I also saw under the sun this example of wisdom that greatly impressed me: 14 There was once a small city with only a few people in it. And a powerful king came against it, surrounded it and built huge siege works against it. 15 Now there lived in that city a man poor but wise, and he saved the city by his wisdom. But nobody remembered that poor man. 16 So I said, “Wisdom is better than strength.” But the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are no longer heeded.
You can have good intentions or ‘good character’ that will probably take you to heaven, but in the sociology of day-to-day living, if you don’t have street wisdom, you will be despised by friends, family, and in your workplace.
You can be wise and despised if you are poor.
You can be brilliant and despised if you don’t have influence.
You must have appetite for life. Just as God loved Jacob and hated (preferred) Esau because he (Esau) was careless with life.
I was at the First Baptist church Ughelli to speak to youths from different branches of the Baptist Convention. I’m so excited that there is a deliberate attempt to teach our youths the truth about wealth creation.
Money has an arbitrary value as a medium of transaction. Every transaction is an exchange of values. Most purchases are made emotionally based on arbitrary values. I asked them to put a price tag on the dress I was wearing. Some said N10,000, others N25,000; my laundry man put a value of N100,000. All of them were correct and equally wrong. Only I know the right price.
The development of the mental capacity to know the values of people, and setting out to meet and surpass it, is key to creating wealth. Once you get that right, then develop a mindset of becoming a person of value. Many people can be doing the same thing, but it’s only that individual that has an insight of developing the capacity to meet the values of his potential customers that will create wealth.
Recently, I have been giving lectures to Corporate bodies around Ughelli and it will shock you how much they are willing to pay for the lectures.
My wife and I went for lunch somewhere and someone put some money on a plate to welcome me, according to our Urhobo custom, and some men, a distance from our table, stood up and filled the plate with more notes.
Give and it shall be given unto you is not necessarily offering. Give value to people; they will reciprocate by giving you more value than you gave. You must develop the mental capacity to identify value addition opportunities in your environment.
The reason Christians flock to Dubai, despite the fact that it’s a Muslim nation is that they added value to their environment and to those who visit there.
Many young people are so eager to be introduced to our contacts, but they fail to ask themselves if those our friends don’t come in contact with other young people closer to them than you. You have to ask yourself, “What special value are you going to add to his/her life?
Joseph added value to Potiphar’s household. Even in prison, Joseph added value to the system and the warden. He became of value to one of the prisoners from the Palace. That prisoner introduced him to Pharaoh, and he brought value to Pharaoh and Egypt. Even Jacob added value to Laban and he was asked to name his wages.
Wealthy people are worthy people; they are distributors and attractors of value. Wealthy people are not in need of worthless friends, so don’t be eager to be introduced to them. I once thought that was a breakthrough until I realized that when you become a person of value, they come looking for you.
A young boy, Isaiah (real name), who was a security guard in the compound that shares a fence with my secondary school was so helpful to a man who was a tenant in that compound. He would wash his car and go on errands for him. The man worked offshore in an oil company. Before he retired, he ensured that Isaiah was employed in the same company. Isaiah now works offshore, earning good pay. There were many other young boys in our street, but Isaiah stood out as a value contributor.
First, be a person of value, and wealth will come.
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.
Christian lawyers must stand for social justice, speak for the voiceless, fight for the weak, and fight injustice anywhere and everywhere.
There is palpable docility amongst Christian lawyers, particularly in the South-South geopolitical zone in the fight against social injustice. This rattled the table a little bit and the chairman asked me to expatiate on that issue which I eloquently did.
Pictures courtesy of Barr. Igho Okeya, my lawyer. You can’t go to a meeting of lawyers without legal representation. It’s a great risk.
My childhood friends from Urhobo road, Warri, came visiting, sometime in August, at the permanent site of Petra Institute, Effurun Otor.
Pastor Henry Ikomi is of Urhobo and Itsekiri extraction while Collins Emesiboi is of Ijaw and Urhobo extraction. I am Urhobo, but I have an Itsekiri cousin and Ijaw uncles. We ate at any house where we met food and slept at any house where we felt tired. Tribe was of no consequences; we were Warri boys. We helped each other, and our parents took us as their children.
The girls amongst us were our sisters and relationships were respected. There were unwritten codes of conduct.
Very few of our parents then knew my first name. They all called me Apoki.
The Kola and Emmanuel Awode family were quite unique; their mother was Ibo and their father was Yoruba. I suspect the father voted for UPN then and the mother for NPP.
Later, Kola and I were in the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan together.
We used to go eat bitter leaf egusi (melon) soup in one Ibo woman’s ‘mama-put’ joint opposite the UI gate. Rats used to run in the ceiling then. It was later in life when our parents were passing on to glory that we knew which towns they came from.
We were Warri boys and girls. And they were papa and mama this or that person.
My radio broadcast is sponsored by my childhood friend and fellow Mariner from Warri house at Government College, Ughelli.
Where and how did we miss that line in our old national anthem, “… Though tribes and tongue may differ, In brotherhood we stand”?
Whatever and whoever you accept will rule over you. Tragically, you will start to exercise faith in your acceptance of their labels.
They labelled him ‘Blind Bartimaeus’, but there were other attributes like faith, insight, and tenacity in him.
Ordinary people are ordinary because they see only negativity about themselves, their environment, and their circumstances. They negate themselves and admire and promote their oppressors.
The average royal or religious family in any society are a minority. The general populace is more important and powerful than the royalty. This also includes tyrants and oppressors. The people just accept their superiority and rule, and even live and be ready to die to protect and serve them. Many backward people in religious and political settings suffer from Stockholm Syndrome.
The United States of America will remain the greatest country in the world because it gives you, to some extent, the freedom and opportunity to believe, live, and prove yourself. They don’t accept the control of man over man to a large extent. If Donald Trump was an African president, he would have remained in the power till today. Recently, when his supporters knew he secretly took the COVID-19 vaccine, they booed him in a rally.
People close to me, in the past, have tried to attach labels to me and my future, but I have always rejected them. I know myself and my dreams, and God directs me as His personal project. I’m always ahead of the thoughts and labels of whoever I’m relating with. No matter how you think you know me, I know you more than you think I do. God is always ahead of me and He leads me by inspiration.
One passage that has influenced me so much is, “whoever is born again is like the wind“. Meteorologists can label and name hurricanes. They can try to predict hurricanes, but hurricanes don’t conform to their permutations; they have a mind of their own.
I have chosen to be unusual, controversial, radical, and abnormally normal. For example, I don’t need the approval of the man, who once told me that people were complaining that my wife and I don’t dress well, to look good in these pictures. I know I look good even if any person is of a contrary view.
Be bold to live your life within the limits of liberty Jesus gives.
Some folks once told my dear brother, Samson Bodjor, that he was worse than his mentor, Dr Apoki Charles, in dressing. Check him out today, he is great to behold; greater than those cynical and critical simpletons.
Some folks, especially young pastors, without direction in and around Ughelli, tried to label me from their limited understanding. While they are still struggling to impress their idols, I have since moved on.
Who and what you admire can either make you or mar you.
Who and what you respect can either rule over your life, ruin you or raise you.
This is a long story, but read it before you like or comment.
I made this video in a car that was chartered to take me home from Umahia after my ministration at World Power Ministries International. This is the stretch between Elele and Elele Alimini.
In all my travels to preach in the Eastern part of Nigeria, this used to be the most painful part about 21 years back. I used to take Agofure motors from Ughelli and stop at Elele Alimini. I would then need to take a motorcycle (okada) to Elele main town. My suitcase would be with the rider in front, and I would carry one bag of audio cassettes on one shoulder and books on another shoulder.
The most terrible part was when it starts drizzling and I would get wet. Funny enough, that’s the time I would see a car with the sticker of Nigeria Medical Association drive past on the other side of the road. Depression would set in to remind me that I once was practising medicine at Aba, and questions would arise if I had not made a mistake becoming a preacher?
It was not easy on me I must confess. “Who feels it knows it, Lord”… (Robert Nesta Marley).
Then, I will have to squeeze myself with other passengers at the back of the bus to Owerri. If I was heading to Abia State University, Uturu, I would have to struggle with my luggage to Okigwe park and squeeze into another bus. The most humiliating part is walking behind the wheelbarrow man carrying my luggage.
We are all road users. Don’t focus on the other road users; focus on your destination. Yours might be rugged and tough, but you have to pay the price to win the prize.
My shoulders used to get sore and the skin would peel off. Today, they don’t allow me to carry my luggage anymore.
That’s life for you.
I pray for you that you will get to your destination of celebration.
You will not take that painful journey with humiliation again; you will pass with celebration.
I silence every voice of humiliation and depression in your mind in Jesus name.
There is hope ahead.
Jesus did it for me. Your testimony will follow these tests.