Monday, January 24, 2011


“People with high self-esteem feel terrific about themselves.”

Your self-esteem is probably the most important part of your personality. It dictates your performance in almost everything you do. The amount of self-esteem you have determines your levels of vitality, enthusiasm and attraction.

To be your best and to feel amazing, you should always be in a state of self-esteem building and maintenance. Just as you take responsibility for your level of physical fitness, you need to take responsibility for your self-esteem.

Self-esteem building is not easy. It takes effort and perseverance, but, if you are willing to make the effort, you will be rewarded with a gracious life.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


What is Sickle Cell Anemia?

Sickle Cell anemia or Sickle Cell Disease is a blood disorder that occurs due to a genetic alteration that results in the body making sickle–shaped red blood cells instead of the normal disc-shaped red blood cells. Sickle red cells contain abnormal hemoglobin that causes the cells to have a sickle, or crescent, shape. These cells don't move easily through your blood vessels.

In sickle cell anemia, the number of red blood cells is low because sickle cells do not last very long. Sickle cells usually die after only about 10 to 20 days and the bone marrow cannot make new red blood cells fast enough to replace the dying ones.

People who inherit a sickle cell gene from one parent and a normal gene from the other parent have a condition called sickle cell trait.

Sickle cell trait is different from sickle cell anemia. People who have sickle cell trait do not have the disease, but they have one of the genes that cause it. Like people who have sickle cell anemia, people who have sickle cell trait can pass the sickle cell gene on to their children.

What Causes Sickle Cell Anemia?

Sickle cell anemia is an inherited disease. People who have the disease inherit two copies of the sickle cell gene – one from each parent.

The sickle cell gene causes the body to make abnormal hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is an iron-rich protein in red blood cells. It carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.

In sickle cell anemia, the hemoglobin sticks together after it delivers oxygen to the body's tissues. These clumps of hemoglobin are like liquid fibers. They cause the red blood cells to become stiff and have a sickle, or crescent, shape.

Sickle cells tend to stick together or to blood vessel walls, causing them to get caught in the blood vessels.  

Two copies of the sickle cell gene are needed for the body to make the abnormal hemoglobin found in sickle cell anemia.

Sickle Cell Trait

If you inherit one copy of the sickle cell gene (from one parent), you will not have sickle cell anemia. Instead, you will have sickle cell trait.

People who have sickle cell trait usually have no symptoms and lead normal lives. However, some few people may have medical complications.

People who have sickle cell trait also can pass the sickle cell gene to their children.
A person inherits two copies of the hemoglobin gene—one from each parent. A normal gene will make normal hemoglobin (A). An abnormal (sickle cell) gene will make abnormal hemoglobin (S).

When both parents have a normal gene and an abnormal gene, each child has a 25 percent chance of inheriting two normal genes; a 50 percent chance of inheriting one normal gene and one abnormal gene; and a 25 percent chance of inheriting two abnormal genes.

Who is at risk? 

Sickle cell anemia is most common in people whose families originate from Africa, South or Central America (especially Panama), Caribbean islands, Mediterranean countries (such as Turkey, Greece, and Italy), India, and Saudi Arabia.

What are the Signs and Symptoms?

The signs and symptoms of sickle cell anemia vary. Some people have mild symptoms. Others have very severe symptoms and are often hospitalized for treatment.

Sickle cell anemia is present at birth, but many infants do not show any signs until after 4 months of age.

The most common signs and symptoms are linked to anemia and pain. Other signs and symptoms are linked to the disease's complications

Signs and Symptoms Related to Anemia

The most common symptom of anemia is fatigue (feeling tired or weak). Other signs and symptoms of anemia may include:
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Coldness in the hands and feet
  • Paler than normal skin or mucous membranes (the tissue that lines your nose, mouth, and other organs and body cavities)

Signs and Symptoms Related to Pain

Sudden pain throughout the body is a common symptom of sickle cell anemia. This pain is called a sickle cell crisis. Sickle cell crises often affect the bones, lungs, abdomen, and joints.

These crises occur when sickle red blood cells form clumps in the bloodstream. (Other cells also may play a role in this clumping process.) These clumps of cells stick to small blood vessels and block blood flow to the limbs and organs. This can cause pain and organ damage.

The pain from sickle cell anemia can be acute or chronic, but acute pain is more common. Acute pain is sudden and can range from mild to very severe. The pain usually lasts from hours to as long as a week or more.

Chronic pain often lasts for weeks or months. Chronic pain can be hard to bear and mentally draining. This pain may limit your daily activities.

Almost all people who have sickle cell anemia have painful crises at some point in their lives. Some have these crises less than once a year. Others may have crises once a month or more.

Many factors can play a role in sickle cell crises. Often, more than one factor is involved and the exact cause is not known.

You can control some factors. For example, the risk of a sickle cell crisis increases if you're dehydrated (your body doesn't have enough fluids). Drinking plenty of fluids can lower the risk of a painful crisis.

You cannot control other factors, such as infections.

Painful crises are the leading cause of outpatient visits and hospital admissions for people who have sickle cell anemia.

Dr. Olukayode Williams

Monday, January 17, 2011


When the unthinkable happens, it may seem impossible to believe that anything can overcome the emotional scars.  Yet, the life of Joseph offers a powerful illustration of God's transforming power (Gen. 37 - 50).  The brothers who sold him into slavery were sure he would take revenge on them (Gen. 50:15 - 17).  But Joseph told them, "You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive" (v 20).

When we place our desire for revenge in God's hands, we become participants in the remarkable process described by Paul: "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (Rom 12:21).

The defining moments of our lives are not determined by the evil done to us, but by our response through the grace and power of God.

Let danger drive you to Jesus.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Build Rock Solid Self-Esteem & Confidence

 “Refuse to remain in your comfort zone.”

Your comfort zone feels safe, familiar and relaxing. The problem is, if you are spending too much time there you may not be growing and evolving as a person.

It takes a tremendous amount of bravery to do what is unfamiliar and uncomfortable. The good news is, the payoff is worth it. Your self esteem rises and your self confidence becomes unyielding.

Challenge yourself. Put yourself in an uncomfortable situation on purpose.  How about volunteering for a project that you would normally shy away from?  Strike up a conversation with a stranger or sign up for a class to learn something new.

Whatever step you take, expect to be uncomfortable but know in your heart that you are doing wonders for your well-being.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


You were designed for God's happiness.

The moment you were born into the world, God was there as an unseen witness, smiling at your birth.  He wanted you alive, and your arrival gave Him great pleasure.  God did not need to create you, but he chose to create you for his own enjoyment.  You exist for his benefit, his glory, his purpose, and his delight.

Bringing enjoyment to God, living for his pleasure, is the first purpose of your life.  When you fully understand this truth, you will never again have a problem with feeling insignificant.  It proves your worth.  If you are that important to God, and he considers you valuable enough to keep with him for eternity, what greater significance could you have?  You are a child of God, and you bring pleasure to God like nothing else he has ever created.

One of the greatest gifts God has given you is the ability to enjoy pleasure.  He wired you with five senses and emotions so you can experience it.  He wants you to enjoy life, not just endure it.  The reason you are able to enjoy pleasure is that God made you in his image.

Bringing pleasure to God is called 'worship'.  Anything you do that brings pleasure to God is an act of worship.  Like a diamond, worship is multifaceted.

Depending on your religious background, you may need to expand your understanding of 'worship'.  You may think of church services with singing, praying, and listening to a sermon.  Or you may think of ceremonies, candles, and communion.  Or you may think of healing, miracles, and ecstatic experiences.  Worship can include these elements, but worship is far more than these expressions.

Worship is a lifestyle.

Adapted from the book 'The Purpose Driven Life' by Rick Warren.

Monday, January 3, 2011


"The man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder - a waif, a nothing, a no man."  Thomas Carlyle

Everyone's life is driven by something.

Most dictionaries define the verb drive as "to guide, to control, or to direct."  Whether you are driving a car, a nail, or a golf ball, you are guiding, controlling, and directing it at that moment.

What is the driving force in your life?

The Benefits of Purpose-Driven Living

There are Five Great Benefits of Living a Purpose-driven life:

  • Knowing your Purpose gives Meaning to your Life: We were made to have meaning.  When life has meaning, you can bear almost anything; without it, nothing is bearable. Without God, life has no purpose, and without purpose, life has no meaning.  Without meaning, life has no significance or hope.  The greatest tragedy is not death, but life without purpose.
  • Knowing your Purpose Simplifies your Life: It defines what you do and what you do not do.  Your purpose becomes the standard you use to evaluate which activities are essential and which are not.  You simply ask, "Does this activity help me fulfill one of God's purposes for my life?"  Without a clear purpose, you have no foundation on which you base decisions, allocate your time, and use your resources.  You will tend to make choices based on circumstances, pressures, and your mood at that moment.  Purpose-driven living leads to a simpler life style and a saner schedule.
  • Knowing your Purpose Focuses your Life: It concentrates your effort and energy on what is important.  You become effective by being selective.  Without a clear purpose, you will keep changing directions, hoping that the change will settle the confusion or fill the emptiness in your heart but it does not solve your real problem - a lack of focus and purpose.  If you want your life to have impact, focus it!  Stop dabbling.
  • Knowing your Purpose Motivates your Life: Purpose always produces passion.  Nothing energizes like a clear purpose.  On the other hand, passion dissipates when you lack a purpose.  This is the true joy of life: the being used up for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being a force of nature.
  • Knowing your Purpose Prepares you for Eternity: Many people spend their lives trying to create a lasting legacy on earth.  They want to be remembered when they are gone.  Yet, what ultimately matters most will not be what others say about your life but what God says.  What people fail to realize is that all achievements are eventually surpassed, records are broken, reputations fade, and tributes are forgotten.  Living to create an earthly legacy is a short-sighted goal.  A wiser use of time is to build an eternal legacy.  You were not put on earth to be remembered.  You were put here to prepare for eternity.

Adapted from the book 'The Purpose Driven Life' by Rick Warren.