References to christian articles written by theologans of the Christian Faith.
(1st January – 31th January 2018)
JESUS, OUR RESTORER AND GIVER OF ALL THINGS
This year, new things shall manifest. There shall be abundant flows of upper & lower springs. The keys of authority over hard labour and the keys that will help others to succeed shall be handed to us. (Joshua 15:19 & Revelation 5:9-14)
(BIG AMEN ALL THE TIME)
Favours, Grace and Mercy! Amen.
One of the Church Patriarchs, Trustee and second General Evangelist – CAC Worldwide, Prophet D. O. Babajide has slept in the Lord at early hours of Tuesday 17th January 2012 at the ripe age of 112.
Evangelist/Pastor/Prophet David Olu Babajide, the second General Evangelist of Christ Apostolic Church, next in rank to the late Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola was born on 25th February, 1900 at Okemesi-Ekiti in Ekiti State. Prior to his call to the Ministry, he was a school educator. For quite a lot of years he couldn’t appropriate the need for accepting the Lord’s call to be a full time ministry; after all he believed he had been serving The Lord in the gospel ministry. The call had been persistent on him ever since 1929, but he kept using his profession as an excuse for accepting the call. Nonetheless, when the fullness of time came, he gave himself to voluntary service in the Lord’s vineyard.
In 1937, at Ikire-Ile, he finally surrendered and resigned his teaching appointment. That year the Lord manifested Himself powerfully in David Babajide’s life and he was led to Pastor J. S. B. Odusona at Ibadan from whom he had his ministerial training. Pastor Odusona taught him how to patiently listen to the voice of the Lord before taking a step of faith. The following year, 1938, Prophet D. O. Babajide got married and the marriage was blessed with six children – four males and two females.
Prophet Babajide, nicknamed “the Singing-bird of Jesus,” is widely known for his sweet voice and rich repertoire of gospel choruses and songs. He is an accomplished composer, an accordionist and an evangelist of no mean repute.
He was ordained a Pastor in Christ Apostolic Church in 1949, appointed General Evangelist in 1959 after the demise of Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola. In 1991, Papa was fully persuaded by a faction of the Christ Apostolic Church to retire, although to remain as a Trustee but this position though he refuted but could not resist their moved.
Like the Biblical patriarchs, Prophet D. O. Babajide had his own share of trials. His wife, Mrs. Dorcas Adebambe Babajide, rested in the Lord in 1982 while he, too, suffered from a serious illness which for many months kept him out of circulation.
Prophet Babajide has been greatly used of the Lord to plant many churches without laying claims to any of one of them. The Light of the World Society – a society of energetic praying and preaching youth in the Christ Apostolic Church – was his brainchild. He established the School of Evangelists and Prophets at Ilesha where many ministers occupying responsible positions in CAC today received their training, amongst was the late President and Trustee of the Christ Apostolic Church Worldwide; Pastor N. E. Udofia, and the current Deputy General Evangelist of the Christ Apostolic Church Worldwide; Prophet/Evangelist G.A. Oyelami.
Prophet D. O. Babajide was a renowned author and many of his books have been sources of blessings to many people up until date. Papa will be buried on the 21st April 2012.
By Pastor Joshua Bandele
Exodus 3:7-10, "Then the LORD told him, "I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own fertile and spacious land. It is a land flowing with milk and honey-the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live. Look! The cry of the people of Israel has reached me, and I have seen how harshly the Egyptians abuse them. Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt."
Most of us are familiar with the famous ‘burning bush’ encounter with God. Our focus text details what the Lord said during this encounter. Notice that the Lord said He had heard the cries of His people and He was ready to do something about it. The Lord said he was going to do two things: 1) "rescue them from the power of the Egyptians" and 2) "lead them out of Egypt into their own fertile and spacious land." So, in no unclear terms, the Lord said He was going to get the Israelites out of Egypt and into Canaan. What followed next was Moses’ assignment (his purpose). The Lord said, "Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt." Once again, the Lord said He was going to do two things (lead them out and lead them into), but the assignment He gave Moses was only the first one; leading the nation of Israel out of Egypt. If the Lord wanted Moses to lead the Israelites into Canaan, then it seems logical that the Lord would have told him so now. However, after explaining to Moses that He was going to do both things, the Lord only assigned one of them to Moses.
If we fast-forward to Numbers chapter 20 we learn of an incident where Moses disobeyed God and it resulted in the Lord saying, "Because you did not trust me enough to demonstrate my holiness to the people of Israel, you will not lead them into the land I am giving them!" (v.12). Now, here’s my point. The Lord may have used the incident in Numbers 20 as the reason why Moses was not allowed to lead the people into Canaan, but the Lord did not have to wait until Numbers 20 to find out what Moses was going to do. The Lord knows the end from the beginning. So the Lord, based upon His foreknowledge of Moses’ actions, gave Moses his marching orders way back in Exodus 3. And since the Lord knew Moses was not going to lead the people into Canaan, He setup divine purpose in another person, Joshua, to do just that. Moses could have cried out to God and asked the Lord to allow him to lead the people in, but the bottom-line is that it was not part of his assignment. Since it was not part of his assignment, then no prayer, fasting, crying, tears, etc. could force God to do something He did not purpose Moses to do. This is why it is so important for you to know your purpose.
So what does this mean to you today? I will give it to you in the words of Dr. Myles Munroe. Dr. Munroe said, "If you pursue the wrong assignment, you’re going to need things you can’t get, because the provision isn’t there unless the vision is yours. It’s someone else’s assignment, and he has his own warehouse. Sometimes, people make demands on God that He can’t supply because He can’t give us what doesn’t belong to us. Again, knowing God’s will for your life is the key to your prosperity."
Closing Confession: Father, I thank You for blessing me to understand my assignment in life. I want to clearly know my purpose and I believe that You will enable me to know it, without a shadow of a doubt. I know that I can’t force You to do anything You don’t want to do. I can’t fast, pray, or cry my way into something that You have not ordained for me to have. Therefore, I understand that my prosperity in life – physical, social, mental, relational, and financial – is tied to my purpose. You will freely give me everything I need to accomplish my purpose in life. My goal then is to find it, follow it, and finish it before I die. Life is much easier when I am flowing in my purpose and I am praying for things that You want me to have. That’s the way I want to live and I declare by faith that it is the way I shall live from now on. In Jesus’ name. Amen!
By Pastor Ademola
I visit www.cacworldwide.net on regularly basis. But today I came across a subject of significant titled; "The Significance of October 11th for CAC." Inasmuch as I appreciate this contribution, I am struggling to agree with the concluding remark; I quote; "So prophetically, CAC is an 11th hour Church. She receives the same blessing as those who came earlier, such as the Methodist and Catholic." I will like to encourage more of inspirational contribution as well as balanced theology.
In the Bible, you will agree with me that number in Scripture communicates supernatural design of great spiritual significance. There is not much with respect to the number, "11" in the Bible but what there is, is significant, particularly, when the number in question is considered as a factor.
1. The Dukes of Edom were eleven in number (Gen. 36:40-43)
2. The Eleven Sons of Jacob told us of the disintegration and disorganization in Jacob’s family
3. From Horeb to Kadesh Barnea was a journey of eleven days (Deuteronomy 1:2). One more day could have brought them the experience of wonders of completeness.
4. Eli, Hophni, and Phinehas have their gematria the number 462, the factors of which are 11 & 42. This also told us of the disorder in Eli’s house, and of disintegration in Israel.
5. Jehoiakim reigned eleven years when Nebuchadnezzar came up and began the disintegration of Jerusalem (2 Kings 23:36; 24:1; 2 Chron. 36:5-6)
6. Sedekiah reigned eleven years when Nebuchadnezzar completed the disintegration and put an end of the rule of God’s people in Jerusalem, and in the eleventh year the city was broken up (2 Chron. 36:11; Jer. 52:1; 34:2)
7. Ezekiel prophesied against Tyre in the eleventh year (Ezek. 26:1)
8. Ezekiel prophesied against Egypt was in the eleventh year of Zedekiah (Ezek. 30:20; 31:1).
8. The eleven Apostles told of disintegration even amongst the Twelve (Acts 2:14, …)
9. The eleventh hour of Matthew 20:6,9 is proverbial and most conservative theologians have come to see it has been contrary alike both to what is right in order and arrangement (Bullinger, 1967)
10. The life of our Lord on Earth was about 33 years (3X11), but it was violently "cut off," and "we see not yet all things put under Him" (Dan. 9:26; Heb. 2:8)
11. The eleven hundred occur only twice in the Bible, depicting days of defective administration, landmark by the ugly fact that there was "no king." (Judges 16:5; 17:2). You will remember that Dan and Ephraim were two offending tribes who made the image with the eleven hundred shekels. Both are omitted from the tribes in Rev. 7 in accordance to the declaration of God in Deut. 29:18-20, that anyone who introduced idolatry into Israel shall be severe punished, and I quote; "the LORD shall blot out his name."
Obviously, if ten is the number for the perfection of Divine Order, then eleven is an addition to it, Bullinger called this; "Subversive of and undoing that order." If twelve is the number for the perfection of Divine government, then eleven falls short of it. Thus, whether we regard it as being 10+1, or, 12-1, which is the pattern of Bible’s numerology, the number 11 is the number, which marks DISORDER, DISORGANIZATION, IMPERFECTION, AND DISINTEGRATION.
With reference to Christ Apostolic Church Worldwide (CAC), this is my submission; the CAC from inception until 1983 was of gematria number 10, from 1983 particularly after the death of BABA LATUNDE- CAC gematria stepped into number 11. My prayer now and that of my group is for the revival that will bring Divine government that will usher CAC into the golden season, which was God’s promise to the great Revivalist Joseph Ayo Babalola.
By Lori Cullen
Lori Cullen (@lorilynnecullen on Twitter) is Principal at Erin Woods Elementary in Calgary, Alberta.
I wanted to take a minute to reflect on what I have learned about leadership and being a Principal. I am always learning; however, here are the key lessons that I want to remember and apply to this year. Not in any particular order, here are the ways I hope to become a great leader and great principal.
1. Communication Is King, Communication Is Key
I can’t say it enough, or in enough ways; that is my motto. If there is something I really, really want people to know, I need to say it often, in many different ways and formats. The same goes for me; if there is something you really, really want me to know, tell me often, in person and by email. I have learned the hard way that the top two non-effective forms of communication in schools are saying something over the PA system, and at an assembly. If you make announcements or give important messages in these two ways, perhaps 10 percent of the people will actually hear and understand. At the other end of the range, the most effective way of communicating is one-on-one or face-to-face with a small group of people who are taking notes. If they do not take notes, a follow-up email is necessary.
2. Just Because I Said It Doesn’t Mean They Learned It
I find that I often tell people “how” to do things . . . how to write report card comments, how to conduct parent meetings, how to work with a student, how to organize a classroom . . . and the list goes on. However, just because I said it doesn’t mean they learned it. In fact, my saying it doesn’t mean they even heard it, got it, understood it or believed it! I find that if I want people to learn something new, I have to teach it. (Wow, amazing concept for an educator!) Tried and true teaching strategies work for adults, too. Don’t just tell an adult how to ride a bike; teach them. Show them, help them, support them, let them try it, encourage them, listen to them, answer questions, applaud, cheer and celebrate!
3. Back It Up
Not your hard drive, your words! I find that backing up my ideas, thoughts, and initiatives with current, quality research found in reputable literature is the way to go. I am fond of saying, “This isn’t Lori’s thing, or Lori’s way.” By that, I mean we should do this because we know it is best practice, and it is proven good and right for students. This is based on research and backed by data. The way we do it in our school might be specific to our content, but it is tried and true.
4. Let Others Do
I often have teachers and staff approach me and say, “Can I do this?” If “this” is in any way reasonable and safe, it’s always worth a try. Remember riding the bike? How will they learn if they don’t try? My job is to talk it through, make sure it is the best try (don’t hop on a bike that is too big or too small or has a bent rim and wonder what you did wrong), and then support the outcome, whatever it may be. A word to the cautious: “Can I do this?” is quite different from “Can we do this?” See #1 – communication. Then sort out the we.
There are people in my school who are experts at what they do. The bookkeeper, administrative secretary, custodian and tech specialist all know things that I do not know. Appreciate them. Appreciate their knowledge and expertise. Let them help!
6. Be Aware
To be aware, you have to be where the people are. I find that many things in a day can pass me by if I don’t leave the office. Just walking around the school, outside of the school and into classrooms brings an awareness of the everyday goings-on, successes and challenges. How can I improve on things if I don’t know what needs improving on? Having people tell me is one thing; seeing things for myself is a whole new “Ooooohhhhhh.”
7. Follow Up
Following up on things I say or ask is a necessary way to add meaning to what I do. For example, if I ask teachers to read a chapter in a book or watch a webinar and then I never go back to it, ask about it or talk about it, it wasn’t really that important in the first place. I find that what you focus on shows people what is important and what is important is what improves. Unless I follow up, I am really just making weak suggestions.
8. Change Your Mind
It is an exhilarating feeling to know that you can change your mind at any moment, usually not on a whim, but when you learn or realize something new that would be more productive or effective. You know the old saying, “Doing something over and over the same way, and expecting different results is… ” Well, you can fill in the blank. Don’t do things over and over the same way unless you can’t think of a different way, or unless it’s working exceptionally well. Over the years, with all the mind changes, we have developed into a team that is flexible, progressive, and growing. Trying things in a different way on a different day is the example of growing and changing.
9. Be Gracious, Be Kind
There is no reason I can think of to be anything other than gracious and kind toward all of the different people you meet and work with. People like to be thanked and treated in kind, courteous ways. People who are treated this way are productive, happy people. And the word gets out. Before you know it, people will want to come and work with you!
10. Have a Sense of Humour
Life is stressful, work is stressful, but it is true that everything goes a lot easier when you can laugh about things — and at yourself. From a person that has the ability to let people get under her skin, I’ve learned that not owning, not exasperating and lightening up helps get me through any day. Luckily, I work in a school and am blessed that I can talk to, enjoy, and laugh with all of the little people who come through the door of the school every day. In the end, they don’t really care about the budget or the regulations. They just live in the moment.
A Final Note
Live in the moment and enjoy the children. If you don’t like the choices you made today, you are in luck! You can wake up tomorrow and make different ones! What choices will you make today?
By Tope Popoola
That you made it to this year is evidence that there is a purpose you will have to fulfill this year. It is a crucial year in many aspects; socially, politically and economically. As a nation, we will be electing a new set of leaders. Events in the year will definitely task our personal leadership capacities on various fronts. I pray that our current and soon to be elected leaders will also learn these lessons. It therefore becomes germane for me to share the following leadership lessons from the South African living legend Nelson Mandela. It was written by Doug Lawrence and I have merely adopted it because of its pertinence. Enjoy!
Courage is not the absence of fear—it is inspiring others to move beyond it.
Having worked with many leaders over the years, I’ve always been exceedingly aware that there are really only two kinds—those who appear to have everything in control and those who actually spend very little time controlling anything, because they’re too busy moving people forward by example.
Lead from the front—but don’t leave your base behind. One leader I know (inspired by Steve Jobs) always tells his students to, “Connect the dots, but don’t forget any of the dots that are behind you—they are just as important as the ones that are in front of you.” How many leaders do you know who focus all their attention on the future and completely forget about what got them to where they are. This is one of the most dangerous mistakes that a leader can make, and I have been both guilty of it, and the victim of it. You too! Admit it!
Lead from the back—and let others believe they are in front. Humility is at the core of good leadership. People are usually willing to follow someone who they believe has their back—someone more interested in them, than in themselves. I love the affirmation model. You can never affirm enough, and, no, you won’t spoil people by saying you think they’re wonderful! The more you are the affirmer, the more the affirmed will take the initiative and move the initiative forward. If this doesn’t work—move them on to someplace else—but, please, not to my church.
Know your enemy—and learn about his favorite sport. Remember the old saying, “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing?” Well, the truth is that a little knowledge can be an exceptionally helpful thing. Here’s a short list of stuff you might want to know in order to undermine potentially negative relationships:
What’s your enemies’ favorite sport and how much do you know about that activity that might break up conversational deadlock? Mandela didn’t like Rugby, but he knew all about it because South African elitists and political enemies all seemed to love the game.
Keep your friends close—and your rivals even closer. I’m opposed to this kind of thinking, but have utilized it most of my life. If you don’t want to get run over by a big, honking SUV, run next to it—not in front of it!
Appearances matter—and remember to smile. Why is it that some leaders don’t think the rules apply to them? Well, in addition to blatant narcissism, leaders sometimes forget that they were given leadership, they didn’t just wake up having it one day. Earn respect by showing respect! Remember, it was others who placed you in charge. Dress and carry yourself as though you appreciate that fact.
Nothing is black or white. So, if things are really shades of gray, and you spend a lot of time there, does that mean you’re not a Christian? No, God gave us shades of gray so we would have real choices to make. He’s not a cosmic school teacher or traffic cop who is ready to slap our hand if we make a mistake. He came to earth because he expected us to make mistakes. Own those, and let the rest of it go.
Quitting is leading too. Would you be offended if I quoted Kenny Rogers here? You absolutely need to know when to “fold ‘em!” Here are some responses to leave conflicting projects. They might also tick people off, so be careful!
“I’m dropping out of this project because my skills don’t match your needs.”
“I’m going to bow out of this endeavor now because I personally believe this is not the time to pursue this agenda.”
“I’m going to turn down your request for help because, to be truthful, I don’t agree with your position on this matter.”
All of these sentences could be used to lead while excusing yourself from the folly of being in the wrong place at the wrong time simply by endorsement.
Well, I hope you find these lessons useful in your various leadership responsibilities this year.
By Tope Popoola
He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed. Proverbs 13:20
There are only two types of relationship in the real sense of the word. A relationship is either empowering you or disempowering you. There is no middle of the road. Consequently, not everyone that flows into your life qualifies for equal levels of attention. Some people only deserve a few minutes or even a few seconds. Assess the quality of relationships in your life right now in relation to the direction in which you are headed in life. How relevant are they? Use your answer to determine how much time you need to allocate to each relationship. Everyone wants to associate with success. As the cliché goes, success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan. No man can succeed beyond the best relationships in his life.
TIME is your most valuable capital. It is also a non-replaceable asset. Spending a substantial chunk of it on people who are not in any way related to your life pursuit will cost you energy and bring emotional deficits. Some relationships are real energy drainers. Deliberately avoid such toxic intrusions into your life and destiny.
On the other hand, deliberately cultivate the company of people whose presence literally puts you on mental steroids. When in their company, your dreams come alive again and you leave with the feeling that in God, anything is possible. People in this category are not easy to come by in a world where negativity is the norm. They may be mentors or contemporaries but once you identify them, pay the price to service the relationship. Conversely, when even your mentors are no longer speaking the language of your destination, it is a sign that you probably need a change of alliances and input into your life.
Do everything you can to avoid the company of those who only speak the language of your frustration and deliberately court the company of those who speak the language of your destination. Whatever or whoever gives you instruction will also by implication, give you direction.
Allocate quality time to the most important relationships in your life. Never pursue success at the expense of your family life, especially your nuclear family. When everyone else leaves – as they sometimes do, they will be the ones left. Plan for time to be with your spouse and children. They must be seen and treated as stakeholders in your pursuit of purpose. If your immediate family is alien to your success, you are signing on for a miserable existence.
After many years of what seemed to have been a highly successful ministry with a broadcasting station, a hotel, schools and daily TV appearances, an erstwhile popular American televangelist Jim Baker found himself behind bars as a result of an act of indiscretion. After his release, he admitted, while addressing a Pastors’ meeting that it took his going to jail before he could spend one full day with his son!
Maintaining quality relationships and avoiding toxic ones like a plague requires deliberate skill. A whole chapter is dedicated to the subject of relationships in my book LIVING INTENTIONALLY. You should get a copy and read it well. The people-factor is an integral part of your success story. Mike Murdock once said that if God wants to bless you, He sends people. Conversely, when the devil wants to frustrate you, he sends people! You must be discerning enough to know whose purpose any relationship serves in your life, God’s or Satan’s.
Here is a guide to benchmark your current relationships against so you can be empowered to know what to do with the relationships you are involved in now.
Never spend quality time in a relationship where you do all the giving.
It wears you out.
Never spend quality time in a relationship where you do all the taking.
It devalues you.
Never spend quality time in a relationship that has no boundaries.
It compromises you.
Never spend quality time in a relationship that does not respect your values.
It frustrates you.
Never spend quality time in a relationship that is characterized by criticism and cynicism.
It corrodes you.
Never spend quality time in a relationship that has no value for time.
It kills the achiever in you.
Never spend time in a relationship that does not value grace in other people.
It dulls your insight.
Never spend time in a relationship that places charisma over character.
It grieves you.
Never spend quality time in a relationship that places pleasure above PURPOSE.
It derails you.
Never spend quality time in a relationship that is not characterized by the fear of God.
It will destroy you.
Take an inventory of the FIVE best relationships in your life outside your immediate family. Find out the income profile and social status of each. Average it out. You will find out that you operate and earn at the level of whatever you get as the average. Think about that!
By Tope Popoola
F.E.A.R – False Evidence Appearing Real Fear has torment – 1 John 4:18 The man who is afraid to die is unwittingly forfeiting his patrimony – Yoruba proverb.
Welcome to the second half of 2010. I trust that the first half has been very eventful for you. May all your losses and defeats in the first half be reversed in the second half. God will make the bounce-back factor work in your favour. So much more can be accomplished in the second half that can dwarf every achievement of the first half.
The title of the series I begin today will no doubt raise questions in your mind. Can anyone really be afraid of success? Is there anyone on earth who does not want to succeed? Everyone I know wishes to succeed but I have found out that there is a world of difference between expressed desires and pursued aspirations.
As we begin the second half, what are your greatest fears? Are they new ones or carried over from the first half? If you do not get rid of, or go ahead in spite of them, you may not have any significantly different results at the end of the year. Trust me, trembling by the river-bank for fear of crocodiles and blaming everyone who did not build a bridge over the river when they should have will never guarantee your arrival on the other side.
Fear is arguably the most paralysing influences on human achievements. It is in fact the scourge of any significant achievement.
People ruled by fear will never see even the best of their intentions become decisions. The implication of this is a life of complacency and slothfulness borne out of the fact that, as long as the fear is not mastered – and can in fact be justified – nothing gets done!
Fear produces in us an aversion to risk that encourages us to be careful where and when we should be daring. An enviable life is epitomized by risks. The life of faith is a risk and it is very risky not to take risks! Great achievers will tell you that while they were doing the things that made them succeed, a great proportion of the time, their heart was in their mouth. It was not that they were not afraid, it was that they defied the fear and went ahead to do what they felt they needed to do! If the venture fails, they simply learn the lessons inherent in the experience and move ahead again until they succeed. Thomas Edison was an unrepentant risk-taker. It got so bad at a point that his financiers actually pulled the plug on him because they thought he was going too far with his “crazy” research projects. In spite of that, he went ahead and gave the world over 1000 patented inventions!
Let’s take a quick look at the common fears that we all experience at some point. Fear of death This happens especially if the venture will involve moving from one point to another. People who are victims of this always imagine themselves being involved in an accident even before they have embarked on the journey. When they hear of accidents along the route they would follow, it becomes their alibi for not venturing. Consequently, their sense of adventure is highly limited. They are like the man described in Proverbs 26:13 not wanting to leave the house because he is convinced there is a lion on the street waiting to destroy him! They will not be caught dead doing certain jobs that entail risks, no matter how mouth-watering the pay packet may be.
A friend of mine would never be caught dead in an airplane even if you bought him a first class ticket. The mere mention of flying makes him go on a creative imagination of air crashes and how no one usually survives it! To people like this, it is as if the fear of death is an insurance against death itself! Truth be told, death is a reality that will happen to all, young or old, whether or not you fear it. In accidents, many people have been known to die from fear-induced heart attacks than the actual accident itself!
The story is told of a king who signed a pact with death to the effect that whenever death would come calling in the village, he was to take away only those above the age of 90.
However, on death’s first visit after the pact, about ten people died who were far younger than the prescribed age. Incensed by deaths’ inability to respect an agreement, the king confronted him to know why he was such a terrible covenant breaker. To which death replied, “In accordance with our agreement, I only took one man who was 93 years old. Fear of my presence in town took the rest!”
Yours truly had cause to address the topic THE LEADERSHIP IMPERATIVE at the maiden edition of the monthly LEADERS AT LUNCH which held recently in Lagos. It was exciting speaking to Leaders representative of different spectra of society. If you are interested in being part of this monthly event that seeks to address critical issues on Leadership and its role in personal and national transformation, you can indicate by sending me an e-mail. I will be more than glad to supply details on how you can participate. We continue our discourse.
Apart from the fear of death discussed last week, we also have:
Fear of the unknown
I have no doubt you are familiar with the expression “The devil you know is better than the angel you do not know”. Well, I do not know anything good or desirable about any devil, even if you were next-door neighbours! People possessed of this type of fear would rather stay within the confines set by status quo. They are resolute establishmentarians for whom change is practically anathema. They have an idea or even a clear picture of a more desirable future but cannot take responsibility for the disciplines and risks necessary to access it. So even when present location or situation is not the ideal, they hesitate to move because they are constantly afraid of the unknown. The familiar is their own ideal. Such people would rather tread well-worn paths than chart a unique and unprecedented pathway.
Fear of people’s opinion
This is a product of a terrible self-esteem that only measures achievement from the binoculars of others. Victims of this type of fear, even when they have a conviction about a matter, routinely subject it to other people’s opinion because they so desperately need the validation that such people give. People in this situation hardly take the initiative for anything. Like rolling stone, they gather no moss. Even when an idea is so real, they would usually wait for someone else to blaze the trail before they attempt to make their own move. As a Trainer/Public Speaker, I have noticed that whenever people are asked to ask questions after a presentation, you find people looking around for the first person to raise his hand. As soon as someone has done so, you suddenly start seeing so many hands now wanting to ask questions.
To the man who is captive to others’ opinion, what is popular is more important than what is right! He would rather be popular than be relevant. He impresses more than he impacts. For him, image is everything. For this reason, he cannot take a stand for anything that puts him in opposition to the very people whose validation he so desperately seeks. He constantly seeks to be “politically correct” because he does not want anything that pitches him against other people. Even when he is right and has superior argument on his side, he cannot afford to fall out of favour with people.
Fear of failure
People who are under the grip of this dimension of fear have an aversion to venturing because they do not want to ever make a mistake. Result? They end up making nothing! They constantly live in the illusion of waiting for conditions to be perfect. They would rather wait to get it right than get it going.
Yet the Bible clearly indicates that those who wait for all conditions to be perfect will never get anything done. They will readily manufacture excuses for validating inaction and procrastination even when it is obvious that their fears are misplaced. Their favourite mantra is “I don’t’ want to do anything now until I know exactly what needs to be done. I can’t afford any mistakes”. They justify their inertia by an abundant repertoire of stories of failed ventures to assuage their own coward minds. They constantly invent disaster stories, market crashes, accidents, business failures etc. as their great excuse for not venturing.
Having identified these fears, I submit that they are actually nothing but the disguise worn by the real fear; the fear of success. The truth is that many people have withdrawn their own permission to succeed by the kind of mindset they have about success. They cannot bear to see themselves bear the responsibility of adopting the lifestyle and disciplines that go with success since they had in time past criticized those who had dared to take the risks involved in succeeding. If for instance, you had concluded that everyone who rides a nice car and lives in a fine house is either a drug-pusher or criminal, you have misguidedly and unwittingly edited yourself from that bracket of life especially if you have no plans to do any of those things you accuse them of.
Take a good look at yourself. Can you convince yourself that you truly deserve to succeed? The real issue in the fear of success is about this; What if it works? Strange but true. Many of us have lofty visions for the future but have withdrawn our permission to succeed because we cannot see ourselves differently from the way we are now! Everything is in our mind and by extension becomes our reality. Here are some of the debilitating beliefs that fuel our fear of success:
I don’t deserve to succeed beyond a level.
Who am I to aspire to the highest position in the organization? That’s only for dreamers. I’m a realist and I don’t fool myself.”
“I don’t ever see myself riding that kind of car” (even though in the inner recesses of your mind, you see yourself behind its steering!)
“There is nobody in my family or circle of friends that has experienced that level of achievement, so why should I be different?”
“As long as I can pay my bills and I don’t owe anyone, I’m content.”
These are some of the subtle, disempowering messages many of us feed our subconscious with on a regular basis. Before I had my first Mercedes Benz, I had always believed it was only for the stinking rich. But one day I convinced myself that if anyone could ride a Benz, so could I? So I went to borrow one from an associate. Without telling him what I needed it for, I simply took a drive around town just to experience the feeling. I loved it and from then on began to tell anyone who cared to listen about my next car, down to the colour even when I had no clue where the money would come from. My dream came true a few weeks thereafter.
‘Success attracts envy’
This thought gnaws at your very soul whenever a part of you wants to strive for the lofty heights in the labyrinths of your dreams especially if in time past you had treated with disdain, people who dared to attain those heights that your mind is now offering you. Shivers run down your spine because you are suddenly hit with the possible reality that this may be payback time? You cannot even bear to accommodate the thought. So you conclude, maybe it’s not worth it afterall!
‘Success exposes one to undue publicity and exposure’
To you, your present obscurity is a form of insurance against public scrutiny. You therefore convince yourself that being in the public eye is not for you. Who wants to hug the headlines and become subject of papparazzi gossip? Well wake up and smell the coffee, no one throws stones at a tree that has no fruits on it! If you recognize that your success is not just about you, you will recognize that this is too small a price to pay. No matter how much you hate publicity, if you are doing anything that touches the core of society at any significant level, people know about you. Even if you try to cover a fire, the smoke will betray its presence!
‘Success exposes one to early death’
This thought pattern convinces you to tread softly so you do not expose yourself to the risk of premature death from people who do not like your face (village witches!) or from the stress of success! Who wants to go through all those endless hours of travel? Too risky you conclude. Well it is better to live one day as a lion than to live 50 years as a dog!
‘You can’t succeed without being crooked’
This mindset is reinforced by the many stories of corporate disasters around us, especially when we find out that they were orchestrated by individuals we thought were the ultimate role models because of the values they projected. If people like that could be corrupted, do I stand a chance you ask?
Afterall, as the Yoruba would put it, behind every story of wealth are some murky, putrefying issues (Isale oro l’egbin)! The real interpretation of that proverb is that if you are going to succeed significantly, you will have to get your hands dirty (not soiled) through hard work and paying the price of applying yourself to certain time-tested principles. It has nothing to do with cutting corners and wrecking others to succeed.
‘Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown’
This is the mindset that convinces you that the responsibilities attached to prominence are too numerous especially when you seem to be the lone island in an ocean of poverty. Siblings, family members, the larger community would suddenly swoop on you and start making demands ranging from what to eat to being the Chief Launcher at every public event. However, are these enough reasons for you not to aspire? How do you permanently conquer this terrible psychological Goliath that is nothing but a destiny saboteur?
Convince yourself that you deserve to succeed.
God’s original plan is for man to succeed. My definition of success is the progressive internalization and realization of God’s purpose for an individual. It’s not about a chain of cars or lots of real estate or the billions in the bank. Those are consequences. Purpose is the cause. If you can discover why you are on earth, and pursue it, your success is only a matter of time. If you make money and have all the big toys without defining your raison d’etre, the frustration of the acquisitions will kill you!
Align your God-inspired purpose with a vision and a compelling desire to make the world a better place for all.
Your discovered purpose is the platform of your significance. Imagine yourself solving problems for humanity with your unique peculiarities and skills. Think of lives being saved, people changed, communities developing, smiling faces, children having good education because of something you did. How does that make you feel?
Be comfortable with the reward of relevance.
The world delivers success to you as the reward for your contribution. The universe has been programmed to deliver rewards to you based on your input. Every day of your life, you are living in a harvest. Success is therefore not a pursuit. It is a reward for purposeful living! The only control you have over the degree of your success is limited to your decision to actualize your discovery and the price you are willing to pay to deploy it for greater good.
Be comfortable with people’s reaction.
Whether or not you succeed, people will still talk about you anyway. Your refusal to succeed doesn’t insulate you from the scourge of the mouth. The key issue is, is what they are saying true? If they accuse you of scandal, can the charge stick? To lead the orchestra, you must turn your back to the crowd and face the music. After a good performance, you can face them while they stand on their feet to applaud an excellent performance. It is ok to be envied, maligned as much as it is to be applauded. Don’t be conceited with the applause and don’t be distracted by the disdain. Just keep moving!
Be comfortable with loneliness.
When God gives you a picture of your destiny, He does not call a council meeting with all your family and friends in attendance! It’s just you and Him. Get used to the fact that those who did not see what you saw cannot be expected to do what you ought to do. Rejection is therefore part of the package. A man of purpose is like a mad man dancing to music that others around him cannot hear. When Paul had his Damascus road encounter in Acts 9, the people with him only heard “a voice (Paul’s I presume) but saw no man” even when two people – he and Jesus – had been speaking. You may be lonely, but you are not alone!
Be comfortable with a new circle of friends.
There is nothing that more effectively edits your circle of relationships than the pursuit of a clearly defined destination. When you resolve to pursue purpose, you are also sending notice to those not relevant to the pursuit to exit your life. If you expect all your old friends to be comfortable with your new status, you joke! The good thing about that is that as you go along, you meet fellow travelers whose hearts are, like you, set on pilgrimage. They don’t speak like your old friends. These ones speak the language of your destination, not the language of your history or your frustration. Initially you may feel strange in their company but not to worry, if you stay around them long enough, you will get used to it.
Be comfortable with opposition.
The only thing that does not encounter opposition is a static object. The enemy is not after your reality but your destiny. The battle is over your future! When you choose to follow the destiny path, opposition will come with a disguise and a sign that says STOP WORK! Don’t oblige him! There is far too much involved!
Death is a universal reality.
Even if you wear an armour to bed, you will die one day. Physical death is the guaranteed end of all flesh whether you fail or succeed. Your ancestors died. Younger people than you die, even infants do. So why don’t you pack adventure into your life while it lasts? You have only one life to live. It’s not a rehearsal, you are on stage for a live performance and your audience is already seated waiting on your every move! Between now and when the curtains are drawn – and there is no room for an encore! – you are the one they came to watch!
How can you waste the applause that is waiting for you?
By Tope Popoola
All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any… All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not. 1Corinthians 10:12/23 (KJV)
Not everything or everyone that demands your attention deserves to get it. Yes you heard me right. A life of significance is a life of priorities. We fail not so much because of the things we pursue but because of the things we refuse to neglect. Our lives are swamped by so many things that lay claim to deserving of a significant chunk of our time. The technology gizmos that come out of production lines these days all want to squeeze out a portion of the 24 hours that we have daily. It is interesting that the only claim that these gadgets make is that they were designed to make our lives easier. However, you and I know that the only significant thing they have done for the most part is to further complicate our hitherto simple lives!
Ipods, ipads, galaxy, mp3 players, tablet computers etc., have become more of a source of pain than gain. Cable TV now provides us over 200 channels of entertainment to choose from. How on earth did we survive without mobile phones? That contraption has become such a sometimes nauseating aspect of our contemporary reality that we do not even know when we should shut it down. Even important meetings – including private moments between couples – are routinely interrupted by nondescript phone calls.
How about the computer? The internet and other related gadgets have conspired to do more damage to our personalities than the ease they promise. For one, it has literally killed the attention span of our youth. Even in church services and classrooms, it is not unusual to see young people texting or updating their Facebook profile while the Pastor is totally engaged in the preaching of a life-transforming message or the teacher is busy making some vital points. We now relate through machines and gadgets. Our reasoning, even if not consciously, is that afterall, if we can communicate by sms, email, Blackberry and Twitter, why do we need personal relationships?
Chronic sleep disorders are on the increase because people stay awake all night making night calls or chatting online. Consequently, they spend their daytime moments acting grumpy and generally uncoordinated. According to the results of a survey, 42% of boys and 40% of girls involved in nocturnal technology gadget-related activity had chronic sleep disorders that impaired their concentration in school.
Considering all these, it would be an understatement that the attendant level of massive distraction can only be imagined.
Even if you had 36 hours to your day, you would still not be able to accomplish all you need to daily. In the light of this understanding, prioritised living is the answer. You must, like Paul the apostle, be able to distinguish between priorities and urgencies. You will be misunderstood and, called names when you start drawing the lines. But that is a small price to pay for your life to make progress.
Time is the number one capital you have to make an eternal impact. So learn to use it well and appropriately. The key to this is to master the art of intelligent neglect. All successful people do it. Brian Tracy calls it creative procrastination. According to him, in order to effectively set priorities, you must also set “posteriorities”. Priority has to do with something that you need to do more of and sooner while “posteriorities” are those things that can wait or not get done at all without any disservice to your destination.
Beam the searchlight on your life. Are there things you are presently doing less of but which are absolutely necessary in attaining your life goals? Focus more time attention on those. They are priority. Conversely, are there things you are doing now – not necessarily evil! – that do not significantly lead in the direction of your life destination? Learn to deliberately neglect, procrastinate on or completely avoid them. Cut down significantly on TV, films, and the obsession with technological gizmo and give the time saved to more productive activity.
Champions are not only known by what they are willing to deliberately pursue but also by what they deliberately forsake!
By Tope Popoola
All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient… 1 Corinthians 10:23a …Keep this man: if by any means he be missing, then shall thy life be for his life, or else thou shalt pay a talent of silver. And as thy servant was busy here and there, he was gone. And the king of Israel said unto him, So shall thy judgment be; thyself hast decided it. 1 Kings 20:39-40
A clearly defined vision is the compass that guides you to the desired destination. Vision is constant even when the strategy changes. The best of strategies only serve vision. The star that appeared to the wise men in Matthew 2 was designed to lead them to where Jesus was born. They were on track until they decided to veer off into the palace of King Herod for a courtesy call. And that momentary distraction proved very costly and brought national grief and the decimation of an entire generation of male children.
Intelligent neglect is about deliberately eliminating from your schedule, activities that do not contribute in any significant way to getting you to the defined destination.
Great footballers understand that you don’t win a match by focusing on the scoreboard. You win by focusing your shots and your eyes on the goalpost. The scoreboard has nothing to do with the outcome of the game.On the other hand, it is what happens between the ball and the goalpost that is reflected on the scoreboard.Goals affect the scoreboard, not vice versa.
Many destinies are buried in the graveyard of broken focus. Guard your focus jealously. On an average day, many activities compete for your attention. Some of them will appear urgent. But urgent doesn’t mean expedient. Only a life of priorities will help you determine which is which. Greatness is not only determined by what is done but also by what is deliberately left undone.
Distractions often come in attractive packages. Many young men in Joseph’s shoes would have jumped at the opportunity of an unholy romp in Mrs. Portiphar’s bed when she so willingly offered it. But not Joseph. By keeping his dream in view, he recognised the offer for what it was; attractive yet distractive!
Once upon a time, the tortoise was the butt of every animal’s jokes because of its slow pace. The dog’s jokes were particularly derisive and deliberately demeaning. Deciding that he would not take it anymore, the tortoise challenged the dog to a race. ‘What cheek!’, thought the dog as he initially shrugged off such possibility as the ranting of a demented fool. With the prize and the course determined and believing it had nothing to lose, the dog agreed.
On the eve of the race, the tortoise had strategically positioned some juicy bones at select locations on the route. He was careful enough to place the juiciest of them all a few meters before the finish line. Came the day of the race and all the animals had gathered to see the strange spectacle of how literally speaking, the tail was going to wag the dog! The excitement was fever-pitch. The dog took off full throttle while the crowd roared as the tortoise seemed to barely move. He simply maintained a steady pace.
A few meters into the race, the dog smelt something very attractive. He paused and looked behind him. The tortoise was not even within view yet. ‘Well’, he reasoned, ‘a little refreshment would not be out of place.’ So he stopped to eat. When he looked up and saw that the tortoise was close, he took off again at full speed. After about another 300 meters, he perceived the smell again. Looking back and not seeing the tortoise, he said to himself; ‘This was never a contest anyway, just fun!’ So he stopped and ate.
The routine continued until he got to the final bone which had been specially garnished and strategically positioned within view of the finish line. The aroma was overpowering. Since the end was only one trot away, a bite wouldn’t hurt. Halfway through the meal, he was so full, he could hardly move. Convinced that a little snooze would not be out of place, he promptly fell asleep and did not notice the tortoise stroll by to finish the race. The thunderous applause of an excited and surprised crowd roused the dog from its prize-snatching slumber! He learnt the lesson.
Say ‘No’ to non-essentials so you can say ‘Yes’ to the essentials. Be comfortable with the fact that you cannot solve everyone’s problem, you cannot go everywhere, you do not know all things and you cannot do all things!
If you could, you would be a contender for the position of God! He is the only one who is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. Believe me. He is better at it than anyone else!