It's so good to have you follow my exciting and thought provoking 'bloggages' (combination of blogs and messages). Much of the things i write about are linked to personal experiences and personal perspectives. It is my way of sharing life's lessons that will hopefully strengthen your resolve to be and to do that which you have always dreamed of. Journey with me and perhaps i'll hear from you too concerning what you read here. You can even link to my Facebook page to chat there. My sole aim is to get you everyday to STAND YOUR GROUND!

Saturday, 2 January 2010

We can't handle your change

In this new years bloggage (Combination of blog and message) I’m going to talk about change, YOUR CHANGE. 2009 came to an end and believe you me no matter what your state was when it started; you changed by the time 31 December 2009 came. Lets talk a little bit.

At some point you are going to have to accept that you are constantly changing. Everyday you are growing, evolving, becoming, maturing, morphing, developing and CHANGING! No one stays the same no matter what drug they’re on and no matter what their academic achievement may be. You will also have to deal with the fact that sometimes your change is not very welcome to others, especially if its positive change. Have you ever noticed that folk seem to want to you to stay the same or get worse in whatever you may be facing in life? I’m not sure what it is but we seem to derive a form of pleasure at the failure of advancement of those around us. Some people want others to stay the same or to get worse because it helps them feel as if they’re going somewhere because they’re better off. I did a series of talks in our church some time ago on accomplishing your dreams. In that series I talked of how sometimes we gauge our progress based on other peoples lack of it. Folk feel more successful as long as others fail. You cannot and you must not use others failures or hardship as a yardstick for your success. Measure your success by your goals. If you really want competition compete with your former self not the guy next to you. You’re running a different race from them.

The people who are most upset and unwilling to accept your progressive, positive change are those closest to you. It’s hard for those who know you well to accept that you are making drastic changes in your life. We want you to remain somebody we can understand and explain. If you’ve always been depressed we want you to stay depressed, if you’ve always been broke we want you to stay broke, if you’ve always needed financial help from us we want you stay needing it, if you’ve always lived in a not so nice hood we want you to keep staying there. The moment you begin to do things that we have never known you to do we get uncomfortable with you. Especially when you begin to live in house like or better than ours, drive cars like or better than ours, wear clothes like or better than ours Try this little experiment next time you’re with a group of close friends or family. Get up and go and change your clothes for no apparent reason. You’ll notice that people will ask you why you changed; they’ll want to know what the matter is or what you’re planning to do. That’s coz when you start becoming what we don’t understand it throws our world out of sorts. We need you to stay the same so we can feel better about where we are and we can move further from you to keep ourselves feeling progressive and successful. People want to be able to define you so that they can confine you. If we define you according to your neighbourhood of residence, academic qualification, skin colour, salary bracket or social background then we can confine you to a certain type and level of life. We can’t handle your change coz it messes up our definition of you and it shatters our little shelf of achievements based on your lack of progress and past failures.

Folk who know you well cannot handle your change because they know your history. They struggled with Jesus being God’s son because they had known him as the carpenters’ son. They struggled with David as a King coz they knew him as a shepherd boy. They couldn’t handle Joseph’s dream as a ruler coz they had always known him as the last-born spoilt little brother. They can’t understand your change coz they’ve always known you as (fill in the blank) …………………………………. In Genesis 12 v 1 God had to relocate Abram so that something new could be accomplished in his life. Why did God not just bless Abram and make him into a great nation whilst in the midst of his family and friends? Simply because people who know you can be the biggest hindrance to becoming something great. I agree that family can also be a strong support but that is not always the case.

I’ve written to tell you today that you cannot live out this year by the expectations of others. You do not need anyone’s approval to become something different, you don’t have to answer any questions as to who you’re becoming and why you’re becoming. If they really want to know who or what you’re becoming then they’ll just have to wait and see when you’re done changing. Don’t let them write your 2010 script based on your past. Don’t let them condemn you to their definition of who you are based on where they are. Break their mould and STAND YOUR GROUND. Become what they never expected.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Can you smell the rain?

One of the things I remember from growing up in Africa was the coming of the rain season. It was always an exciting time because it signified the impending time of beautiful greenery in almost every direction. It was even more exciting because it meant we were in the last quarter of the year and the much-anticipated Christmas holidays would soon be upon us. Whether you lived in the rural area or urban suburbs, you could smell the first rains before they came in. It’s the most amazing smell that makes you aware of the presence of nature itself. If you lived in farmlands it was an earthy kind of a scent that made you just want to dig into the soil and eat it (I know you know what I mean). On the urban tarmac the steam from months of summer heat slowly rose filling the air with a distant burning charcoal-like smell. Wherever you where, once that first light shower touched the earth, you knew that the rains where here and the season had changed.

As they say change is the only constant. As sure at the seasons of the earth change, the seasons of your life will most definitely change. Ecclesiastes 3v1 records the much-quoted scripture, “There’s a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven.” Every season we have on earth shows up to accomplishs a specific purpose. One causes plants to blossom and produce fruit; another causes animals to migrate; yet still another will cause trees to shed leaves. Each of these seasons does something for nature that the oncoming season will build upon. So for example, if we decided we liked summer over winter and went on to remove winter altogether from the schedule of seasons, the summer would turn out to be disastrous. This is because the benefit of summer is derived from the successful completion of the winter duration. During winter and the preceding seasons, most plants shed leaves to cut down on the expulsion of the much-needed moisture and to preserve nutrients. The leaves fall to the ground and form mulch. Mulch is like a cover on the ground that preserves the moisture in the soil. The mulch then decomposes into the soil and becomes nutrients that the plant will absorb once the rains come in.

Every season you face in your life is there to accomplish something that the following season will need to progress your life further. Whilst we are powerless to change the seasons, we are most certainly not at the mercy of the seasons. Just like the trees and the animals, they change themselves either in form or location in order to get the best benefit from the current season and the impending one. Some animals will migrate yet others will hibernate. Some plants will shrivel up, and others will shed leaves. The key to deriving the best benefit from your current season is to know which season you are in. Notice it does not say there’s an activity for every season (even though that is true). It says there’s a season for every activity. The lack of knowledge as to which season you are in does not only mean that you loose significant benefit of the very season but in many ways you also put your life in danger both in the present and in the future. Returning to the example of the animals and plants, we see that if ants fail to hibernate during winter, they will die of the cold or starvation, if plants shed leaves during summer, they’ll block water from seeping into the soil and also fail to make food using the sun through the chlorophyll in their leaves. Not knowing what season you are in will cause you to do the wrong thing. You’ll get hooked up with people you shouldn’t, work for companies you’re not supposed to, start a business when you are supposed to be employed or spend money you should be saving. Order precedes progress and order means being in the right place at the right time doing the right thing.

Personally I can sense a change of seasons in my life. I’ve been watching the skies and I gotta tell you I can smell the rain. In the next few weeks my first book entitled ‘DREAM BIG AND MAKE IT HAPPEN – 40 REASONS WHY’ goes to print. It’s an exciting time for me but more than that it’s a changing of the season. Like the animals and the plants, I’m changing form and focus of activity so that I get the best out of the new season and the impending one. I want to encourage you to study your seasons, both the current one and the coming one because your very life could depend on it. When you know the season, you’ll know what to do. Remember, although you cannot change or stop the season, you are most certainly not at the mercy of the season. It may be winter, autumn, spring or indeed summer but whatever it is, STAND YOUR GROUND and get the best out of it.

Thursday, 3 September 2009


Over the last few weeks I’ve been taking stock of how I have viewed myself as an individual. I heard a speaker at a church conference I attended recently say, “A life not examined is not worth living.” There’s great truth in that because if you cannot determine your self worth to yourself, there’s little chance of being much use in this life. The one thing most important to me above what everyone thinks of me is what I think of me. You get into trouble when some other person or situation determines what you think of yourself. I’ve found that whoever defines you can confine you and whoever explains you can contain you. It has helped me tonnes to know that no human being knows me completely. I’m 32 years old this year and that is what most folk know of me. To let someone define me or my future based on just 32 years of evidence, is like trying to predict a soccer match based on the first few minutes of the game. Let me explain this with a quick and simple biology lesson that I have shared with thousands of people over the years. Just before you were conceived you started life as a sperm/seed produced from your biological father. You were not alone, for millions came with you and the greatest race you have ever run to fertilise the egg from your biological mother ensued. It was the race of your life. The fact that you were born means that you out swam millions of other sperm that had hoped to fertilise the egg that fateful day. How amazing is it then, that some smart individual today. decides to label you a failure or a looser or even an average achiever, when the first thing you ever did in your entire life was win the most important race. You’re a natural winner from when no one even knew you existed. You were stronger than them all, you were faster than them all and you are the only one who survived to tell the story. You’re the one that beat them all.

The Bible gives a brief account of Jeremiah whom God spoke to about his origins. This is what God said to him in Jeremiah 1v5;

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,

Before you were born I set you apart;

I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

I’ve known that scripture for a long time but each time I think of it I’m amazed at the fact that there’s more to me than has met the eye in the last 32 years.

Firstly God says to Jeremiah “Before I formed thee in the womb I knew you.” This is proof positive that life did not begin from conception, but that there was an existence you had prior to that. It must also mean that you are related to your parents biologically and not by destiny. Your mother’s womb is not your manufacture room but a transit room. When He says I knew you he means I approved of you and I was not surprised at your existence. For you to determine my destiny you must also know my beginnings. Without that knowledge of my pre-conception life your predictions of my post-conception life are flawed.

Then He says, “Before you were born I set you apart.” That means he was pleased with me and made me specifically for a certain time and place. There is no such thing as an accidental birth or unplanned baby. Even if you were born out of wedlock it does not nullify the specificity of your birth. Even if your conception was through a one-night stand, it was only a means to an end. The sexual intercourse that GOT you here is not as important as the specific mission that BROUGHT you here. In other words it’s not about HOW you came but more about WHY you came.

Then he says, “I appointed you a prophet unto the nations” That means I was pre-packed with purpose and destiny before I was conceived. You cannot give me a life purpose above the original one given me before I came through the womb. So understand this, you are not a result of sexual intercourse but of predetermined purpose. When you take delivery of your new BMW from the dealer you can go home and call it a Mercedes Benz all you want, but that is not going to change what it was when it was made. Today I urge you to not let the evidence of your recent years determine your future. Even if you have failed to succeed in many things since you were born, STAND YOUR GROUND with the knowledge that within you is the DNA of a winner.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Go To The Ant

My very close friend and his wife had their first child arrive this week and i was overwhelmed with joy for them. I was fascinated by the child and the fact that life as these two friends of mine had known it was about to change drastically. One of the things that struck my mind was the sudden thought that they had begun now not to live for themselves but for the generations. Indeed up until the arrival of their baby, life was about taking care of just the two of them. Today they not only have to care for the little one, but they have to start thinking and planning further ahead than they've probably ever done. Truth is raising a child requires a fair amount of wisdom that you don't find readily available. Much of it you learn on the job. The problem is that sometimes we try to bring up our children the only way we know how. The only way we know how, is usually the way we were raised. Unfortunately things are different now, what with so much TV around. One afternoon while I was visiting my library, I noticed a group of preschoolers gathered for story time. The book they were reading was There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. After the librarian finished the first page, she asked the children, "Do you think she'll die?" "Nope," a little girl in the back said. "I saw this last night on Fear Factor."

I thought i'd post a few notes from my sunday service message today. I felt it spoke to me personally & practically about preparing for the future. The message was entitled The Pursuit Of Wisdom.

Proverbs 6v6 says "Go to the Ant you sluggard; consider it's ways and be wise! it has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores it's provisions in summer and gathers it's food at harvest." The pursuit of Wisdom means that we must be willing to learn from even the smallest of things. It's amazing to me that God directs us to learn something as important as Wisdom from something tiny and seemingly useless. So what wisdom can you gain from the Ant? When you look at the characteristics of an ant you can already see that they is a lot to learn. here are some of them;

-They are highly industrious insects
-They're laborious creatures
-They work unwearidly till the work is complete
-They work quietly without show
-They work together in astonishing systems of organisation
-They're ingenious carpenters and masons in building their homes and storage units
-They fight to protect their colony to the death
-They carry out work without being forced by an overseer
-Not one ant exists without definiteness of purpose and duty

Let's go back to that opening scripture Proverbs 6v6, "Go to the Ant you sluggard; consider it's ways and be wise! it has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores it's provisions in summer and gathers it's food at harvest." So what Wisdom is there in the Ant for you? The Ant has an inbuilt ability to discern the seasons. It knows that when summer is upon the land, food is plenty-some. It also knows that after summer then comes winter and food is scarce. So during the summer the Ant collects food not for the present but for the future. We must learn to discern the seasons of life and know what to do with the resources we have. Most people enjoy the seasons of plenty and forget to store up for the winters of life.

The Ant therefore teaches us amongst other things diligence, discipline, discernment and foresight. These are key attributes to build into yourself and to practice especially in todays uncertain political and economic storms. They'll save you and the generations to come. The average worker ant lives for 90 days only, yet he labors diligently in preparation for a future that other ants will enjoy. Don't let the lack of wisdom rob you of the chance to secure your future. Go to the ant, get wisdom and STAND YOUR GROUND.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

What will it take to move you to the next level?

The Australian outback is probably one of the most notoriously safe looking, yet dangerous places trudged by adventurers and survivalist. I remember seeing a road sign when i travelled there that was thought provoking. It was at a point where the road forked. It said this; “Choose your rut wisely, you will be in it for a long time.” A rut is a gravel road that has been grooved by the wheels of vehicles with a high clearance. This means the road has a high ridge in the middle making it impossible to turn left or right should one decide to go back. Sometimes we get caught up in the ruts of life which are just so difficult to get out of. It could be an attitude rut, a feeling of constant depression because of the unfortunate turn of events or plans. For some it’s a job/career rut, a feeling of being stuck in a dead end job that has no other options. Then there’s the marriage rut, that sense of just being in a marriage because you have to be there. It’s a horrible feeling no mater what the rut is, and all you want is just to get out.

I read a story of a man who was on his way home from a night out with friends. Being stone drunk, he decided he would take a short cut through the cemetery even though it was in the dead of the night. As he stumbled along muttering to himself, he unknowingly tripped over a mound of dirt and fell into an empty freshly dug grave. I'm sure you'll agree that being drunk and stuck in a 7 foot hole in the middle of the night in the cemetery is not a good situation. The man began to shout for help but no one could hear him because it was the middle of the night and even then people did not usually pass that way at that hour. The man decided his fate for the night was sealed, so he huddled into a corner and fell asleep. A few moments later another man decided he’d take a short cut through the graveyard. Just like his drunk predecessor, he too fell into the same grave. The second man began to dust himself off and in pitch darkness tried to get himself out but with no success. All the while the first drunk sat in the corner unnoticed. Eventually the second man decided he’d shout for help and just as he let out his first call, the drunk in the corner thought to let his fellow companion know that it was in vain to call for help. So he said, “No one can hear you and no one is coming, you’ll have to lie in here with me.” I couldn’t describe what followed, but that second man leapt out of that grave so quick and ran faster than you can imagine.

I think getting out of a rut sometimes requires intentional shocks to our system. Like that first drunk, we can either decide to huddle in the corner and sleep it out, or like the second man we can allow ourselves to be jolted out. Being stuck in a rut is something that can be resolved by doing something you’ve never done before concerning that situation. Don’t be afraid to do stuff that scares you. Sometimes the things that frighten us may actually be the key to the desired change in our lives. When God told Gideon that he would lead an army, Gideon was stuck in a rut. His life consisted of hiding from those who sought his life. Yet God instructed Gideon to get up and face what he feared. Moses went through the same paces. He was stuck in a rut in the desert working for his father in law and running away from Pharoah. He had to face that which frightened him the most. How amazing is that. The things that scare you the most could very well be the things that hold the key to your life purpose…but only if you face it. Face it even when you’re full of fear, just face it. I’m sure you’ve heard this statement, “Bravery/boldness/courage is not the absence of fear, but it is the decision to face danger despite the presence of fear.” Don’t miss out on who you could become because you feel you’re stuck. No matter the situation and no matter the fears, face it and STAND YOUR GROUND.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Deal With The Death Issue 2

I’ve always told the humorous story of the man who decided he was going to kill himself. Well he decided he would end it by lying on the railway track and getting run over by the 12pm train. The one thing he knew is that, the train was always on time, so this was a sure way to die. At about 11:50am he got to the tracks and lay across the tracks facing upwards. The midday sun was unforgiving but it was no deterrent. At 12pm the train did not show up. By 12:10pm there was still no sight of the would be ‘killer train.’ Our suicidal fellow decided a few more minutes would be in order coz he really was set on checking out. However by 12:30pm there still was no train. In a huff the man got up and oblivious to his own words said “I could die of hunger waiting for this train.” With that he headed home to get some lunch. I’m sure you can see the irony.

Most of what we do in life is a circumnavigation of death. We would rather not face it although we know fully well that we will have to. We are consumed with preserving our lives and indeed we should, but the one truth is that we cannot escape it. Let me give you a different example. When you get into a job, the one thing you must deal with as you start is that one of two things will happen. Either you will be fired or you will resign. Few retire. In most cultures it is taboo to even speak of your own death or that of another. In Africa they say you don't talk about it because it might just happen. The fact is whether we talk about it or not, it's going to happen. In the first part of this bloggage (combination of blog and message), I told you my story of the coffin I used. It was kept in a basement storeroom and you can imagine the drama conjured up when we asked people to help us carry it to the stage for rehearsals. On many occasions the storeroom workers refused to touch it and walkways cleared in an instant when folk saw us coming up the pavement with it. The one man begged me earnestly not to get into the coffin as we rehearsed (excuse the pun), because he was afraid I was hastening my own death. “look at it this way,” I replied, “how often do you get to practice getting into a coffin, i ‘d better do it now when I can still get out myself coz a day is coming when I won’t be able to get out.” Of-course we laughed about it, but I bet it made him think why I was so blasé about death. I'm not just being morbid for the sake of it. Think with me for a bit, could it be that most of us are scared to live life to the fullest because we are scared of death?

When you 'Deal with the death issue' you come to terms with the fact that death is very much a part of life. It Is what gives value to life even though in itself it is not a desirable thing. To accomplish great things in life without inhibition, you must come to terms with ‘your’ own death issue. The way to overcome death is to understand that it is not chasing after you but that you are walking towards it. It is the culmination of life. You can tell when someone has dealt with the death issue. Martin Luther King had dealt with it so he was not afraid of living life to the best. Jesus Christ had to deal with the death issue before he gave up his own life. Therein lies the key to overcoming death. If you can give up your life you will not feel like there’s a constant threat of your life being taken from you. Jesus was not forced to die but he gave up his own life. You cannot take away something from me that I have already given up, it does not scare me anymore that I may loose it, coz I’ve already given it up. I know this sounds crazy but that’s just it. The apostle Paul said this in Phillipians 1v20-24 (NIV)
“I eagerly expect and hope that in no way will I be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know. I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.”
I love this guy, he’s crazy! Lol. It’s like he’s taunting death and saying ‘you don’t scare me one bit, in-fact I’m looking forward to you.’ I’m not suggesting that Jesus, the apostle Paul or Martin Luther King had a death wish and where somehow strangely attracted to the idea of death. There are those who have a death wish, but that’s different from what I’m talking about here. In many cases someone with a death wish has already lost the will to live and they just want to escape. What I am saying however, is that these guys had every reason to want to live, yet they where not intimidated by the threat of death. Starting today do not be intimidated by the threat of death, STAND YOUR GROUND and live everyday to the max.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Deal With The Death Issue 1

I've just been checking out the footage of Michel Jackson in rehearsal 36 hours before he died, and i must say it's heart rending (MJ is a childhood hero of mine, I even did a rendition of ‘Bad’ at my grade 6 end of year awards night, yup it was quite a sight, enough said). You can see how energetic and focused he is yet unbeknown to him the end was so near. What strikes me as chilling though, is that the title of his planned final tour 'This Is It," would turn out to be a sort of 'boomerang prophecy' concerning his own life. However, death is the inevitable event we must all learn to deal with early in life if we are going to make the most of this life.

What do i mean 'deal with the death issue?' I remember when i was a youth pastor, we came up with a powerful evangelism skit that portrayed the death of a young man. The end of the skit was a funeral scene that had all the props including a coffin that we bought from a local funeral palour (that's right we bought one). Inside the coffin was me, (yes i was in the coffin and no i was not scared). The skit ended with the agonising mother screaming over the coffin for her son to come back, and then in the middle of her emotional wail i would bust open the coffin and sit up like a zombie with a straight face and in absolute silence. My first comment after the whole auditorium had calmed down was, "The problem with death is....., you don't get to come back." Needless to say those where the easiest sermons i've ever preached. Folk poured to the altar without much persuasion (No i was not fired after that). Death is the one thing that scares most people. What are we so scared of? The strange thing is that we spend our lives in fear of death, yet it is the one certain thing in life. The Bible tells us this in Hebrews 9v27 (NIV) "Just as man is destined to die once and after that to face judgement..." Don’t let the fear of death push you out of your life, it’s like living all your life whilst on standby, like a DVD player or laptop on hibernate. Sometimes we put off the bungee jump, the swim in the ocean, sky jumping or a trip to the doctor because we are so scared that we might just die. It's as if death kills us before we die. Refuse to give up your life and STAND YOUR GROUND. I’m not done yet on this one, there’s a part 2

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London, United Kingdom