12 lessons | Year 1🎉

Build the habit of creating content. There is someone out there who will gain alot from it.

Apo's Frame of Mind

So today is a big day at my household🎉🤸🏽‍♀️ ! Come for food and soda😂😍!

Its been 1 year since i started putting my weekly writeups out there, here are the 12 things i have learnt by far:

[Read till the end]

1.Believe in your art, talent and gifts.💫. It wasn’t until i started putting my content out there that i realized it was helpful to someone. I used to write for fun but now not anymore because I know there is someone looking forward to my encouragement. No one will ever believe in you for you, so do it!

2. Little or no feedback from anyone, keep on anyway.💫 There are days I questioned my write ups due to less feedback from my readers. It was easy for me to quit since I am not gaining from it, but I kept writing anyway.

3. Consistency is…

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REPONSES – PART TWO

The word responsibility has two words in it, response and ability. Responsibility means that you have the ability to respond well to any event that occurs in your world.

Like I said in the previous blog, all life is stimuli and response. It is so easy to respond wrongly to an event. It takes time and practice to respond appropriately to events.

I believe that your response depends on what you have stored up in your heart. Matthew 12:35 says “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.”

So, what are you hearing? For as we hear we get. When you hear what the world is saying, you are storing up evil treasure but when you hear the Word of God by reading the Bible, talking with God, listening to sermons daily and doing other spiritual things you are storing up good treasure.

Whatever you have stored up will affect how you respond during any event in your life.

I am confident to say that; I have read the Bible ever since I was a little boy. I have stored up a lot of good treasure and I am still storing up more. I can say that nothing scares me in this life. I am confident that God is with me at all times and that His promises towards me shall happen in my life-time. Therefore, my responses to events are usually different because I know what most people don’t. I know the will of my Father God, His Word.

Learn how to respond well to any event by cultivating the habit of praying every day and storing up good treasure in your heart by reading the Bible daily.

Jim Rohn said “You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself”

You can change yourself means that you can train yourself how to respond to any event in your world.

You know some people give up their power and say that someone caused them to do something. They don’t want to own up their actions. Why? because it is so easy to blame something outside ourselves for the parts of our life we don’t like.

It hurts to know that it is you who creates the results you produce. Every result I have in my life right now is because of what I have chosen to do. So I need to give up all excuses.

I always tell some people to spare time and read the Bible, but some say that they will read when they feel comfortable, or read when they get a chance. They don’t know that they need to push themselves and be intentional. And when the events of life come, they are not able to respond to them appropriately as they could have because they are Word of God empty.

George Washington Carver said “99% of all failures come from people who have a habit of making excuses.” You will fail at making the right response if you don’t fill yourself with the right stuff. There is a formula; Event + Response = Outcome. In this formula, you only have one thing you can do, that is, to respond well. When you respond well, the outcomes will be great and when you don’t respond well, the outcomes won’t be great.

Your response to the events of life will either move you forward or backward. If you don’t like your outcomes, change your responses. Insanity is doing what you have always done, and expecting a different result. Try out new things. Try out the Word of God. Every action is under your control, act in ways that produce more of what you want. Don’t leave anything to chance.

RESPONSES – PART ONE

Did you know that all life is stimulus and response?

In Biology class, we were taught that living things respond to stimuli. Response to stimuli is one of the signs that an organism is alive. A stimulus is simply a change in an organism’s environment. One thing you need to know is that, the organism doesn’t choose what stimuli should happen in the environment surrounding it. The role of the organism is to respond, that is to adjust itself.

Likewise, we live in a world full of events. Each day has its own events and we have no control over what happens around us. The good news is that; we can control how we respond to the events around us.

The late Stephen R Covey said that, I am paraphrasing, between stimulus and response, there is a small gap. In that gap we have an opportunity to make a choice. To choose a response to this stimulus.

For example, imagine you are leaning back on your sofa after a long day at work. Your 4-year-old son passes by with a glass of water and accidently topples and the glass of water falls down, breaking the glass and spilling water on you.  

That is a stimulus you didn’t call for right there. You were having a good time relaxing and there it came, without even warning you. Between that stimulus and your response to it, there is a very short moment for you to choose how to respond.

You know what, most people wouldn’t respond well to such a stimulus. Many people would get up and ask angrily if this toddler has eyes or not, they would yell at them with all sorts of words. And yet there are a few people, who would use that space to choose their response well, they, with a calm voice will say sorry to their toddler and help them clean up the mess they have caused and ask them to be careful next time.

Many things happen to us daily, and we need to learn to always choose the right responses. Your role is to choose your response and not the consequence of your choice.

In our example with the 4-year-old, if you respond harshly by throwing words at him, you will create fear in him which can affect his self-esteem till adulthood. But, if you are kind to him, then the outcome will be better. He will learn how to be careful always.

Currently, many things are happening around us. Things like lockdown, sickness, deaths, lack of money and many other things. All this is outside our control as humans. We can only choose how to respond to them. We can choose to be depressed and worry about how we are all going to die or we can choose to respond by looking to God and what He has said to us in His Word. We can choose to have a better perspective, one which is informed by the Word of God. We can respond by praying more and studying our Bibles more.

You can choose to focus on the broken glass and the spilt water or you can choose to focus on your child by speaking words of affirmation to him. Telling him how he is an awesome boy and he can always be more careful and do better.

Romans 8:6 says “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace”. You have a choice to make. You can focus on the world or you can focus on God and His Word. Where your focus is, will determine your response when different events come your way in life.

Choose to focus on God and His Word, and then as the verse above has said, you will experience life and peace. You will also be able to respond appropriately to the events of life.    

The evidence of love

1 John 3:16-18 NKJV
By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?
My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

How do you know that someone loves you? You have heard it said before that loving is giving and giving is loving. Love gives. We get to know love through actions. Love is sacrificial.

Love itself was seen in its highest form, when the Son of God gave himself to die on a cross so that He could save us from sin.

I don’t want to go into deep exegesis of these verses. Allow me share the plain meaning I shared with my students this morning during our devotion time.

Verse 16 says that just as Jesus Christ laid down His life for all mankind, it is logically necessary to lay down our lives for the brethren. We have heard about people die, for example, the martyrs, these laid down their lives for what they believed in and this helped in the advancement of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Let me use verse 17 to bring the point home. The verse poses a question. If someone has material possessions and sees his neighbour in need and does not help them, how does the love of God abide in that person?

My simple interpretation of this is that, when you help someone in need, you have basically laid down your life for that person. Look at this way, if you earn one million shillings per month, divide that figure by let’s say 20 days because the other days they are weekends and you don’t go to work. You are earning fifty thousand shillings per day. When you give fifty thousand shillings to someone, it means you have given them an equivalent of one day of your life.

It is sacrificial because you would have spent that money on yourself. When you deny yourself, I believe that you are laying down your life for another person. You are being a practical Christian, you are not having faith only, you are adding action to your faith.

You are feeding the hungry and clothing the naked. Verse 18 urges us to love not in word or tongue but in deed and in truth. Our love for each other should be practical not just words. You know, love to a hungry person is food and love to a naked person is clothing.

Generally we ought to be willing to lay down our lives for others, we ought to be willing to make those comparatively smaller sacrifices which are necessary to relieve our brethren in their distresses; and that if we are unwilling to do this, we can have no evidence that the love of God dwells in us. How can a man love God who does not love those who bear his image? (This paragraph is paraphrased from a Bible commentary)

Let us be practical Christians, let us lay down our lives for our brethren.

To your faith, add

2 Peter 1:1 Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:

2 Peter 1:5-7 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.

Today morning at about 5am I was doing my Bible study and I got stuck at these portions of scripture. I realised that simply believing in Christ Jesus is not enough; there are practical things a believer should do as part of their lifestyle to make them fruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

As you do these things, they show that you indeed know God.

This letter was addressed to Christians who were experiencing persecution in the first century. It is very relevant to us today because it is a very practical letter.

I believe that “like precious faith” which the Apostle Peter is talking about here is that these guys had believed in Christ Jesus just like they themselves (The Apostles) had believed. Apostle Peter was addressing them as fellow brethren. Because of God’s righteousness, the Gentiles had also been included as children of God by or through faith in Jesus Christ and not by their good works or lack thereof.

God is a good God, and He already had the plan of justifying all mankind by faith. To justify means to regard innocent. Man always wanted to justify himself with his own works, but God’s plan was to justify man by the merits of Jesus Christ. The benefits of God’s plan therefore are extended to ALL that have FAITH or that believe in Jesus Christ.

God is a just God, He didn’t just wish away the sin of all mankind, no, someone paid for it. Jesus Christ God’s son paid for sin with His blood.
Now that these guys believed and were brethren, they were to add to their faith these things Apostle Peter lists in verses 5, 6 & 7. He’s telling them that the Christian life is a very practical life. They were to be fruitful people by adding virtue to their faith.

Virtue is to do what is right and avoid what is wrong, and then to virtue, they were to add knowledge. Knowledge involves learning and reasoning. As a Christian, you need to read so that you get to know things and hence be able to reason. These Apostles were people who read a lot. To knowledge, add self-control; the ability to deny yourself. You should not act on every emotion you feel. To self-control add perseverance; which is determination and the ability to continue on a specific path you have chosen to take. The Christian life involves determination. You decide to follow Jesus and never to turn back.

To perseverance, add godliness. And to godliness add brotherly kindness; be warm-hearted, considerate and sympathetic. To brotherly kindness, finally add love. This means to have affection for one another.

I observe that these are practical ways to live the Christian life. And they are things we should intentionally make our individual lifestyles. These things are done by people who are aware that they have been cleansed from their old sins and are now children of God. Child of God, you are forgiven.

And when you live such a life described above, you will be living a very good life.

Add to your faith. Be practical.




Personal effectiveness

When you think about the word effectiveness, what comes to your mind?

In the word effectiveness, I see a word effect. When you look at the word effect as a verb it means to cause to happen that is to produce a result. So when we say that someone is effective it means that they are capable of producing an intended result.

Personal effectiveness is therefore is the capacity to produce results.

Everyone desires effectiveness but few people achieve it because most people lack discipline. There is no effectiveness without discipline, and there is no discipline without character. Discipline I think is simply self-control. If you can control yourself, then you are disciplined.

Discipline is linked to character. Your character is your personality, who you really are on the inside. Discipline is being able to tell yourself something to do and you actually do it. It is not an easy thing to do, commanding yourself but as you do it, over time it becomes part of you and easy. I always tell myself to sit down and read every day. In the beginning it was not easy but nowadays I simply sit and read huge chunks of good literature without any difficulty.

True discipline means channelling our best hours into what matters most. It is to focus, to put first things first. I believe that when you win with yourself (being able to tell yourself something and you actually do it) you build inner character – call it private victory. And after winning with yourself then you can win with others – call it public victory.

As I read daily, lots of ideas come to my mind and we can have these ideas live beyond us by writing books. One way to leave a legacy is to write a book. I have so far published one book and many others are coming. You should write something because there is no person who will last forever, but books and ideas can endure.

I believe that to be effective your motto should be “Carpe diem” which means seize the day. Suck the marrow out of life. That is the attitude of effective people. Never let a day go to waste. I always wake up early so that I can first feed myself before I go out to feed others. Being an educator, my life is all about feeding people with knowledge and inspiring and encouraging them. To be able to do that, to feed others, I need a source where I feed so that I don’t run out.

To be effective also involves having values in life, benchmarks upon which you make decisions. Don’t make decisions based on how you feel at the moment but based on what you hold as true, your values. Personal effectiveness also involves being able to lead yourself. Leadership is defined as communicating others’ worth and potential so clearly that they are inspired to see it in themselves. I believe you can do self-introspection and discover your potential and start calling it out.

Effectiveness is about identifying and applying the principles or natural laws that governs the results you seek to achieve. You need to act in harmony with the principles to which success is tied.

Finally personal effectiveness is about taking action, because you will not cause something to happen without taking any action.

Remember “To learn and not to do is really not to learn. To know and not to do is really not to know”.

Why power?

Acts 1:8
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Judea was governed by its own kings and laws but now, it was subject to the Romans. The Romans collected taxes and did many other things which people didn’t like. This bondage was monstrous and the nation sighed for deliverance.

The disciples expected that Jesus since He was the Son of God would reign as a prince and conqueror, and would free them from the bondage of the Romans.

They expected Jesus to restore them to their former state of freedom and prosperity, as in the times of King David and King Solomon.

The disciples didn’t really understand the true nature of Jesus’ kingdom. Maybe they thought that Jesus would come with a large physical army to overthrow the Romans and put Jews in charge. They didn’t know that God’s kingdom is spiritual not physical. Jesus changes people from the inside out.

All their lives, the disciples expected Jesus to restore the “kingdom” with Jews in charge. Now Jesus dies and their dreams are shuttered. So when Jesus resurrects from the dead, they ask him the same question? “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”

Jesus then tells them what is going to happen in Acts 1:8. Jesus now reveals the plan. He’s like look guys, you want to restore Israel to yourselves but my plan is bigger than that. I (Jesus) want you to witness to me starting here until the end of the earth.

Now let’s break down this verse, Acts 1:8. The word “power” here refers to the help or aid which the Holy Spirit would grant; the power of speaking with new tongues; of preaching the gospel with great effect; of enduring great trials, and many other things.

For this purpose the disciples had been appointed; and to prepare them for this they had been with Him (Jesus Christ) for more than three years. They had seen His manner of life, His miracles, His meekness, His sufferings; they had listened to His instructions, and had conversed and eaten with Him as a friend; they had seen Him after He was risen, and were about to see Him ascend to heaven; and they were thus qualified to bear witness to these things in all parts of the earth.

One Bible commentator says that the original word for witnesses was “martyrs”.

The reason why this name “martyrs” was given to the disciples was that they bore witness to the life, instructions, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, even in the midst of persecution and death.

It was in this way that Jesus replied to their question. Though he did not tell them the time when it was to be done, nor affirm that he would restore the kingdom to Israel, yet he gave them an answer that implied that the work should advance – should advance much further than the land of Israel; and that they would have much to do in promoting it.

All the commands of God, and all his communications, are such as to call up our energy, and teach us that we have much to do.

Therefore, like the disciples (Apostles), the purpose of the Power of the Holy Spirit upon our lives is to enable us witness to Jesus Christ. It is to be good ambassadors of Jesus Christ. To bring what is in heaven on to earth.

Encouragement

I did Physics, Chemistry and Biology at my Advanced level. My Biology and Chemistry class had over eighty students. I remember towards my final examinations, I was in the Chemistry laboratory and the Chemistry teacher told me how I was among the students he expected to score Grade A in the subject. I left that laboratory feeling so happy that my teacher had confidence in me to perform well in my final Chemistry examination.

Those words from my teacher encouraged me so much that I started reading more than I had done before. There are many students who didn’t do any of the above subjects because their teachers told them how they were incapable of doing those subjects. They discouraged them. I believed in myself that I would perform well in the final examinations even though my current grades predicted otherwise. The words from my teacher added more belief that I was going to make it. I didn’t get grade A, I got grade B. Maybe if he hadn’t encouraged me that way, I would have got a lower grade.

All of us have dreams and most of us believe that we can achieve them. When we share our dreams with friends, bosses and family sometimes instead of receiving encouragement we receive discouragement and the dreams die there, “they don’t see the light of the day”. I think instead of telling someone how their dream won’t work, ask them some good questions that will help them reflect better on what they intend to do and hence create a good plan for it.

I believe that just like we need oxygen every minute of our lives, we also need encouragement at all times. Even if you have a very strong will, there will be times when you feel you can’t go on. In such times you need to hear some words from another person to inspire you with confidence again.

Henry Ford said that “the ability to encourage others is one of life’s biggest assets” I want you to take time and think of the people who have encouraged you during your life time and what a positive effect their words had on you. I am reminded of another incident when I was about to give up on something and someone talked with me at just the right moment and they encouraged me to not give up. They also provided some financial support to help me carry on. Therefore sometimes you don’t simply say good words to someone but you also give tangible support for that person to go forward.

In a world plagued with negativity, everyone needs a little encouragement from time to time. Always make a conscious effort to always speak sincere words of affirmation, support and inspiration to those within your circle of concern.

Go cheer up someone today with your encouraging words.

Who do you take your cares to?

Each one of us has had cares and anxieties in our lives. You can also call them complaints. There are seasons in our lives when we are overwhelmed with thoughts in our minds. In the multitude of thoughts we become weary, we feel like we are carrying a heavy burden on our backs.

This builds up a pressure inside us which we need to let out in order to be free. Some people respond by calling up friends and pouring out all their hearts to them. While some people do what David in the Bible did, he poured out his heart to God.

David was suffering persecution and this resulted into pressure. He was hiding in a certain cave away from his persecutors. And while in that cave, David made his supplication (his humble request) to God because he knew that God alone would help him. God would deal bountifully with him.

In Psalm 142: 1 – 2, David spoke out all that was in his heart to God. He said “I cry out to the Lord with my voice; With my voice to the Lord I make my supplication. I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare before Him my trouble.”

When your spirit is overwhelmed within you, where do you turn to? When things are not going as expected, who do you turn to?

David turned to One who is stronger than everything that was against him. I suggest that we always turn to God in such situations and at all times.

As I type this blog, I am listening to a Worship Harvest song called “No One Else”. In the song there is a line that goes like this “I will run to You, for You alone can satisfy my soul”

Only God can calm down the disturbances in our souls when we run to Him and pour out everything to Him.

Since the title of this blog is “Who do you take your cares to?” let me switch gears a little bit. At work you will notice that, employees always have something which is not going on well. It could be that a new rule was passed that most people are not comfortable with.

So you find that this results into complaining among the employees. They talk about the issue amongst themselves without taking it to the authorities and as a result nothing changes and people stay annoyed and frustrated.

I read somewhere that a legitimate complaint can only be resolved if you direct it to the one who can change your situation. So in a work environment, take your complaint to the authorities, people you know are going to do something about it not to fellow employees who have no power to change anything.

And sometimes you can take the higher road and take your complaint to God Himself and He has a way of touching your bosses’ hearts and a good change results.

Who do you take your cares to?

P/PC Balance

In 2018, I was introduced to the “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey. I downloaded the application for the book onto my phone and I used it to develop my mission statement. I know the 7 habits off head because where I work they are printed on the walls all over the place.

Last year (2020) I said to myself “can you imagine I have never read the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People book?” Even though I asked myself that question, I never read the book the entire year. So this year (2021) I was moving around in some library and I stumbled on to the hard copy of the book. I told myself that I am not leaving this library without this book. I got the book and I started reading it.


In this blog, I would like to share with you one of the principles that caught my attention. Something that is very important in our lives. It is called the P/PC Balance that is the Production/Production capability balance.

Stephen R. Covey explains the principle in his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective people” using Aesop’s fable of the goose and the golden egg. The fable goes like this.


One day a poor farmer discovers a golden egg in the nest of his goose. At first he thinks it is a trick but as he starts to throw the egg aside he has a second thought and takes the egg to be appraised. The poor farmer couldn’t believe that the egg was pure gold. The goose continues to produce a golden egg every day and the farmer becomes fabulously wealthy.

With increasing wealth come greed and impatience and the farmer decides to kill the goose and get all the golden eggs at once. But when he opens the goose, he finds it empty. There are no golden eggs and now there is no way to get any more. The farmer has destroyed the goose that produces them.

The Production/Production capability balance is the key to living a highly effective life. Now, let me explain; Production is the desired result (golden egg) and Production capability is the ability or asset that produces the golden egg (goose). Effectiveness lies in balance. Some people focus on the “golden egg” and neglect the “goose” while others focus on the “goose” and neglect the “golden egg”.

I see this principle consistent with nature. God created day and night and He was clear that the day was for work and the night for rest. That is the balance He set up for us. Some people lack the balance or rhythm of work and rest and so they find themselves burned out and not able to deliver the desired results (golden egg) because they are not taking good care of themselves (the goose). They are living in imbalance.

This principle applies to everything for example land should be left alone to fallow so that it can bear good crops later on, your car should be serviced so that it can take you wherever you want to go. Think of other examples.

Therefore you notice that when you focus on one thing, you end up losing the other. When you focus on working without rest, you lose your health and you won’t be able to work likewise when you focus on resting without working you will not have the means (money) of meeting all your needs.

Effectiveness lies in balance.