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Billy Graham — A head taller than everyone else!

It took extra effort to listen to Billy Graham. He was not a speaker to my generation. But his TED talk in 1998 on Technology, Faith and Human shortcomings was phenomenal! And with his books, he remains in circulation! So many lessons to take from a simple life. My dad said that he came to Ibadan in 1960 going even to the villages on the fringes of the city.

Such a tall man, physically and in many other ramifications.

1. Gluttony (Overeating).

I never knew that overeating was a sin till I read Billy Graham’s book The Seven Deadly Sins. While the whole world knows the sin of Sodom called Sodomy, little is said of the sin of overeating in Sodom. And I used to overeat!

Ezekiel 16:49 — Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.

We don’t hear much about overeating anymore.

2. Even great men of God sometimes question their faith.

In the book God’s Generals: The Revivalists, Roberts Liairdon discussed the life of Billy Graham. At a time in his young life, Billy Graham had a preacher friend who began to question the authority of the Bible. He eventually sowed his seeds of doubt in the heart of Billy Graham. However, Graham did not fault the Bible; he only asked God to prove to him that the Bible is the final authority. For months, his relationship with God went down.

Then one day, he got tired of his position especially because God did not respond. Finally, he took a walk into the woods and sat on a log. He spoke to God and explained how things have gone down between the two of them since he started asking questions. He had reached a breaking point and decided to accept the finality of the Word of God by faith. He was ready to move on without proof. At that moment, he said that he felt the presence of God again like he had not felt in months!

3. Divorce

Someone interviewed Mrs Ruth Graham with a focus on her marriage. She pointed out that Billy Graham was just a man like any other after all. Finally, the interviewer asked if she had ever considered divorce What an answer she gave: “Divorce, No; Murder, Yes!” What does this teach?

They were married for almost 64 years.

4. Though you are not at a disadvantage, help those who are!

Billy Graham marched with Martin Luther King Jr for the emancipation of the American blacks. In fact, once MLK was jailed, it was Billy Graham who bailed him out. Graham stood by what he believed.

5. We are collaborators, not competitors.

In God’s Generals: The Healing Evangelists, Liairdon discussed the life of Oral Roberts. Oral Roberts was a healing evangelist, quite a controversial one. Billy Graham was a conservative preacher who wouldn’t pray for any sick. He would say, “That’s Oral Roberts’ gift.” The day he invited Oral Roberts to speak at his crusade, Roberts declined. He did not want to “soil” Graham’s conservativism with his controversial personality. But Graham insisted. And all went well.

6. Prepare for temptation

Steve Farrar’s book FINISHING STRONG reports that Billy Graham had a team that went ahead of him to inspect his hotel rooms. And?
Once, they found a naked lady and cameras hiding, waiting to implicate the reverend gentleman.

7. Learn!

It is reported that Billy Graham was the father to several American Presidents. It was not always like that. The first time that Billy Graham was invited to the White House, he came outside and like a “Christian who must not lie,” he reeled out everything they discussed behind closed doors. The President was so mad that he described Graham as an opportunist who was only looking for popularity. I don’t think he ever met that President again, but certainly, he never told the press everything he discussed behind closed doors again. I can’t remember which of his books I read that from!

8. Update!

Billy Graham wrote Storm Warnings in 1992. He said that once a journalist told him to stop scaring people with messages from the Bible and about the end of the world. Graham told the journalist to check the headlines and see who was scaring the people. Storm Warnings is about the gathering clouds about the end of the age.

Then living a few years more, he concluded that the clouds were getting darker, so he updated the book and published a new edition!

In recent years, there was a short video message from Billy Graham that circulated on the internet; he was still trying to reach the modern world from his wheelchair.

9. Father! (verb)

Until Barack Obama, Billy Graham prayed at “all” the inaugurations of US Presidents. But in 2009, he was already 91. Obama invited Rick Warren to pray. Inaugurations are in January, in winter. Rick Warren discovered a few days to the inauguration, that his winter hat was missing! That day or so, he received a box in the mail. Curiously, he opened it. It was a winter hat with a note from Billy Graham, “I wore this for all the inaugurations.

That still brings tears to my eyes! Won’t you like to serve after such a man?

10. Trust the next generation

Gradually, age crept up with Rev Graham. He handed his ministry over to his son. Then gradually, he could not move about much again. But Joel Osteen reported on how he takes time to visit Billy Graham. Guess what? Billy Graham used to watch Joel Osteen on TV! He told Joel Osteen one day, “I would have loved to visit your church, but you have such a crowd, I don’t think I’d get a seat!

Numbers 23:10

Let me die the death of the righteous, and may my final end be like theirs!



It’s a new year again.

At the beginning of each year, many of us set out to achieve some goals: several goals. From another point, having seen many years and set many goals, some of us have set goals repeatedly and repeatedly, have seen them not come to pass.

A mentor helped us to classify our goals into about 7 categories:
– Physical/health goals,
– Financial goals,
– Career goals,
– Intellectual goals,
– Family goals,
– Charity goals,
– Spiritual goals.
It makes it quite simple.

However, while we set routine growth goals, we should also give attention to 1 or 2 “Project” goals which may be like everything to us: a few unique goals.

For example, if you’d set out to become the President of your country this year, that’s a project kind of goal. You probably will not set out to become the President of your country and become the CEO of your organisation in the same year!
However, in the year you plan to become the President, you will still hope to be a better parent and a better spouse! In that same year, if the roof of your house is leaking, you will still plan to fix it. If your house is invaded by mice, you will still fumigate the house.

The point:
In this year 2018, apart from the regular goals that we have been achieving and growing in year after year, let’s dig deep to find the 1 or 2 Key Performances Indicators which if we could only achieve, we would declare the year a success!

I look to You!

Whitney Houston was a child of promise taught to sing in the Baptist church choir by her choir mistress mother. And she was good.

She grew up on the disadvantaged side of life, the African American side of those days. As a teenager, she was introduced to drugs by her brothers, not Bobby Brown. In fact, the story says that she had the drugs, he had the liquor; they introduced each other to something.

Drugs did her much harm as she overdosed repeatedly till she died of it. Drugs probably chose her closest friends and relationships.

Her closest pals, however, believe that she died of a broken heart; a broken heart. She was heartbroken because she did not take good care of the body which God gave to her and that she had generally disappointed God. She was also broken by the fact that her octogenarian father filed a suit against her to claim $100m from her. He was her Manager. Hmm. Her career employed/supported everyone in her family.

There are videos of Whitney leading her husband and crew to pray before shows. And her crew members tell of singing sessions that were supernatural as she sang to God; they all felt it.

Have you heard her last song? I look to You!

As I lay me down,
Heaven hear me now.
I’m lost without a cause
After giving it my all.

Winter storms have come
And darkened my sun.
After all that I’ve been through
Who on earth can I turn to?

I look to you.
I look to you.
After all my strength is gone,
In you I can be strong
I look to you.
I look to you.
And when melodies are gone,
In you I hear a song.
I look to you.

About to lose my breath,
There’s no more fighting left,
Sinking to rise no more,
Searching for that open door.
And every road that I’ve taken
Led to my regret.
And I don’t know if I’m going to make it.
Nothing to do but lift my head
I look to you.

Her words suggest a life of promise culminating in unfulfillment.

The story in the movie “Can I be me” leaves no room for blame. Maybe if she’d grown up on our side of town, she’d have been a different person.

My lessons from her life:

1. Things are not always the way they appear; drop the blame and judgment.

2. You can’t really live your life for others.

3. You have to take responsibility for your life.


There’s this discussion that happens in the ranks of progressive African youths. It’s about why African nations appear to be behind in everything.

Western nations have everything working for them while African nations have almost nothing working. In Europe, a small town can be the world’s largest manufacturer of a big thing. But in Africa, small towns are first of all inaccessible. Even big towns do not necessarily have what it takes to produce small things.

I sat with some colleagues and saw how China and Turkey manufacture some products “for exports only,” while they buy the ones for their local use from Europe. This is not to fault China and Turkey, but to wonder why we can’t produce our low grade requirements in Africa; why do they have to come from China and Turkey? Why not from Onitsha or Kpone? Stated in another way, why do we need discount buses from India when we claim that what is produced in Nnewi are discount buses?

In the USA, George Washington was the first President. After the second term, everyone praised him and suggested another term. His response?

In 1796, as his second term in office drew to a close, President George Washington chose not to seek re-election. Mindful of the precedent his conduct set for future presidents, Washington feared that if he were to die while in office, Americans would view the presidency as a lifetime appointment. Instead, he decided to step down from power, providing the standard of a two-term limit.”(

In essence, he put the nation before himself. He kept in mind that George Washington was not the smartest American.

Flip and come to Africa.

We have presidents ruling for 30 years, continually changing the Constitution because there’s no man like “Uncle Paul.” We have seen this in the Arab spring nations and several others. One Grandpa in East Africa even assured that there are more than enough jails in his country to throw political opponents in: “The economy is growing and we are building infrastructure; what else do they want?

We have even seen nations who went without leadership for years. They ended up in depression and repression. This was the experience of Israel. Then Ehud arose overnight and led them in conquest. In just 2 days, everything changed.

So why are we behind?

In the book It’s Not About You, Bob Burg and co write, “At Pindar’s party that night, Claire explained, Herron had related an experience he had during World War II, as a brand-new second lieutenant in the Army Corps of Engineers. He had been out with troops in the field on a training mission. It had been a hard day, and when the mess line was ready, he went over to eat—but before he could be served, an old sergeant took him aside.

“Lieutenant,” said the sergeant, “after your men have been fed, if there’s any food left, then you will eat. And later, after all your troops have been bedded down, if there’s a place for you to lie down, then you will sleep.”

Is this kind of progressive leadership possible in Africa?

Nothing yet something!

I flew in a helicopter

I sat by the window,

And the clouds were low

The chopper barged into the clouds and we shook

Wow! Clouds! Why not touch one?

So I stuck my finger out of the air hole.

We barged into another cloud and shook.

I withdrew my finger:

No cloud matter,

No mist.

I felt nothing.

Yet my eyes saw them and the chopper shook.

Who can make something that is nothing?

How many more nothings are something?



Have you heard that word before?

Most people have not. It is what happens when a car runs into a pool of water with considerable speed (about 56 km/h or 35 mph). 

A car’s tyres propel the car forward by gripping the ground. The firmer the grip, the better. In the event that the car runs into a pool of water, the gaps between the tyre treads are momentarily filled with water, the car tyres are lifted off the road, and the tyres momentarily lose their capacity to grip the ground and to propel the car (or to stop it)!

1. If the car has only one of its two driving wheels in the water, the wheel-in-the-water becomes like the tip of a compass tool in the students mathematical set. The wheel-on-the-ground becomes like the pencil tip, and the car sets to draw a circle–it begins to spin.

2. If both driving wheels are in the water, it is more complex. The depth of the water under each tyre, the duration of stay of each tyre in the water come into play and the car could begin an involuntary zig-zag. If one tyre gets out of the water before the other, then situation 1 above results. ie. the zig-zag develops into a spin.

Imagine what would happen with other road users, imagine the road fixtures, imagine the people in your own car, etc.

Someone around you has probably experienced hydroplaning before; some have suffered injury as a result of hydroplaning; believe it, some are not here to tell what happened.

Next time you see water on the highway, kill your speed immediately.

A delicate balance

There’s been a great concern about global warming and its attendant effects: melting of polar ice, sea level rise, loss of islands and coastal lands, climate change, etc.

Research has shown that nature was designed to take care of itself. The earth is not only to be the source of all materials, it is also supposed to be the sink of all wastes. However, there’s a limit to both capacities: source and sink. Now we are aware that mankind is running out of Gold, the oceans are being overfished, loss of herds of wildlife is leading to desertification, etc.

Western nations are working to open up legacy dams. Why? Dams prevent the mobility of aquatic life, and this prevents the reproduction of specific species. This leads to extinction and loss of biodiversity. What would be the fate of those at the top of the food chain if those at the bottom are no more.

The very interesting bit is that the earth has a mechanism for reducing global temperatures: volcanic ash.

Among other products of volcanoes, the ash circulates around the globe and decreases the amount of sunlight that hits the surface of the earth. Since the Sun is our greatest source of heat, global mean temperatures fall.

This phenomenon is not restricted to the times of the ancients. Such temperature drops have been recorded in contemporary times after volcanic activity.

The global warming effect was designed to ensure that the earth remains habitable by conserving heat in the atmosphere. It only became a concern as a result of carefree anthropodal (human) activity.

I think we are better off in the hands of God who designed the universe with a delicate balance than if we are left to the fate of a big bang.

An Inspirational Hangout (1)

I have been longing to see my friend for a while. She runs an NGO in Lagos Nigeria, Cancer Aware. We were together in Secondary School and in the University. This is the first time we are seeing since graduation.

I learnt a lot from her. I learnt about how cancer is a ravaging devourer (words carefully selected) which not only longs to kill a patient but also desires to steal the wealth and destroy the emotional stability of the family members.
Cancer Aware focuses on women, and she was able to educate me on such prevalent cancers. Cervical cancer has a pre-cancer stage at which it can be treated and terminated. Unfortunately, in Nigeria, there are too many ladies who cannot afford screening or treatment. There are those who do not even know what this is all about! However, the vaccines are expensive at about N10,000 per dose. Each lady needs about 3 doses. That’s about N30,000 per woman. Now, on one side of the Lagos “bridge”, that’s just the cost of a Friday night’s outing for one person. But on the other side of the “bridge”, it’s more than one month’s cost of living.

Rwanda, she explained, is running a project to eliminate cervical cancer by the year 2020. How? Vaccinate all girls from age 9! Why is Nigeria not doing that?

She pointed out that the cost of treatment is phenomenally higher than the cost of prevention. How so? It takes N30,000 to prevent cervical cancer. It takes chemotherapy to treat cancer without a guarantee of success. For ease of calculation, let us assume there are no side effects. Each patient needs 6 doses of chemo@N600,000 per dose. That’s a ratio of 1:120!! Shouldn’t we vaccinate every woman in Nigeria by all means possible???
For radiotherapy, there are 3 surviving centres in Nigeria: UCH, LUTH, and Eko Hospital. She mentioned the Sokoto centre which closed down recently. Another may be coming up in Calabar soon.

Cancer Aware seeks to screen and vaccinate. They try to support patients with the cost of treatment, but this cost is prohibitive; not many patients get such support. Cancer Aware also renovates oncology wards falling apart in government hospitals.

I asked what we could do to support!!
1. Our organisations can support the war against cancer as a Corporate Social Responsibility.
2. Individuals can support with little sums. About a year ago, I supported with a tiny sum. In a  few minutes, I got a “thank you” email. I screamed; many NGOs in Nigeria do not acknowledge the receipt of funds. But Cancer Aware does!
3. You can invite Cancer Aware to make a presentation at your place of work, worship, estate meetings, trade union meetings, etc.Won’t it be better to spend our 1 hour this way than to spend it mourning at a patient’s bed side?
4. Influence policy to reduce environmental pollution. The fumes of diesel and petrol engines kill in the short run and damage in the long run. Neither is a good option.
5. Everybody should undergo screening duly.

While cancer is not our portion, you know at least one person who has died of cancer right? So why not do something?
Visit or to explore more options.


Atrophy is kind of a big word.

What does it mean?

…Gradually decline in effectiveness or vigour due to underuse or neglect.

I saw a gentleman with a limb in recuperation. The limb is slimmer than the other but happily getting stronger. It reminded me of the word Atrophy.

Have you heard of able bodied men who fake lameness and sit in wheel chairs to beg? If the legs are fat and firm they’re likely fake. Legs that have not been in use are slim and almost only bones.

Anything we have which we do not use atrophies: the less it does, the less it can do.

Once I worked in a four storey building. My job required me to go up and down the stairs several times a day. It was quite easy to do. But once I went on leave and returned, it would be so difficult to go up the stairs.

Anytime I’m off writing for a long time, it becomes difficult to write. Even those who stay off food for a long time do not go back to the norm in a hurry.

If you have any strong capacity that you like, you need to do more of it. If you have any capacity you want to improve on, you need to do more of it.

Anything disused or underused atrophies.

Strength in Ignorance

There was a young man who belonged to a certain Christian group. Almost all they believed in was in conflict with what other Christians believe. He stumbled on Billy Graham preaching on TV one day. He decided to listen and pick holes in the sermon of the “big guy.” This young man was very knowledgeable and could take on any “conventional” Christian. 

Billy Graham mentioned the concept of Trinity, and the young guy was happy to find a handle to take on the big guy. But then Billy Graham took a turn: he said that he did not understand Trinity though he believed in it! He explained that there’s just no way an ordinary man could completely understand the Almighty God.

“Arrgh! How is that possible?? The big guy doesn’t even understand what he believes in? We are taught to understand everything. Our tutors have all the answers!”

So he turned off the TV, but the seed had been sown. He eventually agreed that if God is as great as we claim He is, then we are not likely to understand all there is to know about Him. The young man changed the course of his faith.

The Lesson:

We will not understand everything, and we will not get all the answers; but we will have to keep following God.

What the young man above did not know was that Billy Graham once demanded full understanding of everything. He slowed down his walk with God and watched his faith wither. Finally God explained that Billy’s business was to follow, not to understand God. God once more gave Billy the choice to follow without understanding or to walk away. Of course he chose to follow. That was why he could declare on TV that he did not understand all he believed in.

Similarly, we just won’t get all the answers, but we will keep following. If you are not comfortable with being frail, you are probably still a toddler!

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