‘A celebration of Rest, for we are more than conquerors’ | Easter Message 2020

 

Beloved in Christ,

It’s another global celebration of the Risen King; our Eternal Redeemer, Saviour and the greatest man to have ever lived on the planet.

Once more, we are presented with this awesome opportunity to reflect on the very foundation of our faith and that unique covenant that qualifies each of us to be called his sons and daughters, righteous and worthy of his love. [John 1:10 -13]

From Scriptures, it is evident that his plan for us is that we walk and work with him from a place of rest – the place of unbroken focus and intimacy that enables us to experience renewal and inspiration to fulfill His plan and purposes for our world, as well as rule and reign on earth. [Matthew 11: 28 – 30, MSG]

As we therefore, celebrate this glorious commemoration of that ‘covenant of rest’ cut out on Calvary, I urge you to reflect on the fact that living in “rest” becomes easy when we hear God’s command and obey accordingly. Let’s continually focus on the virtues of His coming; unconditional love to all men, forgiveness to all who err(ed) against us and unfettered access to the throne of grace especially in this dire time of a global pandemic. [Romans 5:8, Matthew 27: 37-40]

Please pray for our world that bereaved families find comfort in God, that we heal (in body and systems) from the COVID-19 scourge and that creative wisdom is released from on high to find solutions to this raging challenge.

We are more than conquerors!

On behalf of my household, Happy Easter 2020.

Temidayo Taiwo-Sidiq (Ariyo)

Here’s how you can overcome fear in this season of Lockdown

“Being aware of your fear is smart but overcoming it is the mark of a successful person.”

Some months ago, I was making inquiries about microwave ovens and needed someone to recommend a trusted brand to me. In anxiety, knowing that my sister had one, I reached out to her and she tried discouraging me completely from getting one.

She told me that they had abandoned theirs because it causes cancer. Like I treat advice gotten from close family members, friends and associates, I didn’t turn it down because I saw that it came from a place of care, so I promised her I was going to do my research on it. Eventually, I saw that it wasn’t totally harmful like it was painted to be, but I learnt a lot from the research.

For the purpose of saving time, I would just share three major findings from the research:
“…Food cooked in a microwave oven does not become “radioactive”. Nor does any microwave energy remain in the cavity or the food after the microwave oven is switched off. In this respect, microwaves act just like light; when the light bulb is turned off, no light remains.”

“Microwave energy does not penetrate well in thicker pieces of food, and may produce uneven cooking. This can lead to a health risk if parts of the food are not heated sufficiently to kill potentially dangerous micro-organisms. Because of the potential for uneven distribution of cooking, food heated in a microwave oven should rest for several minutes after cooking is completed to allow the heat to distribute throughout the food.”

“Only dishes and containers specifically designed for microwave cooking should be used.” I however avoid using plastics altogether, since I am not sure of which is suitable or not.

You can study more on it from this article by the World Health Organisation.

The above story (as it relates to context), is definitely a phenomenon many of us would be able to relate with. We all have fears based on experiences, phobia or even as a result of anxiety disorder (mental health).

Fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm.

It would therefore amount to sheer ignorance to posit that ‘having fear’ is weird or abominable, because “being scared is part of being alive,” but living in fear is dangerous. All you need do is accept it and walk through it.

Doing this, is acting courageously because taking wrong decisions at a time like this may lead to regret(s) in the long run. Greek philosopher Plato, describes courage as knowing what not to fear.

Globally, in times of crisis, people either respond or react. One of the common phenomena during such times is the propagation of “conspiracy theories;” a theory that explains an event or set of circumstances as the result of a secret plot by usually powerful conspirators.

Conspiracy theories thrive on emotions and populism. It demands that you suspend logic for emotions and in this age of the internet and social media, it takes only one person to make any such theory viral. One share, retweet, repost, broadcast is enough to make it reach the ends of the earth.

What men don’t understand, they mystify. But it takes just one person to step back and think and such a cycle is broken. Most importantly, from history, every time a great invention is about to greet the earth; for the fear of uncertainty, it is usually antagonised with such theories.

All you need do is to exercise your power of choice and withhold acting on such information immediately. Interrogate the source of such information and most often than not, you will find that it can’t stand the test of authenticity or logic. This may however be difficult for you if you are a pessimist naturally.

In taking control and managing your fear, you would need to seek for perspective or paradigm shift to respond in place of “reacting.”

Here are 7 keys to Winning over Fear in a Lockdown:

Know your fear trigger

In the words of Tim Ferriss, “Fear is your friend. It is an indicator. Sometimes it shows you what you shouldn’t do, more often than not it shows you what you should do.” Just knowing what makes you afraid and why can be the first step to sorting out problems with fear. If you do not know what is likely to trigger fear in you, you may have signed up to live by the flash of the next breaking news.

Keep yourself productively engaged

If you are working from home, this may not be much of an issue for you. If you are not, get yourself quality distraction by drawing up a reading schedule, engage in educational games, learn a skill, watch inspirational messages on YouTube. Just ensure that your mind is productively engaged. Many smart people know that Crisis creates opportunities.

Don’t binge on the news

As a journalist, working mainly in the online space, I can tell you for free that most headlines are crafted to be sensational and get your attention, especially in a world where we have short attention span. Studies have also shown that people react and engage negative or mysterious news than positives. I however do not work for platforms that do terrible click bait or mislead people with headlines.

Trying to keep tab on the news will certainly leave you anxious and more worried. While you shouldn’t abandon being informed altogether, it is wiser to stay away from monitoring breaking news. Looking out for breaking news is the fastest way to develop a heart break in times like these.

Avoid Uncoordinated WhatsApp Groups
A Japanese proverb says “fear is only as deep as the mind allows.” The mind has several gateways and it is important to realise that whatever enters, shows up in your life. Being a member of WhatsApp group where broadcasts are unregulated is one of the easiest ways to live in perpetual fear.

Mute, archive or exit such groups.

Act from a place of knowledge rather than fear

Do a personal research on topics that alot of people dwell on before taking a position, to avoid sounding stupid in the future. Take a moment to check if there have been similar occurences in the past, how people reacted to it and the eventual outcome.

Seek for authentic websites that give a roundup or summary of the stats, implications and effects. Eg. Deep Dive on YNaija.com, BeatingCorona.ng, etc.

Give yourself permission to trust the authorities
While trust is earned and not a gift, the period of Lockdown isn’t the best of times to doubt information from the authorities (especially health.) It is apparent that the health authorities have more knowledge on the current crisis than you as a citizen because they handle the issues from the frontline.

Give them the benefit of doubt while you arm yourself with information.

Pray for wisdom

As a Christian, I would recommend any day that in times of uncertainty, prayer is a key factor in helping to maintain your cool.

This enables you to download God’s perspective on the issue and in many cases, by praying and hearing from God yourself, even when you don’t know what to do, you definitely know what not to do.


In all you do, you may not be responsible for what you hear but take responsibility for what you share as you may be feeding a global cycle of fear.

Remember that fear does not stop death, it stops life, and there will surely be life after COVID-19.

Stay Fear-less!

It’s 10 years today since I became a Father

 “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.

2 Corinthians 1:20

 

It’s 5:10am

At about this time on April 4, 2010. It was Easter Sunday and I had woken up from what seemed to be a nightmare. I got up to pray afterward and minutes later, I called my Mum to inquire of my Dad’s condition, only to hear my sister crying over the phone:

“Temidayo, Daddy is gone!” He had been admitted on Holy Tuesday at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) after he woke up partially paralyzed.

So many thoughts ran through my mind. Surrounded by my cousins and others, I cried aloud “how old am I to have lost my Dad at this age?” “How are we going to cope?” “God, why!!??”

In my head, day after day, as I made key preparations for the burial on Saturday, the bright future I had always envisaged had shifted. All I saw looked bleak, gloomy, hazy and survival (it would seem) was all that was within reach; especially now that a huge factor in the equation was gone. It was like my world had ended.

Mr. Hassan Taiwo-Sidiq2

Dozens of calls and ‘texts’ of condolences came, others trooped down to visit the house. It was one of the busiest weeks of my life ever. In the consolation messages, some would say: “Brace up, you are the man of the house now.” “Stay strong and take care of your mum and sister, you are the father now.”  It was one of the most torturous weeks for me. Too many things were happening I couldn’t understand nor explain. He was laid to rest and ‘life’ after dad’s exit started.

Days and weeks passed, things were beginning to look different. We were beginning to accept the reality of life. Sadly again, we lost Dad’s twin brother. My sister had now joined me at the university, Mum was back to her business after a long time mourning indoors. Life was beginning to take shape and we were beginning to make progress after all.

Days and weeks passed, my philosophy about a lot of things in life (death, religion and a whole lot) was stealthily changing. Giving up was no longer an option, the fire to succeed and put the family’s name on the walls of fame had been ignited. Unsurprisingly, my sister graduated and I followed suit.

Taiwo-Sidiq

Days and weeks passed, I opened my business venture, my sister was getting married and the memories were rekindled. We cried at the wedding ceremony when his picture was displayed but it was a different cry this time. These tears were mixed with joy. We were thankful after all; none of our lives ended because ‘his’ did. That was a watershed moment for the many breakthroughs that were to come.

Days and weeks passed, grace kept speaking in all facets of our lives as a family. Dad has been blessed with a grand daughter, albeit in his absence. The family was beginning to expand. Full of optimism, unwavering faith in God, we triumphed day after day.

A friend sent me a birthday message in 2017 with some words that meant everything to me: “Dayo, your life is a testimony that God lives. Who would think that it will all turn out this way?” Nobody thought so, but God did. “His thoughts towards us are not of evil, but of peace.” Of a truth, every time our backs are against the wall, God stands in, that we may not cave in.

It’s 10 years today and I am here to say; not once did God fail us! He proved himself as our father in the heavenly. And for every time we wondered in anxiety, what the future held, he held our calm instead and promised us rest. The life we live as a family today inspires hundreds out there and it couldn’t have been by our power.

If you lost a loved one and you are fixed on how life will ever be arranged, be encouraged. We may take his faithfulness for granted in times of rejoicing but the renewal of same is best felt when ‘life happens to us.’

Psalm 30:5 (NLT) says “Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” God’s faithfulness is the joy that comes ‘with’ the morning. He renews it not at night, but in the morning. Regardless of what you are going through beloved, if you can see the morning ahead, that is an assurance of his steadfast love.

Mr. Hassan Taiwo-Sidiq

Baami, Hassan Taiwo-Sidiq, it’s 10 years today since we submitted to it as God’s will and nothing else but grace is our testimony! Thanks be to God, Father to the Fatherless.

May your abode in heaven be reserved and your memory on earth be forever preserved. We will meet again.

So help us, God.

Temidayo Taiwo-Sidiq                                                                                                                      4th April, 2020

 

So Thankful | Musings of the Overcomer

Dearly Beloved,

It’s my #BirthdayAnniversary today and there’s so much to exalt God for in this past year, in this new year and indeed, since my birth.

Over the last 7 days, I penned down memories and reflections about my life since my last birthday anniversary in a series titled #Un4gottenBenefits and shared on this blog.

I have therefore chosen amongst many others, this medium to most specifically appreciate God for counting me privileged of his love to be alive today and for not withholding anything good from me in the last one year

Also, while trying to sum up all of these #Un4gottenBenefits, i discovered that nothing best describes my story in the aforementioned period more than being #TheOverComer.

Indeed, i am getting BETTER, WISER, HEALTHIER and WEALTHIER everyday.

And on this 15th day of October 2019; may I receive more than ever the capacity to bless, inspire, impact and transform more lives to his glory through Christ our Lord.

Temidayo Taiwo-Sidiq

Far from a fairy tale

We have become his poetry, a re-created people that will fulfill the destiny he has given each of us, for we are joined to Jesus, the Anointed One. Even before we were born, God planned in advance our destiny and the good works we would do to fulfill it!

Ephesians 2:10 [The Passion Translation]

Ooops….! Day 7 is here. We are finally at the climax of my #Un4gottenBenefits series and on this day, i am grateful for the benefit of purpose discovery and maximisation.

Over the last 6 days, i have shared testimonies in the areas of divine healing, rewarding relationships, career growth, a peace-filled year, talents, gifts and skills (TGS) as well as personal development. It would all amount to a fairy tale however, without expressing gratitude for the ability to live the last one year within purpose.

For me, my purpose became clearer after graduation from Ministry School earlier in the year and it was a joyous experience having confirmation for what the Holy Spirit had dropped in my heart years back. I just cannot be more grateful.

Interestingly, I have continued to pursue dreams and work on visions within the last one year with this excitement and not a single of these was done outside purpose. The divine hand of God keeps steering me along the right path. What a mighty God we serve!

Called to share to men, the knowledge of God and to help visions stand strong, we will continue to march on and the gates of hades will not prevail against us.

A big thanks to you for taking out the last 7 days to be part of my storytelling. It’s my birthday anniversary tomorrow and I implore you to also share (as short as possible) stories about #Un4gottenBenefits (using the hashtag) you’ve gained from your association with me.

Sweet Dreams.


Temidayo Taiwo-Sidiq

Compere Ariyo

The universe conspired for my sake

And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.

― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

 

One day more and my #Un4gottenBenefits series will finally come to a climax. *Mixed feelings.*

It’s been an exciting yet thought-provoking journey, considering the fact that there’s always someone special (talking about you) on the other side to read these stories.

One benefit I can hardly forget between my last birthday anniversary are the opportunities for personal development that have been opened to me.

This is instructive because I had committed myself in June 2015, to a Continuous Quality Improvement Culture (CQIC) through training annually and indeed, no year has gone by without this goal coming to fruition since then. The success of getting trained in whatever field or skill hasn’t come without challenges especially when factors as finance and convenience of time are put into perspective.

The way and manner I fulfilled the goal of attending two prized trainings in this year makes me look back with smiles. I had pencilled down enrolling for a basic programme at the Daystar Leadership Academy (DLA), and three months into the year, I received a mail from Talent (HR) at work detailing payment and class schedule for me to attend the first batch at the academy campus for 2 weeks. How overjoyed I was!

What’s the gist?

Late 2018, I had concluded on taking a course in Radio Journalism to broaden my knowledge of journalism (broadcast). Having made thorough enquiries about the best way to go, it would appear that a 9-week course (Monday to Friday) at the National Broadcast Academy was the only solution. The concerns that followed this bothered on how I could deal with staying away from work for 2 months and 1 week.

Amazingly, one month before I registered for the programme, the Holy Spirit led me to a Twitter ad about a radio course at the Broadcast Radio Master Class (BRMC). It was to last for ‘5 weekends’ and with the option of internship at a reputable radio station. I screamed in excitement. It sounded too good to be true.

I did the training and to the glory of God, even though my goal was to achieve this before the end of the year. it happened within the first half of the year! So much to be grateful for.

“The decision to remain stagnant is no different from a decision to remain irrelevant.” “God doesn’t only give you what you pray for, he would most likely give you what you prepare for.”

Don’t miss the last episode tomorrow. Thanks for reading.


Temidayo Taiwo-Sidiq
Compere Ariyo

How did I even get here?

Just as each one of you has received a special gift [a spiritual talent, an ability graciously given by God], employ it in serving one another as [is appropriate for] good stewards of God’s multi-faceted grace [faithfully using the diverse, varied gifts and abilities granted to Christians by God’s unmerited favor].

1 Peter 4:10 Amplified Bible

 

It’s Day 5 of my #Un4gottenBenefits series and i am grateful for my talents, gifts and skills (TGS).

I can hardly seperate my current position in life from the use of my gifts and the unrelenting pursuit of growth. While the extent to which this attitude and my ‘TGS’ has propelled me is best defined by God’s grace and favour made avaialble to me per time, it will amount to sheer pretence to not acknowledge the leverage that the former has brought thus far.

Tonight, in taking stock of my wins, influence and blessings in the last one year, it is evident that most of these phenomena are traceable to the divine abilities of either oratory, writing or administration. I cannot but exalt God for the benefit of pure wisdom to deploy these gifts wisely, timely and selflessly.

I am so grateful that by the help of God, i doing my best daily to match the grace of God resident upon me with actions inspired by purpose rather than survival. Like my Man of God once said: “Grace can be present but not active.” Of a truth, when not acted upon “Grace can be wasted.”

I look forward to higher opportunities and heights in the coming years, for we haven’t arrived but have surely left where we used to be.

Thank you for finding time to read. Feel free to share your feedback from this episode or previous episodes with me. Tommorow is another day.


Temidayo Taiwo-Sidiq

Compere Ariyo

As long as it depends on me

Be cheerful with joyous celebration in every season of life. Let joy overflow, for you are united with the Anointed One! Let gentleness be seen in every relationship, for our Lord is ever near.

Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life, then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will make the answers known to you through Jesus Christ.

Philippians 4:4-7 [The Passion Translation] 

Dear Friend,

On this 4th day of my #Un4gottenBenefits series, please join me in exalting God for my spiritual walk; the grace to influence lives positively and to live peaceably with all men.

Most remarkably, i am grateful for the benefit of a peace-filled year.

Trials and worrying situations may have come, but the grace of God helped at critical times to hold my calm. It’s been common to hear me refer to myself as the one who is hardly unsettled by ‘the worries of life,’ leaving my risk factor in this regard to situations surrounding my relationship with people. This indeed made me master the art of seeking clarification rather making assumptions.

Succintly put, i’d rarely draw up conjectures on your gestures instead of asking for the intention behind your action. Only the grace of God has helped me live this way without allowing any man seize me as a captive of malice or bitterness.

It’s a thing of joy to look forward to a new year as always, with no one declared as my enemy, hater, competitor or that of my family. The words of scripture remain evergreen in guiding me and can do same for you. Check it out:

If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. (Romans 12:18)

Ooops! We have 3 days left. Anyways, trust you will share this and return back tomorrow.

Good Evening.


Temidayo Taiwo-Sidiq

Compere Ariyo

It’s 10 years in One

Do not despise this small beginning, for the eyes of the Lord rejoice to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. For these seven lamps represent the eyes of the Lord that see everywhere around the world.

Zechariah 4:10 Living Bible (TLB)

 

The period between my last birthday anniversary and now has been phenomenal in terms of career growth.

It’s Day 3 and i am grateful for the #Un4gottenBenefits of exposure, increased wins and a few mistakes in the unending-learning process of becoming a seasoned journalist.

By the side, i am always tempted to look back to 2011 when i started working as an undergraduate with a meagre ‘take home’ pay that could barely take me to the junction. More so, having participated in the sweeping trend of ‘#10YearChallenge’ on our various social media platforms back in January, which turned out to be about who looked better in the collages. By benefit of hindsight, it would seem like i have done in one year, what i have tried doing in 10 years.

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Inspite of few years of experience, it is a year that has seen me hone my skills as a fast-growing ‘media administrator,’ opening up a totally different (but equally effecient dimension of my being); having been saddled with responsibilities to routinely manage key projects, execute multi-partnership agreements, lead the company (in acting capacity) on multiple occassions and most recently, take on the onerous task of defending the strategy and financial projections for the company before the leadership of the group. One can hardly look back or even ahead in ingratitude.

How can I even forget the outstanding opportunity to get trained as a Broadcast Radio Journalist in so short a time than i ever envisaged? Purpose is coming to bare. Hallelujah!

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As i shutdown this computer, my conviction is that the road to career success may be not be doubtless, but if one is dauntless, possibilities are endless.

In case you didn’t get the gist; the best way to start is to start!

Let’s do this again tommorow.


Temidayo Taiwo-Sidiq

Compere Ariyo