Sunday, March 29, 2009

In This 2009, We Will...(2)

For the previous post in the “In This 2009 We Will…” series, please visit HERE.

I look up at your macro-skies, dark and enormous,
Your handmade sky-jewelry,
Moon and stars mounted in their settings.
Then I look at my micro-self and wonder,
Why do you bother with us?
Why take a second look our way?

[Psalms 8:3-4; MSG]

I stroll down memory lane about 16 years ago. It was about 2 a.m. As the wind blew fiercely through the window and I felt little drops of water on my skin, I jumped out of my bed and headed for the room opposite. I walked into the room and a smile lit my face as I realized that the wind and rain had not affected this room. Everything was intact. I shut the windows incase the wind decided to change direction while I was asleep. Then I took a last look at the different families of paper dolls. Everyone was where we kids had left them before going to bed. Though I was with them only 2 hours ago, I still wanted to be with them. I had to resist because I was so sleepy.

What were they that I was concerned and mindful of them?
Nothing but my creation, which I had painstakingly taken time and resources to bring into existence.

If only they knew how much I loved them and did not want any harm to befall them. If only they were human and had life, I would have expected little from them – that they would tell me thank you for losing my sleep because of them, and to reciprocate this love I had for them. If only they knew I was concerned about them. All I wanted from them were words and acts of appreciation.

And when the elders of Israel heard that the Lord was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped [Exodus 4:31b].

In this 2009, We Will Worship The Lord.

What is Worship [1]?
Worship in this context is homage rendered to God which is sinful (idolatry) if rendered to any created being; It is to honor God with extravagant love and extreme submission, as a lover; to adore God; to venerate (respect and hold in high regard).

But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit (with their heart) and in truth (reality). The Father is looking for those who will worship Him that way [John 4:23].

Worship involves not only praising and singing to God, but also a lifestyle of talking, listening and obeying His directives.

Why Worship God? Reasons and Benefits
1. God, our creator certainly deserves our worship. He is worthy of it, and due the honor.
2. When we worship Him, we adore His attributes. We marvel at His creation. We claim our commitment to Him. We admit that He is in control of our lives; and hence we profess our trust in Him.
3. Worship builds our relationship and intimacy with God. It is one of the ways to draw nearer to God.
4. When we worship, we get direction and inspiration, even for matters we thought had no solution.
5. Worship grows our faith and dependence on God. Hence it helps to replace our doubts with confidence and chase fear away.
6. Worship reminds us what our priorities should be, and helps us prioritize.
7. Worship helps to correct our attitudes helping us become more like Christ.
8. Worship leaves us renewed, energized, motivated and filled with peace and joy.

How to overcome distractions in Worship
There are some factors which hinder a smooth worship session. Some include sin, guilt, unforgiveness, laziness, worry over what we are going through, and not knowing the worth of worship. To overcome distractions in worship (especially for private not congregational worship), do the following before you begin:

1. Go to a place where you will not be distracted. Timing is also important here.
2. Play some nice worship music that could get you in the mood.
3. If you feel guilty of something, confess it to God and ask for forgiveness.
4. If you are going through a challenging situation, let Him know you cannot handle it on your own and you have cast the care upon Him.
5. Spend some time thinking about the things God has done for you or to those around you. Think about things you should be grateful to God for.

1. Definition of Worship
2. Praise the Lord – Benefits of Worship
3. For details on what worship is, how to worship God and the benefits, please visit here.

Have a blessed week ahead.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Corn and Acorn

The seeds were sown:
A corn and Acorn
In a matter of days
A corn had yielded fruit
Acorn was no where to be seen;

Days turned to months:
A corn had become a field
Generating in thousand folds
Seeds, promises and futures
Yet Acorn was just a tree with no fruit;

Months turned to years
A corn prospered anywhere
Flowing with the winds
Acorn managed to become a still, strong trunk
With nothing more than a few buds of flowers;

Just when everyone thought
There was no hope for Acorn
A hundred years or more
Acorn was scattered everywhere
With seeds so rich, plenty and beautiful.

In due season, Acorn yielded fruit.

Speaking of seeds: A seed is a miracle waiting to happen [1]. The embryo comes pre-packaged with a food supply and the vital genetic information needed to become a plant just like its parents. Seeds once sown exist in a state of dormancy (period from when the seed is sown to when it germinates). During this period they absorb oxygen, give off carbon dioxide, and slowly using up their stored food reserves. During this process the seed continually monitors the external environment waiting for ideal conditions specific for the particular seed. Once the ideal conditions occur, the seed breaks dormancy and germinates. A corn and acorns have different periods of dormancy. So does every other seed.

You may have sown seeds: seeds of time, seeds of money, seeds of love, seeds of life or seeds of faith. You are expecting to see your seed yield fruit. Your seed is indeed a miracle about to happen. And in due season, you will reap the fruit of what you have sown.

For God is not unrighteous to forget or overlook your labor and the love which you have shown for His name's sake… [Hebrews 6:10, AMP]. So do not lose heart and grow weary in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season you shall reap, if you do not loosen and relax your courage and faint [Paraphrased from Galatians 6:9, AMP].

Have a blessed week ahead.

[1] Successful Seed Germination:

Monday, March 16, 2009

No One Can Take It From You

No One Can Take It From You

When you do that thing
So unique and natural to you
It may be insignificant to you
But no one can take it from you;

When you see that opportunity
That resonates with your hope
Maybe you don’t understand why
But no one can take it from you;

When you dream that dream
You pray there's a means for the end
No one else may understand it
And no one can take it from you;

When words or actions
Trigger something inside of you
It may be different from everyone’s expectations
Yet no one can take if from you;

What ever it is
That pulsates in your heart
Focus on the end
And ask for His direction;

It might not be clear to you now
You might not get everyone’s support
But as long as it is from Him
No one,
Not one,
Can take it from you.

He who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ, developing that good work and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you…[Philippians 1:6 AMP].

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Taken In The Act

What Love Did
It was time to execute her:
She stood on the gallows of shame
Attached to the noose of guilt
And covered with the hood of sin;

They chanted
Saying she’s better off dead
Saying nothing good can come out of her
Saying her sin is the worst of all;

Then one of the spectators asked
Would you spare her life just once?
Can I take whatever is left of her?
Sure you can, they mocked
Remember she’s better off dead
Because nothing good can come out of her;

But he showed her love
Love turned her life around
Today she is so fruitful
That only good comes out of her.

The Inspiration
This post is in reference to the story of the woman taken in adultery and was to be stoned to death [1]. You may have been belittled, judged or condemned by the world or yourself. You may have taken paths you should not have, or made mistakes you wish you did not make. Your life today is hope that you can make a difference, probably based on your experience. What then can we learn from the story of the adulterous woman?

1. No one is without sin: - Her prosecutors seemed to have a great zeal against her sin, when it appeared afterwards that they themselves were not free from sin. It is not unusual for those that tolerate their own sin to be intolerant of the sins of others.

2. When your sin is brought to light, it is for your own good: - She was taken in the act, leaving no room to plead not guilty. It is better for your sin to shame you than damn you, and be set in order before you to arouse your repentance.

3. When you bring your cause before God, you will never have reason to take the matter elsewhere, for He is the refuge of those who are repentant.

4. It is human to have doubts about your fate, even when you come before God: - But like the adulterous woman, as you stand before Him, you will experience His infinite grace, love and mercy.

5. You will need to forgive your accusers: - She was silent concerning her prosecutors when asked “where are they that condemn you?" She did not triumph because they had left or insult them knowing they were not perfect after all.
In addition, let us not throw stones or execute others because we feel they are worse sinners than ourselves. Rather let us show them love and forgiveness. Such has more power to cause change.

6. Reformation comes after forgiveness: - For Christ to tell her, "I do not condemn you is", in effect to say, "I do forgive you". Then he tells her she should go and sin no more.
It will be futile if you try to clean up your life in order to avoid God’s condemnation. It should be the other way around. God doesn’t say, “Leave your life of sin, and then I will no longer condemn you.”[2] He implies, “I do not condemn you; now leave behind your life of sin to enable you see that you are a different person.”

Thank you Heavenly Father because you are faithful and just to forgive us our sins when we confess. When you forgive us, you completely forget what we did and remember our sins no more. Thank you for your mercy and your love that is a story-changer. May we not take your love, grace and mercy for granted. In Jesus Name, Amen.

[1] The bible: John 8:1-11
[2] Jesus and the Adulterous Woman
[3] Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible: John Chapter 8

Friday, March 6, 2009

CV Speaks

I have applied for several jobs, some unsolicited and some solicited. Some it was just a call, “Please send me your CV.” But at the end they yielded no fruit. I told myself that “If only they give me a chance for an interview. I will dazzle them...” Alas, the moments of interview did not come.

My People perish for lack of knowledge [1].

All the while, I was focusing on the wrong thing – the interview. I did not realize how important the CV and cover letter were.

What worked for me? I do not want you to go through futile attempts before learning a lesson. I want your application to yield fruit. This post is to share my 2 kobo on 2 important things: The CV and The Cover Letter.

Curriculum Vitae (CV)/Résumé: - a summary of your relevant job experience and education. It also includes your accomplishments, skills and publications.
Cover letter: - A brief (less than one page) letter of introduction attached to, accompanying and explaining an enclosed submission such as a résumé or curriculum vitae.

A few things to note for your CV and Cover Letter.

1. Research – Knowledge is Power.
a. For a solicited application, most times the requirements of the jobs are stated such as years of experience and required education. Find out more about what the job entails and determine if you have the relevant requirements. Even if it is just one or two, build on that you think they want. Highlight in the Cover Letter and put details in the CV.

b. For an unsolicited application, you need to find out what the employer would want in the kind of job you hope to be doing with them. This can be done through insider information or through information on the web i.e. if you are applying for the job of an accountant, find out what an/the accountant does in the organization.

c. Find out what are the organization’s goals and strategy. Are they thinking of doubling their profit? How can you contribute to that? Are they thinking of reducing impact on the environment? What knowledge, skill or experience do you have to help them with that? Do not forget to highlight how you can contribute in your cover letter.

d. Find out what they want. Do they want a 1 page CV or a detailed CV? This would form the basis for the type of CV you would write. Do not use generic CVs – 1 CV for all job applications. Prepare different CVs for different job positions.

2. While writing the CV and Cover Letter...
a. Use clear simple language.

b. Go straight to the point. They have other people’s CVs to read.

c. Use templates if you cannot be creative. Templates help you put the information in chronology and points out the headings that should be captured in the CV.

d. Sell yourself. I repeat Sell yourself. There is nothing to be shy or modest about. A lot of people are applying for jobs everyday. The CV is a very important criterion to determine whether you will be called or not. If requested, expound on your relevant education and experience. For instance, if you are applying for the job of a webmaster, your 10 year experience as a truck driver would not be relevant. It can be mentioned. Expand on what trainings, experiences, jobs and skills you have (no matter how little) with regards the job as webmaster.
What are your strengths? Are you a team player, are you a leader, and are you creative? What situations have you employed these strengths? How is it relevant to the job application?

e. Other information. Your hobbies, interests, awards and publications might just be a trigger to call you for an interview. Probably you once were a football captain in secondary school. You never know if this organization you are applying to also needs someone that would be part of their Youth Development Program on football training. So rather than stating “Hobbies – football” say “Hobbies – I enjoy football. I was a football captain during XXX to YYY and led my team to 2 victories at the ZZZ Tournament”.

For more information about successful CVs, please visit HERE

3. Editing is important.
Typographical errors and wrong spellings can put off the reader of your CV. He would probably draw some conclusions like “does not pay attention to details hence not fit to work for us.” Proofread, edit and also ask someone else to go through it.

4. Pray over your application.
Your CV is like a seed you are sowing in different places. Pray that your CV yields fruit. The word of God reminds us that the king’s heart is in the hand of God and as the rivers of water, He turns it wherever He pleases [2]. Let those that read your CV love it, have their heart on you and accept you even before the interview.

My advice to fresh graduates with little experience:
1. Do not worry about relevant experience. Some organizations are looking for fresh graduates that they would train. An employer cannot expect so much from a fresh graduate. Things like your internship and vacation job experiences will count though.
2. Focus on your strengths.

HE gives us the ability to make wealth [3].

Remain blessed. May opportunities come your way and may you know they are opportunities. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Related Post: Choosing a career

Bible References:
[1]Hosea 4:6
[2]Proverbs 21:1
[3]Deuteronomy 8:18

Monday, March 2, 2009

What has Blogville Naija done?

If I never said thank you to my Readers and Naija Bloggers, today I am saying thank you. This is not a parting message, fear not. This is a renewed commitment to blogging, by the Grace of God.

I was introduced to blogging by a Naija blogger. From here, my story begins:

In this blogville, I have made great friends
In this blogville, I have been inspired
In this blogville, I have been encouraged
In this blogville, I have been consoled
In this blogville, I have rolled on the floor laughing, even when circumstances around did not call for happiness
In this blogville, I have known talent
In this blogville, I have learnt new words
In this blogville, I have read words of wisdom
In this blogville, I have learned to improve my relationships
In this blogville, I have realized I am not alone in my pain and fears
In this blogville, I have learnt to be optimistic about life
In this blogville, I have had a virtual loving family
In this blogville, I have learnt that the time to show love is now
In this blogville, I have known more about God.

Many of you do not know how positively your posts and comments have impacted my life. Words are not enough to describe it.

I do not know what blogville has done for you but it has done so much for me.

If you think blogville has done anything for you, now is an opportunity to appreciate those bloggers who have made your day, those bloggers who have inspired you, those bloggers who contributed to your knowledge…the list is endless.

Simply click HERE to start the process of nominating the bloggers of your choice.

Are you eligible to nominate? Yes you are as long as you are
1. A Blogger
2. A Reader
3. Family
4. A Friend
5. Anonymous
6. A Fan

The preacher said, after his long talk on A Time For Everything, “What do people really get for all their hard work?” [Ecclesiastics 3:9].

May we not respond to the above question with “Nothing”. Let us appreciate our bloggers. Let them get our support, love and nominations for all their hard work.

Have a blessed week ahead.