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Friday Reflections

1.) Scandal. Scandal. Scandal. Scandal. So good, so shocking. I hope [spoiler] isn't dead!

2.) I usually don't care about spoilers but err let me be nice because this was huge.

3.) Haha I was just talking about praying for the healthcare situation yesterday; Jesus came through today

4.) Why don't people understand that it's ok to be a little less selfish. I mean, what's the big deal if you lose a little money or food or whatever just so someone else can get enough? How can we survive in a world that insists on everyone for himself?

5.) Grey's Anatomy featured a couple married for 60 years and who still wanted more time with each other; it was very beautiful. I mean, to love someone that much? I'm not usually sappy but that got me.

6.) Blogging is fun and all but it can be very time consuming.

7.) Alright folks, that's it for this week. See ya on Sunday!

Love,

I


Being Outspoken With Our Character

How is your week going? I've survived mine only by God's grace, to be honest. I'm constantly learning and re-learning that done is better than perfect. And also that God's grace can really get me through anything.

So I was talking to my brother about the need for us Christians to be more outspoken about Jesus. I'm not really talking about standing on a soapbox and condemning everyone who falls short of our standards. I'm talking of proudly owning the Jesus life. I'm a Jesus girl through and through. Haha. Oh I'm also not talking about the need to proselytize everyone we meet. To be honest, that's not always our job. What is our job then? You ask. How can we be more outspoken? With our actions. Actions sometimes speak louder than whatever our mouths say. I'm all about practical applications of the word of God; so I will share some of what I've learnt this week on how to act; how to be more outspoken about Jesus through character.

I feel like I'm going to overuse this photo, but the message is especially apt :-(

The first, of course has to do with others and not ourselves. It is to pray for people. Intercede for others. There are times when you want to pray but you just don't know what to say. Start by praying for someone; anyone. Your friend dealing with emotional issues? The one dealing with financial ones? Your acquaintance? Family? Everyone you know is trusting God for something. Pray for them. Along the lines of prayer is the call to pray for our leaders (I Timothy 2:1-4). Now, this one is hard yo! I mean with the foolery going on politically both in the United States and around the globe; Jesus needs to take the wheel on this one. But I'm not ashamed to admit I'm struggling. In fact, if you're so concerned that your leaders are messing your country up, then you should even pray harder. For instance, I am trusting Jesus these men up on the Hill and the White House don't take away healthcare from millions of people to enrich a few. Amen? Amen! Pray for your leaders. Then vote 😊  or go to a town-hall meeting.

A second way we can be outspoken with our character is to be kind, gentle, compassionate. These are difficult things to do in the world we live in. I'm going to be very frank. Yes they are difficult, but not impossible. Take care of people. Look out for others. Be a better friend. Check on your friends. Don't be so caught up with your own life and struggle that you completely forget others. Technology (HELLO What's App) has made this increasingly easy. Your friends are just one text message away. I know the cool thing to say is: real friends don't have to talk all the time, they just pick up from where they left yidi yada BS. No, I don't completely agree with that. I'm not saying to camp out on the phone all day and ignore your responsibilities ooooh. I'm saying check on people. Is someone supposed to show up and didn't? Please ask them why. Be concerned. Show concern. Listen to people. Encourage them and say nice things. Not everything or everyone should be a hassle. The lie the devil sells is you can do alright by yourself. No. We all need people. But people are inherently fallible so they WILL disappoint you. Love them anyway. Be sympathetic to the plight of others. Be humble. No one likes a show off.

These are obviously not the easiest values to embody, but these are values God and any decent human being should encourage. They are practical ways to uphold a sort of beauty from our inner selves. I didn't just wake up and come up with a random list, these are inspired by facts from the Bible. Adhere to them as much as you can.

One last thing is to pray. Whatever it is, just pray first. My brother reminded me of a hymn today and a line stuck with me all day from the hymn:

"O what peace we forfeit; O what NEEDLESS pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer."

Truer words were never said.

Love,

I


In Response to Tyrese and All the Many Letters to Women

If you look at old posts on this blog, like really old posts, ha...I used to go in, no holds barred; opinionated with no care in the world. I have grown, so I now add a little bit of tact to how I present things. Moreover, what would Jesus do? It is with all these in mind that I will do this post even though I told my siblings I did not feel like wasting my time with this issue. I mean, never mind that seconds, literally seconds after telling them I did not want to waste my breath on the issue, I went on a tirade. I pity them sometimes. Anyway, this has been really eating at me; it also feels like no one is going to do this. Plus to be honest, there are so many stupid letters to women all over the place: on how to find a man, how to keep one, how to look like the left leg of an elephant while simultaneously looking like the right leg of a hippopotamus. Yet no letter to men. So, this is one. So I'm here taking one for the team.

You're probably wondering, what exactly is THIS?

TYRESE.

This is Jesus making an appeal to Tyrese through me: stop it. Just stop it. Stop with masking misogyny with faux-deep messages. Messages that on the surface appear to embody some serious societal issues; that's until you strip them, examine them, and realize how empty, borderline insulting, completely patronizing, and just plain trite they are. I don't even know how he still has a platform. But welcome to the 21st century. Everyone has a platform, including me :-)


He posted one of such cliches again recently. Because I don't want to barf, I'm not going to repost it here. But for context and to get the real gist, check it out here. First of all dude, you must not have better things to do with your time than deeping your nose in the hair and makeup business of women. Like seriously, even I don't have that kind of time.

"You're not light skinned enough."

"Why is your natural hair so...kinky?"

"Your natural hair doesn't fit you" --Honestly, if this isn't the silliest thing ever; that the hair growing out of your head doesn't fit you?

"Why is your ass so flat?"

"You are too ghetto."

"Ugh why you trying to act white?" - to a black woman who speaks proper English.

"Jeez, why are you so educated; no man is going to marry you."

“You should cover up, but not too much. Just enough that you are sexy enough.”

“Don’t be fat. Oh, but don’t be too skinny either. We men don’t like bones.”

“You should totally make up, but of course not so excessive that we don’t recognize you.”

These are statements that many [black women] have heard from men like Tyrese time and time and time again. I will speak from the point of view of a black woman. And while Tyrese might have emphasized on "all races", make no mistake: that shade was for black women in all our weave glories lmao. Seriously though, for centuries, black women have been trying hard to contort themselves, and morph into something they aren't for the pleasure of  and to meet the expectations of men like Tyrese. Even if some of such black men are incredibly broken. Because when they are broken, they turn to the sistas. You seethe sista is supposed to hold him down, mold him, shape him, and most of all, wait while he becomes a man. Except the minute he becomes a man, he leaves.  He then begins to worship and glorify what society has termed "beautiful".

But people like Tyrese would not criticize the years of oppression women have had to and maybe even still endure. Instead, in the guise of helping said women, men like Tyrese further twist the knives in  the backs of women by further insisting  on a new set of standards for women. The most irritating is that people like Tyrese, after years and years and years of sleeping with women—the  very kinds he is criticizing— and smashing their metaphoric hearts into pieces; they then wake up someday whole and pure. Cue the angels. It is with this new found piety that they find "the most beautiful woman" to marry and of course degrade the ones who just were not enough :-).  If someone else wrote that essay; perhaps with better intentions, okay...fine, I guess. BUT, go look at the music videos of these very men who spew rubbish: it's filled with the exact kind of girls Tyrese criticized: unrealistic behinds; weaves so long, they touch the knee; bleached skins etc. So tell me again, what exactly is their point?

Should I decide to take relationship advice from some random person on the Internet, it will not be from Tyrese. See, we already know it's not wise to make drastic changes in the form of plastic surgery for anyone but yourself. There is no need to over-flog that; it's commonsensical. Along the same lines, it's just as self damaging to be "modest" or to burn your make up kit in a bid to keep a man. There is only so much you can do to "keep" a man. A man is a fully functional higher animal who decides on his own whether to stay or leave. We are in 2017; might I remind Tyrese that women don't simply exist for the sole purpose of being someday whisked away by a man. No.

That being said,  my personal advice is to not get plastic surgery [for vanity purposes]; it's really not that cute. But honey, DO YOU. Evaluate your reason, mental and emotional health, most of all evaluate the values you hold high. On that basis, live your darn life. Because even if you contort yourself into a freaking pretzel, men like Tyrese will probably still treat you anyhow and then go and marry someone else :-). Preferably the one who fits the world's notion of "beautiful". No shade.

It's just y'all decided and set the standards for what beautiful is. You can't turn around and blame women who try hard to conform and meet those standards. No bueno.

So girl: fix that weave, perm that hair, wear it natural, rock that fro,  slap that wig on, braid it, contour that face till  your nose is sharp enough to chisel your furniture, highlight till you are glowing more than the sun, if it makes you feel good. You are beautiful any which way. You also rock any which way.

Love,

and some magic

I




Friday Reflections

1.) Impostor syndrome sometimes rears its ugly head. I do however, feel blessed to be doing life with great people. My friend sent a very supportive and touching email to me today; it was very uplifting and encouraging.

2.) Ugh Tyrese...ugh. Just UGH.

3.) I just can't

4.) You know what gals? It matters how your partner treated the women he dated before you. He really does.

5.) Masking misogyny with faux-deep crap

6.) Jesus Christ, are these people about to take us to a nuclear war?

7.) Really I can't.

8.) Perhaps it's time to become a doomsday prepper??

9.) Yara Shahidi is what we call #Goals. Yeah she is pretty young, but goodness; poise, grace, intelligence, eloquence...aka Black Girl Magic.

10.) Meanwhile, I just watched the last episode of Scandal 😱😳



The Believers Tag (Christian Journey Tag)

How you doin' *In Wendy Williams' voice*

Okay so I found this tag on YouTube by Tosin Alabi, and she encouraged everyone to try it. I thought well I don't do videos, and then she tagged even bloggers as well. So here I am doing this, because honestly I need a break and/or distraction from work right now. And what better way than to blog?


1.) When did you give your life to Christ?
Uhm...okay so I grew up in a Christian home and we always went to church on Sundays. So I knew about God already and knew to pray in times of trouble. I officially decided to go all in, I think in 2007, the last year of secondary school. But you know, I was still really young at the time. So while I made the conscious decision then, it did take a long time to actually start living it out.

2.)  How did your family receive your conversion?
Well, members of my family are Christians too, so it wasn't a huge departure from what was familiar I think. I also think it matters to my family what my values are and how I live my life. So...good, I'm guessing.

3.) When is your favorite time to fellowship with God?
Hmm, in the morning. Not for anything in particular except I mostly have my quiet time in the morning, so it's my favorite time.

4.) How often do you pray?
Not as often as I'd like. At the very least, twice a day I think. But prayer isn't always about performance; it's communication in many different forms. So I would say I don't actually count.

5.)What is your favorite book/books of the bible?
The pentateuch because while they can be really dense, they teach me a lot about leadership. The books of the Gospel, because they really help with knowing who God/Jesus is. And of course the letters (Corinthians, Ephesians, Philippians etc.); they give practical, realistic tips on how to live.

6.) What church do you attend?
Citizen Heights, baby! #Possibleawaits

7.) How would you describe your relationship with God?
Wow this is huge. It really is still evolving. And every day it's clearer. I would say: a kindhearted, extremely loving father and companion.

8.) What challenge/challenges have you faced on your walk with God?
The biggest challenge I face, which is also about the most important tool in a relationship with God, is trust. Not necessarily trust in his ability; but trust in him wanting to "be" for me. In other words, it's me not Him haha. Also there are certain virtues I find hard to embody, you know. But I'm constantly learning about grace and growing.

9.)What are your spiritual goals?
Definitely to grow in my knowledge of God and His will. Also to grow in spiritual wisdom and understanding.

10.) Advice for a new convert.
Well, you've done what's most important: accepting Christ. But allow for some mystery; you can't understand it all or know it all. There is a mystery to life that only God understands, and that's okay. You should also try to study the word; it doesn't matter if you don't understand much of it at first, just keep reading (see above Books of the Bible for inspiration). When people don't understand your new found faith, don't spend all your energy trying to convince or explain to people. Do what you can and then ignore. If it feels like the journey is too overwhelming, listen to preachers (TD Jakes, Christine Caine, Priscilla Shirer, Joseph Prince) on YouTube, read blogs etc. You will be fine.

That's it. Hope you enjoyed it? And of course, if you're reading, you are tagged!

Love,

I

When It Feels Like God is Quiet

This is pretty much something I feel like most Christians have gone through, and probably more than once too. Perhaps you have an important decision to make, or you just need direction in life, and everyone keeps telling you to pray about it. And you have, but...silence. You are not getting any answers. That can be real hard. My friend, Tomi made a video about this; so with her permission, I decided to share it below.


I will summarize some key points below, but you need to listen because she expatiates on how it relates to this topic. 

1.) God is a good father, who doesn't want you to fail (Matthew 7:11). Major key right here. 

2.) God wants the best for you.

3.) Go to God with points 1 and 2 above in mind.

4.) God speaks through diverse means

5.) Trust God completely (Hebrews 11:16).

Like she said in the video, my hope is that you find the answers that you seek and that you trust God to help you through whatever thing you may need his direction and wisdom for.

Love,

I

Friday Reflections

1.) God is really rooting for me.

2.) Sometimes I worry that I don’t deserve the amount of grace bestowed on me and God reminds me that: “duh, that’s literally the essence of grace”.

3.) Fitness trackers can be really obsessive; they make you just wanna walk everywhere haha.

4.) People and their faux-anger; constantly finding something to be angry at.

5.) Chimamanda said what she said and will stand by it; it's why I love her.

6.) Not only are people obsessed with acceptance, they don't want to listen to dissenting opinions. it's ridiculous.

7.) I actually agree with Chimamanda by the way.

8.) I hate to be the person who talks about weather every time, but errr it was legit 70 degrees yesterday and 20 today.

9.) I don't get how you can trust someone to take a front row seat at your wedding by making them a part of the bridal party, but somehow you don't trust them enough to tell them you just welcomed a child? This culture of secrecy baffles me.