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Wondering Moments

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1. The house was shanty like. One room. Not dirty, but litters of a sort. There were mosquito nets leaning on the walls. Buckets. Pots. Pans. I looked around, no TV, no sound, no decoder, no chair. Only this fair, beautiful, innocent day old baby, a sign of something better in this room. I wondered for how long? 

2. My conversations with this particular lady was beginning to tend towards friendship. A colleague. I recognised she knew things I did not know in this work space. Though she hides her awareness under the guise of showing me around, I can still sense it. My friendship with her is too heavy for my ego. She is calling. She says my my conversation with someone earlier today was a bit brash. I should not be so direct next time. I wonder for how long we would be friends.

3. The house is empty. Just me. No friends, no appliances. My phones are the only contact to the outside world. Noise from outside weave with my thought. They are planing a christening. I prayed with the Igbo family yesterday. The mother is happy. Yet, I could sense the heavy heart. ‎The baby is a girl. This is her second. She can only hope.

4.‎ I have been standing at the bus stop almost an hour. I’m beginning to feel older. I feel the heat underneath my shirt. The sweat dripping down my body. I feel naked. Vulnerable. Where are all the cabs in Ilorin this afternoon? I hate to wait. I begin to pace. Not pace, but then pacing. I do not know if my anger is directed at the right entity.

5. It is 7:22am. I am at the park along airport rd. I am going to Ibadan. I’m wondering if taking the drivers word is wisdom. He says when I get to Ojoo, I should enter Iwo Road. The cry “Ejo edakun e fun Mi l’owo” interrupts my thought. The boy followed me here. I feeI like somebody interrupted my sleep on a Saturday morning. I want to think in peace. I look in my hand. I give him the thirty naira, so he can leave.  And then I remember that verse in the Bible. The story where Christ teaches on prayer. It’s Luke 11.
I wonder, maybe I’m not praying enough.

Can I leave God out?

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 My friend said to me a couple of weeks ago “don’t bring God into everything”. We were talking about his Business Ventures and a career path for him. 

 I have not been able to put that statement to rest. It keeps coming back to me. 

I can’t remember how I replied him, but I know I said something like we could not leave God out.

As I keep thinking about it,  I realise that his statement was  was an echo; a reverb. He was speaking his mind, but he echoed the minds of many others.  

Can I leave God out of anything? No I can not. He is in everything. Everything was created by Him. It would be foolhardy to try and take the creator out of the creature and expect that I would get full expression from the creature. 

Let me rephrase, when a person does not acknowledge God as an integral part of their relationship with people or events or things, they are bound to receive less than it meets their desires.

The full expression of an individual’s  ability is only attainable when he is aware and walks in the knowledge of the God factor.

You see, this my friend was at a cross Road; he was making an important life decision. What to do with his life? And he wanted to leave The Giver of Life out of the decision making process. It/he would have been disaster. He was about to do a trial an error test; an open window to frustration.

Actually, my friend is aware of the God factor, but like many in his shoes, he is not ready to walk in that knowledge. 

When you are aware of the “Boss” status of a person and fail to align or submit your self to his authority, you would have declared yourself an antagonist of him. 

If you know God is LORD, and don’t submit your self to his Lord ship you are walking on ice. 

Not able to recollect the things I said, I have decided to share some of what I remember and a bit of additions. 

I said “make your decisions but lay them before God. And if you are not sure which is which, lay it all before Him and ask for guidance. This means you would pray. Pray like your answer depends on it, because it does. In addition you would align your self with him. Let Him mentor you; show you things. Study His life and see how you can begin to be like Him. His life you would find in the Bible. 
And above all make yourself worthy of the friendship you desire. Let your character be like His.”

He went “Seun, I pray. I read my Bible when I can.” 

That’s the thing. Then God would answer you when He can. He would be available to you when He feels so. 

I wanted to tell him, you haven’t been able to keep a steady relationship in six years, because you don’t put your girl first. And then you think The God who created the girl who left you because, you put her second place would answer to your one minute grunts. Hian!  I did not. I could not. I would have  missed the opportunity. 

So I said to him you know how you were crossed with Ope ( not real name) cos she was seeing someone else, while she was with you. You thought she was not serious. And you walked away. And then when you met Titi ( NRN)‎, she would complain about how you don’t make time for her. You only see her when you are on your home from having been with us all day. 

“What does this have to do with what we are talking about” 
he said. 

Ignoring His question I went on. You left Ope because she was not into you. She only liked the idea of being with someone all her friends were talking about. You left Titi cos she was asking to be first and not second fiddle to you and your guys. And you could not stand being with Toby anymore because she was not honest about certain things in the beginning of your relationship. I paused, trying to catch my breath.

 “IGE, IGE why you dey quite now” came through. 

I answered, God wants the same things the girls I mentioned (to name a few) wanted and what you too wanted from Toby.

1. A real relationship. One that pleased both partners.

2. First place. Not second. Not,when-I-am-going-to-bed relationship. Priority status.

And 3. Honesty. No lies, no games. Straight and straight all through.  

Checking to see if I was speaking to myself, I asked, “what do you think?”

He sighed. So I continued, “take sometime this week and weigh your options. If you think you can adjust and make things right with God, good for you. You are the one who needs adjusting not God. You. But this time, you are lucky. 

I heard him ask “lucky, how?” 

Taking my time, I said, “God is patient. He is willing to help work on your relationship with him. He understands.”

A Question of Power: Ben Okri’s “Meditations on Greatness” at Africa Writes

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AiW Guest Réhab Abdelghany

I first saw Ben Okri in a photograph that the Africa Centre had sent me back in 2000 to accompany an interview with the first Caine Prize winner, Leila Aboulela, which I published later in Egypt. In that photo, Okri was congratulating Aboulela with a warm smile and a pat on the shoulder. Some months later in Cairo, a used copy of The Famished Road in a bookshop on the famous Road 9 caught my attention. I picked it up only to find out who this Ben Okri was; after all, the best way to know a writer is to visit the place where his creative mind is revealed. Ever since, I have been on the road.

Ben Okri at Africa Writes © Benjamin Elwyn Ben Okri at Africa Writes © Benjamin Elwyn

One day last month, this road brought me to the British Library for Ben Okri’s sold-out lecture “Meditations on Greatness” as part…

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Consumption Theory: Social Media vs Private Media

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Read and Enjoy. Thanks to Adejokeiyaibadan’s blog for the excerpt. Then i went looking for the piece.

R.G. Tamaki

Brains_Symbiosis_Animation_SCREEN3_zps34ea0e29

Experience IMAX 3D and the ultimate home theater experience in surround sound and Ultra-HD. Welcome to the world of blogs and microblogs, of forums and comment sections where everything is about trending and tagging; tweeting and trolling; searching and snapchatting; installing and instagramming; logging in and never signing out.

In the age of the spinning wheel, the beep-beep-bops, and the dot-dot-dots, this is the era of the viral state of mind—the mass consumption of social media.

Now right off the bat let me just say that I’m all for social media. I like blogs, facebook, youtube, etc. I think they’re wonderful and I believe that Gary Vaynerchuck was right when he said that we are now living in “the second industrial revolution.” But amidst these technological tectonic shifts in our reality, it just seems to me that something is lacking. Like an obese person looking at himself in the mirror for the…

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Finding Purpose

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Thinking about life in itself will raise the absurdity of it all. But thinking about ones personal life, that entirely is a different ball game. You find yourself coursing the paths of destiny, faith, ideology, belief and the others. But more frequently, you find that you keep coming to your actions and the reasons behind them – wondering if you could have done it differently. Well, everything and anything could have been done differently. The thing you should examine is the reason behind your actions, what were they stemmed on?

In recent times, I have been reading less fiction; more biographies, memoirs and the likes, basically, non-fiction. I have found myself entertaining new perspectives. And some point, I have had to reassess my beliefs and stand points, whereas, realized that most of my decisions have been guided by irrationalities, a lot of them.

In all, I have come to one conclusion- rather sweeping and overblown though- nobody knows anything. We are trying to make an understanding of the things we see and hear; the things we read and believe in. We are all just trying to connect the dots. Nothing more.

Look, for some folks, it is easier to make overblown statements than accept ignorance.

Faced with the possibility of death I have found myself thinking the most puerile, hilarious, and sometimes vein thoughts. I have painted scenarios of no possible reality, all to account for the 50-50 chance in which I had found myself.

The world is filled with people who out of lack of logical answers for their questions have rejected the available answer.

I am here to make overblown statements. If you cannot take them, walk away now. That statement itself is overblown.

I have heard people say that life is meaningless. Yes, that is true if you think about it, on a parallel with existence. So, when l hear someone say such, I understand where they are coming from. A life of no meaning is a life driven by guesses and possibilities, a life where action is based on circumstance not direction or goal; a life where purpose is void. Life is individualistic. There’s no communal to purpose, just existence.

So, if one does not have knowledge of purpose of existence, existence becomes valueless, ergo, meaningless. Did the Bible not say my people perish for lack of Vision. When you are driven by purpose, one understands that bleakness is just a situation; vicissitude. A change in cycle and one must stay steady, move with the cycle while finding your path. One must take the griefs and joys that life throws at you, work the way to your miracles. Your small miracles are your building blocks to immortality. And miracles don’t just happen, you strive stridently, staying on course persistently, bit by bit, making a head way.

To this end, what wall is your ladder resting on? Making sure to succeed is small. Succeeding at the right thing is more grand. In ‘clichéd’ terms, fulfilling destiny is grander than grand.

Daily, it becomes more visible that the race to fulfilment starts at the beginning – creation. Another sweeping statement; ignore all that noble talk about achieving or walking in line with destiny, many folks are living life on terms of “what you love to do” or “what you find yourself doing”. Very few people are on the path to fulfilment.

Fulfillment is the result of having done appropriately what you are supposed to do, and within the scheduled time frame. Fulfillment is when we accomplish destiny.

Talent is not purpose. Talents are elements or factors that should, and or, would make living a life of purpose and or, achieving purpose easier.

The only way to access one’s purpose is through revelation – God reveals purpose. God created us; so to know and understand destiny go back to God.

There’s a purpose for the existence of a being, and a time frame too. Connecting with the source of that purpose is key to accessing that programme, and delivering in record time is even greater. You cannot enter into Gods divine plan for your life, if you are not consciously seeking God, and his purpose for your life.

Its like using a computer. Control+ V is programmed as a shortcut for cut. Unless you know this the Control and V would be two buttons with different functions. You never maximise a computer until you know all its functions and capability and use them to your satisfaction.

So, you could be achieving, and making mark, but if the heavens haven’t revealed your purpse, you are probably just doing good at your passion.

Holistically, our lives should give God glory and be of benefit to mankind.

Let’s start with, benefit to mankind; Does your life (in the least, tangentially) benefit mankind?

Cheers!

Download 20 Awesome Gospel Songs Here

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living365withjesus

ImageKari Jobe-Revelation song http://gbcworshiparts.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/KJ-Revelation-Song.mp3

 

Hillsong Music Australia-My heart will trust http://www.turnbacktogod.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/my-heart-will-trust.mp3

 

Michael w. Smith-Heart of worship http://dataup.sdasofia.org/MUSIC/nova-xr-musika/Michael%20Smith/worship/02%20-%20The%20Heart%20Of%20Worship.mp3

 

Michael w. Smith-breathe http://www.godslovepureandsimple.com/midi/michaelsmith-breathe.mp3

 

Michael w. Smith-Healing rain http://fumcgb.org/resources/healingrain.mp3

 

Michael w. Smith-Draw me close http://www.sta-umc.com/music/mp3/Draw%20Me%20Close.mp3

 

Michael w. Smith-Forever http://fumcgb.org/resources/forever.mp3

 

Brian Duncan-Days of Elijah http://cs.trinity.edu/~thicks/Tutorials/Research/DaysOfElijahDemo.mp3

Image

 

Michael w. Smith-Above all http://78.142.45.23/dataup/MUSIC/nova-xr-musika/Michael%20Smith/worship/06%20-%20Above%20All.mp3

 

Ricky Skaggs-We all bow down http://portuguese-us-law-dictionary.com/music/we_all_bow_down_ricky_skaggs_songs_4_worship_country.mp3

 

Nathaniel Bassey-Someone’s at the door http://dc367.4shared.com/download/P4mSM6Nr?tsid=20130726-075642-ebf2352f&dsid=1iacn2.cb07436b5ccbd5f0359315c86bf58dd7

 

Let your glory fall http://www.donmoenandfriends.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/15-Let-Your-Glory-Fall_1.mp3

 

TJ-Be magnified http://www.mexicobeachcwc.com/Bemagnified.mp3

 

Don Francisco-He’s alive http://songoffaith.com/mp3s/Albums/HesAlive/HA_HesAlive_DonFrancisco.mp3

 

Deitrick Haddon & Voices of unity-It all belongs to you http://members.coreworship.com/music/files/It%20All%20Belongs%20to%20You.mp3

 

Chris Tomlin-How great is our God http://thornstalks.net/garage/music/Chris%20Tomlin%20-%20How%20Great%20Is%20Our%20God.mp3

 

Wow worship 2-Here I am to worship http://www.ourjesuslives.org/songs/english/Best%20Worship%20Songs%20Ever%20-%20CD1%20-%20Here%20I%20Am%20To%20Worship%20(Tim%20Hughes).mp3

 

Michael w. Smith-Our God is an awesome God http://www.ourjesuslives.org/songs/english/Michael%20W.%20Smith%20-%20Our%20God%20is%20an%20Awesome%20God.mp3

 

Hillsongs-My redeemer lives http://www.wccworship.net/Music/Digit/My-Redeemer-LivesHS.mp3

 

Israel & New breed-Trading my sorrows(Yes Lord) http://david70x7.com/Downloads/MP3/Trading%20My%20Sorrows%20(Yes%20Lord).MP3

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For friends and friends of Olumide Ayinde HYDE

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            Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.- Psalm 116:15

 

On wednesday, 26 March, 2013, at about 10pm, I turned on my phone. As it is always, I went straight for BBM updates. The Personal messages and display pictures of my RUN friends did not correlate. It still does not. 

The picture of someone I was familiar with from afar was on display. But the PM’s, for all I cared was for someone else. I thought, maybe my friends were yet to upload the pictures. Though the thought of having lost a friend saddened me.

My memory came into play. Our interspersed conversations became palpable. I went back to the PM’s hoping my friends had uploaded the real pictures. I enlarged DP’s. Still same. I doubted the logicality to what was now real. It is not like I have the power to dictate what is and what is not; but the realization that this particular “friend” Olu was gone was disheartening. I thought life cruel.

I fairly knew him, but I and Olumide had mutual friends. So, from my conversations with him and friends I can say Hyde had a calm and peaceable mien. I know he spoke softly. He had a light around him that reflected in his friendships. Hyde was a charismatic person. 

I remember my first few interactions with him. We shook hands and exchanged pleasantries. One would think “he was being proud”. I would later learn that he was just the kind of person who was calm in front of a storm. He exuded maturity that I sought.

Memories of Olumide with mutual friends, whether it was in the hostel room, or in front of the lab, coming from the cafeteria or at chapel will forever remain with me.  

Our mutual friend, Toyin, brought me my last moments with him. Her pictures of them both and in some cases with other friends of ours while on orientation camp in Oyo State served as my last moments. Even on that camp via those pictures Hyde’s loving and cool self was not misplaced.

Our last real contact was during our convocation. The conviviality that came with staying at the International Guest House on camp, and other convocation moments are relived as I write this.

Nothing else shows the kind of person Hyde was than how he exited this chaotic world. 

Tomiwa Koleade’s PM kept ringing in my head, “what could have happened in that sleep?”. We would never know what happened in that sleep. Hyde and God his maker alone understand and know the last few moments of his existence. 

My friends, I started out to write a tribute to Olumide but moments have turned. They always turn. My personal reflections have crept in. So as we mourn and miss our dearly beloved, let us think on these things:   

For those who saw him the weekend before, did it seem like Hyde deserved death the last time you were with him? And those who spoke to him the day or night before and had a chat with him, did it cross your mind (for one second) it would be the last time?  

For the moments we shared with friends, I can say Hyde lived a calm life.

Friends, I am learning that for every breath I take, I am one day closer to my death. That every moment spent is my last opportunity to (show) love and be good. 

We are only here but for a short while. And the length of that time is not known to us. I implore that we use the energy of our youth to do good and be right in the Lord.

As Dami Oluyele’s dad, rightly says 

“Sorry folks, I feel you guys; But he’s finished his course! He’s handed over to you. How many souls are you going to impact positively when you are gone? After-life is real… You can have a designer after life…which ever way you choose while you are on this side of life! Take courage the holy spirit will comfort you.”

It is only right that we mourn Hyde for he will sorely be missed. Memories are all we have left of him. Sweet memories. 

Friends, in the words of Apostle Paul, I say, “not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead… “(Phil 3:12-13)

To the family, my special thoughts and heart felt prayers are with you in this time of sorrow. 

To friends and friends’, I am sending you a hug and love through this note. I wish you peace and healing.  

May the Lord our God keep us all. Amen.

Olumide Ayinde HYDE, sun re o. 

 

‘Seun IGE