Wednesday, April 20, 2011



“Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.  Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two.  And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My Spirit.”  Having said this, He breathed His last.”  Luke 23:44 – 46

Our Lord Jesus Christ spoke at least 7 times when He was on the cross.  We can learn lessons from those words.  As we prepare to celebrate Easter, the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, here are 7 lessons from the words He spoke on the cross.


“…Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”  Luke 23:34

When people hurt us it is hard to believe it could have been unintentional or done in ignorance.  Forgiving means refusing to remain a victim by not holding grudges.  Forgiveness is a decision and not a feeling.  When there is no forgiveness, bitterness takes root and takes away God’s presence.  Do yourself a favour and forgive.


“…Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”  Luke 23:43

Do you remember the two criminals that were beside Him on the cross?  While one mocked, the other recognized his sins and received mercy.  Jesus did not focus on His pain but He reached out in love as a fellow-sufferer.  It is in reaching out to others that we ourselves are restored again.


“…Behold your mother!”  John 19:27

Always, Jesus was more concerned with other people’s needs than His own and we should follow this behavior.  When we are entangled in our problems it is to assume that our loved ones automatically understand where we are coming from.  Not necessarily.  While it is good to let them help, never expect them to suffer because you are suffering.


“…My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”  Matthew 27:46

Have you ever asked this question?  Does this apply to you?  If yes, you know from experience that there is not another living soul who has a satisfactory answer to your “Why?”  Our loved ones can go so far but only God can pour His healing balm into our wounded heart and make sense of the situation.  We need to go to Him for our answers.


“…I thirst.”  John 19:28

When we are in a dark valley like Jesus was on that day, it can cloud our thinking and make us lose perspective – unless we voice our needs to those around us.  By recognizing His physical thirst, Jesus reminded each of us that there are times when we are not self sufficient, when we need help from others.  God remembers that we are just human but we are the ones that forget.


“…It is finished!”  John 19:30

Christ’s death covers every sin – from cradle to the grave.  And to offer your good works as partial payment, insults God.  You cannot add to a finished work!  Saving faith requires trusting only in a finished work of Christ!


“…Father, into Your hands I commit My Spirit.”  Luke 23: 46

Some of the issues we struggle with seem to be never ending, like money worries, family problems and health concerns.  Even when we get a break and should be resting, we sit up anticipating the worst.  The cross not only calls us to Jesus, it also calls us to a life.  Whatever our challenges today, release it to God once and for all.  You will experience peace and will not be disappointed with the result.

Up from the grave He arose
With a mighty triumph over His foes
He arose a Victor from the dark domain
And He lives forever with His saints to reign

The resurrection is a fact of history that demands a response of faith.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Health Tip- Prevention is better than cure (The dangers of Hypertension).

What is Hypertension?

Hypertension in simple terms means high or elevated blood pressure.
Blood pressure is measured by a sphygmanometer and the readings are measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg) and are usually given as two numbers. For example 120 over 80 (written as 120/80mmHg). The top number is your systolic pressure, the pressure created when your heart beats. It is considered too high if consistently over 140. The bottom number is your diastolic pressure, the pressure in your blood vessels when the heart is at rest. It is considered high if consistently over 90.
Blood pressure measurements are as a result of the force of the blood produced by the heart and the condition of the arteries.
The factors that affect the blood pressure include:
  • The volume of fluid or water in the our bodies
  • The condition of our kidneys, nervous systems or blood vessels.
  • The levels of our different body hormones
Risk Factors

High blood pressure (Hypertension) can affect all ages and types of people. There is a higher chance of developing the disease if you have a family history of the disease. High blood pressure is also more common in people of African descent.
Smoking, Diabetes mellitus and obesity are also risk factors for hypertension.
Causes of Hypertension

In most cases of hypertension a specific cause cannot be identified however sometimes specific conditions can be identified as the cause of a
someone’s hypertension. Some specific causes of hypertension include
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Kidney disease
  • Alcohol Abuse
  • High salt intake in a persons diet
  • Some specific drugs
  • Cocaine use
  • Pregnancy (gestational Hypertension)
Symptoms of Hypertension.

Most of the time there are no symptoms. However symptoms may include:
  • Headaches
  • Chest pains
  • Visual changes
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Tiredness
  • Nosebleeds
  • Ringing or buzzing in the ear
The Dangers (Complications) of Hypertension.

The danger in hypertension lies in the complications that may arise from persistent uncontrolled hypertension. It can affect almost all the major organs of the body. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to:
·         Stroke.
·         Heart Failure.
·         Kidney Failure
·         Blindness
·         Diabetes
·         Trouble with memory and understanding
·         Sudden Death
When to visit your doctor.

If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, you should have regularly scheduled appointments with your doctor.
Even if you have not been diagnosed with high blood pressure, it is important to have your blood pressure checked during your yearly check-up, and anytime you visit the hospital especially if someone in your family has or had high blood pressure.
Visit your health care provider right away if home monitoring shows that your blood pressure remains high or you have any of the following symptoms:
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion
  • Excessive tiredness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Severe headache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Excessive sweating
  • Vision changes
Prevention of Hypertension.

All adults over 18 should have their blood pressure checked routinely. Automated sphygmanometers are now readily available for personal/domestic use.
Lifestyle changes may help control your blood pressure:
  • Lose weight if you are overweight. Excess weight adds to strain on the heart. In some cases, weight loss may be the only treatment needed.
  • Exercise regularly. If possible exercise for 30 minutes on most days.
  • Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products while reducing total and saturated fat intake.
  • Avoid smoking. 
  • If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar under control.
  • Reduce your alcohol intake.
  • Try to manage your stress.
Treatment of Hypertension.

The goal of treatment is to reduce and control blood pressure so that you have a lower risk of complications. There are many different medicines that can be used to treat high blood pressure. Often, a single blood pressure drug may not be enough to control your blood pressure, and you may need to take two or more drugs. It is very important that you take the medications prescribed to you. If you have side effects, your health care provider can substitute a different medication. Your doctor may also tell you to exercise, lose weight, and follow a healthier diet.
Remember Prevention is better than cure especially as most cases of hypertension can only be controlled and not cured.
Dr. Olukayode Williams

Thursday, April 14, 2011



·         Reinforce Your Motivation
Reinforce your motivation for a disciplined life.  Think of the disappointment that you will be to God if you fail to be the man or woman that He wants you to be.

·         Start with the Simple Things
A discipline person will seek to avoid making unnecessary work for others.  So hang up your clothes.  Make your bed promptly and neatly every morning.  Do not despise these trifles as irrelevant.  They are the essence of it.  They indicate the foresight, carefulness, and thoughtfulness that make the difference.

·         Show Respect to All
Show respect to all – even to the poor and lowly.  When speaking or listening to someone, develop the habit of looking at him or her.  When in a meeting, discipline yourself to keep your eyes on the speaker.  To gaze around at people or down at your feet is rude and discourteous.

·         Tackle the Difficult Tasks Promptly
Do first the things that you would rather do last.  Right now, do that which you have postponed for so long.

·         Be Punctual
Be punctual for your meetings and for your appointments.  The habit of being on time will never be acquired unless you are convinced that courtesy demands it and you plan ahead.  You allow yourself a sufficient margin of time to get to the appointed place.

·         Learn to Wait
To grab something before God’s time is to spoil it.  There is a time in God’s timetable for all things.  Wait for that time and do not rush ahead.  If you would be a disciplined person, learn to respect the time tags that are found on life’s joys, responsibilities and privileges.  We do not help God by opening a rosebud – we simply spoil the blossom.

·         Love Your Critics
Cultivate an attitude of sincere gratitude for all correction.  This is also a discipline.  Getting offended when corrected is a mark of immaturity.  Be willing to learn from the lowliest.

·         Be Systematic in Prayer and Bible Reading
This is essential for a disciplined life.  The discipline of determining to spend a fixed amount of time for this, at any cost, every day, will by itself bring rich rewards.

·         Avoid unnecessary luxuries
Avoid unnecessary luxuries and do not be wasteful in spending money.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


·         Getting Your Priorities Right
A disciplined person is wise to subordinate less important things to the more important ones.  If we “major in minors” and show “a first-rate dedication to second-rate matters”, if we allow our friends, our impulses and the convenience of the moment to dictate our priorities, we will drift with the tide of daily circumstances and will end up shabby persons.  Selection!  Selection!  Selection!  This is the law of life.  We must learn to give first priority to the kingdom of God and His righteousness in practical daily living.

·         Submission to Legitimate Authority
A discipline person has the ability to submit to legitimate authority gracefully.  In life’s normal relationships, rebellion is stupid and destructive.  This does not mean that we are to blindly submit if such submission violates our conscience.  We must retain our individuality and our convictions.  We must know when to stand against authority for the sake of truth.

·         It Strengthens Your Will
Discipline does not make you rigid, it makes you resilient.  It provides you with shock absorbers for the potholes of life.  There will be lots of them.  It enlarges your capacity to have courage when life gets tough.  Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to bow to a pagan king’s idol (Daniel 3:17 – 18).  These men have toughened themselves through discipline in order to face such a supreme moment of test.  You will face that moment too.

·         It Brings Your Gifts to their Highest Level of Effectiveness
David’s first victory was not over Goliath.  His years of practice as a shepherd defending his sheep against wolves, a lion and a bear, had prepared him for this moment.  It had given him the spirit and the skill needed to take on the Philistine champion.

·         It Inspires Others
Paul’s greatest gift to Timothy was the example of a discipline life (2 Timothy 3:10).  Timothy had something to copy – a straightedge of excellent living.  There is no better gift!

Monday, April 11, 2011


Discipline is what believers need the most but wants the least.  Much of the anxiety and the instability in the lives of many Christians can be traced to an indiscipline life.  There may be secondary causes but behind all is a basic need for discipline.  It involves self restraint, courage, and perseverance as the inner protection of the soul.  Many emotional disorders are the accumulation of years of self indulgent living.

A lifelong pattern of running away from trials, of avoiding difficult people, of seeking the easy way, of giving up when the going gets rough, produces sick believers, who are incapable of fulfilling God’s perfect will for their lives or of functioning as useful members of the body of Christ.  “If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.” Proverbs 24:10.  Days of adversity will come to us.  Only by consistent, disciplined living can that strength of character be developed in us that can enable us to face those days of adversity without fainting.

Living the disciplined life does the following to you:
·         Produces Maturity
No one can reach full maturity unless he or she is disciplined in daily life.  Discipline includes subjection of the body’s physical appetites to the Lordship of Christ.  It also includes discipline in the sexual area.  The sexual urge has to be controlled.  The man or woman of disciplined character does not have a warm responsive wife or husband, who caters for his or her every desire, in order to keep him or herself pure.  It is by the grace of God that he or she keeps him or herself pure.  This has nothing to do with natural temperament but with discipline.

·         Mastery of Moods
When we are slaves to our moods, we can make foolish decisions, spend money unnecessarily, neglect our duties and alter our behavior to people around us.  At first, people may be confused.  They will learn to be careful in their relationships with us because they never know what mood they will find us in.  This makes for a poor testimony of our Savior and for the salvation we profess.  A consistent work for God can be done by those who have learnt to conquer their moods and work when “they do not feel like it.”  Disciplined character also means the mastery of our moods.

·         Restrained Tongue
A man or woman may have a disciplined body, mind and will, even disciplined emotions, appetites and habits but a loose tongue betrays a fatal fault in his armor.  Frankness is a virtue only when it is coupled with intelligent, loving tact and discretion.  “If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless.”  James 1:26.  It takes a far higher display of discipline to refrain from speaking than it does to speak.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Unless you learn to discipline your emotions you will lose credibility, alienate others and miss great opportunities.  Your emotions are sending you a message.  If you do not get a handle on this you will create a mess you will not be able live with.  Yes, you will repent and regret it, but you will not be able to undo it. 

Most of us have inner response mechanism that reacts to people and events and like a sudden storm rises with strength from within, sometimes overwhelming us.  As you go through life people will offend you.  Sometimes it will be deliberate, other times it will be inadvertent.  The question is – what will you do about it?

Spiritually mature people discipline their emotions and make sure they accurately reflect reality.  They can be sad, joyful, angry or elated in appropriate ways at appropriate times.  They refuse to allow their emotions to determine their conduct, attitude, or choices.

You are controlling your emotions when you translate them into responsible action.  And your sentiments will not get you off the hook.  There is nothing more dangerous than the repeated experience of a fine emotion with no attempt to put it into action.  In a sense it is true to say that a person has no right to feel sympathy, unless he or she at least tries to put that sympathy into action.  An emotion is not something in which to luxuriate; it is something which at the cost of effort and of toil, of discipline and of sacrifice, must be turned into the stuff of life.

God wants you to use wisdom.  Wisdom says wait a little while until the emotions settle down, then check to see if you really believe it is the right thing to do.  The Bible says in Colossians 3:15 to be led by peace in making decisions.  Do not let your emotions make your decisions.  A good statement to remember is this: “Wisdom says wait; emotions say hurry.”

He who lives by emotions lives without principle.  Make emotional maturity a primary goal in your life!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


"But it is not this way among you". Mark 10:43 

It would be wonderful if just being around humble people automatically made us humble. The disciples proved it did not. Mark describes an incident involving James and John, two brothers. The story makes most parents nod and smile. It took place before John grew into maturity - still a disciple, still young, and still looking out for John: "James and John ... came up to Jesus, saying ... 'Grant that we may sit, one on Your right, and one on Your left, in Your glory". Jesus replied: "You do not know what you are asking" (Mark 10:35 - 38). Then He called the disciples together and said, "Those who are recognised as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them; and their great men exercise authority over them. But it is not this way among you" (Mark 10:42 - 43). 

Our modern world is run by chain of command. In the military, generals command colonels, who command majors, who command captains, all the way down to the lowly private on the end of a mop handle. Jesus barely took a breath after contrasting the two kingdoms, then added, "But it is not so among you". In God's Kingdom there is no privileged rank. The lowly do not pamper the privileged - quite the opposite. Once he got their attention, Jesus spelled it out, "Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant" (Mark 10:43). 

Genuinely, humble people have one thing in common - they do not think of themselves as humble. As a matter of fact, they rarely think of themselves at all! They are too occupied with God's purposes and the well being of others. So, do you practice humility?

Sunday, April 3, 2011


"You are one of them ... your speech shows it." Mark 14:70 

You can try to disguise your identity by changing your looks, your social circle and your address - but how you speak will give you away every time. It happened to Peter. (Mark 14:67 - 71). Isn't it interesting how public profanity in any language, has a way of making others question the quality of your relationship with Christ? 

Paul says, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up ... that it may benefit those who listen" (Eph 4:29). If you want to win people to Jesus, be careful how you talk. Paul said, "Let your speech always be with grace ... that you may know how you ought to answer each one" (Col. 4:6). 

Words are powerful things. They either build up or tear down, add to or take from. It is not important that people can tell from your accent where you are from, but when they cannot tell by the way you talk that you are Christ's disciple, something is seriously wrong.