Monday, April 30, 2012


"He grew a root out of dry ground." Isaiah 53:2

Isaiah points out that Jesus sprang up "like a root out of dry ground."  Talk about tough circumstances!  God dressed up in a man's body, living among those who wanted to kill him simply because He wanted to save them. He left Heaven - which we are hard-pressed to even imagine - to enter earth, a hostile environment filled with betrayers and religious stiff necks, to go toe-to-toe with the devil.  So, He pulled away a lot.  What a consecrated, set-apart life He had to live in order to survive among His own who despised, rejected and finally crucified Him.  He spent much time in prayer and came back from those visits with His Father encouraged and empowered.  Jesus always kept one thing in mind: He came to do His Father's will.  Just that!  And He said that as the Father had sent Him, "So send I you" John 20:21.  So we too should keep God's will in mind at all times as we endeavor to survive our struggles.  We need to remember that He sent us, and that we have a job to do.  When we know that we are not our own, that our well-being and identity are not dependent upon the recognition of others, we can experience a level of peace, joy and contentment even in the toughest of circumstances.  When we know God appreciates us we can have a healthy self-esteem, not a weak dependent ego that constantly needs propping up like a loose signpost.  Tough times produce strong character, and strong character brings God's blessings.  "For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance" Matthew 25:29.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Dear Friends,

There are many dynamics to relationships.  Each one is unique to the individuals in it.  But if there is one thing that can make or break any relationship, it could quite possibly be forgiveness - giving it as well as receiving it.

Forgiveness is a gift we give, releasing the person who hurt us from the bondage of owing us something that only God can truly give.  But we also give this gift to ourselves when we release the weight of holding on to an offense.  That is a really heavy burden, especially when the other person is going on with their life and may not even know or care what you are feeling.  Remember, our unforgiveness hurts us more than it does anyone else.

Of course, I am not saying that we should be doormats and let others just hurt and abuse us.  What I am saying is we need to learn to follow the Holy Spirit very closely and allow Him to lead us specifically in each situation and in each relationship.  Besides, He is much better at vindicating us than we are ourselves.  That is because He does it with nothing in mind but the good of everyone involved.  Sometimes, He may lead us to confront someone and other times He will lead us to just shake it off.  Stay sensitive to Him, because whichever way He leads is ultimately for our good and theirs.

Prayer is so important in times like these.  We need to depend completely on the Holy Spirit for the ability to forgive, as well as the way to go about it in each circumstance. I pray for you as well as your families, and other relationships and circles of influence.  And I want you to pray for me too.

Remember, forgiveness is a gift.  Give it and receive it!

Monday, April 23, 2012


"We have been approved by God." 1 Thessalonians 2:4

Living in the approval of God is so liberating!  It frees you from "approval addiction" - worrying about what other people think.  When you are addicted, no matter how much of your drug of choice you get it is never enough.  And like junkies, you go crazy when your drug is withheld.  Approval addicts are always at the mercy of other people's opinions.  As a result their lives become an emotional roller coaster of highs and lows.

Paul was free to speak the truth in love: to confront people, or be gentle with them.  When someone told Paul they did not like him, he did not lose sleep over it.  That is because his life was not built upon their approval.  "We have been approved by God."  Paul did not go around needing to:

  • Compare himself with others;
  • Demonstrate his superiority;
  • Impress or compete with others;
  • Be the top dog or the one who is always in charge.
Living in God's approval set him free from such ulcer-inducing anxiety, and meant he could enjoy the life God called him to live.

When you are young and insecure we tend to worry about what others think of us.  But as we become more mature, we realize that most of the time they were not thinking about us at all.  They were too busy worrying what we thought of them!  Living in God's approval frees us from all that stress. It gives us the strength to deal with criticism and conflict, because we know our identity.  And our identity is this: we are God's redeemed children.  And since we are accepted and approved by Him, what else matters?

Thursday, April 19, 2012


What is Conjunctivitis?
Conjunctivitis is one of the most common and treatable eye infections in children and adults. Often called "pink eye," or “apollo” in this part of the world; it is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the tissue that lines the inside of the eyelid.

Causes of Conjunctivitis
Conjunctivitis can be caused by a virus, bacteria, irritating substances (shampoos, dirt, smoke, and especially chlorine in swimming pools), allergens (substances that cause allergies) or sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Apollo caused by bacteria, viruses, and STIs can spread easily from person to person, but is not a serious health risk if diagnosed promptly.

What are the Symptoms of Conjunctivitis?
  • Redness in the white of the eye or inner eyelid
  • Greater amount of tears
  • Thick yellow discharge that crusts over the eyelashes, especially after sleep (in conjunctivitis caused by bacteria)
  • Other discharge from your eye (green or white)
  • Itchy eyes (especially in conjunctivitis caused by allergies)
  • Burning eyes (especially in conjunctivitis caused by chemicals and irritants)
  • Blurred vision
  • Increased sensitivity to light
See your ophthalmologist (a doctor trained to treat eye conditions) or family doctor if you have any of these persistent symptoms. Ear infections also commonly occur in children who have bacterial conjunctivitis. The ophthalmologist will examine your eyes and possibly take a sample of fluid from the eyelid with a cotton swab.

How is conjunctivitis treated?
  • Bacteria
    Conjunctivitis caused by bacteria is treated with antibiotics, a type of medicine prescribed by your doctor. The antibiotic can be given as eye drops, ointments, or pills. Eye drops or ointments may need to be applied to the inside of the eyelid three to four times a day for five to seven days. It may be difficult to apply ointments inside of a child’s eye. If the ointment gets as far as the eyelashes, it will most likely melt and enter the eye. Drugs3 may need to be taken for several days. The infection should improve within a week. Take the medicine as instructed by your doctor, even if the symptoms go away.
  • Virus
    Medicine cannot treat conjunctivitis caused by a virus. This type of conjunctivitis often results from a common cold. Just as a cold must run its course, so must this form of conjunctivitis, which will last from 4 to 7 days. You may, however, help relieve symptoms by applying a cold compress.
  • Irritating substance
    To treat this type of conjunctivitis, use warm water for five minutes to wash the irritating substance from the eye. You should also avoid further exposure to the irritating substances. Your eyes should begin to improve within four hours after washing away the substance. If they do not, call your doctor.
  • Allergies
    Allergy-associated conjunctivitis should be evaluated by your ophthalmologist and an allergist. It may disappear completely when the allergy is treated with antihistamines or the when the allergen is removed. Relieve symptoms temporarily by applying a cold compress on closed eyes.
  • Ophthalmia neonatorum and STIs
    The same bacteria that causes the sexually transmitted infections chlamydia and gonorrhea can also infect the conjunctiva. This is called ophthalmia neonatorum and is most commonly spread during birth as the infant passes through the birth canal of an infected mother. Newborns are usually given eye drops immediately after birth to treat any possible infection.
Conjunctivitis can also be spread through hand contact when rubbing the eyes or touching contact lenses after touching infected genitals. Oral antibiotics in the form of pill, eye drops, or ointment are usually prescribed for treatment. Washing hands thoroughly can help prevent the spread of this type of conjunctivitis.
Being around a person who has conjunctivitis and wearing contact lenses may increase your risk of getting conjunctivitis, but the outcome is usually very good with treatment. The eyes can become re-infected. Call your doctor if symptoms last for more than three days after treatment.

What can I do to help Relieve Symptoms?
  • Protect your eyes from dirt and other irritating substances.
  • Remove contact lenses, if you wear them.
  • Place cold compresses on your eyes.
  • Wash your face and eyelids with mild soap or baby shampoo and rinse with water to remove irritating substances.
Non-prescription "artificial tears," a type of eye drops, may help relieve itching and burning from irritating substances. (Note: Other types of eye drops may irritate the eyes and should not be used.) Do not use the same bottle of drops in the other eye if it is not infected.

How can I prevent spreading the infection?
  • Don’t touch or rub the infected eye(s).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water.
  • Wash any discharge from your eyes twice a day using a fresh cotton ball or paper towel. Afterwards, discard the cotton ball and wash your hands with soap and warm water.
  • Wash your bed linens, pillowcases, and towels in hot water and detergent.
  • Avoid wearing eye makeup.
  • Don’t share eye makeup with anyone else.
  • Never wear another person’s contact lens.
  • Wear glasses instead of contact lenses. Throw away disposable lenses or be sure to clean extended wear lenses and all eyewear cases.
  • Avoid sharing common articles such as unwashed towels, cups, and glasses.
  • Wash your hands after applying the eye drops or ointment to your eye or your child’s eye.
  • Do not use eye drops in a non-infected eye that were used for an infected one.
If your child has bacterial or viral conjunctivitis, keep him or her home from school or day care until he or she is no longer contagious.
As always remember that prevention is better than a cure.

Dr. Olukayode Williams

Monday, April 16, 2012


"Honor one another above yourselves." Romans 12:10

If God has called you to lead, more is required of you.  Those you are called to lead have the right to expect 8 things:

  • To know your character.  If I follow you, will I know who you really are?  Will you deal with me with integrity?
  • That you will take the time to explain your vision.  What is the future and where do I fit?  Is there a place for me or will you simply use me?
  • To never be left in isolation.  Will you 'be there' for me?  Will you love me?  Will you care about my needs?
  • To be heard.  To whom will you listen?  When you are busy and overloaded will I still be heard, taken seriously and appreciated?
  • To be trusted.  Can I take initiative without fear?  Will my ideas be rewarded and encouraged or will I be regarded with suspicion and distanced?
  • To be given an opportunity to grow.  Will I be encouraged to be a lifelong learner?  Will my gifts be increasingly identified and expressed?  Will I be developed?
  • To be held accountable.  Will I be fairly evaluated for my performance?  Will I be lovingly held to the highest standards and to God's best for my life?  Will you show me how to do it better and be patient while I learn and self-correct?
  • To be the object of grace.  Will I be forgiven even in the face of shortcomings, inadequacies and failure? Will I be led with kindness?  These are what followers have the right to expect of you - so do not let them down!

Thursday, April 12, 2012


"But the hour cometh, and now is." John 4:23

Phase One: Anticipation.  This woman had lived through 5 failed marriages, become the talk of the town, and lost her capacity to trust others or respect herself.  Then Jesus showed up and said, "The hour cometh."  What a message: "Your time has come.  Things in your life are about to change.  What you are weeping over today you will rejoice over tomorrow."  God's grace turns the failures of our past into fertilizer.  Like a lily springing up in a mud marsh, God offers us: "Beauty for ashes, and the garment of praise in exchange for the spirit of heaviness." [see Isaiah 61:3].  Notice, when Christ mentioned this woman's past He was not a Pharisee pointing an accusing finger.  No, He was the Good Shepherd walking for miles to find one lost sheep; the great Physician pouring healing love into her deepest wounds; and "the door" that leads out of misery and into the life she always longed for.

Phase Two: Reality.  "And now is."  The waiting is over.  Anticipation turns to reality and she seizes her moment.  When Jesus said, "Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give...shall never thirst" [John 4:14]; she replies: "Sir, give this water, that I thirst not" [John 4:15].  She reaches by faith and receives what He has for her.  Then redeemed, recycled and redirected, this woman with a questionable past goes all over town introducing others to Christ.  What a story! And what Jesus did for her He will do for you.  What He said to her He says to you: "Your time has come.  Your breakthrough is at hand.  Believe it, receive it and walk in it."

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


"It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor be hasty and miss the way." Proverbs 19:2

A lot of us drive like the speed limits are just suggestions!  No, they are there for a reason - our protection.  Ignore them and you crash!  The same is true about your life.  Do you take work home, stay up late after the children go to bed and your mate's asleep?  Are you skipping meals to catch up on paper work that keeps replenishing itself like weeds along a hillside?  Do you drive to meetings checking your Blackberry, drinking coffee and talking on your cell phone?  Isn't it crazy to run a portable office while driving at 65 m.p.h. down the highway?  Some seasons are busier than others.  Occasionally opportunities come along that require extra time and attention - but you cannot expect yourself to always travel at warp speed.  You are mortal and fragile with physical, emotional and spiritual needs.  You are mortal and fragile with physical, emotional and spiritual needs. You are not a robot, a computer or an engine that can be operated at the flip of a switch.  Even these mechanical devices, if you do not keep them fueled and maintained eventually fail.

So, how do you discover and maintain your speed limit?  By knowing yourself inside out.  Pay attention to your body's signals - to your responses to the demands that you (and others) place on you.  When your body is tired to the point of distraction, rest.  That is what God did!  And do not forget your soul - you will gain more strength, wisdom and perspective by spending time each day with God than by all your blowing and going.  The  Bible says: "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength" Isaiah 40:31.  Try it; it works!