Tag Archives: Monday morning coffee

Hating Me into Loving Me???

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Him: Sit.List all the things you dont like about yourself

Me (scribbling fast and furiously): Uhm, so that we are not here for the next three months, can you give me a limit? Do you mean things I hate about myself, or things I really dont like about myself, or things….

Him: Let’s just limit it To things that if you could change, you would like yourself a bit more

Me (I still havent come up for air since I started scribbling): Should I only mention things i do at work, or at home, or when I’m in company…

Him:I think we should limit it to the first ten things you can think about.

Me (Looking u dejectedly): Just ten? I’m already on number thirteen. And I got a whoole lot more to…

Him: Thirteen is fine.(He stretched out his hands and snatched the list from my grasping fingers)

Dang. I just thought about number 14. I hate that I have just written all this stuff about myself that is only going to cause this man to look down on me even more than he does already.

Why do I do this to myself. Why?

He slides me another sheet of paper

Him: Now I want you to write ten things you like about yourself

Me: Umm… I have to think…

Him: How do you do it? Go through life, being your own worst critic and disbeliever

Me: It’s not like I don’t love myself. It’s just that I need a little more tweaking…

Him: Tweaking, for what purpose?

Me: So that I’ll be better of course

Him: Better for what purpose?

Me: So that I’ll be able to achieve more

Him: Achieve more for what purpose?

Me: So that I’ll be more at par with others of course

Him: And why do you want to be at par with others?

Me: I guess… so that I’ll love me more

Him: It seems pretty obvious you cant hate yourself into loving yourself

Me: I guess… so  I’m stuck with just hating myself, huh?

Him: You can cut all the prerequisites and just love yourself. Now. This minute

Me: How?

Him: Everytime life asks you what you would change about you, first start with who would not exchange you for the world

Me: Will it work?

Him: There’s only one way to find out. You may go now. 

Me (leaving the room)

Him: Oh. And by the way. Number 12. I love number 12. It makes you different. And number 2. And especially number 4…

God told them, “I’ve never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love!

Jeremiah 31: 3b

The Message Bible translation

 

 

 

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God is my only connection o…

A little context first (it occured to me that the topic has a Nigerian flavour to it).

I grew up in a christian home. Yes, my parents were a part of the S.U. movement of the seventies. And they were in the academics- trained at the prestigious University College, Ibadan (now called UI=University of Ibadan). So growing up, the values I was taught were hardwork (which translated as school diligence) and serving God. That was what I really needed to lead a successful life.

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I’m not sure if primary school  children have any ethics but ‘hardwork and God only’ served me well in Secondary school. Again, I need to clarify. By ‘God only’, I’m referring to serving God from a mostly religious point of view. Yes I loved Him, but I also needed to ‘settle Him’ by doing all the right things. (Obviously I wasnt perfect but I tried reaalllyyy Continue reading God is my only connection o…

#MyIdol

When I read the Bible and hear about how God hates idolatry, I immediately think of those small images that people make, publicly set up as ‘gods’ and actually bow to them. Yuck, I think.

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Thanks to Chinua Achebe, Nollywood and the ‘Mount Zion Faith Ministeries’, idols have come to include pictures of ‘chalk-painted-eye-priests’ and ‘trees-with-a-single-white- Continue reading #MyIdol

On my baddest day….

Have you ever completely shocked yourself?

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Let me rephrase that and be a li’l more specific. Have you, after being a christian and walking with God for a while, found yourself COMPLETELY surprised about what you are capable of? In the negative way.

Exampli gratia, a ‘fine christian man’ who is arguing with his wife finds himself surprised on how close he came to hitting her. Maybe he even does. (I am in ABSOLUTELY NO WAY excusing or condoning this).

Or you are making a complaints at an airline’s desk, talking to a very particularly snooty and indifferent agent when suddenly you find yourself hurling unprintables you didnt even know you had in your dictionary at her.

And she then says something like Continue reading On my baddest day….

My Sweet Revenge

‘Next’ Angel G announced.

Finally, my turn. My turn to see the King.

A few moments ago, I had been in church- praising and dancing. The joy just seemed to pour over me in waves and soon, it didnt even matter what song the praise leader was raising. I was in another zone.

Tap dancing, breakdancing, azonto, etighi… all the dance steps in the world were not enough to express my joy at being in the very courts of eternity.

Then, they came and whispered to me that I was one of the few going to see Him face to face today.

Oh yeah?

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Seeing Angel Gabriel face to face was mindblowing enough. I was going to see the King!!!!

When he called me forward for my turn, let me confess, I ran forward, too eager to wait one more moment. But the Archangel stopped me, with a smile

‘Just one moment, sir, while we scan you’ And he brought out this Security Scanner

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Wow

Anyway, as I was sure I was not carrying any bombs, I unhesitatingly raised my hands above my head.

That’s how the scanner started beeping red.

Before I knew it, a dozen security angels had surrounded me. With guns. And they were not laughing

‘What are you carrying?’ Angel G’s tone had turned stern

‘Nothing’ I stuttered ‘Honestly. Offi…’

‘Search your pockets’ He told me

My hand hit something as I hastily complied…. wait a minute….

I pulled out  a small package as all the surrounding angels took a step back.

I recognized the package.

My ex flatmate deeply wronged me 2 months ago. The kind of ‘deep wronging’ that led to the break up of my 7 month old relationship and me moving out of the flat. 

That small package was called Unforgiveness. And bitterness. And my hope that she would reap all that she had sown. And that my hope that God and life would punish her.

‘Calm down, angels. At ease’ Angel G said, and they all complied immediately. Then to me,

‘Drop that package in the bin right there and we will rescan you. Then you may enter’

Sounds simple enough.

Except that I wasnt ready to part with this package. Not until God punished her.

‘Umm… Angel G… I understand I cannot go in with this’ I was saying ‘Please can I keep it on the side and collect it back when I get out’

‘You may not’ Angel G’s tone did not change ‘It will only drop if you have no intentions of coming back to it again. Now, please hurry up- your time window is closing’

‘You dont understand Angel G’ My voice shook ‘You dont know what she did. You dont know how I suffered. And I did absolutely nothing back. All I did was cry. She must pay for it’

‘Not forgiving her is not justice.’ He said ‘You must let that package go’

I held the package close to my heart. This little thing had comforted me in times when I felt no one knew exactly how the whole shindig had shaken my faith in humanity. In times when I felt utterly stupid that I hadnt physically assaulted her. Not even one small slap…

‘But if I let it go, where is my justice? How can she just go scott free like that?’ I wailed

You will go scott free’ Angel G answered ‘And you will get to see the King. What will you give in exchange for seeing the King? Drop it at once. Your time slot is running out’

Tears were running down face. But I shook my head

‘There’s an attorney here that can help you. His name is H.S.’ Angel G was saying ‘He’ll walk you through…’

‘Is he going to promise to avenge me?’ I asked bitterly

I knew the answer even before I saw Angel G’s sad smile. Even before I heard the bell ringing that my time slot was done. Even before I saw myself back in church, no longer singing, no longer dancing, no longer about to enter the presence of the King.

The joy was gone. And the peace. And i learnt absolutely nothing in church that day.

It was not worth it, I know. But I just couldn’t let go of that little black box I carried around on my soul.

 “And how does a man benefit if he gains the whole world and loses his soul in the process?  For is anything worth more than his soul?

Mark 8:36-37

The Living Bible translation


 

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Eph 4:31-32

New International Version

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Stay Connected and have a great week ahead!

Thank You!

We are constantly reaching for something.  And that ‘something’ can range from being as mundane as ‘getting a few minutes of more sleep on Monday morning’ to as serious as ‘trying to find true love’. Or even working on how to raise 10 million naira for charity.

I wont pretend to be naive. That ‘something’ sometimes has our very survival seemingly hinged on it. I have friends who have lost jobs and have dependents. ‘Something’ for them is as basic as N30,000 guaranteed monthly that would feed everyone, with small change left for commuting around Lagos.

Depending on its importance, we can have a laser clinical focus on our goals.

‘I aint seeing anything else men’

It can be that, all we are a 100% sure of is that there are some things that if we had, would make life and living a bit better.

I am not here to tell you about having a thankful heart because of all that you still have going on for you. I want to tell you we need to be thankful INSPITE of all you dont yet have going on for you.

No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

The Living Bible translation

Why? Because that’s God’s Will.

Whatever happens and is happening, whatever your hope and faith for the future is, being thankful is always right. Not when it all works out but right now.

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Thank you for all the things not going on so well- that you know, that you care

Thank you that I cannot see a way out, but you can

Thank you that I cannot save myself, but you can and you have

Thank you that it will only end in praise

Thank you that it will all be for your glory

This might be the hardest thing to do. But God wants it. As much as He wants you to be out of that situation, He wants you to be thankful in it.

There’s really nothing else much to say…

Thank you Lord.

Stay Connected and have a great week ahead!

Infact, you are the rule…

‘Hey Anne’

‘Hi there darling’

‘So I hear your finals are next week, have you started preparing?’

‘Nah… but I will start the moment I finish this really interesting novel I’m reading’

Hmm… but your GPA is really low and you are still a few points shy of graduating with a third class degree’

‘I wont though’

‘You wont what?’

‘End up with a third class or a pass. Infact, I just might  make second class upper’

‘Well, most people with your GPA this late usually end up with a pass. Or a third class’

‘Yeah, I know. But I’m different’

‘Why so?’

‘Third class is not my portion. Pass is not my portion’

‘And adequate preparation is not your portion either, right?’

You are very negative. Get behind me Satan

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So obviously this conversation is a little exaggerated. But it happens, in some form or the other.

People take decisions totally opposite to the outcome they seek and believe it will somehow all work out.

‘That obese man that keeps taking junk food came down with diabetes because he was unlucky. My own type of junk eating obesity does not result in diabetes’

Or

Never mind that to be a leader, I need to have better people skills. I’m going to continue with my natural state of difficulty working with people and inspite of that, I’m going to get that great leadership position. And I’m going to rock at it

Why do they day that?

Faith. Grace. God’s promises.

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People tend to believe God for the outcome- not for the process. I can believe God that I’ll get the job irrespective of my nonchalant attitude towards excellence. But believing God for an excellent spirit like Daniel…. oooh, too much work. Besides Daniel was working under the law, but me- grace time all the way.

One question- how has that been working for you? Are you the exception, like you think you should be, or are you the  rule of what happens to people that make the choices you are making.

Yet wisdom is vindicated and shown to be right by all her children [by the lifestyle, moral character, and good deeds of her followers].”

Luke 7:35

(The Amplified Bible translation)

And…

Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it?

James 2:14

The Message Bible translation

I once heard somewhere- ‘It is an irresponsible gospel that puts everything on God, nothing for us to do’

An irresponsible gospel that results in  a life of mediocrity and underachievements.

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Food for thought, eh?

Have a great week ahead and Stay Connected!

Your story is beautiful… too

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You started the journey together- Your Lord and you

The journey was supposed to be pretty simple- all the good boxes get checked

And you knew exactly what those boxes were!

If they’d told you there were going to be dark days- you wouldn’t have believed it

If they’d told you there were going to be cold nights- you wouldn’t have believed it

If they told you people who didn’t try so hard would get some of those things you had ever wanted… you definitely would not have believed it

But simple was not His plan, not for you

And the journey- it was not about arriving, but becoming

Somewhere along the way, you began to see…

You are not everything, but you’re something really special

You needed to let Him lead

You needed to let His power through

You needed to stop getting in your own self’s way

Though there were some lessons you wished you never had to learn…

But beautiful… that’s what your whole story has been. And is. And will be

Even in the moments you couldn’t see- it was beautiful

You see, there are many versions of the story of grace…

And every story of grace is beautiful

Everything is appropriate in its own time.

But though God has planted eternity in the hearts of men, even so, many cannot see the whole

scope of God’s work from beginning to end

Ecclesiates 3:11

The Living Bible translation

photocredit: stuffyourfaith.com

 

 

 

Evil outsmarts good… aka if not for Jesus

My friend and I were gisting about some his friends that had boats. In Lagos, Nigeria.

I dont even know what a boat costs, so  I’m not exactly sure why this was an intriguing piece of information. Anyway, the focus of the conversation was that they were yahoo-yahoo boys. Aka internet fraudsters. Aka the kind of people that send you a message from the CIA that you should send an email to yorubaboyname@yahoo.com. Aka… you get the drift.

We had been talking about values. The boat-boys despite being known as criminals were respected. At least, their money was. We had moved from a not too distant time ago when those boys would have been avoiding friends not into what they were doing to one that they were’oppressing’ them now. Sad, we agreed.

We also agreed on one point, which in retrospect, was food for a lot of thought:

We could have also had that kind of money if we wanted- if not for our moral upbringing, if not for our christian upbringing. In other words- If not for Jesus.

So the question came up- does Evil outsmart Good? Like if two people were of equal IQs and were equally hard  working- if one of them is evil and the other good, would the evil person necessarily come out on top?

The answer is Yes

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The real question I should have been asking was ‘What does it mean to be good?’ or ‘What does it mean to be a Christian?’

For a long time, I figured out that being good simply meant ‘playing by the rules’. However, looking back, what I really thought being good meant was ‘Not playing by bad rules’.

Sounds the same, but they are very different.

Being evil meant cheating and so, being good meant ‘Not cheating’. Being evil meant ‘stealing’ and so good meant ‘Not stealing’

So in the end, evil meant actively doing something and good meant actively not doing whatever evil was doing

Is it any surprise that evil would outsmart good?

Now here’s a surprise: The master praised the crooked manager!

And why? Because he knew how to look after himself.

Streetwise people are smarter in this regard than law-abiding citizens. They are on constant alert, looking for angles, surviving by their wits. I want you to be smart in the same way—but for what is right—using every adversity to stimulate you to creative survival, to concentrate your attention on the bare essentials, so you’ll live, really live, and not complacently just get by on good behavior

Luke 13:7-9

The Message Bible Translation

As long as ‘good people’ equate being good for complacency and passivity, waiting for their good to justify them and over all the bounty of life to them, just because they are good- they will wait a long time.

The answer is NO

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First and foremost because the true Christ follower and the evil person cannot have the same ultimate goals in mind when starting even the same project.

For one, money is the god, for the other, Christ is God. For one, impressing people is the king, for the other, God’s applause is ultimately what is important.

As long as their goals are different, as long as their real ‘Ogas at the top’ differ, the same answer script cannot be used to grade the exams.

The second reason, is that the Christian that realizes that even his ‘mundane’ tasks can be used by God will hold himself (and the Spirit of God within him) to a higher degree of expectations than the other. But not everyone realizes this.

Servants, do what you’re told by your earthly masters.

And don’t just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best.

Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you’ll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you’re serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t cover up bad work.

Collosians 3:23-24 (The Message Bible translation)

So did I just argue both sides and speak, as they say, with both sides of my mouth? Yes and No (LOL!).

Have a great day, week and month ahead.

Stay Wise. And Stay Connected!

Shame!

‘Olodo rabata. Oju eja lo mo je’

‘Ooni lo paper, sileti lo maa la’

‘Ore mi ki lo gba: odo oloju ela’

‘Sikin, sikin, sikin sikin, SHAME!!!’

Disclaimer alert, we never sang this in my primary school. Lol. I’m not sure if anyone in my generation actually seriously sang this song: because I dont think schools were still using the slate to teach children to write by the time I was growing up.

(These are children with slates for those who do not know)

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For those of us that either dont understand Yoruba (which is the language of the song) or have never heard the song before and are wondering what I am going on and on about, let me give you a little context.

When a small child (usually early primary school, I imagine: from the context of the song) got nothing correct in a test (or at least a very low score), the other classmates were indicted to sing this mocking song (which they usually did with relish). The song is basically berating the child for getting zero.

The purpose of the song: to induce shame in the person that got the low score. It wasnt supposed to be spiteful, the way I remember it. It was just what you got for getting nothing.

Innocent? Or not.

Continue reading Shame!