Happy Birthday Bro

It was Nnanna’s birthday yesterday, you see, he is my favourite person in this world. We grew up together in the same houses. Nnanna and I are siblings: Brother and Sister. Over the years I have learnt so much from my brother, one day he tweeted “I am not your role model” and it got me thinking about the way we live our lives as model children, poster children for good upbringing, home training and manners especially in our social media world. That tweet made me recoil, at first it was “what is this boy saying?! Doesn’t he know that he is expected to be a good kid? That being a good kid must mean that he is a role model?” Later it was, “This role model banter is really stifling, ‘Big Brother’ is watching kind of stifling. One cannot simply drink water and drop cup because one KNOWS that the world is watching. Which kind of Orwellian wahala?” So I came to see where my brother was coming from when he made the tweet and my heart opened up to the option of a new alternative.

Let me talk a little bit about privilege: Due to the way my parents and role models brought me up, I think anybody who has any kind of privilege e.g. Good education, etc. has a responsibility to use their privilege-given access to help out in some way, even if it means simply showing a good example by living an honest life, you know, just to demonstrate to others that having privilege means that you must live an honest life. You follow? So this my perspective on how a privileged life must be led, albeit naive, is what I tried to practice and even standardized for others like Nnanna to live by, hence my initial reaction.

A bit of background: My family is Nigerian, Christian, and Educated. The Holy Book has codified the way we as Christians should live our lives and an important aspect of this is excellence. Bible says we are heirs of the father, we are a royal priesthood, a holy nation, we are wonderfully and fearfully made, we have been called by the father etc. For my Nigerian Christian family, this means that in the lives we live we must portray the word of God as a way of evangelism which can also be seen as being role models to others that are not yet saved. In practice, we must do well in school, always show respect to everyone, don’t fight, don’t fornicate, clubbing? What is a club? Smoking? If you must smoke do it secretly because it is not a good look as a child from a Christian background and the list goes on and on. It is what I will call Church Culture: this is a consciousness that is cultivated in the minds of Christian children from a very young age, to live by example. I don’t think these rules are bad, instead I think they help to breed adults that end up living in a bubble at best and at worst, being extremely judgmental of everybody else that strays from Church Culture.

My brother has taught me that being who you are by just living your life is the way to go. It is better to be your modest, humble, brilliant self than to be all these things just for the approval. It is best to live your life and know that you are attracting the people who really like you for who you are, than to live in the gaze of those watching out for when you make a mistake. Nnanna showed me that it shouldn’t be that difficult to occupy my space in this world, people will eventually be fine. More importantly, I am accepting that it is ill advised to change with the weather ever so often, for the sake of pleasing people. We are young, intelligent, beautiful and handsome individuals, we are also prone to making mistakes and we mustn’t always judge ourselves harshly. I hope this post makes you think about image and lifestyle and all that good stuff!

John 14:15  “If you love me you will keep my commandments”.



 

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The Christian Fashion Show

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Bola: There’s something that’s been bothering me for a while now

 

Bayo: What is it this time?

 

Bola: It’s about fashion o. You know how I always like to look glam and fresh everywhere I go yeah? Well I recently became a Christian and now I’m scared that I can’t look good anymore

 

Bayo: But why not? What’s the connection?

 

Bola: Haven’t you seen the the way these Christian girls dress? The holier than all of thou style seems to be the standard for a good Christian these days

 

Bayo: Do you mean those girls who usually make Christianity look boring and unattractive with their overflowing, shapeless dresses and permanently covered hair. They don’t even wear jewelry as if it’s biblical not to.

 

Bola: My point exactly! I’m a new Christian but even I know that in Jeremiah 2:32, God found it ridiculous for a woman not to wear jewelry!

 

Bayo: If you know that then I don’t see why you’re worried. God is cool and so is Christianity. If Jesus wasn’t fashionable, why would the soldiers have gambled for pieces of His garment?

 

Bola: But Jesus IS a guy! I’m talking about girls here!

 

Bayo: You know what? I’ve got proof for you that you can be a Christian girl and still look glam like you like to. God wants you to look good. Don’t believe me? Then come May 27th 2017, be at the Christian Fashion Show organized by Love N Grace Events. There’s a Children’s Party by the side so you could bring your little sister along. I even hear that some Law students from the University of Lagos would be gracing the walkway with their catwalk!

 

Bola: Really?! Sounds too good to be true. I’ll definitely be there!

 

Sexy Jesus Freak

What makes us higher animals? Our ability to think of solutions, our ability to reason the way we do and our ability to work in teams+communicate our ideas with each other in sophisticated ways e.g various art forms. In other words, our ability to have conversations that lead to development, our inquisitive nature, and our powerful brains separate us from other vertebrates/mammals.

Yesterday me and my darling friend whose future children will call me nothing but “Mommy Ijey” each sat on both ends of our phones for three hours, talking about this and that. The topic of sexual purity and what it means (or what it should mean) for us young ‘Jesus Freaks’ came up. We concluded that:

Number one: It is a privilege to maintain your sexual purity (as follow come) from the get go, because so many people never had a chance to make that choice due to the inhumane hostility of the environment(s) they found themselves in, so we generally need to quiet down about being sexually pure and basically cut off the noses we tend to turn up at our “sexually impure” brothers and sisters- also what’s it with those shaming exercises carried out in places of worship anyway? I mean those “you had sex and we found out so come out and stand before the congregation, let everybody stare at you with judgement in their eyes” shaming exercises. They need to go.

Number two: That we Jesus Freaks need to stop treating this issue of sexual purity as if it is solely by our power and might that we stay pure and we need to start handing it over to the appropriate authority (Holy Spirit). We are taught to pray about every other area of daily life except the part that has to do with ‘go forth and multiply’. A lot of us have felt the pressure and strain associated with keeping it locked down until marriage and this shouldn’t be so, we agreed that it is not supposed to be so. If you are praying “God help me pass my exams”, don’t hesitate to add “God help me maintain sexual purity”, the Holy Spirit will not say “eww”, I promise. You shouldn’t have to do it on your own when you have Holy Spirit to help you.

Number three: That within our pristine Jesus Freak circles, we have managed to make Sex the biggest elephant that can ever fit into a room. Enough conversations are simply not being had about sex! Jesus Freaks are dying of curiosity meanwhile we are all living, breathing, walking proof of sex happening at some point in history, oh the irony. So we should start talking and asking questions and making this discussion the rule as opposed to the exception, in godly settings of course.

Number four: That sex is neither a bad thing nor an abnormal thing. It is a good thing and it is normal. Simple. Very important: you are not keeping yourself for your future husband or wife but for God. Jesus Freaks of the masculine gender need to desist from making it a topic of amusement and or self/ego aggrandizement, don’t be tempted to conflate sexual purity in this spiritual context, with the machinations with which patriarchy uses to hold women down. Tah! don’t do it!

Number five: That it is possible, Jesus Freaks of the feminine gender, to maintain sexual purity and not gloat/feel superior about it. On the last day nobody will be handing out trophies for “keeping yourself holy”. If you decide to honour God with your sexuality, do just that and keep it moving, you are honouring God and not man/religious leaders. The kingdom of God has other mandates and sex should not be made into an idol, besides babies are very expensive and STDs/STIs are disastrous.

The End.


Jesus Freaks = young people burning for Jesus/following Christ.

Back To Church

He came, met them there, got what Jesus was willing to give everyone there and left them how he met them.


Luke 5 :17-26

And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them.
And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him.
And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus.
And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.
And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?
But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts?
Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk?
But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house.
And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God.
And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to day.

So here’s the deal, these religious people were all present with Jesus, playing religion. Making sure his attitude was right, he was dressed well enough to preach and he spoke eloquently enough to be understood. The power of God was present to heal them but somehow, there was no mention of anyone in that room being healed ???!!!

Hmmmm I don’t know about you but this troubles me a great deal because I kinda understand it. There are so many people always in church, punctual, serving in any and every capacity and yet have NOTHING to show. Why? Let’s see.

This bedridden guy was brought by his friends and couldn’t get in because all the religious people had taken up all the space. There was no place for such a man, only the learned here. Those who could “understand and assimilate the profound wisdom of the teacher”. It doesn’t matter if you believe it or not, just understand it!…or so they thought.

His friends, filled with so much faith and belief, not really sitting in the service just looking for a way to express their faith in this healer, took him up the roof, made a way, and let him down setting him before the master. I’m sure there weren’t just a few upset congregants present.

How could these people do this? This is just wrong. Couldn’t they wait till later? He has interrupted the service! Then Jesus turns and heals him. Tells him to take up his bed and go. He takes up his bed, and the Bible even says he takes up his bed and goes to his own house glorifying God!

The last part made me laugh. He came, met them there, got what Jesus was willing to give everyone there and left them how he met them. Simply because he refused to play religion but decided to believe. He was the only one who I think had anything to show for being there. The message today is quite simple: STOP PLAYING RELIGION AND START BELIEVING.

***

Sermon today was brought to you by God, through Paul K. Amayo. Thank you for reading to the end.

Back To Class

I have to get up for Class today.

PAUL K. AMAYO

These days, I wake up very early every morning, wondering where I missed it, if I missed it. How I missed it, why I missed it. What did I do that I shouldn’t have done, what can I do that should have been done. I buffer through each day, never truly feeling like I lived. I had a dream, have a dream. A plan and a time frame but somehow, I think I missed it. Or haven’t I? Year after year, the resilience I show can be commendable but it ends, thus far, the same way, with Hope.

Don’t get me wrong, I love hope! I love to hope and I pray we all have the right amount of Hope. That’s it, the right amount of Hope because too much can be bad….right? Well I dunno because Romans 4 vs 18 clearly says “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became…” So still, I wonder,  is this how it’s meant to be? Am I still strong enough to weather these storms or have I misinterpreted the message. Did I follow passion over purpose or are they fused together as they should be, working hand in hand for that Glorious Destiny?

I heard a great man say journey to any destination, not the arrival, is where the value lies so could it be that this journey, tough, surprising, often times difficult, is rich in value? I don’t know, really I don’t. The experiences have been crazy and trust me, passion hasn’t always been enough motivation to keep going. Sometimes the reason we continue is because we’ve simply given too much and now we feel we’re owed and deserve something. But I have heard heart breaking life stories. It doesn’t always happen that way.

The rules are different for every player.  It is fair to some, it is inhumane to others and downright indifferent to the rest. It surely surely hasn’t been fair to me, I must say, but who cares?  I don’t! So at the gym the other day I had my now so normal and frequent conversation with myself, the inner man, the Spirit of God residing in me. The harder the force of resistance you pull against,  the stronger you’re meant to become. A 50 KG lifting guy cannot expect to match the 100 KG lifting guy’s punch. They may have the same physical appearance but the structure of the inner muscles have been altered by their experiences.

Their experiences. I remember my Primary 4 class teacher always used to say that experience was the best teacher, he never told me that the classes were forced on us every minute of every day. He never even told me where his office was. I want to see him, Mr Experience, I think I’d like to drop the class. I think I’ve learnt enough. Can I see my score now? It should be high, very high, at least my friends think so. Then again, I think experience, yes, experience taught me that only the examiner can determine your score. Not your friends or family, just the examiner.

So my friends may think “Great Job Man” and the examiner says “Just A Little More” and that is what it is; Just a little more. I wish I learnt how to quit or give up when I was forming habits, I wish someone taught me that.  Sadly, no one did so now I’m this tired person that can’t quit. Maybe I should hope against all Hope and become, like my father, Abraham. Just maybe.  Maybe I should switch before it’s too late, or just maybe the horizon, the new horizon is up ahead, just a little more.

Waiting is a very hard place, and more so if you are not sure of what you are waiting for.

– Paul Amayo 2016

I have so many questions but Experience never answers; it teaches, silently, taking you through each lesson and hoping you don’t ever have to repeat that class because unlike Algebra, you will need each lesson very soon. I have to get up for Class today. I hope I find my rainbow, I hope I smile. I hope it’s a good day in Class. I’m still here, still waiting and wondering, never quitting.


Paul is back to grace the blog with his wisdom on it’s 3rd anniversary.

Thank you very much Paul for being the biggest contributor to this blog thus far and for making the world a better place by using your different talents to inspire us. Never forget, Impossible is Nothing. Keep changing lives.
Your Partner in Blog affairs,
J.

QUESTIONS

By Ayi Daniels

Why does society determine what we wear?
Or when exactly to shed a tear?
Why do things have to be done the conventional way?
And why exactly is there no room for individual say?
It’s assumed I do not know a lot about life and quite frankly I agree
But when would our minds be allowed to roam free?
We’ve been tricked into the illusion that they want us to be different
Yet at every turn they make us conform to their government
Nobody knows who governs society
Or whether exactly they are an entity
Yes, morals come into play
And I respect them so I won’t stand in your way
Yes, health should be considered in how you look
But that starts from the inside so watch what you cook
Teach me how to act but mellow it down before it becomes a farce
Must of us are two faced because we’re feared of being considered an arse
But if that is the case where is the opportunity for originality?
Bring out your inner child if you have to
Let them call you crazy if they want to
The world calls crazy what they do not understand
The great minds of the past a constant example
Now, don’t get me wrong. There’s a difference between genius and psychotic
It’ll do you well not to be chaotic
Some rules of society quite makes sense
But others a truck load of nonsense
I’m not here to fight for the equality of the sexes for they both cannot play the same roles because they are born with different in-built natures
I’m here to fight for bringing out your inner genius. Bringing out the real you
Not this mannequin society has built
This large mass of filth
Bring out you. The pure and untainted you
For then diversity will be true.

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Today You are You

      The reality of most of our lives today is that we don’t really know who we are because we are the generation of absolute consumers of pop culture, followers of trends, believers of doctrines of society and what not. I must say that this post is coming at a time when many young people need to hear these words, although, Ayi my childhood friend and sister sent this beautiful poem to me in July of 2014, I have finally managed to search my email box for it, in spite of my shame and I have successfully shamed the devil by posting it on the blog today. I agree with her when she’s says diversity will be true when we bring out our truest selves. In 2015, get to know yourself, because you are the change the world needs.

Heavenly Perspectives

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Isaiah 52:7 AMP: How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good tidings, who publishes peace, who brings good tidings of good, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, Your God reigns!

What does God say about our minds? Continue reading “Heavenly Perspectives”

Religiosity

Gotten from a friend on Whatsapp

No, I don’t want to argue about whether or not it is right to focus on your religion and neglect your education. I also don’t want to argue about whether or not it is right to limit your scope of understanding because your religion dictates what you should and shouldn’t know/be involved in.

Continue reading “Religiosity”