Saturday, 31 August 2013

Peace ... even in the storm !

The story of Jesus in the boat napping during a storm is a popular one in Christianity. It often seems strange that Jesus would be sleeping at such a perilous moment. In fact his disciples were so confused by this that they cried out to him “ don’t you care that we perish?” 

I recently found that we can exhibit the same calmness no matter how big or small the storm is in our everyday lives. Just few days ago, I went shopping and discovered to my horror that I didn’t have enough money in my cash card to pay for my purchases.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

A heart of Gold

The other day I read a story that warmed my heart. It was the story of a brave young man, Michael, who risked his life to save a toddler from a burning house. This incident happened in Nigeria of all places. You see in Nigeria, people rarely risk their lives for others. They may try at the beginning, but if they realise they might die in the process, they don’t bother anymore. In Nigeria, as in many other places, people look out for "numero uno". I have heard stories of people who rather than help save children from a burning fire next door, ran to save their own properties while the children cried helplessly. So you can see why this story is truly remarkable. Be inspired today, there are still good people on earth, and indeed you could be a hero too. 
This is the way it was recorded by a newspaper called the Nigerian Eye.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Personalized Miracles

I have often heard people pray for God to do for them what He did for others. That is not really a bad prayer, but the danger is we try to dictate to God how He should deal with us. We forget that God knows what is best for us, and He relates with us on a personal basis. He knows what our strengths and weaknesses are, He knows our personalities, experiences, and He sure knows areas in our lives that need pruning. So when He does things for us, He personalizes it in accordance to His will for us.

Monday, 26 August 2013

The uniqueness of components

I had the great pleasure of listening to Ron Kenoly’s music on Youtube the other day. I love all his music videos, but I was particularly moved by this instrumental piece, especially from 3:05 to 5.00. It is simply amazing! All these different instruments, which normally you don’t appreciate when they play all at once, just doing their thing, one by one. I never knew the flute could be so enthralling or the drums, or even the konga drums or the bass guitar!

Like a band, we can so easily fail to see the individual beauty and skills we all personally possess. Or we could fail to see our uniqueness in the band of life, and imitate others. Imagine if the saxophone decides to sound like a guitar, that would be weird, wouldn’t it? Each instrument is designed for a purpose and only by fulfilling that purpose would it feel truly useful and happy. The musical instrument called the triangle is just that, a metal triangle! Nothing unique or important about it’s appearance. It is not as detailed as a saxophone or a piano. But its tinkling and sonorous sound is not only pleasing to the ear, it adds to the rhythm of the band.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Childhood memories

This song takes me back to the '80's. I was a 5-year old, running bare footed in my village in Nigeria. I remember my uncle playing this on his little radio back then. I remember how carefree life was and the pleasures I had in just playing with my mates. We didn't have much then, but life was beautiful. I remember not having dolls, but using weeds instead. My mates and I would uproot fibrous weeds wash them to get rid of the sand, then form the roots into hair. We would use old rags as clothes for our 'dolls'. We were really innovative!

So enjoy this beautiful song by Sonia Spence called 'Where is the love?'

Monday, 19 August 2013

Free to be ME!

One of the quickest ways to feel sad and lose our peace is to start comparing ourselves with others. Don’t do it, it just sends your emotions on a nose-dive.
I can’t begin to count the number of times I have done that in the past. It is worse when you are comparing yourself with your mates who appear more successful in a particular area. I think as human beings, we will all struggle with that at one point in time or another. I wish I could say I have totally overcome it, but once in a while it happens, and then I have to renew my mind again. 
It really helps to remember that we are each very unique.
We all have temperaments, dreams, past experiences, skills, strengths and weaknesses, etc, that make us very unique.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Does sex really sell?

If you are not an alien, you must have heard the expression ‘sex sells”. We see it everyday from the models in adverts to the musicians who wear skimpy outrageous clothes to promote their albums. These musicians and indeed artistes are usually female and seem to have lots of fans, who not only love their music but also their ‘sexy’ looks. There is a huge pressure on new female artistes entering the industry to adopt the trend. This phenomenon is sadly worldwide, not just in developed countries. In my motherland Nigeria, which is a developing country, I see young media personalities and new ‘celebs’ and even ordinary young girls trying to imitate their Western counterparts. To them it is being modern and very 21st century-ish to post their bikini or lingerie pictures on social media.

But, but, … I meant no harm! When charity backfires.

 Have you ever been in a position where you were mistreated for being good? It’s shocking isn’t it? You do good, you expect good, right?  I found out recently that it doesn’t always work that way. Good things don’t always happen to good people, neither do you receive gratitude and accolades for being nice or for fighting a good cause. It can make us feel unappreciated, confused, angry and even determined not to help others in future but it shouldn’t be that way. We can learn lessons from our not-so-good experiences of charity and become wiser. These are some of the lessons I’ve learnt after being burnt: