It's a brand new day, month and year and I thank God for being a part of it. Yes. I want to start this article by thanking God for his protection and guidance in the past year. I don't know about you but 2017 was a year of multiple blessings for me. I have never had it so good. I had breakthroughs financially. I did networking in ways I never thought possible. They all paid off. I got my new car. My kids excelled in their studies. I attended my very first Synod as a delegate. I made new friends who have turned my world around in so short a time. I could go on and on. It truly was good for me and I can only give all glory to Him who made it possible. When I think of all the burial ceremonies I attended in the last year and all the burial posters I saw occupying walls and billboards, I quietly lift my heart to the heavens and say a simple prayer of thanks to God. The greatest gift we have is the gift of Jesus Christ who is the author and finisher of our fate. That we are alive in spite of our numerous sins is a miracle in itself. I drive from Onitsha every day to Awka to work and see a lot of accidents on a regular basis. Isn't it by God's special grace that I haven't been involved in any? If I had to reel out God's blessings to me in 2017, I would go on and on. He is faithful and his mercies endure forever.
It's the first week in the New Year, alright and by the time you'll be reading this, I would have taken the kids back to Onitsha as they would commence school next week. I am so glad they had so much fun and I actually feel good that they experienced every part of the festivities here in the village. My kids have always loved spending Christmas in my town, Urualla just like me and it has actually been worth the while every year. I salute all our dear readers this first week of the New Year. This is praying that all your dreams and aspirations for 2018 will come to fulfilment through Christ our Lord. Amen.
For those who took things easy during the preparations of the Christmas celebration, I say a big congratulations to you all. It's over and we have come back to reality. For those who saw it as a do or die affair and went extra miles just to be among the happening celebrants of the season, well, it's time to face the music. Like I keep saying, Christmas is a yearly event that has been on for over 2000 years now and will still be on in the next 2000 years and beyond. That is why it should be celebrated with restraint. Did you borrow money to spend during the yuletide? Well, I hope you know that it's time to start getting ready to pay back. Did you pay your children's school fees before travelling for Christmas? A big congratulations to you. You are a winner. One of my in-laws told me that he paid his daughter's school fees on the 20th of December and I envied him. He said her school fees was the highest among that of all his children which was why he always made sure he paid every December before travelling down for the holidays. According to him, all he had now was to pay for the other three who were in primary school. It wasn't a problem because he still had some weeks of grace before their school authorities would demand for the fees. Besides, their school fees were not much compared to that of his daughter who attended a very expensive secondary school. When he told me this, I silently made a resolve to try and do same in the next yuletide. It's called planning. My mother always told us back then that whenever you fail to plan, you have planned to fail. This are words of wisdom which didn't really mean anything to me back then. Now I know what those words mean.
It's a New Year and I know it's time for a lot of people to reel out their New Year resolutions like we are all wont to do. It's actually a beautiful thing because when you say you want to make New Year Resolutions, it simply points to the fact that there are things you didn't do well in the previous year that you want to do better or even things you did not do at all that you want to start doing. My son told me that from this 2018, he will visit the less privileged on his birthday and spend at least one hour with them. I was certainly proud of him. The funny thing about these New Year resolutions, however is that most times, we make a very long list of them but end up not keeping them. We might observe them for a few weeks or a few months and then we toss them aside and continue with our normal living. This has been my own personal experience too. However, I think the reason for this is that we do not make achievable resolutions. We always set standards that are too high for us to maintain. For example, you might say that your New Year resolution is that you will give your parish one hundred thousand naira every month as a tithe offering. It's all good. However, if you do not have the resources to provide such an amount per month, your New Year resolution holds no water. It's unachievable. So, no matter how much God loves a cheerful giver, remember that God looks at the heart first of all before any other thing. So, pay your tithes promptly. That's what He wants. My point is, you can make that resolution achievable by saying, 'I will always pay my tithe every month unfailingly'. That will be more achievable. God loves a sincere heart. There are so many resolutions that might seem simple, but yet are very deep. For instance, I know a lady who has never really taken going for confessions seriously. She keeps saying she finds it awkward talking to her Parish Priest about her sins. According to her. she has not received Holy Communion for years because of this. However, God arrested her during the Christmas Retreat in her Parish a few weeks to Christmas through a visiting priest that handled the retreat. After the end of the one week program, she was among those that went for confessions and she said she felt like a heavy load has just been pulled off her back. Her New Year resolution is that she must attend confession twelve times this year. This is certainly a very achievable New Year resolution. I encourage her if she is reading this to commit it to God in prayers to give her the grace with which to achieve this resolution for her own good and to His glory. To you all reading this, I pray that whatever your hearts desire this 2018, the Good Lord will grant it in abundance through Christ our Lord. Amen.
It's a new year and I have just one resolution. My resolution is to be a better person. I know that by His grace, it will be a reality, through Christ our Lord. Are there things you didn't do well in the past year? This is the time to make amends. Are there visions, dreams or aspirations you nursed in the past year but which died with time? This is the time to dream again and make them come to life. Are there people you offended and refused to mend fences with? This is the time to reconcile with them and build bridges once again. Life is really simple if we take it the way it comes. Again, humility is a virtue. Humble your selves and you can melt every heart. What kind of father are you? How have you handled the home as the head of the family? According to God's dictates? Or otherwise? What kind of woman are you, dear reader? How have you managed the home as the home manager? According to God's dictates and that of our Mother Mary? Or otherwise? And you the youth reading this page, how do you live your life? Do you live it as a prospective leader of tomorrow or as people who have no business being entrusted with the future of our country? Where have we failed as men, women and children? What are our shortcomings and inadequacies in this lifetime? Are they so bad that we can't ever get things right?
Well, I have a message this New Year and it's a very simple one. The greatest gift we have as Christians is the gift of our Lord Jesus Christ. We can do all things through Him because He is our strength. Let us take the bull by the horns and make declarations. This 2018 is not for failure or pains or tears. It is for breakthrough in all spheres of our lives. We have probably made mistakes in the past but it's never too late to make amends. Break new records, conquer new grounds, break strong shackles and do everything to announce a new you. It's never too late to get it right. God is the ultimate author of our fate. Turn to Him and everything will be alright. Congratulations to the BRAND NEW YOU!!!