Just one more

There are some movies you see and you literally forget it’s a movie – suspension of disbelief. You know that moment you suddenly feel your eyes getting wet and it’s not a vicious cry, it’s just that gentle stream of tears  that run down your cheeks. Unlike other tears you just let this one run down gradually cos’ you love the movie and at the same time it’s affecting your emotions in some way.

So a friend and I were discussing such movies that open the flood gates of tears and he suggested I saw “Hacksaw Ridge” directed by Mel Gibson. Of course I cried, it’s Mel Gibson – how can you see The Passion of the Christ and not say the sinners prayer over again. He now decides to move a notch higher with this true-life story of courage and faith. If you haven’t seen hacksaw ridge, I advise you do.

But we are not here for my tears. A part that struck me was when Private Desmond was on top of the mountain and letting down wounded American soldiers with a rope, his palms were already scarred and bleeding from the friction of the rope but he kept on saying “Please Lord let me get one more”. I wouldn’t be a spoiler, once again you should go see it if you haven’t. Wondering where I’m headed, just stay with me a little longer.

I joined an online workout group called The Challenger. It’s a small group of people interested in keeping fit and experiencing a total well being. We have different variations of workouts that’s most suitable for you. Recently cycling was added but on the condition you have to record 10 km before it can be calculated as a complete workout. I love cycling, but I usually do 3 – 5 km. So when I saw the distance we were to cover I fainted in my heart but then again that’s why it’s called the challenge.

I decided to attempt it this morning, woke up pretty early and headed out. By 2 km I was considering going back home. Energy was low and I had the option of combining the cycling with other routines to make for a complete workout but I remembered Private Desmond so I said one more and for every time my phone notified me of completing 1 km I said again just one more. And guess what, I completed and exceeded the target – 10.56km (waving my pom-pom).

We are gradually winding down in 2017, some of us have probably given up on our plans for the year. You may be thinking it’s November what can possibly happen in the 11th month that couldn’t happen in the entire passed ten months. It was recorded in Matthew 20 one of the parables of Jesus Christ that a man went out at the eleventh hour to recruit workers. Can you imagine what those workers had been thinking for the past 10 hours. They may have sent out countless CV’s, written multiple business proposals, who knows they may have even applied to the same company of the man and got rejected but in a split second their stories changed.

The interesting thing is, the man went out to look for them. These workers didn’t throw in the towel cos it was almost the end of the day, they were ready once they were called. A typical example of when opportunity meets preparation. The icing on the cake was that they were paid the same wages as those who started at the break of dawn. I’m sure you’re beginning to catch my drift.

What is your one more? What do you have to give the extra push? Who says you can’t start out that business this month? Who says you can’t sign that new employment contract? Who says you can’t get pregnant this year? Who says the amount of time you spent waiting is the same amount of time it would take to get it? Whose script are you reading? Who are you listening to? You’ve got 43 days left in the year and if you ask me, a whole lot can happen. So cheers to one more shot at our plans.

Loads of Love

JMAD

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Rahab; a foreshadow of Nicki

When was the last time you heard some “good news” about someone you used to know? You quickly go into your brain archives to dig up all the contrary evidence you have of this person. Their not so good history, the history that holds all the reasons why they shouldn’t be beneficiaries to such good news. You’re probably not like that, in fact you have never had such thoughts about anyone. Doesn’t the Bible say “whatever things are pure…think on them” and you’re such a “good Christian”. You have done pretty well for yourself and deserve a standing ovation. But you see, some of us are still in the Potter’s Hand, our minds are still being renewed daily, we are constantly torn between who we are and who we ought to be. I have a confession to make and while I’m at it please try not to judge me.

The month of June is always extra special to me but this year added some toppings to the cake. If you’re a Nigerian you probably were aware of the #HallelujahChallenge but for those who are in the dark I’ll explain it. Nathaniel Bassey a Nigerian Gospel artiste inspired by the Holy Spirit, hosted a 1 hour praise session everyday in the month of June. What made it amazing was the fact it was online and started at 12 midnight. People tuned in from all over the world and because it was live, you could see when anyone joined and even dropped a comment.

 I remember joining and after a few days I started seeing some names pop up in the feed and when I mean names I’m referring to some “Secular Artistes and Actors”. I’m not sure what went through my mind but I could literally hear my self judging them and wondering what they were doing in such gathering. They should probably be sleeping and not staying awake to join some bunch of people who were praising, reading the Bible, praying in known and unknown tongues. But God reprimanded me, who was I to determine who joins in a praise session? Was my blood offered to God on their behalf? Who made me judge? Oh!!! My foolishness stared at me and I repented.

Just when you thought the world had few of my kind (before I repented) multiple headlines make the news.  Few days ago the justification of Tasha Cobbs featuring Nicki Minaj on one of her songs was and is still a topic of debate. While listening to a Mix on YouTube the song popped up. I instantly remembered the ongoing debate, and because my mind is always very busy I remembered my perception during the #HallelujahChallenge and it didn’t stop there, I was equally reminded of Rahab the Harlot in the Bible.

Rahab

For a long time I wondered why Rahab was mentioned in Hebrews 11 in the hall of fame of faith. At the back of my mind I knew she deceived the soldiers who were looking for the spies and I’ve always questioned the rationale of her making the list. But I was so wrong and God wanted me to know the truth. A teaching series on the heroes of faith from Hebrews 11 has been going on in my local Church. It’s been an exciting journey but so far Rahab’s teaching has been my best. Joshua 2: 9 – 11 holds something profound and “she said to the men,I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the terror and dread of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land have melted [in despair] because of you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan [on the east], to Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. When we heard it, our hearts melted [in despair], and a [fighting] spirit no longer remained in any man because of you; for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.” While God sent signs to Abraham, Sarah, Moses etc she only heard of God’s exploits and believed He is God. Her faith came by hearing and like the Word says “Faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God”.

for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.” While God sent signs to Abraham, Sarah, Moses etc she only heard of God’s exploits and believed He is God. Her faith came by hearing and like the Word says “Faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God”.

Rahab the Harlot, the somewhat “Nicki” of her time although not similar in occupation but are both unlikely candidates for the job they carried out. Negotiated the safety of not just her but her entire family, she would later become the great – grand mother of King David and many years later Jesus Christ was born from the descendant of the King. A look through the genealogy of Jesus Christ in Matthew 1, only five (5) women were mentioned : Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Uriah’s wife and Mary. Go and do an extensive research these women would never have ticked the boxes of our holy standards to birth the Savior of the world. Oh!!! May God break us especially those of us who sit in the front row in Church, who lead the Prayer team, may He break us to see through His lens. The “good, born-again Christians”, what does this even mean? Once you’re a Christian in the true sense of the word you’re Christ-like. It’s either you’re Christian or not, no extra qualification.

So hear it from a repented heart, God loves you as much as He loves Nicki. Yes, she may not tick your box of Christian standards but God sees her through the Blood of Jesus. What I think we should do as the body of Christ is to lift her up in prayers. God’s ways are sooo far from ours and He works in mysterious ways. He can use anyone and anything to His glory and like Rahab said “He is God in heaven and on earth” and like Nicki said in I’m getting ready

‘Cause me and all my angels shot the devil up
While you was trying to pull me down I levelled up
I levelled up twice, I levelled up three times
He tapped ’em and told ’em “she’s mine”
So even when I cried I knew I’d be fine
Prepare for a miracle blessing in these times
Now praise Him, raise Him, name it, claim it
Every tongue that rises up against me, shame it
I breathe success in and out my lungs
I got the power of life and death coming out of my tongue

And like she said God tapped them and told them she’s mine. These are prophetic words and as you said believing the power of life and death are in your tongues, I speak the life of Christ over you and may your life point the world to Christ.

May we all be gracefully broken that we can accommodate others.

Loads of Love

JMAD

N/B Photo Credit : Google Images

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The Man in the 21st century by Bibi

Shifting Border

Feminism, a word coined by Charles Fourier in 1837 and practiced in France and Netherlands, is fast gaining grounds in third world nations such as Nigeria and a few other African countries. This is viewed as an ideology that establishes the economic and social rights of women. This highlights on the need for both men and women to receive equal economic, social and financial rights, including eliminating the concept of segregating between the male types of jobs from the female types, thus leaving the women with very little to participate in a male dominated world. Feminism has been well received by a few, but continues to be a reason for so many heated conversations and debates. Most men are perceived to be loudly against this, while very few are beginning to see the need to tag along.

The 21st Century man is different in ideology. Unlike his predecessors, he has achieved quite a lot in the areas of technology, medicine, environmental and financial atmospheres. And these various endeavours and victories can hardly brag of overcoming challenges without the input of the female gender. Women have over the years woken up to the reality of their need to participate in the new global shift. And in developed worlds, it is no more a surprise that women are seen driving cabs, fixing automobiles, reporting as war or conflict journalists and fighting wars as soldiers. In religion, human understanding and tolerance have been shifted to women, so much that they are ordained as priests of massive congregations, and in few cases start up new churches by themselves. So, we no more scorn as we sit in these auditoriums to listen to female pastors as they try to explain the word of God. Although this is yet to be achieved largely in all religions, Christianity is opening up to the new wave.

As all things change, including the climate and the environment, and also humans, our long held principles and ideologies must keep changing. For each generation, there must be compromise. For every generation, there must be a border that must shift and tolerance to accommodate, and women must be in the picture of this imminent shift in culture. Women must leave the stronghold of their kitchens and move into the business streets majorly dominated by men. Women must not be treated like they are less human than men. By doing this, the global man must open up all sectors and social activities for equal participation. Equal participation must not only be projected as accepting women into jobs reputed to be for men, but also accepting men into jobs assigned to women, such as cooking and very many domestic duties. This comes with many positive results, including healthier competition and contribution in the growth of every nation’s economy. It exposes global challenges to the possibility of creating new views and approaches to solutions, and develops better thinking women in our society. As these well exposed women impact positively to challenged economies, they also help raise better children with stronger views about the future of our spaces.

It is no doubt that many see this recent shift in profession and tasks by women as a huge threat, quite a huge number of men and women have accepted the movement. And this is why we, as participants of the global community, must continue to enlighten our society on the need to allow women to take up on any job of their choice. This is why we must continue to encourage our women to chase all their dreams. This is so we can also tap into their wealth of knowledge to build better sustainable solutions to challenges facing our tomorrow.

***End***

Bibi Ukonu is a Husband, Father, Brother and a Son. He grew up as the only Son in the midst of his sisters. He truly understands who the Man is in the 21st century and isn’t threatened by women rather an ally and an advocate for women.  We need more Husbands and Fathers like him.

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Man in the 21st century by Nonso

It is on record that the 21st century accounts for major successes in the quest for women to take up roles that have previously been seen as roles for men. Although many successes have been recorded, there is still a lot of work to be done. The empowerment of women has tilted the power dynamics in such a way that has never been before. So, many men are yet to adjust to this modern reality – the reality that women are now getting the ‘power to choose’.

Identity in itself is derived from nature and nurture. While nature is driven by DNA, nurture is a chronic exposure to culture, religion and secular education which creates various predispositions. As an example; A male child born in Nigeria today is exposed to an environment that expressly or implicitly teaches him that he is somehow superior to a female. In saying this, the female is also conditioned as well into this ideology. This ideology is propagated openly or in very subtle ways throughout culture, religion and in secular spheres (like schools and workplaces). This ideology has been passed down through many generations of both males and females and to change it, we are saddled with the herculean task of re-educating living and upcoming generations of males and females. Note that both sexes are exposed to the same school of thought.

Men have always been the commandeers of the power of choice; and although men have been in this power business for a long time, we have not always taken responsibility for the power we possess because we never knew its purpose; so we abused it to the detriment of our women. One can evidently see that the identity problem of the male existed long before the movements for the empowerment of women.  However, it must also be clearly stated that women are currently experiencing power that is quite unfamiliar and this in itself is having a huge negative impact on families and the society at large because, just like men, power is being abused by women also. This may not be obvious in developing nations but more obvious in progressive societies.

I always asked myself; what should the end result look like having achieved a significant level of women empowerment? I believe the Key Performance Indicators should include; a happier generation of both sexes, reduced suicide rates and more stable families. But this is not the case in the 21st century. In this century, we have seen the highest divorce rate, highest emotional depression rates, and highest suicide rates ever in history. In as much as this century has recorded significant GDPs growths, increased production capacities, improved technologies etc., largely because both sexes are now involved in the major industries, we have also seen astonishing polarization of families.

The facts are self-evident and quite compelling; women in power did not cause the identity crisis we are seeing today in men. Also, if we pay close attention, we’ll see the same identity crisis in women. Hindsight teaches us that, when you give or take power away, you’ll always see the true nature of a human being.

***End***

Nonso is a fine gentleman and when I say gentle I mean even on the inside. While I have often seen the Identity crisis gradually gaining grounds in our men especially the young ones, he has brought up the identity crisis currently taking over women. What are we doing with the power of equality?

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