Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Efé's Thoughts in May

SPEAKING TO GOD IS HARD

Pray without ceasing.”
1st Thessalonians 5:17 (NIV)

Every single moment of our lives is a form of prayer. From the moment we are conceived, our souls are worshipping.

God demands that we be in constant fellowship with Him. He needs us to need Him – always.

Our prayer life is not a separate entity but wholly and fully the foundation of our lives.

Parents too also have that responsibility to pray for us. A parent's prayer is one of the biggest influence's of a child's life – no matter the age.

At this moment in time, I want to thank my mother for all the times she called me into her room to lay her hand on my head and pray for me. God knows what He was saying when He said, “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)

 God said that because it's true, as we do grow up, our lives becomes more filled with responsibilities and obligations that push Him further and further to the back of our minds.

Until we start allowing the flesh to take over and we feel an aching emptiness that we solve to close with things that'll put us in a worser state and it's all because we've let the fire in us die.

I must say that probably one of the best feelings in this world is when you know someone is praying for you. Not something superficial like a hashtag like ''Pray for....”
Point blank - prayer is the most powerful weapon.

Out of all the different types of relationships in the world, the one that suffers the most is the one between the Creator and He's creatures – you and me.

It's sad to say that one can have a flourishing relationship with Lucifer without trying too hard.

We treat Jesus as the one we're having an illicit affair with. Many of us are ashamed to publicly say He's the One for us.

When your relationship with God blossoms, you have the privilege of getting insider knowledge from your Creator. He knows everything and we have direct access to Him. Why do we not acknowledge how amazing that is?

From when I was nine years old I went to a church called Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries which served to expand my knowledge of what was really going on spiritually in the world.

I get it - the simplest things, tend to be the hardest of things.

I can't lie, I struggle.

Sometimes when I'm in the throes of intense sadness, I know the Christian thing to do would be to read my Bible, pray to God but then that doesn't appeal to me. In those moments I want someone to talk back to me instead of silence that amplifies the loneliness.

But what the Holy Spirit has revealed to me is that praying is everything; our thoughts, actions, what we eat, our conversations, our relationships – everything is a prayer to God when you do it all to His Glory.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV)

One thing I respect and admire about Muslims is how uncompromising they are with their prayer life. Praying is built in them like a machine – and it never breaks down.

When someone says something offensive about their God, they take it personally. Whereas Christians hold very much passive attitudes but then again –
Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord.
Romans 12:19 (NIV)

I'll give you an example of what happened on a recent night out with my close friend (if you're reading this, hello lambchop :-)) who is a Muslim. I had walked barefeet for most of the journey back home (my heels killed) and when we returned to her house I planned to wash my feet.

Cut the story short, as I made a step into her bedroom to go into her en-suite bathroom to grab my towel to wash my feet in the other bathroom, she immediately raised her voice in panic, “That's where I pray!”

I had immediately apologised, and it really made me respect that she wasn't going to compromise the sanctity of her prayer alter to accommodate a friend.

In many public places such as airports, stadiums, hospitals, there's usually 'Prayer Rooms' and I can  make a good bet that the people who use it the most are Muslim.

They make no play about their prayer.

And that's an important thing that us Christians need to take on board. One that a lot of us undermine, rather tragically too.

Praying is what you're doing right now. What many Christians are guilty of is “keeping in touch” with God from time to time – so that means when they have a new update in their life where there is an issue that has risen, they decide to reconect but that is not how it's supposed to go. We're supposed to talk to God at all times.

And not just talk unfeelingly but to actually have honest, deep conversations with Him. Tell Him how you feel. Tell Him you feel like shit. Tell Him you're pissed off.

Job did. I do. You should.

And that is why Job is my favourite book in the Bible. Because it's reassuring for me as someone who feels like the end of a cigarette butt a lot of the times, in other words, burned, that My Father won't be mad at me for telling Him I'm mad at Him.

So if you haven't yet, talk to Him today. He's listening.

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Thursday, 27 April 2017

Efé's Thoughts in April

WE ARE IN UTOPIA

Perfect. I have always wondered about that word. What does it mean? People wake up everyday and their sole aim is to be better than what they were the day before. So to start off this essay I will prescribe the help of the dictionary in giving some clarity to this word that that totally eludes me but the whole world and myself is obsessed with.


having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be.

free from any flaw or defect in condition or quality; faultless.

absolute; complete (used for emphasis).

Origin Middle English: from Old French perfet, from Latin perfectus ‘completed’, from the verb perficere, from per- ‘through, completely’ + facere ‘do’.

What I find most interesting is the word comes from the Latin translation of complete. The world was completed seven figurative days from its conception. (No atheists or scientologists are allowed to correct me).
So why do we think we're not living in a 'perfect world'?
In my research of finding out about what people thought on this matter I was surprised by what I saw. Here's one:

Read Kevin Casey's answer to What is your idea of a perfect world? on Quora

A lot of the ideas given for attaining a ''perfect world'' relies on the deletion of our emotions – the very thing that makes us human. For example look at this video:


It relies on there not being originality of thought (not that there's much of it nowadays).
But the best idea that most of the people came up with was to have a one-size-fits all programming.
But could that really be the definition of a perfect world?

People are always talking about unity, equal rights (question: are we all born equal?), accountability - but do all those things really contribute to a perfect society?

Has anyone actually given thought that everything is perfect the way it is?
Nothing that is happening in the world right now is out of place.

To say that the world is not perfect is to say that God is flawed, and that can never be the truth.

Yet the question is, if everything is already perfect then why are we all still striving for perfection?

Just because everything is perfect doesn't mean there is no work to do. See, we're the engineers and our job is to keep the engine running.
..Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it...”
Genesis 1:28 (NIV)

People's definition of perfect has to do with their imagination. But the trouble with that is that we are born in this world without any prior perception about how the world is.

For us to know that we are not living in the perfect world means we've already experienced living in a perfect world.

We're all trying to make our fantasies come true. Hitler tried to make his fantasy come true. ISIS and Boko Harem are trying to make their fantasies come true.

We look at a country like North Korea and there's a man there making his fantasies a reality too.

We're selfish. It's when things don't go our way that it's not ''perfect'. Most of the time it's only when something directly affects us that we want to change it and make it ''perfect''.

When we're children we like to think that the world revolves around us and that everything is perfect. We are in "our own world'' ''our happy place'' where nothing can touch us.

And that time between childhood and adulthood when someone, bursts our bubble it becomes a shock to our system to suddenly find out we're "not living in a perfect world".

A perfect world looks different to each and everyone of us and that's why we can't ever attain that delusion.

For one person to attain that, that must mean everyone must succumb to their control. For everyone to attain that, that must mean that we'd be living in a lawless world.
Each one of us is trying to reach their idealised perfection - that is what all the strife in the world is birthed from.

That's all the tension sizzling.

We all want to live in a world where we feel less control as possible from external forces, a world we are able to see less suffering, if possible, no suffering at all.

But we only know suffering is suffering because of how it makes us feel. We only know pain is pain, because of how it makes us feel. So with everything it has to do with our state and emotions. There's only suffering because somebody else allowed that “suffering” to happen yet to the perpetrator it's just pleasure.

Perfection lies in broken things, in broken people.

In other words, another man's utopia, is another man's dystopia.

Because what we do is internalise our observations of the world and how they make us feel and grow the urge to do something about it.

For example, me. I am incredibly passionate about homeless people because I feel homeless. I don't feel like I belong anywhere and these emotions have allowed me to be more empathetic to the plight of those who physically are experiencing what I feel mentally and emotionally. And that's me trying to “perfect” the world I live in.

Do you understand what I'm saying?

Because our sole purpose in life is to glorify God in everything we do, problems are used to praise Him.

And hence the reason why everyone is fighting for something.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:2(NIV)

But still in God's grand scheme it all remains perfect.

Like I wrote in my previous post, everything in life has to do with orgasms. The meeting and mixing of two substances. Day and night, land and sea, a heart cannot beat without contractions, a baby cannot be born without contractions, a diamond cannot be made without contractions.

Each of us is birthed with gifts and coupled with the problem, we use it to create the perfection we want, and that equates to us serving God.

Every time a new election campaign starts people are made to believe by the candidates that they are the definition of change in the world.

They use short sound bites and slogans to gain the esteem of voters believing they are out for their benefits solely and to change their nation for good, for progression towards perfection.

And people believe that, and they vote. Yet once that person is in power and they don't put those changes in place, the people become disillusioned and for the remainder of the term they complain about the shortcomings of their representative and become apathetic until the next election comes up.

And then the cycle begins once more.
There's no point being upset if our “representatives” are not “perfect”. We all have a moral obligation to help whosoever needs help.

Because after all the representatives are human, and liable to make mistakes -which in so doing still makes things perfect, even if it's not ''as we imagined''.

I've never understood people who think their President, Prime Minister, Head of Whatever has the sole responsibility to make their “utopia” a reality.

News flash: You're already living in it.

And then there's that word that people love use so much to describe themselves – perfectionists.

Urgh.

But it's all part of the irony of life, and why as humans, we can never comprehend the wisdom of God.

People use tag lines such as “progression”, “change” “a better future,” “a perfect world”, to denote how they would want society to be more like. But the question I have is - has anything truly changed from the genesis of this world right through the day you're reading this essay?

Whether you are a believer or unbeliever, the Truth is we are all under His Thumb. He pulls the strings.

Everything that is happening now is in divine order. Nothing is out of place.
And to me, that is a breath of fresh air.

Most people say, with all the rumours of war going on, that the world is coming to an end. The world is coming to an end. It's been ending since the beginning of time.

Time too is an illusion. If you think deeply and look closely, nothing has changed. You might think with the advent of technology, explosive scientific discoveries, the world is gaining higher ground without the need of there being a Supreme Being, but that's purely deception.

John Lennon tried to imagine a world without God - that was wishful thinking on his part. The world we're all imagining is not here. It's Heaven. Streets of gold. Mansions within mansions.

What it is, is that since that time of our first ancestors we've been on the relentless pursuit of regaining back our Garden of Eden.

And God-willing, one day we will.

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Friday, 31 March 2017

Efé's Thoughts in March

I DON'T PAY TAX
 

Unless you're living in Monaco - you know you're an adult when you start paying taxes.

Taxes are the bane of life.

And nobody has been more vocal about it than my mother. I have these images in my head of when I was younger and seeing her open up her pay slip. She'll take one look at the tax deducted from her gross pay and would go off on an angry rant because she was being charged too much tax and what pissed her off even more was the thought of what her tax money was being used for.

And we come to the main point of this essay.

My mother always got mad about pregnant teenagers who were provided rent-free, fully furnished council flats complete with a weekly/monthly stipend that had them earning more than her simply for having their legs open and not using a raincoat (as my mother would say lol). Damn right she had every right to be mad.

And not just that but what about people who claim ''job seekers'' allowance but hardly spend their time looking for work, instead they spend their time buying the latest items that even working folks cannot afford, or they spend it on booze and other miscellaneous activities that doesn't add to their life positively.

The system is fucked up.

I remember once I met a homeless man, and I was in conversation with him asking how he got himself in such a situation. He told me that his girlfriend broke up with him and kicked him out of the house. Now this was a man who had a good paying job as an accountant but unfortunately had been made redundant and he now found himself sleeping on the street.

When I asked him why he couldn't apply for job seekers allowance he told me that because he'd never claimed benefits before he was refused financial support. Now this was someone who had always been in employment, who was paying his taxes. Yet in his time of need he was refused what should have been his immediate right.

Yet the ones who have been in the system since their youth, claiming benefits not in anyway contributing to society are just twirling on in life spending other people's hard-earned money. Now tell me, how can you pay your taxes and not stay mad?

And then motherfuckers have the fucking audacity to say immigrants need to leave their country. Bitch, your grandfather should have gotten the fuck out of Africa, Asia, the Middle East and anywhere his damn nose clearly didn't belong in. And then we wouldn't be in this mess.

Many of the countries in Western Europe was built of the backs of immigrants, immigrants who paid their taxes.

The audacity that the British government had to charge Salt Tax to the Indians stupefies me. The absolute audacity. And now their coming with their Brexit shit to 'protect their borders'. Bitch please.

And yet this is what the Bible says about taxes and governments.

ROMANS 13:1-6 (NIV):

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.
For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended.
For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.
Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.
This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing.


As a Christian, I admit it's hard for me to reconcile with the fact that God wants me to submit to the decisions of the governing body in the nation I live in especially when I believe it's not in the best interests of its citizens. 
 
Yet Jesus says, “Give unto Caesar, what belongs to Caesar.”

But what about if Caesar doesn't deserve it?

Yes, I do understand that the purpose of taxes is to pay government workers, maintain civilization as well as protecting it. But why should the government have a say on how they spend our hard-earned money?

So I propose a new way we should pay our taxes. People should get a choice on what their individual taxes are spent on.

What I appreciate the most about taxes, is that in most, if not all, European countries, basic healthcare is at no extra charge. I think about a country like Nigeria and the amount of people whose loved ones would still be alive today if only free healthcare was not a thing of the past. The lack of money should never be the factor as to why someone cannot receive treatment, but unfortunately that is the current situation in so many other countries.

So I would say that if there ever was a tax reformation where citizens were given the choice to choose what department they want the tax that they paid to be allocated to, healthcare would always be my choice without a doubt.

Now for the year 2016/2017 the United Kingdom apparently spent £45.6bn of taxpayers money on defence (http://www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/government_expenditure.html). Honestly, that's a ridiculous amount of money.

And speaking of defence - I don't support the military. Now that's an essay for another day. But yet if I were to pay taxes a portion of it will go there or into research to making the next most destructive weapon.

And do I really like the thought that with my money children soldiers in Syria are being trained how to hold a gun, aim and fire?

Is that not a valid reason to be mad to be paying taxes?

And then to add insult upon injury huge corporations like Google and Apple, the latter a company that is set to probably be the first trillion dollar company pays copper coins in taxes? You can read more on it here.

How is that fair? People who are bottom or near bottom the food chain have to be the ones carrying the weight of the mass.

I don't blame wealthy people who hide their money Switzerland or Bermuda.

Why is it that even though we are adults we are told how to spend a portion of the money we worked for?

And not just that but we never received one lesson about taxes in school. A school that for many of us is government-funded too by tax payers money.

Yet grown-ups were the ones who always said we should be grateful to have “free” education when we moaned about going to school. What exactly were we learning when we were not being educated on the things we were supposed to fundamentally know?

And as soon as we start earning income we're signed up for something we never agreed to.

See, governments have their citizens ignorant and most people are too apathetic to care.

But then there's those who stay mad and do something about it. Because the truth is taxes are as certain as death. Whether we like it or not – it's always going to happen. It is just a matter of knowing how to make the system work for us.

If you were given the choice on where the money you pay in tax should be allocated to, what would be your three choices?

Let me know in the comments!

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Wednesday, 15 February 2017

I can't write because of anxiety

I know this isn't really the place to write this since it's not a polished piece I want to publish, but oh well, I need to. I need to talk to something, to someone. And here's to hoping that someone and no one reads this.

I've been dealing with serious anxiety for the last two and a half years, but the last few months it has gotten worse. I'm unable to write the way I want to write. I want everything to be just the way I envision it in my head, but because the way I see it in my head is different to the final product, it discourages me from moving further in my work.

I'm supposed to have written an essay here for this month, but yet, here I am, without a word written down. My biggest downfall is that I over-analyse everything, leading to analysis-paralysis. I find it hard to breathe.

I'm not working as hard as I want to and it's pissing me off. There are days (many days) where I just do nothing. Like yesterday, all I mostly did was lie in my bed scrolling through Twitter, like I had no purpose in life.

I'm just highly, intensely, desperately, deeply, absolutely depressed. I want to write. I want to be creative. I want to be consistent. I want to be producing everyday but I'm fighting a battle stronger than myself. And I do pray to Jesus, often reluctantly, because I'm sad and alone.

My higher purpose is to serve by creating, but I'm not doing that. And it's making me pissed off everyday at myself. I have been shrouded by fear. Overwhelming, tyrant-like fear has swept me up my feet and swaddles me like a baby. I can't move my arms and legs. I don't feel worthy enough to act.

I'm scared of everything and everyone. Everything feels wrong. No one knows what is right.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Efé's Thoughts in January

 A REFLECTION ON THE LAST YEAR


Atican Beach (Lekki, Nigeria)
It feels like last year everyone lost someone. In my family too there were losses. And I realised one thing. There are two main things that bring humans together in one accord of emotion. The birth of a child and the loss of a life. Nothing else in this world draws such intense, raw emotion - not even an orgasm or wealth.

Between those things, everyone is perpetually trying to reach an orgasm of emotions matched by the start or end of someone's journey on Earth. If you really think about it, all we do in life is try to reach an orgasm. The orgasm of education, is apparently university. The orgasm of a career is being an executive. The orgasm of relationships is to be loved. The orgasm of life is death. And still the orgasm of death is life. 
My love (Napoli, Italy)





When one loses someone dear to them, often parts of their life which the deceased left hidden comes to life. From the experience I've had new relationships are formed from the life that the person that has gone connected with. In my case it was cousins I never knew of.


 So with 2016 having passed away I am thankful to God despite the hardships, depressive, joyous, orgasmic experiences I had.



    
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