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Posts tagged ‘Winston Churchill’

Help Wanted: Nigerian President For 2015 – By Bayo Oluwasanmi.

By Bayo Oluwasanmi

The race for the presidency is shaping up. In the right-place-right-time theory of politics, the moment matters. It’s scary to visualize what the political landscape will look like in 2015. For sure, there will be events that will try our souls between now and then.

With the disappearing act of President Goodluck Jonathan, Nigerians are looking for the next strongest leader to take over. Nigerians are fed up with the leadership of Mr. Jonathan. In the absence of a leader, Nigerians are like sheep without a shepherd and we yearn for a leader. Like any other group of people, we focus on our immediate needs, we struggle with delayed gratification, we feel insecure and begin to worry without abundant signs of hope, and we always ask: what has the leader done for us lately?

Leadership, like life, is the sum total of the decisions we make. Every decision has consequences. The president decides how he’ll respond to issues, decides on the size of the budget, decides on whom to hire, and decides what values and priorities are worth fighting for, and most importantly, decides what will be his legacy.

It is evident that the three-year presidency of Mr. Jonathan portrays him as a leader who lacks commitment, suffers from a scattered focus, looks for excuses, forgets the big picture, go public with private thoughts, behaves inconsistently, creates poor relationships, and avoids change.

For 2015, we want a leader who will separate himself regularly from the crowd. A leader who will pursue truth over popularity, a leader who is willing to take risks, who is ready to be watched by the public even though it feels intimidating to be watched and scrutinized.

We want a leader with character, a leadership with competence – ability to get the job done and leadership that produces results. We want a leadership with conviction – a leadership that has backbone, someone who will always stand for what is right. Tomorrow’s production begins with today’s preparation. We need a leader that will solve problems because the fastest way to gain leadership is to solve problems.

The cost and expectations of leadership are high and expensive. The failure of a leadership usually results in consequences far more greater than the fall of a non-leader. We want a leader that will live at a standard higher than others. A leader that cares for the interest of the poor, who lives with integrity and keeps his word. We want a leader that manages time and the nation’s resources well.

Nigerians want a leader who is ready to listen to the people, who practices patience of silence and submission. He must be faithful and committed as a trustworthy partner of the people. We want a leader with charisma, a man who enjoys a sense of giftedness.

Example is the most important tool a leader possesses. People do what people see. We need a leader that will set example. “Example is not the main thing influencing others,” says Albert Schweitzer, “it is the only thing.”

I remember an incident of leadership by example that took place when I was in high school. Our principal – a strict disciplinarian – had warned us several times to stop dumping refuse at a particular spot near the hostel. We refused to use the new pit dug for that purpose because it was a bit far from the hostel. Over time, the refuse pit had become a dunghill. Well, one day after the morning assembly, in his characteristic style of leadership by example, our principal gave the marching order: “Follow me.” We all lined up behind him. He headed straight to the dunghill. Without a word, he bent down and with his two hands grabbed his own piece of the dirt. Without any hesitation, mumbling, or grumbling, we all snatched our share of the mess. Within few minutes, the whole mess was gone. End of story!

By now, Nigerians are sick of scheming leaders who will do anything for the sake of power. Our political history shows that our leadership revolves around Machiavellian leadership style based on amorality, deception, power, ego, and personal advantage. By contrast, the leadership style required for 2015 should be based on morality, truthfulness, servanthood, humility, and meeting the needs of our people. It should be a leadership based on self-giving and not self-preservation.

We need a leader who projects confidence, strength, hope, optimism, and sincerity who can always inspire Nigerians through personal power in seemingly hopeless situations. In the darkest days of the Second World War in 1940, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill addressed the parliament: “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat,” he said. “We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and suffering,” he assured the Brits.

Despite Churchill’s depressing words, it was the realistic assessment of the crisis faced by Britain. Indeed, as it turned out, those words lifted the morale and ignited the fighting spirit of the British people. With defiant courage, Churchill declared: “You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory. Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival.” This is the type of president Nigeria needs. We don’t need a skilled manipulator with superficial charm without the experience, ability, values, and character that make an authentic leader as president.

In a nutshell, the next president of Nigeria must be a leader with a sense of “I am eager” meaning a sense of passion and urgency about reaching Nigerians and meeting their needs, a sense of “I am obligated” that is, a feeling that he cannot do anything else vocationally, and a sense of “I am not ashamed” by way of conviction to do what others may think illogical.

So, let the race begin!


The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

Say What? Obama Compares Britain and France to His Daughters.

President Barack Obama Tuesday said France and Britain — jealous rivals for US affection — were like his beloved daughters, Malia and Sasha, who he could not choose between.

Obama skillfully skipped through an Anglo-Gallic minefield when asked by a French reporter if America’s oldest ally, and not Britain, was not now its best friend.

“I have two daughters,” Obama said, as he stood with French President Francois Hollande at a White House news conference.

“They are both gorgeous and wonderful, and I would never choose between them.

“And that’s how I feel about my outstanding European partners. All of them are wonderful in their own ways.”

Obama spent Monday and Tuesday praising the restored US-France alliance — which dates from the revolutionary era over 200 years ago — but was almost ruptured over the Iraq war a decade ago.

But he has also learned the political perils of failing to pay sufficient homage to the US “special relationship” with Britain.

Early in his first term, he was lambasted by political foes for removing a bust of revered wartime prime minister Winston Churchill from the Oval Office.

Obama will get the chance to stand tall with both Britain and France — when he travels to Normandy for the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in June.

There he will join Hollande and Queen Elizabeth II.

Though what Her Majesty will think about her once-great empire being compared to a US president’s offspring is unclear.


© AFP 2014


If You Are Going Through Hell, Keep Going.

woman walking through hell
(© mangojuicy
“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill
This quote showed up in my twitter feed last week. It reminds me of two Bible words with which I have a love/hate relationship – perseverance andendurance. These are two of the most precious, important instructions in the Christian vocabulary. Yet they are some of the hardest as well. My best friend talked with me about these words after her husband left her for another woman.
She had to uproot her life to begin again in a new state. She said that, day after day, her mantra was just to do the next thing. To take one step, then the next step, and then the next step in what felt like a never ending slog through a waist deep river rushing against her. Eventually (after 8 years or so), she slogged through the worst of it.
She didn’t emerge onto completely dry land with no struggles, but she certainly has emerged into a new season of life of much more peace and fewer intense struggles.  Most of all, she has seen redemption and healing in key relationships.
Persevere! It’s the best of advice. It’s the hardest ofstruggles. I long at times to curl up in the fetal position in bed. Yet, I have to buck it up and go volunteer in my son’s classroom. I’d rather drink myself to oblivion, but instead I need to make a lesson plan for a math class I’m teaching the next day. Some days, just getting up and taking the next step is the most profound expression of faith we can do.

Romans 5:3-4 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,
1 Peter 2:19-20 For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God.
The marathon of whatever trial you are facing will certainly one day end. In the meantime, lessons from earthly marathons are helpful. I learned some lessons about endurance while running a … cough … 5k. Ok. I know some of you are big runners who put my tiny little 5k to shame. But my two little 5k’s put to shame everything I did physically the first 40 years of my life. So there.
I trained and built up from being able to run 10 feet to being able to run 2.5 miles. But no part of those miles when training was easy, and the last mile of the 5k beyond what I had practiced before was mindnumbing. It was just the sound of my shoe hitting the pavement and letting my breath out, over and over again. Don’t stop jogging. Keep moving. Don’t stop. Keep going. Don’t stop. Keep going. I imagine that feeling is greatly intensified for those in 10k’s or true marathons.
The thing about our Christian walk is that few of us know if we are in a 5k, a 10k, or a full blown 26 mile marathon. I know I will not be disappointed when I see Jesus face to face for the first time in heaven. Whatever I had to endure on earth, I know I will not have regrets over the long term trials God allowed in my life. But that’s the marathon.
That’s Dietrich Bonhoeffer praying psalms to himself as he walks naked to his death in a Nazi concentration camp. There was no ultimate physical rescue for him in this first life, though he walked with supreme confidence of his rescue in the next. But for many of my friends, rescue does come, at least in part, in this life.
I have two friends in particular who went through brutal seasons in their marriages who have both emerged from those seasons with resolution and healing – one after a divorce not of her own choosing and one still married and serving God with her husband. Those are the shorter runs – the ones with earthly resolutions. I love to read and hear about believers who have been rescued in this life – from sin, from sickness, from death, from bankruptcy.
When I am struggling to endure as I wait for redemption in parts of my own life, I seek out stories of redemption in others’ families, churches, or ministries. To me, such stories of redemption are like the cups of cold water runners receive from the sidelines in their long distance run.
Most of all, I am able to endure because of the One who endured before me, who endured FOR me.
Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
This is the thing that empowers me to keep going – that Jesus kept going for me. He endured the shame of the cross for a joy on the other side, and He’s surrounded us as we run along in our own marathon of suffering with a cloud of witnesses who have gone on before us who now stand cheering us on from the sidelines. The picture God gives us in Hebrews 12 of this marathon is beautiful!
The greatest aspect of this inspiring picture is that it moves me from seeing myself slogging alone against a swollen river to seeing myself running together in community, with Christ and with those who have gone on before me. I am cheered on by the community of believers. Those living. Those dead. We rejoice together in the redemption they have already experienced, and we endure together with those still longing for redemption to draw nigh in all aspects of their lives.
Adapted from Wendy Alsup’s blog, Wendy has authored three books includingBy His Wounds You are Healed: How the Message of Ephesians Transforms a Woman’s Identity. She is also a wife, mom and college math teacher who loves ministering to women. 

Churchill Almost Banned From Britain’s Currency.

Image: Churchill Almost Banned From Britain's Currency

By Jim Meyers

Bank of England officials reportedly came close to banning Sir Winston Churchill from the face of a new 5-pound note they plan to issue in 2016 because they didn’t want to upset the Germans.

Previously classified documents obtained by Britain’s Daily Mail include a memo dated April 11, 2012, from officials to Mervyn King, then governor of the Bank. They warn that the “recentness of World War II is a living memory for many here and on the Continent,” and note that Churchill’s wartime record could make him a highly controversial choice for the bill.

Other comments relating to Britain’s relationship with its former enemies have been redacted from the files.

A source at the Bank told the Mail: “Public bodies are obliged to redact any material which might impact on Britain’s international relations with another country, and this is what has happened here.”

Declassified: ‘Financial War’ Could Wipe Out 50% of Your Wealth

Churchill’s biographer Andrew Roberts said the redacted comments “would have been about irritating the Germans,” but “I don’t think a German or Japanese tourist would be in the slightest bit put off by the fact there is Churchill on a 5-pound note.”

Officials also warned Mervyn King of Churchill’s “disastrous” decision as Chancellor of the Exchequer to return Britain to the gold standard in the 1920s. Churchill’s critics claimed the move produced mass unemployment, deflation, and industrial strife in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

The globally revered Churchill has never been a favorite of Britain’s elites. Churchill was tossed from 10 Downing Street after being defeated in parliamentary elections at the end of World War II.

In the 1990s, the Labor government under Tony Blair moved to remove almost any mention of Churchill from school curriculums.

The newly disclosed Bank documents also show that bank staff conducted a background check on “Pride and Prejudice” novelist Jane Austen, who will appear on a new 10-pound note, to assure that there were “no issues in her private life.”

Declassified: ‘Financial War’ Could Wipe Out 50% of Your Wealth

Austen’s 10-pound note will debut in 2017.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Thatcher Admirers Plan Memorial Library.

Image: Thatcher Admirers Plan Memorial Library

By John Gizzi

Six months after Margaret Thatcher’s death, admirers of the United Kingdom’s only female prime minister are planning a memorial unlike any ever given a British politician: a memorial library similar to those in the United States that honor American presidents.

Thatcher, who would have turned 88 on Sunday, remains a highly controversial figure in and outside her country. Mourned by millions throughout the world for her unyielding conservatism while prime minister from 1979 to 1990, Lady Thatcher was also both respected and reviled for her embrace of free-market economics and her hardline stand against Communism during the Cold War.

“Our vision of a library is not about proselytizing Lady Thatcher or about conservatism,” Conor Burns, Conservative member of the British parliament and the prime mover behind the Thatcher Library, told Newsmax. “This will be about the experiences that framed her philosophy and, as Lady Thatcher said, ‘politics at its purest is philosophy in action.'”

The concept of a “Margaret Thatcher Library” is unique among the British. Although the papers and correspondence of prime ministers are eventually made available to the public, no prime minister — not Winston Churchill, Harold Macmillan, or Tony Blair — has had a library akin to that of U.S. presidents.

Burns, a proud “Thatcher Baby” in the modern Conservative Party, was in the United States to generate interest and raise money for the proposed library. Among the groups he has addressed about the project are the Young Americans for Freedom and the American Legislative Exchange Council.

Much like the Ronald Reagan Library in Southern California, Burns said, “the Thatcher library will have two elements: a visitor center, which highlights her life, and an education center. Much like President Reagan‘s center, this will highlight the era in which Lady Thatcher led Britain and was a major figure on the international stage and it will show just what she did.”

But, he emphasized, “We are more interested in the future, not the past. Lady Thatcher used to say, “It’s not important what you have done but what you’re going to do next.”

Her leadership on the economic front, in the Cold War, and her later skepticism of the European Community “will inspire future generations in the issues the young men and women of tomorrow must deal with.”

Like many Thatcherites, Burns made no secret of his dismay that no high-level official of the Obama administration represented the president at the Thatcher funeral in April.

“Margaret Thatcher was America’s staunch foreign ally in peacetime,” Burns told Newsmax. “President Obama diminished his character and insulted the American people by making sure they, through his office, were not represented at her funeral.”

Because of Lady Thatcher’s love of the House of Commons where she served from 1959 until 1992, Burns and other supporters would like to have the proposed library built in SW1, the same London district where Parliament is located.

To no one’s surprise, he added, “this will be funded entirely by private donations.”

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.


New Book: Margaret Thatcher Worried About US Under Obama

Reagan’s Childhood Home to Become Parking Lot for Obama’s Library
© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

New Book: Margaret Thatcher Worried About US Under Obama.

Late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was concerned by the United States’ lean to the left after President Barack Obama took office in 2009, authors of a recently released book about “The Iron Lady” claim.

Thatcher never commented publicly on President Obama’s leadership, though the Obama administration’s big government agenda runs counter to everything she believed in, former Thatcher aide Niles Gardiner and writer Stephen Thompson, authors of “Margaret Thatcher on Leadership: Lessons for American Conservatives Today”  told The Daily Caller.

But even though Great Britain’s first female prime minister didn’t speak out publicly about Obama, she was privately concerned about the direction the United States had been taking since 2009, along with the declining leadership of the United States as a world power.

Urgent: Should GOP Stick to Its Guns on Obamacare? Vote Here. 

The book, released this month, is a guide from conservatives that combines her life story with principles and help for conservatives use toward solving their challenges, cutting through bureaucracy and standing up to “aggressive regimes,” an Amazon book description says.

Gardiner in particular was very familiar with the late leader. He directs the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at the Heritage Foundation, and was a foreign policy aide to her after she left Downing Street.

Thompson, a writer and consultant from Washington D.C., lived in the United Kingdom throughout Thatcher’s term in office.

The former prime minister was always a conservative and greatly admired Sir Winston Churchill, Britain’s Conservative prime minister during World War II and from 1951 to 1955.

The authors said Thatcher was a great leader because she was a “conviction politician” with “a clear set of conservative beliefs and principles which she led by” and was a “remarkably decisive leader” with “tremendous physical and political courage.”

While Thatcher distrusted liberals, Democrats in the United States also did not honor her conservative viewpoints. In April, shortly after the late prime minister died, Senate Democrats came under fire for blocking a resolution honoring the long-time friend of the United States.

And Obama was slammed for declining to attend Thatcher’s state funeral, citing a busy week from the aftermath of the Boston Marathon Bombing.

Urgent: Should GOP Stick to Its Guns on Obamacare? Vote Here. 

Downing Street was reportedly angered by rejections from Obama, his wife Michelle and Vice-President Joe Biden. However, the United States was also not represented at the funeral by former Republican Presidents George W. Bush or George Bush Sr., nor by Democratic former Presidents Bill Clinton or Jimmy Carter.

Related Stories:

Thatcher, Freedom and Free Markets

Margaret Thatcher’s Battle Against Stroke-Caused Dementia

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Sandy Fitzgerald

Where Are the Statesmen?.

Michael Brown
Dr. Michael Brown

While reading a book about Winston Churchill framed in his own words, I was struck by the vast difference between his leadership and our contemporary crop of leaders here in America. Where are the statesmen among us?

When President John F. Kennedy made Churchill an honorary American citizen in April 1963, Kennedy said of him, “In the dark days and darker nights when Britain stood alone—and most men save Englishmen despaired of England’s life—he mobilized the English language and sent it into battle. The incandescent quality of his words illuminated the courage of his countrymen.”

Contrast that with today’s Twitter style of superficial sound-bite leadership, where even the president of the United States, rather than mobilizing the English language and sending it into battle, tweets out meaningless slogans like “Love is love” (this in defense of same-sex “marriage”), thereby lowering himself to the level of the masses he is supposed to lead and call higher.

Speaking of Churchill, the great British historian Martin Gilbert noted, “Throughout his six decades in the public eye and in public life, he understood and wielded the power of words. … Churchill used words for different purposes: to argue for moral and political causes, to advocate courses of action in the social, national and international spheres, and to tell the story of his own life and that of Britain and its place in the world.”

Who among our current national leaders—in particular in the political sphere—is in the same universe as Churchill? Who among them is utilizing the power of words to inspire the populace, to build a vision of the future by telling the story of the past, to raise a standard of moral excellence? Can you name one?

Who among our current national leaders even has memorable quotes—quotes that will stand the test of the generations—like some of Churchill’s classic axioms, including, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” And: “In war, resolution; in defeat, defiance; in victory, magnanimity.” And perhaps his best known words: “Never give in—never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

Contrast this with the current administration’s waffling over Syria, making America appear to the world like a paper tiger, and the glaring lack of senior statesmen in our midst becomes all the more clear.

And on the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, the contrast between Dr. King’s leadership (despite his personal moral failures) and the current generation of civil rights leaders is immense.

Compare some of King’s most memorable words, still ringing true and still piercing the conscience more than half a century after his death, with the words of his best-known successors, like the Rev. Al Sharpton.

For example, from Dr. King: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” And: “History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.” And: “Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.” And: “Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.”

Then, from Rev. Sharpton, in conjunction with the recent festivities honoring Dr. King’s 1963 speech: “We must give us our young people dreams again. You build jails, close schools and break their dream, and you wonder why they are wearing saggy pants.” Come again?

We have even lost our ability to speak to the nations with moral authority—to the point that a grizzled veteran like Sen. John McCain, marked for life by the torture he experienced as a prisoner of war, had this to say with regard to the conflict in Syria: “Get the right weapons to the right people, and we can turn this around, and, uh, it is not that difficult. These are good people. I was in Syria with them, and to say that we can’t get the right weapons to the right people frankly is a cop-out.”

Yes, by “good people,” Sen. McCain is referring to the al-Qaida-backed “freedom fighters,” also responsible for committing atrocities against Syria’s Christian population. And while it is true the situation in Syria is terribly muddled, our own stance is equally muddled (not to mention our stance concerning Egypt). Where is our moral clarity?

Where are the statesmen like President Ronald Reagan, who transcended his cheap Hollywood background and became the leader who stood up to the Soviet Union?

Speaking in June 1987 by the Brandenburg Gate near the Berlin Wall, Reagan declared, “There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

Not long after, the wall came tumbling down.

Our nation will not rise beyond its leaders, and if we are to recover our greatness, we must pray for men and women of courage and conviction to arise, people savvy enough to reach our shallow, contemporary culture but deep enough to bring a transcendent message that will inspire.

It’s a tall order, but it’s possible. More important, it’s imperative.



Michael Brown is author of The Real Kosher Jesus and host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show The Line of Fire on the Salem Radio Network. He is also president of FIRE School of Ministry and director of the Coalition of Conscience. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.

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