Friday, 17 February 2017

Majority knows best!

Slow down child
You skip and you slip 
without a care in the world
You swish and you sway
and say all your thoughts out loud
You shouldn't be so happy
You should carry some worry

Slow down child
lest you meet your fall 
We were once young like you, you know
we thought we knew it all
But life will shake you up good, it will
show you who's who in the larger scale of things
You shouldn't be so full of hope

Slow down child 
you will get your heart broken
It may seem like it's for forever right now 
but we can tell you it won't last
Haven't you heard it said,
"All good things come to an end"?
Don't you dare trust fully

Slow down child
follow the pre-defined steps
There's a reason why these things are in place;
Majority knows best
There's no need to fix what isn't broken
or make better what's working fine
Try to not be so adventurous

Slow down child
You risk and you believe
trying to shape your own way
You question and you doubt
and want to try everything out
keep your head down and try to fit in
Don't try to stand out, it will only do you in

Slow down child.
We know what's best for you
Slow down child.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Courage in the time of fear

“Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy.”

Some messages never grow old. There are some topics that after I’ve read two or three posts about them, I’m done. Being bold is not one of those topics.

Naturally as human beings, we are comforted by routine. The safety net it brings allows you to feel like you’re in control of your life and what tomorrow will bring. It becomes your identity, how you describe yourself and how others define you. It becomes your main frame of reference when making decisions. It allows you to fit into a certain social category; heck, it even gives you new friends. When that safety net is suddenly ripped away, you’re left exposed. You’re suddenly vulnerable and lost, like a chick that was separated from mother hen and siblings when crossing the road. You start to look left and right, looking for anything that looks familiar or accepting. The doubt then starts to set in; were you even ever what you thought you were? Are you sure you weren’t a phony the whole time, an act that got so good at the scene that it looked real? Are you anything without that safety net? What about your friends; will they really still be your friends even after you’re no longer under the same net? Was it the right decision?

The truth of the matter is Fortune favors the bold. No one ever got anywhere without taking the risk, and trust me it doesn’t matter who you are, risks scare everyone. Nobody said you wouldn’t be afraid. The trick is to do it even when you are afraid. Choose to focus on the little courage you have and drown out all the fear/doubts. I’m not talking about that action that you know will hurt everyone around you and put you in trouble. I’m also not talking about those whims that come as a result of watching too much soapy television. No. I’m talking about that itch that keeps you awake at night. That thing you can’t wait to get up and do in the morning. That thing that brings you so much fulfillment because you know that you know that you know that this is what you’re supposed to be doing! You’re probably reading this and thinking, “Nah, this ain’t for me. I’m way too unimportant. I have too much to lose. I couldn’t possibly be able to pull it off.”

I wish I could tell you that it will all most definitely work out but I can’t. It will probably be hard and you will most probably go through some days where you wonder if you did the right thing. But if you don’t, you will spend each and every day of your existence half alive. You will grow resentful and angry and lose all sort of motivation. You will simply drift from one day into another and ask questions like, “What day is it?” and it won’t be because of a crazy night out the night before. One day 20 years down the road, you will wake up and wonder where your life went. All the things you were afraid would happen if you did still happened when you didn’t. You will carry around the pain of a loss so great that it will show in your empty sad eyes and your stooped walk.

Do it. Take the plunge. Today is only the beginning of the rest of your life.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

The 103rd Psalm of King David

1.  Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
    and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
    and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
It’s not even about saying it with your mouth as it is about being so grateful in your heart; your insides should be dancing with praise. You know how you feel when your loved one does something so sweet and you just feel all warm and delicious inside; that’s what King David meant when he said ‘…all my inmost being, praise his holy name’.
You have so many blessings (benefits) some of which you don’t even notice; life, health, family, friends, career, peace etc. Even the hair and stilettos I have are from God!
6 The Lord works righteousness
    and justice for all the oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses,
    his deeds to the people of Israel:
8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
    slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse,
    nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
    or repay us according to our iniquities.
He does not treat us as our sins deserve, or repay us according to our iniquities.  His mercies are new every morning. Picture yourself as a criminal. Each morning you’re in the same court room for a different case(s) and each time, after hearing the charges against you, the same judge says ‘Forgiven. She/he is free to go.’ *Insert sound of gavel*
No bribe, no trial, no defense, no nothing. Every day, every week, year after year...

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children,
    so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
    he remembers that we are dust.
15 The life of mortals is like grass,
    they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
    and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
    the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
  and his righteousness with their children’s children—
18 with those who keep his covenant
    and remember to obey his precepts.
From everlasting to everlasting; As far as the East is from the West and the heavens are above the earth. Before you were born, from the year 1BC to the year 200,000 or eternity, that’s how long he has loved you. It doesn’t matter if you live to be 85 or 130, twenty lifetimes would still not exhaust his love for you.  
And it’s not love in portions; He is not measuring 20litres of love (if love was a liquid) per week so that it’s equally spread out and he has enough to last him the whole period of time. Think buckets and floods of love, the kind that almost drowns you and washes everything else away. That’s what we are dealing with here.
19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
    and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Praise the Lord, you his angels,
    you mighty ones who do his bidding,
    who obey his word.
21 Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,
    you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the Lord, all his works
    everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the Lord, my soul.
Let’s just put this Psalm into perspective.  Replace “Lord” or “He” with Sarah or Timothy or Mum; if you had someone who did even a quarter of this for you, constantly, consistently and unconditionally, you would be singing their praise on every possible platform possible. You’d be posting pictures on Instagram and videos of all their deeds on Snapchat with hashtags like #Bestfriendever, #Mybooisbetterthanyours #Feelingloved etc.

What’s stopping you from doing the same for God?

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Less change, more growth.

We’ve all heard the saying that change is the only constant and if you don’t change, then change will change you.

I have been a conformer to this mantra for a really long time until it hit me; this does not apply to our characters. It may apply to techniques, strategies, technologies and so on but not to our characters.
The Bible says God is the same, yesterday, today and forever. As Christians, what you want to do is be transformed to become more and more like Jesus daily.

What you want to do instead is GROW. Call it change that is positive and personal.

 There must be some things that you wish were different about you. If you are absolutely content with the way you are now, know also that no one is perfect and if you ask God to, He will show you which parts of you can be improved [and how], not because there is something wrong with you but because it is His will that we move from glory to glory, that we graduate from milk to food.

I recently said that prayer. I didn’t particularly say ‘God make me see all my weaknesses’, mind you. I was mostly focusing on asking Him to make me and my situation/circumstances even better, you know, the usual safe and general prayers... But being God, He instead showed me something in me, a certain habit that needed to change. I didn’t  bother to fight it or defend myself because I know better than to fight God. To be honest,I hadn't even realized that I'd been doing it and I wasn't even aware how wrong it was before then.

Instead, I’m working on it with prayer and the strength that God gives me. I can actually tell you that I will probably never be comfortable again with that habit. I will continue to work on curbing it till the day I die. Funny thing is, my circumstances have become better through doing this.

So the next time you feel the itch to make a change, maybe simply because you feel you have been doing the same thing for too long, consider growing instead.

Monday, 14 November 2016

What's on replay already on my playlist

No, its not too early to be feeling the christmas spirit. To be honest, I've been counting down since say...May. I know you would like to think that being excited about the season is for children and that the older you grow, the more like-any-other-day it becomes. For me, it's the opposite. You know how they say there is a little child inside of every one of us, my little inner child comes out during Christmas; and she is a happy, giddy, dance-all-over-the-place kind of girl.

If you asked me about what it is exactly that makes me excited, i'll give you four good reasons why;
1. Jesus died for us (Surely I don't have to explain this but if you need some more info on this, I'm willing to take you through it)
2. There's just something warm and fun and pure about christmas.(Think hugs, pies, hot chocolatey drinks, warm clothes, presents, smiles etc)
3. We get to stay home (If you work, then I don't have to say anything else)
4. Hope; If you lost everything else but kept your hope, there's no stopping you. Christmas is all about hope, about reconciliation and starting over, about believing for better things. 

So here's what's already on replay on my video playlist; my five favorite christmas songs this year.

1. One more sleep -Leona Lewis
I got hooked on this song while I was in a long distance relationship and it's stuck with me ever since. I particularly love everything about the video.

One more sleep

2. So this is Christmas- Celine Dion
This one is more of a reflective song for me. It makes me want to sit back [ preferably with a cup of something in my hand :-)] and look back at the year that just passed and all the great memories made. Making it through another year is not something you should take lightly

So this is Christmas

3. All I want for christmas - Mariah Carey
This is a christmas love song. It's bubbly and playful and fun and happy; the way I figure love should be. It's a bit old and I'm sure there are newer versions but I'm an old soul...

All I want for Christmas

4. Have yourself a merry little christmas- Michael Buble
This may not be my most favorite version but after number 3, you may want something slow and smooth to calm you down.

Have yourself a merry little christams

5. White Christmas
This one is for hoping. We have all seen those movies from countries with snow, with gigantic christmas trees decorated extravagantly. The people wear cute winter green and red clothes and start a nice fire. Yes, I'm a dreamer and probably a romantic too this time of the year but a girl can wish, right? When I finally get to have a white christmas, then I'll take this off my list.

White Christmas

Monday, 31 October 2016

Tumz, My Forever Love!

Let me tell you the story of my first major crush. I was in Primary Seven and two years away from being a teenager. We will call him 'Tumz' for lack of a less revealing name.

Tumz was my end-all and be-all. He was the boy I was going to love FOREVER! Everything I did and in all the decisions my little mind made, I had to consider him. If he was attending Saturday classes, then I too was attending Saturday classes. If he had his socks pulled all the way up all day, then that's what we were all doing. 
There was a day we were to be allocated seats according to the first letter of your Last name. Since Tumz was a T, and I was an A-something, I obviously had to add a letter to my name that would bring me closer to T. Naturally. So I became Na-something instead. It didn't get me a seat right on his desk but it brought me close enough. 

It got to a point where I carried a boy's bag. It was a brand whose name I cannot remember but the design was more of male than female; pshhh, as if that would stop me! When the beginning of the term came and we were doing shopping for school materials, I did everything I could, and I mean everything, until my mum had to get me that bag. Poor lady, if it was these days, she probably would have questioned my sexuality. 
Getting the same bag did not go unnoticed. My girlfriends questioned me shamelessly and endlessly as to why I chose that particular bag. Some went as far as to ask if it was because of Tumz, but I denied it with everything in me. I went on to add that I couldn’t possibly be interested in Tumz as we were even cousins!(Thank God our parents had once had a brief conversation one day as we went home so no one could be sure we weren’t cousins after all).

I did everything to make Tumz notice me but the nicer I was, the more cruel he became. My turning point was one day when a popular dance group called "Obsessions" came to perform. In those days, they went around schools performing at a tiny fee (The group has since re-branded, split-up, re-united and split up again). Being who I am, I was not about to be the only one that missed out. They came in the afternoon right after lunch and since we had a free period, it was the perfect arrangement. Plus of course the fact that Tumz was going to be there too; I pictured us dancing together to a slow song the Obsessions would be miming, gazing deeply into each other’s eyes and promising to be together till death. So after about an hour of being squeezed to near-suffocation in that over-crowded main hall packed to capacity with sweaty children pushing back and forth, an hour where I was not able to even see Tumz, I decided I had had enough. I went back to class, disappointed, exhausted and filthy.

For some reason, the teacher that had given us the free period decided to pass by just as I sat at my desk. On noticing the almost empty class, he asked where everyone was. The nine or ten of us that were in class answered that everyone was in the main hall watching the Obsessions. Off went the teacher, fuming from both ears, mumbling something about how we were candidates who had no time for such play and should have known better. 
To cut the long story short, all P7 pupils were called out of the main hall and each one told to line up outside their class and be ready to receive their due punishment. Guess who was at the front of the line -Tumz. 

I had always liked the location of my seat in class because I could see outside directly. It always helped if you could see the teacher coming from a distance. That day however made me regret the name change that put me in that seat. As Tumz stood at the front of the line awaiting his strokes of the cane, staring directly at me, I looked on with a poker face as he made a gesture to let me know that he was going to tell (the gesture involved touching your middle finger to your thumb and moving your hand up and down as you made scary facial expressions at the person you meant to tell on). Surely Tumz was not going to tell that I had been part of the show-watchers. It wasn't my fault I somehow luckily managed to get back to class in the nick of time. After all the love I had shown him, he wouldn’t!!

Tumz did tell on me and I did get a whooping along with the rest of the 'party-animals' and that my friends, was the day I experienced my first heart-break. As I quietly rubbed my butt and cried with my head on my elbow facing down on the desk, I cried not only because of the pain of my poor behind on fire, but also because of the pain of  cold betrayal. 
I did not stop liking Tumz that day, but all the gestures stopped. I suffered silently with my feelings and focused on just making it out of Primary School. Tumz held a special place in my heart till the last day of class and in my heart, I SWORE I would love him forever no matter what…
I forgot all about him in less than three months when I joined secondary school and found bigger fish to fry...

I have since been down that heart-break road more times than I would have preferred, but I can assure you that I now laugh at those days. Laugh Out Loud actually. And yes, there's a moral to this story; at the time that something painful happens, it feels like the world is going to end. I know as you grow older, your problems become more serious than a primary school crush and it feels like you will never recover and nothing will ever be the same again. Nothing will ever be the same, that's true; it will be better! It will be so much better that like me, you will be telling that super painful experience as a joke. You will wonder why you were so worked up about it and you will just shrug and move on.


Monday, 17 October 2016

The introvert this side of eternity

If you’ve watched the new Disney Pixar movie “Inside Out” you might understand a little how people turn out to be the way they are. We all have voices in our heads trying to point us in a particular direction. It’s not always as straightforward as the angel on your right shoulder and the imp on the left. Sometimes you’re a boiling pot of different flavours, each trying to make their scent known.

In the movie, you have different voices – Joy, Anger, Sadness, Disgust, and Fear. Joy attempts to be the leader of the voices, always trying to let you focus on the “yellow-er” side of things. All memories should be yellow, sunlight. Anger is the non-thinker, provocation gets immediate reaction. Sadness is how you’d picture an introvert; quiet, low, thinking about why things are how they are. Disgust reacts when she doesn’t like something, fear is always apprehensive.

It’s not easy being an introvert. It feels like Sadness is the one in the driving seat and your memories are blue. You think about everything. Your most important question in life is not what, where, when, who or how, it’s why. When you consider the other questions, eventually you also get into the whys.
Life seems easier for the extrovert. The extrovert draws and demands from without, yet the introvert draws and demands from within. There must be meaning to things.

Living on the side of eternity that I am – this issue would seem to have been solved. However, it’s not as easy as that.
Crossing into eternity means entering a door. It means using a narrow path of which it was said
“This new way of life is so narrow that we cannot take ourselves into it, we have to leave ourselves behind” – T. Austin Sparks
It requires a certain amount of coming to an end of yourself.
"For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” Matthew 16:25

Cue Michael Jackson’s “Man in the mirror”. So many times, we think it’s a matter of learning people skills, becoming cocky and funny, enduring a little discomfort so you can become better. We think it’s changing our tone and things like that.
There’s a scene in Inside Out, where Riley is going through a lot and is on the brink of “losing it” when her mom comes to talk to her and thanks her for being patient. Her mood changes immediately.
The impact of love on everyone is so grand.  And love is not work.

Gal 5:22  But the fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
In a way I feel like that scripture has the colon in the wrong place, but that’s me – love is like a container of every bit of the life eternal – when you think of it, and compare that scripture with 1 Cor 13 you might agree
1 Cor 13 4-7 Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; 5 it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love is the man that must live, I am the man that must die. I, the 100 percent introvert who sees things as blue. It’s a crucifixion that happened that I must reckon lest I live Inside Out as if it were a true reflection of this life eternal.

Gal 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I that live, but Christ living in me: and that life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith which is in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me.

The writer of this article, Joel Benjamin Ntwatwa is a blogger. He loves literature, African literature, and is reading more of it lately even participating in the Africa Reading Challenge. He has experience in Social Media, Content Management, and graphics ….He writes about his experience with see(k)ing God, creative fictional prose and poetry,  and on numerous topical issues at