"I See Myself As a Storyteller Above All": Between Two Kingdoms (Guest Blogger Friday)

He is a husband, father, storyteller, teacher, filmmaker, improvisor, pastor, actor, author, and a post-religious rebel pilgrim. His name is Joe Boyd, and his blog can be found HERE. The official site for the book is http://www.betweentwokingdoms.com/

I was given the opportunity to write a book review for His book, "Between Two Kingdoms," before March 1st, when the book is scheduled to be released to the public (you should read it). Below is the book review I wrote, and after that he answers some wonderful questions I made up for him:

BOOK REVIEW (shortened version): "Between Two Kingdoms"

In his book, Joe Boyd aims to capture two different worlds in his work of “allegorical fantasy”- one world with the qualities of lively hope and beauty, and the other with everything good turned upside down: dashed dreams, clouded visions, and ugliness. In comparing both worlds he shows that no matter how torn apart or destroyed everything seems to be in the latter world, there is a path that leads to making things right again. And this path leads to life, eternal life. The author raises issues such as whether the crazy things happening in the world today have any feasible resolutions.

In the beginning pages of the book the reader is joyfully enthralled and in awe while reading the descriptions of this beautiful luxuriant thriving never-ending “Upper” kingdom set in the middle of an island, with a mighty king and his ever devoted prince, and with all the lavishly pampered children of the King. One gets enraptured in the first couple of pages by this magical kingdom of great solitude; at least until the fear of the “Lower” kingdom (and its evil prince) is slowly instilled in the mind of the reader.

The truth of the matter is that the story is not really just about two magical kingdoms. It is really about the possibility of being chosen for a great purpose, which is to take a distorted image and restore its beauty. It is about the fact that God did not intend for the world to be the way it is today, but that the change will eventually come through His children…those who identify with His Word and know the power of His manifestation. This book is about boldness, bravery, uniqueness, choice, achievement, battles, and making things right again even after using wrong means.

Yes, this book is for everyone, Christians and non-Christians alike, to understand that these two kingdoms are not as different as we may think. But that there is indeed a very significant bridge that can connect one kingdom to the other, and that bridge is through God and His son, Jesus. The truth is that when presented with an invitation to dinner, not everyone grasps the opportunity to be filled. This is an excellent read, one that will provoke the thoughts of the reader even as they read the exciting and rough battles between the princes of the Upper and lower kingdoms.


What do you think is your calling/purpose in life? Why? When did you first catch a glimpse of what you were called to be, and how did you react?

I think I see myself as a storyteller above all. Many people look at my life and say it is all over the place – I’m a pastor, author, actor and film producer. But to me all these vocations are variations of storytelling.

I was an only child with a vivid imagination. All I’ve ever really known is that. The stories are always swimming in my head.

Why did you decide to write the book, “Between Two Kingdoms”? In one sentence, what is the book about?

I wrote this book almost as a form of personal therapy to deconstruct some very weighty and academic theological learnings. BTK is fundamentally about the particularly Christian idea that the Kingdoms of Heaven and Hell (anti-heaven) currently co-exist on earth. (This is clear in Jesus’ teachings, but many Christians seem to miss it – relegating Heaven and Hell only to the afterlife.)

What kinds of people or age-groups should read your book?

We have always said that BTK is a “Fairy Tale for Adults.” It is written for adults and teens to read through the eyes of a child.

Is there a difference between having a Religion and having a Relationship with God?

I think there is a difference. But a person can still be religious and have a relationship with God. James in the Bible strikes me as someone rather religious. I sometimes also grow as tired of the “relationship” word as I do with religion. It isn’t ALL about an individual having a relationship with God. It is all about God’s Kingdom – his full reign on earth. It’s about God having a Ruler-Subject relationship with his nation of servants…and simultaneously having a Father – Children relationship with them as well.

What will people gain by reading “Between Two Kingdoms?”

My hope is that people will have meaningful discussions with their friends as they read the book. I think BTK gives people a new language – a new canvas – to create conversations about God.

Between Two Kingdoms Interview with Author Joe Boyd from Still Rendering on Vimeo.

I hope you enjoyed reading about Joe Boyd, you should get his book on March 1st. Look out for more Guest Blogger Friday posts in the future.


Face to Face in an Ink-Infested World:

"Having many things to write to you, I did not wish to do so with paper and ink; but I hope to come to you and speak face to face, that our joy may be full." John, 2 John 12.

True Story:

Last year, I did not own a car. I was on the train heading back home from a busy day in town. I was doing the usual, watching people carefully (I do this all the time, I try to guess what the stories are behind the people). Everyone definitely has a story, so when I get on the train I become a "people-watcher." I steal short glances around quietly, so as to try not to be rude. I match-make the couples sitting next to each other, and if there are kids seated behind them, I assume those are their kids. If there's a man sitting beside them, I assume he's their uncle, if there's a woman with a baby I assume she is a single mum, and so on and so forth. It becomes like a game.

On this particular day I had to transfer from the train to a bus to take me home. I ran straight to my bus, paid my fare and sat down. I started watching people again. Several more people got on the bus, but the one guy I noticed was a thin Indian-looking bald-headed elderly guy. He was the last person to get on. He scrambled in his pocket for the money, but did not find sufficient change. He started to explain to the bus driver that he didn't have enough, but the driver wouldn't hear of it. So I got up, went to the front of the bus, and paid the remaining fare. The guy smiled at me and said "thank you so much."
I thought it was over until I went back to my seat. But there was this other woman who had been watching the scene play out too.

"That man will never forget what you did for the rest of his life," she whispered in my ears.

I just smiled and continued looking out the window. But she wanted to talk, so I obliged.

"I write poetry," she said.

"You do? That's really nice."

"Take a look at this manuscript. I'm trying to get a publisher for my poems."

"That's great. I write too, but not poetry," I responded.

"Look at this poem, in fact read it. It's about my daughter."

I read the poem and it was a really moving one. Before I got off the bus I gave her my phone number in case she needed to talk to someone. Trust me, she DID call. She made use of it. We talked a couple of times after that, but there was this day when she called me saying, "I really want to talk to you about something. Can we meet somewhere?" I thought about all the dangers of meeting strangers, so I picked a public place where there'd be a lot of other people--I chose Starbucks. We ended up not meeting anyway, but when I read that scripture this morning I remembered that woman who wanted to meet me so badly.

* * *

There's something about a face-to-face meeting in an ink-infested world. As much as technology has risen up today, with all the social media in the limelight, when I read John's statement today I realized that one cannot say everything with ink and paper (or by typing on a blog).

Now, taking this thought even further and explaining it in terms of our relationship with God, we cannot have a non-personal encounter with Him. It cannot be through hear-say or by reading about Him. It has to be through a face-to-face experience with Him.

You can spend a lot of time reading blogs, or even reading the bible. But there has to come a time when you pause for a moment and witness God for yourself. Through a face-to-face interaction you will begin to write pages about Him for yourself. You will begin to have your own personal stories, without the aid of anyone else.

There's nothing like a face-to-face experience in an ink-infested world, with God...and also with other people.

Are you more of a face-to-face person, or would you rather depend on indirect means of communication? How would you relate this to your relationship with God? Tell me about it. Post your thoughts.

P.S: Hey guys, watch out for My "Guest Blogger Friday Post" coming up this Friday. The guest blogger is an author whose book is to be released on March 1st, literally next week. Stay cool!

Photo by Google

The Chicken Run!

5.35a.m. Two chickens wake up, their names are Albert and Muchacha.

Albert: "Come on Chacha, we've gotta keep moving before sunrise."

Muchacha: "Okay, okay, soldier! At least let me just do a little stretch with my wings first."

Albert: "Ha! Foolish chicken. Like that ever helped anybody! Cuckooooorooooo-kooorooo."

Muchacha: "Hey, hey, hey, shut up. It helps me. Don't know about you!" (then he starts to flap his wings, one after the other). The morning wind starts to blow softly.

Albert: "Come on, we've gotta keep moving. If these farmers wake up, they might think they own us."

Muchacha: "Alright Albert, I think I'm ready. So where are we going today?"

Albert: "I don't know. Wherever the wind carries us. And wherever there are grains."

Muchacha: "Okay."

They start to walk towards the east. They see a little rock, and decide to climb it to get to the other side. Then on the other side, a few kilometres away they spot a puddle, and beside the puddle lay a few grains which mistakenly fell out of torn sacks from last night's harvest. Albert begins to run to the puddle and gets there before Muchacha.

"Heyyyy, leave some grains for me Albert, you greedy chicken!!!"

They continue to walk aimlessly. A farmer's raggedy red truck in the distance speeds towards them and almost knocks off Muchacha's wings. Luckily he survived. A little boy in the distance shouts, "chicken, chicken, Mama come!!!" Albert and Muchacha begin to run away again. Fortunately they find an empty shed, somewhere between the boy and another farmer's house. The sun begins to set.

Albert: "Let's call it a night Chacha."

Muchacha: "Okay. I'm tired. My wings need to rest."

Then they call it a night. One day for the roosters.

* * *
"So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom," Psalm 90:12

Have you ever felt like your life is a "chicken run?" One day in and one day out? Well, two days ago, I remembered this Psalm...teach us to NUMBER our days. Wait a minute, are we supposed to know how many days we will live on this earth? Or how many years? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7...oh Lord, how are we supposed to number our days?

And suddenly I caught the revelation. It's not necessarily about the "count," but about the purpose and importance of each of our days. Best believe that there's something genuinely purposeful about each of your days. No day is meant to be ordinary. Every day is a treasure and a nest of goodwill.

So yes, we all need to learn to number our days. We need to be able to ascertain each day and ask God what's so important about this day. What's so crazy about today? What's different from yesterday? What's new and what's happening? But most of all, "what exactly do I need to do today according to God's will?" Something has been written about today. And there must be a manual or blueprint that can tell us what indeed has been written.

I saw this excerpt in a book I just started reading called, "The Journey," (Billy Graham).

You can't change the past. But with God's help you can change the future. This doesn't just happen, however. An architect draws the plane for a new building-but it still has to be built. A composer writes a new piece of music-but it still has to be played. A chef devises a new recipe-but the ingredients still have to be cooked. In the same way, God has given us a blueprint for living-but we must know what it is and then put it into action.

So what's your blueprint? Are you tired of the chicken run? Aimlessly waking up in the morning and sleeping at night? For me, my blueprint is God's word...the place where I can get wisdom and start the day right. Enough of the chicken run, I don't want it anymore.

What's your own blueprint? Have you figured out how to number your days? Tell me.

Photo by DailyPainters

Don't forget to read our Guest Blogger post if you haven't: The Power of CHOICE, by Bona. And we're also on DAY 22 on the iPray 2010 series. Today, it is for the Fruit of the Womb.

The Power of Choice & Beyond, by Bona: Guest Blogger Friday (You need to read this)

In my last post, I asked a very pertinent question, "Do you say you're one of us?" Well, guess what? Today I have the pleasure of introducing someone to the blogosphere, Ms. Bona Ekundayo; someone who does not just say she is one of us, but goes beyond the limitations of tall walls to show that she has the I.D. She's simply an amazing person who has a great heart. Let her tell you her story of how she had to make a choice to be different (watch the video and then read the story below it):

"With Each Person I helped, It Seemed Like There Were 20 More I Couldn't Help" : written by Bona

I believe strongly in the power of choice and of free will. I also believe that in life, every person is given the opportunity to choose to see beyond their own needs and their own prayers and to look toward being an answered prayer for someone else...

My choice came months ago. Working in the heart of Washington DC is a huge blessing for a city girl like me. During the spring time, I would use my lunch breaks to take walks and to think and write. As I continued to enjoy life in the big city, I realized that with all of its glamour also came a measure of depravity. There were so many people living on these streets. They were hungry, lonely, and pretty much forgotten.

During my walks through the city I would stop to give food, to give money, but with each person I helped it seemed like there were 20 more people that I couldn't help. I longed for the opportunity to do more. Now, I'm not independently wealthy and I don't have the means to do all that I wished I could do, but I knew that I had to start somewhere. I had to use the little that I had and hope that it'd turn into something bigger than me. So I sent a text message to a few friends. I asked them if they'd like to join me in taking lunches to people living on the streets of DC.

From those small beginnings, what is now known as More Than A Melody Ministries has grown into an organization that takes volunteers to the streets of DC to hand out food and clothing and shoes and socks and Christ's love to people who have very well been forgotten. I think that everyone that donates and everyone that volunteers makes a choice.

They choose to look beyond themselves and to make a difference
in the lives of other people. We aren't pastors or evangelists or nuns.
We're regular people who love Jesus, and in turn, have a heart for people.

One story that really stands out to me was an incident that happened at the January ouitreach event. A gentleman came over to us looking for shoes in a size 10.5. He looked through all of the gently used clothes that had been donated and found a perfect pair of shoes with wonderfully thick soles. He took the shoes, quietly said "thank you," and went on his way. About a half an hour later, the gentleman came back, wearing the new shoes. He held out his old shoes up toward us, looked at us and said, "I just wanted to show you guys how much I really needed these." The old shoes were worn past the soles and would have offered no protection for his feet.

I'm grateful that when my choice came, I had the grace to brave the obstacles and make a difference with a ragamuffin band of yielded people. I believe that God is simply looking for willing and obedient people. You don't have to be rich, you don't have to be ordained, and you don't have to be perfect; but you do have to CHOOSE.

Bona Ekundayo
More Than A Melody Ministries

For more Info on how to volunteer and contribute to More Than A Melody Ministries, via paypal, please EMAIL: MoreThanAMelody1@gmail.com
Or Visit the Facebook Page HERE

And VISIT BONA'S BLOG: "With All my Heart" (add to your blogroll)
Follow Bona on Twitter: @BonaSings (she's also a very talented musician)


So what do you think? I'm very inspired right now. How about you? What can you do in your own community? How can you grasp the power of choice and do those things tugging at your heart? How can you break through the pile of rubble, past all the layers of fake Christianity, and thus become a rare gem, true to God's heart? Please post your thoughts below...I'd love to hear from you :)

Guest Blogger: Countdown

Watch this space!!! Guest Blogger coming soon (ssssh, it's a surprise).

10, 9, 8, 7, 6...

And in the meantime, do you SAY YOU'RE ONE OF US?

Say You're One of Us:

Deciphering How the World Thinks (Part 3)


The day was set: February 15th, 1994. Three young men and one woman enlisted for an almost impossible adventure ahead of them. They quit their jobs and said "Au Revoir" to family and friends. The names of the three young men were Cyril Taylor, Bartholomew (Bart for short) Ferguson, and Adeyemi Sonaike. The young woman's name was Betty MacLeod. They vowed not to destroy their bond. Their task: to travel around the world in seventy days by land and water. Their starting point was the city of Florence.

Maps, books, torchlights, first-aid kits, soap, shampoo, geisha, loaves of bread, jam, blankets, corned beef, disposable spoons and plates, extra pairs of socks, swim suits, towels, a water cooler, sun glasses, batteries, a video camera to document their travel, and an alarm clock that automatically changes time depending on what country you're in. All these they took for the road.

They traveled by Greek Cruises, stopping at Crete and the Aegean sea, and then they sailed to Holland and Belgium. They crossed Central America, and headed south towards Buenos Aires. On the eleventh day Bart broke the news. He couldn't continue this trip any longer, it was too difficult. But Cyril, Yemi, and Betty continued. On reaching South Africa, they rented a car and drove north through Africa. They stopped at Cairo. Betty began to cry, but Cyril and Yemi encouraged her to keep going. They couldn't stop now. They had come as far as forty-one days. They kept going. From Cairo to Nuweiba, from the Red Sea to the Jordan. Then east through Eastern Europe, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, and India. Finally, they were on their way back to where they started. They got back to Florence, on the seventieth day.

A team of only three. Out of four.

* * *

The Observation:
Say you're one of us, but choose not to finish the task. You can say it, but you don't have to do it. This is the portrayal of many who claim they are Christians today. Not everyone who gives himself such a title is necessarily who he says he is. Many get offended when people do or say things in the name of Christianity. But why people get offended still amazes me. Not everyone who says "I am who I am" is really who they claim to be. The church is not as simple as the erection of four walls.

Say You're One of Us:
They say they have love, but they commit murder with their lips. They say they don't go clubbing, but they jump from one man's bed to another in secret. They say they are free, but they imprison others by unforgiveness. They say, "God must come first," but their thoughts are always elsewhere. They point fingers and judge others instead of showing them the way. "He who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk just as He walked," 1 John 2: 6.

The Truth:
Not everyone who claims to be a Christian is really one. The world is full of buildings called churches, but not all form "the church." The true church is the one working on it's imperfections and working towards perfection, while drawing others closer to the truth. The true church is not judgmental, but loving. The true church does not hide the truth, but spreads it. Saying you're one of us implies that you need to walk the talk. Me blogging about this does not mean I'm one of them, but if I do what I say in secret (when no one is watching me), then yes, I'm one of them.

Are you one of them? Or do you just claim to be one of them? Say your thoughts in the comments section below.

Photo by Redbubble

This Insane Thing Called Love:

Love is insane. It's on the verge of not making sense.

You may not fully understand it:
Love is that concept that we may not fully understand, but is always there staring right back at our faces. Always eternal, never dying. Outrageous in action, it gives us freedom when we deserve to remain bound. Yes, there are times when we feel so dry and spent that we can't seem to show any more love, but that's exactly when love finds us again. It is like a relentless lover that never gives up on us. It holds no grudges but just keeps loving. It is like an onion bulb that you keep peeling and peeling, but just when you think you're done there's still room for one more slice.

The Reason for Destiny:
Love is the reason for my existence, the one reason I was born into a world such as this and things were already written about me. The reason why the passion never dies. The reason why my tears don't go unnoticed or my expectations never get dashed. The reason why I cannot undo my family or unlove my husband. The reason why the fire in our romance will keep burning. If there is no love, then there would be no final destination. We would all march onwards to eternity with no direction. But Love gives guidance. Onwards towards a better day.

In the Weirdest of All Places:
Love can be found in the weirdest of places, in spaces that we don't even search. In the stern look of a father, the tease of a mother, the annoying stalking of a sister, the kick of a brother, the taunting of a friend, and the love of a husband.

In the Name ABOVE all Names:
Yes, the world is so full of love, because the One who created it is Love Himself. His name is LOVE. Love begins and ends with Him, and not with a human being. If He exists, then love must prevail. Yes hate exists, but love is the victor in the midst of the chaos.

With all the love in my heart, I say "HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY." Enjoy all the candle-lit dinners or self spoiled moments if that is your plight. Not just on February 14th, but everyday of your life as far as God's love never fails.

Side-note: I love the video above because it's a simple song by Chrisette Michele about the meaning of love. In my opinion, we cannot completely understand love until we know who God is.

So how do you plan to share this insane love on February 14th?

(Also read the Prayer for Love on the iPray 2010 Series)

Photo by Redbubble

Loud Silence:

Silence can be loud.

My facial expression usually tends to be a dead give-away. In my smile you may notice a hint of sadness, and in my cries a hint of joy. I could be typing away on a keyboard or twirling my phone round and round in circles in my regular manner, but you could still stop me and ask, "what is the matter?" It is easy to notice the irregular in my regular.

Nevertheless, it is not the same for every one. It could be really difficult to tell whether some are in a happy or sad mood. But guess what? I've observed that even in the hardest, most rigid, and most non-opinionated faces, silence still speaks louder than we think. Our silence could be loud because we are not merely physical, but spiritual beings. So even if you decide not to say it out aloud, even if you decide to choke the tears and swallow the words, your silence still speaks. Your spirit subconsciously wills your silence into actions. You begin to do different things without even knowing why you're doing them. You begin to dance to the tunes of your silence. For example, the angry woman you met at the grocery store may just have been angry because she comes from a broken home, and at that moment, as she put your vegetables into the grocery bag, she remembered what her papa did to her mother.

Could this be what Jesus meant when he said in Mark 4:22, "For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light." Sure, He may have meant that those secrets that fall on the ears of our friends will be revealed (lol). But more than that, I think it had to do with the secrets inside our hearts. God sees them. And they translate into our actions ("revealed").

Secret things are not really secret. So the next time someone reacts in an abnormal harsh or unusual way to you, try to reflect on where it's coming from. In fact, the next time I act a certain way I must judge my own secrets because it means something is about to be revealed in me.

If God can see everything, it means that secret things are not really secret, and that there is sometimes loudness in our silence.

Have you ever noticed the loudness in silence? Where or when?

Photo by Redbubble

Here or There, This or That? (attached video)

Today, I was reading a blog titled "The Lid" and I found this video. It reminded me again of this POST. Do we trust God? Then why do we fail to make the choice? Why do we dilly-dally? Why are we neither here nor there?

To see my post again and to post your thoughts/comments, go HERE: "Here or There, This or That?"

The Flag: Green, White & Green

"If My people, who are called by My Name, Will humble themselves and pray..."

Head over to the iPray Project 2010 if you're passionate about Nigeria.

Also, please read my post for yesterday below (Here or There, This or That?)and tell me what you think.

Here or There, This or That?

Deciphering How the World Thinks (Part II):

I take one good look at the soft beige carpet in my front lounge, and approximately one minute and three seconds after, I sigh heavily and decide to sink into the softness of the carpet rather than my old brown sofa. I stick up my nose in obvious defiance and simultaneous despair as I read the writings on page 27 of the daily newspaper, the People & Places column. It is about me. And it is complete gibberish. What an irony of who I really am! Yes, I ran the campaign, but I never said those things. I am not denying that I meant what I said in the "a" part of the speech, but I did NOT mean the rest. I meant this, but I did NOT mean that! I am a CEO for goodness sakes, and a good one for that matter!

I am a pro-life advocate. I practice ethical polyamory, but only show monogamy to my employees, and yes I love my wife & kids. I believe in God, but for the sake of my current campaign I don't do every single thing in the bible. I have to protect myself, my self-image. I'm not a fool, I know what I'm doing.

* * *

The Observation:
How the world thinks! The way we think has not changed from the times when Joshua was commander of the Israeli army. On one of those days Joshua gathered the people and said to them (Joshua 24), and I will paraphrase, "I say that you should serve the Lord who has done all these things for you. But you have to make a choice. Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve." The response he got was "of course, how can they not serve God?" But Joshua explained again, with God there is no dilly-dallying. It was very important that they had to choose one way. "If you choose to serve God, then you have to put away the foreign idols. You can't say you serve God with idols in your possession."

Here or There:
A lot of people today don't think they have to make a distinct choice. They feel they have the liberty to stay in one place on one day, and transfer somewhere else on another day. And sure, it won't be a problem to jump right to where they started on day 1. But the ugly truth is, God does not consider their works. They serve God while hiding hideous things from His sight.

The Truth:
At the end of the day, trying to fit two huge pieces of meat in one pot won't work. Don't you think that making a firm choice would set you free? If you choose to serve God, then you have to go all the way. You can't be here or there, or choose this or that. If you actually want to be saved, you have to run the whole mile, not just a quarter of a mile. It's not a punishment, but the very path that will bring you freedom, joy, peace, happiness, and satisfaction.

Do you think God's word comes in distinct, disjointed, and disconnected parts? That you can only obey some parts and disobey the others? Is this how the world thinks today?

Photo by Redbubble

This is for America:

By Patrina:
(An Excerpt: part of the iPray 2010 Project)

"America was founded as “One Nation Under God”. Our money purports “In God We Trust”. But it has begun a decent of these truths. Without You, as our ultimate leader, we are like chaff in the wind. Bring us to our knees, Lord. Cause us to humbly seek your face and turn from our wicked ways, that you might hear from heaven and heal our land. The richness of our soil has created poverty of the soul. Strongholds have enslaved our minds to things that keep us from fellowship with you, Lord. “One Nation Under God” has been thrown out as politically incorrect. Forgive them Lord, for they know not what they do."

Please continue this prayer for America as we pray along on Zoe's blog: HERE--iPRAY 2010: Day 9.

The Poster Child:

Deciphering How the World Thinks- Part 1:

The observation:

I saw a very moving movie last night, "the Great Debaters." There was a ghastly debate: for or against "civil disobedience." The "for" team presented Henry Thoreau's view (a man who was in support of civil disobedience, i.e. individual resistance to civil government if it happens to be unjust). His views would eventually give slaves their freedom by influencing major movers and shakers such as Leo Tolstoy, Mahatma Ghandi, and Martin Luther King, Jr. But the "against" team insisted that Thoreau was a self-righteous man, and that he was only just a "majority of one." How can the majority be one person? How can we accept the views of just one person as the majority? he asked.

Here, I will only focus on the question at hand (not the debate above). Why does the world choose to make one person out of 6, 692,030,277 people our "majority of one"? By whose standards do we live? Whose report can we bet our lives on? Why does the world choose the standards of mere men?

The Poster Child:

The world wants you to be a poster child, an ideal situation. A prototype. The typical. There is this idea of who the world wants you to become. The world wants you to look, feel, and react in a certain way. The Poster Child is only the view of a "majority of one." But there's a more powerful majority...

The Truth:

There is no ideal human being. Your name has been inscribed on the palm of God's hand, just like the person sitting or standing right beside you (Isaiah 49:16). Your path on earth should not be determined by what the world wants you to be. You are as diversified as you can be. You're special. Unique. Not a clone of someone else. Hollywood is the majority of one. Yes, you should strive to be a great person, but make sure you're not swamped by the views of what the world considers "greatness." Psalm 139 speaks of being unique, that God knew you even before you were born. So why stress yourself to be an image that the world has created for you? Ask God to guide you in your own unique path.

You are great when you accomplish all that God created you to do. Not because you're the "Poster Child" for the world's viewing pleasure.

*"Poster child* is just a connotation I came up with, not a familiar term--it postulates the world's idea of an ideal human being. Meanwhile, God has created the most beautifully unique 6, 692,030,277 people on earth such that everyone will exude greatness if they can only understand what they were created for.

Would you rather go with being a POSTER CHILD or do you want to seek God's unique path for your life?

Have fun with the SUPER BOWL!!! Yayyy for New Orleans......or Indiana...lol. I don't know which team to pick!!! And the super bowl ads are so funny this year. Remember not to be the ideal poster child, but the person who God has created you to be.

Photo by Lilou

Unblemished Innocence:

Written by Patrina:

I pray a special blessing over the Mothers who have lost a child through abortion – whether by their choice or the choice of another. It’s easy sometimes to take life for granted. But when the life of an unborn child is lost, whether by abortion or miscarriage, it becomes a matter of the soul - a connection left unfulfilled. Lord, I grieve with those who have lost a child this way. Every mother who has lost bone of their bone and flesh of their flesh knows the sanctity of life. The very blood within their veins spilled out and into the tiny life of their unborn child.

You, O Lord are the creator of life. You created the design for connection between Mother and child, before the beginning of time. The fact that these unborn babies aren’t here in the earth's realm doesn’t change your plan. So, today, I pray divine connection between these lost little blessings – now within your care – and the mother’s who placed them there – willingly, thoughtlessly or through no choice of their own. They’re all the same in your scope of things. The sanctity of life and their unblemished innocence- placed them there.

To see the full prayer by Patrina please go HERE: iPray 2010: Day 7 (please also note the prayer for Day 6)

The Conundrum of All Things 2010:

It hasn't always been like this.

If you observe carefully, we are rapidly entering into a new era. It's been a long time coming, but it's here now. The full blast of technology and wide-spread innovations made easy by devices that are smaller than the palms of my two hands. An electric eye that helps the blind to recognize faces. The android phone fully backed by Google with which users can create their own interfaces, with free open-source coding and 10,000 android apps. A smart thermostat, the EnergyHub dashboard that tells you how much electricity you're using at home and how much it's costing you. The robotic exoskeleton that provides mobility assistance to older folks. Atom-to-atom teleportation (scientists at the university of Maryland successfully teleported data from one atom to another atom in a container that was a meter away). And other inventions (Top Ten Tech Inventions Shaping 2010).

Yes, 2010 is being shaped, slowly but surely. I was reading something today about how we now have such an overload of information in every place, and how people are finding it hard to tell what is important or merely just frivolous. That's the age we're in. Obviously, we need something bigger than information. I can feel it in my bones that this year will be a year of greatness. It has so much potential.

Again, I say that you and I need something bigger than "information." Sitting down where you are right now, reading this page and nodding your head, you think so too, don't you? In 2010, I want to move how God wants me to move, and not by the ordinations of what has already been fore-casted for this year. I want to move by deeper revelations and understandings of secret things that even scientists cannot fathom. I want to walk by the Word and eat the bread of life. I want my visions, goals, and desires to be guided by what has already been written about me in the volumes of His book. Not by the standards of the world.

I love the current technological explosions shaping this year already, yet I want to harness God's heart. I dare-say it is possible...even as we pray...for 2010. What else is bigger than information? It's God!

Please post your thoughts, what do you think? :)

Photo by Redbubble (Jess A)

She's All Woman:

The helper. The nurturer. The sustainer.

The child-giver. The pain-bearer. The burden-lifter.

The hand holder.

The assistant. The mother. The sister.

The wife. The judge. The worker.

The Lover

The follower. The Leader. The armor-bearer.

The One who needs wisdom.

She's ALL woman. And she needs your prayers.

iPray 2010: Day 4- The Prayer for Women

Art by GittiArt, redbubble.

On the Market Places of the World...

"No man is an island..."
John Donne (1572-1631)

Many times introverts get into a comfort zone called self-isolation, a place where no one else exists, but them. And it could be sweet actually (it is not bad to be an introvert sometimes), you know, not having to adhere to anyone's rules or inadequacies. A place where you can make the world what you want it to be. It could be bliss. But in order to spread love we need to get out of our comfort zones sometimes. In this world, isolation could be a very lonely place.

"All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated...As therefore the bell that rings to a sermon, calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come: so this bell calls us all...no man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main." John Donne.

John Donne was a Christian, and at some point in his life he figured out that we were not made to live in isolation, but that each of us can revive a long chain of liveliness. That's where the popular quote, "No man is an island," came from. I didn't exactly figure out what he meant by the entire quotation, but I did take one thing out of it: there's a purpose for which the market place exists. By the market place, I mean businesses, jobs, community centers, families, homes, and social networks. I mean every place where we get to come in contact with each other, and the places where we pursue our different careers.

And I believe that now, more than ever, we need to strengthen the bonds of liveliness, especially with people who are lost or who don't understand the meaning of God's love. I like how Isaiah 61 puts this into perspective, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives (to tell them they are free), and the opening of the prison to those who are bound, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness." That's God's message to the world today, that He can set you free if you come to Him. He can give you beauty for ashes and joy for mourning.

See, in this 21st century, this message is what I want my market place to be all about. If you have something that God has given you, it pays you no good to hide it from every one else, because someone out there needs you. That's why I want you to RUN with this...yes, go to your own market places and tell them what God has done for you. Be a carrier of joy and love...but not just any love, God's love. He is the author of Love, His name is Love, and nothing else can give full satisfaction other than His love. Try God and see...

Let's revive our marketplaces with God's Love. Also let us pray for our jobs
[To pray today visit the iPray 2010 Project Day 3---a prayer for Careers]

To Haiti With Love (Featured)

Written By Kafo

I love you
Yes, I love you
But Jesus, all I see is pain, destruction and ruin, did it not occur to you that we were already in pain before you allowed this to happen to us, the poorest of the poor
I love you

I see past the destruction of man made things and can identify with the pain covering tear streaked faces layered with dirt. I hurt with each labored breathe your lungs take cuz they are all measured by mii. Bones broken, blood shed every single drop is recognized by mii.

The last gasp of each dying soul is chronicled and noticed by mii, I alone know the exact count and all the names to go with the faces now buried in ditches that your cameras cannot obtain. In vain, the world tries to quantify with estimate but I have life stories, not just bodies. Testimonies etched into my eternal memory constantly replay in my mind, on my hands are the names of the ones that died seconds before help arrived. Deprived of oxygen, struggling for air, the ones that screamed out my name, before their world went dark, I know them all. I alone see all your pain not just the fractions that affect each faction.
Human feelings cannot be used to portray the depth of emotion that courses thru my veins.
I love you
You are loved by mii in ways that the world cannot understand
They see buildings reduced to rubble
So double your pain and triple your anguish and that just begins to scratch the surface of my grief because I know the history of everyone who wished they could live in such a building.
I know your pain and while the world tries to make restitution and fix this I can’t.

I wish I could swoop down with legions of angels to heal each wound, I have the power, I have the means and yet love prevents mii from intervening, refraining to act breaks my heart apart, like Mozart I must sit on the sidelines watching them try to recreate my symphony.

I see your pain I am not blind to your plight, I can’t give you what you want
because that will require mii to strip you of the evidence of my love.
From above you want mii to take away pain but I can’t remove pain because to eliminate pain is to eradicate choice
and my love is made manifest expressed in your ability to choose to love mii regardless of what life brings
Know this, I love you
Have hope in this love because I alone see the heart
Where they see ruin, I see rebirth,
where they see destruction I see determination made manifest in the lives of children who preserve for 15 days beneath the rubble.

Resilient you are using taking natures worst and rising each day to rebuild.
Beautiful you are each morning you are able to see the beauty in being alive and cherish each moment and thank mii for each breathe
Courageous you are each day choosing to live and not to give in to the darkness or take what the devil panders
Resourceful you are taking on the roles of father and mother children acting as parents
You are mine.
You are mine, on the days you scream out in pain and curse my name
You are heart, soul, mind, beauty, resilient and mine
You are courageous, resourceful, strong, determined and mine,
You are tired, in pain, scared, bruised, lonely, broke, orphaned and mine
You are mine.

I have bought you with my blood
I paid the price, stripped of all dignity, ridiculed by humanity just so on this day
on this day when your heart breaks from the weight of sin I can hold you and call you mine and
give you peace that transcends this world
give you joy regardless of what is hurled
give you freedom to choose to cherish humanity
give you love to act with dignity
give you patience to deal with the weather
give you hope knowing that this won’t last forever
because you are mine
and one day I’m coming to reclaim what is rightfully mine