Category Archives: Culture

The pursuit of happiness, beauty, relevance…

My heart overflows with a noble theme

My mind wanders to a land far away from me yet so close to me

Only that i see the rest of humanity in this mysterious land

Its a land full of ponderings. A land full of wisdom. A land ancient, and famous for its mystery throughout the ages

There’s a vast world within. Not for the faint. Silence. Solitude.

Life’s a paradox; The only way up is down

The only way to live is to die.

Vanity upon vanity all is vanity. I’m searching for reality. I’m searching for happiness. I’m searching for beauty. I’m searching for relevance.

The voice of humanity echoes through my mind.

I once met a wise Teacher

He claimed to be the answer to the voices in my head.

The yelling of humanity.

He said, “the only way to live is to die. You’ll come alive when you learn to die”

He walked me through this mysterious land. He beckoned me to go with Him. He was taking me to my destiny.

Terrified.

I nearly said no, but then i saw then i saw the Fire in His Eyes.

There was something about those eyes. Desire.

I went with Him, still going with Him.

Oh the beauty of Transcendence! Happy Holiness, Joyful Righteousness.

Though i walk through the valley of the shadow of death, i will fear no evil.

The questions of the great philosophers answered!

Now i must embrace my pilgrimage to the eternal city.

I’m an ambassador, inviting all to the wedding.

For in that day, the first shall be the last, the last shall be the first. Kings and paupers. Queens and maids. The rich and the powerful and the forgotten of the earth.

The great Equaliser.

Therefore you kings, be wise. Be warned you rulers of the earth,

The Lord will march out like a champion, like a warrior he will stir up His zeal, with a shout He will raise up the battle cry and will triumph over His enemies.

(P.S  I have no idea exactly what that was haha but i was having a good time writing that :). I have also referenced 2 Bible verses in the end- Psalm 2:8 and Isaiah 42:13)

A Revival of The Youth

Unfortunately, due to several reasons, including preparations for my upcoming exams i haven’t been able to post any articles recently.

However, i just stumbled on a website i found very interesting called Y! Naija and its a website that focuses on the voice of the youth in Nigeria. It addresses the national political issues of Nigeria and attempts to motivate young people who wish to see a change, to be informed on everything that goes on in the country. All the writers of the articles in this website are young people. You can check this website at http://ynaija.com/.

I saw many interesting comments and thoughts on this website i would love to make some comments on. Firstly, just like most members of the Nigerian youth community, my greatest desire is to see a change in Nigeria. It would be crucial to state from the start that i believe very strongly that the problems faced by Nigeria, have nothing to do with the wicked and corrupt government in Nigeria or the Nigerians that sit around always wishing something happens, but have their totality and roots founded upon the activities in the spiritual realm. Although those factors influence what’s happening, i believe we need to get to the root of the problem. Nigeria is not different from other countries in the world also facing various problems so there’s nothing surprising to me about Her present predicaments. The basis of my belief is from scripture that clearly says that we wrestle not against flesh and blood but principalities and powers, and rulers of the darkness OF THIS WORLD.

In case you didn’t know, Satan is described in the Bible as the prince of the power of the air. He controls majority of the people that are in power, and the systems of this world . However, we have read the end of the book so we know what his end is going to be like.

Why does the world always seem to think they have figured out everything when they have kicked God out of it? Why does it take so long to realise that once God is not in it, then nothing’s in it? These questions seem to puzzle me all the time.

I saw quite an amusing poll on Y! Naija. It was a poll on which nigerian is changing the image of nigeria for the best and the options were:

Wizkid

Ngozi-Okonjo Iweala

 Goodluck Jonathan

None

As soon as i saw this, it didn’t take me ages to vote for ‘None’. Surprisingly, some people voted for an afrobeats singer that has done nothing but sit down in a studio to write very nonsensical lyrics like, ‘Its your boy wizzy’. I’m not against his music, but i wouldn’t understand why anyone would consider him to be someone who has changed the image of Nigeria for the best. If anything, he has changed the image of nigeria for the worst in my opinion. There is not an element of logical thought used in the construction of the lyrics, neither does it encourage the nigerian youth to do something worthwhile with their lives. Little wonder every tom,dick and harry wants to get involved in music in Nigeria these days. Sigh.

After looking through many articles for sometime i finally saw one that i could agree with with its headline, ‘Abacha supported ‘Nigeria Prays’-Gowon’.

Finally, God was being brought into something. This article was about how a former Nigerian military Head of State, Yakubu Gowon gathered with some nigerians in diaspora to discuss the possible solution for Nigeria’s countless problems. After the meeting, they concluded that they would form an organisation called, ‘Nigeria Prays’, where intercessors would be gathered from all over the country to pray to God concerning its issues and seek His face. I think this is good and an essential starting point. I’m happy about this, and from time to time i always keep Nigeria in my prayers.

I’m very encouraged to see the nigerian youth are concerned about what is going on in that country. This is what we need. We need more active people and less passive people. We need people to start doing something and stop wishing something changed. I believe with all my heart that God wants to start a revival amongst the youth in Nigeria; this is just the start of it. I believe there is going to be a spiritual awakening that the forces of darkness will not be able to prevail against, because the Spirit of God will be working with and in the youth.

Personally, i am forever dedicated to working with God, to bringing a change in Nigeria. Whatever he asks me to do, i will do. And i don’t have to be scared about anything like an assasination because if God sends me He will keep me from the evil one until the job He wants to be done is done. I believe in the royal priesthood(Revelation 5:10) of all true christians, and i believe in the immesurable, unlimited, and surpassing greatness of the power of God in and for those who believe in Him(Ephesians 1:19). My prayer to God in these times is: Will You be angry with us forever? Will You prolong Your anger and disfavor and spread it out to all generations? Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You? Show us Your mercy and loving-kindness, O Lord, and grant us Your salvation.(Psalm 85:5-8)

I’ll conclude with one of my favorite Bible chapters where Jesus prays to the Father, just close to the time He was going to be taken to be crucified.

John 17:15-18-     15 I do not ask that You will take them out of the world, but that You will keep and protect them from the evil one.

     16 They are not of the world (worldly, belonging to the world), [just] as I am not of the world.

     17 Sanctify them [purify, consecrate, separate them for Yourself, make them holy] by the Truth; Your Word is Truth.

     18 Just as You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.

We Are…By Kari Jobe- Let There Be Light

I was just listening to a song by Kari Jobe and once again it struck me how it is imperative that every christian recognizes the importance of shining our light in the world. Many people may ask, “why is there so much injustice and crime in the world” or “if God is good why does he let so much crap happen in the world”.

I believe that for now, the Devil has power over the world. And he is the cause of all the mess in the world. All the crime,injustice,wickedness,sadness,corruption,bitterness,unlawfulness and everything else. If you watch the news these days all you see is bad,bad and more bad news. There’s hardly ever any good news. The Bible refers to the Devil as ‘The Prince of this world’. John 16:11 says: About judgment, because the ruler (evil genius, prince) of this world [Satan] is judged and condemned and sentence already is passed upon him. Satan is the ruler, the evil genius and the prince of this world. This is also evident when he tempts Jesus by telling him he’ll give him all the kingdoms of the world. We know that Satan has already been judged and in the end of it all will face God’s wrath and judgement. But until then, what can we do as christians?

I love John 12. Jesus first talks about Satan being the prince of the world and being condemned by God, but not many verses later says we should have faith in the light, that we might be filled with the light.

John 12:31 says- Now the judgment (crisis) of this world is coming on [sentence is now being passed on this world]. Now the ruler (evil genius, prince) of this world shall be cast out (expelled).

Then later on Jesus goes on to say in verses 35,36 and 46- 35So Jesus said to them, You will have the Light only a little while longer. Walk while you have the Light [keep on living by it], so that darkness may not overtake and overcome you. He who walks about in the dark does not know where he goes [he is drifting].

     36While you have the Light, believe in the Light [have faith in it, hold to it, rely on it], that you may become sons of the Light and be filled with Light. Jesus said these things, and then He went away and hid Himself from them [was lost to their view].

46I have come as a Light into the world, so that whoever believes in Me [whoever cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] may not continue to live in darkness.

In summary, Satan has brought so much darkness(all the bad things u hear and see everyday) in the world. But Christians have the light(Jesus) living in them. We are in the world, but not of this world. Therefore, we should let the light of God fill us so much that it consumes every darkness not just in us, but in the world. We should become flooded with the light of God, so that it overflows and consumes the darkness in the world. I believe with all my heart that the problems that we have in my country, Nigeria, is not merely physical but is spiritual. There is a cloud of darkness over that country and no one’s doing anything about it because we’re waiting for someone else to do it for us. And i think pastors need to emphasise to their congregations that they have equal status with members of their churches in God’s eyes.  Christians need to start taking responsibility of issues in this world because God has appointed us by the blood of Jesus, priests unto Him, to rule over the earth. When the Bible says we are a royal priesthood it meant it! The people we’re waiting for to make a change is us. We are the light of the world. We have the light. And nothing’s ever going to change if we don’t let our light shine and consume every darkness around us.

The problem i think is even though we have the light, Jesus, living in us, many christians still want to do what they want. We don’t want to live out what we are already- which is dead to sin, and brought from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. Ephesians 2:2-3 describes what we used to be as unbelievers:

2In which at one time you walked [habitually]. You were following the course and fashion of this world [were under the sway of the tendency of this present age], following the prince of the power of the air. [You were obedient to and under the control of] the [demon] spirit that still constantly works in the sons of disobedience [the careless, the rebellious, and the unbelieving, who go against the purposes of God].

     3Among these we as well as you once lived and conducted ourselves in the passions of our flesh [our behavior governed by our corrupt and sensual nature], obeying the impulses of the flesh and the thoughts of the mind [our cravings dictated by our senses and our dark imaginings]. We were then by nature children of [God’s] wrath and heirs of [His] indignation, like the rest of mankind.

Even though we are no longer following the prince of the power of the air(Satan) as christians, and we are following Christ, many christians still want to have the best of both worlds. This is why the darkness prevails all around us even when we are meant to be the light of the world. I’ll give the last verse before i post the lyrics to ‘We Are’ by Kari Jobe. This last verse was actually my school’s slogan. Matthew 5:14 says: 14You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.

The lyrics to Kari Jobe’s song “We Are” are below(btw u could watch the video on youtube):

Every secret, every shame

Every fear, every pain

Live inside the dark

 But that’s not who we are

We are children of the day

So wake up sleeper, lift your head

We were meant for more than this

Fight the shadows conquer death

Make the most of the time we have left

Chorus: We are the light of the world

 We are the city on a hill

We are the light of the world

We gotta, we gotta, we gotta let the light shine

Let the light shine, let the light shine

Verse 2: We are called to the spread the news

Tell the world the simple truth

Jesus came to save, there’s freedom in His Name

So let His love break through

Bridge: We are the light (3X)

So let your light shine brighter

We are the light (3X)

Jesus You are the light, You are the light, You are the light

We will lift You higher Shine, Shine, Shine

The Bad Thing about New Year’s Resolutions

I thought it would be a good idea to take a look at statistics on how far people get on with their new year’s resolutions. Below are statistics on the top resolutions people made this year as well as how succesful people are generally with acheiving their goals.

Statistic Verification
Source: University of Scranton. Journal of Clinical Psychology
Date Verified: 3.19.2012
Rank Top 10 New Years resolutions for 2012
1
Lose Weight
2
Getting Organized
3
Spend Less, Save More
4
Enjoy Life to the Fullest
5
Staying Fit and Healthy
6
Learn Something Exciting
7
Quit Smoking
8
Help Others in Their Dreams
9
Fall in Love
10
Spend More Time with Family
News Years Resolution Statistics Data
Percent of Americans who usually make New Year’s Resolutions 45%
Percent of Americans who infrequently make New Year’s Resolutions 17%
Percent of Americans who absolutlely never make New Year’s Resolutions 38%
Percent of people who are successful in achieving their resolution 8%
Percent who have infrequent success 49%
Percent who never succeed and fail on their resolution each year 24%
People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions
Type of Resolutions (Percent above 100% because of multiple resolutions) Data
Self Improvement or education related resolutions 47%
Weight related resolutions 38%
Money related resolutions 34%
Relationship related resolutions 31%
Age Success Rates Data
Percent of people in their twenties who achieve their resolution each year 39%
Percent of people over 50 who achieve their resolution each year 14%
Length of Resolutions Data
Resolution maintained through first week 75%
Past two weeks 71%
Past one month 64%
Past six months 46%

(Source- http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/ )

Firstly, i must comment it is quite interesting and encouraging that many people in the world(supposedly) are concerned with “Helping people in their dreams” and “spending more time with family” because it just shows people are not only thinking about their welfare but the welfare of others as well. I bet if they took this survey in Nigeria they would get one of the top resolutions as ‘buying a new car and building a house’ or something between those lines which might be quite understandable considering the poverty some people encounter in that country but at the same time may be just a rich man thinking of building his 10th house in the same society where his fellow man is suffering and living in poverty.

My main purpose of writing this post is to explore why it has been found in this survey that just 8 percent of the people making resolutions every acheive it. If you look at the length he resolutions were maintained you can clearly see it many people get really excited in the first week of their resolutions but grow weary in just under 6 months.

I am in every way one of the 75 percent that would break a resolution under a week if i made one and i think its only natural for that to happen. I always wondered why it took such a short time for me to break resolutions when i was so determined to acheive it. Maybe it was lack of discipline, or i just grew tired but i believe the main reason why resolutions don’t and will never work for me is because i even decide to make them at all

It has taken me such a long time to learn what i’m about to explain but until i got it nothing really changed in my life to be honest. I wasn’t getting it at all and its really surprising how people still go on making the same mistakes yearly without getting to the root of why they never acheive their new year resolutions.

To explain myself fully i’ll talk about my experience in my christian Life. There is something known as legalism. Legalism is a term i’ll like to refer to as following a set of rules and regulations and laws.By the way,christians are no longer under the law, but under grace.

For many many years i tried living by laws and the 10 commandments and all that. The result was that i failed to obey them. Everytime i disobeyed one of them i’d live in guilt for maybe 1 week or so before i asked God for forgiveness. Then even after i did, i’d still feel the need to come out in church after an altar-call to become saved when i had already been saved. It didn’t even help further when i heard a pastor from my school once say ‘When you sin, you have to give your life to Christ again. Its not true when people say Once saved, always saved’. And i believed him even though he never actually gave any biblical references for his doctrine. The worse thing about my legalistic lifestyle was that everytime i saw someone else doing something i recognised as ‘wrong’, i got into my judgemental side and accused them. But to be honest, something didn’t feel right. Something wasn’t just working for me at all. I had no sort of relationship with God at all because i always felt God was angry at me, and i felt the need to tick the boxes of me doing my ‘good works’. Basically, that was me thinking Christianity was a religion.

I might as well put it to you from now, that Christianity is a relationship with God, not intending you to be ‘religious’ and ‘self-righteous’.And once you have gone out for an altar call,don’t waste ur time going out again because even when we run away from God, he still loves us and nothing can separate us from his love.Salvation appears too good to be true so many people find it hard to believe that God will still accept us even when we sin. But the truth is in the first place, he didn’t give us the gift of salvation because we were good enough, but because he loved us from the foundations of the world.

Salvation is a gift(we are saved by grace), you don’t even deserve it.And when God gives a gift he never takes it back. Romans 11:29(AMP) confirms this truth when it says:

29For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable. [He never withdraws them when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call.]

God chose you not the other way around.Even when we were sinners, he still loved us, not to talk of when he removes our sin and gives us his righteousness.You are the righteousness of God in Christ. You are righteous!(always have right standing with God through Christ living in you and not by your works).Do you really think God will live in you, if your spirit was full of sin? God sweeps away every atom of sin from our spirits the moment we become Christians. Our flesh may be weak and our souls may not be all that but God works out holiness in us inside out from our spirits to our souls to our bodies.Holiness is different from righteousness.It involves being set apart and is a life process. It doesn’t happen in a day or 2 or a week. It always happens. In case you didn’t know what the Bible saysout self-righteousness let me show you this verse.

Isaiah 64:6(AMP) says:  6For we have all become like one who is unclean [ceremonially, like a leper], and all our righteousness (our best deeds of rightness and justice) is like filthy rags or a polluted garment.

I would like to point out that in the original hebrew, when isaiah spoke about your righteousness(good deeds) being filthy rags, they were deeper than is represented in the english translation. The hebrew word for filthy is ‘iddah’ which literally means “the bodily fluids from the woman’s menstrual cycle” and the hebrew word for rags is ‘beged’ which means a rag or a garment. This might sound very repulsive, but when isaiah wrote that verse he was referring to tampons. That is how filthy our righteous acts are. But the good news is, we are righteous in Christ; not by good works but by our faith in Him and the Bible says we are sitted together with Christ in heavenly places(you cannot be sitted with Christ in heaven now, if you are not spotless and without sin-therefore the blood of Jesus gives us the righteousness of God)

As soon as i learnt this i must confess that i even lived in more obedience to God(not only what is in the Bible, but the promptings of the Holy Spirit) than when i tried to tick the boxes of me obeying rules and regulations.

Living by the spirit is the easiest way to live in obedience to God. He doesn’t bombard you with a million things to change about yourself, he takes it a step at a time and transforms you through his power. When we try to tick the boxes often we rely on ourselves instead of the power of God to change us, and that was why it never worked out for me. I didn’t understand it had nothing to do with my determination.

I think it is the same way with writing down a set of things you resolve to do in a year. Everytime you have a set number of things you intend to change in a year, you start working to change it all at once instead of a step at a time and that is what gets people tired of doing it. Live each day individually, and live as best as you can each day of your life. When you get to notice something you need to change in your life take it at once, and get helpful books, advice and everything that you might need. I think there’s another key point in this- If you don’t decide to get to the root of the problem yourself, you will never change. Seminars, books and counselling are good but to be honest with you they are meant to be a piece in an entire puzzle. You will never change if you don’t do something yourself. Seminars and going to church keep you excited and encouraged for a bit, and usually we have a long list of ‘to-do lists’ after them, but if you don’t make a decision to do a personal study on your own, nothing is going to change and i believe that is the reason why people get weary just under 2 weeks.

You might wonder why many christians go to church but yet you never see fruits of joy,peace,patience,kindess,love etc in them. I think the reason is because they never take out time to learn the Bible for themselves. They think pastors are the only ones who have access to that knowledge and that is not true. Pastors and preachers are there to direct you to personal study and experience with God. You have as much access to learning and hearing God’s voice as much as they do. And let me just say this now:

IF YOU WILL NOT TAKE OUT TIME TO STUDY THE BIBLE YOURSELF AT HOME THEN YOU MIGHT AS WELL NEVER GO TO CHURCH ON SUNDAYS BECAUSE GOING TO CHURCH ONLY KEEPS YOU ENCOURAGED FOR A MOMENT; IT DOESN’T CHANGE ANYTHING IN YOUR LIFE. NOTHING IN YOUR LIFE IS GOING TO CHANGE IF YOU DON’T TAKE OUT TIME TO STUDY THE BIBLE.

And you know what that means? It means you will be stagnant all your life. There will never ever be progress or growth. You will make heaven, but you will always be a baby christian and you will live in so much misery. If you say you’re a christian then be a christian God will be proud of. Don’t be a lukewarm christian- neither here not there. Its sad when people have to ask some christians if they are actually christians just because they decide to have the best of both worlds.

I’ll end on this note: It is nice to make commitments and resolutions because it sets booundaries in your life. However, if you set those boundaries, make sure you’re taking everything one step at a time. When you try to do it all at once it gets bad. Live each moment and day the best way you can.

Good/Bad Parenting

Your childhood has a huge effect on who you become in the future, and that is a fact parents have to keep at the back of their minds when parenting. I am not really one to give advice on parenting because i don’t have a child neither to i hope to have a child any soon 😕

Time to start my rant:

Nigerian parents think they’ve got the perfect idea of what parenting is but they haven’t got a clue. ‘Spare the rod and spoil the child’- Give me a break.They haven’t even got a clue on what the Bible says but all they do is pick out bits and pieces and make out something that’s inexistent. That’s obviously why Nigeria is such a nice place to live in today. If you don’t become a doctor,lawyer or engineer then you’re never going to make it big.

I intended my rant to be longer than that but maybe i should take a break,calm down and analyse this like the educated human being i am. First of all, don’t get me wrong, i’m not saying being hard on children or discipline is not good for children. Most things that are good in the world remain good until taken to extremes. If you are going to slap a child on his/her face then make sure you do it in love and not because you’re frustrated because of problems in your life. A bit of beating is alright but when it gets too much it gives the child a very wrong impression of the motives behind. I’ve heard many stories of how children who were beaten came back to appreciate the beating their parents gave them and said thank you.

Secondly, another thing prevalent amongst Nigerian parents is comparing their children to other children.

Galatians 6:4 says-  But let every person carefully scrutinise and examine and test his own conduct and his own work. He can then have the personal satisfaction and joy of doing something commendable [in itself alone] without [resorting to] boastful comparison with his neighbour.

I believe with all my heart that as people, it is wrong to compare ourselves with other people. When you compare yourself with someone else, if you want to be real, 99% of the time you get jealous of what they have that you don’t have, and after sometime you start hating them as people even if they might actually be very nice people. You see beyond their behaviour, and look at what they have that you want and don’t have and start to resent them. From a christian point of view, i also believe that when you compare yourself with other people, you limit God’s plan for your life. God has an individual, unique, plan for the lives of everyone and when you start wishing you had something someone else has instead of living in the present, and using what you have now to the best of your ability, what you’re doing is saying ‘God i want this thing this person has but i don’t want what you have planned for me to have’.

In summary: Making comparisons of yourself with other people hurts both you and them. Parents making comparisons and saying things like “‘Are you not ashamed of yourself? You are always behaving like this, see gloria, her mum is always talking about her. She’s bold and smart, that’s how they know brilliant children’ That is a very perfect example of a sentence you might here from many parents in Nigeria. I’m not being stereotypical by the way, i’m not including every single nigerian parent in this. I’m saying very many. Statements like that live very ugly emotional scars in children because it makes them feel like they are not good enough, or nothing about them is good. AND THAT IS A LIE. Everyone has equal opportunities to make something out of their lives; confident or not confident. I’m not saying being ‘shy’ is a good thing, because i think it is not because it stops you from reaching out and taking risks and getting to where you need to be.

My point is when parenting, it is very wrong to compare your child with other people’s children. It is hard i know, because that’s the natural thing to do and that’s the first thought that comes up in your mind when you think about your child and other people’s children. But it is always good to always keep at the back of your mind the power in your words. Words can create break and create: there is so much power in words. Its amazing how saying just 5 words to someone at the end of their day can leave them feeling like the whole day went horrible. I think the best way to motivate a child to be better people is by showing them examples in your character. Its also good to set a standard in homes so there is an awareness of what is good and not good. Unkind words should always be replaced by encouraging words to because at the end of the day you can’t really change them. You can only motivate them to be better people. Most time unkind words and comparisons are only a result of frustration and anger and do not come out of love or affection.

There’s a whole lot more i can say about this but as i’m on like my 902th word i can sense iit is getting sort of boring so i would end on this note:

Parents should never compare their children with other children because everyone is unique in their own way and no one’s better than anyone else because of any outward apperances, outward privileges, or physical advantages. Everyone is equal in the sense that we are unique and all have great potential in us.

No Discipline at all is bad and Too much Discipline is bad- Good Discipline is balanced with love.

Being a doctor or a lawyer doesn’t automatically equate success. Success is being the best(not in comparison with others, but apart from what other people have acheived) at what you find yourself doing.