Wednesday, May 30, 2012


"But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart."  Luke 2:19

After thoroughly washing their clothes, the old timers would wring as much water out of them as possible so they would dry quickly.  There is a lesson there: growing in character and maturity calls for more than just "letting life happen."  No, it calls for "wringing the wisdom" out of each experience by asking, "What is to be learned here?  How could it have been done differently?"  Great chess players win because they think several moves ahead.  Wisdom asks, "Where does this lead?  What are the possible unintended consequences?"  Wise people realize that what they do today will affect tomorrow.  They are aware that most things are interconnected.  Wisdom comes from figuring out where things are going.  Talk to people whose lives are lived purely on the surface and ask, "Have you thought about...?"  No, they have not.  "Well, what do you think this will do to...?"  They have no idea.  "Have you ever asked yourself what God...?"  Never thought of that.

"But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart."  This is a picture of someone who takes the time to wring out events and tests them for insight and understanding.  Sooner or later Mary may have something to say, but when she says it her words will have substance.  In days to come her family will have to flee from Herod's thugs and spend years living in exile in Egypt.  All of this will demand courage, depth of spirit, and trust in the purposes of God.  And that is what comes to a person like Mary, who takes time to "wring" the wisdom out of the event.

Friday, May 25, 2012


“I have filled him with…skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts.”  Exodus 31:3

Have you read about two builders named Bezalel and Oholiab?  God speaks about them: “I have chosen Bezalel…and…filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts…Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab…to help him” Exodus 31:2-6.  And there are other examples where God’s call was not “religious” in a formal sense, like Nehemiah the wall builder, Daniel the government man in Babylon, Luke the first century physician.  So consider this: your job could be your calling!  When you demonstrate Christian character there, and use your income to fulfill God’s purposes on earth, you are as called as any minister.

And your past does not disqualify you.  Paul wrote, “I was…a blasphemer…and a violent man” 1Timothy 1:13.  Happily, God does not consult our past to determine our future.  Furthermore, God will call you to a job that looks too big for you.  Why?  So you will never forget where your strength and success come from.  Calls are not classified ads; you do not volunteer, you respond!  God speaks, He persistently nudges you.  In Chariots of Fire, Eric Liddell says, “When I run, I feel God’s pleasure.”  All your human accolades and accomplishments will eventually leave you empty.  Lasting pleasure, the kind only God provides, comes from knowing you are doing what He has told you to do.  Eventually Eric Liddell became a missionary; so your call can begin one place then take you to another.  Whenever you know you are doing what God has called you to do – you experience a lasting pleasure that simply cannot be found anywhere else!

“We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  Ephesians 2:10

When God calls you to do something, His call comes in several ways:

·         You feel “moved”.  There is a moment of certainty when God puts His hand upon you, nudging you toward a particular need, usually an unmet one.  You know it in your “knower”.
·         It is confirmed by others.  People will discern that God is at work in your life.  People, who know you well, watch; they volunteer comments such as “You are at your best when you…”, “You shine when you are doing that.”
·         You will be gifted to do it.  There are times when a person starts off with seemingly no specific capacities at all, but this is rare.  With a call comes giftedness – that special empowerment God gives to the “callee”.  When you are in your calling you soar in spite of obstacles.  And people tend to stand back in amazement.  Ever seen Joni Eareckson Tada speaking to an auditorium full of people in wheelchairs?  The whole place comes alive when she rolls up to the microphone in her wheelchair.
·         You will see results! You will change things, touch lives and glorify God.  St. Patrick had a dream in which the Irish people were saying, “We appeal to you, Holy Servant Boy, to come and walk among us.”  And Patrick responded.  He combed the Irish countryside preaching to chiefs and kings.  An entire nation began its journey toward Christianity.  Now, you may not be called to do that, but you are called to do something for God.  So, find your calling and fulfill it!

Monday, May 21, 2012


"Moses was...more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth."  Numbers 12:3

It took 40 years of living like a shepherd [and oh, how the Egyptians despised shepherds!] to discipline Moses' ego.  Only then, at age 80, was he ready to live life on God's terms.  The man who emerged from the desert was decidedly different from the man who entered it.  It is our "desert experiences" that keep our egos in check.  Without them, we start believing our own press and get into trouble.  God told King Saul, "When you were little in your own eyes I was able to use you" [See I Samuel 15:17].  When Colonel Samuel Logan Brengle of The Salvation Army was once introduced as "the great Colonel Brengle," he wrote in his journal: "If I appear great in their eyes, the Lord is most gracious in helping me to see how absolutely nothing I am with him.  He does use me. But I am so conscious that he uses me, and that it is not of me that the work is done.  The axw cannot boast of the trees it has cut down.  It could do nothing without the woodsman.  He made it, he sharpened it, he used it, and the moment he throws it aside it becomes only old used iron.  Oh, that I may never lose sight of this."

A young English man once came to live in the community led by Gandhi.  When assigned to clean latrines, he protested, "Don't you know who I am?  I have great things to do."  Gandhi replied, "I know you can do great things; what I do not know is if you can do little things." Check your ego!

Thursday, May 17, 2012


"Tear down your father's a proper kind of altar."  Judges 6:25-26

During a leadership seminar on attitudes, a man told the following story: "From the earliest recollections I do not remember a compliment from my father.  His father also thought it unmanly to express affection or even appreciation.  My grandfather was a perfectionist who worked hard and expected everyone else to do the same, without any encouragement.  And since he was neither positive nor relational, he had a constant turnover in his employees.  Because of my background it has been very difficult for me to nurture or encourage my family.  This critical and negative attitude has hindered my life.  I have raised five children and tried to live as a Christian before them.  Sadly, it is easier for them to recognize my love for God, than my love for them.  They were starved  for affection and approval.  The tragedy is, they have received my bad attitude trait and now I see them passing it down to my precious grandchildren.  Never before have I been so aware of 'catching an attitude.' Obviously, this wrong attitude has been passed along for five generations.  So, it is time to stop it!  Today I make a conscious decision to change.  This will not be done overnight, but it will be done.  It will not be accomplished easily, but by God's grace it will be accomplished!"

God told Gideon to tear down his father's altar and build a proper kind of altar [attitude].  Fathers, it is time to tear down your old attitudes and ways of relating, and start building attitudes that bless your children and honor God.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Fibroid are non-cancerous or benign tumors that grow from the muscle layers of the womb (uterus).

Fibroids are growths of smooth muscle and fibrous tissue. Fibroids can vary in size, from that of a small bean or coin to as large as a watermelon.

Fibroid affect at least 20% of all women at sometime during their life. Women aged between 30 and 50 are the most likely to develop fibroids.

Overweight and obese women are at significantly higher risk of developing fibroids, compared to women of normal weight.

Malignant (cancerous) growths on the smooth muscles inside the womb can develop, called leiomyosarcoma of the womb. However, this is extremely rare.

There are four types of fibroids based on their location (see above).

What are the symptoms of uterine fibroids?
Most women have no symptoms. That is why most patients with fibroids do not know they have them. When symptoms do develop, they may include:
·         Anemia (as a result of heavy periods)
·         Backache
·         Discomfort in the lower abdomen (especially if fibroids are large)
·         Frequent urination
·         Constipation
·         Heavy painful periods
·         Pain in the legs
·         Painful sex
·         Swelling in the lower abdomen (especially if fibroids are large)

Other symptoms may include:
·         Labor problems
·         Pregnancy problems
·         Fertility problems
·         Repeated miscarriages

What are the causes of fibroids?
We are not exactly sure why fibroids occur.

During a woman's reproductive years her estrogen and progesterone levels are high. When estrogen levels are high, especially during pregnancy, fibroids tend to swell. When estrogen levels are low fibroids may shrink, e.g. during a woman's menopause.

Heredity may also be a factor. Women whose mothers and/or sisters have/had fibroids have a higher risk of developing them too.

How are fibroids diagnosed?
In most cases, the symptoms of fibroids are rarely felt and the patient does not know she has them. They are usually discovered during a vaginal examination.

·         Ultrasound
If the doctor thinks fibroids may be present he/she may use an ultrasound scan to find out. Ultrasound can also eliminate other possible conditions which may have similar symptoms. Ultrasound scans are often used when the patient has heavy periods and blood tests have revealed nothing conclusive.
·         Trans-vaginal scan
A small scanner is inserted into the patient's private part so that the uterus can be viewed close up.
·         Hysteroscopy
A small telescope that examines the inside of the uterus. During this procedure, if necessary, a biopsy can be taken of the lining of the uterus (womb).
·         Laparoscopy
A laparoscope is a small device that looks at the outside of the uterus - where the doctor examines its size and shape. A laparoscope is a small flexible tube. During this procedure, if necessary, a biopsy can be taken of the outer layer of the uterus.
·         Biopsy
A small sample of the lining of the uterus is taken and then examined under a microscope.

What are the treatments for fibroids?
If the woman has no symptoms and the fibroids are not affecting her day-to-day life she may receive no treatment at all. Even women who have heavy periods and whose lives are not badly affected by this symptom may also opt for no treatment. During the menopause symptoms will usually become less apparent, or disappear altogether as the fibroids usually shrink at this stage of a woman's life.

When treatment is necessary it may be in the form of medication or surgery.

Treating fibroids with medication

·         GnRHA
GnRHA (gonadotropin released hormone agonist), administered by injection, is the best medication for fibroid treatment. GnRHAs make the woman's body produce much lower quantities of estrogen, which makes the fibroids shrink. GnRHA stops the woman's menstrual cycle. It is important to remember that GNRHAs are not contraceptives, and they do not affect a woman's fertility when she stops treatment.

GNRHAs are also very helpful for women who have heavy periods and discomfort in their abdomen. GNRHAs may have menopause-like symptoms as their main side-effect, this might include hot flashes (sudden unexplained sensations of heat) and a tendency to sweat more, and vaginal dryness. Although thinning of the bones (osteoporosis) is also a possible side-effect, it is extremely rare.
GnRHAs may also be administered to the patient before surgery in order to shrink the fibroids. GNRHAs are for short-term, not long-term use.  GNRHAs combined with HRT (hormone replacement therapy) are sometimes prescribed to prevent menopause-like symptoms.

Other drugs may be used to treat fibroids; however, they are less effective for larger fibroids. These include:

·         Anti-inflammatory drugs - these medications are taken for a few days during the patient's menstrual period. Anti-inflammatory medications reduce the amount of prostaglandins the body produces. Prostaglandins are hormones which are associated with heavy periods. These drugs are also painkillers. They do not affect a woman's fertility.
·         The contraceptive pill - these are used to stop menstruation from occurring.

Surgery to treat fibroids
Sometimes the patient may have to undergo surgery. There are numerous surgical treatments for fibroids but the two commonly practiced procedures here in Nigeria are:

·        Hysterectomy – This simply means removing the uterus. This is only ever considered if the fibroids are too large, or if the patient is bleeding too much. Hysterectomies are sometimes considered as an option to stop recurrences of fibroids (stop them coming back).
·        Myomectomy - the fibroids are surgically removed from the wall of the uterus. This option is more popular for women who want to get pregnant (as opposed to a hysterectomy). Women with large fibroids, as well as those whose fibroids are located in particular parts of the uterus may not be able to benefit from this procedure.

What are the complications of fibroids?
It is important to note that in the vast majority of cases fibroids do not result in complications for patients. However, for a tiny minority they do and these complications may include:
·         Heavy periods - the most common complication being a disruption of the woman's ability to function normally when periods are present, and also the possibility of depression because of this. In some cases these heavy periods can lead to anemia and fatigue.
·         Abdominal pains and abdominal swelling - if the patient's fibroids are large she may experience swelling and discomfort in the lower abdomen. She may also have a sensation of being constipated. Some women with large fibroids say their bowel movements are painful. A lady with a very large fibroid can often be mistaken for a pregnant woman at first glance.
·         Premature birth, labor problems, miscarriages - as estrogen levels rise significantly during pregnancy, and as estrogen can speed up fibroid growth, some women may experience early labor, miscarriages or complications during labor.
·         Infertility - in some cases fibroids can make it more difficult for the fertilized egg to attach itself to the lining of the uterus. A fibroid that grows outside the uterus (submucosal fibroid) may change the uterus' shape, making it harder for the woman to get pregnant.
·         Leiomyosarcoma - this is extremely rare. This is a form of cancer, and it can develop inside the fibroids.

Dr. Olukayode Williams

Monday, May 14, 2012


"Be prepared." Ephesians 6:13

The "toxins" in our work environment can invade our attitudes, thoughts and behaviors.  So, stay focused on the spiritual battle that awaits you.  Prepare for it each morning by putting on your armor.  What armor? Listen: "Be prepared.  You are up against far more than you can handle on your own.  Take...every weapon God has issued, so that when it is all over but the shouting you will still be on your feet.  Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words.  Learn how to apply them.  You will need them...God's Word is an indispensable weapon...prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare...Keep your eyes open.  Keep each other's spirits up so that no one falls behind" [Ephesians 6:13-18].  Perhaps you would like to pray the following prayer to get you started: "Father, thank You for the blessings of my present job.  As I suit up for work today, protect me, strengthen me, use me and bless me.  Let me remain focused on You, allowing Your Word and Your presence to shield me from all contaminants such as pride, insensitivity, being short-tempered, and failure to show love.  My worth comes from You, not my job, so I rest in the knowledge that You see all I do and that my labor will not go unrewarded. Amen."

Ships sail on water, but if water gets in even a battleship will sink.  So go through the waters of your work environment without allowing them to contaminate you.  And be realistic in expecting what the job will deliver.  Keep your focus on why you are there, Who sent you, Who sees you, and Who is preparing you for greater things.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


In today's society, patience is not something we typically pursue.  We expect things to happen quickly.  Why should we wait?  With modern conveniences like cars, microwave ovens and the Internet, waiting is a thing of the past, right?

Well, that is really not the case.  We still have to wait for things.  For example, it still takes nine months to have a baby.  And sometimes, whatever the circumstance might be, our timing may not be God's timing.  So we all face periods of waiting.  That is why I want to share with you the importance of patience.

Patience is a timeless trait that makes a person powerful.  You may be asking, how so?  Well, when you are patient, you are in charge.

Now, that does not mean you are in charge of all your circumstances, but it does mean you are in charge of yourself.  Luke 21:19 is a powerful scripture that says, By your steadfastness and patient endurance you shall win the true life of your souls."  Think about this scripture a moment.  To me, it is saying that the patient person is in possession of his own soul, which is made up of your mind, will and emotions.  So, a patient person takes charge of his won mind by refusing to worry or trying to figure things out.  He does not get into reasoning.  His mind can be at peace.  On the other hand, someone who is not patient does not have charge over their own mind.  Their mind is full of worry, reasoning, doubt and unbelief.  This makes their life an unpleasant experience.

James 1:4 "But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfectly and full developed lacking in nothing."  Here is the point; A patient person is not someone who never wants anything.  It means that you are satisfied.  You are at peace.  Your will is at rest.  You do not get angry all the time, always trying to make something happen that is not happening....  Some people are always trying to get rid of something they do not want or get something they do not have.  The patient man does not need to struggle with God's will.  He has that peace in his soul.  Psalm 23 says, "the Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want."  Remember, a patient man possesses his own soul.

Also, if you are a patient person, your emotions can be stable, not always going up and down.  With an impatient person, the first time something happens that they do not like, they get upset.  Their emotions change. But the patient man knows he can work things out because God is in control.  Stability is a key trait we need to believe God for all the time.  As we remain stable, the circumstances in our life must bow their knee.  Stability is one of the outward signs that we really are trusting God like we say we are.  Philippians 1:28 is a really powerful scripture that describes the benefit of staying stable as we wait: "And do not be frightened or intimidated in anything by your opponents and adversaries, for such will be a clear sign to them of destruction, but of your deliverance and salvation, and that from God."  The enemy cannot control those who remain stable.  This scripture clearly says if you are a constant person and fearless, that is going to be a sign to your enemy of his impending destruction.  Constancy and stability says to the devil, "This is a person that you cannot control."  And it is also a sure sign that you fully trust God.

We experience times when we wish something would happen sooner than it does.  And there will be times when you will struggle to stay peaceful as you wait.

Your peaceful, patient countenance will shine brightly in this impatient world.

Friday, May 4, 2012


"He will yet fill your mouth with laughter." Job 8:21

One of the best ways to reduce stress is to keep your sense of humor.  Do not panic, do not overreact and do not use unnecessary force.  If you do people will avoid you.  Happy people get more done than their oh-so-serious counterparts.  Actually, being joyful can make you laugh all the way to the bank.  Would you rather buy a car from a stressed-out, verbally abusive salesman, or someone whose company you enjoy?  Would you rather work around someone who is congenial, or someone moaning and groaning about what ought to be done?  "A cheerful heart is good medicine" Proverbs 17:22.  However, keep in mind 2 things when it comes to humor:

  • Make sure your humor is at no one else's expense. Avoid jokes about things others might be sensitive about.  Weight, hairdos and cheating husbands or wives might make some people laugh, but to others it is so funny.  No one likes to be the butt of the joke.  Be careful with teasing someone else.  Make sure that their personality can handle your humor.  It is always wise to let the joke be on you; you know you are not going to offend yourself!
  • Remember that timing is everything.  "There is a time for everything...a time to weep and a time to laugh" Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4.  If people do not believe you truly care about them, your humor will produce only a shallow and strained response.  
  • Every relationship, every path you cross, every conversation you have can ultimately be used by God to further His purposes.  
  • Whether at work, at home or at play, always keep these things in mind.