Thursday, February 23, 2017

Rejoice Always

Rejoice always.

Rejoice: / to feel or show great joy or delight /

So simple, yet so difficult. But yet that's what the bible commands. Of course it's literally impossible to always always feel or show great joy and delight. Life is hard. Things are hard. Economies are not particularly smiling. Refugees are being turned away. An entire religion is basically facing rejection. Heck, Northeastern Nigeria, South Sudan, and Yemen are on the brink of famine. So I get it; there is not always something to be happy about. Rejoice anyway. Be thankful anyway. And pray anyway.


Rejoice always.

These two words carry so much power. How can one apply these to daily living? By not letting current events and circumstances call the shot in your life. By not letting current happenings determine your joy and happiness. By trusting not in what you do not know about the future, but in what you know about God.

So you see, it's quite simple. But it's also quite difficult. I hope you and I will continually think about this. I hope we will think about how to have a happy disposition towards life.

Love,

I

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Book of the Month - Persepolis

This month's book is a graphic autobiography by Marjane Satrapi about her childhood and growing up in war ridden Iran during the Islamic revolution.  I normally don't like graphic/comic books, but I was drawn in because this was a story of the revolution told through the point of view of a little child. With all the wars and terror going on in the world  now, I thought it would be especially poignant to understand this or see this how a child does. And poignant it was. First of all, since it's graphic, it's a very fast read. So that's a plus too right? I'm really afraid I might be unable to continue book of the month just because of time constraints :-( Which means less reading-for-pleasure, which just sucks. Adulting.

Moving on.

To be very honest, at first glance it came off as childish and if it wasn't for my book club, I would have stopped reading it. But I'm glad I continued. It's a really heartwarming book that touches on a lot of important themes. I also like that she was able to tell the story from the point of view of her family, who were socialists and against the repression and war. Most times when we hear of the revolution, it's usually from the angle of extremists and fanatics. Also the childlike view gave the opportunity to see how ridiculous some aspects of the war were. For instance, all of a sudden asking all women to cover their heads either they liked it or not. Young Marji found it ridiculous.

I find that hers is another example of just how much our parents and upbringing influence us. She was conditioned to think that way because she came from a household where her mother was outspoken; her parents even protested. Not to mention that her grandfather and uncle were political prisoners. So she had been exposed to such environment. Her parents would often discuss with her and she would ask "tough" questions. She was taught to question what was wrong and stand for what was right.

Another thing that stands out is how much life goes on during a war. Life doesn't stop. Not even for a moment. They still had their family squabbles. They went on vacations. They hosted parties and had friends over. All through the course of the revolution. It really was their normal. And for a young child, that's not exactly ideal. It was their normal till a bomb was dropped on their street.

I don't want to spoil it for you. It's quite a good book. If for nothing, read it so you know not to judge an entire nation based on the wrongdoings of a few extremists. That has been never more important than it currently is.

Love,

I

Friday, February 17, 2017

Friday Reflections

1.) This video of doctors reviving a baby born in Syria during a bombing. Let's just say I bawled my eyes off.

2.) Also these romantic videos featuring some Nigerian celebrities and their spouses are the cutest. Err I did not cry for these, but it was really fun to watch.

3.) I'm so exhausted...I can barely keep my eyes open.

4.) The older I get, the more I learn how inconsiderate and selfish some people really are.

5.) Okay, why are Nigerians so nosy? The only excuse for going through someone else's phone is if the person agrees to it or knows about it or something or the person is your romantic partner, that sort of thing. Otherwise, no. It's not cute. Don't do it.

6.) Y'all...America. Enough said. Lmao

7.) Guard your heart.

8.) There is no one sided friendship; it's either mutual or nothing.

Peace and Love, folks.

I

Sunday, February 12, 2017

How To Feel Better About Yourself

Self worth.

Self esteem.

Self depreciation.

Whenever you are deceived into thinking very lowly of yourself or tricked into feeling worthless, remember the God really does think highly of you.



"You have made [man] a little lower than the angels
    and crowned them with glory and honor.
 You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
    you put everything under their feet"

Think about that for a second.

Yes yes, you are so much of a big deal that He made you rulers over everything He created and gave you dominion over all things.

In fact I sometimes think of God's sovereignty and I just wonder: "how is he even mindful of us?"

But he is.

When you think about how GREAT and MAJESTIC God is and then all of that splendor and to think he cares for us? Whew,  it really is amazing. If only we could see ourselves how God sees us. If only we could see ourselves through his eyes. Can you imagine?

The more you think about that, the more every low self esteem problem would dissipate. Alas, we think so low of ourselves.

"I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

So I challenge you to go forth this week thinking great of yourself and having God-fidence that with God, you can conquer the world. :-)

You are a big deal.

Go on and SLAY.

Love,

I

P.S: the Grammy's is totally being Church now with this worship and praise session. Haha. I think Chance the Rapper might have a new fan. Me.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Friday Reflections

1.) Haagen Dazs strawberry is the big deal.

2.) OMG Scandal!

3.) Planning a vacation is almost as exhausting as the real life you are trying to escape from. Lol. It's all good though, gives you something to look forward to.

4.) Happy birthday to my darling friend, E! Love you more than the aforementioned Haagen Dazs 😘

5.) I hate when I don't achieve everything I set out to do for the day.

6.) Friday night = Netflix and chill by my computer.

Have a good weekend y'all!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

On Veering Off and Time Wasting

Hey people!
This is my first attempt at keeping up with my self-given blog schedule for this year.

*throws confetti* yayy!


Okay so, I'm sitting here, done for the day, and instead of heading home after a really long week; I'm waiting for a meeting that doesn't begin till about two hours time. To put things in context...it's 6:20PM and the meeting is by...

I have just decided to not include the time of the meeting, so as not to give too much away. This is after all, the internet and anyone could stumble on this. Considering what I'm about to write, it would not be a good idea if the folks I'm writing about to see this.

Moving on.

So I'm sitting and wondering; why on earth did I sign up for this? Why did I commit to/join this organization/group, considering everything that is going on in my life and all that I have to do? You know what's worse? This thing has no value and adds none whatsoever to my life. It's ridiculous that I would add any more feather(s) to my hat. I'm having a blinding headache and I'm also really starving, so I'm like double pissed. Because not only does it add no value to my life, it is currently decreasing mine. I really could have been productive in some other ways, or at least be laying on my bed, waiting for #TGIT. So this brings us back to the number one question, WHY on God's earth did I commit to this in the first place? More so knowing myself: I would never quit halfway. Once I start something, I like to see it through. It would take a very STRONG conviction for me to stop something halfway. Now, this is not particularly a virtue. It's just as much of a weakness as it is a strength. Doggedness is good...but it can also be stupidity. I'm convinced the latter is currently my case.
It was soooo cold and windy today :-(

The simple answer to the number one question is: I thought I could had some value, or some utility by committing to it. But the reality is that I'm not sure I can. Or perhaps, I can and I actually have, but at what cost?

My health? My sanity? My peace of mind?

Hold on. Before you judge or while you are judging me for my stupidity (and you should); ask yourself, how many times have you been so darn extra? How many times do we join or commit to things that have no bearing to our purpose or journey in life? Or things that are just plain pains in the behind? And yes even if you get paid for it, (which I'm totally not for the case in point) it can still be an absolute waste of time. How many times do we just veer off on to someplace or somewhere that is absolutely redundant, but we persist in it anyway.

I don't like this commitment.  It's decreasing my productivity. But yet I am persisting in it. Well, I'm now thinking about leaving. If for nothing, for my sanity.

So this is for you as well as it's for me: we need to be more purposeful in life. To be wise and prudent and, to learn to say no. Hard-work is not always smart work.

Have a great weekend, and [virtually] see you tomorrow!

Love,

I

Sunday, February 5, 2017

What Does The Bible Say About Refugees?

Today my pastor, while talking about the importance of the church, mentioned how sometimes people take offense in something their church did and then just leave.

“Well, I’m a red-headed vegan from Costa Rica; you have nothing that caters to me. So I’m leaving the church”. He joked.

“No we don’t.” He continued, “but why don’t YOU start something for red-headed vegans from Costa Rica?”

“Be the Church!”

And honestly, with my recent criticisms of the Church as a whole (not my personal church), that hit home HARD. It struck a chord, and like they say on twitter, I was “TRIGGERED”!

So I have decided to be the CHURCH.

I’m being the Church in this post. Come with me.

Just before he mentioned the above, in a special giving Sunday, he mentioned my church helping refugees and asking us to donate. And I felt quite proud; that I was apart of a church that cared. Yes my pastors stay away from political discourse. Other than just reiterating God’s love, they don’t take political sides, at least not publicly. They remind us of the diversity of the people of God and keep it at that. But when it comes to helping children and women who had to flee from war torn countries for survival, that's not a political statement. It's human decency. You would think we all agreed on that, right? Well, apparently not.



Earlier this week my uncle sent one of those BCs on Whats App. The BC contained information supporting the recent immigration bans and exclusion of muslim refugees. I like to think of myself as someone who respects other people's opinion. Well, except that opinion supports the systemic oppression of people who share the same gender and skin color as me. Er no bueno. But really, I generally respect other people's opinions. However, I was a bit taken aback by that message from my uncle, because he is a pastor. To be fair, he did not compose that BC himself, he just forwarded it. As far as I'm concerned however,  forwarding a message means endorsement of its content. I’m not calling him out or anything. He will never read this anyway. But he inspired me to think further on the place of Christians in a world that says no to refugees.

In other words, what would Jesus do about Refugees?

Here goes:

Everyone remembers Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed, yes? Well check out one of their offenses:

"Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy." Ezekiel 16:49

Further,

"Do not oppress a foreigner; you yourselves know how it feels to be foreigners, because you were foreigners in Egypt" Exodus 23:9

ahem "nation of immigrants" ahem

"When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God." Leviticus 19:33-34

And my personal favorite:
Love your neighbor as yourself.

The bible can be very vague about many things: prosperity, marriage, prayers. But it is clear on the subject of treating others, and particularly those in need. It does NOT mince words in that regard. It does not say "admit them, but be careful".  Neither does it say, "only admit the Christians." Nope. Jesus was clear: if you reject the needy, the helpless, the refugee, you are rejecting Him. Of course, wisdom must and should be applied. Which is why TONS of screening and waiting periods go into the admission of every single refugee into this country. I know some other rich countries have refused to accept refugees, and I have commented on that in the past. Their loss, to be honest. Now "evangelicals" can not cherry pick the bible. No. When we say all of what it warns against and condemns, we must also mention the things it commands us to do. Simple.

So in retrospect, I made a mistake. I should have responded to my uncle. I should have reminded him that Jesus would accept every refugee. I should have told him that it's just basic human decency to help those that are down. To rescue victims of senseless wars. I should have sent him these bible passages and more. I should have been the church.


Love,

I