Tag Archives: love

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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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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In Times Like These

According to my friend Katie, “We are not alone.”

Her statement conveys the importance of helping one another through challenging times.

Thank you for enabling me to recognise such a significant aspect of life’s journey.

The bible chronicles’ a compassionate God’s love for His people.

Christianity regards God’s sacrifice for His children.

Christ’s message is to love God with all our hearts and to love one another likewise.

Christianity encourages us to love unconditionally – like Christ loves us.

Islam encourages every one of us to love each other unconditionally.

I won’t attempt to talk about other religions because, quite frankly, I don’t know too much about them. Continue reading

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An Opportunity

Just a brief one today.

Don’t be so jubilant!!

Besides, you never know, it may turn out to be a long one.

After-all there have been many occasions when I intended to write short articles but ended up writing long ones.

So be warned! But you should be safe – I think – just. Continue reading

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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’.

Continue reading

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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?”

Continue reading

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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.

Continue reading

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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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Life’s Too Short

I had an interesting conversation a few days ago with a dear and ‘old’ friend of mine about how short this life really is. Sorry mate, but whichever way you look at it you are now officially old!!!

Yes yes I know, so am I.

Moving on swiftly.

Having agreed on the fact that this life is indeed short, he pointed out the importance of trying one’s very best to enjoy each and every day.

Whilst I fully agree with him I can’t help thinking that it’s such an unfortunate shame that in reality we spend most days worrying about everything and anything; from our bank account balance, to our health, to kids’ school fees, to that transaction, to what’s going to happen tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, next year and the year after that!!! Continue reading

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