert Hall many years ago with my dear brother Tols, still ranks as one of my favourite nights of all time – at least so far anyway – let’s hope there are many more to come.

Hey – life begins at 40 so I’m sure there will be many more glorious nights.

Ever since that wonderful December evening at the Albert Hall I’ve developed a peculiar habit of playing Handel’s Messiah in my car every December – without fail.

Every year, as soon as we land on the straits of December, Handel’s Messiah takes the number one spot on the car stereo – over and over and over again.

I never realised why until now.

Yep! In Segs’ world Christmas time is Handel’s Messiah time; especially the song ‘For Unto Us A Child Is Born’.

I want to share a little thought /reality
with you today.

For a long time I used to wonder just how heavy that cross was – you know – the one that Jesus carried for miles and miles before eventually being nailed onto it.

In order to get an inkling of its immense weight I would imagine myself – or at least try to – carrying an Oak tree.

Not a pleasant thought.

A few days ago it suddenly dawned on me that the weight of an oak tree is nothing compared to that cross.

The weight of the whole world was on that cross.

The weight of sin

The weight of wickedness

The weight of evil

The weight of shame

The weight of condemnation

Even the weight of all our hopes

Oak Tree????

Gotta be kidding me!

The weight of an Oak tree is child’s play compared to how heavy that cross must have been.

“And the government shall be upon His shoulders”

Handel’s Messiah (Isaiah)

Not only did He take all the issues and problems of the world on the cross but He also carries on His shoulders the weight of governments – past, present and future.

Indeed he is the head of the imminent everlasting government.

Can you remember when as a child your dad would sometimes lift you up and prop you on his shoulders? Especially when in amusement parks etc.

No???

Well I do!

And if you didn’t experience that then you seriously missed out! Sorry.

Anyway, as I remember it, as soon as I was on his shoulders I felt completely at peace – in control – in authority.

It’s the same for us.

Christ carried all our sins / issues / problems / guilt / condemnation on that cross.

Indeed by His death and resurrection he is carrying us right now.

You sit not in the realm of law and sin.

You sit on the shoulders of the King of kings – in authority and in peace.

Enjoy the view.

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IT’S UP TO US.

‘David said to the Philistine, “you come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty…

“I often try to imagine how intimidating Goliath must have been.

The bible says he was over nine feet tall.

Over Nine flipping feet!!!! Continue reading

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Because They Can

It’s not every message that I enjoy writing.

Far from it.

In-fact some of my articles make me cringe with so much embarrassment and shame that I almost delete them; due to the fact that I recognise a desperate need to put the message into genuine practice.

Still, I’m only human; for now at least.

I’m sure many of us are aware of the gruesome incident that took place in Port Harcourt a few days ago.

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The Positives

As we celebrate another year of independence, I’ve chosen to look at things a little differently.

Rather than rant and rave about all the things that are wrong in our beloved country, I’ve decided to focus a little more on the positives.

After-all, we could all do with a visit from Mr. ‘Feel Good Factor’.

So let’s look at some of the progress that Nigeria has made during the past few years.
‘What flipping progress??’ I hear you remonstrate.

Waaaaiiiiiit!!!

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A Change of Heart

Loving people unconditionally is something I’ve always struggled with. Some people are just so difficult to love!!
But they are!!! Lol… Yes yes yes – including myself!

Shut it!!

Arrogance has often been a major challenge; so too have pride, anger, and a tendency to be easily irritated.
I’ll stop there. No need to add any more.

Yep, that’s me – a few hundred miles away from ‘far from perfect’.

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What’s It All For?

Boy oh boy did I delay on this one!!

The skeleton of this message had been in my mind for quite a while, but sensing that I might not enjoy writing it, I..er, ….. well to be honest I just kept pretending it wasn’t really there, in the hope that I could get away with not having to write it at all.

So much for that plan working out!!

I’m sure that by the end of this article some of you will be wishing it had. Lol

Romans 8 vs 28 says that ‘All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose”.

I’m currently on my way to Gbagada to facilitate a Sales course.

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Life Spring

I informed you all many weeks ago about my intention to hold a Divorce seminar in Lagos.

On Saturday, 15th September, the seminar was held at Ocean View.

The seminar was scheduled to begin at 10am.

As I sat in the hall at 10.05am, still waiting for the first guests to arrive, I couldn’t help but wonder whether I had made a huge mistake. Not for the first time I asked myself, “Segs, why on earth are you doing this? Is it really worth it? Are you sure it was God’s voice you heard?”

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Divorce Seminar

During the past few weeks several people have asked me, ‘Why on earth are you doing this divorce seminar?’

To be honest I’d rather NOT be doing it.

I’d rather be happily married and not have to think about it!!

But the reality is that I AM going through a divorce.

So too are numerous couples in Nigeria, and all over the world.

The tortuous and often lonely experience of the past year opened my eyes to the silent suffering of so many others.

So, in a nutshell this seminar is for the purpose of helping people (myself included) to accept their situation, accept God’s love and forgiveness, and endeavour to move on with their lives.

It is far better to help, encourage and support one another to get up and press on with life, than to allow ourselves to wallow alone in defeat, anger, bitterness, resentment and self pity, to name but a few.

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Divorce / Separation

Going through a divorce in Nigeria is a challenging ordeal.

We live in a country that loves to celebrate weddings, which is a good thing.

But when marriages experience serious challenges, or worse still, when divorce or separation become a reality, there are very few people or groups you can go to in order to get some respite, advice, guidance, love – call it what you will.

On Saturday 15th September, an interactive divorce seminar will be held at the Ocean Pearl restaurant.

This seminar is NOT about who is right or wrong. It’s about;

– Recognising and accepting one’s mistakes

– Accepting God’s forgiveness

– Forgiving yourself

– Forgiving you ex

– Who am I?

– What is my purpose?

– How to achieve my goals

– When do I start dating again?

Date : Saturday, 15th September 2012

Time : 10am – 5pm

Venue : Ocean Pearl, Ocean View, Adetokunbo Ademola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos

Bell Phoenix©

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DIVORCE

This is a very difficult and tricky article for me to write. But I’m going to write it anyway, because I know I have to.

One thing I believe we all need to recognise is that we are able to get through difficult patches in life not by our own strength but by God’s grace and the strength He gives us.

He enables us to get through tough times so that we can help others to do the same.

It is not about “me, me, me”. It is all about God’s unconditional love and how we should do likewise for others.

I’m currently going through a divorce. Don’t ask me why, because quite frankly it’s none of your business. Lol

However, for the record, my ex is a lovely woman with a great heart and I wish her all the very best in life. I recognise the fact that I made many mistakes. But this is not about the mistakes I made.

This is about how God helped me through what were some of the most challenging months of my life.

Before going any further I want to thank God for blessing me with the most awesome family and friends. They were all so very willingly used by God to get me through this. You know who you are. Thanks so much for being there for me.

Going through a divorce in Nigeria is a very challenging ordeal. Why? Because you are so alone.

We live in a country that loves to celebrate and make so much noise about weddings. This is a good thing.

But when marriages go through serious issues, or worse still, when divorce becomes a reality, there are very few people or groups you can go to in order to get some respite, advice, guidance, love – call it what you will.

Ironically, churches across Nigeria offer pre-marital counselling, and from what I hear, some churches do this extremely well. But unfortunately very few, if any, address the issue of divorce. Ooops! Actually they do! Most tell you that you must stay in your marriage at all costs.

Many people refer to the text in Malachi 2:16 which says that ‘God hates divorce’.

Some have now  translated this to mean that God hates people who divorce.

Is it really possible that a God who loves us so unconditionally; who has forgiven us of ALL our sins; who is all about grace, can hate someone because their marriage didn’t work out?

I DON’T THINK SO!!

God hates the process, the consequences and effects of divorce. He hates what it does to the people involved – especially children. God hates the pain, the fear, the feeling of rejection, loneliness, the confusion and the anger that people experience.

God does not hate the people who are getting divorced.

He hates what we put ourselves and those closest to us through.

It is good and indeed extremely worthwhile to encourage couples to work through their problems. In my case we did two separate sessions of counselling – with two different sets of people.

So, we may not have tried hard enough, but we did try.

Once divorce became a reality I felt so alone. I felt like I had failed majorly.

I remember I kept looking at married couples / families and thinking ‘how come they got it right? Why couldn’t my marriage have come good?’

The more I analysed and compared, the worse I felt (Remember ‘Stop Comparing?’).

One night in November 2011 I woke up at about 1am, and because my mind was so full of negative thoughts I couldn’t sleep anymore. So after an hour or so of unsuccessfully attempting to lure myself back to sleep, I decided to Google ‘ Recovering from a painful divorce’.

It introduced me to a whole new world – so many articles.

Not only did I find comfort in the recognition that the emotions and feelings I had been going through were normal, but I also found great comfort in the fact that so many others had gone through what I was going through.

You see – in Nigeria, because nobody talks about what is really going on in their lives, so many people are suffering in silence; and trust me – it really is a very lonely experience.

It is also exactly what the devil wants – for people to suffer alone and in silence.

I firmly believe that reading those articles was one of the first steps towards recovery.

I made a decision that night. I decided that I was not going to stick to the Nigerian norm of suffering in lonely silence. I decided that I would talk about what I was going through and that I would encourage others to talk about what they are going through.

People – you will not believe the stories and experiences that I heard during the coming weeks!! So many people – married and divorced are quite literally going through hell. But because we live in a country in which people love to gossip, judge and talk behind your back, many, if not all, are unwilling or unable to talk about what they are going through. Again – exactly what the devil wants – alone, hurting and feeling defeated.

So – again on God’s prompting, I made a decision. It wasn’t an easy decision. In-fact with every step of the way, I have asked God the question – ‘who am I to be doing this? I’ve made so many mistakes and failed so many times – what right, or on what grounds do I have to do this?’

But alas, in very reluctant obedience I dedicated the last seven months or so to designing a Divorce seminar.

Before going any further I want to make it very clear that I strongly believe in marriage.

Divorce is a terrible thing which we should all do our very best to avoid.

But it is also a reality of life.

The seminar is for those who are going through divorce and in need of hope, strength, and the truth of God’s unconditional love – the surest foundation for a new beginning.

Whether we like it or not; whether it is right or not, the fact is that divorce is not the end. It is actually an opportunity to start again; an opportunity to get things right; an opportunity to find out why one is here – on earth.

Divorce is quite literally one of life’s most painful experiences, due to:

–          It’s terrible effect on children.

–          The pain of two hearts being literally torn apart.

–          The pain of bitter anger and negative emotions obstructing loving and objective decisions.

To be perfectly honest, for many people, divorce is quite literally hell.

But it is NOT the end.

Divorce is also an opportunity to rise from the ashes.

It is also an opportunity to find out who you really are and why you’re here.

It is an opportunity to finally start fulfilling your potential.

Yes – it is another opportunity for long lasting joy and fulfilment.

We need to remember that ‘God is for us’ and not against us. Therefore, no matter what mistakes you made or how much you failed (trust me, I made plenty), remember that God still and always will want the very best for you.

On Saturday 15th September, at the Ocean Pearl, Ocean View, from 10am to 5pm, there will be a seminar on Divorce.

The seminar is completely FREE.

Some of the topics that will be addressed are;

–          Recognising and accepting one’s mistakes

–          Accepting God’s forgiveness

–          Forgiving yourself

–          Forgiving you ex

–          Who am I?

–          What is my purpose?

–          How to achieve my goals

–          When do I start dating again?

The seminar will be very interactive.

This seminar is not about who is right or wrong.

It is about helping one another to get up and go again.

It is about Not Giving Up.

It is about Not Comparing

It is about learning from mistakes

It is about recognising that the future is still very bright.

So if you want to attend, or know anyone that you believe will benefit from attending, please inform them.

Time: 10am – 5pm

Date: Saturday, 15th September

Venue: Ocean Pearl, Ocean View, Adetokunbo Ademola Street, Victoria Island

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