Insecurity: Nigerian Army involved in operations in 33 states – Ndume

Ali Ndume decried the worsening security situation in the north

Source: Insecurity: Nigerian Army involved in operations in 33 states – Ndume

5 Tips to Successful Blogging

WP Blog

WP ExpertBlogging November 4, 2020

We are all aware how blogging can change the life of people around the world. From ordinary everyday bloggers to readers of those blogs, the information shared has touched many lives and changed the direction of many people.  Blogs have a powerful influence on people worldwide and the opportunity it offers to share knowledge and ideas is second to none these days.  After all, how else can you tap into such a huge current and free collective knowledge of many in an easy and low-cost way?

If you are keen to be a successful blogger, here are five tips to help you achieve this easily. 

Tip#1: Passion

You need to have a burning passion for the job at hand before you can expect to create something spectacular.  When you are blogging, passion is an indispensable element that must be available before you can expect to churn out exciting posts for your readers.

Tip #2: Consistency AdvertisementReport this ad

You need to be consistent with your blogging work or y7uo will lose the readership of your visitors. Be sure to establish the regular time for you to post to your blog and keep up with this schedule.  It would make it easier for your visitor to connect if there is a fixed schedule they can expect you to make the next post.

Tp#3: Responsive

Enable those comments form on your blog.  This is a great way to connect with your visitors and make them feel a deeper sense of rapport with you. You will be more likely to have a loyal bunch of visitors to your b log if you regularly interact with them through this comment form and post your replies rather than being an obscure, unreachable persona in the blogosphere.

Tip#4: Manners

Mind your manners even when you are blogging anonymously on the web.  Being in the virtual environment is no excuse for you to use abusive language, slang words that will turn off your visitors or post offensive materials on the web.  If you want people to respect you then always strive to create a close and respectable relationship between you and your visitors.

Tip#5: Informative

Be sure all your post contains at least one or two information that your visitors can use right way.  People are always looking for information that can change their lives and informative posts are crucial to ensure they come back again and again to your blog. The information you give must be unique and new and nothing that be found easily on the Internet. If you can come up with new and novel ideas, then hare it on your blog. This is the most powerful way to get more visitors to your site and retain the existing ones. 

There are five extremely easy to follow and yet highly effective blogging tips that all successful bloggers share.  If you can keep up with the blogging effort and maintain quality over a period of time, it would be easy for you to achieve whatever goals you may have with your blogging work.

A Fiercely Christian Nation Became Fanatically Islamic – Raymond Ibrahim

One of the benefits of Adel Guindy’s new book, A Sword Over the Nile: A Brief History of the Copts Under Islamic Rule, is that it implicitly answers an important question: how and why did non-Muslim nations become Islamic?  In this case, how did Egypt go from being overwhelmingly Christian in the seventh century, to […]

Source: How a Fiercely Christian Nation Became Fanatically Islamic – Raymond Ibrahim

Holy Indignation and the Grace of Lamentation

By Fr. Robert P. Imbelli Thursday, November 5, 2020

One of the strongest links binding Jews and Christians is Israel’s Prayer Book: the Book of Psalms. The Psalms permeate the Church’s liturgy. They are chanted or prayed at every Eucharist. They provide the ongoing cantus firmus for the Liturgy of the Hours.

Every fourth week at Tuesday Vespers, the Church prays Psalm 137, uniting with Israel in her bitter lament at deportation and exile. “By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept, remembering Zion!”

Here, as everywhere, the Church gratefully draws upon the riches of Israel’s spiritual legacy in its own liturgy. However, it would be more accurate to confess that too often it does so only partially. For, in the case of some of the Psalms in the Breviary, a willful truncating and excising has been inflicted.

For example, of the nine verses of Psalm 137, three have been eliminated. The Psalmist’s lamentation at the dire fate that has befallen Israel is cut short at the point where he hurls the terrible imprecation against his foes: “O daughter of Babylon. . .happy shall he be who takes your little ones and dashes them against the rock!”

Thus, rather than confront the harsh invective of the Psalmist, the Breviary chooses to ignore it. And it does so at its peril. For the psalms in their unedited fullness incomparably express the scope and urgency of our need for redemption. To diminish the depth of the human predicament serves only to trivialize the salvation that Jesus effects.

Bereft of the Old Testament’s anguished struggle for faith, the Gospel can appear existentially rootless. It loses the spiritual challenge to hold in an always fraught tension both justice and reconciliation, both truth and mercy. For compromising justice and truth only leads to a counterfeit mercy and a contrived reconciliation.

It is only in Christ that so arduous a commitment can be endured and resolved. Saint Augustine, in his Christological praying of Psalm 137, transposes the final verses of the Psalm into an exploration of the spiritual struggle that every Christian confronts, the struggle against his and her wayward desires and simmering animosities.

Then, drawing upon Paul, Augustine daringly identifies Christ as the rock of resolution, leading not to death, but to new life. “Let the Rock conquer. Be built upon the Rock, if you desire not to be swept away either by the stream, or the winds, or the rain. . . .Dash these unholy desires against the Rock; and that Rock is Christ.” (1Cor 10:4) Augustine does not engage in excision or denial of spirit-rending verses and urges, but shows the way to their transformation in Christ.

* These considerations arose as I pondered the Vatican’s response to the recent martyrdom of the three Christians in the Basilica of Notre Dame at Nice this past week. Matteo Bruni, Director of the Holy See Press Office, declared: “Terrorism and violence can never be accepted. Today’s attack has sown death in a place of love and consolation, like the house of the Lord. The Pope. . .prays for the victims and their loved ones, so that the violence may cease, so that we may return to look upon ourselves as brothers and sisters and not as enemies, so that the beloved people of France, united, may respond to evil with good.”

The Gospel surely calls us to more than such a pallid response, such an anodyne appeal to respond “to evil with good.” Where, in this bureaucratic Vatican-speak, does one find that “parrhesia” extolled in theory, but so woefully missing in action?

The Spirit surely calls the Church to name the concrete evil that afflicts us and to celebrate the surpassing good for which we long. Let us not wander in the wasteland of empty abstractions, nor refrain from speaking of conversion to Christ, the true Rock of our salvation.

In hope of finding a more robust reflection, one turns to the pope’s “Angelus Address” on the Feast of All Saints. The readings of the day seem providentially directed to the martyrdoms perpetrated that very week.

The reading from the Book of Revelation offers for prayerful contemplation the striking image of those whose garments had been washed white in the Blood of the Lamb. And the Beatitudes of the Gospel culminate in the blessing pronounced upon those “persecuted for the sake of righteousness.”

And, so as not to deprive contemporary disciples of the lasting challenge, the Gospel concludes: “Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.” Because of me. No nameless “evil” is envisioned, but hatred of Christ.

No nameless “good” is proclaimed, but rejoicing with Christ. The yearning for the denunciation of very specific evil, however, and the annunciation of distinctive Christian hope proved vain. In his Address, the pope spoke of the second and third Beatitudes, of the blessedness of mourning and meekness. Though valid, these generalities could have been written months before the tragic event in Nice. They were pitifully inadequate to the concrete reality of desolation and lamentation experienced by so many of Christ’s disciples who look to the Successor of Peter to confirm them in the faith.

In his short comments after the Angelus, Pope Francis made mention of the armed clashes in Nagorno-Karabakh and of the recent earthquake in the Aegean Sea. But nary a word about the Christian martyrs of Nice.

Paul, Apostle and Martyr, wrote boldly to the Corinthians: “This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.” (1Cor 4:1) Not as dispensers of a graceless consolation – from which Christ has been all but excised.

This Day in History: Nov. 5

Encyclopaedia Britannica

Guy Fawkes; Gunpowder Plot 1605 – Gunpowder Plot Celebrated with fireworks as Guy Fawkes Day, this English holiday marks the anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot, when Roman Catholics led by Robert Catesby tried to blow up Parliament, the king, and his family this day in 1605.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

1940 – Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected to an unprecedented third term as president of the United States.

World War I

1914 – France and Britain declared war on Turkey, widening the conflict of World War I.

Reduce decision fatigue


Marlene Chism November 2, 20204 hacks to reduce decision fatigue Pexels image/SmartBrief illustration

The brain has limited resources for decision-making, and in a world where most of us are drowning in choices, it’s easy to lose momentum.

Most leaders understand the concept of making difficult decisions early in the day, yet still experience decision fatigue due to unhealthy habits. Here are four hacks to reduce decision-fatigue and make you a more effective leader.

1. Start from intention

An intention is more powerful than a goal because intentions include the invisible elements like connection, emotion, meaning, and even identity. In other words, an intention is not just about outcome, but also about purpose and journey. Think of an intention as a goal with a soul.

Starting from intention even supports management activities such as initiating a difficult conversation. Your goal might be to improve an employee’s performance, but the intention is to improve performance, support the employee and uncover obstacles standing in way. A solid intention considers more than just a financial outcome or productivity output. 

If you’ve ever had a conversation go south when you thought you were clear, chances are you had some hidden intentions or unresolved emotions you were unaware of. To paraphrase Gary Zukav, author of “Seat of the Soul”: if you don’t know your intention before a conversation, you will know it afterwards.

2. Face the truth

There’s a saying in recovery groups: “You’re only as sick as your secrets.” If you don’t tell yourself the truth, you don’t have an accurate measure of your starting place. As an example, consider the painful realization that you need to lose weight. You can avoid the scales all you want, but if you are 100 pounds overweight, you are 100 pounds overweight whether you know it or not. You can’t fix what you don’t acknowledge.

We need two points of reference — the intention and the truth of the situation — to “move energy” and gain traction. The “truth” is not just about the numbers but also about how you experience of the situation. This kind of truth-telling requires self-awareness.

For example, if you deny that you feel resentful about your employee’s behavior, that resentment leaks out in the conversation. If you don’t admit that you feel nervous about initiating the conversation, you’ll appease or avoid in an effort to manage your emotions. There’s a benefit to being self-aware and honest: The more truthful you are about your own emotions, the easier it is to read other people’s emotions.

3. Create constraints

Making choices taxes your brain. There’s only so much energy for the purpose of decision-making, and when you start your morning trying to decide between thousands of drink options at, say, a coffee shop, you’re already behind the eight ball.

One way to relieve decision fatigue is to create constraints, alternately known as forcing functions.  While most of us consider constraints as a barrier, a consciously constructed constraint speeds up decision-making, reduces mental fatigue and can even increase creativity.

For example, if you need to start a project but you have too many options about how to use your time, create a time constraint. You have one hour to get started. Set the clock, work for an hour. You’ll be amazed how focused you become. Now rinse and repeat every day. You’ve now created a constraint that includes a time of day, and an amount of time every day.

4. Embrace discomfort

When it comes to growth, comfort is not a requirement. The habits you’ve developed might make you feel overwhelmed, distracted and frustrated, but these chemicals have become part of your comfort zone. We humans become addicted to the chemicals of adrenaline, cortisol, and the various hormones that contribute to feelings of anger, frustration, irritation and impatience.

Decision-making is easier when we give up the need for comfort and the urge to be right. Breaking addictions requires a commitment to feeling the discomfort. When in the midst of behavioral change, you’ll want your fix; whether it’s an outburst, a distraction or rushing to catch up on an overdue project. When you decide to change you will be uncomfortable. Period. End of story.


Good leadership requires good decision-making. Good decision making requires energy and energy needs constant renewal. When you start from a clear intention, accept the truth of your current reality, create constraints to conserve brain power and embrace the discomfort of growth, you expand decision-making capacity and increase leadership effectiveness.

Actions That Cripple A Leader

By Ron Edmondson November 3, 2020

There are some things that can quickly cripple a leader. 

I’m constantly thinking how I can help people on our team improve as leaders. Of course, in order for that to happen it means I must constantly be improving as a leader. I realize our team’s potential to get better at leading others is limited to the extent I am willing to become a better leader.

I’ve learned along the way to being a better leader that there are some things which simply keep leaders from being effective. I used the word “cripple” in the title and I don’t think that is too strong a word. The things I’m going to list have all crippled me during seasons of my leadership. There are some actions or characteristics which can simply derail a leader’s potential for success if not identified and addressed.

Understanding these and disciplining ourselves to avoid them can make us better leaders.

7 actions which can cripple a leader:

Trying to personally handle too much.

Too many changes at one time. Or having too much on your plate. Refusing to delegate. You can only do so much and when you try to do more you almost always lose efficiency and effectiveness.

Years ago, I realized this as our church plant was growing quickly. I was trying to meet with people, be active in the community, lead our staff and organizational structure and still preach effectively on Sunday. Something had to give. I started giving some things away and it was amazing how much better my messages became on Sunday – and how much more effective I was in my other responsibilities.

Refusing to rest.

Resting isn’t just a nice quote on a 10 commandments plaque. It’s a command for a reason. Our bodies and minds need time to rejuvenate and recover. Burnout is almost always a result of leaders who fail to say no or are never still.

I have had more than one hard learning curve in this area. Thankfully, I’ve matured and now I can say the more stressful the season the more I discipline myself to exercise and get away from the office. In the busier than normal season I don’t have to work harder, but smarter.

Allowing critics voices to dominate.

You will always have critics. And, you shouldn’t ignore learning from them – even when you don’t agree with them. As leaders, we must remain humble and teachable. But, this doesn’t mean we allow the dominant voice to be those who aren’t even supportive of leadership or where we are leading. In my experience, most of the time there are some people that are critics regardless of who is leader.

I’ll never forget the time this one lady continued to blast me about the “satanic” music our church sang. It wasn’t satanic at all. In fact, we were careful with our lyrics on every song we used in our worship services. The problem was it wasn’t her style. For a while I let this haunt me every Sunday. I was paranoid what others might be saying. But then I realized there were lots of people who were better engaging in worship because of our style. Plus, there were plenty of other churches which might have more closely aligned with her preference. I couldn’t allow her preference to control what was leading a couple thousand other people in worship every week.

Ignoring the hard decisions.

Leadership isn’t needed if we simply manage status quo. Leadership takes people to unknown places. This requires change – and change can be uncomfortable. Let me correct that – change is always uncomfortable – to someone. In my experience, leadership is often crippled until someone is willing to make the hard decisions. As leaders we must not lead to be popular, but to do right things to achieve the worthy, pre-established visions of our organization.

This has been true so many times as we have had to change or stop programming in an established church. I’ve learned “we’ve always done it this way” is rarely true. When a church is over 100 years old there’s nearly nothing done the same way it was when the church started. They’ve simply done it that way long enough to be comfortable. But, part of our success has been the willingness to move forward – strategically and cautiously – with needed improvements towards our vision. This has included hard decisions involving programming, but even harder decisions regarding people. (And, the people decisions are always the hardest – but, sometimes the ones most needed.)

Controlling everything.

When the leader has to know everything happening in the organization or when they are paranoid because they don’t, we know there is crippled leadership somewhere – either with the leader or those being led. Most leaders don’t want to be surprised on major things, but when they have to be intimately involved in every decision and every detail it usually indicates they don’t trust their team. That’s crippling to any leader – and the team.

I’ve always been pretty good at delegating. It may have come when we bought a small manufacturing company and I was completely in over my head as a leader. I quickly realized if I was going to have any success I had to release control and trust other people – often people more qualified in areas than me. That learning experience has surely helped me as a pastor.


Rome wasn’t built in a day. And, neither are healthy organizations. Leaders must learn to have patience and perseverance, even when those on the team are growing weary. Many times we quit just before the turnaround.

I have sat with so many pastors – especially attempting revitalization – who were short-term at their churches – not because the work was finished, but because they were not patient with how long the process of change was taking. The best leadership happens over seasons and years – not over days and weeks.

Developing a sense of entitlement.

The leader who ever feels they’ve “arrived”, stops learning, or begins to take all the credit for success in the organization has become a very crippled leader. The team will no longer support the leader fully. They will trip on their own ego. It’s simply the quickest way to failure.

I could spend a whole blog post – and probably should – on how I have personally witnessed egos lead to moral, spiritual and professional failure. Chances are, however, you have witnessed this plenty of times also. Pride always goes before the fall.

Those are a few actions or attitudes which I have seen cripple good leadership. It’s always sad to me to see a good leader fail. My prayer is this could be a check for any leaders who may be struggling in any of these areas.