Wednesday, October 26, 2011


"That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith."  Ephesians 3:17

The word dwell means more than just to move in and take up residence.  It means to make yourself comfortable, to spread out and have the run of the house. When it comes right down to it, how many of us are willing to give Christ complete control?  You see illustrations of this in popular television programs where people allow someone else to come in and redo their homes or yards.  Sometimes two sets of friends or family members agree to trade houses and redo a room in each other's place, without any prior approval or guarantees.  The participants give their house keys to the show's host, and they hand them over to the other party.  Then they go to work and tear out the other family's carpet, take down the drapes and pictures, discard furniture, repaint, and do whatever they decide needs to be done.  One show called "Radical Home Makeover" even demolishes the house and rebuilds it from the ground up.  The family is sent on vacation while this takes place.  When they return it is a scene of wild celebration as the neighbors gather and the family breaks down weeping with joy at the result.

Now, if we can demonstrate that kind of faith in other people, surely we can allow Christ to come in and make Himself at home in our hearts.  One thing is sure, we will not be unhappy with the results.  When you give Jesus the keys to your heart He "decorates" it with love, joy and peace, etc.  He rewires it to tap you into the Holy Spirit's power.  What could be better?

Monday, October 17, 2011


“If God is for us, who can be against us?”  Romans 8:31

Self respect has nothing to do with reputation or the approval of others.  People-pleasing is a miserable way to live.  You turn yourself inside out for them and just when you think you have succeeded, they change their minds.  Apart from stealing your peace of mind, approval-seeking makes it impossible to follow God’s directives, and ultimately that is your greatest loss.  But changing the habits of a life time is not easy; it requires an act of real faith and asking God for the courage to follow through.  David said, “I know…you are with me…I…am not afraid.  No one can harm me” Ps 56:9 – 11.  And Paul asks, “If God is for us, who can be against us?”  Understand two things:

  • Breaking the approval cycle means risking rejection by saying no when others expect to hear yes.  When people are used to meek, complaint responses, they will react negatively till they get used to the “new you”.  Certainly navigating uncharted waters is intimidating, but is it really any worse than living the rest of your life in fear of other people’s reactions?
  • You may have to explain to others that in the past you sought their approval because you felt insecure, but that is no longer the case.  The important thing is to act now.  Breaking any addiction involves discomfort and suffering, but the only other option is spending your life feeling trapped.  You can choose to suffer short-term on the way to freedom or long-term by continuing to engage in the struggle to please others.  So, which will it be?

Approval seeking cost Saul his kingdom.  God had told him to wait for Samuel to come before offering the evening sacrifice, but because Samuel was late and the people were getting impatient, Saul disobeyed.  And when Samuel questioned him, he replied, “When I saw…the people…slipping away from me…I…offered the burnt offering….  Samuel said, “You have done foolishly…The Lord would have established your kingdom…now it will not continue” 1 Sam 13:11 – 13.  Saul compromised his future because he feared man more than God.

Paul says, “Express truth in all things” Eph 4:15.  Approval seeking is basically dishonest, because people pleasers are not candid about their feelings.  You are telling people what they want to hear, rather than what you need to say!  You do not have to be rude, but you do not have to be a wimp either.  Just because somebody does not want to hear the truth does not negate your responsibility to speak it.

Have you often felt torn about things people are asking you to do?  One way God leads is through a sense of peace.  Isaiah talks about being “led forth with peace” Isa 55:12 and Paul says, “pursue…things which make for peace” Rom 14:19.  When you do not have peace about doing something it is OK to say so.  In fact, people should not expect you to proceed till you do.  But that rarely happens when people want your help to fulfill their agenda!  Jesus told His disciples that when people will not “receive…nor listen to your message, as you leave…shake the dust…from your feet” Matt 10:14.  So, when somebody’s reaction threatens to stop you from doing what you feel God wants you to do, be courageous, shake it off and move on.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


"I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten." Joel 2:25

Some of your reading this are old enough to remember hard times, shortages on cash, and limited menus.  You lived on a food budget, which meant you sometimes saw the same dish more than once.  Although, due to your Mom's incredible talent in the kitchen it did not always have the same face.  It might show up as mashed potatoes and peas on Monday, then shepherd's pie on Tuesday.  It might even come back a day or two later as something no one but your Mom herself could recognize.  She did chop it, dice it, mix in some cheese, splash Cream of Mushroom soup over the top, dress it up with some parsley, put it on a fancy tray, give it a French-sounding name and you thought it was something brand new!  Could not Mom work miracles with leftovers?

Well guess what?  God works the same way too!  If you bring Him what you have left over, He can turn it into something you never would have thought possible.  You just need to step away, turn it over to Him and let Him do His thing.  You did not hover over your Mom when she was reinventing your dinner.  You were smart enough to know that everything would come out a lot better if you just kept your hands off it.  This is not to say you should keep your hands entirely off your own life.  You just need to step back far enough to let God work without hindrance.  When you do, the promise that "All things work together for good" suddenly becomes a reality in your life.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


This is also known as Respiratory Tuberculosis or Koch’s disease.

Pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious bacterial infection that mainly involves the lungs, but may spread to other organs. It has a worldwide prevalence of 1.5 billion people infected with the disease. 10% of these infections are drug resistant and therefore harder to treat.

Pulmonary tuberculosis is caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis). You can get tuberculosis by breathing in air droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person.

The initial stage of the infection is usually asymptomatic (without symptoms). Most people will recover from primary TB infection without further evidence of the disease. However, in some cases, the disease may become active within weeks after the primary infection, or it may lie dormant for years and later reappear.

Risk Factors for TB
The following people are at a higher risk for developing active TB:
·         The elderly- because their immune systems are failing.
·         Persons with weakened immune systems, for example due to AIDS, chemotherapy, or anti-rejection medicines given after organ transplant.
·         Infants- because they are yet to build up a strong immune system.

The risk of contracting TB also increases if you:
·         Are in frequent contact with people who have the disease.
·         Live in crowded or unsanitary living conditions.
·         Have poor nutrition.

The factors that may increase the rate of tuberculosis infection in a population include:
·         Increase in HIV infections
·         Increase in number of poor or homeless individuals (poor environment and poor nutrition)
·         The appearance of drug-resistant strains of TB

Symptoms of TB

·         Chronic Cough
·         Fever
·         Fatigue
·         Loss of appetite
·         Unintentional and often drastic weight loss
·         Coughing up of blood 
·         Phlegm-producing cough
·         Wheezing
·         Excessive sweating, especially at night
·         Chest pain
·         Difficulty breathing


The goal of treatment is to cure the infection with drugs that fight the tuberculosis bacteria. The initial treatment may involve a combination of many drugs. It is continued until lab tests show which medicine works best. You may have to take a number of drugs daily for a long period of time.

Treatment usually lasts for 6-9 months, but longer courses may be needed for persons with AIDS or whose disease responds slowly.
You may need to be admitted to a hospital (quarantined) to prevent the spread of the disease to others until you are no longer contagious. In some cases admission is to ensure compliance and the medical personnel ensure the drugs are taken daily (daily observed therapy).

The Nigerian government provides subsidized drugs and treatment for people with TB in some specialized facilities nationwide. In some of these facilities the drugs are totally free.
Incomplete treatment of TB infections (such as failure to take medications for the prescribed length of time) can contribute to the emergence of drug-resistant strains of bacteria.


Symptoms may improve in 2 to 3 weeks. A chest x-ray will not show this improvement until much later. Prognosis is excellent if pulmonary TB is diagnosed early and treatment is started early.


Pulmonary TB can cause permanent lung damage if not treated early. Medicines used to treat TB may cause side effects, such as hepatitis and an orange or brown coloration of tears and urine. This change in color of tears and urine can be very dramatic and many Nigerians have been fooled into unnecessarily buying anti-TB drugs to “cleanse their blood” by road side drug hawkers.
When to seek Medical Advice

·         Visit your hospital if you have been exposed to tuberculosis, or if symptoms of TB develop.
·         Visit your hospital if symptoms persist despite treatment.
·         Visit your hospital if new symptoms develop, including indications that complications are developing.

Prevention of TB Spread

·         TB is a preventable disease, even in those who have been exposed to an infected person. Skin testing for TB is used in high risk populations or in individuals who may have been exposed to TB, such as health care workers.
·         A BCG vaccination to prevent TB is given in most countries with a high incidence of TB including Nigeria; this vaccine is one of vaccines that Fidelity Bank provides for newborns. It is not routinely used in the United States and other countries where TB is not prevalent. People who have had BCG may still be skin tested for TB and results of testing (if positive) should be discussed with one's doctor.
·         Prompt treatment is extremely important in controlling the spread of tuberculosis for those who have already progressed to active TB disease.
·         If you notice a family member or work colleague has developed the symptoms of TB contact Human Resources so we can ensure they receive adequate care and also prevent the spread to others.

Remember Prevention is better than cure.

Dr. Olukayode Williams

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


"That which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost."  Matthew 1:20

You must learn to recognize seed-form blessings.  Why? Because for a period of time it may not be clear to others (or even you) that the Lord is with you.  Look at Mary: "In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth... to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph...The virgin's name was Mary.  The angel...said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored!  The Lord is with you."  Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.  But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary you have found favor with God.  You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus...."  "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"  The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you...So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God...For nothing is impossible with God."  "I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered.  "May it be to me as you have said."  Luke 1:26 - 38.

Notice the following things about Mary: 
  • She was capable of conceiving what God wanted.
  • She could carry it full-term.
  • She could deliver it in health.
  • She could trust God with her unanswered questions.
  • When the time came she could release it to fulfill God's plan, even though it meant the breaking of her heart.  The seed that went into the ground on Good Friday sprang to life on Easter Sunday and produced a harvest that changed the world.  So, learn to recognize your seed-form blessings.