When organisations, fellowships, or movements want to start, they usually start with an ideal; however, when they are formed and consolidated, a time comes when an elite class and a few groups of people corner the privileges to themselves and leave the majority in oppression or poverty.
And these privileges are guarded with an iron fist that makes it very difficult to be penetrated.
Apoki’s Theory of Two Tribes
The two-tribe theory of “Under-developing Nations” identifies two groups of people when a fight for liberation or independence has been successful with a united force.
In practice, there are no tribes: religious groups, north/south, or parties in such nations.
There are just the “oppressors” and the “oppressed”, the “rich” and the “poor”, the “opportunists” and those who are taken advantage of.
This elite class of people do not usually play by the rules.
The tragedy, most times, is that the Stockholm syndrome makes the oppressed fall in love with their oppressors.
Sometimes, there are rare phenomena – a third tribe that exists for humanity that belong to neither of the two tribes.
Time and chance happen to everyone, but your decisions, choices, dreams, and drive are great determinants of your future.
Reality is deaf and dumb; it can see all your excuses and challenges, but it does not respond. You have to face it and act, or it will stare at you in the future without commenting. Only you and those around you will be running the commentaries. Pass all the blames, give all the excuses, and reality will just be staring at you. Confront reality early in your life so that it does not make a mockery of you later in life.
I suspect I was the only one, resident in a mud house, with two illiterate parents, amongst my classmates, who came to GCU from Warri, 50 years back. I confronted the reality of poverty and inferiority complex head-on. We were about 7 who read medicine from my class. One is a cardio-thoracic surgeon, another an orthopaedic surgeon, and yet another, an anaesthesiologist of global repute. But I intentionally chose to be a general practitioner and a businessman.
I intentionally decided that my son would be a medical specialist and had always wished that my sons marry medical doctors.
My wife would always tell me not to preach around Nigeria without having evidence to show for my so-called motivational speaking. I used to insist that the buildings at Petra Christian Academy reach an impressive standard. I would tell them that my friends will come from all over the world to visit Petra Christian Academy. The past has come visiting.
My wife lived in one room separated by “crossbed” with her elder sister in a compound that shared a short fence with my classmates called Okotie Lawyer and Okotie Doctor at Urhobo Road in Alderstown Warri. If you listened carefully to the video you will hear him telling my classmates how I used to sneak to come to see my wife then (the one with eyes like Tinubu). The past came to visit the present.
All fingers are not equal but don’t be the smallest one. Even if you are the smallest, be a functionally relevant finger with an attractive manicure.
My wife and I resolved, worked very hard and smartly, and by the grace of God, when the past came visiting, it did not meet us where and how we used to be.
There is a place called THERE, there are many legitimate ways to get THERE.
I was not aggressively intentional until I was 40 years old and God’s grace enlightened and empowered me.
The difference between a dreamer and a visionary person is action.
Talk is cheap.
I have learnt a lot from my wife because she is the greatest motivational actor I know. She is the engine that drives our family affairs. SHE IS AN ACTION PERSON. She does not talk much but acts a lot.
I have come to notice that many people want to become motivational speakers without demonstrable results. That’s what my wife warned me about.
This is the first building project I’m handling on my own because she is handling a very big project somewhere else that only those very close to us know about. But each day, she makes concrete progress. I’m always amazed at the cumulative results whenever I visit the project she is handling.
Every day my wife wakes up, she takes a concrete step towards the visions I have shared with her. On Sunday, 23/1/2022, after church service and siesta, I already know what concrete step I’m going to take. The materials I need are already packed.
You add value to your life, time, and money by taking concrete developmental steps daily.
I don’t live my life based on congregational or denominational declarations or new month declarations by others that they send to me via SMS or Facebook messenger. In fact, I don’t read them. I know my needs and my life more than any prophet.
By the grace of God, you take charge of your life instead of leaving it to chance and the dictates of others. A lot of folks have spent the first 20+ days of January drifting along with an agenda set by others without consideration for your own life or your consent. By the end of January ask yourself, “What concrete steps have you taken to improve your life?”
Remember, we get old too quickly and wise too late.
This was a seminar topic I did in one of our Word and Wisdom conferences at Petra Christian Academy, Ughelli. I thought it necessary to share it with you at the beginning of this new year as you set out to achieve your goals.
Every great challenge is made up of small units. Fragment the challenge/problems into small units and compartmentalise them. Then solve them one at a time or in multiple units. If you wait until you have all the money, resources, time, and personnel before you start addressing a challenge or solving a problem, be rest assured that you will never start.
Jehovah used the same process in creating this beautiful world from a formless and void earth.
Jesus used the same principle in feeding the multitude by compartmentalising the crowd into groups of 50 and 100 people when he had to feed them.
Mentoring that is based on only admiration of the mentor, kneeling, bowing or prostrating to greet them, giving them gifts and receiving blessings from them is not different from idolatry or visiting a shrine to offer sacrifice. A mentor owes a mentee the responsibility of sharing the methods he has employed to reach his goals. If your mentee gives you a gift, sit him or her down and share part of your life with him.
I was close to the age of 40 years when I suddenly realised that I had abandoned my vision for life and was becoming a tool or even a broom in a vision I was not responsible for.
I came to realise the following realities:
P1 – Purpose
Take personal responsibility for your life and purposes.
In the Parable of Talents, each servant was responsible for the management of his talent. It was not a congregational or denominational responsibility. The earlier you realise this, the better for you and the fewer chances you have of complaining about your denominational leadership.
A purpose-driven life is more beneficial to a denomination than a life merely in pursuit of miracles.
P2 – Personal pronouncements upon your life
You are the most effective prophet in your life. Prophecies don’t work on visionless lives unless it’s of predictable doom. You can pronounce your future into existence.
P3 – Prayers
Prayers must be for purposes beyond your personal needs. When I found a purpose beyond my personal needs, Jehovah became a partner in my vision.
Most of what I do are not for my immediate personal needs. They are mainly to meet the needs of humanity. You reach a stage in life when your personal needs are met by the humanity which you serve.
I always wonder how you allow others to determine what you pray about and you even repeat prayers after people (that you most times don’t understand). You know your pains and purposes, and you are in the best position to discuss with your father.
I am my best prayer partner.
You can hold a contrary opinion, but as far as it’s my personal life, I know my needs more than anyone else.
P4 – Preparation
I started buying land here (at Effurun-Otor) 9 years back, bit by bit.
I moulded blocks many years ago. I had also accumulated about 20 trips of sand some years back from the honorarium I received from my lectures and preaching engagements.
P5 – Planning
When your purpose is for kingdom development, the spirit of the Lord is part of your planning. Your planning is like prophecy.
I waited for the right time before laying the foundation of the building.
Planning brings prioritisation and order to your life.
P6 – Push and pursuit of purpose
Your purpose must follow you to bed, get you out of bed, and send you to work on your purpose.
Wake up and work on your purpose, if not weeds will grow on it.
P7 – Perspective
Know where you are, where you want to be, and what you need to do to get there.
P8 – People
You need the right people to help you push your dream to fruition. Some people are speed breakers and fire extinguishers. Some are subtractors and dividers. Avoid them.
After all the prayers and prophecies, stand up and pursue your purpose.
This manure is a carryover from last year to improve the productivity of the carryover cassava I planted last year.
My wife has been a constant carryover for the past 37 years. I no longer pray for her to change; I only ask for more grace to marry her. l know I am her biggest carryover, but she is coping with my abnormality.
Don’t be under pressure from motivational preachers like me; we all have carryovers. Uncompleted church buildings are carryovers.
The problem with several unproductive people is that they don’t know when to stop the groove and be on the move. Your bills did not stop during the holidays. Those who hype the festive periods were making more money from their airlines, transportation businesses, eateries, lounges, hotels, and shopping malls. They were not carried away by the groove.
January is the planting season for the later harvest of the year.
Yesterday, I stocked broilers for the next groove during Easter. I also stocked some layers to replace some older ones. I will sell the old layers later to an eatery where young people come to eat.
The groove is over; return to your business place before others take your customers.
The groove is over; leave your village and go back to your base before you start begging for money to buy fuel or a ticket to go back home.
The groove is over; go back to your base before they start falling sick in the village.
The groove is over; house rent and school fees are waiting.
I spoke at the Christ Apostolic Church, Agbaroh, on Sunday, January 2nd, 2022.
The theme of their prayer conference was, “Blessing Without Pain”. I first had to let them know that even though every good and perfect gift is from God and leads to wealth without sorrow, in reality, pain is a frequent part of life. I don’t get sucked into all these overhyped pentecostal themes.
Pain can be a physical or an emotional discomfort usually with tissue and emotional damage. Pain shows that you are alive and normal. Dead people don’t feel pain. Lepers don’t feel pain because of damage to their nerves. Masochists enjoy pain. There are spiritually and intellectually dead people; they don’t feel pain. There are spiritual and intellectual lepers, they don’t feel pain and they can suffer a lot of losses and rubbish without reacting.
There are political, economic, social and religious masochists; they derive joy from their sadistic tormentors and they are even ready to fight others in defence of their oppressors and tormentors. They suffer from Stockholm Syndrome.
Benefits of pain.
It should lead to insight and a readjustment to prevent further pain and damage.
Pain will make you avoid or withdraw from some people and circumstances.
The emotional pain of having illiterate parents made me read wide and crave knowledge.
The pain of my colleague’s father asking me, “Whose son are you?” made me resolve that no one will ever ask my children, “Whose son or daughter are you?” They should ask them, “Are you Dr. Apoki’s descendant?”
The pain of my father not buying any real estate made me buy real estate very early in life.
Pain was a teacher training school for me.
The pain of having two paralysed parents, two children who needed surgery at the same time, and my landlord telling me to vacate my accommodation toughened me. That I did not see any of my brothers for 5 years during all these challenges taught me independence and the grace to dare to walk alone. It also taught me that what I was going through was to prepare me to train others.
Prevention of unnecessary pain.
Be very conscious of your environment and those you are relating to.
I know those who are very close to me and the potential pain they can cause me. I have made up my mind not to be pained when they eventually reveal their anticipated behaviour. There is nothing and nobody that I can’t do without. I have perfected the ability to walk away from anyone that deliberately seeks to cause me pain. Exercise caution.
Make reasonable and intentional choices. If you are wrong, learn to move on. Wrong choices can cause pain.
Choose your companions carefully. Don’t be afraid to lose them, when they choose to move on.
Concentrate on Jesus; love Him and pursue your purpose.