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Meet one of our Brightest Minds
AN AMUSING REMINDER OF REAL LOVE
THE GAINFUL ART OF LISTENING
SOFT SKILLS –
A word from the Pastor
Hello Friend, On Sunday, the 10th of February 2013, our nation echoed the sounds of joy as our national football team won the African Cup of Nations for the 3rd time and I must congratulate them and you for being a part of this feat. Where there's a victory, there's always a celebration and where there's a celebration, there's bound to be a blast. As people, there's always a tendency to join the bandwagon of people celebrating; coincidentally or heavenly designed; this month of February is celebrated all over the world as a month of love. As people who have been called by God to stand out in our generation, we are enjoined not follow the shallow practices of our world system (Lev 18:3) but take instruction from God. What is love? One thing I can assure is that it's not a box of gifts, or a bouquet of flowers or all-expense paid trip to a faraway land for a vacation. The Bible tells us simply that love is God and this love is action driven, no wonder a son was given for the redemption of our sins. (John 3:16). We cannot claim to love if we do not know God (1st John 4:7-8) and that knowledge is gotten by reading His word and walking in His Spirit (Gal 5:16) . When that Spirit’s seed matures in our heart, we produce fruits that show the world just what love really is. Our joy will not be conditioned to environmental and economic factors. In the midst of chaos and fear, we will abound in peace and sound mind. We will be patient with our fellow man and radiate kindness wherever we go. Our faith is multiplied because we know whom we have believed that He is able to keep us and give us control over ourselves that can be easily corrupted. Friend, the world thrives in fear and that fear can only be conquered by love; I pray that as you read through this edition, you will take the a step of faith and choose “ Love ” because that's the greatest of everything in this world and the world beyond.( 1st Cor. 13:13) Let's go out and make a blast the right way; the love way.
General Overseer/Senior Pastor
B - BELIEVE We believe that we are saved by God through His Son and that all our fears and doubts were buried. "But having the same spirit, according to that which is written, I believed, & therefore I speak; we also believe and therefore also we speak.: 2nd Cor. 4:13 L - LIVE We live to fulfill Christ mandate's for us on earth; we do not live by bread alone but by every word that proceed out of the mouth of God. " We shall not die but live to declare the works of the Lord"( Psalm 118:17) A - AND
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
S - SUCCEED There is therefore no doubt in our minds that our success is assured, for we are like a tree planted by the river side whose leaves don't whither and whatever we do prospers. For if we believe and live by the word, we will have good SUCCESS. T - TOGETHER We are winning together not forsaking our fellowship; but ensuring our success is global and contagious. "For all things work together for good to them that love God and are called according to his purpose" We are blessed because we know the Joyful sound and it's a BLAST!!
The Plus factor. Even after all God will do for you, there's more. He won't stop at saving you for heaven- he'll give you heaven on earth
An amusing reminder of Real Love
I am currently a junior level executive (aka ordinary officer) in one of the leading Financial Institutions in the country. My boss heads the IT support unit. He's a great guy, he just works us to death. He believes in people integration and staff development, so he lets us younger staff have a feel of the power play that takes place among the “ogas” in the organization from time to time. It was on one of these occasions that I met her. 5ft 4 Borno beauty, dark skin that shimmered like smooth chocolate, she had a Gabrielle Union frame and her voice bore a tiny tinge of the Hausa accent, but this had been mixed with an American-ish accent which was spoken with ease. Some “beefing” female colleagues said she was just forming but their spite of her was obvious so I paid them no mind. But then, I doubt there was any wrong she could do in my eyes. On the day I first saw her, it was at a meeting of all department heads and unit heads. It was a briefing really, a UAT (User Acceptance Test) of a new Human Resource application the company had just acquired. I spotted her shortly after I walked in. She was surrounded by a group of much taller men and their ogling was quite obvious. I considered this pathetic, I mean, if you're going to ogle, do it from a distance and don't be so apparent. There was something about her, an aura. Chai! I sound obsessed ba? Whatever! The babe is fine and although she knew it, it wasn't like she threw it in people's faces. “You like her, eih?” I looked to my right and behold it was the boss. I stuttered two errs before I recovered with a lame “who sir?” He just laughed and ignored my act. “That's Alero Abubakar, Head of System Integration”. I didn't know what her name was till he mentioned it but it wasn't the first time I had heard it. I had read several mails and reports emanating from her and considered whoever this Alero person was, quite brilliant. My love for her went up several notches. A woman who is not only pleasant to the eyes but also On this faithful abi is it fateful day, I was at my desk, working on a report the boss had asked that I put together when my tummy hummed. It was more like a whirr and I wasn't sure what it was really. I ignored it and continued working when it whirred again and I felt a strong urge to poop. It was past four and I hadn't left my desk all day. So I thought I might just go ahead and do the big job then head out for lunch. So I went to the gents only to realize it was a false alarm and said a prayer before I sat on the seat, not to catch anything. I know people who swear they can never sit on any fixtures outside the comfort of their homes to do their business. I call them acrobats. I am not that flexible or skillful, so I put my faith in a higher being and hope nothing gets to me. Anyways, I took a seat and peed first. It's a ritual, I seat, I pee, I poop. But this time, nothing happened after stage 2. I waited a little but nothing happened still. I hissed. This was what I call a “false alarm”. I hate them. I sha pulled up my pants, washed my hands and headed out to lunch. Lunch was rice, dodo and fish and twas not bad. I got back at past 5 and most people were already leaving work. There are about 10 elevators and I got on one and pressed the 16th floor button. I hummed as the elevator ascended. As the elevator got to the 7th floor, I felt a fart coming on. I didn't imagine the elevator would be taking anyone possesses a sharp mind is every man's dream. I schemed ehn. 'Painted different scenarios of how our paths could cross. She was a floor above mine and I used to fake reasons to go to her floor hoping to catch a glimpse of her. The closest we had come to a conversation was one evening at the car park.
else up and therefore not need to stop on any floor before it got to mine so I let it out. Twas a loud and “rich” fart. I smiled at my work. Suddenly, the elevator stopped on the 8th floor and I hoped it was someone who was going down. “Up or down”, the receptionist on the floor hollered. I said up and she beckoned someone who was waiting in the lobby to get in. “Oh no” I said to myself. I wished I had the night crawler's teleportation ability when I saw who walked in. “Oh God” I said to myself. “Hello”, Alero said smiling as she got in. “Hello”, I weakly replied and stylishly positioned myself under the small fan on the elevator wall. The doors closed behind her and it was me, Alero and the foul stench from my innards. I put on my straightest face and prayed this lift rode faster. We rode in silence all the way to my floor and I quickly got off. I heard her muffle a chuckle as I walked as quickly as I could away from the elevator. But whether or not she thought the incident funny, I resolved to never take the lift alone and avoid every opportunity to encounter her. I got into the office and slumped in my seat, throwing my hands behind my head. “Chai, my life! My boss was headed home as I walked in and just before he walked out the door, he went, “Oh by the way Tony, you have been seconded to the System Integration department temporarily to work with Alero's team on that IBF project”. My heart stopped beating. That's right, I died.( Culled from the notes of Deinma Charles) As I read this tale which I must say has been briefed to fit into this month's edition (link to
An amusing reminder of Real Love
CHOCOLATE FACTS AND FICTION
THE DOCTOR'S PERSPECTIVE So Valentine's day has come and gone; amidst other things, the season is well known for an increased purchase (and eating) of chocolates. But before you take another bite of that brown coloured 'goodness', here are some real life facts (and fiction) of chocolate Fact 1- Eating chocolate can make you fat. But hold up, this is just as true for the unrestrained consumption of any other energyrich food. It has been shown that if one ate about one and a half bars of chocolate every day for a week, you get about 500 extra calories which translates to a weight gain of 0.5kg Do the maths. Fiction 1 – Chocolate increases blood cholesterol Nope, not really. You might gain weight, but your blood cholesterol will remain unchanged. Fact 2 – Dark chocolate is the 'healthy' chocolate The dark, not so sweet variant of chocolate has been shown to be able to reduce blood pressure, prevent blood clots and improve endothelial function. Fiction 2 – Chocolate causes acne (pimples) It WORSENS acne if you already have it. Fact 3 – Chocolate can trigger migraine attacks If you have had a migraine attack in the past, you'd do well to avoid eating chocolates Fiction 3- Chocolate causes 'jedi – jedi' I had to put that in local parlance because to the Yoruba man, jedi jedi is this amorphous disease entity that ranges from back ache to hemorrhoids to impotence to just a general unwellness. NO, chocolate does not cause any of these things Fact/Fiction – Chocolate and your teeth This is the one mothers are waiting for to banish their kids to a life of no chocolates. So I'll give you both sides. The fact is that chocolate can cause tooth decay. Can. The fiction is that chocolate causes tooth decay more than other snacks and even dried fruits. Tooth decay is a measure of how long a sugary food stays long in the mouth. While chocolate does have sugar, it is shown to clear out of the mouth fast. Snacks, fruit juice, ketchup, gums, dried fruit, chips etc stay in the mouth much longer than chocolate and cause tooth decay MORE than chocolate In all, let your moderation be known to all men, the Lord is at hand.
the full stor y can be found on our page www.facebook/4sqblast), I couldn't help but remember just how much God loves us, even in our most embarrassing moments. He takes pleasure to make us perfect and conform to his image. With God there's no forming or posing for He knew before you formed in your mother's womb and loves just the same way. I am guessing that Moses didn't appreciate that he was a stammerer, no way did he see himself making speeches and giving orders to men not just sheep, The woman at the well I'm sure didn't like human interactions maybe except for business purposes, but when she met Jesus and something in her changed – the shame, fear of name calling just disappeared, hope was re-born and that hope can make you become an evangelist. That my friend's is what real love does to you, it doesn't leave you the way you are but makes you a better person; Romans 5 tell us that that this love was commended to us that while we didn't even have a plan for our lives Christ died for us. He came and took all our embarrassment on his shoulders, the embarrassment of poverty, of sickness, of shame and exchanged for his Love that covers a multitude of sins. Real Love is joyful in every circumstance, peaceful in times of trouble, patient to stick with you when it seems like you just don't want to get it, gentle to warn you of impeding dangers ahead because of your decisions, always good even when your mind tell you it's a bad day, there's always something to be thankful for. This Love believes in you and will not let you go till you are conformed to the image of perfection then you can learn how to control your urges in this world. (Gal 5:22-23). So the real question is have you found true love, because its standing right in front of you, all you have to do is ask (Romans 10:9), and say “ Jesus, I am tired of searching the things that can't last, I want you to be the love of my life, the savior of my soul and the hope of my future. I repent of all my sin and I choose to be called yours, Amen”. “Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ's love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture: They kill us in cold blood because they hate you. We're sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one. None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I'm absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God's love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.” (Roman 8: 38-39). It's a always great to remember that even when the world laughs at me, It's comforting to know that I'm laughing with the one who one who owns the entire world, I wonder who should be embarrassed?
Every 3rd Sunday of the Month
N WARM CON
IP WOW WORSH
O WORD WISD
Venue: 62/66 Akinwunmi Street, Alagomeji,Yaba, Lagos. Time: 9:00am
Host: Rev. Felix Meduoye
General Overseer/Senior Pastor
It’s Church Unusual
(Creating a Blast with his mind)
n 2009, David Apaflo, then a 19-yearold Nigerian undergraduate at the University of Lagos, bagged the prestigious certificate of the Institute for Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN). Perhaps in a bid to prove to himself and “unseen critics” that the certificate wasn't a fluke, he graduated from school with a First Class in Accounting and a bag load of experiences from top notch organizations in Lagos all before his National Youth Service programme. At age 24, the future looks even brighter for this Ghanaian indigene who's already digging his nails deep into investment banking and running his own tax consultancy organization and other business spin-offs that the road of business opens to him. The Blast crew caught up with this handsome and extroverted young man, who personally reminds us of “Bruce Wayne” of the popular Batman story and had a chat about his background, his
exams, his relationship with God and opinions about government policies. What is your names? David Kwesi Apaflo What's your family background like? I was born into a Christian family of four children as the only boy. We are of Ghanaian descent but have lived in Nigeria for over 20 years. Your educational background? Well, I attended Evergreen Royal Private School between 1990 – 1998 then I had my secondary school education in Kings College Lagos between 1998 – 2004 before proceeding to University of Lagos for tertiary education between 2008-2011. When did you start preparing for ICAN? I started ICAN (ATS) in 2005 shortly after secondary school at about 15 years of age. How did you cope with doing ICAN at such an age, didn't you feel too young? At that time I hadn't gained admission into the university, so to me, it felt more or less like my own university at that time and I had mates in university already so I never felt too young for once. It was awkward, sometimes attending classes with a lot of elderly people but it didn't bother me that much. Did being a Christian have anything to do with your success? Yes, that for me is the bedrock. Determining in my heart not to cheat in examinations and asking God for help to keep me through was the vital ingredient. I started being successful academically after I turned it all to God and made the resolution never to seek or provide
assistance during examinations. Also, the Spirit of God directs me to read certain areas more than others and I get to the exam hall and I find just those things I majored on. I remember my first ICAN ATS Paper, the day before the exam I had revised five topics and I got to the exam hall and met those five topics. There have been many other occasions like that , So Yes, being a Christian has helped me a whole lot. Your going to University of Lagos and working; How did they mix? When I started school, I didn't plan to work except during holidays but then I had a gap year in school shortly after my UNILAG Diploma in 2007 where I finished as the fifth best in UNILAG but JAMB had allocated my registration number to another person and so I had to defer my admission. During that gap year, I got a job with Guaranty Trust Bank and I started earning some money. I got back to school and focused on school until an ASUU strike came up. It was about a four month strike and I got a job with an accounting firm during that period. My employer was impressed with my work and he allowed me continue while in school. It was tough combining the two but leveraging on technology, I worked from home sometimes, missed some classes, delivered some office jobs late but I just always had to know what my priorities were. The bottom line was I was in school
to excel and so at critical points, I chose school over work. It was a no brainer. Entrepreneurship and today's youth seems at par; but at your age you run your own firm(s), what's your take on this? I think starting a business early is one of the best experiences you can get. You might not make a lot of money, emphasis on might. It helps you make all your mistakes early. If you can't find a job, try to start a business as they say (smiling)“at all at all na ihn bad pass” so whether you have passion for entrepreneurship or not, start something. Start with what you have, it might not be so glamorous but as you progress, things will change with discipline and commitment. There was a time when I was selling past questions in school, hence if its bead making, cake making, phone repairs whatever, do something today! To succeed however, you need business wisdom read business books, speak to people in business and never forget to market yourself. Do not put your light under the table. You don't have to do newspaper adverts since you are still coming up but you can post on forums and blogs online, speak directly to people w h o yo u fe e l m i g h t n e e d yo u r products/services. The sky is the limit. Who are your mentors and what inspires you ? A lot of people have mentored me in various aspects and I would say a lot of what I have achieved has been due to the fact that I had people to look up to and to guide me. Some mentor me silently and they probably do not even know that they are my mentors so I will just list their names in no particular order– My parents, my elder sister, Pastor Dupe Adebanjo, Oribi Charles, Temitope Ayeni, Adeyemi Sanni, Abiodun Sanusi, Bamidele Ogunlowo, Toluwani Adeseri, Olatilewa Sanusi, Dcn Tunji Adebakin, Rev Okey Onuzo. You had an active role in your faculty, how was that experience and do you see yourself going into politics somewhere in the near future? I was elected Vice-President in 300 Level in School. It was an overwhelming victory. I
had 5times more votes than the opposition. It was an interesting adventure from the campaigns to debates, elections and the actual tenure. I learnt more about service and how to manage people, especially dealing with lecturers. It was tasking but I survived it despite threats that we would not graduate. Politics is definitely on the cards for the future. I believe the people who should make a change are staying out of politics but then again I also understand how the political climate is; however, I still intend to participate. I feel I have a lot to offer to the public.
skills were used in achieving all I have done so far and would continue to be used. Asides the skills, relying on God for lifting and actually seeing Him do His thing has been amazing. I have been favoured in so many ways. So definitely, YES the church played a very vital role in all these. What's your relationship with family like? Very cordial. My family has been extremely supportive. They have been everything I want in a family. My parents sacrificed a whole lot of comfort for my siblings and I. I really appreciate that. They are usually the first I tell about any victory or challenge. I love them so much. What's your view on Taxation and today's Christian? A Christian should pay taxes and not just paying taxes but paying the right amount. What I have come to find out is that a lot of people want to comply with tax regulations but they do not understand them and that was a major driving factor in starting my tax practice – to help people comply so we can have a better society. In developed countries, tax is the mainstay of the economy and very soon it will be taken much more serious in Africa and Nigeria. One would take you to be a nerdy and over serious young man, what do you to relax? *laughs* If you get really close to me, you would know I am not one bit nerdy, rather entrepreneurial. To relax, I produce music, listen to music, play the keyboard, go swimming, hang out with friends and watch movies. Oh yes and I play video
Interview by Oribi Charles, Photo sessions by Bola Oguntade,
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? By God's grace, in the next five years, I should have just completed an MBA from Harvard Business School and most likely joining the International Finance Corporation. ICAN at 19, 1st Class graduate of Accounting at 22, Tax consultancy and Managing Director at 20, Did the church play any role in this stories? Yes, the church played a very vital role. The ver y first Microsoft word document I typed was on a church project. I was in the events and planning team of our teens' church so I learnt administration, planning and the church also gave me a platform to develop my leadership skills. All these
THE GAINFUL ART OF LISTENING
SOFT SKILLS –
your next sentence in your mind while someone is speaking to you, you are doing injustice to the conversation. You will get more out of the conversation if you understand, comprehend and assimilate what is being said BEFORE responding. Good etiquette = listening! Do you make these common listening mistakes? The difference between being a good listener versus a great listener is using your heart in addition to your eyes and mind while listening. Do you do this?
Etiquette and polish, both in personal and business settings, are linked to how well we communicate. Most people think communication is all about speaking and devalue the importance of listening, and many others don't realize what a vast difference there is between simply hearing what is being said and really listening. People who know how to listen learn more, care more, and end up being the ones we want to be around socially as well as professionally. Want to improve your listening skills? Understand why you need to listen and remember to practice these tips the next time you conduct a conversation. Are your eyes listening? Your eyes are a dead giveaway if you are not listening. When your mind wanders and you begin thinking of something or someone else, your eyes show your disinterest. And the person speaking to you is well aware that you are not paying attention. And this is true even if you don't look away. Blank stares don't conceal boredom! How can you know if you are a bad listener? A good listener uses his/ her eyes and mind while listening. If you find yourself already formulating
Similarly, 'boring people get bored'. You don't need to know a lot about a subject to have a conversation. You just need to have a desire to learn, understand and make things interesting. For example, if someone tells you they are a teacher, instead of saying, "That's nice," and moving on to the next topic, try to find out why they are teaching, how they decided on this profession and what their current thoughts on teaching are. Dig deep and create meaningful conversations. How do I get others to listen to me? i. Listen more intently, question more, and speak with emotion. Build interesting conversations instead of one-way lectures. ii. Engage people while you speak. Ask questions like, "What do you think?" or "Do you agree?" Try not to speak continuously for long periods. People tend to have short attention spans. When you do not listen to what others are saying and only care to listen to your own voice, this is an indication that you really do not care for other people's opinions. Think about who you really enjoy being around, at work or in your personal life. Usually it is those who really listen and care about you. Are you listening?
If a friend tells you something is wrong, you immediately tend to give advice or criticism. If a friend tells you about something wonderful that has happened, you usually chip in with something similar that you have experienced.
Rarely do we share joy or sympathize with pain. Rarely do we just let others speak. To improve your listening skills, practise with those closest to you. When family members or friends share their thoughts and feelings, curtail the urge to relate what you hear to one of your own experiences. What if a conversation bores you? I believe 'interested people are interesting'.
THE CONSTRUCTION OF A GREAT DAD
As a man, you may love to build things – from a new gadget for your house, to a new fence for your yard. You might even be so handy at building that you can repair your car's engine yourself or make a toy for your kids by hand. Or, you may be one of those men who's more likely to call a technician than tackle a do-it-yourself building project. No matter what level of building skills you have, however, there's one building project that you can't afford to ignore: building yourself into a great father. God, your Father in heaven, stands ready to help you every step of the way if you'll commit to the project – and you and your kids will love the results. Here's how you can be built into a great father: Ask God to shape you into the man He wants you to become. Honestly and humbly confess your sins and shortcomings to God and ask Him to forgive and change you. Invite God to do whatever work is necessary in your life to help you become a better person and father. Commit to following whatever instructions God gives you for the project. Build the right eyes. Look at your kids from the right perspective – the way God looks at them – to help them become the people God made to them to be. Ask God to show you the unique ways that He has made your kids special. Keep in mind that God has placed many treasures inside your kids that He wants you to discover and affirm in them. Pay attention to the details of your children's lives as they grow and change; doing so will make them feel valuable and loved. Encourage your kids to discover, develop, and use the gifts and talents that God has given them. Look past your children's mistakes and help them turn those mistakes into great learning experiences. Build the right mouth. Talk to your kids in ways that will nurture them and help them think correctly about themselves. Discuss both little topics (the details of your children's daily lives) and big topics (values that relate to God, family, friends, work, and issues they face, such as bullying, dating, and alcohol Encourage your children to choose positive attitudes and actions by letting them know you notice their good choices and praising them for what they're doing right rather than complaining about what they're doing wrong. Build the right heart. Connect with your kids to build strong, lasting relationships with them. Spend as much time with your children as possible, sacrificing other activities to be with them regularly. Build bonds with your kids by using loving body language when you're with them, such as hugging them and looking into their eyes when they're speaking so they know that you really care about what they have to say. Decide to treat each of your children with respect in every situation, no matter what. Listen to your kids first and speak second, and do your best to fully understand the thoughts and feelings they express to you. Build the right hands. Coach your kids to respond to challenging situations in healthy ways and develop the skills they need to learn. Ask God to help you manage your anger well, so it won't undermine all the positive ways you relate to your children and break your relationships with them. Teach your kids to use their creativity to think of possible solutions to the problems they encounter. Pray together with them about challenging situations, asking God to give them the wisdom they need to respond to each situation well. Build the right feet. Ask God to help you be the best role model you can be for your kids, showing them how to live faithfully in all ways, including how to spend time and money, how to treat other people, and how to make a relationship with God life's top priority. Set appropriate boundaries to protect your kids from spending too much time on entertainment and from consuming media content that may harm them (such as sex and violence). But rather than trying to shelter your kids from media, teach them to think critically about media, so they can learn a critical skill for adulthood: how to discern whether or not the media's messages reflect biblical truth.
Adapted from Project Dad: “The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide for Becoming a Great Father”, by Todd Cartmell. www.revellbooks.com.
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