Spiritual Education: Spookiness, Salesmanship or Self-development

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<a "Churchianity" with its numerous con artists constantly perfecting their world class performances and amusing their never-satisfied audiences to death is now a complete mutation almost having no singular similarity with historic Christianity. What shall we say to these things? Everything in modern Christianity that is a departure from scripture, no matter how glowing they are portrayed, are always poorly done compared to the very originators of such acts. Even motivational speaking or any stuff like that that has commonly replaced the biblical preaching that a secular mind can never replicate is always lower in quality than a proper secular speaker churning out inspirational principles.

That is it! Whatever is not your business that you made your business can only become second to some secular professional, at it's best. Even the concept of spirituality, since it has finally degenerated into spookiness, how can it stand what an average Tibetan monk can produce or a westernised version in some new age guru? Since more is always needed to manage the curiosity of mortals, is that why we now see some ecumenical blah blah blah everywhere to make up for the lack of originality to sustain that which does not belong to us? And since many has gone this way, there is no end to how far so-called churches will go in entertaining their fans and making the whole concept of following Jesus distasteful to quiet seekers.

I must tell you the truth nonetheless! Christ will be glorified still. Do what you like…stage your ambitions…dismiss the clearly revealed principles of God…in fact, start a committee to write another bible…it will only climax the emptiness of mankind and when you are unable to sustain the razzmatazz, they will look for the real deal…the true Messiah that every soul longs for (although they are unable to define it), both Jew (and those attracted to mysticism) and Greek (and those attracted to wisdom-science) will bow to the conquest of the King of kings and Lord of lords.

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In Christ, mystery and wisdom converges. "That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the MYSTERY of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of WISDOM and knowledge. -Colossians 2:2,3".

All these hide and seek, trying to defraud men by dangling carrots of emotional frenzy before them and making them long for an experience similar to addiction to drugs, will boomerang on the proponents; because the real need of man is not in his emotions (thinking through their emotions they can rise to some higher spiritual plane), it is in his education (the overall deployment of joy, mystery and wisdom through the revelation of One-Christ-who is the source of all things), which will standardise his whole life's search into one grand request for His Lordship and bring to a belching calm the boisterousness of his soul.

Source: Pictures from google

Education: Experiment or Experience

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Education is now largely reduced to an experimental mechanism producing experimental knowledge about things, forms, objects, subjects, categories etc that does not directly influence the general behaviour of mankind i.e. the intent of men’s heart as well as the resultant effects.

True Education, however, provides experiential knowledge, influencing the culture and general proclivity of the educated.

Students are actually been formed by their habits apart from schooling more than the actual schooling. Schooling is experimenting; living is experiencing.

They can become fine scholars with hidden monstrous tendencies. The monstrousness has been facilitated by those “interesting” engagements prominently featured in privacies.
Whereas the seemingly uneducated with his preoccupation with the right media of learning models a character that sarcastically eludes the finesse of our ivory league faculties.

If one gives experience and the other offers experiment, what then is the main difference between the two?

It is an experiment when it deals with everything apart from man

It is an experience when it principally deals with man himself and then through him deals with things within the framework of his moral responsibilities.

Hence, the one begins his engagement with life as an official routine, the other applies himself as a moral imperative, even a responsible prerogative. He is in an ongoing conversation with his own conscience through the in-working of his self-education, creating a deep impression in his mind as he participates in the existential bequeathal of old minds lecturing his conscience/intellect to make sense of life and then eventually formulates his patterns of living, codes of conduct as well as the overarching reason behind all his actions such that his expressions are careful imitation of his impressions.

One has to outlast the other. The one whose job is a mere experiment has his conscience to battle with when the logical pursuit of his career violates the very essence of humanhood and of sanctity. For the other, what can be his worries? Other than moving from one level of meaning to another as he continues to provide solutions to the multifarious manifestations of modern day complexities.

Source: Picture gotten from google

Why does life seem so elusive?

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Today, I’m going to consider a thought that has been brewing in my mind as one who tries to be actively engaged in life, observing the trends of human behavior, the plurality of beliefs offering a consensual syncretism for the unsuspecting and the self-inflicting deceit of relativism. 

Why does life seem so elusive? You tell me!

We aspire. We ponder. We wonder.

What do we make of our lives?

Mankind always tries to avoid questions that redirect his focus from sheer playfulness and indifference to conscience as well as its accompanying severity and justice. Avoiding is a game we play until we come to the very edge of life’s cliff and we are terrified at the plight of a flight into a night that can only break into eternity’s impartial sphere, with nothing to bear us on that journey and with no allegiance to the Master of that yonder space. We can dodge all the questions flooding our conscience only for a while for what is a hundred years in the backdrop of an endless eternity?

Men have come and gone and history’s vast theater of biographies with its tireless witness to truth and morality, has paled with categorical dysfunction as we have chosen to decide the meaning of these stories according to our prejudices. Whatever we choose to do about events we didn’t create that has made up these historical accounts does not exonerate us from the existential responsibility we have towards ourselves as we live.

When we begin life, we are primarily occupied with what we think we need until we get them and then we realize that satisfaction experienced has been momentary and we are left to draft another chain of desires we can tie to our lives that can give it a semblance of meaning. From childhood to adulthood, we experience a type of happiness that I will call “relational”. And even if we do well and get along easily with people, we are still quite unimpressed at life cos we are soon smacked with another need. The truth is, new layers of need continues to open to us as we surmount current desires until we arrive at the apex, tipping point of life’s pursuit and we discover an unsophistication belittled by our degrees yet unequivocal in its appeal.

Mystery is what we all really long for and that Mystery of all mysteries is the parallel of time and eternity, the contemplation of life within the context of afterlife, the existence of infinitude in our current finite state. Life eludes us because we constantly deny ourselves a complete preoccupation with immortality. It takes something out of this world and beyond the moderation of man’s intelligence to satisfy man and to put him at such a pedestal of hope and satisfaction where feeling suddenly prostrates to the immense devotion emanating from the heart towards the Designer of life and he is the first one to beg for a relieve rather than savor all that experience and shout a stout request for the next.

When the milk of relationship becomes stale, we tend to move to materialism (for some, it is from materialism to relationship). We seek meaning and fulfillment in pursuing things and experiences that contributes to how we are perceived by other mortals. At the peak of that, you find that you are back from where you started. Yes, you are physically upgraded but essentially the same. You thought “Yes! I am living life”… “Life is now within my grips”…only to find out that you are actually in the grips of life. From relational happiness to material happiness, our search for meaning takes us on until we realize that we are actually seeking an experience that can be defined as personal happiness.

What is this personal happiness other than to be at peace with oneself? And before you think that is the new spiritual enlightenment, you need to know that that is an impossible inquiry. Yes, that is the paradox of life! What we really need is impossible to man but with God nothing shall be impossible. This paradox is resolved when we return to where we are coming from…no matter how far the distance or how arduous the task might be! Return to where you left off from.

The questions you refused to answer that piled up to shut down your conscience and that sent you on this journey of impossibility are the same questions that in sincerely answering them, will revive your conscience and restore your weary soul from the hard labor of purposelessness. Answers are the only way we can be excluded from the elusiveness that life promise those who are wiser than God. Provide answer to the deepest questions of your conscience-yes another paradox! The answers that men could not give and life itself could not philosophize, you will find traces of them in history’s witness to the mystery beyond this very life. Those fragments will certainly point you to the One whose history is merely His Story and until you come to the cross of Christ, you are free to continue to carry the burden of your own cross in this your life that is passing before your very eyes.

“Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”   Acts 17:30-31 NASB

Credit:

Pictures from google

Scripture from New American Standard Bible

The Slothful Man! (Think on this)

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Today, I will drop you a line on something I consider thought provoking. Steve HARRIS used the line in his seminar on last Saturday. I’m just enamored by the paradox of this expression. Here you go:

The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting…

What?

Why hunt when you won’t roast?

Why…be born and refuse to live with passion and presence?

Why grow physically and not mature?

What we are is one thing, what we are becoming is quite another.

What we are today and ideas we are identified with are determining how we will be defined by fellow men.

Definitions are progressive especially as it concerns US.

William Shakespeare said, “We know what we are, but know not what we may be”.

And since life is always in motion, what we think we are might be slowly ebbing away at the quiet vicissitudes of our evolving reality.

How did this man become slothful?

 

Anything left to itself will die a natural death.

Life can be so elusive if we do not pay attention to our own devises. We need to watch the sudden eruptions of our own life because in not too distant a time, they will unmistakably mark us with the accuracy of night and day.

The slothful man…

Regardless of the promises of his potential, what he has become has short-circuited his entire destiny.

Success and failure are no accidents, they are nature’s responses to who we have become.

This man can physically hunt down whatever animal he wants but he will not roast it. What is the use of activities without productivity? Or Opportunities without responsibilities?  Or Truth without Conviction? Or even Success without Progress?

Think on these things!

CREDITS

Picture gotten from google

Quote from Proverbs 12:27

Shakespeare’s quote from John Maxwell’s tweet update for 24-10-2012

 

 

Think on this!

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“I’m going to be logging quotes under this heading. The thoughts will deeply nourish your mind and challenge your life.”

This quote was from a dying man, who had seen the beauty of the ethereal in his mind’s eye and was willing to accept the limitations of his humanity as well as embrace the realities of life after life. His name is Nick Charles, renowned CNN sportscaster, who died on 25th June 2011, after two years of struggle with cancer of the bladder.

What is life? It’s 20 percent what happens to you and 80 percent how you react to it.

Credit: Quote and info gotten from CNN page of 25-06-2011

            Picture also from CNN

Expressions

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Expression is what we all long for.

We have intentions that must receive our attention…we have desires that must become our dreams…we have thoughts that must manage our feelings out of apathy…

we have strengths that must be awaken…depths that must be tapped…faith that must be engaged…opportunities that must be mined.

When you talk, walk, dance, work, listen, read, play…all you are doing is simply expressing what’s in you.

There is an important principle to note: “every time you deny yourself proper expression, you pay for it in accidental discharges”.

Energy that was meant to be profitable and …contribute to life and living will become a problem, liability and may be a curse.

That’s because, there is no vacuum in nature!

Don’t close the door to the ultimate expression of purpose in you. Whenever potential is surging in you and you attend to it first by showing personal delight in this hidden glory of yours, leading you to practice, practice, practice (both by self-exertion & external instructions) until you gain mastery of your potential …(not knowing) you have done yourself a favour …that continuous surging of your potential is actually in search of “why!”. Why do I have this ability? Why am I given something(s) that others don’t have? Why do I know what I know? Every “why” is an answer to “what”.

“What” represents potential. That category or type of expression in you that distinguishes you from others and that will also bring a significant contribution to the world is your potential. Now, you better get busy with what you have in you that may not look appealing now. And once you are busy, keep looking out… because your potential will soon bring you to your purpose.

Every expression of potential is initially a search for purpose and once purpose is established, subsequent expressions become fulfilling.

Credit: Picture from Robin Sharma Inc.

I have paid my dues!

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This is a wonderful, mentally stimulating & life enriching write-up by my friend, Ayo Ibaru. It will speak to you!

I have paid my dues!

There is a problem with this statement.

As a background, it takes much to achieve greatness. This is common knowledge.

Days and nights of seemingly unrewarded toil, the misunderstanding introduced to relationships (because of required sacrifices), failed attempts at making systems work not forgetting the attendant frustrations of trial and error.

The list is almost endless-balanced only by the significant rewards much thereafter.

After accomplishing greatness, why then does it slip as we have seen in so many instances?

Is it the attendant comforts that it brings? Or does it pull down the character traits it took to attain such a status in the first instance? Many will agree that while it is a task to achieve greatness, it is a much difficult situation to maintain it.

It is never wrong to carefully enjoy the attendant rewards of greatness. One must only remember to stay close to the roots of achievement.

An example of this deviation is delegation.

Delegation, while popular, must be done correctly as getting familiar with its comforts will only dull the senses, and reduce alertness to opportunities for change. With unbridled delegation comes unnecessary dependencies. The ancient civilizations of Rome and Greece achieved greatness through knowledge, enterprise and discipline which translated into success in war, and profit in trade. They also depended heavily on slave labour.

Then seemingly came the time to rest, after all, after so much hard work, rest was only a long time coming. The forms of rest from being a reward for consistent effort gradually became a frequent past time.  At first work was punctuated by rest. Then things changed; rest became punctuated by work. Slaves were pushed harder, and the elite drew farther away from the core practices of leadership.

As the civilizations of Rome and Greece learnt, sadly through terrible losses, and eventually with their own demise-consistently delegating the building blocks of society and daily existence can lead to weakness, and then death. The slaves got frustrated, and decided to leave in different ways-it just wasn’t worth it anymore. The competition had gotten leaner, and more calculating. It was only a matter of time.

 When we stop stretching beyond our limits, delegating key tasks because we now consider same as inferior to our status, we risk losing touch with the source of our alertness to the next opportunity.

When the exclamation ‘’I have paid my dues’’ becomes a bold declaration, without any rational idea suggesting movement, change, or improvement in any direction, then there is a problem. This means that the entitlement mentality has fully set in,  a symptom of one fact: the existence (however little) of the inability to go any further without sufficient cajoling, prodding, etc.

In this lies another problem.

New areas cannot be discovered unless there is the internal readiness to go the extra mile and confidently pitch tent there. If indicative of any insight into the future (a.k.a vision), this must be done without any expectation of reward in the immediate.

This is the beginning of every cycle for introducing anything new- an insight into the future that downplays the importance immediate of reward.

This is why the founding fathers of nations, organisations and business have a permanent place in history.

Those who fought for America’s independence did so with the hope of reward. They weren’t tired of paying dues to Great Britain. They simply wanted their dues to count. When this reward would be received was unclear. Still, a point had to be made. Existence in the chase of a dream is its own reward.

For as long as there are new areas to be discovered, dues will always need paying. And if we are not ready to pay, then rest assured, there would be no new areas to reach.

Ayo Ibaru is a Christian thinker and a change enthusiast. He serves currently as a banker and he can be followed on twitter @ayoibaru.

 

 

 

This and that

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Just a little I intend to share now…so little but effects could be far reaching!

 

I’m thinking about human mannerisms,

Wondering about what makes a person to have certain

idiosyncrasies…random elements of this and that just suddenly adds up

and we have a total stranger puzzled at what seems to be a bizarre

development (to those seeing him) and can only muster a smug look at the

weirdness beaming towards him…

What looks like an accident is just a result that has been adding up

quietly in the secret domain of his consciousness.

 

Just thinking…what is it about people’s appearance?

We all appear the way we see ourselves…there is always thought before

action…hence, self-perception precedes public appearance!

And if appearance has been cooked up in flagrant disregard of the true

capture of external perception, like a killer dressed in business suits, looking

like a bureaucratic personnel, it is at such moments that intuition will suspect

perception and if man will not be adamant on ‘what he physically sees’, he

will not be surprised at the level of wickedness whenever nemesis will catch

up with him.

Nigeria turns 52!

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Amidst the usual casual remembrance of our nation’s independence from Britain, comes the palpable reality of expectations miscarried, glories denied, joys detained and good dismissed. Even the best of us are slowly but surely losing our formidability; our staunch resolve to go against the current of massive cynicism enveloping the perceptive space of our national character. We have become notorious as suspicious and we have largely confirmed that too many times to the greater world. We often wonder: “what is worth celebration in all of these?”.

The celebration is not for the cynics ‘cos they have become so steep in their convictions that salvation cannot come from them just like a whole generation perished in the wilderness and only Joshua and Caleb of that particular stock made it to the Promised Land. The cynics are vexed more at such celebrations as these, using the overwhelming details of reason to smear the “childishness” of such campaigns of stupidity…they call it! And since no one can actually stand in between, your position can only be a collaboration with our corruption officers, adding to the thickness of our undesirable conditions. As valid as reason can be, it is a good follower but a weak leader. Reason confirms condition but is too weak to raise a counter-claim that can dismantle the properties of such conditions.

Reason is good but Vision is better. If “reason” can only tell us what is, then Vision can tell us “what can be”. Nigeria of today has been given to us by those who saw corruption both in themselves and others and didn’t restrain themselves but carried out the vanities of their minds until they have polluted the entire landscape with their spirits and given Reason no reason to have hope …because it can only speak of what is.  In order for us to have a reformed reason we need a new vision…we must call those things which be not as though they were…we must enter into our spirits and see the possibilities of positive change for our nations…and reject the claims of reason so conspicuously displayed before us day in day out.

We don’t celebrate what we are but what we could be. We choose to act by vision not by reason. If we do any business with reason at all, it will be to procure our own Reason from Vision. That’s one power we all have. Victor Frankl, Austrian Psychiatrist, proved by his life that adversity does not have to erase the possibility and manifestation of personal purpose. He deliberately shut down the emotions of defeat and gave voice to the limitless possibilities of life as if the limitations of his incarceration do not exist. It’s always a choice! You cannot afford not be alive in your life. What about Martin Luther King jr of American “desegregationism”? Or Nelson Mandela of South African Liberation? Or Mohandas Ghandi of India? And Yes, even Martin Luther (of Germany) of the Protestant Reformation! You either join the chorus of corruption or you identify with the creation of change and the courage to celebrate the same now. This celebration is a mental incentive to predispose your subconscious to this new regime that will usher in change.

I choose to hold a Vision of glory and a Reason of grace for Nigeria. I know that the multitude of ‘vibrations’ out there is antithetical to mine; but in sustaining my own personal vibration, I am connecting with the potential energy of the vibrations of dead saints and heroes of old, and that is enough to challenge the evil that today’s reason has to offer us. Just so you know, if you hold on to your pessimistic view of Nigeria, it only means you are connecting with the vibrations of evil men both in contemporary history and today’s world to continue to manifest an unpleasant reality for our culture. Not a problem! I, even if no one is willing to join me, will withstand this flood of evil you will be creating and just like Moses’ rod (which turned to a snake in Exodus 7) swallowed up the rods of all the wise men in Egypt, my chosen mind-set about the possibility of Nigeria’s revival in conjunction with the  “7000 which minds have not bowed to baal” will see the end of Nigeria’s internationally acclaimed corruption. What will you do today?

Credit: Pix from google

 

 

 

The Preeminence of Truth

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There are things that are older than we can ever know. There are things that existed before the very first man became existent. Who says age does not matter? Age is the distributor of experience as well as the distiller of human theories. Truth is ageless. It is older than man. It is not truth if it was invented; it is truth only if it was discovered. Human ideas are subject to modifications just like age continues to advance for it is the only thing that comes to us without effort. However, truth is truth only if time doesn’t modify or amend it.

Now, while truth is out of the human league, principles can be produced by man. True principles are applications of truth. Any principle that is not a direct offspring of truth no matter how brilliant and eloquent is deceit. I prefer to rest the structure of my life on the foundation of truth, in spite of the allurement of dishonesty and mass uniformity. David, the famous Hebrew King realized the pre-eminence of truth in conditioning his life appropriately while in the motions of prayer; he said, “Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being. And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.”

Truth is not an option to those who know what is good for them. Just like King David, I know that my Creator (the One who built into me the capacity to grow) wants truth to be established inside me, right deep in my heart so that in the entire variety of circumstances I will have the specific principles in my mind that provides the right application to them all. This is wisdom!

Honesty is simply a testimony to truth. Truth cannot deny itself even when all its human trustees go on a ‘sabbatical’ to experiment with alternative ideas that feebly mimics its superintendence. Of course, the sabbatical becomes a career because the conscience has been withdrawn from its private tutor (Truth) to the most renowned, most patronized, highest paid professor in Life square metropolis. Professor Public Opinion is a respected citizen of the new world order. His influence completely dwarfs the high and mighty in the society. Regardless of this monstrous trend, Truth has never been threatened because a single honesty is enough publicity for Truth and sufficient to withstand the flood of new thought.

Content in italics from:

Draper’s book of Quotations for the Christian World, quote 305

Psalm 51:6, The Holy Bible: New American Standard Bible

Credit: Pix from google