Constant: faithful

His mercies are new sun down to sun rise.

I am really sorry for my slow visit to some of your blogs my main computer has crashed and the little one I have won’t let me open some pages.

Once the main one is fixed I will do due diligence to visit everyone as soon as possible.

Have a blessed week. 

Expensive dreams

I am scared

Of the dreams I had, of  the past behind.

Of the hopes within my bosom, of the failures behind my heels.

I am weary,

of the dreams I have, of the future I envision.

of the thoughts that bridge the noon and words that linger past the moon.

Perhaps I am a smidgen dismayed 

but I am not giving up.

Not today

there’s breath in my lungs

there’s something new to dream of it’s called the next second.

Not tomorrow.

there’s a voice in my cords

there’s a story waiting on the next second to continue.

I will stay and keep at it,

I will dream.

for one has paid the highest price for a dream

for one dreamed that man can embrace a way higher than self.

Again I will dream.

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every dream like a bubble, seeks to rise

every dream like a bubble, grows bigger than our ‘heads’ 

every dream seems reachable 

every dream is yours whether it becomes reality or not.

many roam the streets without a vision further than their nose

and for some no further than the next breath, the next second.

I prayed

I prayed the Lord my height to increase

a head taller I stood above my peers by morn.

I stood tall, my glory and flaws a public showpiece,

a head bent, I sought solace from dreams and dreads that had me torn.

 

I prayed the Lord my gait to straighten,

soon I took aristocratic steps on the streets of my youth.

I smiled in pride, they swore vehemently shattering my haven,

sober and dismayed, I sought solace from green eyed sleuths.

 

I prayed,

The Lord answered

Alas it came as a DIY package; His part was to deliver the package with clear instructions and a helpline to assist, my part is to assemble the structure.

 

 

Holding on

Countless are the ways through which you’ve blessed me.

countless are the ways my worries bid me forget.

Countless are the gifts of your love.

countless are the emissaries of regret bearing Trojan hope.

Countless …..

countless ….

Countless is my faith in the rising of the sun

countless is my faith in the clashing of waves on the shore.

Countless is my faith in your promises.

Waves
Copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Countless.

 

Out of balance.

What exactly is faith?Slide8

What does it mean?

Never really thought about it actively, never thought to sit down and define this term called faith personally. I like to have my own personal definition or spin on a word, so I decided to research the term.

Faith according to Buddhism is first an acceptance of Buddha’s teaching and subsequently a discovery or learning of its truth for oneself (Wikipedia).

In my search I came across three terms related to faith within Buddhism: they are Sraddha, prasada and adhimukti. Sraddha means “to arouse faith” or “to possess curiosity about.” It is considered the first stage of faith, faith grown/found by listening.

Prasada on the other hand relates to the idea of purity and clarity. Thus, with respect to Buddhism, the proper purpose of faith could be said to cleanse the mind enabling our inherent wisdom to shine forth. This is faith by purification.

Faith without works is dead.

Finally, adhimukti which means intent: referring to the orientation of one’s mind or will. It is faith that comes over a period of time with understanding.  With respect to these three terms faith can be defined as that which purifies our reasoning, strengthens our convictions and helps us live in a state of freedom, clarity with room for continuous self-improvement.

In the Jewish religion emunah is commonly translated to mean faith. However, with some research it would seem that translation doesn’t depict the encompassing meaning of faith. Emunah means firmness and can refer to something or someone who is firm in their actions. It is the feminine version of the word emun. Thus, faith in this context implies that the one who has faith in Elohiym will act with firmness toward accomplishing Elohiym’s will. It is something we develop throughout a lifetime and needs to be repeatedly meditated upon.

Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.

Emunah is expressed and grown through the means of our free will. We can choose  to either remain loyal to the word of God in spite of any struggle, or to shun the word of God because of its seeming illogicality. Enumah goes beyond the reaches of reason, but it does not evade it. In reality wisdom, knowledge and  understanding can serve to further enhance emunah.

I could go on about my research, but I will stop here. I think most people at the very least have some level of faith in something out there. And in answer to the prompt question, I have faith. I have faith in God and for me faith is that bridge over the waters (troubled or not troubled waters). It is that which calls me up higher from where I am to where I can be, but it doesn’t make me forget that I must climb and sweat and sometimes cry to get there. It makes me work harder, makes me bolder, but it also calls me back when my head seems to get bigger than my shoulder.

And yes faith does give people a weapon or crutch for their mental, physical or emotional imbalance. However, I would like to think that this is not the case with me. For me ….

Faith balances me out.

Faith in my dictionary is a belief in God and in the truth that the universe will outlive me and has things set in motion to sometimes out smart me, sometimes out do me but also sometimes celebrate me.

Written in response to the daily post writing challenge …Un/faithful.

For further reading:

http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/vocabulary_definitions

Buddhist Faith and Sudden Enlightenment

www.aish.com

www.chabad.org

 

Fatherhood (a three piece cord)

We’ll take a break today from the life is series to study and ruminate on the topic of fatherhood. I think to get fatherhood right there are three people who must work as a team God, a father and a child (obviously). In order  to get different perspective on the topic I interviewed three different guys living in different places with different family histories. Right let’s get into it then shall we, meet our lovely guests:


Guest number 1:

Chika Edeh: an academic researcher, married and a father to two beautiful children.

Guest number 2: 

Derek Nwafor: self employed, married and a father to three beautiful kids.

Guest number 3:

Aham Onyeneke: business developer, married and a father to two beautiful kids.

                                   ………………………….

What does it mean to be a father?

Chika: It means being a steward. A steward of the young lives committed to me as my offspring, to protect, nurture, develop and mould them after God’s purpose and desire.

Derek: I have adopted these words (they are not originally mine): source, sustainer, cover, foundation, shield, fence, wall, financier, coach, pastor, prophet,leader, instructor. In the words of a popular phrase; the God we can see (God miniaturised and within reach of my kids.) Slide2

Aham: The word ‘Father’ seems to encapsulate a number of other words including Progenitor, nourisher, upholder, source, sustainer, author, guardian, creator and role model. In my experience and leanings, the father is one who gives life and is committed to it.

Have you always wanted to be a father?

Chika: I think I have always wanted to be a father. The idea that I could have the privilege to RE-PRODUCE; to introduce someone to this life, and help guide his or her emergence into it, was something that tugged at my heart deeply. In fact, at some point before I met my wife, I stopped praying for a life partner, and started praying for my ‘seed’, blessing them and prophesying over them. That’s how deeply I seemed to have connected with that desire. Of course, I had to prayerfully find the right mum to be :-).

Derek: Well, when you say ‘always’ it sounds a bit funny… I’m not sure I was planning to be a father while I was in Primary school… :-). When I started praying and planning to be married, I expected to be a parent. Eventually I arrived at a point where I knew I would have at least three children.

Aham: Fatherhood for me has been a journey, one that started when I was only 9 years old. My dad had an illness that few believed he would survive. So one night he called me and charged me, “Take care of your mum and your siblings’’ and so fatherhood was thrust on me. At that time, fatherhood meant being a role model to my brothers and living up to the example set for me by my hero – my father.

When did it (fatherhood) become a reality to you?

Chika: I think it was just after my first child was born. You see the young lad stayed in for an extra 12 days post EDD, and had to come through CS. After he came out they rushed him to another room to clean him up, and because he had been distressed he hadn’t cried yet. I had been praying out loud (not shouting, but audibly throughout the whole thing. So I followed them to that room, they tried everything: shocks, suction, but his heart rate was dropping, and he still hadn’t cried. At this point my prayers ceased, I was more or less suspended somewhere I can’t quite describe. It seemed like a very long time and everyone was very quiet. Then, with a gut-wrenching scream, he let out his first cry! And almost simultaneously, but more silently, I wept. That’s when it hit me- YOU ARE A FATHER!

Slide1Derek: when my wife confirmed she was pregnant. I knew a life had started inside her and that was the life of our first child. Even though we had prayed and studied about (our) children in general before then, our prayers from that point were obviously focused on our daughter. I got a clear message that the baby was a girl. I guess you could say the ‘reality’ grew as she did, and with her birth obviously a whole new level of that reality started.

Aham: Maybe it was the day I read a write up of my brother saying I was the single most influential person in his life. Or maybe it was when I pastored some young people and found myself making significant inputs in their lives. What is undeniable is the burden of responsibility that was clear as daylight as I carried Pearl (our first daughter) in my hands for the first time, filled with wonder.

Were you at the birthing of your child/children? Please explain why?

Chika: I think the question’s been answered above.

Derek: yes I was at the birth of the first two of my three children. Why? I was there because I am their father and my wife was literally passing through a life and death situation, it was unimaginable to me that I should be anywhere else. My third child and second daughter was born outside the country so I was not able to be there for that. It hurt personally but I commended my wife and my daughter to God’s care. For the two births I was present at I stayed all through in/around the theatre and I prayed over them when they were delivered. For my third, I prayed over the phone.

Aham: till I read this question it never occurred to me that I could have Slide3been anywhere else but with Ogo during the birth of our girls. We had done everything together so it was only natural that we should go through that experience “hand–in–hand”. I actually cut the umbilical cord for our second daughter.

Do you think the above scenario influences your parenting style and love for your kids?

Chika: I think it mattered to me that I was there with my beloved, I felt it was the least I could do for her- after nine months of carrying our baby. But even more so, to be there at the first sight of my children was important. There are many things we would never know about our children as they grow older (the time literally flies) and that’s ok. As they grow they will begin to cultivate their own circle of friends that they prefer to hang out with and in those moments I will cherish the privilege and privacy of knowing that I was there when they first showed up. So yes, it does in a way. I think I would still love and parent my kids as I do even if I wasn’t there to see them come. However, that experience has given my something very personal and intimate in my relationship with and love towards them.

Derek: I guess you could say so. Actually the scenario or my approach to the birth of my children was a result of my love for my wife and children and even though I didn’t come to love them more because of the experience, my gratitude to God for their lives was taken to a higher dimension. My parenting approach is advised by the fact that there are things God expects us to get up and do by ourselves in raising our children and ensuring their survival and success.

Aham: No, my presence during the birth of our girls has nothing to do with my parenting approach nor my relationship with them. However, I do believe that it being a consciously shared experience between Ogo and I makes it is a testament to our strength, our victory, and a chord of unity tying up an episode of glory in our lives.

…. to be continued.

 

Well, I hope you have enjoyed being with us, stay tuned next week for more on fatherhood. See you next Saturday.

Don’t take your thoughts with you, share them.

 

 

 

 

Why the church keeps losing it’s grounds.

Growing up I had no memory of churches having so many fragments; but with time so many divisions started to arise. Protestants, Anglicans, Methodist, Baptist, Evangelical ministries, Healing missions you name them, they exist. Even within these sections lie a further division of some sort that has to do with preaching style, dressing styles, and rules that influence people’s general lifestyles. Is that really what the gospel hoped to achieve? I don’t think so.

The level of division with the church became more obvious (to me at least) in Uni, they were so many fellowships and churches to choose from, but I became a bit put off with the way they introduced themselves. It seemed too much like a marketing strategy/campaign.

“Join us because we have a great choir, the best on campus,”

“Join us because we are the cool Christian group in school,”

“Become one of us because we pray and live a conservative lifestyle,”

The worst part was if you didn’t accept the invite some people took it really personal going as far to question your faith, I found that very wrong. Surely the message of Christ is love, unity and oneness, a message that surpasses any particular church, group or denomination. Professing my faith and living for Him daily in words and actions, in open and in secret should outweigh speaking the lingo of a particular denomination, or dressing according to a particular code.

Moving to the UK I found the church plagued by a different set of problems depending on the congregation. In a predominantly white congregation you find the word of God is limited to an extent with regard to how much influence it should have on us, it is only allowed to affect certain lifestyle choices and not others. You also find the socializing accept of the meeting is slightly overemphasised, thus anyone whose culture of socializing doesn’t align might be frowned upon or misunderstood.

On the other-hand in a predominantly black congregation, you find the words of the pastor/visioner/leader to be overemphasised. His/hers interpretation of the Bible is seen as final, people are often made to see things only through the leaders eyes. People are credited importance based on how much of the Christian lingo they speak and whether they speak in the same manner as the leader. You are evaluated on your dressing and lifestyle; the bigger, louder and vibrant the more popular you are. Most times  the leader’s authority cannot be questioned.IMG-20150829-WA0007

On both accounts you find the central message of Christ’s’ love is lost, the welcome and acceptance of people for who they are whilst praying for God to change them is gone. Culture is promoted, leaders are revered, membership matters more than follower-ship and religious façade is celebrated rather than character. Are we following Christ or him/her? Can you question your leader, can you admit his wrong in front of others, do you check what his ideologies are against the word of God? Is he/she open to discussing their guiding values? Are you accountable to God in secret and in truth or to those who you consider members of the same faith. The church is losing its hold because it’s losing sight of its God in totality. It’s either all or nothing.


Romans 12 vs 4-5: “For as in one body we have many members and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”

1 Corinthians 1 vs 11 -13: “For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you. Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, “I am of Paul,” and “I of Apollos,” and “I of Cephas,” and “I of Christ.” Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptised in the name of Paul?”

Colossians 2 vs 8: “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ,”