CHILDREN AS OUR NEXT MINUTE LEADERS: THE PERSONAL REFLECTION OF A CHILDREN MENTOR

Volunteering as a Children Mentor has been one of my most fulfilling volunteer programs because it gives me the rare privilege of directly positively impacting the lives of our Next Minute Leaders™img_20170118_022413_738
Playing with and being around children is one of the things I do for fun. children are my favorite people on earth. No matter how stressful my school work and what’s going on in my personal life, I am always waiting for 3:45 pm to go meet with these super talented, brilliant & highly gifted children. Their quest for knowledge, leadership and athletic skills, and dedication/strong desire to contribute to the community in practical ways are overwhelmingly motivating.
For those who don’t know, “CanU is a Winnipeg-based charitable organisation that inspires hope and confidence in the leaders of tomorrow through its out-of-school mentorship and educational enrichment program for youth in Grades 5-12. Throughout the year, CanU Kids participate in a wide range of educational experiences on post-secondary campuses and develop their nutrition, health, academic, social, and leadership skills. CanU programs are designed and led by university student volunteers who are honing their leadership and community service skills. With a goal of inspiring hope and confidence, and empowering our kids to see possibilities and seize opportunities.” ( http://www.canucanada.org).

I started volunteering with CanU Canada in October 2014 (the program runs from October to March in each academic calendar). I had the privilege of mentoring kids from different ages, socio-economic, family and ethnic backgrounds. I also worked with CanU during Summer 2015 for the special program that was a partnership with Israel Idonije Foundation, Imagine Summer Leadership Program, in which I served as a role model to the kids in an ethical, professional, social and interpersonal relationship. picking up, travelling with and dropping off to The Price Companies, Red River College, University of Manitoba College of Pharmacy, Manitoba Museum, Get Out Of The Basement (GOTB), etc for professional training, skills acquisition and to widen their career choices.
And because I personally experienced the importance of having a humble & exemplary role model, I carry out my responsibilities with zeal,  passion, enthusiasm and love. My ultimate goal every volunteer day is to make sure that they are at least a 1000 times better youths/young adults than myself.
One of the major ways of carrying out these responsibilities is by using positive reinforcement: appreciating/celebrating the kids for every act of kindness, humility, leadership role, heroic acts such as giving up personal comfort to make the group as a whole more comfortable, taking initiatives, etc. Examples include: celebrating a child that opens the door for others; say THANK YOU to a caregiver cleaning the floor; say THANK YOU to an invested guest/instructor on behalf of the group, etc.
Also, I don’t focus on their mistakes or errors but rather empower them to do greater and more excellent things. Don’t allow them to settle for anything less but rather guide them to think that there are no heights that they can’t attain. Oh yeah, this is exactly where the organization name comes in CANU (the University of CAN), a place where U CAN achieve anything you want with passion, dedication, discipline, diligence, hard work and God’s help, irrespective of your family, socio-economic background). We see possibilities for every seemingly impossible situation, excellence in every mistake, and greatness in every weakness.
In addition, it is commonly said that “experience is the best teacher” and so I tell them my story of how though being born without a silver spoon, achieving mediocre grade, walking around without specific goal and ambition other than to become a local fisherman and floating around with “high ranking mediocre” become an award winning student. My life was transformed due to an excellent mentor (my elder brother PRINCE GOGOGWUTE), discipline, focus, hard work and God’s Grace. Now I have to be a little careful here because my life and all that I may think I have accomplished are much of God’s Grace, Love and Mercy than my personal efforts because I have been to places, interacted with people that ordinary personal efforts wouldn’t have qualified me. And so saying that my hard work earned me these will be equivalent to using someone’s work (in this case, God’s Grace) without acknowledging it. That’s PLAGIARISM at its peak. I don’t even want to start thinking about the punishment.
Finally, haven known from personal experience, observation and words of elders that children learn more by imitation. I strive for excellence in conducting myself within and outside the program, in my conversation with fellows and even social life (because these kids are smarter and can find you anywhere (wont be surprised that they’re reading this).
Over time, I get to see many of these children display these characteristics consciously and unconsciously. This is why I refer to Children as Next Minute Leaders™ because they learn, adapt and improve so quickly and smartly that they manifest what is being thought a few minutes after. Therefore, calling them leaders of Tomorrow is underestimating their learning and leadership abilities.
It is quite impressive seeing some of the children who were part of the Grade 5&6 program grow up to take up the responsibility of Junior Mentors, mentoring the younger ones (the current Grade 5&6 kids), working alongside university student mentors like myself by “introducing kids to the dream of post-secondary education” and volunteering at other schools.
One of my favourite days was the day that one of the children (now a Junior Mentor) said that she wants to take over the leadership/management of CanU Canada after Mr Roger Berrington (the Owner/Founder). So Mr Roger in his characteristic manner: always eager to see the kids take great initiatives, very motivating and passionately supportive, asked her to write him a letter explaining her intentions and what she plans to do. And to our immense surprise, she came back a few days later with the letter. Although I don’t have access to the content of the letter (which really doesn’t matter for this article), her passion and willingness to give back to the community and serve others are praiseworthy.

The Children are our Next Minute Leaders™ because they can learn, adapt and improve so quickly and smartly that they manifest what is being thought a few minutes after. Therefore, calling them leaders of Tomorrow is underestimating their learning and leadership abilities.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TAKING OUT TIME TO READ.
PLEASE SHARE TO ENCOURAGE SOMEONE AND DONT FORGET TO WRITE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW!
TILL NEXT NOTE: JESUS BLESS!
CHRISTIAN G. OKWUDIWA
#ChrisloveCGO #JesusIsLord
Facebook.com/ChrisloveCGO
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THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN CHRISTIANITY

Mary Magdalene , Joanna (wife of Chuza, steward of Herod) Mary mother of James & Joseph, the mother of the Sons of Zebedee and the other women
The Bible revealed to us that at this point in the earthly life of JESUS CHRIST, it was only these three specifically mentioned women along with other women from Galilee that were recorded to be there while JESUS was on the Cross, MINISTERING TO HIM.
The disciples who are expected to be there with Him were nowhere to be found. Peter (the outspoken person) denied Him even before a maid as Jesus had prophesied. The funny thing is that when he realised that he had both lied & denied his Master because he was sore afraid, he couldn’t restitute and accept that he was a disciple. These women were not only present and ministering to Him with their possessions (substances) (Luke 8:1-3), they also kept watch. When Joseph of Arimathea took the body of Jesus Christ for burial, they followed him closely to know where he would lay the body of Christ. They also went a step further to know how the body was laid (Luke 23:49-55). This means that they were very concerned about the total well-being of Jesus even at death. The Bible presented a very detailed report on the important role of women in Christianity.
These great women didn’t just stop at identifying who took the body, where and how the body was laid, returned home and prepared spices and ointment to take care of the body. Inasmuch as they cared about ensuring the body of Jesus was well taken care of, they were careful enough to obey God’s commandment concerning Sabbath. God commanded that everyone rest on the Sabbath day (Exodus 20:8, 10; Deut 5:12). They refrained from ‘doing the right thing at the wrong time’ by not visiting the tomb on the Sabbath day. They demonstrated the full Gospel of JESUS CHRIST – LOVE & OBEDIENCE. JESUS had said earlier while responding to the Pharisees that LOVE for God is the first and greatest commandment (Matthew 22:36-40), and these women having followed Him closely learnt that and were able to put what they had learnt and believed into practice. Oh how blessed, Jesus said it is he who hears and put them into practice that loves Him (John 14:23).
They were hardworking, persistent and continually demonstrated their love for God which was evident their visit to the tomb immediately after the Sabbath day to anoint the body of Christ. Therefore, it wasn’t a surprise to see that these women were the first to carry the most important NEWS in Christendom – the RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST. And also the first to have a divine encounter (with two guardian angels) after the death of Jesus Christ (Luke 24:1-10). Which is in fulfilment of God’s Word in 1 Samuel 2:30b which says “them that honour Me will I honour”.
One lesson from these women is that whatsoever act of kindness you’re doing, be consistent, diligent and do it with love and passion. If they had ended their act of love in identifying the where and how JESUS body was laid and didn’t return on the first day of the week with their ointment to the tomb, they wouldn’t have had the single honor of having first hand experiential knowledge and becoming carriers of the GREATEST NEWS IN ALL HUMANITY.
CONCLUSION: This is one of the evidences to disprove the ongoing notion that Christianity has been a “religion of oppression” to women. Women are the pillars of Christianity. What we believe as Christians were first revealed to and told by women. Christianity is a relationship built on LOVE and LOVE does not discriminate, but rather love celebrates, appreciates and honours.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TAKING OUT TIME TO READ.
PLEASE SHARE TO ENCOURAGE SOMEONE AND DONT FORGET TO WRITE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW!
TILL NEXT NOTE: JESUS BLESS!
CHRISTIAN G. OKWUDIWA
#ChrisloveCGO #JesusIsLord
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TYPES OF VESSELS

A vessel is an instrument. Different vessels are utilised for different purposes depending design and intended purpose. The creator, designer or producer of the vessel determines the purpose of the vessel. Although vessels have predefined purposes, they are still subject to abuses by those who are privileged to have temporary access to it for different reasons, predominantly due to ignorance of intended purpose because they do not check the user manual. We humans are created by God Almighty (Genesis 1:26) for a specific purpose. But due to ignorance of God’s plan, because we don’t take time to consult our User Manual (The Holy Bible), we abuse ourselves. (This is not the topic for another write-up).

The Bible says “in a great house, there are vessels of honour and dishonour”_2Tim2:20-21. The good news is that these are not predetermined positions. God did not set aside or create some set of people to be vessels of honour (gold and silver) while and others as for dishonour (wood or earth). this means that everyone in the house (on earth) is equally likely to be one of the two vessels. It’s a bipolar choice you make every day by your lifestyle. You are absolutely responsible for whatever vessel you become. That is why it says “he that purges or cleanses himself shall be a vessel for honours”. So it is your conscious effort and decision that distinguishes you into one of the categories.

NOTICE that it doesn’t say “some are useful vessels while others are useless”. This means that even the vessels of dishonour are useful in some way. Satan, the fallen angels and demons are also useful in the hand of God. If you read the book of 2 Chronicles 18: 18-21, when the cup of King Ahab was full and God needed someone to go take him out, a demon was useful in carrying out the duty. “Then there came out a spirit, and stood before the Lord, and said, I will entice him” and when God asked him how. He said, “I will go out, and be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets”(verse 21). Also, when God wanted to display His mightiness to Pharaoh by destroying the Egyptian firstborns, He permitted “the Destroyer” (who theologians believe is the devil) to enter and strike down any house without the blood on the lintel. Exodus 12:13-29. Therefore, there is no such thing as ‘useless vessels’, there are only ‘vessels of dishonour’.

Furthermore, if you study closely, in the category of “vessels of honour”, there is what I call “levels”. There is Silver level and there is Gold level. Jesus telling the parable of the Sower, He said something along this line when He was talking about the seed that falls on the good soil. This can be described as the vessels of honour. He said some ‘bringing forth a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty folds”_(Matthew 13: 18-23). Apostle John also mentioned this in his writings in 1 John 2:2-14. He talks about “children -newborn or spiritual infants (spiritually immature)” (verse 1), “young men -Christian workers( those growing in spiritual maturity)” (verse 13) and “Fathers -experienced spiritual mentors/teachers (spiritually mature believers)” (verse 13-14).
This means that all Christians are at different levels of spiritual maturity. This is one of the reasons why I don’t believe that every believer should be exposed to the same level of trials. God only ALLOWS you to go through the circumstances/challenges that you CAN OVERCOME (1 Corinthians 10:13). Because Job could handle losing all his wealth, health and children, that is why God ALLOWED it.

Your level of purity, holiness, obedience to God’s Word and work with God determines the category and level you fall into. If you are still feeding on milk, then you are a spiritual infant because “solid food is for spiritually mature, whose sense are trained by practice to distinguish between what is morally good and what is evil (Hebrews 5:13-14 AMP).
This does not mean that when you have grown to the level of being a Bible Studies or Sunday School teacher (spiritually mature -father) you have achieved it all?. Absolutely no. there is nothing like being “being at the peak of your spiritual growth”. There is always a new height and higher revelation knowledge of God. The Christian life is a journey that never ends until the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The closer you work with God, the more you know Him. That is why the apostle Paul with all his direct encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ, spiritual insight and anointing, said “Not that I have already obtained it [this goal of being Christlike] or have already been made perfect, but I actively press on so that I may take hold of that [perfection] for which Christ Jesus took hold of me and made me His own” (Philippians 3:12 AMP).
In conclusion, Everyone and everything created by God is useful in different ways and manners. As for us humans, we are given the single honour of determining our usefulness in life and in the hands of God. Anything you want to be, there are destiny helpers who are readily available to catapult you to your destination willingly or forcefully. When the Apostle Paul says “some to honour and some to dishonour”, he is implying that you just have to be determined where/what you want to go/be and strategically position yourself and the person will meet and empower you. If you want to be a vessel of honour, there are people to assist you. If you want to be a vessel of dishonour, there are even much more people and forces willing to assist. That’s why I can boldly say that “all you need is a Vision of where you want to be, Prayers (for divine guidance), strategic positioning, & determination”.
See you at the top.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TAKING OUT TIME TO READ.
PLEASE SHARE TO ENCOURAGE SOMEONE AND DONT FORGET TO WRITE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW!
TILL NEXT NOTE: JESUS BLESS!
CHRISTIAN G. OKWUDIWA
#ChrisloveCGO #JesusIsLord
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THE “C” TRIPLET OF A SUCCESSFUL LIFE

There are certain traits and characteristic dispositions that are necessary for a life of continuous success, fulfillment, and resounding testimonies. These principles are universal just like the natural laws. If you apply them to your life as an individual, entity, corporation, or institution, you will yield the same result irrespective of your field of endeavor.  If you study circumspectly the lives of distinguishedly successful people, you will notice these unifying traits. Contrarily, lack of the application of these principles is also a unifying trait that poor and unsuccessful people have. Mind you, you can only achieve phenomenal results by applying these three Cs simultaneously. That is, if you apply two and ignore one, it will either yield a grand style failure, or an unsustainable result which will translate into a depressive failure. Therefore, follow closely, study and meditate carefully, and apply them religiously.

Be informed that this is a freshly conceived idea and no prior targeted research has been done in relations to this. It is based on my personal experiences of success and failure in life and critical observation of the reasons behind them.

  1. CONFIDENCE – this is the first and seemingly most important C of the triplet. It entails your ability and boldness to communicate or sell your idea or product to your potential customer. Whatever idea you want to share with the people, even if it is nonsense (which I don’t advise you sell), let it be a ‘beautiful nonsense”. Things to consider under Confidence include packaging, language, body movement, facial expression, enthusiasm, passion, etc. You have to show people that you know and that you are passionate about it. Let them ‘feel you’. Let them want to hear you again. This is not an easy task but comes with determination and practice. Keep training yourself in order to have an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the product or service you want to offer, and rehearsing it; in front of the mirror in your closet, to your friends or immediate family members, as your sample audience. Confidence brings trust. When you are confident in what you are doing or saying, people will tend to believe you because it shows that you are knowledgeable about the information or idea you are sharing with them. Also, part of being confidence is being ready to give an answer to anyone who questions you base on the material.
  2. CAREFULNESS – being careful is beyond crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s. It involves planning. For proper planning, you need to know your target audience: their expectations of you, likes & dislikes, spending habits (spending does not necessarily have to be money, it can be their time, resources: what do they love watching or listening to during their lunch break or leisure hour?). Take calculated risks, do a cost-benefit analysis of proposed investments/contracts, etc. (count the cost of your intended action even if it is a faith-based decision (take a look at this Luke 14:28). Don’t just get yourself involved in unplanned, frivolous and unprofitable risk because you hear some notable quotes that ‘not taking risks is the greatest risk in life’. If you are going into business or investment, make sure you are doing something that you are at least sure of getting back your principal in the worst case scenario.
  3. CONSISTENCY – be regular, steady and continuously improving in everything you do. If you want to be successful in every aspect of your life either socially, professionally, educationally, etc. make sure you do consistently. Let your audience know that at a certain time in the year, month or week you are going to post or do something, whatever it is that you are doing. Whether following up on newcomers/friends, updating your Facebook, uploading pictures to your Instagram page, writing blogs on your website, writing articles, etc. Be relatively predictable to your customers, followers or audience. It is not everyone that likes surprises. And also, people don’t want to be coming around frequently just to see that you haven’t posted anything new. Its waste of time and diminishes your reliability. If its prayer, set out a specific time in the day when you will be praying. The more consistent you get, the better you will be at doing it. You can set alarms or reminders to keep you on track. After a while, it will naturally flow because your body system would have fully adjusted to it. This also applies to someone trying to develop a saving habit. I strongly advise that you start small. You may want to start saving 5% of your income (I’m using the word income here loosely to include gifts, credits, salaries, anything money you receive) irrespective of how small it may seem.

CONCLUSION In everything you do, be confident, careful and consistent, and you will achieve great fulfillment. It may not come easy but you will surely breakthrough.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TAKING OUT TIME TO READ.
PLEASE SHARE TO ENCOURAGE SOMEONE AND DONT FORGET TO WRITE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW!
TILL NEXT NOTE: JESUS BLESS!
CHRISTIAN G. OKWUDIWA
#ChrisloveCGO #JesusIsLord
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THE MAKING A VIRTUOUS COUPLE – THE MAN

What do you see or understand when you read Proverbs 31?

Is it about the qualities and characteristics of a virtuous woman?

Is it all about how to recognize “wife-materials”?

If those are your preoccupations and key ideas of Proverbs 31, then you either did not study the chapter holistically or like most of us (I used to believe so until today), you study it close-mindedly. I have always believed that Proverbs 31 is the chapter to study as a man look for a “wife material” or that is good for a woman that wants to live an honorable life. I never knew that it was a very loaded scripture for both alike. The underlining problem is that we have historically focused on the last 22 verses and completely ignore the first 9 key verses. Funny enough, the book is an embodiment of some pieces of advice, prophesies and instructions, from a loving mother to a cherished son. So in this write-up, I will explore the first 9 verses that directly speak to and address the recipient of the prophesy, King Lemuel.

Why Are The First 9 Verses Important?

These are very important to the man because it gives him a sense of direction on how to live an honorable life. Someone once said that ‘you attract the equivalent of your most dominant thoughts’. Someone also says that ‘you attract who you are’. This means that if you as a man wants a virtuous woman, you need to be a virtuous man. This I believe is one of the reasons why she (King Lemuel’s mom) spent the first 9 verses addressing him.

THE ADVICE

First Advice: “Do Not Give Your Strength To Women” – this is a very significant piece of advice. She is advising him against promiscuity. From this, we learn that as a man, you lose your strength by moving from one girl or lady to another. There is a loss of virility in every act of promiscuity. You are killing yourself feeling that you are ‘enjoying’. That is a grossly irresponsible and dishonorable lifestyle.

Second Advice: “Nor Your Ways To That Which Destroy Kings” – there are numerous things that can destroy or that have destroyed great kings. One of them is polygamy. Let us use King Solomon as the case note here. He is said to be “beloved of God” (Nehemiah 13:26), and God Himself described as the “wisest man ever” (1 Kings 3:12, 4:30). but despite his unmatched wisdom, honor, power, and influence, was destroyed by polygamy and being unequally yoked with unbelievers (Deuteronomy 17:17, Nehemiah 13:26-27, 2 Corinthians 6:14, 1 Kings 11:1-13).

Third Advice: “It Is Not For Kings To Drink Wine, Nor Princes Strong Drink” (verse4) – alcohol is strictly forbidden for people in positions of authority. And as you know, we are all in positions of authority but in different capacities. While some have a wider influence, some have much smaller influence or jurisdiction. For example, an elder sibling is responsible for his/her younger ones (small), a parent for the family (large), a king for his kingdom (larger), CEO for his company and employees, President/Prime Minister for the country (much larger jurisdiction). Although it seems that the parent’s or elder sibling’s action is of lesser influence but in reality, it is one of the most significant roles. This is because the family is the backbone of the society and the most important agent of socialization. She (Lemuel’s mom) prohibits him from alcoholism because alcohol can lead to forgetfulness of the law, misguided actions and perversion of justice for the afflicted. Also, wine is for “him who is ready to perish”(v6). According to a commentary, alcohol or wine is given to condemned criminals to be crucified in order to lessen the pain of their suffering. This is why it was offered to Jesus Christ while on the cross (Matthew 27:34 http://biblehub.com/commentaries/proverbs/31-6.htm) which He rejected. Alcohol to them is like an anesthesia. Remember the story of Noah and his daughters (Genesis 19:33). Alcohol enslaves the heart (Hosea 4:11).

Fourth Advice: “Open Your Mouth For The Speechless” (verse8) – for you to be an honorary or virtuous man, you need to be the voice of the voiceless. Stand up, speak out and defend those who cannot speak for themselves. There are numerous people suffering all over the world not because they have done something wrong but because they could not speak for or defend themselves. Be the ‘eye to the blind and leg to the lame’. Be their advocate (Psalms 82, Job 29:15).

Fifth Advice: “Judge Righteously, And Plead The Cause Of The Poor And Needy” (verse9) – judge fairly without partiality. Give the right judgment to people irrespective of their status, background or age. Do not ‘respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbors (Leviticus 19:15, Deuteronomy 1:16). Remember God is ‘no respecter of persons’ and He has made us in His own image and likeness. We are charged to be like God in all ramification.

Application of these five pieces of advice in your daily life makes you a virtuous and honorable man and qualifies you to proceed to the next 18 verses in search for the virtuous woman. The conclusion of this write-up is a charge or message to the future me or the man who has found his virtuous wife. Let you heart trust her. Honor and praise her. Teach your children to rise up and call her blessed. Give her the fruit of her hands and let her own works praise her in the gates (do not take glory for her work) (v28-31).

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TAKING OUT TIME TO READ.
PLEASE SHARE TO ENCOURAGE SOMEONE AND DONT FORGET TO WRITE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW!
TILL NEXT NOTE: JESUS BLESS!
CHRISTIAN G. OKWUDIWA
#ChrisloveCGO #JesusIsLord
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