INSPIRATION WITH PB

Everyone needs encouragement and inspiration. Without them life would be flat and dry, lifeless. But a spark of creation and everything changes. www.inspirationwithpb.com is a website set up to encourage, inspire and motivate every reader. You can get a regular weekly dose of inspiration by visiting and registering on this website.

Also, you can find: 52 Little things that Make A Big Difference A compilation of stories that reflects life and laughter that will inspire you and add sparks into your life. In this book, there are enough sparks to light a thousand fires in your day, your life, your circumstance. If you want things to change then this is for you. There are 52 thoughts , one per week; so you can take a thought a week, meditate on it, and live it out.

It promises to cheer you up and change your life positively! It won’t just be you that will notice the difference. Everyone around you will see the change within days of you taking that first step. You can get a copy of the book at www.inspirationwithpb.com or at www.amazon.co.uk

Make That Change Now

2015 is still new and many of us still have one eye on our goals. The bizarre thing however is that as we go back to work and our regular schedule, we tend to just fall back into doing what we have always done. The more we engage in what we have always done, the further we fall back into old patterns and the year goes by. After a couple of months, without making clear changes and forming new routines, we loose focus of the goals for the New Year. Many people fall into this category and end up regretting the year because nothing has changed. I have come to realize that if anything will change in my life, I need to initiate it and work hard at forming new routines and habits to ensure the new goals are achieved.

A few years ago while working in London, I used to go on the same train journey with a particular lady. She was a professional who had spent years building her career within this high-powered environment. She was all OK until she got pregnant with her first child and had to go on maternity leave. When she came back, her line manager and the team dynamics had changed. She found herself in a team that really did not know her nor sympathetic to her new status as a working mum; this led to her experiencing alienation and hostility from some of her team members.

As that was going on, she also had problems with her child minder, who felt she wasn’t coming back early enough to get the child. My friend felt quite frustrated. She would get into the train in the morning and tell me what she was experiencing both at work and at the child minder’s. I remember that I constantly told her how I had gone through the same phase and how she was the only one who could make the change required to make her happy. She needed to find something else to do that will give her fulfillment, income and work life balance.

As time went on, I discovered that my friend found it easier to talk and complain about things than to do something about it. I however made sure I constantly told her that if she did not make the change required, nothing would change. You and I are the ones that can make the change required to experience a different level of fulfillment. We need to take responsibility for our lives and make the relevant change required to become the person we desire to be.

Gods’ word says:

‘Arise shine, for your light has come. And the glory of The Lord is risen upon you.’ Isaiah 60:1

It’s interesting to note that the bible did not say that we should do nothing when God’s light comes upon us. When a season changes, it is our job to arise and act – to do something about what needs done; to make a change, so that God can crown it with His glory and show us off to our world.

This new year, take responsibility for your change. If there is something you desire, choose to take the relevant action required to enjoy the benefit you need. Make that change because, God is on your side!

PB

Be Enabled in 2015

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Welcome to 2015 and CONGRATULATIONS you made it!

Many of us have goals in mind to achieve in 2015; just as we did in 2014. The sad thing is that, many did not achieve their 2014 goals but the great thing however is that – we get another chance to give things a ‘good go’. That is the beauty of a new year.

As I looked at the issue of dreams and goals – I remembered what I was once taught as a young lady to set great goals, with Gods help. Pray Hard, Work hard and Expect great things. Also it is essential to know what we need and what to do to achieve our desired goals.

To however ensure we achieve our dreams, we need one more factor and that is, to become ENABLED! As far as I know and in my over 3 decades of walking with God – God has always been and is our enabler. He is the one that empowers and enables us to achieve dreams and goals that are beyond our ability. Hard work is great; but results do not just come because of hard work.

Gods word says:

‘Except the Lord builds a house, they labour in vain that builds it.Except the Lord watches over a city, the guards watch in vain’ Psalm 127:1

As we start this new year and get an opportunity for a fresh start; we need Gods help. So let us take some time to ask for His help on a regular basis this new year.

I also pray for you; that you will not labour in vain in 2015; neither will you abandon your dreams half way due to lack of strength or ability.

Have a great year and I look forward to hearing from you and celebrating great achievements with you in 2015
God is on your side!

PB

BE HAPPY BECAUSE IT’S CHRISTMAS!

As I walked through the shops today, I saw so many happy faces. As I stood in line to make a payment in one of the shops, I looked around at shoppers too who seemed equally very happy. The lady behind me in the queue said hello and gave me a very warm smile and the gentleman ahead did almost the same thing. I got to the till and the lady serving me was having a quick chat with her mate who was manning the next till. The mate was complaining about her shift after Christmas and the lady manning my till said – ‘even though you seem to have pulled the short straw when it comes to your shift- it’s Christmas anyway BE HAPPY!’

What a message that was. ‘It’s Christmas anyway- be happy.’ I guess the questions will be, why are we always so happy at Christmas or why should we be happy at Christmas? For some of us, it’s because for that one time of the year, we get to meet our neighbors and exchange cards with them, for others, we get and give gifts and for others we get and exchange smiles. All in all, there is a strong feeling of the need to give something to someone else and share joy.

While looking at the issue of happiness at Christmas, my daughter said, she is very happy because she never knew she had so many people that love and care for her until Christmas when she gets so many gifts, and she takes time being thankful for relationships that she was both aware of and not so aware of in the year. She said Christmas time and gifts allows her see how blessed she is to be who she is and be in the church as well as nuclear and extended family she is in.

I am not surprised that we are happy at Christmas; because when Jesus came to the earth, one of the messages the angels gave to us is that Jesus has come to give us all joy – and we usually express our joyful nature with happiness. He was a gift that came to give joy, hope and peace to all men.

‘But the angel said to them, ‘do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people’ Luke 2:10

Part of Jesus mission, as stated by the angels is to cause joy for all people. Little wonder we are usually so happy at Christmas. Alongside that message of joy in that verse are two other things, these are 1) Do not be afraid 2) I bring you good news

Part of the message of Christmas is that we should believe that the Lord Jesus has come to take away our fears, worries and failures- so we have nothing to be afraid of. He has also come to give us good news. Good news makes us happy and puts smiles on our faces.

This Christmas, I want to encourage you to look back at all the good things and happy things happening around you and show joy and happiness in this Season. Do not allow yourself to be put down by anything or anyone; but stay excited and enjoy the day and season because God has sent Jesus to all of us to change our story and give us hope for a brighter tomorrow. Your future is bright; so be happy- it’s Christmas.

God is on your side!

PB

ALL I WANT…

This is that time of the year when we begin to look at what we want and wish for. Many of us look at what we want for Christmas whereas some others look at what they have not yet received for the year. These thoughts tend to leave many of us disappointed. It’s usually quite interesting in my home because one of the most difficult things for my family members who ask me what I want is the fact that my answers do not quite match my expectations.

Generally speaking, I do not lack for anything and find it difficult to know what I want. So when my husband or children start asking me what I want, for a good 3 months before Christmas, I am always singing. ‘All I want for Christmas is you….’ and then quietly and jokingly I add ‘and many other befitting gifts.’ I say to them that I’ve left it in their capable hands. It is very interesting to note that I still have expectations and on the special day when it’s time to open gifts; I have been known to ask my husband; ‘ well, that’s great, so where are the rest?’ That’s for the gifts received and we think are not adequate; how about when we have an expectation and do not receive what we want?

I was having a chat with a lady along these lines recently and when she told me how her dreams for this year have not been achieved and how she has barely received any of the major things she wanted for the year, I told her to go and take a look at the year again, and ask herself what God did for her in each of the months. She came back to me and listed so many things God had done this year. I asked her all over again if God had done anything for her and she said,’indeed, God has been good to me in 2014 Pastor Bola. There were many things I wanted that I had forgotten I wanted because now I’ve got them- truly it’s been a good year.’ Results! Unless we look closely, we will sometimes overlook all the great things God has done for us this year.

Mark 7:37 says
‘People were overwhelmed with amazement. ‘He has done everything well’, they said. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak’

God has done EVERYTHING well and unless you and I go back and look at all our victories, successes, achievements, and so many other great things that happened to us this year; we might be tempted to think that we do not have all we wanted in 2014- but irrespective of how bad things seem for you, God has shown His goodness to you this year.

As the year is coming to an end, never allow yourself be one of those who will complain about not getting the things you wanted for the year. How can you do that? By getting a little booklet, title it ‘what I Received This Year’ and start listing what you’ve received. You will be amazed how many things you have been given this year. Never allow yourself get dragged down by what you think you wanted and did not receive, but thank God for the things He had given you this year.

God is on your side!

ONE DAY, I WILL…

Over dinner last night, Eddie was sharing a story with me, it related to the power of dream and vision. We talked about the reward of dreams and vision and I thought to share the story with you.

 While working as an IT consultant on an assignment in Sweden, at the end of one of his working week in 2001, he saw a car at the airport. The car on display was a Volvo C90 hardtop convertible and he said he walked around the car. He mentioned that he thought ‘one day, I will buy this car for bola’. After inspecting the car for a while, he continued on his journey home.

 Eddie never mentioned this incident when he got home and life went on as usual. As at that time, I was driving a BMW and absolutely loved my car. As it is the case with many ladies, I am not particularly into cars and wasn’t keen on changing my car, as I did not see any need for a new one. A couple of years later, we came in contact with a gentleman that could do with a car and started toying with the idea of giving out my BMW. The more we thought about it, the more I felt convinced that it was something we should do and I started thinking… What other car would I like enough?

 About 2 years ago, I was driving down the motorway to our home from a church meeting when I saw another gentleman driving his car on the lane next to mine. He was middle aged and had his car roof down. He was driving a C90 hard top convertible and his car looked beautiful. For the first time, I genuinely noticed a car and felt, ‘I like that and would love to have it’. I got home and told Eddie I found a car I finally liked. I also called a spiritual son of ours to research into car. He did and within a few weeks we got me a Volvo C 90 hard top convertible. I never even thought about the car before the day I saw it on the motorway.

When Eddie saw the car at the dealers, when we went to pick it up; he said – ‘Bola, I’ve seen you in this car. When I first saw it in Sweden, I told myself:- ‘one day, I will buy this car for Bola’. A few years later, without conferring, what he wished and planned became a reality.

As we discussed the power of vision, I remembered the story of a gentleman called Jacob who wanted a unique gift from God to grow his enterprise. It looked unlikely as he wanted plain animals to give birth to speckled animals. He drew what he wanted to see on the bark of a tree and as the animals saw the picture and mated; they gave birth to speckled ones!! Awesome!!! A miracle indeed and also shows the power of vision.

God told Abraham to go outside his tent and take a look at the sky before He gave him the promise of full inheritance.

 The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, ‘Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever.’ Genesis 13:14-15

God wanted to bless Abraham, but He needed Abraham to have a different picture and vision of what He could get and become. God knew it would be difficult for a man that had never had a single child to believe He would have numerous children, so He needed to get Abraham to go see… The vision enabled Abraham to see his situation differently. He needed to see beyond the limitation of the moment, beyond his tent into the future picture God had in store for him.

What do you see of yourself; because if you see it in your vision/minds eyes, it’s a matter of time, you will work towards it and achieve it. And interestingly, if it’s a God given image/vision, God will ensure He orchestrates things in such a way that He will bring the vision to pass in His time. Because… In His time, He makes all things beautiful!

God is on your side!

HIS TIMELY INTERVENTION!

I was scheduled to be at a meeting and planned my itinerary, giving 30 minutes for delays on the road. I was actually very pleased with myself for being so good with my planning. I got into my car and started the journey. I needed to drive through the Dartford toll but was not concerned at all, as I already had lots of coins in my car; and if anything went wrong with this uncountable amount of coins in my car, then I could always revert to the coins I had in my bag – as I tend to just drop all coins into the bag.

After about 20 minutes in traffic, I was now close to the toll and looked at my coin box in the car. All the coins were gone! I panicked and checked every single compartment that could have coins in them- nothing at all. Finally I spotted coins adding up to £1.50 on the door handle compartment but nothing else. The toll fee is £2. I frantically started searching my bag but for the first time ever, I did not find a single penny in my bag – where were all my coins?

Firstly, I was very upset with my daughter whom I was sure had removed all my coins on her way to school that morning, and also must have removed all the coins in my bag as well. Now I was stranded!! I prayed for God to help me find spare coins hiding somewhere in my bag- but that did not happen. I called Eddie, really upset; almost in tears and he told me he gave our daughter the permission to take the money in the car. He then said, it’s all ok, I should just turn round and go back home. The only option was to change lanes, go towards the last lane where I could be escorted back because I did not have enough money. As I got to the toll gate at this extremely busy time, I prayed and then looked at the other side of the road; going back was equally a stand still. I felt so upset but did not have an option. For the last time, I searched frantically for coins everywhere. There was nothing!

Finally I got to the toll gate and informed the lady at the toll that I discovered that I didn’t have any cash on me after I passed the last exit, so I had no choice but to be escorted back. The lady at the till then said to me to calm down. Then she told me something that shocked me. She said, the driver just ahead of me gave her his toll fees with 50p extra and he refused to collect his change. So she was able to use that to balance my incomplete payment; she collected the £1.50 and allowed me through. I was so thankful and surprised at how God sorted me out. I was expecting Him to help me – but by letting me find another 50p in my car – I felt I had more control over that; I could not have imagined Him using another driver, who wasn’t aware I was in trouble to sort out my problems.

God stepping in to sort me out just at the last moment was a massive miracle for me. A miracle worth more than the value of money I required. He gave me a miracle in a way that I could not have expected.

Gods’ word says:

‘Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.’ Ephesians 3:20

God once more showed me that He can step into our affairs at the right time and give us a miracle – not in the way we planned and thought. He surprised me at the Dartford tunnel; Of all the tills – over 12 lanes; why was I led to the one where the previous driver had left an extra 50p? He showed up for me and led me to the right place, just in time. He still does great miracles in the lives of His people every day. Our only task is to look up to Him for help. We may not know How He will do it; but trust in Him to surprise you positively anyway.

Be at peace because He never fails to intervene at the appropriate time.

God is on your side!

SHE WAS READY FOR REJECTION

It has been a very busy morning in the church office and the office telephone started ringing. After a few times, I decided to pause my activity and pick up the phone. A lovely and friendly lady’s voice came on. It was obvious this was a sales call; but I was still happy to hear her out as she sounded nice and also seemed a healthy distraction from the activities I was doing at that moment. She however did something surprising- after asking for Eddie, I was about to pass her on to Eddie when she said, ‘I understand he is not available; that’s fine- I’ll call back another time’ and right after that, she dropped the phone. I looked at Eddie and said what just happened, to which he replied; ‘she was ready for rejection! She expected to be rejected and so reacted based on her expectation.’ Probably based on her previous experience with the earlier calls she had made; she just assumed the next person would equally push her off.

Her story reminded me of a lady we once hired in our consultancy firm about a decade ago. We needed a telesales person and she came for the interview; she was perfect because, she lived close to the office and needed the right number of hours so she could work around her children’s school hours. Being a mum at home, she also had a way she came across on the phone that was beneficial to us getting appointments booked to see decision-makers in organisations. She was perfect for the job; but interestingly she came to the interview and highlighted all the things we saw and liked in her as the reason why she would probably not be hired for the job. She expected rejection and was ready for it. When we eventually told her that we wanted to hire her because of those things she saw as limitations, she told us she was so shocked and could not believe it. We did hire her and for the period we needed her, she was absolutely excellent at her work.

From these two lady’s stories, I asked myself the question, why do we sometimes expect and get ready for rejection? Why do we perceive everything about ourselves as limitations and weaknesses? Is it just because we are trying to avoid disappointments or are there other deeper reasons? It’s interesting to note that a bunch of people in the bible did the same.

When the children of Israel were about to enter the Promised Land, they sent spies to go check out the land. When they came back, the majority of them gave negative reports. Gods’ word says;

‘But the men who had gone up with him said, ‘we are not able to go up against the people for they are stronger than we.
There, we saw giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in OUR OWN EYES, and so we were in their sight.’ Numbers 13:31, 33

It is amazing to note that these spies projected a problem they saw in their own eyes and they automatically concluded that that was the way it would be perceived by others.

As much as we sometimes wonder why they would ever think that way, many of us tend to do that in many areas of our lives as well. We see only our weaknesses and challenges and never see our big God and the impact of His presence with us in our situation. We sometimes also think so little of ourselves that we do not take on big or new ventures because we think we are not good enough nor capable of delivering successful results.

I will like to remind you that you carry with you a big God and He is interested in your success. Believe in Him, believe in yourself and these two things will change your attitude as well as your results.

Start seeing yourself differently and your promised land awaits you.

God is on your side!

PB

Make It Matter

Earlier on this week, the shocking departure of Dr Myles Munroe was announced in the media. He was one of the pastors I got to know of while we were under the tutelage of our previous pastor. Dr Myles and Mama Ruth were regular guest ministers at our church then and we were privileged to be invited out to dinner with them alongside our pastors. Two major things that made this man of God stand out in my mind were his level of intelligence and his massive personality.

As I, alongside the whole world reflected on the departure of this man, I watched a clip where Dr Myles was interviewed and asked the question; ‘if you look back at your life, what do you regret or find difficult to handle?’ To which Dr Myles answered that he does not have any regrets. According to him, he just has learning points. He ensures he makes every experience matter. He takes time to learn from every situation and use such lessons.

For me, one of such lessons was what I learnt after we got married and we were praying to have a baby. Though it was for a relatively short period of time in the scheme of things, we waited, we experienced the anxieties that come with waiting anxiously for a promise from God. While waiting, God gave us a scripture in psalm 102:13, (it says – you will arise and have mercy on Zion, for the time to show her favour, the appointed time has come) which we literarily had to stand on despite all evidence against what we wanted.

At the end of the day, the word of God prevailed and our reality matched our belief in God’s word. We had our baby boy. This situation matters even much more because of what we have done with it over the years. I have used our story and the same bible verse as a source of encouragement to over 20 people who have since received their promises; mainly those desiring children; but there have been others who have used this same principle to receive other promises from God.

Like Dr Myles said, whenever we go through a situation, the purpose of it as well as the people we can help with our experience should be our focus.

God’s word says

‘Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face problems of many kinds.’ James 1:2

To consider something tough pure joy is a decision. We can go through tough times with joy or with sadness and heaviness of heart. But what we need to be aware of is that we daily get situations that give us a chance to learn and teach others. The chance to do that is however a product of a personal decision; so I will admonish you to make every problem or even every victory matter.

As sad as the death of Dr Myles Munroe and his beautiful wife, Ruth is; I know a day will come when we will all see the lesson in this and it will matter indeed.

If you are going through a painful or difficult experience, firstly I pray for you that it will soon pass and secondly I want to remind you to let all the pain count for something; Make It Matter.

God is on your side!

PB

YOU HAVE A CHOICE!

I got into the gym a few days ago after being absent for a while and discovered that the treadmill had changed and so had a lot of machines. I had to call the assistant to come show me how to work the new treadmill. Within a few minutes, I was running on a beach! It was brilliant – considering it was a proper winter day outside. That was my best run in a while. I was not bored and never had to check my mileage or how many more minutes I had to go. Running just became more fun and now there are no more excuses for not having a good run before my day starts.

A couple of days later, I decided to try something new, a different view and experience – so I decided to run with the view of a lake. Within a few minutes, following the view and simulation on my screen, I was quite exhausted and felt I had to put in more to cover my run. It did not make sense, but that was surely my thought. I struggled through the run and when I finished, I told myself – no more lake view for me! So the next day, I went back to my beach run and again had a brilliant one. It is interesting to note that because I now have a choice, my run is no longer boring and I look forward to trying other views and settings, just to see how things go.

It is great to know that we have choices in life, in fact our choices can become a big problem in the western world. If you are not careful, it can lead to waste of time and confusion. For instance, if you go into the stores to get a loaf of bread, you’ll be faced with numerous choices. From sliced to whole, brown or white, seeded or not, various types of bread, numerous bakers – I am sure you get it. Choices are great and in many cases, we’ve got them in abundance today. There are serious choices that have huge consequences and there are also simple ones.

It is equally excellent to know that we have a choice when it comes to God and the benefit He has prepared for us. When Joshua was going to finish His mission and work with the Israelites, He gave them a choice based on God’s word:

‘Today, I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call in heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live.’ Deuteronomy 30:19

In this scripture, Joshua made the children of Israel know that we all have options and we need to make a choice for or against God. For us to live a life that is pleasing to God, with earthly benefits and eternal rewards, we have to make our decision for God and His ways. We need to choose life, so that we and our descendants will live. Note that your decision and mine can affect our unborn generation – so we need to be very careful about the decisions we make.

Never allow anyone tell you that you’ve got no choice. We’ve all got options and we just need to make the right choices in life and as we do them, we should remember that some choices are so important that they affect the next generation – so make the right ones this year.

God is on your side!