Monday, September 12, 2011

Tolu Odukoya + Onyeka Onwenu = "Gifted & Proud"


Onyeka Onwenu and Tolu Odukoya

Tolu Odukoya, daughter of Pastor Taiwo Odukoya and Late Bimbo Odukoya, collaborates with Nigerian famous Songstress, Onyeka Onwenu in a song “Gifted and Proud”.

According to Tolu,

This song is about my journey after I lost my precious mother and to encourage you to be proud of the gift God has deposited in you..No one is without a gift what’s yours?…

The song was produced by Wole Oni while the video was directed by TOLUccI of KOINONIA Media & Entertainment Ltd. A diverse mix of gospel artistes supported Tolu by making cameo apperances in the video – the list includes BOUQUI, Pastor J, Nikky Laoye, Zakee Adzee, Liza C, Vivien Stephen, Provabs, Psalm Ebube, Tolazee, SimplyMike, Mix Master J, Hibeekay, Motola and Tee-Kay Campbell.

Click to watch the video...."Gifted and Proud"

Just this once, it's OK.


I was just perusing the recent Harvard Business Review July – August 2010 edition that I got from a colleague when I came across an article by Clayton M. Christensen on “How will you measure your Life?”. For those who do not know, Professor Christensen is the Robert and Jane Cizik Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School and the author of award winning book and New York Times bestseller “The Innovator’s Dilemma” that has transformed the way businesses look at innovation. He is also a deeply religious man and is committed to both community and church. He served as a missionary in the Republic of Korea from 1971 to 1973 and has served the Boy Scouts of America for 25 years as a scoutmaster, cub master, den leader and troop and pack committee chairman.
He says that we often unconsciously employ the marginal cost doctrine in our personal lives when they choose between right and wrong. A voice in our head says, “Look, I know that as a general rule, most people shouldn’t do this. But in this particular extenuating circumstance, just this once, it is OK”. The marginal cost of doing something wrong “just this once” always seems alluringly low. It suckers you in and you don’t ever look at where that path ultimately is headed and at the full costs that the choice entails. Justification for infidelity and dishonesty in all their manifestations lies in the marginal cost economics of “just this once”
He recounted a story on the potential damage of “just this once” in his life. He played on the Oxford University varsity basketball team and they finished the season undefeated. They got to the British equivalent of the NCAA tournament – and made it to the final four. It turned out that the championship game was scheduled to be played on a Sunday. He had made a personal commitment to God at age 16 that he would never play ball on a Sunday. So he went to the coach and explained his problem. The coach and teammates were incredulous because he was the starting center. Every one of the guys on the team came to him and said, “You’ve got to play. Can’t you break the rule just this one time?” Well he prayed about what he should do. He got a very clear feeling that he shouldn’t break his commitment – so he didn’t play in the championship game.
He claims in many ways that was a small decision – involving one of the several thousand Sundays in his life. In theory, surely he said he could have crossed over the line just that one one time and then not done it again. But looking back on it, resisting the temptation whose logic was “In this extenuating circumstance, just this once, it’s OK” has proved to be one of the most important decisions of his life. Why? His life has been one unending stream of extenuating circumstances. Had he crossed the line that one time, he would have done it over and over in the years that followed.
The Bible recounts another situational example but this time, the character succumbed to the doctrine. This character is Esau. As is recorded in the Bible, Jacob was boiling pottage when his brother, Esau came in from the fields , tired and very hungry. He asked Jacob for some of this pottage and Jacob said, “Sell me this day thy birthright.” Esau must felt Just this once, it’s OK He said, Behold I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? Jacob told Esau to swear that he would sell his birthright to him. Now Esau and Jacob had been taught to regard the birthright as a matter of great importance, for it included not only an inheritance of worldly wealth but spiritual pre-eminence. He who received it was to be the priest of his family, and in the line of his posterity the Redeemer of the world would come. So Esau sold his valuable birthright to Jacob for a bowl of soup. A short time at most would have secured him food in his father's tents, but to satisfy the desire of the moment he carelessly bartered the glorious heritage that God Himself had promised to his fathers. His whole interest was in the present. He was ready to sacrifice the heavenly to the earthly, to exchange a future good for a momentary indulgence.
Just this once, it’s OK. Many people face this dilemma in their everyday lives. However one’s choice determines his/her future. It may not just be OK.

Hectic Lifestyles


A lot of men argue that they have hectic lifestyles and that there is not enough time in a day to address all the issues that they want to. Too much to do, too little time. They believe they cannot control it. They would rather cope with the various activities instead of determining and choosing which activities are relevant to their goals and aspirations in life. It is as if they are acting out a script that has been written for them and they have no control over the writer.

After the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, the Almighty pronounced a curse on man saying “cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life”. (Genesis 3:17b - KJV). This created a situation whereby man would work hard to get very little results. The same Bible, in the New Testament, talks about the fact that, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (2 Corinthians 5:17) - KJV). This means that being born again, we have been set free from the curse. So effectively, we shouldn’t see work as a curse but a way of activating the talent/potential that our great God has hidden in every man.

However the way and manner that the modern man addresses work, makes it seem that we are still under the curse. Everything around us indicates that we should be working 24/7, anytime, anywhere. We see this work as a means to meet our financial needs. Sadly, Christians have been caught up in the rat race too. With the development of the so-called advanced technologies (laptops, palmtops, PDAs, blackberries, e.t.c) to make work simpler, we are actually trying to do more work in one given day instead of doing the work efficiently. Some of us have equated more work with more money to the detriment of everything else – spouse, children and even God. We have nullified the effect of God’s involvement in our day to day work life and finances. Families have also not been spared from this too. Parents have substituted precious time with their children with good schools, expensive gifts.

In our ambition to satisfy that urge in man in the fallen state, we get entangled in so many activities in life, leading to a very hectic lifestyle. Work is paramount and given top priority. The need for sleep is even challenged, reducing the hours to the barest minimum. Church services are not spared; any service that is longer than one hour is challenged. We boast about being able to juggle all the various activities required of us as employees, employers, spouses, parents, church workers and children of God. The only time we are reminded that we are human, is when the human body revolts, claiming it wasn’t created for this inhuman treatment. It breaks down with any imaginable sickness that we can think of. Knowing that this is the only way the resolute man will take a break and rest. Though, for some people, it might be too late.

The modern Christian needs to sit back and reassess this kind of lifestyle for he might wake up one day, on a hospital bed with a stroke at 40 years, an estranged woman for a wife and children who do not know him. The only source of temporary joy might be his account balance although this might not be useful to him on the hospital bed (except to pay the bills) and the money would be spent by his estranged family if he fails to recover.

With the outlined disadvantages of living a hectic lifestyle, it is pertinent that the modern Christian prioritise his activities and reassess his ways in line with God’s plans for him.

The first step is to prioritise your activities, giving importance in the following order - God, your wife, your children and then your job. This order is one of permanence i.e. God is forever with you, your wife is till death do you part. The children will be with you but will leave your house when they are old enough, get married and start their own families. Throughout the course of your life, you will change jobs maybe three, four, five or many times. So it is advisable to prioritise your relationships in this same order.

The second step is to be proactive. To be proactive means that, as human beings, we are responsible for our own lives. This is the ability to control your environment, rather than have it control you, as is so often the case. We have the self determination, choice, and the power to decide our response to stimulus, conditions and circumstances. Our behavior is a function of our decisions, not our conditions.

The third step is your attitude to work. The Lord God took man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden." (Genesis 2:15-16). This interaction between God and the first man took place before sin entered the earth. The Lord has always intended for us to work and eat the fruit of our labors.

Work is a blessing. Yet God's purpose for our work goes so far beyond meeting our financial needs. Each job or "assignment" we receive from Him is part of His divine plan to expand His Kingdom. God wants to make sure we are fulfilling the roles he prepared for us before we were born. The Bible teaches us that God judges us based on our stewardship of what he entrusts to us in this life.

In our professional lives, there are some basic principles that we should live by:
• Begin with the end, in mind – Know what you want to do, plan how to do it before you set out to do it.
• Employ the right tools – Use the right resources to get the job done; right skills, right people.
• Thou shalt not procrastinate – Do the right things at the right time. Do not postpone an activity when it can be done now.
• Acknowledge you have a personal life. Plan to spend time with God, your family and other hobbies.

If you are caught up in a hectic lifestyle, stop, think and reassess your values. You have the ability to change. Take charge. God bless you.

Making Money from Xtian music

Having spent some time working with some christian artistes, I am still trying to ascertain how music artistes can actually make it in this chosen field. How can an artist invest in world class music production, supporting video and attendant marketing only to be paid a paltry sum for his efforts? With the music pirates waiting at the fringes to dub the tracks and offer them freely, the artist does not really expect to make money from creating CDs. He has to focus on music shows. But how many fee paying shows are there in Nigeria? How much will the artists be paid for featuring at the shows? The artist is told he is doing it to promote the gospel and is therefore not paid much. But does it mean he has to starve or reduce the quality of his music production and video? If he does that, his music track might not be played and his video might not be aired. The Nigerian musician is really in a dilemma. Who or what will save him? Ask Rooftop MCs, Dekunle Fuji, e.t.c

Tell HIS story with your T-shirt.


It is a tool for Christians to use as a conversation starter about Jesus. T-shirts with Scripture puts God’s Word out there and many people get a chance to read the message whether it’s waiting in line at the store or wherever. It’s also a way for Christians who aren’t so bold to talk to a stranger about Jesus to have His Word out there in public. Most people will never pick up a Bible or hear a verse quoted, but they will read a t-shirt.

According to Impressions magazine, a graphic T‐shirt will be read as many as 3,000 times in its existence.

One of the companies that has been spreading the gospel through apparel for the past 24 years is Kerusso Inc. Vic Kennett founded Kerusso in 1987 when he was just 23 years old. Starting with a family loan of $1,000 and only three designs, the Kennett home soon became a factory, printing T‐shirts using a four-color tabletop press and a homemade dryer set up in a spare room. In 1998 Kerusso began introducing other products such as jewelry, gifts and accessories. Today the Kerusso campus occupies 10 acres and is home to over 65,000 square feet of manufacturing, shipping and office space. With more than 1.6 million total finished garments and more than 2 million total impressions in 2007, Kerusso’s 33% growth rate also put them in the top ten fastest‐growing companies on Impression Magazine’s prestigious, annual top‐50 list. Its products have received awards for artistic and technical merit; garnering attention from Inc. 5000.

“Even if every one of our shirts were seen and read by only 100 people each,” Vic says, “then we’ve helped to preach the gospel nearly a billion times.” You can check out the Kerusso website (www.kerusso.com) to know more about the company and also contact me as I am a registered distributor of Kerusso products in Nigeria.

Another company is C28 marketing the “Not of this world” apparel brand. NOTW is an alternative lifestyle brand that goes beyond the norm. It is an identity set apart, to save and to empower lives. It is a phrase distilled from Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. This is the proclamation by Aurelio F Barreto III, the founder of C28 (an overtly evangelical mall-based retail chain that markets the NOTW branded apparel). Aurelio is a California entrepreneur who made millions, found wealth bankrupt, considered suicide, got saved, then found he wanted to do something with his money besides lounge on exotic beaches sipping umbrella drinks. After giving his life to the Lord Jesus, he began changing and wanting to glorify Him. He began praying about serving Him. At first he thought he would be a pastor, but that was only until he realized that God wanted him to do everything as unto the Lord. He realized that his gifts and talents were in business and that he could truly glorify Him through business. Check out more about NOTW and C28 at www.notw.com and www.c28.com

It is expected that Tshirts expose people to God's Word. Shirts are read by people who otherwise would never step into a store with a Christian theme. As Christians, we assume that everyone knows about Jesus and the unfortunate reality is that the majority of people have no idea or know very little about who Jesus is and what He has done for us.

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