Learning about forgiveness.

I have never quite reblogged a post but I like this one, so…

Hope it blessed you like it did me ☺

My P.O.V

As one gets older, one realises that life is more than meets the eyes. You witness firsthand, the cruelty of human beings (just turn on the news), the regrets and repercussions of the mistakes of your youth and the hurt of having friends you loved and trusted turn against you for unexplainable reasons.

Before these things happen, you are warned about them by your parents, older and more experienced people around you and even the bible. You think to yourself… oh I’ll be fine, I’ll never do this or this could never happen to me even sometimes this can’t possibly happen (people can’t be that bad). But hey… Welcome to life as we know it.

Fast track to years later… Like me, You’ve experienced one or all of these and you’re in shock and you’re basically trying to crawl out of the depression this awakening stage brings… by now, you’ve…

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How to Pronounce Judgement

I happen to remember my last blog post and the hint of contradiction contained in it and I don’t know how, but my mind went to “A walk to remember”. Remember that movie? Skip all the mushiness and get to the part when he helped her achieve that part of her bucket list by taking her to the border and making her straddle the state line in a way that she was in two places at the same time. I really wonder how she thought she would achieve it before placing it on her list.

 

A lot of times it’s easy to forget we are in two places at the same time before we declare war and send missiles to the other party where our other self happens to be as well. Hence we desist from pointing fingers after being burnt by such scenarios. We might amend our statement or change it altogether to accommodate our denial when we are caught breaking our own rules.

 

Thereafter we sometimes learn to mind our business, not judge people and only tell people our own views on matters so it won’t seem as if we were referring to anyone else. That then leaves us in situations where we’d keep quiet and watch people around getting hurt or harming themselves and we won’t voice our concerns because we don’t want them to feel judged.

 

Is this healthy though?

 

The fact is that we all judge, every moment of the day and everything that comes our way. So how do we judge without being condemnatory?

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It’s simple, hold on to your opinion and respect that of others!

 

The error made is when we go further to pronounce judgement on a person who acted outside the borders of our opinion.

 

For example, “Oh she’s pregnant, that’s the end for her”. While it is true she might find certain things difficult to do while taking care of her child at the same time, it does not mean she would not go on to achieve those things still. The error is in predicting a negative outcome as opposed to professing a positive solution in light of the mistake she has made.

 

Click Here for a brief example 

 

Who are you kidding if you say you won’t judge people and/or situations? What difference does it make if you have possibly better opinions but don’t speak them? Who are you deceiving when your pastor does some things you really can’t wrap your head around even on a spiritual level but yet you hold on to the common saying “…touch not mine anointed, do my prophets no harm”? Since when does asking for clarification become a sin?

 

Day in, day out we observe a lot of things and opinions are formed, sustained or modified, and the only way to change things is to strive to express these opinions in a way it would bring about a positive change. So do go ahead and judge and if you come up with something negative, find the positive to it before you speak. There are however some situations where trying to be positive may not suffice or perhaps may not be possible. If this is so, mentioning things such as “we can get through this together” may go a long way. Also if it tends to be a point of contradiction for you, do add that you are a “victim” of it yourself, so it doesn’t come back to haunt you!

Your will or His will

Casting Crowns happen to be one of those Christian bands I like especially with the fact that I’m picky when it comes to Christian songs. Their lyrics are just great and here is an excerpt of one of my favourites:

 

Lord, this time I’ll make it right, here at the altar I lay my life

Your kingdom come but my will was done, my heart is broken as

I…

Cry, like so many times before

But my eyes are dry before I leave the floor, oh Lord

I try but this time, Jesus, how can I be sure I will not lose my

Follow through

Between the altar and the door

 

It’s just lyrics that connect God to reality and not just preach an ideal that makes it seem impossible to achieve. Ever experienced God and felt that was going to be your turning point only to be back to your usual lifestyle within a week or less? Then some other times you have an epiphany and you wonder what went wrong, why it didn’t work out the last time and how far below you have sunk.

 

Then you get sober and say you would commit again and make sure it happens this time! And silently you ask as the song does “…but this time, Jesus, how can I be sure I will not lose my follow through between the altar and the door”.

 

Our imperfection as a result of sin and our gift of freewill have left most of our spiritual life like sinusoidal waves. We are up one moment and down the next, only to be back up again. It gets confusing at times and makes us uncertain about where we stand. We keep in the cycle till we realise our will can’t be done at the expense of what He says. Then we go something like this:

 

I’m trying so hard to stop trying so hard

Just let You be who You are

Lord, who You are in me

Jesus, I’m trying so hard to stop trying so hard

Just let You be who You are

Lord, who You are in me

 

And this is where 1 Peter 5:5-10 comes in, it says:

 

5 Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,

7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

8 Be sober- minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.

10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. (ESV)

 

Anxiety isn’t unnatural, casting it on Him is what should be done as opposed to handling it ourselves. It’s also said that we should stay sober, that way we wouldn’t dry our eyes before we leave the floor. We need faith to resist the devil, faith in the sacrifice Jesus made, faith that others have passed these tests. And finally patience to hold us strong while suffering persecution knowing that God will establish us as we wait on Him!

What love comes with…

Love comes with peace

Peace in the knowledge all you did wasn’t perfect but it was pure

Peace in that you bare yourself and gave it your all

Peace in the fact that you shared a part of your life with someone

Peace in giving a part of your earning to something worth more

Peace comes with strength

Strength to give yourself with the risk of being rejected

Strength to hold on way longer than you expected

The strength to be the foundation for someone else’s growth

And walk away feeling the need to claim none as your own

The strength to be yourself and go against the norm

The strength to adapt yourself but never conform

Strength comes with knowledge

Knowledge to see other’s weaknesses through their anger

Knowledge to gently lead them away from their raging fire

Knowledge to use peace and strength to put on a smile

That sustains you and lets love flow like the Nile

Knowledge you genuinely believe without a hint of pretence

Knowledge to know that love isn’t weakness but strength

Knowledge to let love bring out the best in you

Knowledge to know what other things love has given you

gods

Man has always had the urge to look up to someone and he always has, but to every rule there is an exception and atheists have always been. But in recent years, God seems to be on the decline as some people request He is “kept out” of public occasions. The church population seems to be reducing worldwide and only few of those in the church still experience true fellowship.

So what has the focus of man’s urge turned to?

Man! Man believes he is god.

Well not always himself, as certain organisations believe, but he believes in other men that have done significant things and those “other men” themselves believe they are gods based on the things they have been able to achieve and through those that believe in them. Why share the praise and glory with someone who hasn’t been proven, who doesn’t exist, who never speaks back, and who didn’t actually do the work, which is a creation of men to keep other men in line?

These humans are on top of the world as defined by their achievement, influence, wealth, character and all the good things of life. They are the envy of those who wish to be in their shoes, the idols of those who worship them, the mentors of those fortunate to be chosen by them and thus we assign to them some of the characteristics of God, one of which is perfection.

But that’s just it. We expect perfection of them but yet we can’t wait to see their human side. One moment, Jay Z is the man, the next Solange attacked him and we want to see trouble in paradise. We even have stations like E! Entertainment dedicated to the lives of these people, both the good and the bad. They discuss bizarre facts about them. How they live, what they wear and eat, what they drive and other mundane habits.

It’s one of man’s many contradictions when he lifts up a man just so he could wait eagerly to watch him fall. It’s a continuous circle and there is never a dull moment. We enjoy watching the come up, are cheering fans at times of crisis as long as we still like them and we enjoy the mess that’s made when they come tumbling down uncontrollably.

We always win don’t we? But who suffers?

They say it’s easier to pull a man down than for him to pull you up. It’s the same way a man who molests his daughter can point fingers at Michael Jackson’s child molestation case, the same way drunks can point at popular alcoholics, and same way cheats point at cheating footballers and so on.

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But it’s funny because all it takes is for you to gain some sort of popularity and then your life gets put under the microscope for all to see. So I wonder why we point one finger towards the gods we made when three fingers point back to us. Why can’t we face ours and leave them to live their lives? Why can’t our fanaticism stop on the field or on the stage or on the pulpit or on the platforms? Why do we pursue after people who just want some privacy when not working? Why do we clean out their closets for them?

Please share own thoughts on this contradictory topic.

Google: Friend or Foe?

I don’t like Google! It’s that simple! I have always sparred with my brother and a few friends as to how aggressive I think they are in their expansion pursuits. But it’s always about the fact that their products are very functional, but I always wondered how they went from search engine on this apparent journey to world power! Even people gave them free promotion with the common phrase “Go ask Google”.

I should state here that I use an android and opened a Gmail when I got it. It also came with a YouTube and Google+ accounts which I don’t  actively use. I just wonder how they can be curbed from their rapid growth. Don’t get me wrong, I value their functionality and admit their products are an essential aspect of life as it is but there are other concerns apart from these facts. Apart from some articles I read on their acquisition of a robotics company and work with the U.S. Army, I never had facts to use. Well I did find a detailed article on the issue and thought to share. Do you think they are friends, potential foes or what? Do read the article in the link and share your thoughts. Thanks.

http://www.businessinsider.com/the-information-google-is-gathering-about-us-is-terrifying-2014-6

Nigeria and her Music, Two of a kind

“…nowadays nobody speaks about, the way they feel about things…and nowadays nobody thinks about a way to ease the suffering”, lyrics from Lighthouse family’s 1998 single “Question of faith”. Lyrics that still ring true till this day, talk about ever green. Or is it Nneka’s 2005 single from her EP of the same name, The Uncomfortable Truth, where she sings “Let us make a change, why can’t we turn the page, Lord make us able, without you we are totally unstable”. I suppose we might also consider Sade’s “Sweetest taboo”, Seal’s “Kiss from a Rose”, Asa’s “Jailer” or the numerous works of Fela. Music by Nigerians, either in terms of lyrics, composition, vocals or production has always been beautiful especially when fostered in an enabling environment. By music I mean songs that are not just songs but are songs that are full and by full I mean songs that are timeless, that have essence, moods, life and carry substantial messages. But what do we have today? Bogus monotonic compositions from contemporary artists who possess little or no originality. Talk about originality when an artist writes a song about water and makes it a hit! Fela did!  But we have caricature songs that sample from and were inspired by great artists and then watered down to reduce the concentration of music in it. Danceable, chant able, remixed concepts, money, cars, girls, fame; cliché!

But what’s good for the goose is good for the gander right? At times when I hear stories of “Old Nigeria”, I find it hard to believe how far down the ladder we are. Old folks talk about a time when goods were left outside with prices on them, and people would buy and sell with little or no supervision. They talk about a time when you could leave your house without bothering to lock your doors; they talk about the times when Nigerians abroad could close down malls just to shop. They all seem like fairytales when you come up in a time like this where it’s hard to trust even your own brother. Oil came and we forgot everything else. States queue for their share of the budget and I wonder, what happened to state internal revenue? Why aren’t states responsible for the provision of power? Politicians run the nation as they deem fit without caring to maximise its resources. Along the line someone got greedy and all those that were aware, said nothing and that single seed grew and is still flourishing till today. As your president said, Nigeria is not poor; our problem is in the distribution of wealth.

A lot of the time I relate the state of Nigeria to its music. Are they not a matching pair? Nigeria’s main source of revenue is from Oil, the main genre of music is “Afrobeat” or “Afro-pop” or whatever you call it. Ever heard people say a certain thing would not work in Nigeria, say a new law that is standard in a lot of places around the world because it doesn’t fit us here? Ever heard a Nigerian say a song is good and they like it just that the person won’t sell here? Why won’t the new law work if they decide to follow it and encourage others? Why won’t that “good” artist sell if they decide to purchase good music and spread the word?

Nigeria is blessed with various resources, every type you can think of, but we don’t invest in minds, don’t invest in research, won’t actively use our steel or other mineral resources, won’t invest in renewable energy , won’t invest in agriculture and tourism or any other resource as we should. Why aren’t we producing when we have the capacity to do so? Why do foreigners have to make those investments? We have narrowed it down to crude oil and that’s that! Why don’t we have more genres? Soul? Rock? House? Alternative? I mean we listen to songs like that from foreign artists, why not encourage our local artists to be diverse? Why don’t we have more clearly defined genres as opposed to diluting everything with “Afrobeat”? Why isn’t afrobeat, our very own internationally recognised genre, on the radio? Why do Femi and Seun Kuti release their albums outside Nigeria? Why should foreigners get to listen to them and not us?

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The giant of Africa? Sure! In retrospect! We just talk in this country, but no truth or action in those words. Everyone has the solution to the problem but somehow the problem persists. Could it be because we don’t do accordingly? I mean we have a rich proverbial history but somehow we don’t update and apply it. Where are our poets? Where is our art? Where is our history written so we don’t forget? Who reveals the truth of the past and the lessons we must learn from them? But our music is better! Introspective and intellectual, you can learn from it. It takes you away and addresses your mood. If you are feeling sad, you have a companion! Heartbroken? You have something soothing. Afraid? You have something motivational. Calm? You have something down tempo. But alas I lie! The artist said he is inspired by life? He lies as well! The words in most songs are just empty, improvised with no particular direction? Where are the concepts? The structure? The vision? The passion? The talent? The words? Life? But then I suppose my life is a boring one, as that of a lot of the others seems to consist primarily of money, women, cars, parties, alcohol and the likes.

Politicians can bring ridiculous laws and implement it without even a cough from us, no wonder they ridicule us. How does a human use billions to maintain 2 private jets while the masses lack education and the basic amenities? How does a leader seek pay after public office without considering the repercussion on his state’s treasury? Oh but leadership is the new royalty hence we call them “your Excellency” and make no complains! Creativity is when you can form words from nothing in particular that elicits excitement from people who are looking for an escape from their hardships. Creative licence is when an artist can say “In the middle of the center” and come off appraised. No well crafted verses, no content, no figures of speech, just chants. Well as Modenine said on his 2008 song “Hip Hop “, “I mean it when I say your whole album is a chorus”.

Nigeria is a country with so much potential. With the developing countries slowing down, we should lead Africa in the race to catch up and even exceed what has been done but we have decided to operate at 10% efficiency, or do you estimate it’s less? Our crops and culture is being stolen from right under us and we could care less. It’s our way of doing things and however wrong it is, we hold steadfast to it. Talk about dedication to destruction. But music is life, and when I see Nigeria, I see its music, and I wonder if we really are alive? How many people really learnt from Fela? How many people really learnt from Onyeka Onwenu?

Sigh, would I sound like a conspiracy theorist if I propose that Nigerian music might be fashioned to keep us dumbed down? A means to help us be consoled in our misery while the elites plunder our resources? After all a documentary I saw recently said the system of the world is made by the rich for the rich. But hey! Maybe things are getting better, at least on the BRT buses, it’s usually not the case of “49 sitting, 99 standing” as Fela sang. What do you think?