Thursday, December 15, 2016

#AFTERNOON MUSINGS OF A WRITER

I like to sit in a corner and observe people when I'm in a crowd and lately I'm doing more of that. Especially in church and when I attend events. The judgemental look a lot of people give to others, the side sneers and sniggers, the tongue in cheek comments and the I-am-sure-better-than-you hoity-toity stupidly self righteous look they give to others never ever seems to stop keeping me in shock and puzzlement. 



Who taught the sun where to stand in the morning? Perhaps it is you who wrote the map of their destiny. You can definitely have your own differing opinion(s), yes, you do not have to agree with them or their choices, since you're without mistakes your entire life, but you do NOT have a right to be an Hypocrite and a Judge. God always has a sense of humour. The God of times and seasons. One day it rained in Susannah's house and you sneered and hissed at her foolish decision. Tomorrow, the rain became a storm and removed your roof and we saw you soaked to your panties. Who is laughing now? 

#timesandseasons#newbookontheway #toomuchiwanttosay#whenmyheartisoverwhelmedisimplywrite #lifehappens #bekind

Clay Pots

After my lunch meeting yesterday, I spent most of the night hugging my bible to my chest and just going back to scriptures and seeking understanding of some of the things I heard, and asking for more clarity on the directions I have been given hitherto and this scripture jumped at me. WE have all seen it or read it or heard it read before but it JUMPED at me and when I asked for better understanding, I wept with gratitude. Only the broken can understand. I will explain it:
Paul employed this imagery in his letter to the Corinthians to make an important point, one that has never been very popular and one most of us holy, never do wrong, 'perfect' believers never understand. We are like the clay pots, like alabasters; when we are broken, the light of the gospel is shed abroad. And when we are broken like clay pots, our strength or power is not seen, but God’s. When we are broken by adversity, by sin, by mistakes, opposition, and suffering, God’s power is revealed, and God’s work is accomplished in a way that does not glorify the “clay pots” but manifests God’s surpassing power and glory.
Who is worthy to be a "container" for God's light and glory? The smartest person isn't smart enough, the purest person isn't pure enough, the most spiritual person isn't spiritual enough, and most talented person isn't talented enough. We are all just clay pots holding an unspeakably great treasure!
Claypots were common in every home in the ancient world. They were not very durable (compared to metal), and they were useless if broken (glass could be melted down again). They were too cheap and of little intrinsic value. God chose to put His light and glory in the everyday dishes, not in the fine china, or English porcelain. He choose claypots like me, easily broken yet reflecting His glory.
We almost always are drawn to the thing that has the best packaging. But the best gifts often have the most unlikely packaging. God did not see a need to "package" Jesus when He came as a man to this earth. Jesus was not embarrassed to live as a clay pot. God is not embarrassed to use clay pots like me! or you or he or she. That the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us: Why does God put such a great treasure in such weak vessels? So that the greatness of the power may be of God and not of us. So that it would be evident to anyone who had eyes to see that the work was being done by the power of God, not the power of the vessel.
Why did God choose risky, earthen vessels instead of safe, heavenly ones? Because "perfect" vessels are safe, but bring glory to themselves. Clay pots are risky, but can bring profound glory to God.
On that day, there will be surprises in heaven.
Peace!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX!!!! (Parental Guidance 18) :)

Hello all and trust you are doing well.  I’ve been working oooo!!!  Anyways, something brought me here. Three days ago when I posted on my facebook page that I will be leading twitter conversations on Sex & Society: Religion, Expectations and Cultural issues, I have received so many text messages and emails on why a “pastor” should be leading such convos on twitter or any social space sef.

Let me correct an impression.  I am a child of God, a woman of faith, a lover, wife, mother etc. all rolled in one.  Pastor no be my name and I am just a fellow servant of the Most High God, just like all you who sent me messages. Please lets stop the hypocrisy. Sex is good and God is good.

I am upset and that is why I write this.  Why should Christians not talk about sex.  Why?  Who said so? Because we are not talking about sex, others are talking about it.  Our marriages are suffering – married couples are NOT having sex ( some as long as months); our young people are getting it all mixed up – our daughters do not have a healthy view and understanding of sex and worse so, our young men;  during marriage counselling, we gloss over it so that “we do not tempt them”; the church does not talk about sex. The world is full of sex.  We were made through sex (yes naw!).  Our bodies were created with a capacity for and a tendency toward sex.  Sex was God’s idea. Yet, the church is either ignoring it or treating it like it’s the work of the devil- some unholy, necessary evil, required for the procreation of offspring and the maintenance of marriage. We need to get serious, like really serious. Haba!!!

I agree and I teach, sex has to be withon the bands of marriage but we are having so many young people go into marriage with a warped view of sex and ending up with serious problems. The ladies have been thought sex is for procreation and not to be enjoyed.
The lights should be put off and sex done in the dark. Don’t touch your husband’s penis lest you go to hell. Don’t moan in ecstasy, lest the devil takes your tongue and you can no longer speak in tongues. Oral sex? Hia, na hell fire straight be that, no redemption.

The young men? Make sure you satisfy yourself and ensure you are not shooting blanks so you can get her pregnant. She is not supposed to enjoy it so if she moans or writhes in ‘sweetness’, that means she is a spoilt girl. You cannot touch her vagina, its for having babies and for peeing. Sex toys? Chineke!!!! Never ever ever let those things come into your bedroom. They are agents of Satan.

I’m tired of all of these.  I teach my children about sex; each teaching appropriate for their age and upbringing.  We should talk about sex.  Talking about sex is part of marriage.  Communication is key in marriage and should not only be about the children and money issues.  TALK ABOUT SEX!! We hear it all the time: communication is such an important key to marriage.  Secular sources and Christian ones alike also agree that sex is an important part of marriage.  That being said, communicating about sex would be an important part of marriage.
How on earth can we expect a young man and young woman to get to their wedding and all of the sudden be comfortable talking about sex.  We’ve made it this bad, taboo topic since they hit puberty, and now, they have to figure it out (on their own), and be able to discuss it  (on their own) when their entire lives they’ve been told they can’t talk about it!   The wedding ring does not have magical conversation-starting power.  If they are not comfortable with the reality of sex before marriage, they are not going to be comfortable with it after.
I’m not saying you need to discuss it in detail before marriage.  That’s a recipe for disaster, but it is something that needs to be discussed because, it will be part of your marriage.

Why must we talk about sex as Christians (or Muslims)?

          Because our understanding and expectations of sex have become skewed by the silence. I've heard from a lot of men and women who are going into marriage a little confused about what to expect when it comes to sex. They are having a hard time shifting their thinking from seeing sex through a negative lens their entire lives, to all of a sudden seeing it as good, holy and special. If Christians do not speak
up about God’s great design of sex and intimacy in marriage, those who hear the very loud
conversation going on around us in the vidoes and songs, will only hear the world’s point of view.  We 
need to step into the arena and share the good news about sex, the truth about sex.

Talking about sex is part of life. I don’t mean the loud-mouted style conversation.  I mean just holy, God-honoring acknowledgment of the goodness of sex and/or the realities of sexual sin.  We’re so embarrassed by something God made.  We’re so afraid to address it that we alienate those who are looking for help.  In the body of Christ, we have sex problems, and we need to be able to talk about those.

·      What about the couple where the husband has never had sex with his wife in their ten years of marriage because he hates her body? Or she is embarrassed by her body?

·      What about the young couple, just married for 5 months, where the young wife is frigid and the young husband is frustrated already and seeking for help so he doesn’t go outside for sex?

·      What about the couple where the husband takes advantage of his wife every night because it is her “wifely duty?” Her enjoyment or satisfaction is unnecessary?

·      What about the single woman struggling with pornography?

·      What about the single man who went out to a prostitute?

Those problems exist in our church, but we can’t talk about them without talking about sex.

So many women have never seen their own vaginas, not to talk of their husband’s penises. And because we are so scared of talking about it, we are having more and more paedophiles and rapes of children(boys and girls) every single day. Our young people are lost on what to hold on to and what not to be carried away with. 

I have counseled couples who seemingly have a “wonderful marriage” and haven’t had sex in 8 months; some as long as a year!!!.  She says – ‘my husband is very understanding.  He knows I don’t like the thing’; He says: ‘she works so hard taking care of the children and her work and always tired, so I let her be’!!!..  Hmmmm, I will not tell you the end of the matter.  Guess it yaself.

Christians should be talking about sex.  We should be lifting it up for the beautiful picture of God’s love that it is.  We should be celebrating it and rescuing it from the grips of sin, not dunking it under the bed because we don’t feel like dealing with it.

It isn’t bad.  It isn’t ‘terrible.’  Sexual desire should not be ‘shocking.’  It’s part of life, and part of life that we should be addressing and enjoying. Sex is good. I’m always amazed at God’s wisdom at creating sex. God is good!!!!


I’ve ran out of steam now. My vex don cool small.  Please don’t get me started again; at least for now.  Join me tonight on twitter.  Time is 7pm.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

SMART WOMEN SECURE THEIR FUTURE



Hello all, been a while. I’ve been caught up in so many things happening in my personal life and work life, so blogging wasn’t part of my immediate plan.

I’ve gotten better and these past few weeks have been quite a learning curve for me in so many respects; one of which I will share right away.

A few weeks ago, my bestie and I, over dinner at Yellow Chilli, were discussing a number of issues and we got talking about money matter and our financials and how bad things seem to be even though we are working so hard in our various endeavours. One of the issues that came out strongly was the fact that financial issues are a major cause of marital friction. This no doubt comes with the bit that women expect and rightly so, that the man in their lives will take care of them.  We are raised to grow up and not work so hard because “it is still a man’s house you will end up in”. This in turn has made a few women careless about their finances and their future and in that same length, their children’s future.

I left that place and since then been thinking about women and money. My first thought was to remember what I read somewhere.  Someone had asked a question: “What makes the world go round – money or love?” and the answer was: “Love is what makes life special……. But without money, you are in deep trouble!!”

That women should take control of their finances from a tender age is something we need to begin to talk about.  Painfully we are not teaching our daughters any of these, mainly because we do not know it. Many women are materially well off – have a husband ‘doing well’; in some cases ‘doing very well’; picks the household bills – pays school fees, mortgage or outright purchase of home, takes care of major events, etc.  They have a good job and can do a little business on the side but no investments or any major savings.  The belief is that ‘my husband will always be there to sort the rest out’.

The fact still remain that planning ahead is so crucial for women.  I have been privileged to have friends who lost their husbands just like that (not that anyone plans to lose a husband); and their lives were turned upside down because there was no financial planning.  I like the whole christianese about God having our back but God expects us to plan and He can have something to support.

Most women have had to go through a divorce and the typical African man will ensure you leave with nothing – in turn these women end up absolutely nothing but the bags and shoes and clothes and jewellery they acquired during the marriage. When it comes to divorce, women still end up with the shorter end of the stick.

Fair or not, women need to do more financial planning than men.  I learnt this lesson very early in life perhaps due to my background. I had to plan for everything. Even when I didn’t know Christ, I planned and becoming a Christian, I planned even more.

Typically, women still earn about 25% less than men. Only about one out of five women over 65 receive a pension. Most women live in the lie that the more money you make or earn, the richer and comfortable you will be. This is so not true because it is not your income but what you spend.  Most of us have gotten caught up in living a ‘designer life’ with so much noise – drive the latest car, carry the latest designer bag, live in the latest neighborhood – and nothing to keep you going in the next 20 years.  In fact we don’t see the next 20 years – because as you know – Jesus is coming soon.

Thinking through all these and what I’ve been through in the last couple of years, it is obvious that most women spend more than they make – in the real sense of the word and this is a serious problem. Our spending habits kill us faster than anything else. I have had to do a lot of checkups on my spending lately.  I found I was carrying too many people on my ‘spending list’ because I felt a need to ‘take care of the whole world’.  I have had to shed quite a lot, because truth be told – some of them don’t care how you do it and if you can no longer really do it, they fizzle out of your life.

Another area I noted that 98% of women fall prey to – the Cinderella myth – “My husband will take care of me and the children” or “find and marry a wealthy man and everything will be fine”. Please note that it is neither safe nor practical to assume that the man in your life can be counted on to take care of your finances.

I recently encountered someone whose husband had lots of properties and some in her name.  This woman had no idea where some of the properties were located.  In fact to make matters worse, she had no idea what kind of property they were, what their values were, etc.  I was awed.  What a wonderful woman.  I sometimes wish I could be this brain dead. If this man were to drop dead with no will (most Nigerian men don’t have) or he even willed it to another person, she will expect me to be compassionate and commiserate when she can no longer pay her children’s fees or is booted out of the home. The average age of widowhood today is just 56!!!!

Marriage is not a kind of insurance policy that frees you from the realities of life. Because no matter how good a man in your life is , sooner or later, he will die (sounds morbid) and likely before you because truth is the average woman lives seven years longer than the man. I know some of you will be wondering what is wrong with Ini but I’m just typing as I think. This is bitter truth o. Because of our unwillingness to accept this unpleasant reality, we tend to be woefully unprepared to cope with it when it comes to pass.  That is why for women, losing a husband (in whichever way) is generally as devastating economically as it is emotionally.  In fact 80% of widows living in poverty were not poor before their husbands died or disappeared!.

How many women know their husband’s debts? His entire networth? What he earns? What his investments or shares are?  Have you asked?  Did he tell you or glossed over it ( I know someone who is good at glossing over issues like this). We teach our girls to be dependent because of an entrenched social belief that women can’t or shouldn’t do it all alone. Well some girls (including this one) were taught differently. And I constantly teach my daughters that too – SMART WOMEN SECURE THEIR FUTURE BY KEEPING A TIGHT REIN ON THEIR FINANCES and they work hard too.

One of the things I have done in the past one year is to set my house in order. I just want to know I can do what I want to do when I want to do it – that is my financial state of mind. Money is not an end on itself.  It is merely a tool to achieve some particular goal and if my values don’t meet up with my financial plans, then there is a problem.

Fact is a new dress, a fancy car and all the jewelry are not worth the sleepless nights and traveling and head bursting work I have put into my work. Smart women do more than nice clothes and cars and all that trying to outdress each other.

Do you own a home?  How much is the current value of your home? What is the size of the mortgage? Is oga paying the mortgage regularly? Do you have insurance on it? Learnt a lady just lost the husband and the bank is kicking her out of the home because oga was not paying mortgage regularly and no insurance.  Meanwhile they just moved into the home 11 months earlier and come and see the house warming party and her batting her false eye lashes as everyone ooh’d and aah’d at such beautiful home. Meanwhile as is, she cannot afford to even rent an apartment of 800k on the mainland (which is actually lifestyle downgrade for her); her friends are struggling to raise the money – na so me I take hear.  I no fit shout.

Do you have a life insurance? Does Oga have? How much are the policies?  Where are the documents? What other policies exist in the family name? Where are the investments? Cash in savings? Money market accounts? Savings bonds? Stocks? Real estate investments? Collectibles?

In fact, do you know what is going on with your family money since na all of una get the money? Of course I know - Money isn't everything - yes I know. In fact I agree.  Free me abeg - just read this in the light of the need to have some investments - call it egg nest, call it savings, call it anything but please just plan.

Make I rest small.  I will come back on this matter later. Remember this – Success leaves clues and smart women leave successful clues for their daughters and sons.



Tuesday, January 21, 2014

'TICK' SAYS THE CLOCK, WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO, DO QUICK

I've been down with malaria for a couple of days.  The stress of driving and working in Lagos coupled with being a life long student seems to take it toll daily on my body. This morning was one of those mornings where getting out of bed seemed like the whole world hates me for making me do this. Anyways, finally got myself out of the house and driving down Third Mainland when my sista Audrey calls me. I get on the hands-free and she says: 'Sis, do you know Funke Babatola?', I answered - 'Yes I do.  What's up?'.

My first thought was that she wanted me to share FBI's ( as we call Funke) details with her. Next thing she said was - 'Just learnt she passed on yesterday'.  I almost stopped the car in mid-drive.  "No, which Funke Babatola? No she can't be dead naw.  Just last week she joked about my being ill with Emilia, so how can she be dead.  No Audrey, she is not dead.  I will call her once I get to the office now and call you back".

I'm driving in a confused state and wondering - this is not possible. Immediately I called Emilia, who was with her on Friday to ask and alas, this sad, depressing bit of news was true. All day, I've been in and out of shock, fear, sadness, confusion, etc. Today, Funke Babatola is gone, like a candle in the wind. She was hardworking, never relenting on ensuring she was doing something. An excellent and complete mum to Gbolahan. But she's gone now. Just a few days ago, Audrey lost her sister in law; just yesterday evening, Nneka lost a friend's husband to cancer, a young man so full of life; just few days ago, we learnt of Komla's death at 41. And I asked - what is going on this January?

All day I have reflected and reflected and over-reflected.  I went back and read Audrey's blogpost of a few days ago and again I ask - are we living? am I living or just passing through each day?  am I living as i should or living so I can be called a living being? Am I living for people?  Am I happy? Am I doing the things I ought to do and happy doing them,  knowing that the clock ticks away? If I dropped dead today, will my life have made any sense?  Will it leave any mark? Who will be shocked and who will be happy? With people so full of life just slipping away without any fight - is any stress worth it? Are the people around me killing me or keeping me alive?So many of us spend the better part of their lives living for others - for family, for friends, for children, for their parents, for husbands, for wives, but hardly for themselves, hardly for their Maker.

At the beginning of the year, I took time to pray and as always, ask God for direction as to how to work and walk this year.  I got a very clear distinct message - 'Do all things in haste'. I didn't understand and kept praying  and my mind was directed to Exodus 12:11. I was afraid as so many fearful things began going through my mind. I began researching on what the word 'haste' meant in this regard and in relation to me. The Hebrew word chippazon or kaphaz does not mean haste, but apprehension, trepidation, or fear. The only thing standing between the ancient Israelites and death was the blood placed on the doorpost. The lamb was to be completely consumed that evening and the remains completely burned, necessitating their staying in the house, soberly reflecting on the somber events around them, until the morning of the fourteenth. This entire event lasted more than ten hours. Consequently, the proper sense of "in haste" is more correctly rendered "soberly," "with apprehension," or "with serious reflection."

I then understood clearly and I shared it with my staff on the first day of work. We need to be sober and reflect more on our lives on a day to day basis.  The era of taking things and people for granted and behaving as if we had all the time in the world is over. You have to do what you have to do and do it on TIME.

I am not preaching but 'Haste' means your deliverance from where you are that is not allowing you fulfill purpose. It means time to take that painful decision.  It means time to go adopt a baby or do IVF instead of waiting and waiting after 10 years of marriage - because faith without works is dead. It is time to take that course; do that thing you have pushed aside; live in your happiness not in tears. Be who you were meant to be. Live, breathe, dance, laugh, eat, cry, jump, travel - do whatever you want to do.   Time waits for no one, they say but truth is life waits for no one.

Tick says the clock, tick tick, what you have to do, do quick. Goodnight Funke Babatola.