Alex Zanardi: An Extraordinary Man

With less than a liter of blood left in his body, Alex Zanardi’s heart stopped seven times and he was read his last rites by a priest on the helicopter ride from the Eurospeedway to the hospital.

Fifteen years on from the day his car and body were severed/cut in two, the former F1 and IndyCar driver enters the history books as a three-time Paracycling gold medalist..

The Italian could have turned away from elite sport forever, but his injuries have been life-threatening as well as life-changing; today, Zanardi considers his appalling accident one of the greatest opportunities of his life.

“Normally I don’t thank God for these type of things as I believe God has more important stuff to worry about, but today is too much, I had to raise my eyes and thank him,” Zanardi told reporters after the race (2016 Paralympics).

“I feel my life is a never-ending privilege.”

Now at 49, the Italian overcame men half his age to take the title, despite originally taking up the sport to keep fit.

A few things to learn from him

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The Words, the Ways and the Works of God

In our last article, Becoming a Gardner of the Word, we delved into understanding a step by step process by which we can improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the word of God in our lives. However, in grooming our relationship with God as men who want to continually metamorphose into the Extraordinary Gentleman, we need to understand the operations of the Words, the Ways and the Works of God. These three poles of the knowledge of God improve our effectiveness and efficiency in having a fruitful relationship with God.

The Words – the words of God are the authority for his accomplishments; the embodiment of both His promise and His ability to accomplish. His words are His thoughts, statutes, commands and will concerning any particular situation. With a God who is omnipotent (Mr. 10:27), knowledge of His omnipotent word (Ps 119:96, whether written or revealed) concerning any situation is the potent license to request or command (depending on the situation) the existence of the appropriate circumstance.

The Ways – the ways of God are the patterns or methods for his accomplishments. Knowledge of his ways is what distinguishes leaders in a time and followers of that time. And that is why God made known his Ways unto Moses but his Works unto the children of Israel (Ps 103:7). When a man has knowledge of the ways of God he does not hesitate to take action in the will of God or haste to take action without knowing the will of God. He is confident for example, that all things work for his good even if they now do not look right at the moment. Apart from knowing the general ways of God with his children, it is also important that a man has adequate knowledge of God’s specific ways of dealing with him. Knowledge of the general ways of God with his children makes a man effective in his relationship with God but it is the knowledge of the unique way God deals with you that makes you efficient.

The Works – the works of God are the evidence of his accomplishments. They are the signals that indicate that the words of God have completed their journey through his Ways to produce glory to His name. God’s works appear in various forms; creation, miracles, signs and wonders. Matured Christians at their peak are satisfied by the Words of God but the immature or unbelieving are only sufficed by the sight of his Works. When Jesus operated in authority by driving the traders out of the temple, his disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for thy house will consume me” and were satisfied but the Jews then said to him, “What sign have you to show us for doing this?” (John 2:17 – 18, RSV)

In summary, a fruitful relationship with God demands knowledge of Him. Knowledge of God seasons our response to his love. Knowledge of God however exists within the sphere of three major poles, the knowledge of His Words, His Ways and His Works. These we shall call the three poles of the knowledge of God. The Words of God work through his Ways to produce his Works. The end of all these is to bring glory to God.

The Extraordinary Father: A Character Study of God

It is a blessing to have you today as we turn our attention to the very important topic of fatherhood. In the past two weeks we had the privilege of featuring an article by one of the readers of this blog entitled the Extraordinary Husband: A Case for Adam (it is a must-read). We learnt husbandhood from the first husband, and today we are blessed to learn fatherhood from the first father. And hence the character study of God



The bible is decorated with scattered pieces of golden wisdom on fatherhood displayed by God to all his children and especially to his first born Jesus. In today’s discussion, we will attempt to unearth some of the wisdom for fatherhood embedded God’s disposition towards his children.

1. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5 RSV)

God acknowledges and bonds with us even before our birth. He sets us apart as his children and plans for our life. Being a great father begins with acknowledging the gift and power of procreation giving to us by God, knowing that we have children to be born to us and that we have a responsibility to guide them into the purpose of God for their life. This demands that we know our children before they are born to us, through prayer and supplication by faith and not assumption, opening our spirit to communion with God concerning our children and their purpose. This is not necessarily to come with clear directions, like the name of the child, the sex or school he or she should attend but this is to raise the your spiritual consciousness of and bonding with the coming child, to grant you prior spiritual insight and for your spirit to download important information about your child necessary for his or her unique nature.

2. For he received honour and glory from God the father when the voice came to him from the majestic glory, saying, “This is my son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased” (2Pe 1:17, NIV)

Let your children and those around you know that you love them (your children). Do it in deeds and in words, yes especially in words. That even seems to be where God started with in public in relation to Jesus. He publicly declared his love for his Son. This gives your children an important sense of being valued. Your children need this in a world that may look down on them in many ways. The honour and glory they receive from the knowledge of being beloved is essential in building their self-esteem and confidence and also plays an important role in the choices and decisions they make in life. Love your children from birth and let them know in word and deed.

3. Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever he does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all that he himself is doing… (John 5:19-20, RSV).

Instruct your child in the way he or she should go, but giving an example is the most important way of teaching a child. For children, especially those who are confident of their father’s love for them, what daddy does is an important indication of what is acceptable now and in the future. Apart from being an indication of what is acceptable, the examples evident in your lifestyle are also important in shaping your child’s understanding or conceptualization of fatherhood and thus manhood in general. As James Robin says, a father’s blessing to a child is sometimes in word but always by example. What examples are you setting for your children?

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image source:

4. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Mt 27:46, RSV)

God is repelled by sin in man and not even his beloved Son was an exception to this rule when he carried the sin of the world on the cross. Set the boundaries clearly at home, what can be done and what must not be done. Let your children understand the need and rationale for these rules at home and outside the boundaries of the home. Do not hesitate to punish disobedience, but punish disobedience because love demands it. Be sure to turn back to your child in love for him or her to understand that punishing him or her wasn’t a pleasure, but a sure way to lead him or her down the path of life. Let them be continually assured of your love.

5. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name… (Philippians 2:8-9, RSV).

The child needs to feel a continual growth of you confidence in him or her. The best way to achieve this is through a conscious increase in the quantity but most importantly, quality of responsibilities you give him or her.

image source: wellthatsawesome.coom

image source: wellthatsawesome.coom

Additionally, some of these responsibilities especially those that are to raise the child into excellence must be rewarded and celebrated when accomplished well. If at first, he or she does not succeed, let them try again where possible. Failure in any of these tasks should not be treated as an end but a source of learning that should make the end better. Teach your children to learn from their mistakes and give them encouragement when the going gets tough. When Christ felt like “giving up” on the assignment His Father had given him (Gethsemane), the Father strengthened him, and when Jesus had accomplished the task, he rewarded him with a name that is above all names.

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There are more of these in the word of God and as you spend more time studying your bible I pray that God will open your eyes to more truths of fatherhood and manhood as a whole. God bless you.

The Extraordinary Husband: A Case for Adam

Of all humanity and manhood, I dare to say that most lambasted man is our great grandfather, Adam. Many comedians make fun of him and he is used to represent the weakness of manhood. Oh, but I bet to differ.
This man out of whom we all came, I believe, represents the life of an ideal husband. This I say because, a critical look at this man’s life shows that he is a strong man within and without. It’s true, Adam had the best opportunity you can think of, he had a beautiful garden crowned with a beautiful woman, filled with everything he could ever need. He had the Most High as his father, companion and provider. However, along the line, he messed up everything by disobeying his creator.
In effect, he lost everything he had and now had to start all over again from tilling the ground to harvest to provide for his own need and that of his family. What was his initial reaction? He blamed his creator for giving him a wife who caused the whole mess? What did he do to his wife? He gave her the sweetest name available then, Eve. Eve, from the Amplified Bible means living spring.

Lessons from Adam
1) He did not cry over spilt milk. After losing a very wonderful condition he went on to work to still to be there for the family.
2) He did not direct his frustration towards his wife but his God, who knew about events in his life whether good or bad
3) He did not rain insults, curses and beatings on his wife. Rather, he called her Eve, meaning, spring of life. It is interesting to note that before the incident his wife was called woman and then after Eve. They did not have children before but they went on to have children after the incident.
4) Though he blamed his God, he did not break contact with him. He reconciled with his wife and nourished his family in the way of the creator.
Men, let’s be strong in all situations. Like Adam, God is and will cloth us to cover our weaknesses even when we fail. As descendants of Adam, let’s be extraordinary husbands.

Remember, being an Extraordinary Gentleman is not about that one great thing that you do that totally changes and pushes you into a new light of being. Being extraordinary hinges on the little choices and decisions you make in every situation, even after a major failure.

Written by Richard Ofori

Acts of Righteousness

Truth that is told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent – by Mehra & Mehra

Intentions are the invisible backbones of all we say and do, and when God is involved, then intentions are of utmost importance for the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1Sa 16:7)

How would you feel if your only child respects the opinion of your neighbour more than yours?

Well, I think that may be the very way that God feels when we value the opinions and rewards of men more than that of His.

Many of us live our lives by drawing our breath from the satisfaction we get from pleasing others or ourselves.  Sometimes, even our acts of righteousness such as worship, praise, giving and praying are done with intentions of pleasing men or ourselves rather than pleasing God. when Men see our outward deeds they may applaud us but to God these deeds become appalling. True Christian acts must have the glory of God as the focus. As such, God and his glory must be the primary focus of our acts of righteousness. The one you please by your deeds and words is the one who rewards your deeds or words. Who do you aim at pleasing, God, yourself or man? Whose rewards are you seeking, God, yourself or man?

Remember, in being an Extraordinary Gentleman, God’s perspective on every act and word is paramount,


Be careful not to display your righteousness merely to be seen by people. Otherwise you have no reward with your Father in heaven. 6:2 Thus whenever you do charitable giving, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in synagogues and on streets so that people will praise them. I tell you the truth, they have their reward. 6:3 But when you do your giving, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 6:4 so that your gift may be in secret. And your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you.

(Matt 6:1-4, NET)

Great Men Die Empty

And as a man was being buried, lo, a marauding band was seen and the man was cast into the grave of Elisha; and as soon as the man touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood on his feet. [2Ki 13:21]

When great men die without passing all they had to God, man and society they then they die with ‘power in their bones’. If no rare accident like the one in the above passage happens, then their gifts will join the great pool of potentials that fertilize the grave yards.

True lives of Extraordinary Gentlemen are made of three stages, learning, living and leaving.

Learning- a man must know and understand all that is around him, through formal and informal education and acquire information in all available formats. He must consciously cultivate learning through conversation with family, friends, mentors and society and God. However, what you learn from these agents is most important. Among all that can be learnt wisdom, morality and Christianity are paramount. A man must also through this learning identify and nurture his field of interest, his talent but most importantly his purpose.

Living- a man at this stage must live by what he has learnt, practicing and experiencing the totality of life. Failing, passing, and excelling and repeating these in different endeavours. He must distil his learning into industry and profession and become more responsible to family, friends, mentors and society and God. The pursuit of his purpose must be paramount.

Leaving- this is composed of depositing and departing. A Man owes it to God, man and society to lead other men to excellence in their chosen fields, identified talents and their purpose. He must not mold them into himself only better, and into Christ as the Ultimate Gentleman. He must pour out himself on earth within the limits permitted by God and then take off into eternity with the majesty of an eagle. But he must leave emptied of all things that can only on earth be done so as to be filled with the fullness of the glory of God himself prepared for him.

Dedicated To the Late President John Fiifi Evans Atta Mills; a man of unequaled integrity.

The Quest for Purpose: Your Strengths

Memory Verse: “….who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4: 13, 14)

Your strength is your quality or ability that you have that gives you an advantage (Advanced Learner’s Oxford Dictionary). It can be your physical strength, physical beauty, wisdom, position, skills (such as good leadership skills and good communication skills), good character, good health, spiritual gifts, natural talents, etc. These inborn or God-given qualities or abilities help you get certain things done better than other people. I should say, God has been very good to give some (if not all) of these qualities or abilities to everybody. And you should be thankful to God for these endowments in your life. They can guide you to know the will of God for your life (Marriage, Ministry, business and career (Money)).

If you realize that it becomes fun when you are doing a particular thing,  perhaps that is your calling. Unlike others, you may find that you have the wits and guts to study your books and excel at your academics. It may be that God wants you to be in the academia. Or, you may find that you are very good at leading people, organizing programs, influencing people, etc. You may be having a leadership mantle upon your life. Or, you may find that you have the grace to share God’s word, pray, and do the things of God in

such a way that people admire. It may be that God is calling you into His vineyard to do His work.

It is said that coming events cast their shadows.  Watch the names and titles by which people call you today. God may be revealing your purposes to you by this means. Perhaps they call you pastor, or seer, or prophet, or professor, or doctor, etc. It may be your calling. Don’t be surprised that in future you will find yourself in those fields where God has given you the strength. The little things you are capable of doing well today should give you an idea of what God wants you to do, of the areas where He wants you serve, and of those people He wants you to become partners with in marriage and in ministry. God did not put those strengths in you to be wasted. If you really want to make it, you should exploit those strengths and link yourself up with the right people.

God blessed Esther with a wonderfully beautiful physical appearance. This gave her favor in the sight of king Ahasuerus. When Haman plotted against the whole race of Israel and she seemed not to be aware her purpose, Mordecai alerted her: ‘…and who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?’ (Esther 4: 13, 14)

God is expecting that whatever qualities or abilities you have should be useful for His kingdom (remember, God’s general purpose for creating us all is that we save lives and expand His kingdom). If you are nice-looking in your appearance, talented, skillful, or spiritually gifted in any ways, God is also expecting you to freely use it to expand His kingdom. Don’t be proud and pompous, or greedily make money out of it. Jesus gave gifts to the apostles to ‘heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils’, and He told them, ‘… freely ye have received, freely give’ (Matthew 10:8). Otherwise you will attract God’s wrath on your life.

However, your strengths are not the only indicators of your purpose. That is why we should also allow God to lead us into His purposes for our lives, since our strengths can be misleading without God’s leading.

By Samuel Tetteh-Baah

The Three Pillars of an Extraordinaty Gentleman

You are the most excellent of men…, in your majesty ride forth victoriously in behalf of truth, humility and righteousness (Ps 45:2-4, NIV)

There are three things that make an excellent man and in our words an extraordinary gentleman; truth, humility and righteousness. Truth is an eternity tested structure of knowledge that is needed to equip a man in his dealing with people (men, women and children), institutions (society) and invisible forces (divine and devilish) and gives him excellence in Marriage, Ministry and Money. When this truth is applied according to the will of God it yields divine wisdom and distinguishes a man in all his endeavours. Yet knowledge puffs up (1 Cor 8:1) and pride leads to shame, therefore, the blinding glory of truth must be covered with humility to prevent calamity. Humility is the weapon for fighting the greatest enemy of all success; pride. When a man begins to see the progress of becoming an extraordinary gentleman through his assimilation and application of truth, humility should be his closest companion. Humility however, is a fruit of love (agape) which is the nature of God and of all his sons. Righteousness is the fruit of truth that is nourished with humility through love. Therefore,

The extraordinary gentleman is built on three pillars;

Truth, Humility and Righteousness

Pillar 1: Truth –he enquires after truth, he listens to truth, he tells the truth and he practices the truth (1Co 9:27)(Truth on earth is in form of the written and the revealed word of God)

Pillar 2: Humility – he is humble in all matters no matter how great he is. Humility on earth is honest respect for others no matter the state they are in relation to us.

Pillar 3: Righteousness – he is saved through Jesus Christ, has put on the righteousness of God (2Co 5:21) and lives a life of righteousness. Righteousness on earth is demonstrated by bearing the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and      faithfulness (Gal 5vs 22).

The Extraordinary Gentleman

The Extraordinary Gentleman.