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Friday Reflections

1.) Black lives matter.

2.) Jumoke Adenowo is...unapologetic. She's full of wisdom and she's incredibly smart and is unapologetic about it

3.) "Life doesn't respond to breakthroughs and miracles, it responds to principles." - Jumoke Adenowo

4.) "That hair — as strong as the blackness that runs through our veins — refuses to stand down. It is not good hair. It’s our hair. And that is pretty damn beautiful." - Ijeoma Oluo in I Was Supposed to Have Good Hair.

5.) As I read through Lysa Terkeurst's story of her husband's continuous infidelity and betrayal, I'm thankful that Christians and the Church generally are rethinking this whole "God hates divorce" philosophy. I pray she finds healing and comfort in the coming days.

6.) Bill Cosby is NOT Cliff Huxtable

7.) I'm recovering (praise Jesus) from the worst case of what I think was lactose intolerance, and I'm really sad I might have to step away from Haagen dazs for a while. I don't even know anymore; I mean, what is this life? Ugh

8.) Haayyyy, June is practically almost over.

9.) Every time I watch an episode of King Women, I'm convinced it's the best one, and then I watch another. Seriously though, this one with Ayodeji Megbope is the best, cos there is no way anyone tops this; no way. Serious living case of "Kings will see your glory".

On Critics of the Hallelujah Challenge

GA SHI NAN!!!!!

Couldn't help it

Honestly, I didn’t really want to talk about this because talking about it validates it; gives it credence. But after thinking about it for about ten seconds, I decided to. Again, when you are quiet in the presence of bullies, you enable them.

I mentioned  here that Nathaniel Bassey started something called the Hallelujah Challenge on Instagram.

Err.. what’s that about? You ask.

At 12am everyday [Nigerian time] he hosts a live event of praise and prayer for an hour. It’s supposed to last for the entire month of June. And it has seen a rapid increase in participation: from about 13k people when they first started to now more than 60,000 people joining in everyday on Instagram alone, not counting the tens of thousands on Facebook live as well. Lives have been changed, testimonies have been recorded, and a sense of community has been formed. People are genuinely enjoying worshipping God.

That sounds pretty harmless and awesome Ife, so what’s the deal; what are you writing about?

Well, thank you. I thought it was pretty awesome too. I still do. However, some days ago I had a couple of minutes to spare and thought hmmm, what do I do with this free time? So I went on Twitter: first to ask a friend for a  favor and also to figure out what was pissing off millennials that point in time. Because I kid you not, something is always pissing people  off. On this particular day, it was the Hallelujah Challenge. Apparently, some people thought it was ridiculous and made no sense. Some said it was a "passive aggressive competition Christians came up with because of Ramadan". I'm not making this up guys. Yes, someone tweeted that. Some said it was performative and just...bothersome. Someone said it really was just "annoying them". Again, I did not make this up. Some lady even made an entire Facebook post criticizing Christians, calling [ALL] Christians hypocritical and irresponsible for participating in such crowd mentality activity rather than changing the world, and solving Nigeria's many problems.

Whew.

You know what I love about living in 2017? You know why I agree with my G and forever POTUS (Barack Obama) that there is no better time than now to be young and just, you know fly? Because it's a free freaking country. It's a free freaking world. Of the many groups to identify with, of the many identities that now abound in this world, only VERY few so willingly criticize each other as much as Christians criticize each other. What I mean is, seldom would you hear Yoruba people criticize and insult other Yorubas. Or Buddhists insulting other Buddhists. But us Christians, we own our faults. We know we are flawed and fallible and we are quick to call this out. Before you say we are hypocrites, honey we already say it. I know this because I myself have criticized the Church and Christians over and over and over again; for its lack of empathy sometimes; for constantly not living as Christ would. But you know what, screw that. Yes I said screw that...at least for now.

Lmao I gotta credit M for this one

If people participated in a Hallelujah Challenge while neglecting their responsibilities either at work or just as citizens, I would understand. But this is being done at 12AM, literally not disturbing the peace of anyone, completely voluntarily, yet they are being vilified. The question for the aforementioned critics is: what are you doing during that hour that Christians ought to be doing to make this world a better place? Go on, tell me.

How can you collectively assume that over a hundred thousand people are doing their OWN religion wrong? So not one of those thousands of people is doing it right? How can people working out their salvation the way they know how to bother you so much? I would be a liar if I said my philosophy in life was "live and let live". Nah, it's not. But no one believes in equality as much as I do (this blog could pass for an advocacy blog lol). I also don't believe in using one religion as an oppression of other people. I don't believe everyone has to abide by the doctrines of any one religion. But I carry my faith on my head. My most important identity is "Child of God" and I'm unapologetic about it. However I choose to work this out, let me be. Christians are fallible is why they/we need Jesus. If we were perfect, there would be no need for Him to die on the cross for us. If we knew how to make this world a perfect place; if we had it all figured out; pray tell, what do we need saving for then?

I was talking with M and we concluded that everyone is sorta free to be anything now, except you are a Christian or you believe in God. Well in that case, you are the village idiot for believing in something you can't see. LOL. Again, the best part of the world we live in now is the freedom to be what you can, when you can, and how you can as long as you don't hurt anyone or break any law. If I decide today that I no longer feel like the gender I was assigned at birth, you would take my word for it based on nothing other than what I tell you. Not only that, you would go a step further to encourage me to be comfortable in what I feel like. And yes, everyone should proudly wear their identities. In fact you would not dare question such a person because you would be scared of being politically incorrect. So I reckon you should let people worship God however they deem fit. Yeah indeed, you may have constructive criticism whatever, but truly, objectively speaking it's none of your business how I live out my faith. It really isn't.

Even when I shade so called evangelicals in America (ahem ahem) who would use Christianity for everything except help the poor and the oppressed and the marginalized, I know I really can only talk; I have no claim over them or their religion. When American politicians (who are public servants and rightly deserve scrutiny) would rather monitor wombs, give everybody guns than provide healthcare (America though, really?!!!),  at the end of the day I can only vote them out; I have no right to question their faith or indeed I can, but they have every right to be offended when I do.

So seriously, DO YOU. And let others BE. Sheesh.

Love,

I

Friday Reflections

1.)  "Incompetence dressed up as strategy is still incompetence." Preach, Chimamanda. Preach.

2.) This old article/profile on Marilyn Mosby, the prosecutor for the Freddie Gray case as a reminder that sometimes one can get into politics with the best intentions and still muddle everything up.
Indeed, not just politics; anything really. I'm just quite sorry she lost more than the case.

3.) Oh boy, the King Women series by Kemi Adetiba. I had heard quite a lot about it. However, if there is anything about the internet and my generation, it's the hype of everything. So I took it with a grain of salt. I did however watch the Remi Fagbohun episode. Pretty stellar. I will definitely watch the old ones as well.

4.) Comey hearing aka political Super Bowl. If you ask me, it was a little bit underwhelming. Not because Comey didn't have the tea, but because those folks representing us are a little bit spineless and will take no action no matter what he testified. Ahmean, what's up with Grandpa McCain?!

5.) Seriously, the same way there is an age requirement before you can run for these offices, there really should be age limits too. The law of diminishing returns starts to manifest for many people once they approach 80.

6.) Have you heard of #Olowogbogboro? So God is using Nathaniel Bassey to stir up a revival and passion for Him among young people on the internet. I had been seeing it all around and was curious. Till M and S told me about it: a one hour praise and prayer event live on Instagram. It was, as we say on Twitter, LIT.

7.) I’m not even sure which was more exciting: getting together to praise God or seeing so many young people be so passionate about praising God. Yes, Christ trended #Olowogbogboro

8.) It just occurred to me that we are about halfway through the year. God help us.

On Substituting Fear With Love

One of my biggest fears is becoming jaded. And in this maddening world, it has never been easier to be jaded. Five minutes of reading tweets from America's president is enough to make you roll your eyes so bad, you almost convulse. Anyway, so as we all know London suffered a disaster this weekend when terrorists attacked, and left some dead with several others injured. This came just weeks after the Manchester bombing. So of course, it's a lot. And this kind of news tends to overwhelm people and sadly, terrify people as well.



But this most recent attacks did the opposite. Instead of cowering or submitting to fear, most people responded with love and strength, and just the kind of unity the terrorists could not have expected. As I watched Colplay perform Viva La Vida during the Manchester concert for the victims of the Manchester terror attack, I was renewed with hope. A kind that really is hard to define. What is even more beautiful is everything Ariana Grande has done since the attack. The maturity she has displayed, goodness! And what's MOST beautiful is seeing families of victims, amidst their sorrow and personal loss, charge everyone to not bow down to terror; seeing them insist that no one drastically alter how they live just because of some morons; seeing these people denounce terrorism, not the entire religion of Islam. Ha. Amazing. As soon as the attack in London happened, people who lived nearby went on Twitter to offer their apartments to strangers who needed a place to stay; "a cup of tea" or just "a couch to calm down", some said. Truly, truly kind.



Of course, there are the few who still love to use such vicious attacks to incite vitriol and hatred. But they can not and will not win. Because people have proven again that not only are we resilient, we will not succumb to fear. American news media in their love for hysteria kept talking about how Londoners were reeling, and how streets were deserted yidi yada. Londoners were like nah bruh, it's Sunday, we havin' a lie in ๐Ÿ˜€.  In fact the hashtag #ThingsThatLeaveBritainReeling consists of things that actually leave the British people reeling, as opposed to the terror attacks. Can you imagine how defeated the perpetrators must feel? Ha that brings so much joy to my heart.


I know many people are still somewhat tempted to blame Islam. But let me remind you that the REAL Muslims are fasting and praying and condemning these attacks. Some of such real muslims were the first to call the police yesterday. So please ignore those select few who weaponize  religion. If we can find a way not to condemn all Catholics when a few priests destroy the lives of innocent boys; if we can find a way not to condemn all Christians for the actions of the Ku Klux Klan; surely we can find a way to not vilify all Muslims because of the actions of a few morons.

In these times, beyond the love emanating on social media and from people generally, I also remember a love most important to me: God's love. I remember his words in John 16:33(NLT):

"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world."

And these words give me all the peace I need.  It's not that He will overcome or that he may, it's that He already HAS overcome. What more do I need?

Love,

I

Friday Reflections

1.) Socially awkward.

2.) I just got on the Designated Survivor train. I'm not used to seeing Jack Bauer not running around hunting down a terrorist; otherwise so far so good.

3.) Although, why has no one told me about the awesomeness of Jake Gyllenhaal. Goodness, he can ACT! I watched two movies he starred in (Southpaw and Nightcrawler) and he was so different in both movies, only someone as good could have pulled off both character.

4.) Why doesn't he have an Oscar?

5.) I  have to sometimes remind myself that I’m not alone and God is with me on this journey.

6.) Cast your worries on to God for he cares.

7.) Still with her.

On Praying Boldly

Blogging is good for when you have something to share. I say this because I have something to share๐Ÿ˜€. My current plan on YouVersion is about prayer.  The plan is called "Teach Me to Pray: Devotions From Time of Grace".  Before I continue, I need to reiterate the awesomeness of YouVersion. You need that app for your spiritual journey mannnn. I mean. Ok let's continue. So praying. I like to keep emphasizing the importance of praying, because many Christians just don't get it.

Oh what needless pain we bear all because we don't take things to God in prayer.



Anyway, so this plan one day spoke on the importance of praying boldly. I didn't say with arrogance, I said with confidence; confidence that the God you are speaking with hears you. He doesn't just hear you, He is just as capable of helping you with whatever it is. I mean whatever. He looks forward to hearing you and welcomes your prayer. Sometimes people are convinced God doesn't care about their prayers or that as soon as they express their hearts' desire, that's when God decides to turn His back. That couldn't be less true. God doesn't just tolerate us, He loves us. So ask. Ask boldly even. Ask like you are before the King of kings. Don't ask like you're irritating God because you really are not. And there will probably be times you don't know how to or you just don't feel like asking. Well, God knows our thoughts even before we express them. Indeed, the holy spirit is able to interpret even our groans and sighs. God really, truly cares. Get on it girllll....or dudee! Haha.

"...You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord."- Psalm 139:3-4 (NLT)

"Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good." Romans 8: 26-28 (MSG)



So when you ask, believe you have received. When you ask, believe that God has heard and trust in the process even if you immediately feel like nothing has changed. Of course, it's not as easy as it sounds. But know that God is sovereign. That's very true. And he is always moved with compassion for us. So honestly, you have to learn to live beyond your feelings. My pastor shared something about this past week and it was quite good. She talked about practical ways to live beyond your feelings, to not be so consumed with or act based on how we feel every single time. It was timely too. So I will probably blog about it some time.

Well that's it.

Pray. Even more, pray boldly. And when you absolutely can't, know the holy spirit has gotcha.

Love,

Friday Reflections

1.) Priscilla Chan took every single science class offered in high school, and when she ran out of classes to take, she created a cancer Biology class. Woah.

2.) See her husband's commencement speech at Harvard yesterday on helping others find their purpose.

3.) They are really inspiring. I love how they challenge each other and grow together. Fave.

4.) If panting could be felt easily through words, you'd hear my heart thumping against my chest right now and me breathing through my mouth. I just completed this workout.

5.) Whew

6.) I'm super thankful for life and for grace and for favor.

7.) Pray boldly.

8.) Match making is as awkward as you think it is. No, it's more awkward. It's not that in itself it's a terrible idea; no the problem is doing it without even bothering to figure out the "type" for the person(s) you are matchmaking.

9.) Anyway, it's memorial day weekend.

Have a great one!