I was pondering today on scripture found in Proverbs 4:23 which tells us, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” This isn’t an all too new scripture most especially if you’ve been following Jesus for quite a while now. But it’s amazing just how much truth is packed in this one verse alone. (more…)
“What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Of all routines, one of the most serene would have to be the time I spend running. I run inside our village which is very quiet and has a lot of trees and wide roads. But yesterday, while I was getting back from my regular afternoon run, I was startled by a loud roaring and banging from behind me. I thought I was going to turn around to see a huge truck or large SUV coming my way. But it wasn’t. (more…)
If you’ve been following the presidential election or just have a social media account of any sort then you have probably heard that we now have a President Donald Trump on American history books. The reactions on my news feed have been mixed so far- some are agitated, others funny, while others hopeless. (more…)
The other night the family went out for milkshakes and tea. Before heading to a coffeeshop, we passed by a close-by Seven-Eleven because I had promised Alexa gummy worms (Yep! I’m the parent that occasionally lets my daughter eat candy. Guilty as charged.) (more…)
About seven years ago, I set out to build my own business- a photography collective. I was convinced that it was God’s idea for me to build a business of my own, get rich, start a family and then do a lot of CSR projects. Well I was wrong.
Today, I was reading out of the story of the Tower of Babel and pondering on the question: “What must I do to become successful in building my tower?” And I’m sure everyone has asked that question in some way or another. Everyone wants to know how they can build a successful business, successful ministry, successful family or successful life.
As I was reading the story of the Tower of Babel, the Spirit of God reminded me of the time I first started out my first business and I couldn’t help but see such a similarity between my venture and Babel. Just like the Tower of Babel, I had all intentions of finishing my project and I was building upwards and doing really well. But just like the people building that tower, I soon lost track of meaning and my language got all over the place. I ended up leaving a half-baked tower that stood as an embarrassment to my name.
Everyone wants to know how they can build a successful business, successful ministry, successful family or successful life.
We all probably don’t want to find ourselves in this spot when building our towers, businesses, ministries or families. So what can we learn from the story of the Tower of Babel?
1. Build with God ideas
Prior to the Tower of Babel, men of God built altars out of raw stone that God had provided for man to use. The Tower was different in that it was built out of man-made bricks. Genesis 11:3 tells us, “ They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar.”
How often do we find ourselves building our towers with our man-made ideas instead of building them with God ideas? No matter how good you think your ideas are, if they aren’t God ideas they won’t be good material for a successful tower.
2. Build for God’s Glory
In Genesis 11:4, the people behind the Tower said “…Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”
The chief end goal of man and therefore every tower he builds is to bring glory and honour to God and not to the self. 1 Corinthians 10:31 commands us, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” The best foundation and the best tower top is the glory of God. When we work with that, everything in between will work together for our good as God calls us into His purpose and not ours.
The best foundation and the best tower top is the glory of God.
3. Build Together
Probably the only thing that the people of Babel did right was to build the tower together. It is always God’s idea to build ideas in the confines of a relationship with each other. The only thing that Babel missed out was to include God in that “together.” When God is in the center of our joint ventures, we all speak the same language because the unifying force of the heavens have never been about good ideas, never about glory but about the presence and name of Jesus Christ.
What tower are you trying to build today? Are you building with God ideas for God’s glory? Who are you building with and is God leading that team?
One of the biggest misunderstandings about being a leader is that you have to be perfect. Well, if that’s the case then I believe no man is qualified for leadership because everyone’s going to make a mistake at some point.
There’s a story in 1 Chronicles Chapter 21 of a time when David failed so miserably that the whole nation of Israel had to pay for his sins. In rebellion towards God and towards the wise counsel given by God through Joab, David took a census of his fighting men showing his reliance on himself.
As a result, God had brought a plague down causing 70,000 people to die. Talk about a bad day. However, as bad as things got because David failed as a leader, his response is something we can all learn from and mimic once we make blunders of our own. How did David respond to the error of his ways?
In 1 Chronicles 21:8, David said, “…I have sinned greatly in that I have done this thing. But now, please take away the iniquity of your servant, for I have acted very foolishly.” With repentance in his heart, David turned back to God and turned away from his selfish acts of sin. In times we realize that we’ve failed as leaders, the first step is to hit the reset button that is repentance and turn away from the sin for good.
After the Lord brought a huge plague to Israel, He turned back to David and gave him instructions through a man named Gad to build an altar before the Lord. Verse 18 tells us that “David went up at Gad’s word, which he had spoken in the name of the Lord,” in other words, David obeyed. The moment of defeat is the time we must surrender, and I don’t mean give up, but I mean that we surrender our hurts and failure to God and trust in His power to mend the broken pieces.
When David set out to build an altar, he came to the threshing floor that belonged to a man named Ornan. The owner of the lot readily offered the piece of land to the king for free, but David refused to freeload his way into a sacrifice for the Lord. He said “I will not take for the Lord what is yours, nor offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” What devotion!
Failing is part of the process of learning and growing, and leaders need both. Every now and then, a concoction might blow up in your face and the beauty behind scenarios as such is that it guides us into doing things better the next time around.
Steve Harvey was not a name that a lot of people knew before today. In fact, I don’t think this many people have ever remembered the name of a pageant host ever. As famous as Harvey is right now, I’m not so sure if he or anyone else around thinks that’s a good thing.
When Steve said the words “I have to apologize” right after announcing that Miss Colombia was Miss Universe 2015, people knew his career as a host/comedian would never be the same again.
And as painfully hilarious (Sorry, Harvey!) or even a little frustrating Steve’s small mistake was, there are some vital lessons we can learn from his blunder. Here are a few lessons I’ve learned from this, and many other situations.
1. Small mistakes may sometimes have big impact
A simple honest mistake in reading cue cards- who would have thought that it would turn into a nightmare? This reminds us to be careful and always be on our guard. The devil is in the details, as they say. That small little area you forgot to check could easily be the destruction of all you’ve worked for.
2. Everyone makes mistakes
Steve Harvey was chosen as the host for Miss Universe for a reason- because he’s the best! One can only imagine the years of experience he has hadBut even the best hosts are far from perfect.
3. There’s no escaping the consequence of our mistakes
An apology is not a way out of our mistakes, but I do believe that it makes bearing consequences more bearable. When we admit our own mistakes, we admit that the consequence is ours to deal with as well.
4. Passing the blame does no good
How many times have you heard a work colleague, boss, classmate, spouse or sibling pass the blame to make things easier for him or her? Truth be told, there is no benefit in passing the blame. It’s often thought that it saves our necks, but our failures will catch up to us sooner or later.
5. It’s not always okay to make mistakes
The saying, “It’s okay to make mistakes,” is not always accurate. When you make mistakes that you’ve committed before or that you’ve been warned of prior to choosing your actions, then it’s not okay to make those mistakes anymore.
6. Mistakes can define us just the way success would
Your failures can define your character just as much as your success would, but that’s not always a bad thing! One of the benefits that mistakes give is the lessons that come with it, which mould us to become better. Allow your failures to define you in a way that can make you grow.
7. Imperfect people still need redemption
Humans are organisms of perfection, meaning we chase after it. That’s because we need perfection. We need perfect schedules, perfect food quality, perfect business models. The sad thing is, we can never get that kind of perfection from people. However, the good news is we can depend on the perfection of that is in God. In our weakness, He is made perfect.
If you ask someone who wants to be a leader, chances are there will always be a chunk who will want leadership because of the perks that come along with it. The reason for so is not because those people are shallow or selfish, but because that’s what many people see everywhere.
Last weekend, the world received horrible news. The most romantic place on earth became the most feared one for a couple of hours. By now, we should all have heard how Paris was attacked by terrorists resulting to over a hundred forty casualties.