Setting Goals For Growth and Development.

Hi blog readers, I’m going to make a bit of announcement here. The daily repast would be taking a short break in the new year so as to finalize work on a few projects. But we’ll be back soon, I promise. So for those of you who have not followed the blog yet, please do so so that you’ll be one of the first to know when we return.

By the way, 2015 is going to be a glorious year! Happy new year everyone!

Let’s set those goals right.

Setting Goals for Growth and Development
The power found in goal setting is the way that results can be achieved. This means if anybody is going to get results, that individual must understand the power of setting goals. Put in the Biblical way, we must have a vision. A vision is the general thing that everybody has in their hearts, which they might not even be able to clearly define. Everybody has a vision in their heart which is for an appointed time. (Habakkuk 3:2) It is very important we understand some of these principles so that we do not mix things up. In this study we will lay emphasis on goal setting that must come to pass within a year (i.e. twelve calendar months). Goal setting is for an appointed time, we know that it will happen in the future. To make sure it happens in that time period, we must break it down into quantifiable steps for clarity. What usually happens is that many people are waiting on the fulfillment of their vision without setting goals out of those visions. This means that there are definite things that must be accomplished within twelve months, in order to put them in a better position for the fulfillment of that vision that they already have within their heart.

The principle of goal setting in one calendar year is scriptural. In Exodus 23 verse 29, God made it clear unto the people that He would not fulfill the vision in one year, but, ‘I will drive them out little by little’. God gave His reasons for this method. This means that the goal is going to be progressively realised over a period of time. There is going to be a fulfillment of part of the big picture. This will put you in a better position for the fulfillment of that dream. Setting goals takes it out of the point from where you are just a dreamer, to a place of being a visionary here you apply practical and workable insight into your activities. This means you have your own programme and time-table in your heart. There will be people that will come into your life to advice you on what to do because of your current position and ultimate destination. What this means is that you must have set programmes and goals. Then you begin to take it one step at a time by not violating your moral values for the fulfillment of the vision.

Christians generally miss it and do not understand when God gives a particular vision for an appointed time. What God is saying is that you have to start building goals out of the big vision that you have. You have to start putting certain things and structures in place one after the other and create for yourself the right platform in life for the fulfillment of that particular goal.

Once you offer up prayers to God you must believe you have received that particular thing. As you grow in life with intent or vision, you must have your set goals and follow the programme that you have within your heart. What begins to happen is that one measure of light begins, it adds to another measure of light and you receive insight and direction for the set goal. For example if you want to build something massive and if what you can see within your heart for the year is just putting up a pillar that is the goal you have to set for yourself. You begin to fulfill that particular thing and then it creates momentum and energy inside your heart which then moves you to the next stage.

The principle of goal setting is in accomplishing your goals which leads you to a point called the take-off point or tipping point where everything suddenly turns around and then the pace begins to accelerate and you reach your destination. Unfortunately most people sit down waiting for the fulfillment of their vision without setting goals. The truth about the matter is that you can have a vision from God that you don’t have the faith for today. This means you don’t have the faith for the fulfillment of that massive vision. You can see it clearly but you don’t have practical faith and insight for its fulfillment. On the other hand, you can have the insight and practical faith for an aspect of the vision. Once you have the faith and can believe to get the particular fragment or portion of that thing done, then what you need to focus on is in fulfilling that aspect of your vision.

A Christmas Miracle(A Single At Christmas Part 3)

A Christmas Miracle.

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She sighed and shook her head as if to clear her head of the worrisome thoughts that plagued her. Her two boys would be up very soon and there was nothing absolutely nothing for them to eat. All the same, she placed the plates on the table. Surely, the star that had shined in the manger where the Baby Jesus lay would shine on them this day. They needed food. There was nothing in the way of presents for them. Since John had died a year earlier, they had been living from hand to mouth. But, at least they had always had something to eat. She had sent an SOS text message to her sister who lived in nearby Agege but had not received an encouraging reply. Her sister also had money problems of her own. Today, she had nothing to give them when they awoke. She clasped her hands and sat at the table.
He watched her face but there was no sign that she was alive except for the gentle, even pace of her breathing. The doctors had told him she was brain dead. He had watched her as she lay in a coma for two weeks. The result of a drunken driver’s foolishness. He had relived their life together for the past two years. They had gotten married in their late thirties choosing instead to pursue their academic careers at the university where they were both lecturers. They had so much to do together. She hadn’t even got pregnant yet. He held her hand willing it to squeeze his, hoping for a flicker of movement. But there was no change. The previous month, she had told him she wanted to go back to school. She wanted to get her doctorate degree. He had agreed with her. He was a PhD holder himself and a senior lecturer in the university and he wanted his wife to be as accomplished as she desired to be. They had made plans to go on vacation to Panama beach during the long holidays, just the two of them. Now, instead of them sipping on exotic drinks at the beach, she lay in a hospital bed. Motionless and liveless. He kissed her forehead. “Come back to me, my love. I can’t spend Christmas without you. I need you,” he whispered squeezing her hand. He prayed and wished for that more than anything in the world. But there was no response.

She clasped his letter to her breast. “I’ll be home by Christmas,” he had said cheerfully. She had fought tooth and nail when he said he was going to join the army. In the end the army had won. And her heart had been in her mouth till the next letter from him. He had been sent on assignment overseas. One of the Asian countries. He wouldn’t say where. But he was coming home to her. Since her husband died, he was all she had. She switched on the TV and turned to CNN. She was alone and was not expecting company. Except his. She had not seen him the entire year. Despite the fact that it was Christmas day, the news on CNN was all bad. There was an avalanche near Ecuador. Some bombings in the Middle East. Children starving in the Sudan. Her breath caught when she heard that there was a plane crash in North Korea. She was scared when she heard that a volcano had erupted in China. Then the phone rang. It was him.
“Mother, my flight has been delayed. I’ve been rescheduled for another flight and I will try to get home today as soon as I can.”
He cut through all her protests and the terror in her voice. “See you soon mother.”
She dropped the phone and stared at the receiver. She had lost her husband in the Dana air crash. Was her son to go the same way?

They said finding a wife was easy. All you needed was a good job and a good car. He had those. Being good looking and God fearing got you extra points. He had those too. He had neither BO nor MO. But he had been trying hard for the past year to put all that he had to good use and yet had been receiving more ‘javelins’ and rejections than he could handle. So much so, he had seriously considered going for deliverance in a church from any unknown ‘spiritual wife’ he might have had. Now, it was the end of the year and he was as single as ever. His single quest in life now was to find a suitable partner to share his life with. He felt uncomfortable in his white suit. It looked like he was begging for attention, and maybe in a way he was. His cousin Tade had said such a suit drew women like a magnet. Maybe it did but he needed it to attract the right kind of women. The pastor had told them last week Sunday to table their requests before the Lord. Whatever it was, that they wanted done before the end of the year. He had made his request. He really didn’t want to end the year alone. He got up as the congregation got up to sing the first hymn. There were still a few days to the end of the year. “Lord please…the bone of my bones, show her to me.”

The boys bounded down the narrow corridor to the sitting room/dining room. Ages six and seven, they were noisy and boisterous and hungry.
“Mummy, merry Christmas!” They chorused though not in unison.
“Merry Christmas my dears,” she said gathering them in her arms. The children glanced at the table.
“Mum, what are we eating this morning? Is it jollof rice?” six year old Sam said.
Her heart sank. She didn’t have the heart to tell them they wouldn’t be having anything.
“It-it’s a surprise,” she said.
The children bounced up and down.
“I like surprises,” seven year old Stephen said decidedly. Sam bounced up and down as his answer.
The children took their places at the table with their empty plates in front of them. She sighed and sat down. They bowed their heads and her voice was soft as she prayed.
“Father, we are thankful for this day that serves as a reminder of the birth of your Son. Thank you for the gift of life and health.” She paused and looked at her children with their heads still bowed. “Lord, thank you for the surprise you are about to give us this morning-”
A knock on the door interrupted her prayer. She hurriedly said an amen and went to open it.
She opened the door and found no one but saw a basket outside the door. It was covered with a napkin and there were two big dishes inside. There was a bottle of juice also in the basket with a note.
“Since I woke up this morning by 6am, God laid it on my heart to give this to your family. Have a merry Christmas.”
There was no indication as to who it was from but she felt it was one of their neighbors. Perhaps it was one of the old women who smiled at her kindly on her way to the market. Perhaps it was the newly wedded couple next door. Or could it be the grouchy old man who lived alone?
No matter. God had provided this gift. This miracle. She breathed a heartfelt prayer of thanks and went inside.
Stephen opened the dish as soon as she placed it on the table.
“Fried rice!”he said exultantly. “How did you know that was what I wanted, mummy?”
He did not know that he had dozed off but suddenly his eyes flew open and he felt a pressure. He looked up at his wife’s face. No change. She was still as motionless and as lifeless as before. Then he felt it again. It was unmistakable. A slight pressure. She was squeezing his hand. Then he saw tears run down her cheeks.
“Timothy,” she rasped out.
“Tolani!” he cried scarcely daring to believe it. As if to convince him, she squeezed his hand again. He shouted for a doctor. His eyes filled too as he lifted his eyes heavenward and breathed a prayer of thanksgiving. It was his best Christmas gift yet. His own Christmas miracle.

On the way out from church, his mind oscillating between thoughts of the poignant sermon the pastor had preached and wondering how lonesome spending Christmas with his playstation was going to be , he bumped into someone.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” he said apologetically not looking up.
“It’s Ok,” a soft voice answered him. A fleeting vision in a white satin dress moved past him gracefully. He hurried to meet her. He did not know that face. And he knew every lady in this church.
“Er …hello, my name is Kolade. I don’t think I’ve seen you here before,” he said struggling not to stammer. Her beauty was nearly blinding him.
She smiled and said in that sweet soft voice: “No, this is my first time. I just came to visit my cousin. I’m staying with them for the holidays. I’m Yewande.”
At that moment his heart was filled with an inexplicable peace. He knew who he was staring at. “Thank you Lord,” he whispered. What a Christmas!

She had finally left off CNN and gone on to watch the African Magic channel. But the ‘thrilling’ storylines had the effect of making her doze fitfully. Each time she awoke, she realized she hadn’t heard from him yet. She had no appetite. The rich food she had prepared for both of them wouldn’t go down. She tried calling him again and again but the line wasn’t going through. She switched on to CNN again. More bad news. The day seemed like the longest day of her life.
At about a quarter to eight, her doorbell rang. She got up and went to it, scarcely daring to hope. Her son stood outside the door, grinning from ear to ear. Before she could say a word, he wrapped her in his arms.
“Merry Christmas mother,” he said in his deep baritone.
Her heart filled with joy. She had her Christmas miracle, standing right in her living room.

P.S: You might get it early or you might get it late, but let your heart be expectant and your mood be exultant. Expect your Christmas miracle today!

Moonlight Christmas

A Moonlight Christmas.

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The night was cold and the air full of strange creepy sounds but Chinelo had never felt more content or safe. Nestled in her father’s arms, she felt as if she were in a warm soft bed instead of bare earth. She looked around at her elder brother, eleven and carefree, who was laughing and poking her elder sister, thirteen, in the stomach. Her sister Adanna stood up and began to chase him for daring to harass her. She turned her head towards the left and saw her mother who was busily stirring a pot of something. She wasn’t sure what it was but it smelled good. She still looked wan but at least she was better. They were not so afraid that she was going to leave them, like they had been weeks ago. By her father’s knee was her six year old friend Ogechi who was concentrating intently on plucking insects from the ground in front of her.
They called her a baby because she was the youngest, but at seven she knew she was no longer a baby. More so, because she knew that her family had gone through a lot this year. It had all started with something about land, her father said. She didn’t understand fully but it seemed as if her father was about to lose his land. She had seen men in dark suits come and go, spouting words she couldn’t understand, with ominous looks on their faces. She had seen her father gnaw his nails in worry every evening when he returned from the farm and her mother’s spirits droop, like a wilted flower. She no longer sang to them at night or in the early morning as she made breakfast. Her sister and brother had also gone around with grave looks on their faces. She had puzzled over it. She had asked them why they were sad but they had patted her head and told her not to worry. She had known why they were sad when two months ago one early morning, the suits came. This time they looked angry. They were shouting at father. Quietly, her mother and her siblings packed their clothing and a few household items. When they left the house, Chinelo knew they wouldn’t come back.
They walked with their meager possessions, passing other farms and houses until they got to the town’s outskirts and it was there father erected their present thatched shelter. Two days after they moved, mother cried in her sleep. Blood seemed to ebb out of her body. Her aunt had come to stay and help the family for a few days and Chinelo dimly understood that she had lost a possible younger brother; for it was a brother she wanted. Mother was dangerously sick for a few days and father looked older than ever, and gnawed his nails harder. Adanna tried to behave like a grown woman as mother recuperated. That had been nearly a month ago.
“Food is ready,” her mother called out. They were all outside the tent. Chinelo stirred in her father’s arms. Chijioke rushed to where the pot was as if he was afraid he wouldn’t get his own share. Mother ladled the soup into plates and Adanna set it out and placed the big bowl with wraps of fufu in the centre. It all seemed so familiar, like Christmases past.
Her father smiled benevolently and looked round his family.
“Let us pray,” he said head bowed. He was about to bless the food. Then he seemed to change his mind. He looked at the seven year old in his arms. “Chinelo, you pray for us.”
“God, thank you for this food,” Chinelo said. “Thank you for papa and mama and Ada and Chijioke. Thank you for Christmas. In Jesus name.” The rest of the family boomed a loud ‘Amen.’
As soon as she was through, she opened her eyes and saw that the night was suddenly bright. It was as if the moon had suddenly come out from where it was hiding, announcing the birth of the savior to them all.
“It’s so bright,” Ada said in awe.
“It’s a full moon. We should dance,” Chijioke said and proceeded to do a little jig on the spot.
Her father smiled and lifted her up and placed her on the ground, food momentarily forgotten. “It is usually maidens that dance at the full moon,” he said.
“Now I want my two maidens Ada and Chinelo to dance for me. Ogechi will join them too. I and Chijioke will do the drumming.”
His wife stood up. “I will join them too. They are small girls they do not know how to dance.”
“Mama, you will see something today,” Ada said nodding her head confidently and began to sway from side to side.
Chinelo giggled and shook her tiny waist as her father and brother drummed on an empty pot. She felt had never had a more perfect Christmas. The moon shined brighter still as if in agreement.
P.S: You might not have a lot this Christmas in terms of meager posessions, but if you have family and friends then you are lucky and indeed rich. Be grateful for them this Christmas,