Friday, February 18, 2011
One of the beautiful and outstanding angels that has visited this planet earth and lived amongst us is Charles Loring Brace. He is considered the father of modern foster care movement and most recognized for initiating the Orphan Train and founding the Childrens’ Aid Society. Imagine yourself a child, abandoned on the streets of New York. Your immigrant parents died on the ship on the way to America. You have no money and no relatives. You can't speak English. And you are left to fend for yourself. As many as 30,000 orphans found themselves in exactly that predicament in 1850. They slept in alleys, huddling for warmth in boxes or metal drums. To survive, the boys mostly stole, caught rats to eat, or rummaged in garbage cans. Brace witnessed many children in New York City who lived in poverty with parents who abused alcohol and engaged in criminal activity. These children were sent to beg for money and sell newspapers and matches in the streets. Girls sometimes worked as "panel thieves" for sex workers, slipping their tiny hands through camouflaged openings in the wall to lift a watch or wallet from a preoccupied customer. They became known as ‘Street Arabs’ or ‘The dangerous Classes’ due to the street violence and gangs they became a part of. Some of the homeless children and runaways as young as five years old were sent to jails where adults were imprisoned as well. The police referred to these children as ‘Street Rats.’ Immigrants where flooding New York City and no one had time or money to look after the orphans; except the angel - CHARLES LORING BRACE.
Horrified by their plight and determined to improve the children’s situation and their future, he organized a unique solution, the Orphan Train. His idea was simple: pack hundreds of orphans on a train heading west and announce to towns along the way that anyone could claim a new son or daughter when the Orphan Train chugged through. By the time the last Orphan Train steamed west in 1929, seventy- five years after it begun. In 1910, the Children’s’ Aid Society estimated that 87 percent of the children placed by the Orphan Train program had done well. 100,000 children had found new homes and new lives. TWO ORPHANS FROM SUCH TRAINS BECAME GOVERNORS, ONE SERVED AS A UNITED STATES CONGRESS MAN, AND STILL ANOTHER WAS A U.S. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE. This angel died in 1890 from Bright’s disease. After his death, the Brace Memorial farm was created for street children to learn farm skills, manners, and personal social skills to help prepare them for life on their own. One way or another we are all making history with our lives in our families, our home communities and societies, leaving footprints and tracks behind us – making memories for others to enjoy or endure. From my perspective, the Bible the most AWESOME and AMAZING book in the universe highlights this "We all have happy memories of good men gone to their reward, but the name of wicked men stink after them" Proverbs 10:7
Every man and woman shall be remembered for the problems they caused or the ones they solved. Here are two questions I have been pondering for awhile now: How different would the world be because of me? Would planet earth be better and more beautiful because I live? How many hungry and impoverished children would i provide with food and water in my lifetime? I want to remind anyone reading this that one of the world's icons, Mother Teresa once said; “If you can't feed a hundred, then feed just one." I think what the world needs at the moment and beyond, is more love, less racism, discrimination, less prejudice and bias, more tolerance, less walls, more bridges, more kindness, more bravery and positive action, more heroes and heroines, less self-centered thinking and more others-centered thinking. One of my heroes, Helen Keller once said; "Alone we can do little; together we can do much."
Let’s join our hands across races, gender, skin colour, religion and continents to solve the problems on this planet.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
"The worst danger that confronts the younger generation is the example set by the older generation"
One author wrote,"If there was a mission field in need of a missionary - it's today's young people. I always cherish every moment I have to inform, inspire and encourage young people.
One of the world's inspiration icon, Helen Keller once said," True happiness is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose."
One of my favourite motivational and transformational speakers, Dennis Waitley says,"To exists just for yourself is meaningless.You can achieve the most outstanding satisfaction when you feel related to some greater purpose in life - something greater than yourself." July 2nd, 2010 was beautiful and fulfiling. It afforded me the opportunity to make a little contribution to life. I had the God-given chance to speak to some young high school students on Teenage Deliquency and its consequences, self-destructive living, drugs,cultism, crime and violence. It was exciting and inspiring moments.Someone remarked,"THERE IS NOTHING MORE IMPORTANT THAN LIFE GIVING DIRECTION TO THE NEXT GENERATION."
Lets ponder over this:We all have been helped along on our life's journey one way or another by those who have come before and gone ahead. Will the journey of our own lives be such that will lead, direct, guide, instruct, inspire and brighten those who follow us - the succeding generation - the younger generation?
Life and living is not for recieving.It is God-designed for giving. The 30th President of the United States Calvin Coolidge enriched our hearts and our lives with this inspiring words," No person was ever honoured for what he recieved, only for what he gave." And Jesus Christ( the only hope for this blind, confused, perishing, sin-loving, darkness-filled and God-hating world), himself declared:" There is more happiness in giving than in recieving." Acts 20:35
Here's the crucial question: WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL CONTRIBUTION TO SOCIETY? ARE YOU MERELY OCCUPYING THE EARTH SPACE AS A SPECTATOR OR ARE YOU AN ACTIVE PARTICIPANT IN THIS AWESOME,MARVELLOUS, BEAUTIFUL GOD-GIVEN GIFT CALLED LIFE?
Monday, January 4, 2010
It’s a new dawn on planet earth – Another new beginning
A new chapter – It’s a new year! A new decade!
It’s a new day to forget the unpleasant moments of the past year
A new year to cherish the beautiful memories of yesterday
It’s a new year full of undiscovered possibilities
A year to look forward to fresh things
A bright new year to start new things – to conceive new thoughts – to think differently
A year to find better ways of doing things
A year to create new paths – to chart new a course
A new year to achieve new excellent results
A year to dare to improve on old accomplishments and records
A year to follow a different route – to pursue your dreams and visions from a new direction
A new year to make brilliant new discoveries
It’s a new year to be united in Christ’s love and peace
It’s a brand-new year and the blossoming of a new day
Who knows what the year holds?
Perhaps the world will change us
Perhaps we would change the world
It’s the morning of another year on planet earth
What positive contributions would you make?
How would you make our planet better?
It’s the first light of a new year
What problems are we going to solve for the planet?
There are big problems waiting for solutions
There are drowning lives out there, waiting to be saved
Today is the start of a new journey - a fresh day in a new year
A year to extend the hand of love and help to those who are reaching, searching and trying to hang on
It’s a wonderful year to share kindness
A year that we can all bring smiles and sunshine to lives – less privilege
Hurray!!! Hurray!!! Hurray!!!
We have just opened the door of a new year
We have stepped into another decade – year 2010
It’s a splendid year in which every one can make a difference – bring peace, positive change, inspiration and hope to our communities
It’s a sparkling new year to inspire and change the world
Don’t you think so?
Thursday, December 24, 2009
“I shall pass through this world once, anything therefore that I can do,
let me do it now, for I shall not pass through this way again.”Stephen Grellet
A couple of weeks back (10th December, 2009), I had the God-given chance to reach out to a small number of school kids in a secondary school (high school) near where I live. For me, it was the year’s most thrilling, beautiful and fulfilling moments. I had a truly great time inspiring, motivating and encouraging the young teenagers. I shared Christ’s love, hope and peace with them. And they were all excited and happy!
Job says, “All of us born to women live only a few days and have lots of trouble. We grow up like flowers and then dry up and die. We are like a passing shadow that does not last.” (Job 14:1-2). The psalmist declares, “I am a stranger on the earth.” Psalm 119:19. And it was Jacob who said to pharaoh: The years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty. My years have been few and difficult, and they do not equal the years of the pilgrimage of my fathers. (Genesis 47:9). We are aliens, pilgrims, strangers and sojourners. Each person is here but for a little moment – a short time. Like the early morning fog, our lives shall someday fade away as a dream. The bible underlines this at James 4:14, “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” From birth, childhood, adolescence to adulthood, we glide through this wilderness of life – along the tides of time as swiftly as a flowing river, and disappear as quickly as a dream of the night.
Life is short. Our walk through life is a brief moment, a passing shadow, a blowing wind. Like a candle in the wind, we are here only for a short stay. David (God’s favourite) confirms this, “LORD, tell me when the end will come and how long I will live. Let me know how long I have. You have given me only a short life; my lifetime is like nothing to you.
Everyone’s life is only a breath. People are like shadows moving about. All their work is for nothing; they collect things but don’t know who will get them.” Psalm 39:4-6. 1 Peter 1:24 reads, For,"all flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls off..."
Let’s do whatever we can, while we can to bring Christ’s salvation and love, hope, peace, light, healing, change, inspiration, encouragement, sunshine and smiles to the lives of others. For we are travelers merely passing through this planet. We shall not pass this way TWICE!!!
“I am a traveler passing through the earth, as all my fathers were.” Psalm 39:12b
I believe whichever continent we are living, we have every opportunity to contribute something - no matter how little and small; in our own different ways, to the good, progress, improvement, development and wellbeing of our community and humankind. This is our chance!!! There is an old African proverb that says, “If everyone sweeps the front of their homes and houses, the whole world will be clean.” Let us do whatever we can, now that we can!!!
Friday, December 11, 2009
“The biggest disease in the world today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but rather the feeling of being unwanted, uncared for and deserted by everybody.”
One of the greatest lessons that I have learnt while growing up , is that life is a strange, exciting and daring adventure – full of pleasant and sad memories, loses and gains, enjoyable and happy stories, frightening and tragic tales. Life’s pathway is queer with twist and turns. Life is a tapestry of positive and negative experiences, sweet triumphs and hurting defeats. On the way to destiny there are many highs and lows, ups and downs. As we drive towards our destinies, it’s certain each person will take a wrong turn and hit potholes. Again and again, we will scream in frustration, “I QUIT!!!” The road of life is littered with challenges and obstacles to be overcome, mountains to be climbed and conquered. Rivers, seas and oceans to be crossed - fierce battles to be fearlessly fought, won or lost.
“Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows; but cheer up, for I have overcome the world.” John 16:33b (TLB)
Adversity is the nature of life. Great trials, hard difficulties, unpleasant failures, temporary setbacks are required for our development. They are often necessary to prepare us for high responsibilities and the big tasks of life. The Chinese have a proverb that says, “The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.” And Mary Case succinctly puts it this way: “No pressure, no diamonds.” Our life is like a notebook. Each new day, provides every individual the opportunity to record a new experience in his or her own pages. Different events unfold in our lives. Different things happen to us everyday. We experience many challenges and difficult moments. Cruel trials will come at some point to every person. The adversity which enslaves one person throughout a lifetime is the same adversity another person bravely converts into a stepping stone for advancement, success and exploits. Andrew Balon once said, “The adversity that causes some to break down causes others to break records.” To be victorious in life, to reach our colourful destinies, we must contend with ruthless ogres, flesh-eating giants and monsters, vicious fire-breathing dragons and one-eyed Cyclops. We must rise and triumph over adversities. Everybody has some kind of experience. And all experiences have something to offer us. It will make us better or bitter. Every challenge, ordeal, obstacle, hurdle, mountain have been purposely and wisely put on our paths to strengthen, build, mould and shape every person’s life. The American gospel music icon, Kirk Franklin confirms this, “It’s been my experience that God never shapes me through pleasures but through pains.” Robert Schuller remarked, “I know that pain is only a process: that seed buried alive under suffocating ground in a windowless grave agonizes before it raptures into new life.”
Along the line of our development, God guides every person through hard difficulties, fierce storms, through dark places and dark moments so that we can discover the hidden part of us within us – what we really and truly are. Job declares: “But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” Job .
The struggling was necessary to make the colour appear. As you gain victory over trial and adversity you will see beautiful colours and qualities come from your life.’ Bill Newman concludes, ‘People who have never had difficulties or problems tend to be shallow.’
If the water was shallow, everyone can swim
If the task is cheap, everyone is sharp
If the day is bright, everyone is brave
So God made nights too, so that stars can shine
On loan from heaven above,
To train and nourish in the Lord
And show to them His love. (Sper).
The family is where children learn the first, basic and most important lessons of life – lessons that will stay with them wherever they go. A child grows with them. The Bible (the most amazing and inspiring book in the universe) points this out, ‘Teach a child to choose the right path, and when he is older, he will remain upon it.’ Proverbs 22:6 (TLB)
I believe that a majority of juvenile problems can be traced to poor and faulty home education and unwholesome influences in early childhood. For me, the largest proportion of young people that are a menace to the progress and wellbeing of society are children from fractured homes and dysfunctional families, who did not get sufficient love, proper care and adequate attention in their formative years of childhood and adolescence. We are the architect of the social problems that plaque our societies. The problem starts right there in our homes. I believe too that happy parents make happy homes, happy homes raise and nurture happy and productive children, productive and happy children make a happy and progressive community and happy communities make a beautiful, peaceful and happy world. The rapid deterioration and collapse of family life is one of today’s realities. The family is a casualty of the troubled and challenging times facing the world. Widespread divorce rates, out-of-wedlock birth statistics, juvenile and spousal abuse cases, decay of positive social and moral values, prove that there is a global crisis of the family structure. Indeed, difficult times are confronting families everywhere. Another sad truth is that good parents – God role models for the child are rare. God’s help is vital for success, achievement and exploits. But, parents are pivotal to a child’s success in life. In the present time, a majority of homes have been converted into war zones and battle grounds rather than the haven of peace and harmony God intended it to be. Someone said, “The greater part of our lives is spent in our homes, with our families. But the home which should be a happy place of love, care, attention, support, understanding and security, often turns out to be a hostile place – a destructive arena.” An aggressive and belligerent home must produce aggressive and belligerent children.
Like millions of young people on the hungry and famished streets of
The Bible says, ‘There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.’ Proverbs 14:12.
I was seventeen, a rebellion, and like the prodigal son of Jesus’ parable at Luke 15:11-24, running away from home seemed to be the only way out and the safest route. I thought I would be safer out there on the streets than with my family. I yearned for four things that are essential to every child: understanding, support, love and attention. As it happens over and over again in life, it’s what we don’t foresee that always shipwrecks us. Unknown to me, I was only heading to greater troubles, difficulties and problems. As a young, inexperienced runaway teenager, the future was covered with a thick, black, cloud of fog - uncertainty. I was confused about life and unsure about myself. Living freely alone on the streets without parental guidance was a very difficult and dangerous task – an enormous challenge. I became a slave to destructive thinking and vices. I cultivated costly self-destructive habits. Slowly, I developed a dependence on alcohol, drugs, and tobacco. I indulged in violence, crime, cultism – becoming a nuisance and a menace to my society. I did everything and anything I could to stay alive. On the streets, survival is top priority. This was the
There seemed to be no identity – nothing to stand on, nothing to hope on, and nothing to live on. Life was dull, stagnant, motionless, worthless and meaningless. The only thing I could see was Satan’s darkness every where. I was in the wilderness – stranded on the cross road of life. Sometimes, I considered suicide. But I really didn’t have the courage to do it.
“Disaster strikes like a cyclone and the wicked are whirled away.”
Change is the nature of life.
Crisis comes at the point of change.
Crisis leads to change.
And change happens to all of us
“He has preserved our lives
and kept our feet from slipping.
For you, O God tested us;
you refined us like silver.
You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs.
You let men ride over our heads;
we went through fire and water,
but you brought us to a place of abundance."
In my exciting, personal relationship with Jesus (the one who paid the price for our redemption), I have unearthed many amazing discoveries. I have found out that God’s love comes with no strings attached. God loves us unconditionally. He loves each individual with an intense, everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3 reads, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” (NIV) In Christ, I have found genuine love; care and affection which my family failed to give me during my childhood and teen years. Christ has showed me again in my lifetime.
“How precious it is, Lord, to realize that you are thinking about me constantly!
I can’t count how many times a day your thoughts turn towards me.
And when I waken in the morning, you are still thinking of me!”
Also, I have learnt that the consequences or long-term results of our actions follow(s) us around like a shadow. I have learnt more than anything else to give God first place in my life and to live a life of full obedience to Him. And He will take care of all my needs.
Also, I have discovered the value and true meaning of life in Jesus Christ. I have gained awareness that all humans are pilgrims and sojourners here on planet earth. “I am a stranger on earth;” Psalm 119:19.
Also, I have learnt that the consequences or long-term results of our actions follow(s) us around like a shadow. I have learnt more than anything else to give God first place in my life and to live a life of full obedience to Him. And He will take care of all my needs.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33
Also, I have discovered inside God’s awesome message to humanity, the Bible that He promises to bless us with a future filled with hope – a meaningful future of great exploits, not of suffering, sickness or poverty. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD , “ plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
“And so I am giving a new commandment to you now – love each other just as much as I love you.” John 13:34
Until I met Christ, my life was unproductive, uninspiring, without purpose or direction. Life was burden, full of chaos, dull and meaningless. Now, life is fun, exciting and colorful. The future is bright. It’s illuminated with Christ’s hope, light and goodness. When we put God in the center of our lives, our future can be better than our past. Oprah Winfrey, a kind, giving, determined, hard-working, special and remarkable African-American woman – whose life is bringing inspiration, hope, meaning, purpose and change to millions of lives across the globe, says, “When I look at the future, it’s so bright it burns my eyes.” At the moment, I provide young people in my local community with useful, vital and valuable information that would help them make responsible and appropriate decisions, informed and safe life choices in today’s choice-filled world.
Monday, December 7, 2009
“On the street, I saw a young girl cold and shivering in a thin dress, with little hope of a decent meal. I became angry and said to God: Why did you permit this? Why don’t you do something about it? For a while God said nothing. That night He replied quite suddenly: I certainly did something about it. I made you!
A little innocent boy playfully walks into a minefield. Curiously, he picks up an object, a landmine – and BANG!!! He’s blinded and mutilated for life. A woman abandons her newborn baby, hiding it in a roadside trash. Truly, we live in a troubled world. Every where we find wars, violence, crime, political unrest, terrorism, genocide, chaos, heartache, strife, sickness, social injustice,prejudice,abuse,grinding poverty and a host of other ills. The whole world is wallowing in sin. It seems we are living in a shattered world on the brink of self-destruction. Someone wrote, “The way the world is heading can be likened to a ship that is sailing into seas that become more turbulent and perilous by the day…all effort to change course meet with failure. The vessel just moves headlong into deadly tempest, unstoppable.”
The church – the body of Christ is God’s agent of change in the world. And as members of that body, Christians are pioneers, pathfinders, pacesetters, trailblazers – the ones who can lead the way and bring people out of darkness to the light. We are God’s change agent in the country where we live. Whatever God desires to do in our country, He will do through us, Christians - His voice, His mouthpiece, His channel of love, power, light and blessing to the world
We are the ones entrusted with the life-transforming gospel of Christ Jesus, to impact the world and turn the hearts of men and women from darkness to His marvelous light. Christians are change catalysts, change makers, difference makers, peace makers, crusaders, change leaders, peace builders, impact makers, world shakers, history makers, generation changers, innovators, problem solvers, solution providers, bridge builders, nation builders and light bearers in a crooked and dark world.
God has done all that He could. He has created and endowed man with specific gifts, special talents, unique abilities and strengths to influence his environment and to make a positive difference in his community. The world’s greatest book and the most important book in the universe – the Bible says, “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt looses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled on by man.
You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your father in heaven.” Matthew 5:13-16(NIV).
Salt preserves. It prevents decay or decadence. Salt seasons the food we eat. Like salt, Christians are meant to season the world – to make it peaceful, habitable and tolerable. Light influences the homes we live in. Light gives direction. Like light, Christians are meant to illuminate every nook and cranny of planet earth with bright, beautiful colours of love, truth, goodness, compassion, humility, gentleness, righteousness, patience, kindness, peace – clothe the naked, feed the hungry, bring joy and happiness to the sorrowful, heal the sick and broken hearted, bring deliverance to the oppressed and set captives free.
John Maxwell, an influential voice in America questioned, “Do you complain about darkness or light a match?” Someone once remarked that the world is a dangerous place to live in not because of those who do evil but because of those who stand by and watch it happen. John Mason, a motivational speaker says, “The problems of this world have been caused by the weakness of goodness rather than by the strength of evil.”
The world of today is divided into people who sit on the fence of life as spectators and observers, sowing no seeds and contributing nothing good to the progress, growth and development of humankind and people who participate fully and actively in life as change agents, change catalysts, change makers, peace makers and world changers. Eleanor Roosevelt lit our hearts and lives with these inspirational words: ‘When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die.’ Norman Mac Ewan said, ‘We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.’
Driven by an honest desire not to sit on the fence of life as a spectator ( a choice which a majority has sadly made), I have boldly decided to step forward and get involved in life as an active participant and contributor – promoting and advancing the virtues of love, peace, kindness, generosity, charity, dedication, beauty and sensitivity among youths. I have launched an initiative, in my local community. This God-inspired initiative focuses on leading young people to Jesus Christ(Our only hope in this troubled and perishing world), promoting positive social and moral Christian values, and moulding them into proactive, faith-driven, purpose-driven, vision-driven, God-fearing, God-dependent, self-motivated, self-confident, self-respecting young individuals.
Despite the fact that I was born into the world like everyone else, I have chosen not to live life like everyone else. I am aware that I posses inbuilt capabilities, talents and gifts that cannot be found in another person anywhere on planet earth. In psalm 139:13-14, King David declares, ‘For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that fully well.’ (NIV)
I believe that there are no accidents in the universe. Everything is part of a grand design and everyone is part of that design. I have discovered inside God’s inspired message to humanity – the Bible, that my birth like every other person’s is not a mistake or mishap. I am not a fluke of nature, but a complex and unique design – a creature of purpose. I am here on planet earth on a specific mission. Jeremiah 1:5 reads, ‘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 nations.’
Each day, I celebrate the fact that God beautifully created me like Himself to be a change maker, a peacemaker, a difference maker, a change crusader, a change catalyst – one of His mouth pieces to a perishing world. As a Christian, my motto for life is simply to “Grow and Stay alive and to help others Grow and Stay alive too.” I believe our candle looses nothing by lighting up others.
“INSPIRATION 360° is my response to Christ’s command, ‘Go into all the world and preach the Good News to all creation.’ Mark 16:15
This blog site is about Jesus Christ, salvation, peace, positive change, liberty, hope, purpose, motivation, inspiration, adventure, exploration, discovery and networking. It’s all about sharing Christ’s love to a troubled, hurting and perishing world.
“They asked him, ‘then who are you? Are you Elijah?’ He said, ‘I am not.’ ‘Are you the prophet?’ He answered, “NO.” Finally they said, ‘Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, ‘I am the voice of one calling in the desert, ‘make straight the way for the Lord.’ John 1:21-23(NIV)
From a small quiet nook in Nigeria , a country on the beautiful continent of Africa , like John the Baptist, it’s my aspiration and dream to be a voice for positive change in my community. And to reach out to as many young hearts with the amazing message of Christ’s love and sacrifice.
Myles Munroe, an internationally acclaimed leadership expert, educator, speaker and advisor gave us insight to living on planet earth. He said: “We are not born to make a living. We are born to give life to this planet.” INSPIRATION 360° is my own little way of regenerating a decaying and degenerating world with the gospel of light. I hope to share life-saving and life-changing Bible truths and principles with all individuals irrespective of race, colour, gender, nationality, language, ethnic background or culture. Like the Chinese say, ‘It is better to light a candle than to curse darkness.’
For me, INSPIRATION 360° marks the beginning of a new, exciting, thrilling and positive experience – a new adventure!!!