Wednesday, April 27

Showing Up For Life

*Title inspired by the book Showing up for Life: Bill Gates Snr.*
Good Friday I was at Debonairs Pizza with some of my Women….it was such a pleasantly great time, we laughed so hard, I went to bed with a bad (good) headache. We moved to Ice cream Factory after pizza and eventually left for home about 10pm-ish?
But what did I take out of that meeting despite the roaring laughter, causing people to stare but hey, laughter doeth good, like medicine o, and since we haven’t had that much fun in ages…Well, you know that where you have a multitude of women, there are always gists. We had very candid talks about men, sex, relationships, marriage and lots more. We trashed issues sorrounding being ‘boxed’ up. Why is it we do not consider getting out of out ‘boxes’ of the norm, traditions into which we have put ourselves. Knowing that this is my very own preoccupation, and knowing that I still have myself in a few boxes despite my belief in the un-traditional, I wondered again what we are missing. It brought so many questions to mind, but I came out of there with ‘what has God said, what is He saying??’ Even He, we have put in a box! I am still pondering on this o.
 Are you in a box?? Better free yourself o.
Easter Sunday…I was at a meeting where a dear sister (the name stealer who shall remain nameless here) spoke on Love. What is the whole message of the cross? It is love. Someone loved, He died, so you too love! That’s it. And away from there into the main service, the same message resonated. I was taken back to the book “Showing up for Life’ by Bill Gates Snr. (find am, read am! na small book). It all but speaks about rising up to meet a need where one exists. He spoke about various people (including his son) who have made considerable and tremendous impact in the developing world, as well as in the lives of other people. Now Bill Gates Snr. Is not the born-again-tongue-talking-demon-chasing believer that you and I profess to be o, at least, not that I know of! The people mentioned in his book were also not, but they fulfilled the message of the cross. That’s all about it, love…giving, helping the needy…but is it possible to ‘show up’ and fulfill a need if you don’t love someone? C’est absoluement impossible! I don’t like you, I don't even want to see your face, so how can I then love you?
Can we put aside all these ’forming,’ this pretending, this bible carrying, this tongue speaking (abi should I say lashing) and do the necessary? Simply show that you LOVE. To the okada man, to the driver, the mai gadi, the sick, the poor, the domestic staffs (who knows, they just may stop doing evil!)….’Peter, lovest thou me more than these? Feed my sheep’, Jesus said.
That is the message, e no pass like this. I suspect that we are all in for a rude shock when we arrive heaven. The very people we expect to see in ‘heaven’ may most likely not the there. I believe in the sovereignty of God, He does whatever He please, who can question Him??’ Stop with the judgment, the things we do based on what we see, there is One who sees what you and I are do not see.
There is so much we can do with so very little...and I know we have more than a little!
I no wan presh biko. I could sit endlessly, trying to make this blog fancier with words, but there isn’t time to make fancy the truths that you and I already know. Holier than thou attitude? Let’s put it away. We can only be great to the extent to which we are servants….show up...for life, help the needy…
…and Be Free oh!
PS/ Is this a good time to tell you I am still receiving items for the Garage Sale organized by my Group, Bliss, (May 7th) proceeds of which will go the the Old People's Home in Yaba?? Are you even aware there is an Old People's Home??

Thursday, April 21

Am I A Virgin?

Yes! I just knew your curiosity will be piqued by this very unusual title! Hehehehehe. Kai.
Am I a Virgin?? Let’s find out?!
Do you remember the story of the 10 virgins in Matt 25? 5 foolish and 5 wise? Question is, which one are you?
There was news of the arrival of the bridegroom, the wise ones quickly took their lamp along with oil  but the foolish ones did not bother. However, the bridegroom delayed in his coming, and they all fell asleep! But when the call eventually came that ‘he is here!’, they all jumped up, wise ones got their lamp going and went to go in to the banquet. However, their lamps having gone out, the foolish ones began to scramble for more oil….talk about being unprepared.
According to a preacher, the state you are in today is a sum total of the journeys that you have been on. Everything we have been through has prepared us for this point, this here and now. So as we sit and ponder on all our life’s experiences, the joy, the pain, the success, the regrets etc we should also determine if this is the stop or if is there something more to look forward to. And that next level (if you believe there is one) require a state of preparedness. Rev George Adegboye defined success as when  'opportunity meets preparation'. The wise virgins were prepared!  Oh yes, they all slumbered when it seemed that the guy wasn’t coming, that the contract is no longer looking positive, that the container may not be arriving after all; lost hope and slept! But when it mattered, at midnight, when they heard the announcement that it seem to be finally happening, they were ready…lamp, plus oil and got up to go into the banquet. By the time the foolish virgins finished running around, IT happened, and behold, the door was already shut. The door was shut.
Will The Opportunity meet me in The State of Preparedness? Think about it: we pray for it, we believe for it, we long for it, we cry for it, we have tarried for it. If IT happens now, if IT comes now, do we have room for that cruse of oil that never ‘stayed?’….
So again, I ask? Am I a virgin, if yes, which one? Are you asking yourself the same question? And have you whipped out that lamp yet, polishing it even as I speak? (write?). Everything is all about being prepared for the (good) things coming our way, to never be caught unawares.
This blog could be longer than this but I believe a word is enough for the wise (no pun intended! Lol).
Eccl 9:8: Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment.’  
Be free oh and …’watch out, for we do not know when…’
PS/short blog! I did it!

Wednesday, April 20

Next Blog

Hello hello hello!!!

Am here! Am alive and well!..that is, if you are asking.

I confirm that a lot of new and wonderful and very unexpected things have been happening. All will be shared by and by!

However, my next blog is titled: Am I a Virgin?....yeah, warever, raise your eyebrow; like that would deter me! Duh.
Waiting to be attended to at UBA this morning, I wrote the entire blog on my Blackberry (yep, that’s how wonderful that bank is, I think it’s very ineffectiveness lies in the fact that it is so big, its a dispensary! Let me not even start, it’s my salary Bank *rolling eyes*)

However, while waiting for that, let me wonder….is anyone really thinking about this season and what it means? The death of Christ, I mean, the very gruesome death someone died so that we might be ‘here’…wherever you just might be at this time. Are we sober? Are we in that mode of ‘repentance’, of being know? I am having to ‘actively’ and very consciously remember that He died so I could live, that He side was pierced so I could be healthy, that He was cursed so I can be blessed, that He was poor that I might be rich?? And so on and so on…so the eating of that bread and the drinking of that wine shouldn’t really be trifled with whether you are taking it in Church or on your own at home….just mi thoughts…

Be free oh…and catch ya….on the next blog...

Thursday, April 14

I Want to Know

People, have you actually been here, and disappointed that I haven’t blogged anything? Notice I didn’t say publish, I said blog. Why? Because I have been blogging, I just have not been publishing. 'Publishing' is when you see what I have blogged. My ‘draft folder’ is full of half-written blogs.
I just realised that whatever I write, if I am not 'satisfied' with it, I can’t publish it. That just reinforces the fact that my blog has to be relevant. It’s not about number of followers, or the comments received (though, this, in a very big way, help me to know that I am not crazy, and that my ‘weirdness’ is cool J).

I have blogged about the 'post-robbery' feeling, I have written about politics, I have blogged about my group (Bliss) Garage Sale that is coming up...I have been preoccupied with Thin Lines…in life, in love, in faith, in taking decisions, in everything. At what point are you acting in faith, and at what point are you not? What is the dividing line between faith and works?? Where does the grey begin and end? but I have not published any of these...where is the feeling of dissatisfaction coming from??

Anyway sha, I believe we agreed from the beginning that this page is not bound (hmmm this fave word of mine) to be serial, I mean, this page can never (I absolutely refuse) be predictable, oh no, it wouldn’t, so, you shouldn’t be able to guess when, what and how anything shows up here, should you? (eyebrow raised).

Be that as it may, my major preoccupation is GOD. Sigh. GOD. I look forward to another lengthy discussion with Him, have been trying to get Him to, but this is one of the times that He 'hides' Himself. He hides, because I need a face to face, I am hoping it won’t come to an angry showdown (see blog on Yay!! He is speaking!) but we just need to talk ni. According to a song by Jimmy Cliff, 'I want to know'. I need Him to speak a word. This is not about house or money, this is about LIFE. I WANT TO KNOW. I need a word. What should I do? What should I not do? What is acceptable? What is not acceptable? At what point should  I hear (or tel myself): ‘Zouzou, don’t you dare??”…you know?

In any case, I confirm He has been good, as always. I have received, post-robbery experience, wonderful surprises, for which I am truly grateful. Unexpected miracle, He has proven, as He so aptly told me a few blogs ago, that He is indeed ‘crafting something, and that delay is most definitely not denial’. While I slept, no, the enemy did not sow tares, God was crafting for Zouzou!

Guys, have I just blogged? Will I publish? What’s more, isn’t this a short blog???

Be free…oh!

Tuesday, April 5

Armed Robbers in My Home

The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run into it and are saved.
Surely he would deliver me from the snare of the fowler and from the noise some pestilence
He that dwells in the secret place of the most high shall abide under the shadow              almighty
He has engraved me in the palm of his hand, my walls are ever before him
He shall cover me under his feathers he will hide me in his secret pavillion...
We shall not die but live
The Lord is a very present help in time of trouble

...These scriptures, and prayers and many more words were what poured out of me as I knelt, with my two sisters and brother, in the living room of my little apartment in the early hours of April 4, 2011, while at least 3 or 4 heavily armed robbers roamed around our bedroom.
We had gone to sleep about 11pm, unbeknown  to us, evil was lurking.
Suddenly, we heard shouts of 'open the door!' in yoruba, and came awake to behold men, flashing their torchlight directly in our faces (they had shoved open our bedroom window!) yelling at us! We all scrambled into the living room even as they began to slice through the burglary proof. Somehow I found the wisdom to remove the key and lock the door leading into the living room. 
All I could think about, even as we prayed, was what these men would do in their anger, after they had cut through the door to get to us, (one of them was already at the front door, trying to yank off the net door to reach the main door) 3 women in sleepwear..? But suddenly we heard them say again in yoruba, 'let us go, let us go'. And suddenly we were alone....

After we were sure they had gone, we ran out, and discovered just what it was God had delivered us from! They had spent 2 hours already at our  neighbours' room (we slept through all of this!) collecting spoil, they had raided my landlady of her cash and gold, had shot someone twice in the leg, one on the side, and had taken off three of another's toe with bullets...right inside her room...have you ever seen a roomful of one human being's blood?? Have you? This is nothing like you see in the movies! And what is more, my brother had actually returned home after midnight, while the robbers were already robbing one of the neighbours...what if he had walked right into them?? what if? What if?? What if???
What did we lose? One laptop, a hard drive, one gold earring, our purses. But, my jewelry case was in plain sight, my sister's  rolex watch, they overturned all our handbags, my perfume cupboard was thrown open, they checked my passport, threw our bags over, 3 blackberry phones were also lying around...none of these were taken.

Job 5.24: 'and you shall know that your tent is secure, you will count your property and none shall be missing.' My entire family is safe. I did not see the robbers, they did not see me. My eyes did not behold evil. The angel of God stood by us! He hid us in His secret pavillion according to His word!

I do not underestimate this great deliverance, I do not take for granted the protectiveness of God, some may think this is nothing, but the people who were shot do not have 3 heads, the ladies who were robbed do not have 3 heads, If you have never been robbed, if you have never had guns in your home by people who are not known to you, please bless God with us because that is an experience you can do without. I tremble when I remember, when I speak of it, when I think of it, and all they did was be in my home!!

I thank everyone who called, who prayed, who texted. Again I say, the kind of human support that God has given me is too unique, I am truly blessed, and I thank you all!

May He hide you in His secret Pavillion, always. May your walls ever be before Him!