who am i?

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

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Put the blame on...?

“You are always dragging me down,' said I to my Body. 'Dragging _you_ down!' replied my Body. 'Well I like that! Who taught me to like tobacco and alcohol? You, of course, with your idiotic adolescent idea of being "grown up". My palate loathed both at first: but you would have your way. Who put an end to all those angry and revengeful thoughts last night? Me, of course, by insisting on going to sleep. Who does his best to keep you from talking too much and eating too much by giving you dry throats and headaches and indigestion? Eh?' 'And what about sex?' said I. 'Yes, what about it?' retorted the Body. 'If you and your wretched imagination would leave me alone I'd give you no trouble. That's Soul all over; you give me orders and then blame me for carrying them out.” C.S Lewis
Now who are you going to put the blame on next? I can see the devil cowering in fear already, he knows he'll be accused next... lol, "Na devil"... typical response. 
You can put the blame on me...!!! source
Yes, he has a lot to answer for, but the truth is, he dangles the bait and it's your choice to take a bite or walk away from it.When you make the wrong choice, you have yourself to blame. The illusion that we can lay the blame on something outside of us is what keeps us going the wrong way, after all it isn't our fault...
(in the end though, the devil gets the victory for our downfall, and it's always a defeat for him when we resist his temptation. So even if he's not to blame for some of the choices we make, he still gets the credit cos all evil is of the devil)
To avoid playing the 'pass the blame around'  game, "...Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." Proverbs 4:23 do this by heeding to what Paul said to the Philippians "...you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse." Philippians 4:8(msg)

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Joy and Pain of Heels...

Every morning that I choose to get out of bed is a day of victory. Sometimes I want to lie down and let the pain take over and control how I should feel, because getting up feels like a lot of work. Stretching out, taking that first step, climbing another stair, carrying my handbag, lifting up a baby, driving… these are my little everyday victories against pain. I could choose to let the pain take over, to allow it sip the joy out of me, to wallow in self pity and complain every second of every minute… but I refuse to be defeated in this game of pain. I am more than a conqueror after all.
I love shoes, i love shoes with high heeels; I’ve had some gravity defying shoes in my life. I love the way they control the movement of my body, makes me feel like a lady… makes me want to stand tall even when I want to cower in fear or insecurity. I have even perfected the act of running in heels. I’ve enjoyed them so much, and I seem to tolerate the pain that eats at my leg better when I am in heels. Something I shouldn’t be wearing. The doctor/physiotherapist warned me against them. And I wasn’t even wearing the high ones when he gave me the stern advice. He said I may feel like it doesn’t hurt to keep wearing heels, but in a few years, I’d start to see the effect especially as I battle with the pain and bla bla bla (I refuse to accept that in a few years the pain will still be fighting with me, I’m sure it’ll bow out soon enough). I knew what he said was the truth, but you just can’t tell a girl to stop wearing heels. So I kind of ignored him.

But as I shopped for shoes recently, I subconsciously began to buy shoes with low heels. I noticed I ignored most of the eye candy high-heeled shoes I would have jumped at before. Somehow I got to a point where I began to understand that I have to start taking care of myself to avoid certain setbacks/complications. While I expect healing, I have to do my part in managing the pain as I wait. I don’t know where that resolve came from, but somehow I held on to it… I dropped a couple of shoes I loved because I realized I wasn’t doing myself well. I haven’t completely abandoned heels, I bought me a few respectable ones, and I good number of flats. But I guess that’s a start.
We love certain things and hold on to them, knowing for a fact that they are not right for us, knowing that while we may not see the effect on us immediately, in the long run, we will be affected. But we can’t desist, because that’s what we’ve come to know as the pleasures of life… the good life according to the world’s standard. How do they expect you to be celibate when all your friends aren’t? How do they expect you to be honest, when honesty is not a virtue in our business environment? And so we keep doing everything wrong because it makes us feel right, and an added advantage is that we don’t get a heavenly knock anytime we lie or steal or slip into yet another bed with another man.

But some of us get wise after hearing that advice. We begin to see things as they are, to understand that our instant gratification goes ahead of us to cause us more pain than pleasure in the future, and so we find ourselves sobering up and thinking about what’s best for us. In our shopping, we start buying the flat shoes instead of the heels, shunning some activities that we loved and clinging to those that edify us instead. Its not easy, and sometimes it doesn’t even feel like fun, but it’s worth it. It takes time to completely adjust to the idea of a new and transformed life, just like I still bought some shoes with heels, and even wore one for a wedding a few days ago, It’ll take a little time for me to completely adjust to this idea of not sashaying the right way cos I'm wearing flat shoes. 
We find ourselves holding on to some habits we should have dropped even when we've made the choice of being a new person… in the long run, as long as we’re determined to change and hold on to the wholeness of salvation, we’ll slowly begin to shed off those things we hold on to. The Christian transformation doesn’t take place in one day. Sometimes, you’ll find yourself back in the place you don’t want to be at, but as long as you know that's not what you want for you, keep praying for help, for a complete renewal of mind, and you’ll get there, to that place where you'll look back and wonder how you ever thought the old life was the idea of the high life.

Just remember, fact that you're not paying for it now doesn't mean there isn't a price to pay in the future.

“Sin is like an incredible meal that becomes poisonous venom in your stomach. What you eat on Earth you may digest in Hell.” Lecrae

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Preachers Kid...

Sarah D Henson
"Someone once told me if a dentist's child can have a cavity, a teacher's child needs tutoring, then a preacher's kid can have life struggles. Living up to someone's expectations is no way to live at all. Allow yourself to be you, flaws and all." Sarah

She must have given people a reason to snicker and point fingers at her father… maybe if it was in the days where the whole world was reduced to just a click on the Internet, then the story would have gone viral and facebook would have had debates and twitter would have called Christians names and jokes would have trended with harsh tags like #thepreaherskid causing people to discover their dry sense of humor. But it wasn’t, and I like many others wouldn’t have even known about it if we didn’t hear it from her.
Sarah Henson, daughter of Bishop T.D Jakes got pregnant at age 14, everything her daddy preached against, being holy and living a pure life right out of the window. You see, when satan hits, he hits hard, and when you’re so covered with barricades of protection around you, he goes to the weak defenses, he strikes the next best thing to you which is almost as bad as hitting you… your family. And so he sat back laughing at his victory, he planned on putting a duct tape and some glue on the preacher. He must have celebrated his victory… just like he did on the cross at the death of Jesus. But one thing I’ve come to know, the devil isn't as wise as we give him credit for, if he was, he wouldn’t keep hitting us with his best after what happened on the cross, like the bible says in 1 Corinthians 2:7-8 “(7) God's wisdom is something mysterious that goes deep into the interior of his purposes. You don't find it lying around on the surface. It's not the latest message, but more like the oldest-what God determined as the way to bring out his best in us, long before we ever arrived on the scene (msg) 8.But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord (NLT).” True, if he knew about the glory of Christ's death and the salvation it continually brings to mankind, he would never have crucified him.
Like if he knew what path to glory, what woman of faith and passion for the things of God he was carving by getting her to that place she was in at 14, he would have let her be the preachers kid that she was expected to be by default. And so today, beautiful 23 years old Sarah stands with her head held high, not with pride, but with the string of Grace, because she didn’t just seat back and let him win. She moved, one step at a time, reclaiming her life, her dignity, her self image, pushing through the wall of shame and judgment, choosing to get out of the dirt she was pushed into, going back to school, getting a degree, getting married, running a ministry and just being a kingdom princess that she is. 
"I can remember feeling like everyone was staring at me, thinking negative thoughts…. I became very
familiar with shame, learned quickly how loud whispers can be, how fast rumors travel. …More
importantly I learned to never let anything or anyone convince me I was no longer worthy of dreaming,
living my life to the fullest.”
Sarah introduced her dad at the woman thou art loosed conference last year.
She has changed lives and encouraged many with her words and by openly speaking about her experience of wanting so much too soon. Letting them know that the past is a place that can be left behind, a place that can be triumphed over, and a place that should never be allowed to trample on us or stop us from attaining the joy of salvation available to all. She’s made many who’ve been through what she’s gone through and more be able to stand up and grab hope back from the claws of the devil. Like Sarah tweets “You can't control what happens today, so don't let what happens control you.” 
She’s beat the devil at his own game. Reminds me of Paul saying everything works together for our good... if she didn’t go through a teen pregnancy, would she be where she is today? Serving God and running a ministry with true passion. If she didn’t rise up to grab the hands of grace, to experience it first hand beyond what daddy preached, maybe her life would have just been about another preachers kid doing what she has to do as a preachers kid, putting up a front for the congregation and the world, but not really knowing and understanding what God’s love is all about, just experiencing God in the shadow of her parents and feeling unfulfilled. Not only has she beat the devil at his game, she has a beautiful trophy to show for her victory amongst many others, a walking testimony of Gods grace, her handsome son Malachi... Checkmate!!!!
Sarah and her parents on her wedding day three years ago.
Sometimes we go through things and wonder why? Or maybe we’ve done things we hate ourselves for, our past and all the decisions we made… As much as we hate that we did that, stop for a minute and be thankful for your past, for “all things work together for our good.” If you didn’t, would you have been so thirsty for salvation? Would you be able to understand grace and the depth of God’s love?… Some people don’t have to go through the storm to be brought into God’s grace, but maybe you’re one of those who has to go through the dirt to appreciate the sanctity of righteousness and the loving embrace of grace. 
She is a gifted young woman overflowing with wisdom that surpasses her age… but then, when has age ever stopped God? Check out Sarah's blog 'My words, My thoughts, My heart' here and follow her on twitter/ facebook.
*photos: courtesy of Sarah's FB page.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Underwears: Lacey and frilly or Plain and Unflattering.

I went shopping with my niece, and she had a puzzled look on her face when I picked up some underwear. Then she asked why we had to buy underwear with laces and frills on them when nobody is going to see us wearing them. (Well I’ll get married someday, so someone would definitely see them, but i wasn't about to drive that point home to a little girl) Since i am an unmarried girl, I guess she has a point. Why do I want the fancy underwear when I can stick with the practical ones? Why not just grab anything i can find and be on my way, after all, who is looking?
Well, I buy them because I love to feel good on the inside as much as I love to look good on the outside. Besides, If there happens to be an impromptu street stripe search, I want to be ready and able to stand with my head held high if I have to take my clothes off in public. I don’t want to look a mess on the inside and all sassy and nice looking on the outside.So while no one else is seeing me, i love my inside look.
No matter how refined we are… pretty, well dressed and sophisticated, everything changes when what's beneath the surface is brought to light. If underneath fails to compliment the surface, then peoples views about us change. Sometimes Christianity can be like a well dressed lady in designer clothes and lovely hats, but wearing unflattering underwear on the inside.
Christianity is more about the heart, than the number of times we go to church, the number of ‘God bless yous” we say, the hours we dedicate to charity and the weight our money puts on the offering baskets. Yes, It is about all those things, but what matters most is the heart.

Who are we when we’re all alone, by ourselves, stripped of the beautiful and fashionable robe of Christianity? Is there more to our walk than just church?
Imagine they had one of those x-ray glasses that see through things, and random people see through your fancy dresses everyday... you certainly wouldn't want to be a victim especially if you use unflattering undies. That's how God sees through our actions everyday, he sees right through and looks into our hearts. Michael W. Smiths sings that he searches much deeper within, through the way things appears, and he is looking into our heart. 
Remember when Samuel went to Jesse’s house to anoint a new king of Israel? He saw lovely looking men, well dressed, handsome and princely, and he was ready to anoint Eliab the first son, and subsequently the other brothers that he saw, but God stripped them of their 'religious' robes from the heavens and saw their hearts. In today's world, they would probably be the Pastor's assistant, the head usher, the choir leader, the department head... but they had nothing as handsome as their looks on the inside, they wore plain unflattering undies  "But the LORD said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7
A change of heart is the first step to peace and a nice loving relationship with God beyond the fancy cloak of Christianity, the underwear of a heart of worship and praise and thanks and compassion and love that is all lacy and frilly on the inside is what completes the look for us. Don’t harbor the wrong thoughts and attitudes on the inside thinking no one can see, God sees it all, one day we just might need to stripe on the streets, you don’t want your less appealing undies to be seen, do you? I certainly don't.
If you think it's worth looking good on the outside, then it's worth looking good on the inside too.
"May the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer." Psalm 19:14

Friday, January 13, 2012

Señor Don Gato

My flight has been canceled. I don't want to feel angry or irritated about it, i just don't want to have to unpack. Packing is already a chore as it is. So tomorrow it is... hopefully.
Pray for Nigeria people, there's so much uncertainty, negativity and hate flying around.

I've come to realize that only few Nigerians are able to give rational arguments without throwing insults and raining curses. As long as you have a different view from what they believe is right, you're finished... the insults spans across generations, to your ancestors and all the way down again to the generations to come. We need to grow up, and learn to be civil in our daily interactions. I pray for wisdom for our leaders, and wisdom for the the people. This really has to end soon.
I still believe in Nigeria.

On a lighter note, i remember my sister singing Senor Don Gato, she would come home on holidays from school(Airforce girls military school Jos) and i'd beg her to write the words of the song down for me. What a joy when i found it online years later. You've got to be thankful for the internet...

Señor Don Gato was a cat,
On a high red roof Don Gato sat.
He went there to read a letter,
Meow, meow, meow
Where the reading light was better,
Meow, meow, meow
T'was a love note for Don Gato.
"I adore you," wrote the lady cat.
Who was fluffy, white, and nice and fat.
There was not a sweeter kitty
Meow, meow, meow
In the country or the city
Meow, meow, meow
And she said she'd wed Don Gato.
Oh, Don Gato jumped so merrily,
He fell off the roof and broke his knee.
Broke his ribs and all his whiskers,
Meow, meow, meow
And his little solar plexus,
Meow, meow, meow
"Ay carramba!" cried Don Gato.
Well the doctors all came on the run,
Just to see if something could be done.
And they held a consultation,
Meow, meow, meow
About how to save their patient,
Meow, meow, meow
How to save Señor Don Gato.
But in spite of everything they tried,
Poor Señor Don Gato up and died.
Oh it wasn't very merry,
Meow, meow, meow
Going to the cemetery,
Meow, meow, meow
For the ending of Don Gato.
As the funeral passed the market square,
Such a smell of fish was in the air.
Though the funeral was slated,
Meow, meow, meow
He became re-animated,
Meow, meow, meow
He came back to life Don Gato.

Ahhh, you've got to love the Senor, not even love could bring him to life... but fish did. Sometimes i feel like the Don, i get all perked up at the thought of food.

Heading home...

I'm leaving for Nigeria tomorrow.
I feel like running out to eat all i can... from nandos, to T.G.I Friday, to Mcdonalds, KFC, Italian and Chinese and just everything. I would miss my junk fix, as much as i look forward to mortal pounded yam.
I look forward to getting rid of the layers and going out without coats and scarfs, I'm excited about wearing flip flops and baring my legs, and wearing light dresses without stockings and tights.
I would miss my nieces, I miss them already, and i just kissed them goodnight, don't want to think about how it'll be tomorrow when i give that last lingering hug before heading to the airport. I hate saying goodbye. It sucks!

I'm thankful for God's grace in the last couple of months, he's sustained me and strengthened me and helped me in my work. I am excited for me. It's going to be a great year indeed. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Wings of Friendship...

“In friendship...we think we have chosen our peers. In reality a few years' difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another...the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting--any of these chances might have kept us apart. But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking no chances. A secret master of ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you," can truly say to every group of Christian friends, "Ye have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another." The friendship is not a reward for our discriminating and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each of us the beauties of others.” C.S Lewis
Aren't we all glad for people we can call friends? Especially Christian friends. This quote brought to mind a friend of mine when i first read it. We met when we were still shaky Christians... but together we've grown, well he's grown and I'm coming up, but he hasn't left me, he's up there encouraging me and pulling me up. It takes a conversation with him to fire me up and make me want more... I truly understand what this quote says.
source: http://3.bp.blogspot.com
(Out of context from the quote)
I'm glad for the friend(s) i have to encourage me on bad days, those who have pushed me towards my dreams and whose faith in me, my abilities and strength i didn't even know existed have made me see that i really can. Those who are ready to drop on their knees or bow their heads to say a prayer for me when i need it... or just because they want to.

I have loads of friends, but just a few make me feel like WOW... beyond the gossip, and wanting to take and take and take, and being competitive... it's all just empty companionship. I held on to this emptiness for so long thinking how i didn't want to be left out and all the other empty reasons. But if you believe you can fly, and those around you are still marveling at the pedals of a bicycle, then it's time for you to walk to the street where wings are grown from mutual respect, genuine interest in what your dreams of pushing boundaries are and the giving of encouragement, daily doses of faith, hope and wisdom pumped into you. Somehow, you'll get to meet those who'll help you in your growth, it's up to you to believe and desire change, and be willing to be moved from where you are, to this new place of friendship in this 'chanced' meeting, that is more of the creators creation of an earthly support system that encourages you and takes you where you ought to be.
I'm glad for the friends i have to hold me as i struggle to rock steady in my faith. Those that call to encourage me on the somewhat scary journey I've embarked on... They may be a few, or just one or two, but i know our meeting was far beyond chance in that office, same neighborhood as a child, mutual friends and being born into the same family. Because i have been willing, and more importantly, they have been willing to be there for me, we've stuck it out and i can feel the wings flapping, I'm ready to fly.
Choose from amongst your friends whom you surround yourself with, open your eyes and your mind to opportunities of beautiful friendship thrown at you... Dare to step out of your clique... dare to walk away from the bicycle gawkers and settle in the place where you can fly.Words and negative energy go a long way in limiting you and clipping the wings of your dreams. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

An Atheist and A Believer...

I love Rev. Billy Graham, i think he is one of the greatest and most famous preachers around,  as Woody Allen is one of the famous Atheist the world has known.
These are two men poles apart in their philosophies, and both successful in what the do.
Many of us get so aggressive/religious when trying to sell Jesus, we end up been goaded into anger by the questions and comments of those we're trying to 'convert'.

I love how this interview went, Billy Graham kept his cool, was humorous, relaxed and same time managed to stand solidly and calmly behind his belief. I'm pretty sure i would have snapped at some point. Woody delivered some heavy punchlines that would have got me all hot and bothered.
I guess there's something to be learned from this... tolerance maybe?

Part  1

Part 2

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Roller Coasters...

The first time I went on a roller coaster was in some park in N/Korea and I swore never again… I kept true to that promise till winter wonderland, a week before Christmas. From the ground, we watched people ride on the twister coaster and my nieces and I decided it couldn’t be that bad. My brother the sage that he is stayed on solid ground. 
I was smug enough to smile and relax when it started, you know the slow start that gets you comfortable before the devil comes to play. I tried to be brave, but there is a time to be brave and a time to scream. I was sort of comforted with the safety wedge, keeping me in my seat, knowing it was secure enough to hold me down, but still not caring, because what I saw, and what I felt was more than the fact that I was held put in that chair. Somewhere in all the craziness, i heard my seven year old niece Gaby (who made us get on in the first place) reassure us “Just know we're going to be fine". That’s before she became possessed with the screaming demon, bless her brave soul.
I heard nine year old Steph scream 'MUMMY' many times as we twisted and turned and dipped and … O, I heard me screaming so bad, with closed eyes, and thoughts of ‘Oh God make this stop” it was such a relief to see the car come to a stop, as shakingly jumped out and held on to my nieces, we burst out laughing when we hit solid ground, it really was over after all, It was ok.
We mocked ourselves for a bit, funny how you remember everyone else scream than yours... and the picture of our scared faces is there to haunt us, I stare at it for minutes and wonder how possible it is to be so scared? I wasn't too pleased to see that we had the scariest faces on, most pictures there had people smiling through the ride.
Since my picture is a shame to "superwomanhood" (those stupid cameras they have up there) This should do... Notice how some almost cry through the rides while others have so much fun and are all smiley?
Source: http://www.sanitaryum.com
even the hard core sportsman...
I consider myself a brave one... like seriously, even though i can't swim i enjoy boat rides, i have hiked up a 5374 feet mountain, gone on a chopper and stuck my head out of the window, and i am preparing to grab the first opportunity i get to hop on a hot air balloon and even sky dive too. But i go back to my resolve, never again will i get on a roller coaster... every amusement park/carnival is all for hot-dogs, games, cotton candy, carousels and giant wheels.
I learned something from coasters, in the train of life, unexpected twists and turns, and dips and climbs and spins will be thrown at us, we could decide to jump out in fear (and die)... or stay on knowing we're secure as long as we have God, he's the hand that keeps us in our seat when the going gets tough, learn to relax and know that whatever it is, all will be well indeed... with that thought in mind, enjoy the ride, smile for the camera... don't let your picture be like mine, a twisted face, opened mouth and ugliness and some splashed on your pretty self :).
P.S: I changed my template... just in case you haven't noticed. #justsaying

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Another Year...

2011 is over.
Seems like just yesterday i was... well, doing whatever it was i was doing :).
I entered into the new year in church, 'Jesus house' was on fire... good fire that is. I needed the heat with all the cold outside.

2012 is here.
We made it into the new year. Yayyyy!!!!!
(i need you to slap yourself real quick if you dread this year and you're freaked out about it because of that 2012 movie you saw. If you've slapped yourself, here's a hug, everything will be fine. Trust me)

It was a somewhat shaky year we just came out of, on one side it was the death of youths, bombs going off and insecurity in the country, on the other side, it was friends getting married, babies being born and dreams coming true for some. 
We may have gone through challenges that have left us breathless, we may have had a smooth sailing... whatever it was, the fact that we have life is all the reason we need to lay flat on the floor in thanksgiving.

Work out your salvation in these new year, draw closer to God and he'll draw near to you. Step up your game and leave all that needs to be left behind in the old. We can't keep dragging baggage and filth with us from year to year.
It's going to be a great year, I can feel it... All will be well, i know it... Because God is and has always been on the throne, year in and year out.

I love what this says...
"Just because it's a new yr doesn't guarantee you new things. New actions, new habits, new thinking, new obedience - those reap new blessings. Don't be fooled & think things are going to change for you if you stay the same just because it's a new year. That's not truth.
Stop smoking, breathe better. Eat right, loose weight. Work out, get stronger. Obey God, receive favor. We must change in order 2 see change." @masterwilliams

As you go through the year, hold on to this no matter what it is you face... "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." Joshua 1:9(KJV).
In simple English "Strength! Courage! Don't be timid; don't get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take."(the message)
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