who am i?

"I write for the unlearned about things in which I am unlearned myself." - CS Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms

Friday, September 30, 2011

Wedding bells...

'Tis a season to be jolly.... Some of my favorite boys are getting married this season :). And I'm so excited and really sad that i get to miss out on their big day.
Somehow i always manage to be out of town when my friends are getting married. At this rate i wonder if any close friend will be at my wedding.... maybe i should make friends with already married people so they don't have anything to hold against me when my invite gets to them.

Tomorrow is one of my 'boy's' wedding... well he's more of a Muppet but he's the best muppet ever and i hate it so much that i get to miss out on his big day. A day we've all been looking forward to.
If i had come into my trustfund already, i'd take the next available flight to Nigeria just for the wedding. As it is, my trustfund is still in holding... *sigh*
So i comforted myself by going shopping... Fantasy football makes sense right? So i figured, why not go on a fantasy perfect wedding outfit shopping? I got this lovely red dress and i bought this wonderful shoes from expensive shops i usually shun. I've got two lovely dresses for two wonderful weddings.
I'm going to look perfect, like the proud friend that i am. My sister thought it was a tad ridiculos when i mentioned to her that i got a dress for the wedding.... she said, she's sure i'll look good in it when i dress up tomorrow... sarcastically.
I know i will.... that red dress with the peter pan embelished collar is sizzling...

Oh well, so it's not just about me dressing up. It's about celebrating my friend as he begins a new life.
                                                 
Here's to Vee. The best muppet ever. God bless he and his lovely bride exceedingly, abundantly above all they've ever hoped for in their marriage.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

When Truth Takes a Stand.

The story of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani keeps nagging me. What a coincidence that just a day after posting about Nasir Siddiki i get to read this.
34 year old Pastor Youcef, a husband and father of two, will be executed in Iran today because he refuses to renounce Christ.
"Youcef is under the death sentence for apostasy. The Supreme Court upheld the death sentence as it is based upon fatwas of the Supreme Leader. On September 25-28 hearings were held by the Gilan provincial court to determine if he was a Muslim. On the 26th they determined that Youcef was a Muslim because his parents were when he was born. All witnesses stated that he did not practice Islam, yet the court inexplicably determined he was a national apostate. At each hearing he was commanded to recant and each time he refused. Two hearings were held after the verbal determination was made by the judges. There is a serious concern that he could be executed at any time because according to Sharia Law you are to be given three days to recant if you are an apostate. He was commanded to recant three straight days after the judges made their determination. The attorney’s for pastor Youcef are stating that, by law, the written verdict must be delivered within seven days. " Full story here presenttruthmn.com
*Apostasy means abandoning your religious faith, in this case leaving Islam for Christianity

Youcef and Family
We have values and we have beliefs we're passionate about. But how many of us will hold on to our beliefs and values even to death?
Wouldn't it have been easier for him to recant, get freed, jet out of the country and go back to Christianity when he's in safe harbor?
It'd be easier for me because, i mean, well... i wouldn't mean it from my heart when i recant right? It was just something i had to say to get them to get off me. To get me accepted and back in the grind of life. I really don't want to die just yet. I've got two sons and you know.... It'd be much easier to just give in than go through this. But that's not the life we as Christians are called to. It's never been about that. It's about holding on blindly to our faith even when there's every reason not to, even in the midst of trials. Even if it's just pretend, for a few hours, for a few days while we pray secretly and make the world around us believe otherwise.
"I am resolute in my faith and Christianity and have no wish to recant." Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani
God's will and grace is the end result even if this execution is carried out with all the outcry from around the world, It will still be his will that has been done.
I know for sure that this is doing far more good than harm. It's awakening people to their faith, it's making others curious about this faith, and asking questions like i am 'how strong is my faith?' and working towards strengthening this faith... it's doing something bigger than we can ever imagine.
If only this people trying him knew what they were doing, helping spread the gospel of Christ by this act, I'm sure they'd never have taken this fanaticism of theirs this far. Because, who would want to die to preserve a lie... an uncertain thing? Even fools are wise enough not to die for a lie. And if his willing to die to preserve this truth he believes in, then maybe some unbelievers somewhere would want to check it out and see what's in it worth dying for.
 
I guess i could speak of everything wrong here, from how his wife was arrested to the threat of his kids been taken away and given to a muslim family all in the bid to get him squirming away from the Christ, who he sees as his way, his truth and his life....
Will this play out like a modern day scene of Daniel, thrown in the lions den for standing for the God of his fathers? or the three Hebrew boys Shadrack, Meshach, and Abed-nego thrown in fire for refusing to bow to any other god?... in both cases they survived and brought glory to God, or will it be  more like the disciples that were martyred? another Matthew crucified, another Steven stoned to death, another Peter crucified upside down on a cross in Persia which just happens to be present day Iran... or another one of the many who will be put to test in the coming years.
It's much more easier to be accepted in the world around as an atheist, a drunk, a pimp, an addict than to be a Christian holding on to the standards of old.
Someone commented on one of the news blogs "At the current rate, this could as well be Britain 20 years from now...."

Like Paul says... "For None of us lives for ourselves alone. If we live. we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord" Romans 14:7-8(niv)
 I pray we all receive the Grace to stand when we have to, and hold on firmly to our faith when we come to the crossroad of denying it either to get a job, a spouse, friends, a loan or to preserve our life.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Left to die.

I watched Nasir Siddiki's testimony on one of the christian networks, can't remember which. Stories like this make me wonder why people still doubt...  No one is beyond change. Enjoy

Nasir Siddiki
Left to Die
By age 34, Nasir Siddiki, a successful businessman, had made his first million, but money meant nothing to him on his deathbed. Diagnosed with the worst case of shingles ever admitted to Toronto General Hospital , his immune system shut down and doctors left him to die.

The next morning I woke in a sterile room on the eighth floor of the hospital, my skin burning as though someone had doused me in gasoline and lit a match. I felt on fire from the inside out.

My doctor arrived and looked at me in wonder. “The blisters are multiplying so fast I can literally watch them grow,” he said. ‘”Your body isn’t fighting back.”

The next morning, in addition to shingles, I had chicken pox from head to toe. I was put in strict isolation. That evening my temperature soared to 107.6 degrees — hot enough to leave my brain permanently scrambled.

For days I continued to deteriorate. My nerve endings became so inflamed that a hair drifting across my skin sent shock waves of fire rippling through my body. By week’s end, I was listed in critical condition.

My Last Hope

In life, I’d been bold, self confident, a risk taker. But facing death, I was terrified. I had no idea what might await me on the other side. I’d been raised as a Moslem in London , England , and I understood Allah was not a god who heals.

My only hope was in medicine.

I eventually slipped so close to death that the doctors didn’t know I could hear them when they examined me. “His immune system has simply shut down,” one of them said.

“He’s dying,” the other confirmed. “His immune system must be compromised by AIDS.”

I don’t have AIDS! I wanted to shout, but I couldn’t form the words. Then it hit me. He said I’m dying!

The doctors spoke quietly to my co-worker, Anita. “In a few hours he’ll be dead,” they said. “If by some miracle he lives, he’ll probably be blind in his right eye, deaf in his right ear, paralyzed on his right side and he may be severely brain damaged from the high fever.”

Then they left.

They left me here to die! I felt like a drowning man going down for the third time. Gathering my strength I whispered a prayer. “God, if you’re real, don’t let me die!”

In His Presence

During the darkest hour of the night, I woke and saw a man at the foot of my bed. Rays of light emanated from him, allowing me to see his outline. I couldn’t see his face, it was too bright. No one had to tell me, I knew it was Jesus.

The Koran mentions Jesus; Moslems believe He existed, not as the son of God, but as a good man and a prophet. I knew this wasn’t Mohammed. I knew it wasn’t Allah. Jesus was in my room. There was no fear, only peace.

“Why would You come to a Moslem when everyone else has left me to die?” I wondered.
Without words, he spoke to me. “I Am the God of the Christians. I Am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”

That’s all He said. He didn’t mention my illness. He didn’t mention my impending death. As suddenly as He appeared, He was gone.

The next morning, the same two doctors arrived to examine me. “The blisters have stopped growing!”

“We don’t know what happened, but the shingles virus has gone into remission!”

The following day, still in pain and covered with blisters, I was discharged from the hospital with a suitcase full of drugs. “Don’t leave home,” the doctor cautioned. “It will be months before the blisters go away, and when they do you’ll be left with white patches of skin and scars. The pain could last for years.”

Stepping outside into the morning sun, I looked like a cross between a leper and the Elephant Man. When people saw me, they crossed to the other side of the street. However, my mind was not on my looks; my thoughts were on Jesus. There was no doubt in my mind that Jesus’ presence in my room had stopped the shingles virus. Whatever else Jesus may be, I realized that in His presence miracles happened.

That fact left me with one consuming question: Is Jesus the Son of God as the Christians claim, or is He just a prophet as I was taught?

At home that evening, in spite of the drugs, the pain and itching was so severe I almost had to tie my hands. Even so, I fell into a restless sleep wondering about Jesus.

Learning to Live

The next morning, I woke early and turned on the television. Flipping through the channels, I froze when I saw the following words across the screen: Is Jesus the Son of God?

I listened intently as two men spent the entire program discussing this topic — answering all of my questions. Before the show went off the air, one of the men led the television audience in a prayer. My body was aflame with pain but I knelt on my living room floor anyway. Tears streaming down my face, I repeated the prayer and invited Jesus into my heart.

Immediately a voracious spiritual hunger sprang up within me. I had to know more about Jesus. In spite of my doctor’s orders to stay inside, the next day I went out and bought a Bible. First I read the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Still ravenous, I started in Genesis and read through the Bible during my sleepless nights.

Meanwhile, Anita brought me books and teaching tapes explaining the Gospel. I devoured them while continuing to study the Word of God. As my understanding of faith began to grow, I dug out a picture of how I looked before shingles. I prayed and asked God to make me look that way again.

Nasir and Anita Siddiki
Jesus, My Healer

One week after my discharge from the hospital, I woke and found my pillow covered in blisters. I must have clawed them in my sleep, I thought. I crawled out of bed and stepped into the shower. What had started on my pillow was finished in the shower: Every blister fell off my body!

Instead of being covered with patches of white and scar tissue, my skin was simply red and raw. It slowly healed, returning to its pre-shingles condition. When it did, I not only looked human, I looked like I did before I got sick, except for the scars that I still carry on my chest.
None of the doctor’s dire predictions came true. My eyesight was 20/20. My hearing was normal. My speech was unimpaired. I suffered no brain damage.

My healing was miraculous, swift and complete. I never suffered from lingering pain or any other complication. Not only did I have the worst case of shingles ever admitted to Toronto General Hospital , I also had the most miraculous recovery.

Jesus, the God of the Christians, showed up in the hospital room of a dying Moslem and healed me. But that wasn’t the greatest miracle He performed. The transformation that occurred in my heart was even more dramatic than the one that occurred in my body.

An international teacher and evangelist, Dr. Nasir Siddiki is the founder of Wisdom Ministries (WisdomMinistries.org). He lives in Tulsa , OK with his wife Anita and their two sons.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Freederm, Pimples and Worrying...

Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad. Proverbs 12:25
We were going to Abuja for a wedding about two years ago, two weddings actually. It was my sister, my friend and I. Everything was set for a fun weekend away, till I walked into the bathroom for one last look at myself before heading out and there it was. On my neck sat an ugly pimple, of all weekends it had to choose this one. This one where i chose perfection and flawlessness above all else. I knew what to do, I reached for a tube of freederm, it’s known to reduce inflammation in just a few hours and dry out the pimples. It slipped out of my hands and dropped on the floor just as i was taking the cap off,in all the confusion, it somehow found its way under the bathroom cupboard…
Now that wouldn’t have been a problem on any other day, but on this day I decided to travel not like the girl next door, but like a glam chic. My jeans were just a little too tight and the heels of my shoes too high. It didn't feel like a realistic goal to get on my knees to get the gel, it would have been uncomfortable and taking off my shoes to ease the task was a no no. Everyone was already waiting in the car, so I ran off, leaving my solution, just because... I kept looking at the pimple in the mirror and whining about it all the way from lekki to the airport.
It was just impossible for me to take my mind off it; I chose to make it a problem, the one thing that’d ruin my weekend. I was so conscious of that pimple, I touched it, I pulled at it, I rubbed it… I did everything but let it be, my friend tried to get me to leave it alone, but I couldn't, my reflex was working overtime. And from the constant touching, it popped open. Not a good look. Now it was worse and actually noticeable.
At the wedding and every other hour in-between as long as I was with people and outside the hotel room, my hand clumsily covered my neck, I felt everyone was staring at the neck; Even posing for pictures didn’t feel too good. It was horrible. It finally healed after a week or so, that's after i got home, picked the gel up and rubbed an excess amount of gel on the neck, there was a little scar left but i was just so glad to be rid of it. Taught me not to mess with a pimple, just put the Freederm when you have the chance and let it be.
The instruction on the gel pack says to clean and dry the area before applying, meaning you have a part to play. When you have a problem, do what you ought to do immediately. Pray. Then play your part which is what you can as a human and leave the rest to God to do his work... Like keep chasing a dream even if you keep failing or ... you get the point?
Worrying and picking on it doesn't do anything more than making it look worse than it really is... you know like that song 'Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer than They Are'. Eventually, when you remember to go to the solution, you would have just gone through pain you shouldn't have had to deal with and a scar for you to hold on to.
Freederm has been known to be effective, and so we confidently apply it knowing that yes, the pimple is there, but the stuff in this wonderful gel is going to work at drying up the pimple and doing it in such a way that we’re not left with scars, that’s why we can go about our normal activities, because we've got something we're so confident will work for us... we don't spend our day picking on the pimple when we know we've put a treatment on it. 

Like Jesus said in Luke12:25 "Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?" 
We’re only human and so its normal to worry, or rather, people see us as more responsible when we worry. Worry about the future, worry about the bills, worry about food, worry about what to wear et co.
But sometimes I think we just over do the whole worrying business. 
        
I’ve got more things to worry about than anyone would ever believe, but I've learned not to bother about stuff so much, to pray about it and go about life knowing everything will be fine, just like the song says "i will cast all my cares upon you, i will lay all of my burdens down at your feet... when i don't know what to do, i will cast all my cares upon you" best thing to do is pray about it and go about life like everything is okay, because i know everything will be fine in the end. 
            "Worry quietly eats away at your spiritual health until bitterness comes in and destroys your faith. Trusting him will always bring peace." T.D Jakes
I Jump in on life and let God take care of it, i know the problem is there, but then again, i know My God is there and he's capable. That's why I'm able to smile despite the dozens of things i should be worrying about. I dress my best, i make my hair, i paint my nails and I'm excited about new shoes and eating out, and traveling, and puff puff, spent my last dollar like i had a trust fund somewhere ... I've rubbed my freederm on the problem spots and i know its going to be alright.  
"Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you."1 peter 5:7(nlt) Lets face it, when has worrying ever made anything right? rather it just gets you sick and makes you an angry and gloomy person most of your days...
Prayer is the freederm of life. We know the problem is there, but we pray about it knowing the God we pray to will take care of it, he’ll help us solve the problem and everything will go away eventually. That's what's faith is about. If only we could take that time out to pray. Dwell more on our faith that it'll be okay and worry less, for "Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad."
A good word here is the comfort from prayers,the reassurance of God's word "Tell the righteous it will be well with them..."Isaiah3:10(NIV). All will be well indeed because we serve the author of time, the king of the universe and he works things out for our good as long as we have faith in him and trust him to come through for us. Most times we pray it all wrong, i read somewhere 'instead of telling God how big your problem is, tell your problem how big your God is'

You can let worry ruin your life... You can focus on the spot and end up missing out on the fun of the wedding and taking lovely pictures and having fun... Just because of that spot that you failed to 'bother' with the one effective solution. Don't miss out on the other beauties of life because of few problems.  
"Why I go worry o
When I can talk to my Father
What is the problem o
I think I better run to my Father" ... Obiora Obiwon, F.A.T.H.E.R
Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
So why Worry? 
"Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?“Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.
And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?" Luke 12:25-28(nlt)
**** i'm not the fussy girl who gets grey hair over a pimple or two... i know i went through it that one time to teach me this lesson on worrying.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Doggy no be bingo...

I'm not a dog person. Maybe i once went crazy when daddy brought a black puppy home, we all really did care for her. I watched her grow, i watched her have her puppies and i cried when they had to give some of the puppies away. But my dog affair died after that dog died. If i have to touch a dog, i run to scrub my hands right after. While i think some of them are cute, i don't think they're cute enough to jump on my bed, eat from my plate or lick my face. I am not 'anti-dog', I'm just not into them beyond awwwing and uhhhhing when i see cute puppies or watch dog movies.

My sister and i were driving out one day and we saw a man walking this beautiful dogs, and she said "they're blessed with nice dogs here(obodo oyinbo), God knows why we don't have such dogs in Nigeria"
And indeed she couldn't have been more correct. With all the malnourished bingos walking the streets of Nigeria, the dog is nothing near a 'man's best friend'. Just a handful of people drive around Lagos with their dogs in their cars... mostly expatriates and wannabe ladies who've watched too much movies for their own good, and this handful are the ones buying the dog food and treating their dogs like humans with respect.
Nigerian dogs are given anything to eat... why bother with dog food when they can eat whatever they can find in the dump, or whatever you can't finish from your plate ...
apparently Dog meat is called 404

I used to think the 'joke' of eating dogs was just a joke... apparently i was wrong. I saw this article in the papers some months ago and i was stunned, like seriously? I remember as a child this man riding a bicycle would ride past the house with miserable looking dogs in a cage tied behind his bike. Our help at that time would tell me the dogs were sold to him and he was going to resell it to those(from a particular geographical location of the country) who ate it. It was just a plain silly old joke to me.
a friend put this up as his DP
"God knows why we don't have such dogs running round the streets of Nigeria"
Imagine a nice little Chihuahua head served isi-ewu style, or a bull dog stew or hound dog suya, or peppered poodle.....
I checked and there are over three hundred breeds of dogs out there. Most of them dressed in more designer gears than some could ever afford to own, going to dog spas and having their own nannies et co. Treated better than some children in this country.
Yet we only see the usual bingo type dogs and Alsatian dogs in Nigeria(...and not because they're our best friends, but because who else would assist the guards in keeping our houses safe?) And just a handful of the cute breeds. Oh, we have the others, but they know better than to spew the streets of Nigeria:) .

They say its a 'dog eat dog world' out there. But in Nigeria... It's a man eat dog world. Dogs may be a mans best friend, but backbiting best friends is taken literal in these parts :)
Be sure to drop by at Itoroobong when ever you're in the area... We can't guarantee Labrador peppersoup, but at least you get to drink the palm wine, and a nice bowl of gear box(plate of dogs liver,heart and kidneys) or maybe a plate of Tyre is what you would prefer(dog legs), maybe telephone?(dog's tail) or probably headlights(the bowl where the dog eyes happen to be in, more like the isi-ewu of dog world). We promise we do the sentencing(clubbing the dog to death before cooking) ourselves, so you don't have to worried if you're eating a dead dog found on the road, and our meals are cooked with the expertise only an akwa ibom Okon can whip up.

*apparently dog meat is called 404 after the Peugeot 404 car because dogs run as fast as the car. Who would have thought? And yes i did a bit of research on this. It's beyond me that anyone would want to eat a dog, shouldn't that be called cannibalism?... ewwww. Ok, i know someone goes eww at the thought of others eating beef, but hey... I've never had a cow as a pet.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Please don't blame me...

This is a story I've shared on this blog before. Recent events made me dig it up.
It's about Mr. Dele. He was my teacher in my primary school. I think i was in class 3/4(i forget). He always smelt of cigarettes, and he was so uglyyyyyy, we gave him a nickname. We called him 'caricature' behind his back, not like we knew the meaning but it sounded like a name an ugly person ought to have.

Sometimes i was asked to pick and drop off our work books for the different subjects in the store room after our lessons. The room was large and quite dark, anything could happen in there with no one knowing except someone happened to walk in. I don't think an SOS sent from in there would have been heard either.

I'm in there one day and Mr. Dele walks in, smelling of cigarettes as usual, and his 'caricature' face smiling at me in the semi dark room. He said "Joy Joy, when will i enjoy you?"....

My poor naive self had only one idea of what he spoke of and so i said "on my birthday" in the tiny voice i reserved exclusively for adults (i was thinking sweets, cakes and drinks)
"when is your birthday?" he asked inching closer, his ugly face and tobacco brown teeth looking more horrible with the poor lighting.
"July 6th" i answered shyly.
"that's too far now" he grumbled still inching closer.

Just then some other students walked in and he went about his business, i picked my books up and walked out. I remember that i felt relieved to be out of there, i didn't know why... but getting back to my class was a joy.
Somehow that scene never left my head, in uni i 'gisted' a couple of friends, we had a good laugh and i even had to live with the mocking of 'Joy Joy when would i enjoy you' in their best Mr Dele impressions... the mocking and laughter came after i analyzed the situation... What if people didn't walk in when they did? This apparently was deeper than the laughs, probably why I've never forgotten it, i can still see it all in my head.
What if he touched me or tried something more? It was a dark room, and remember i said an SOS would have been very ambitious.
How many others did he corner and try to 'enjoy'?
Did he actually molest anyone?

I'm thankful today that the story is different, but are there other lil' girls out there in our schools being molested and feeling too scared to speak out? Maybe because they don't understand what's happened to them?... I know i wouldn't have said anything if he actually tried something, i have a habit of keeping things inside me till they eat me up... I didn't mention this to anyone till i was in uni... I've never even mentioned it to my family.
That's the story of Mr. Dele. Wonder if he's still alive...fool like him. that event has somehow managed to keep replaying in my head all these years.
And that's what it is, girls walking the street carrying deep scars left from violations of their bodies but too afraid to speak up. Afraid of the shame and the blame from the society.Because somehow it was their fault, even when they know it wasn't.
I was about six years or there about when this happened, would they have said it was my fault if it went beyond the talk?

That's why my heart breaks for lady in the video being circulated. Read more on the video here I haven't seen it and i don't intend to. It doesn't matter if it was in ABSUU or within the boundaries of Abia state or not.(i wonder why this is more important to the government et co) What matters is that it happened, and the boys were in their right senses because they thought to record the horrific act... if we excuse them by saying maybe they were high on drugs or call it temporal insanity, then what's the excuse for the video been circulated? I'm sure whatever demon supposedly possessed them must have gone for a snack when they hit the send button. It shows they felt no remorse and they actually felt good about what they did. There is no excuse for such a barbaric act... none what so ever. It's sad that even in this case, people still blame the girl. Even if she dressed like some girl out of a 50cent video, she still didn't deserve it.

    "wise people think before they act;fools don't-and even brag about their foolishness" Proverbs 13:16

When babies cry as hard as they can and still don't get any attention, they suck on something, be it their thumbs, tongue or gum and go back to sleep... i hope this doesn't go to sleep, for as long as it takes, i hope the cry and the anger is kept alive, i hope we don't get tired and go back to watching 'oliver' dance videos. At least let this be the one in the hundred we never hear about that gets justice.

The law of six decrees says, you're approximately six steps away by way of introduction from every other person on earth. A friend of a friend of a friend. If we don't start speaking out now, you're just six steps away from knowing the next lady that will be raped, and too scared to speak out... Like Myne says "Speak up and Stop the predators".
I desperately hope the young lady finds the courage to speak. I pray God heals her heart, only his grace can make her whole again after such an ordeal. I also hope all the silent voices muted by the pain and shame of their ordeal begin to speak too. Silence is a 'get out of jail free' pass for all the sickos who smile at our children, our sisters and our mothers.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Eldorado Chat... The Rebirth

Inyamu aka FQ did her first ever interview, yayyy!!! Trust me, it wasn't a walk in the park getting the right questions.
Anyways, I'm a novice, but hey, this turned out good and i just might start a crusade for those wonderful gospel acts out there who've made beautiful songs but have been pushed to the background with just a select few taking over the airwaves.
**************************



He's put his hand on the plow and he's not turning back. RnB crooner turned gospel artist Obiora Obiwon got hit by the love bug... now he's completely souled out for Christ and makes no apologies.
The entertainment world is a dog eat dog world, a hustle for a bite of the bone no matter what breed you are or die industry. But this cat has ignored the bone and held on to the source of his nine lives.
From hand picking events to perform at, to leaving the 'groove' that commonly walks hand in hand with celebrities.... Enjoy our chat.

Describe yourself to me in 3 words?
Passionate, fun, easy-going (That's three and a half isn't it?)

So tell me about your "rebirth"?

While I was soul-searching sometime in  2007, I decided it was time to have a bit more "God" in my life, you know, like we always do when things toughen up (smiles). As that went on I realized that some of the things I was "enjoying" as a young fly dude were in contrast to the faith I was trying to pursue. Day after day in my search I had to tell myself the truth that really, who I was as a popular r'n'b singer, the parties, the girls, my friends, etc seemed to be coming between me and my new pursuit, you know, like what would my friends say? what would my fans say?...All of a sudden I'm not feeling so good with my relationship with God after clubbing, do I have to stop that too? I got t
ired of the tug of war and then one day in 2008 while walking back home alone, I just said, you know what, Jesus, I give in totally, friends, whatever, I give everything to you, if you want to change anything, my music, who I am, anything at all, just give me the grace to do whatever. That night I felt an unspeakable peace like I had never felt before. It was like some battle was finally over. A few weeks later I had a divine encounter through a dream and my life's not been the same ever since then. It was only apt to title the music coming from the new me "The Rebirth".

The whole change in life style.... the personal transformation? Some see it as an impossibility, leaving it all behind. I mean come on... partying like a rock star especially in Lagos where there's all the events, and you've got to be seen in the hot spots mingling and photographed to be visible to the fans.... how are you coping with that?   

I dance as a hobby so the first few times after my total surrender I used to club and tell myself  "Hey, you're only going there to dance and not grind with anyone or lust after some girl so no harm done right?". But then the more I worshiped and got intimate with the Lord, the more I became sensitive to His Spirit. So much so that the very lyrics of the songs and the very ambiance of the club or some party setting would simply hit me like some negative wind, and make me so uncomfortable and bothered, so I stopped hanging out in such places entirely. I run into some of my entertainment friends that I used to party with and they ask me how come you don't hang out with us any more? You used to be the life of the party, etc... I still go for events because it's important to share my new lifestyle with others, but it really depends on the kind of event, what it's cause is, and what role I would be playing there. People still invite me to sing my love songs, which I do, but I thank the Holy Spirit for giving me boldness to at least tell the organizers "but you do know I'm now a gospel artiste so I will be ministering one or two gospel songs with that right?" (smiles). 

How have your fans reacted to your transformed self...?

Mixed feelings, but things like this take a little time...with God  there's always a process. The greatest fear for my fans has been that they'll stop hearing the love songs they've come to identify me with and I'm like, I believe it's now I can sing the most beautiful love songs ever, flowing straight from the Author of man/woman love Himself. I still plan to do a full love album as a side project and in the upcoming album, there's a love song. However there's a much greater love to sing about first and focus on as reflected in my three new singles and that is the love of God and the indescribable beauty and joy of praising, worshiping and following Him. 

What's your inspiration? How do you come up with those love tunes?... and its great how one minute you're crooning to melt the heart of a woman and the next you're warming God's heart.
Funny... never thought of it that way. It's only in loving God and getting to know Him first that we realize that it is actually possible to find that great love between man and woman, since He made it and "He looked and saw that all that He made was good". He is the source of all and He's the one that places the songs in my heart. The best of all we seek for in life lies with Him if only we'll trust and completely follow His principles.

So is there anyone behind 'Obi Mu O'? We heard rumors of an engagement... is it true or just another rumor?

Very true. I met her sometime in 2007 and 3 days later I was talking marriage. She had me wait four years though. I wrote Obi Mu O months after we met and we're getting married in a few weeks.
You recently went through a major surgery, what was that about?

It happened in the last quarter of 2010 and I had a kidney stone removed. Quite a trying time it was for me and family but it ended up strengthening my faith the more. I'm so grateful for the revelations I received during that period which enabled me to quickly go through it.

What's your take on the gospel music in Naija?

The Nigerian gospel music scene was doing way much better in the years prior to my entry. I'm anxious to start contributing what I can and start bringing the players together. There are millions of Christians in churches every Sunday, in prayer camps and even during weekly services so there's no reason why gospel music in Nigeria should be in the state it's currently in, if one is strictly looking at the numbers, so perhaps it's a bit deeper than that. I believe changes will begin to occur once true and passionate ministers begin to come together for the common cause. We need to build platforms to get the music out there, since there's no Christian radio culture yet in Nigeria and there's really so much we can expect from the secular radio stations.

What do you hope to achieve with the new album? 
Get more people to come into an intimate relationship with Christ.
****
Thanks to Obi for sharing and so excited about his wedding :) ... Here's his three recently released singles... enjoy.

Follow You featuring Nutty Josh



Good to Me

F.a.t.h.e.r (Part 2)

Friday, September 16, 2011

You Think You Know... Grateful for Change.

Loads of things pissed me off. Like telling me to come to church... Like seriously, i go to church, when I'm in the mood. So stop giving me that look of 'come to church' you looser.

And so i went to church... every sunday or every other Sunday, looking my best. When i didn't feel the need to sleep in cos i had to work on Monday or when there was nothing to do, i went to church.
Acting like the princess i wasn't. Watching people wearily as they danced and sang. The awkward moments when the person beside me kneels in gratitude or face flat on the floor when we're all standing to pray, like seriously, why so evil(i just have to use that slang or I'll choke:)).
And even more awkward was the well dressed lady who wore better shoes than me... she lifts up her hands with well manicured nails(i took note) tears run down her cheeks, and she speaks in tongue, through her well painted lips... Unashamed... it's appalling. I mean we're here for God, but come on, enough with the embarrassing show off... i don't even know you and I'm quite embarrassed for you. Don't dress dignified if you're not going to act that way.
I always had an offering, the smallest denomination i could find in my bag,because there were cinema tickets to buy, thisday styles to buy, hang outs to pay for.
Why stay till the end of the service if i could bail in the middle for a brunch date, or better still, seat through and drift off day dreaming, at least i was in church just in case some over zealous person asked.

And then you tell me hanging out on a Friday night and having the best time of the week is wrong. Come on, people love to see me out, they love my presence, I'm fun to be with... You just don't know what is to be missed, the social ladder you get to climb, the popularity. And do you know the sort of deals you get to strike just by being at the right club at the right time? one minute you're just wanting to have fun and the next you're having a convo about this deal that makes Monday look better than good.
Most annoying is you criticizing my music collection, telling me to be selective of what i listen to, to ease out on the programmes i watch. Now that's plain crazy. Move over to the next fool to lie to. I love God too, but i think you're just trying to over do it to make him think you love him more.....

Fast forward to today, I'm that person I used to despise, walking in the opposite direction of what i thought was the life. I'm the well dressed pretty lady(hey, I am) lifting holy hands and standing unashamed in my worship. I'm the one singing the song like i wrote it myself(off key of course) and smiling with tears i can't explain rolling out. I'm the one wanting to give an offering worth something. I'm the one giving up fun Sunday brunches up for church. I'm the one you're uneasy with when i ask innocently if you were in church today...

I remember some magazine wanted me to join their team as a columnist... I didn't see myself as a writer but some saw my blogging as fun back in the day before I got all Jesus in their face.
Anyways I was excited about this new opportunity, we brainstormed, we had ideas,i was uncertain but willing to give it a try till a pastor friend of mine asked me if my articles would be about Jesus... I was mad at him, must everything be about Jesus? Does this magazine spell 'religion' to you? I got defensive and irritated with him.
I was just waking up to a renewd faith and that wasn't even something I thought I could do, that was like a public suicide, loosing my 'cool' factor....  I couldn't even imagine blogging Jesus on here, what would peope think? Would I still have my faithful readers?... Of course i planned on doing the 'Thank God, bla bla bla' once in a while, but i'd stick to the original script of the blog 90 percent of the time.

And a year plus down the road I look back and see my plan has been reversed, its now 99percent Jesus and a little about other stuffs. I didn't plan it this way. But he sort of creeps into every post I have drafted. (old time readers will notice I've taken down close to half of my old posts... ) It's amazing the number of hits i get these days... contrary to what i thought, Jesus is getting more hits than whatever it is i wrote about in the past. I have lost readers, but i have gained more readers than what i lost.

I look for excuses not to do a fast...
I get 'religious' sometimes forgetting my relationship with God is more important...
I sneak a peak at some programs as much as i'm no more addicted to them, i mean i'm not that into TV anymore, but i just can't resist wanting to know what Carrie and Big are up to, because they're just such a sweet sight as a married couple, while same time casting the spirit of Samantha away, or wanting to see what Ari is up to even though i don't agree with what hollywood preaches to me through Vince et co.
Sometimes, my faith is my personal secret when i seat in crowds where i ought to say something.
Sometimes reading my bible is a challenge....
Sometimes, it feels like it's too hard being his girl... but that's just sometimes.
I'm definitely not close to where i ought to be, but thank God I'm not where i used to be.

It is possible to change... To see things differently.
To give offerings and be excited about it... To feel empty when you havn't been in fellowship for a while. (i joked that once upon a time, twas cool for the bouncers to know you, helped alot, today i'm friends with ushers... go figure)
It's possible to get invites to be guests of some club owner or two and decline.
To miss an event you've looked forward to for so long because you have fellowship... or you don't agree with whatever it is it's promoting.
All things are possible, especially change. I should know.

This is a gratitude journal entry. I'm not bragging about my faith. I'd be a fool to think i was able to change on my own and embark on this journey as a freshly (re)crowned princess to the kingdom i was born to reign in.
I'm thankful for the gift of salvation.
For all those who've continuously prayed for my soul.. To God for not giving up on me...to my heart for letting its guard down and understanding true joy isn't in my beauty and how many people chase after me and want me, in the clothes I wear or the crowd I roll with, in the money I have or what I can get. I'm thankful and I'll guard this gift that's been freely given to me, cos my life is worth nothing without it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Gulliver...


I don't know how i read Jonathan Swift's book when i was younger... i tried reading some pages again as an adult and i was somewhere between lost and... well lost. I got to see the recent movie adaptation with Jack black... it was a decent enough movie, more bearable than the book or the previous movie.
It got me thinking... Gulliver's travels sort of comes alive in our day to day life. It's an adventure closer to home than we realize... It begins and ends in our mind at one point, what we perceive situations to be. Well at least that's what i make of it, it's easier giving myself that thought than trying to figure out the philosophy of the book really talks about.
We have our moments. When we are seen as larger than life. When we arrive Lilliput. A place where we are perceived as giants, because the people we come across are so small minded and insecure by what you have. They hate that you wear lovely colors, use red lipstick and speak your mind... a people so closed and held in bondage by their shallowness... its a shock to see someone from the outside come in their midst and live in a standard so different from what they are used too. And sometimes this people are our friends... they hate you just because they feel they have to be like you to make their lives better.

And because they see you as bigger than them, they'd rather fight you and call you an enemy than be the best friends they can be. They're hostile and make life difficult for you in their midst. You're sentenced and criticized for every sneeze and every breath you take… because you’re better than them... in their minds eyes, what their perception tells them.
Sometimes they are lucky enough to eventually realize you're no threat to them like the little men in the movie did, and they end up learning from you and seeing themselves as big as you are, sometimes not.
Guard your heart with all diligence.... what you see in your minds eye is usually what you get. See me as better than you, and I'll definitely be better than you even if I'm not half as talented as you are, and you'll spend the rest of your life hating on me and walking around like an ant while i strut around like the giant you've perceived me to be.
Stop being a lilliputian. Refuse to put yourself down and under. Self esteem has to be on a rise in you, just like yeast in a warm room... 

And then we arrive in Brobdingnag(never ask me to pronounce this please), a land of giants. Only this time you're seen as the little one. And you're not hostile to the big guys, you're just in a larger than life situation where the giants and lords of the land are not hostile but are amused by you.

It's like a 'Johnny just come' situation. Johnny going to 'ogbodo oyinbo' for the first time, where he sees 'oyinbo people' and he sort of feels they've got to be way ahead of him, he's got a long way to catch up but he's determined... Just because everything seems to work for them and life is somewhat easily than where he comes from where electricity is a luxury. He knows he's worth something, but he's at a disadvantage because of where he comes from... Johnny is special in this land, they want to feel his skin to see if the black will rub off, they ask him silly questions like "do you have lions as pets back home?" they want to know if "he lives in a tree'...(i know a couple of people who've been asked this questions).

Or lets say you suddenly come into this wealth or become a billionaire wife(or whatever situation that elevates you far above where you were in life). A position that takes you round the world to meet, party and dine with the who is who... Life suddenly couldn't get any posher than what has been tossed at you. It's overwhelming. You don't see yourself as less than this people you dine with, but you just have a lot of catching up to do in getting used to the good life. And so you start with the fake accents(ahem)
Sometimes when the 'big' people know you feel a little stunted by the whole new world thing, they act so nice to you... so nice that you feel patronized, because you're nothing but a spectacle to them as you try to break into your new louboutin shoes...
I'm sure Gulliver will tell you it's really not nice been in the land of giants, those long long meetings/lunches et co before you get accepted... and No, this is beyond your perspective and what your minds eye sees, this is the real world.
We've all been there at one point or the other on both sides of the table... confident, but overwhelmed with all the new things we have to break into... I guess when you get to the land of the Brobdingnag, you just hang in there and toughen up till you finally feel comfy in your new shoes and you can pick the right fork up even if you're blindfolded... you'll be accepted soon enough.

and that's all folks... My thoughts on Gulliver's travels and i'm sticking to it, even if you think it rings silly :).

Saturday, September 10, 2011

We got Annie...

I love the movie Annie. I could watch it over and over again. Who doesn't? the cute freckle faced, curly red haired orphan girl who rose from obscurity to a place of wealth, light and love. One day Annie was just another orphan singing 'its a hard knock life' and the next she's an heir to a fortune. I got something more out of Annie as an adult.

She's in an orphanage but she knows she doesn't belong there, because she believes there's someone out there for her(her parents) coming back to rescue her, but that doesn't stop her from living like the other orphans in drab clothes and eating boring meals and sucking up to Miss Hannigan.
She tries escaping through the laundry mans van which doesn't turn out well as she's led by the ear back to the home...
And then the great unexpected happens... you see she's always expected a rescue, but even this exceeded what her dreams had painted, saved by the beautiful Miss Grace.... and brought into a world of wealth and love like she's never known before. She's moving in with the richest man in America, Miss Hannigan:"The Oliver Warbucks? Oliver Warbucks, the millionaire?" Miss Grace: "Oh no. Oliver Warbucks, the billionaire....
A mansion filled with servants, all at her beck and call, she isn't to lift a finger, there's someone to pick up all her toys...all her needs will be met. She's also got the Warbucks' bodyguards Punjab and Asp for protection least anyone lays a finger on her. She has a free pass to the president of the country. She's in a secure world within a world of insecurity and the great depression...

But Annie is still sort of hung in the past, her past expectations of what true joy should be, which isn't real... thus when shes given the chance to have all this forever she hesitates, she wants what she feels is out there for her(her late parents)... and so the evil ones come out to play in the form of Rooster and Lily St. Regis.... Fast forward, badt guys aka Punjab and Asp and co are on to the rescue, a battle she partakes in too, to save herself. She's brought back to the mansion and she realizes shes got the best thing she could ever hope for in Daddy Warbucks, and she's singing "together at last, together forever....."

And i know you've seen the movie, don't get bored with my sketchy details, stay with me, i'm going somewhere with this...

God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. Ephesians 1:5
 
Like it or not, we're just like the little orphan girls in the cold cold world we choose to live in outside Christ, a world ravished by the great depression and little hope. There's no joy in it, we live within the facade Miss Hannigan(devil) has built to make people believe it's a joyful place within this home, singing "it's a hard knock life for us... No one cares for you a smidge, When you're in an orphanage!..."
Some of us realize this and try to escape from the craziness of the world in our own wisdom by getting into Mr bundles laundry basket.

Unfortunately we're not strong enough and the devil gets us back to his home even before we get past the first hour in church, in no time we're back to our old selves. You can't change on your own, and that's why we've got to be thankful for sweet beautiful Grace who comes to the orphanage to pick us(the holy spirit). There's a tussle between Miss Hannigan and Grace, but we're finally broken out, especially when we're determined and restless like Annie.
tussle between the Devil Miss Hannigan and the Holy Spirit Grace for you ;)
Adopted into the kingdom of God, God who's wealthier than daddy Warburks. This new life rocks... the angels are singing, there's dancing and celebration at your arrival, the song "...we've got Annie' resounds in the heavenly mansion. "I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent."Luke 15:7

You have Punjab and Aps to protect you 24/7 "For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone." Psalm 91:11-12(nkjv)
You have Miss Grace(the holy spirit) directing you and helping you settle and move along smoothly in your new life, "...he will guide you into all truth..."John 16:13...
Life is a blast. But you're still sort of caught up in a false hope of something out there in the world for you, something you feel you're missing out on, and if you don't "Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life."Proverbs 4:23, Rooster and Lily will come in with ease, dressed in what you kinda lust for in the world, telling you they are what you've hoped for and dreamed of for so long. Their perfect plan to take you out of your bliss of a "...rich and satisfying life", just because you let them get you by letting your guard down "...The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy."John 10:10


Some are not so lucky like Annie, Rooster really does take them away and they never get a second chance. But some fight Rooster off when they realize the lies and deceit they've been tangled in, and they come back to the mansion... stronger in faith and singing songs like 'The sun will come out, Tomorrow Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, There'll be sun!' for they've grown in wisdom and know that "Now faith is the assurance that what we hope for will come about and the certainty that what we cannot see exists" Hebrews 11:1
And you'll hold hands with your father singing "Together at last!  Together for ever! We're tying a knot, They never can sever!... i don't need anything but you"
Through your coming to the kingdom you make a way to bring other orphans into this house of joy and you live happily ever after... like Annie did for the rest of Miss Hannigans girls. The poor orphan girl is now an heir to a great empire. Who would have thunk? With Righteousness, Peace and Joy available to her all the days of her life.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then theirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. Romans 8:14-17
Miss Hannigans words rings true in my ears "Why any kid would want to be an orphan is beyond me." Choose to be adopted today.  My adoption paper has been signed and I'm having a blast.
oh, what Joy ever after with Daddy Warbucks :)
Photo credit:/www.thefancarpet.com                                

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Holding on....

When you take a stand, it feels great..., especially when you're able to keep still when the fine, the rich, the bloke, the hunk, the barritones come pulling your arms. You shake a little, but you dig your feet deeper into the ground of your conviction.
And it's all good till everyone around you starts giving their opinions aggressively.
Especially those on your bbm contact list who shouldn't even be there in the first place.... ex toasters who claim they've moved on and are happy but still make it a point to say hey and tell you how great their lifes are... if life is that great then i think you'll spend your time enjoying it, rather than taking regular coffee breaks to tell me or who ever how great it is and ask when you're going to make yours great by getting a ring on it... just like they did.

The accusations of being too picky wakes you up from your bliss of taking a stance and you wonder... and you almost start to doubt, have you taken it too far?... What's unequally yoked got to do with it? a little disparity ain't gonna hurt nobody, he's a moslem so what? not like he goes to the mosque, you can change him... he's a party boy, so what? He's kind of extra cool the way he is, and besides, you wouldn't let him take you to the clubs, you'll stay home praying for him to change... and you think maybe your standard is really too high... especially after that friend turns on you and hisses... "go date your bible" at you. Ouch!

Your faith is a little shaky until you pick up the guide book for life and right there in your face you see it "... she is far more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls."prov 31:10(Amp) and it hits you... that's you the book is talking about, how dare they put you down for taking yourself to be who you are. Who are you not to have high standards if the book says you're all these and much more... more precious than all the precious jewels man has ever seen. That's reason enough to rise above the opinions of others and stick to what you know/believe even if those around you don't see or think it.

And then you're doing the chicken dance with joy at the reminder of who you are, and you smile, keep your head up like the princess you are, and happily tell the next person pinging your life out, that you love the standard you've set, and you wouldn't lower it for anything, if no ones able to climb up that fence, then maybe no one deserves you, but till then.... you'll keep being wonderfully too hot to handle in your high standard apartment, and be happy while you're at it, because you refuse to compromise.

                                       

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Dear Dairy.

I've always had a dairy since i can't remember... from an ugly 'exercise' book to the state government/bank branded day planners to those fancy journals around. Once upon a time i couldn't and wouldn't go to bed without writing in my journal.
Some saw it as dorky, but it was my special thing.

I'm glad i did. I go back and read stuff my younger self wrote and how my mind functioned and i want to slide under the bed and hide from the silliness that was me :).
I was reading some of my old dairies and i was shocked. It just shows me how much I've grown, prayers that have been answered and how things i thought mattered at that moment weren't worth the trouble of sleepless nights. I was such a crazy soul hidden in the calmness of me. So deep thank God i didn't drown in myself... and the books i read? Loads of books out there mess your mind up, especially when the mind dwells in a wavery place. They were harmless to the eyes. But i've realized that those things go deeper than you can imagine(books aren't just books and movies aren't just movies)... books on dreams and astrology with a sprinkle of spells hidden in the pages, palm reading et co... thinking back it almost feels like i was on the borderline of being drawn into something beyond the ordinary, i never tried any of them, doesn't mean i didn't read with interest. Luckily for me, after reading the first harry potter book, rather than get drawn into it, i had nightmares and swore off it, or else...lord have mercy.
 I laughed and i cringed as i read through my '04 journal I was a lot of things at 19 according to my journal, i'll share a few...

*I had a little over 50 pairs of shoes. I'm not exaggerating, there was this guy called eskimo i bought shoes from. I just kept buying, some i never got to use, my mom wasn't so impressed whenever she came into my room. I didn't really need them, but i just had to have another pair or three. It was always fun counting my shoes (reading that in my journal made me realize that those things you're desperate to have are nothing... years later you look back and they don't make sense. I can;t tell what happened to half of the shoes. Don't kill yourself if you can't afford another pair of shoe today. It's not worth it in the long run. A few years from now, you wouldn't even need it)


*I cried a lot for no reason. I loved to be alone in my room and the sobbing would start in that moment. ... apparently shoes and material things don't give you an automatic ticket to happiness. It looked like i had it all on the outside, a car, a life... clothes and a decent popularity rating, but i wasn't really happy.

*I had loads of 'toasters'. I laughed hard when I read how amazed i was that a boy I never met in my life came to the house to look for me and declare his love. I just couldn't understand how a person could do that. I had to make didi once to look younger than my age cos much older boys were after me, i wanted to scare them off. Perverts, apparently the younger the better. It was a no shaking situation for them.

*I was fat... I would eat a lot, then whine about my weight in my journal, then starve myself, then hit the new and only gym in town the next day(the humblest gym I've seen to date)...  At 19 I was stupid enough to spend money on Quincy Ayodele slimming package. That slimming program was worth nothing and so expensive, all it told you to do was go on some diet plan which really was eating nothing and drinking some yucky tea. "I'm so so fat, Ayodele isn't working... I really feel like being married right now" *straight face*
Basically i felt by being married there did be less pressure on self about my weight, it was an automatic ticket to being big and free. My favorite uncle said it was just baby fat and I'd outgrow it... how i love that man. Because i did outgrow it :)

*I wanted to preach and win souls for God... i remember having a dream that i was on a pulpit once. Then I wrote, "I know that's just wishful thinking." (I just couldn't figure how to get closer to God)

*I was insecure about my looks! I haven't changed much from what i looked like then, maybe a little older and less chubby. But how in the world was my mind able to play that card on me? One day i'd feel beautiful and the next all i'd see was a lot of flesh. I was scared people only wanted to be around me cos of my looks and maybe i wasn't worth anything if it was taken away on the days the mirror showed me a pretty girl. I wondered and called my gift my curse. Thank God he didn't agree with my silliness and take it all away.

Nineteen was such a year indeed. I'm glad I've outgrown some of my fears and worries. I love my body whatever size it is. I look in the mirror and i see a beautiful and wonderfully made woman. My self esteem is on an all time high. I'm slowly but steadily getting to where i want to be. I don't cry as much as i used to. I'm happier than i ever was even with less clothes and fewer shoes.
I've read through different years of my life and i'm truly glad i documented those details. Some thoughts i wrote gets me thinking... is that really how a girl of seventeen should think?

These days i don't have the everyday sort of journal... but i have a gratitude journal, and my spirit gets revived whenever i read through it and see Gods faithfulness, from provision to deliverance, to protection to restoration and his promises.
I'm starting a daily journal again. I would love to look back at this moment five years from now and see how my little worries are nothing, and how my fears are just a bunch of silliness. I would love to see how my dreams, more elaborate than they were ten years ago have come true. It's like going through a photo album from the past, only the pictures you're seeing are your thoughts.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Drowning in Love.

I love my nieces so much, more than numbers like they would say.... but as much as i love them, sometimes i love my space more... and i wish the summer holiday would be over so they'd get back to school and i can breath freely without having to inhale their sweet and sometimes infuriating selves for a couple of hours. Because sometimes Love tries to drown you, and without that air? Love turns to irritation... and yapping and snapping.

Somethings are so important to us as humans, like time out to think and reflect and write or daydream or whatever... so important that you allow love to stay on hold for a few minutes. Not even love can stop this want for space.
Moments where i want to be away from everything and forget them for a minute or two... I know they feel the same way too, sometimes i see it in their faces when i try to kiss them and act goofy with them, I'm just not funny in those moments, they would rather be alone than deal with the excess of love i splash on them.

And so it is in life, with all the love we have for our own, be it a spouse or a child or music or whatever, normal is us wanting to sometimes run away, to have breathing space, away from their bickering, away from the reports of who did what and not, away from the questions, away from the hugs and just away before we go crazy....

"Can a mother forget the infant at her breast, walk away from the baby she bore? But even if mothers forget, I'd never forget you-never. Look, I've written your names on the backs of my hands." Isaiah 49:15-16 
Even a mother of a new born babe sometimes wants her space, she wants to just hand the baby over and check in to some spa or hotel to forget it all, to inhale lavender, cherry blossoms et co, have time to herself, drown out the noise of all the demand love makes on her... even the most loving mother cherishes the moments they can forget their children for a few hours sometimes. 

But God doesn't.
Not ever, not even for a second, he'll never abandon us, even in the midst of our whining and complaining and demands and bugging and it all, he stays by our side, patient and filled with love, that is all sufficient, that is so powerful it doesn't need that breath of fresh air to survive... he never ever gets tired of us, he's just so great... he's just so kind, so sweet.
I mean, you can't say a guy loves you more than enough that he gives you undivided attention 24/7, theres always that moment when the game is on and you're nothing but an irritant when you keep yapping on and on about unimportant stuff and he wants to run from you(even when he says it's okay)... why he would rather watch the game at some bar with the mates. Or when he's working on this really huge deal he needs to close and there you are asking if you look fat in your jeans... Major reason for that fresh air.

But God is so different.
Its so amazing when he says “....I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5 there's this statement so simple and filled with honesty, but the simplicity of it all makes it easy to ignore.
There you are, crying and saying this desperate prayer about some silly dress you need to wear for some event and how you think you look fat in it or about this pimple that's appeared on your nose and he's listening, paying attention not loosing focus on you for one minute while same time he gives as much attention to a person dying of cancer and crying for help... nothing is more important than our silliest rant to him. There he is, listening, caring, laughing at our silly jokes, stroking out head, kissing us when we lay down to sleep drenched in worry... he's there on our worst days, not once thinking he needs a break from our craziness.

I've come to realize that when we feel like he's far from us, or he's really forsaken us contrary to his word, we need to check ourselves, because he doesn't lie, he's true to his word... thus we are the ones doing the leaving, we are the ones doing the forsaking, because we get distracted easily by the things of the world. But the best thing about this is he's there waiting for us... you want the attention, then you stick with him, get your shoe lace tangled with his, so when the issues of life tries to drift you away, you get yanked back. Funny how i sing this song by pussycat dolls to him... but it just breaks down all I'm trying to say "Nobody gonna love me better, I must stick with you forever. Nobody gonna take me higher, I must stick with you. You know how to appreciate me. I must stick with you, my baby. Nobody ever made me feel this way. I must stick with you."

I might be goofy sometimes, and annoying, and people might want to take a break from me... but that don't matter, because I've got a love that is constant through pms and blonde chic moments, through local champ modes and diva sessions...
There really is no greater love. His love for us goes beyond what we can ever understand as humans, because its just not human never to come up to the surface for fresh air when swimming in love... He's never needed a break from us, no matter how messed up, spoilt, stubborn and selfish we are sometimes... the beauty of the fathers love is out of this world... stick with him and enjoy it.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Paul was saying...

What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn't treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand.


So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each others bodies. They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself(i.e money,material things,fame), who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. 
That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.(emptiness, diseases et co)


Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. And it's not as if they don't know better. They know perfectly well they're spitting in God's face. And they don't care-worse, they hand out prizes to those who do the worst things best!
Romans 1:21-32(A combination of the nlt and the message and emphasis from me) 

I read this and i was like, wow, this is us... this generation. Paul wrote this according to the records in AD 56, and here we are today... feels like he's just picked up another magazine, or seen another movie or walked the street and come home in despair to write this on his blog in 2011.

And one of the wisest men to ever live wrote in Ecclesiastes 1:9(nlt) "History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new" So as appalling as the behavior of people seem to get with each new day, it really isn't new, its been done before, every single thing...
and this scripture has transcended cultures and countries and time, it's speaking to us again, trying to wake us up..... 
*sigh* We'll keep praying for grace, for mercy, for love to endure long enough for us realize whats been handed to us and to appreciate it and wake up from the deadly slumber of death. 
I've got little girls... well kid sisters of friends on my twitter timeline and my gosh, the things they say, my heart breaks for them, i was discussing with a friend a week ago and he said the social network has made people animals(well not his words) i told him, there's always been ravaging animals in people, the social network just gave them the guts and a platform to release all thats been wanting to breath in them all these years. 

You don't have to be vulgar to be popular, you don't have to be nude to be heard... now loads of stuff are accepted as the norm, you're more likely to get a raised eyebrow over a person going for a night vigil(actual vigil, not the excuse to attend a party sort) than at a girl who has a sex tape out. And the more you 'score' the more you're hailed and popular and loved just like Paul said. We've so glamorized sin, even the law embraces it.
I got to listen to some songs i joyfully sang some years ago and i cringed when i heard the lyrics with a renewed mind... what were/are we dancing too? music videos have to be pornish to get peoples attention. What are your children singing? was at the salon and a girl of about ten was singing lil Wayne's lollipop from the start of the video to the end and her mother just sat and watched her... like seriously?


I don't think now is the time for me to get tired or shy away from speaking out... We're running out of time.
"Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?" Romans 2:4(NLV)
Lets quit taking his grace for granted.
 
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