Friday, April 30, 2010

25 Chilling at the Femme Lounge PLUS "What's That You've Got in Your Hands?" (Guest Blogger Friday)








 It's not every time that I get to meet or interview inspiring people who remind me that I must continue to live a God-filled purpose-driven life. I like to chill at "Femme Lounge," a very exquisite online magazine that makes you come alive after each visit. It was created by the beautiful Shola Okubote. She started writing by sending out inspirational emails to friends, and then by posting notes on Facebook until her friends and readers urged her to do something bigger than that, and that's how Femme Lounge (her online magazine) was born. 

Without much ado, I present Shola Okubote of Femme Lounge. I asked her 5 questions and then urged her to share one of her writings as a guest blog. It's called "What's That in Your Hands?" and I fell in love with it after reading. Check out my short chat with Shola...

1.  How would you describe your personality in a few words?

I have a somewhat quiet but intense energy around me and could appear self contained and reserved especially to people that I have not really spent much time with. (People often say that I am not as quiet as they had thought when we first met).


I listen more than I talk (my husband is the only person in the world that believes otherwise!); I always try to put myself in other people’s shoes before I make a decision or take an action that can affect them. I could be tolerating, I give people long ropes, but when I feel pushed to the wall I fight back with all I have.

I am also the kind of person that works first and play later; I am result-oriented, objective and I like to look for practical solutions to problems.


2.   Most of your articles are geared towards womens' growth and personal development. Why do you have so much passion for nurturing women?

I am one of six sisters and I have five nieces…… still counting! lol!  I think there is a bias towards women because I am more familiar with their ways, I understand the everyday challenges of being a woman, a wife, a friend, a career person, a daughter, a mother etc, so writing and raising issues with women in mind comes to me naturally.

But as much as possible femme lounge tries to talk about general issues that men and women can relate with. As a matter of fact we have a good number of male readers too!

I honestly think that the world will be a better place if we all take time to nurture our minds and take time to think of how what we do and don’t do can affect our lives and the lives of people around us too.


3.   As a young beautiful Christian woman, what would you say is the best thing about your Christian walk? What inspires you about God?

In John 6:60-69, some of the followers of Jesus had been listening and following him for a while, and after some time they just couldn’t swallow his teachings, they felt it was too hard to do all he wanted of them, so they left. Jesus turned to his 12 disciples and asked them if they were going to leave him too, then Peter replied and said:

"Master, to whom would we go? You have the words of real life, eternal life. We've already committed ourselves, confident that you are the Holy One of God." (The Message)

I can summarize my Christian walk in that very powerful response that has become a scripture that means a lot to me over the years. Sometimes God’s ways get too hard for me to understand, and so unattractive to my modern mind, but then I ask myself, to whom would I go? I made a commitment to Him because of my conviction that He is God.

So over and over again I have had to choose real life, eternal life over my dissatisfactions, confusions and temptations. I may not fully understand His ways and may not always find it pleasurable to do His will, but I still choose Him anyway because I am convinced that He has my best interest at heart and He’s got my back and I have never had a reason to think otherwise!




4.   I have my views on leaders, and I think you're a leader amongst younger generation Nigerian women (and in training to be an even greater leader). But tell us, what do you think are the qualities that make a good leader? 

Among many others, one of the most important qualities that I think is important for leaders is in the area of team building, because I believe in ‘show me your team and I will tell you the kind of leader you are’. I think a good leader should be able to;  
  •         Select a good team and bring out the best in each team member for the common good of the team
  •         Have constant communication with them on the set goals and how to achieve them
  •         Lead the team to achieve a desired goal, without taking them for granted or trampling on them.
  •         Lead by example, don’t say one thing and do the other
  •         Have a sound emotional intelligence.

5.   What is the most important issue you've raised on Femme Lounge, and why is it important to you and to the world out there?

I would say the article on How to Cope With the Loss of Loved Ones, written by Omada Okpe who lost her brother in a plane crash was a very powerful one for me. We go through many painful experiences in life but the truth is we can have hope of restoration in some ways for most of the hurts we experience.

I mean, as hurtful as it could be, we can recover from addiction, we can find another husband if one walks away, we can get another job or start a business if we lose a job, we can get a prosthesis if we lose a leg, but no one gets a loved one back from death.

The finality of death is incomparable to any loss, some people learn to cope with it so that their lives will not stand still because of the loss, but for many others, the anger, the guilt, the regrets, the shock and disappointment linger through a lifetime.

I think it’s important that we learn to celebrate ourselves and the people in our lives while we still can.


Bonus: 
What are your three favorite novels/writings and why?

I tend to read nonfiction a lot more than I read fiction. I like reading Max Lucado’s writings, I love his humor and the way he uses simple everyday things to help us understand God and seemingly complex life situations better.

And permit me to also talk about one of my favorite movies - 


Their eyes were watching God!

Their Eyes Were Watching God is a story that shows the resilience of a woman in overcoming the different men and situations that held her down in a search for an identity. While the other women accepted their condition, though they wished in their hearts they could have the power to see what they want to see and the determination to pursue it, Janie defied the societal efforts to define who she should be. She dared to pursue what gives her happiness and full expression of who she is, at the end of her journey she might not have met up with the societal definition of success but she returned with an unusual sense of fulfillment, of someone gone to the horizon and back.

The message; Never give up on a sure thing, don’t let go of what makes you happy and fulfilled.

And Shola wrote...

"What's That in Your Hands?"





                           Every man who got where he is, had to begin where he was – Robert Stevenson (1850-1894)


He couldn't have breezed in at a better time, but just before I could call him an angel I saw the patch in his wings, our friendship was short lived but he left an unforgettable mark behind, sometimes I think that was exactly what he was sent to do, and I sure didn’t need a lifetime to get the message.

Some years ago I could describe what I had been doing for six months in just five words - eating, sleeping and getting fat; I just couldn’t find a place in my mind to enjoy the waiting process. I felt guilty when I woke up late, chastised myself for watching TV when my mates were at work, I placed an embargo on having fun, why should I if I am not working? I refused to go out for fear of bumping into old friends that are so quick at asking “where do you work?” All I wanted was to get a job, and until then I was going to be off the radar.

While telling him my tales of woes one day, he said to me, if the opportunities aren’t coming, maybe you can create them, look within you and bring something out. He circuitously asked me “What’s that you’ve got in your hands?”

Have you ever had to paint a brunette as a kid and then discovered that the dark brown color was missing from your crayon can, or you had to paint the sky and your blue crayon was no were to be found? Sometimes it seems someone has forgotten to put the right colors in our cans so we could paint the perfect picture we want of our lives and we keep wondering, why we just can’t have what we want, whenever, wherever and however we want it.

Will it ever make sense if we use what we have in our cans but then our brunette becomes blonde and our sky is grey?

I once thought my picture would never be perfect if I didn’t study International Development at SOAS, and then work with the United Nations, I have never desired and pursued anything so passionately. When I got something else instead, I felt it would be a great distortion to my picture and I wondered if it would ever make sense if my brunette becomes blonde and my sky is grey.

What’s That You’ve Got in Your Hands?

A small farm boy found his answer when he bade his inheritance farewell in pursuit of a greater definition to his lifelong hobby – his fascination for machines.

He was nicknamed a watch repairer as child, because he had dismantled and reassembled the watches of friends hundreds of times and in that skill dwells his destiny, but his family tree said he was born to be a farmer. When his mother died he realized that he had stayed on the farm because he loved his mother who was a farmer and never because he liked the farm.

After years of apprenticeship and experimentation he came up with a massive enterprise in the manufacturing industry, and decades after his death, the world is still astonished by the invention and genius of Henry Ford.

While we work towards progress in our lives we should not waste valuable time and energy wishing things were different but instead we should evaluate what we have no matter how seemingly insignificant and make a maximum use of it.

Taking time out to evaluate these helped me put the pieces of the puzzle together to make a whole lot of sense. While I work hard at making progress in my life I do not have to whine and sulk (it’s really hard not to, I am sure you know that too!), I simply have to make the little contributions my resources of time, money, ideas, skills, positive attitude and love can afford in all the lives around me and in situations I find myself. So I stepped up, and stepped out to take the first conscious, calculated and consistent step in the right direction, believing that tides do turn and things do change for sure.

Have you been waiting for years for a venture capitalist to see the vision of your multi million naira idea? Why not start a smaller version of it while waiting, and let your friends invest their widow’s mite.

 Are you waiting till you get that big break before you care for the people in your lives? Maybe you should start with the little you have. Being positively involved in your community is also a good place to start while waiting till you climb your way up to become a historical president.

Got your eyes on Grammy? You could start from your church choir if that’s all you’ve got now. Ask Whitney, Beyonce, and Jennifer Hudson.
There is always something you can do! Little or much, are you willing to use it and make it grand?

Then go take on the day!

Follow Shola on Twitter: @FemmeLounge

Visit Her Online Magazine: www.femmelounge.org


Has any of this inspired you to check what you've got in your hands? You've got something great in your hands. God has placed something in you, and it is worth checking out. As usual, I'd love to read your wonderful comments, thanks. Have the most lovely weekend :)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

21 "The Last One is the Bad One": True Celebrities VII

Photo by Mashael (copyrighted)
Chapter 27 was the hardest chapter for Temisan to read. It was the last chapter; the one that produced an unexpected culmination of her emotions. In the earlier chapters, the people loved him- the great Farook Kasir, leader of the northern clan. Still, in the last chapter his own people dismantled his leadership.

"Was he not the one who said he will bring the people back together?" Axx inquired of the people. "Yes," the members of the clan shouted back in agreement, waving their hands to the sky in obvious outrage. "Was he not the one who said he will provide peace and not war? Who else assured us that our children will see a day of prosperity again? Who assured us that the gods had forgiven us?" There was silence in the air. Farook was bound with an unbreakable three-fold cord and tied around the big tree in the town square. Some looked at him with sadness, and others with scorn. Two days ago they had looked up to him as their king, but now they looked down on him spitefully. From this day it would be written in the books of history, that the people of Osiko burned their leader alive.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Today's celebrities are the last ones on the list: people whom you may not want to be: "Those who are persecuted for righteousness."

"Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for my name's sake. Rejoice & be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven." Matthew 5:10-12

Is the Last One the Bad One?

The last one is NOT the bad one. In Matthew 5, Jesus finished his speech (which is now a popular speech) by talking about the blessings of those who will be persecuted. Shouldn't he have ended his speech on a good note? Well, he did. Oh yes, he did. Let's check this out...

The Origins:

The Greek origin of the word "persecute" is diôkô (dioko), which means "to pursue," "to chase," "to urge on," or "to drive." It has so many turns and twists in this definition, but I can sum it up in one word, "to haunt." The Greek origin of the word "righteousness" is from dikaiosunê (dikaiosyne), which means "righteousness," "justice," "fulfillment of the law," and "the business of a judge." 

The Great Haunt:

At the end of your life, what would your worth be? These celebrities are a challenge to make your life count (that's the good part). If you don't count for anything you will not be haunted. You will not be pursued, chased, urged on, or driven. These terms all consist of both loving and hating. When we think of the word "persecute," we often associate it with a negative connotation. But if you think of the celebrities of our day, you either love them or hate them. In the same way, the word "diôkô" (persecute) suggests that you will either love those who promote God's words, justice, and the fulfillment of the law; or you will hate them. Sometimes, the hate becomes a fiery passion to consume them with fire, which is how some martyrs for Christ died. But their lives counted for something far more worthy: the kingdom of heaven.

I'll leave you with a quote from Gary Beck's blog:

Christ is saying something more here about people who try to perfect themselves. He is saying people are fortunate when people follow them in their quest for perfection. Some will merely observe what they are doing. Others will criticize it. And some others will emulate it. They are free to choose how they react. We shouldn't be surprised at any of these reactions.

The Great Step:

Photo by Cyril

To be pursued, chased, urged on, or driven...in fact, to be persecuted, your life must count for something bigger than yourself. It is not something to shy away from. It takes boldness, courage, and tenacity to chase after something you're passionate about...like God and His faithfulness.

And it takes an even bolder step to tell about what you've found, because after you've done so, you WILL be persecuted. And they will say all sorts of things about you; But not to fear, even greater things await you. Question for the Day: What should your life count for? Would you choose persecution over mediocrity? I'd love to read your comments.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

40 Update: "My Church is Better Than Yours," There, I Said It!!!

Photo by Hgrimley

Update: The Radio Show's Recap (in case you missed it):




Download PODCAST HERE





Friday's Post Recap:

Let your imaginations run wild for a second & feel free to imagine that I made this unsolicited statement with a gigantic smirk on my face while still retaining the graceful halo sitting on top of my head :)

But alas, my views are entirely different from the title of this post and that is what landed me in BIG trouble. Tomorrow, on Saturday April 24th, 2010, I will be co-hosting on the Verastic Show alongside with Vera herself (a.k.a Mrs. Shoes) and the albeit popular Mr. Azazel. I am pretty sure you wouldn't want to miss this. The time for the show is 10.00am (Eastern time, U.S.A).

While I still have this smirk on my face, let me share 5 of my unoriginal thoughts on the issue:

  1. A Mistaken Identity:


    There is this crazy mistaken identity of the meaning of the word "church." The Greek meaning of church only denotes an “assembly of people.” Not denominations. Not buildings. Not labels. It is derived from the Greek word “Ekklesia” which means “Called Out.” In other words, it only suggests a group of people who have been called out of the general masses to be different. And if this is the suggestion, then many of us are responsible for destroying the original meaning of “church.” Many theologians will tell you that the people who translated the Greek word “Ekklesia” to “church” were wrong, because a church is a building or a place where people go to worship. Rather, it should have been translated as “Assembly” to mean “a group of people.” In all honesty, whenever the word “church” is mentioned we must be ready to think about it as the “entire body of Christ.” If we take away the true meaning of the word “church,” then we take away the true meaning of the body of Christ.

  2. Let's ReFocus, 'As we were saying':


    That being said, I also understand that this topic is really about different places of worship and whether one is better than the other. So instead of focusing on the original meaning of “church,” I will talk about the main issue at hand. Is Redeemed church better than Catholic Church? Are Anglicans better than Baptists? Is Deeper Life better than Cherubim & Seraphim? Are Seventh Day Adventists better than Mormons? Which ones are cults, and which ones are not even churches at all?<<<-----(valid question)

  3. Answer the Question Na:


    Is my church better than yours? The answer is “No, no, no.” There is no better place of worship. It's just like saying, “I am better than you,” which is definitely not true. We all have our areas of weaknesses, so would it be fair to say someone is better than another because he is stronger in a certain area more than the other? No. So also, no place of worship is better than the other because they all consist of imperfect weak people, like myself, seeking God so that He will perfect them. The true sons of God will worship Him in spirit and in truth, and if Jesus Himself said this exact thing when He was on earth, who are we to say what's the best place to worship? 

  4. Exposing False Churches:


    And even though I've said these things, still, I will say one more important thing: the bible also says that we should bring the dark things to light. In Ephesians 5: 11 it says, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” First of all, if any church is not principled according to the bible (pretty much if they're following a book inspired by a human being as opposed to following the Bible (inspired by God)) then that's not a church. Now, if a certain assembly is following the bible, they may be misinterpreting it, and someone has to tell them. Thinking about it, how will a place of worship know that they are doing something that is not according to God's word if someone does not tell them? How can we be blessed if we don't know that we are blessed? In the same way every unfruitful work is to be exposed. This is the only thing we need to do to propagate the truth even within people who say they are Christians. We need to bring the truth out so that they can see it, and so that they can change and refocus their ministries in the right path. Still, that same scripture continues to say that “we should walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as the wise,” meaning that there is a better way to go about this than to say something as foolish as “my church is better than yours” or “my pastor is better than yours.” A good example of this is how Paul talked to the Corinthians, telling them their gifts and at the same time telling them that what they were doing was wrong (1 Corinthians 1:4-13). 
     
  5. I am Not of Paul, Apollos, or Cephas:


    I will leave you with 1 Corinthians 1: 10-13, “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you. Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?”

    I invite you to join in the discussion tomorrow on the Verastic Radio Show (10a.m Eastern). Visit http://www.blogtalkradio.com/verastic/2010/04/24/my-church-is-better-than-yours for more information.
    But while we're at it, please tell me: Is Your Church Better Than Mine, Or am I just a Crazy Selfish Abnormal Amused Child of God? *smirk*

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

28 The Peace Sign is Not a Fashion Symbol (True Celebrities VII)

Lovely Photo by Ashlee

Real Life Observation:

We see them on the streets of the major cities in the world. They are the courageous rough riders- young and restless boys and girls (or men and women) who have no homes to call their own. Lost in a constant battle for their rights to life. They fight for the freedom from poverty, insecurity, defamation, injustice, and mockery. They fight, well just because...it is their way of life. You should know- street fights are no fairy tale; they happen every day! They happen right there in places where you call "down town." And maybe even in rich neighborhoods. Sometimes they end up in ghastly emergency room calls. Still sadly, most end up in DEATH. Yes death, the word that stings so bad and the worst enemy of life.

And when you see these fights, do you jump out of your moving vehicle just to immerse yourself in the midst thereof? I know I don't. Usually, I'm driving so fast that I can't can see the incident really well. Oh, but let us not speak of such BIG events. What about the fights in our own little tight-knit territories? Our families, friends, co-workers, and even fellow writers? Again, I may not observe them because I'm running so fast in my own career path.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Today's celebrities are the ones who don't just speak about, wear, or throw their fingers to the peace sign, they actually do something about it...and they are called the "PEACEMAKERS."

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God." Matthew 5: 9

The peace sign is NOT just the fashion symbol you see here in the photograph of this post. It is also not just about raising two of your fingers in the air to a friend and smiling at them while doing so. It is deeper than that.

Photo by Flickr Peace Movement


About The Greeks Again:

The Greek origin of the word peacemaker is "Eirenopois." This time, it comes from two words: Eirene ("peace") and Poieo ("to make" or "to do"). Eirene (or Irene) is the Greek word for "peace," such that the Greeks made her a goddess. She was the daughter of Zeus and Themis and was often depicted as holding a cornucopia, scepter, and a torch. I imagine that wherever she showed up there was a sudden calmness in the room, and let's not forget she carried a torch for light. In the midst of quarrels her presence must have caused Greek men to stop and re-think their anger (mythology).

To Make It Happen:

Now, the word "Poieo" has really blown me away already. It means "to make [something]" or "do [something]." In fact, let's just say it means, "to make it happen." What's the use of talking about something if you can't make it happen? We all have dreams about our future, but if we don't stand up and make them happen they will only be like shrunken trees refusing to produce fruits. Peacemakers are the ones who make peace happen. They see conflicts and they intervene. They see trouble and they provide the way out. The best thing is, they can do this in subtle ways- doesn't have to be through a big speech or iron scepter.

To Exhibit True Genes: 

I know why "peacemakers" will be called the sons of God. God's name is love. Many of us have asked this question at some point in our lives, "why do bad things happen to good people?" We forget that the prince of this world has only one mission: to "steal, kill, and destroy." This is why bad things happen to good people. But if we can be like our Father, we will propagate His goodness in the world. To propagate His goodness, we must have His "peace-making" genes, worthy of a Nobel-peace prize.

Question for the day: How easy is it for you to settle disputes? If your heart breaks each time there's a dispute, and if you can do something about it...and you do, then you're a true child of your Father. And they will know that you're His child.

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Monday, April 19, 2010

27 "Washed Just For My Daddy's Kiss" (True Celebrities VI)

Photo by M. Torsello
How can I ever forget the day I had to wash myself before she let my daddy kiss me? The date was August 7th,1991: the first day of my 7th year on earth. At 10:25 a.m the maids were in the backyard setting up the scene for my 7th birthday party, and the compound was in chaotic adornments of balloons, music, misfit colors, and rented chairs.

But today, a greater event would occur. My father was to return back home from his thirteen-week business trip to Aznakayevo, a city in Russia. To tell you the truth, I was excited more about his return than about a party celebrated with the rich ill-mannered obnoxious kids of our tight-knit community.

Anyway, the party had not started and I was bored to death, so I figured I'd go play in the backyard then come back in and take a bath. So I packed my hair in a bun and put on my favorite shorts. I ran past all the people setting up in the yard and went straight for the pond. I forgot that it would be slippery at this time of the day and was running too fast. It so happened that a stone shifted under my right foot as I ran causing me to slip and land painfully head-on into the mud by the pond. I was just glad I didn't fall into the pond. I started to giggle, it could have been worse. I sat down there with my muddy face and began to throw stones into the pond, hoping no one would find me. And that was when I heard his voice...

"Where is my daughter?"

Daddy...daddy!!! It was him. He was back. Yes!!!

I stood up with my muddy face, muddy hands, and muddy shorts and began to run back towards the house. Just as I entered through the back door I felt someone grab my right hand. It was my mother.

"Where have you been Temisan? I've been looking all over for you!"

"Sorry, mother."

"Well, you have to take a bath. Your pa can't see you like this."

Without waiting for my response she lifted me and went straight for the bath, while I cried because I wanted to see my daddy. She put me in the tub and ran the hot water. She transformed me from muddy to sparkling clean in less than five minutes. After my bath, I dressed up and went down the stairs. There he was, standing tall and firm. He opened his arms and I ran straight into them. He lifted me and kissed me.

"I'm back home Temisan. Daddy is back home."

Photo by ad-sight


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

Today's celebrities are those who have once been muddy but are now washed clean. They are called the "pure in heart."

Greek: "μακάριοι οἱ καθαροὶ τῇ καρδίᾳ, ὅτι αὐτοὶ τὸν θεὸν ὄψονται." English: "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God." (Matthew 5: 8)

The Greek word for "Pure" is καθαροὶ (Katharos). Before Christianity, Katharos was used to represent many things: 

"physically clean; free from admixtures (e.g. pure water and plain white bread); free from debt; free from guilt; free from pollution; a pure race; a document that is free from errors; pure wine or milk that hasn't been adulterated by water."

As I observed these original meanings I began to reflect on what Jesus must have meant by saying blessed are the "pure in heart.

Being pure in heart doesn't mean you weren't ever muddy. Or imperfect.

But it means that you've been placed inside the tub of the blood of Jesus, and His blood has WASHED you and made you unadulterated; giving you a focus on the one true thing that really matters. As human beings we go out each day and to get the pollutants off our skins we have to take our showers. To be free from debt we (or someone) has to pay up. To be free from guilt we have to be forgiven. To be a pure race our parents have to be of the same origin. To have an error-free document, it has to be edited. All these things form the origin of the word, but in Matthew 5 Jesus spoke of "purity" with respect to the "things of God": being free from the things of the world.

The Chemistry Class: 

If you've ever attended a Chemistry class (specifically "Separation Techniques"), you will know that there are various techniques like crystallization or distillation by which we can purify adulterated mixtures. At the end of the process, you will get the pure compound. That's how it is with God. He can look at our muddy faces and still plant kisses on our foreheads because He sees our hearts and our hearts have been crystallized (separated) from our faces. He has freely given us His son (who is also His word) so that we can have freedom from the impurities of this world. And the ones whose hearts will willingly be washed by His Word will see God.

They will not remember the times they fell head on into the mud. They will not remember their former sins or previous helpless states. But they will be washed by God's word and they will have a different mindset, "a pure heart." 


I'll leave you with an excerpt from William Barclay's book:


"How then shall we translate, Blessed are the Katharoi in heart? We must think of it this way- Blessed are those whose motives are absolutely unmixed, whose minds are utterly sincere, who are completely and totally single-minded. What a summons to self-examination is here! Here is the most demanding beatitude of all...the blessedness is to the man with the motive that is as pure as clean water..."


I don't know if this is the most demanding character in God's celebrities, but I believe that the purpose thereof is to bring out the best in all of us; to wash out the mud and cause us to focus on God's heart. To remove the scales from our eyes so we can see God clearly. I'd love to read your comments on "the pure in heart" too. Have a beautiful day/night :)

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Friday, April 16, 2010

30 "Spending Every Day in God's Will Results in Sexy People"- 10 Things About Remi Banjo (Guest Blogger Friday)



The beautiful Remi Banjo is the writer for 3 inspiring blogs: “A Day in God’s Will,” “Words in Poetic Motion,” and “His Fit Temple.” She's sexy because she loves God, runs her own company, is passionate about the younger generation, & is a great writer. 


The Will:


What is a "will"? A legally enforceable declaration of how a person wishes his or her property to be distributed after death. It declares who gets his/her belongings and assets. The death of Jesus is a testament that God has given us authority in His will. The question is, "Do we really spend every day of our lives in His will?" Well, join me on this ride into a glimpse of someone who does her best to live her days in His will... 


10 Things I Bet You Didn't Know about Remi Banjo:


1) Hi Remi. Can you tell the Lamp readers a little more about you?


First, thank you for making me a guest blogger.  I feel like a celebrity. *smile*.   And thanks for being a reader of  "A Day in God’s Will." About me, hmmm, what you see is what you get, physically and in my writing.  I am easy going, carefree, focused and very determined (although my ma calls it stubbornness! Lol!)  I am the 4th member of 5 children. I am passionate about fitness, both physical and spiritual and I believe one should not be to the detriment of the other. I try to live everyday to the best of my ability, by God’s grace – at work and at play.   I work hard and play hard too.  I love travelling, although I have not done  much of that lately because of work commitments. 


I am an independent Business Change Manager / Programme Management Consultant by profession and run my own company called Programme Smart Consulting. (http://www.programmesmart.co.uk/). I am passionate about influencing this and the next generation to come, by educating on the importance of knowing and understanding the intricacies of God’s Will for individuals, groups and nations. Everyone and everything is significant in God’s agenda. 


I am a mean cook “well I make the best “puff puff “this side of London! Oh… and I absolutely LOVE SHOES! My motto: “There are no impossibilities within my realities.” 


2) You don’t seem like a shy person. Why did you choose to spread God's Word through blogging?


I missed that shy gene by miles.  I talk a lot, ask too many questions and I am a very expressive and inquisitive individual to be categorized as a shy. I would be the one that comes up to you and say something like “I like your shoes, please put them back in my closet when you are done”  and then strike up a conversation which will somehow end up in the lessons of patience God taught me from shoe buying! There is always something to talk about or learn from a person or situation. I am a people person. The reason  I spread the word of God is because of my personal mandate from 1 Thessalonians 5:9, the second part reads “So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you'll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you're already doing this; just keep on doing it.”  


I remember reading this a long while ago and thought, oh dear that is my assignment right there!  I have never looked back since. According to the gifts that God gives to us all, I have been blessed with the desire to teach and encourage.  It sounds simple enough, however, it took me years to fully understand or even accept this calling and responsibility.  I found all through life, no matter where I am or what I am doing, people would somehow come up to me with their problems or questions with the firm belief that I somewhat had knowledge of the solution.  This used to irritate me to no end, for I kept saying “why is everyone coming to me? Am I the only one in this office, building or friend of this person?” Let all these people leave me alone.  Little did I know that I was in training to step onto a bigger platform and embrace more responsibilities of such. When I finally understood what this was all about – “ To Uplift and Inspire”  I became restless, in spirit and physically. I started to pay attention to those who are within my vicinity and really see how I could help them, and also sought out ways to reach people who were not within reach.  I started with emails, every Sunday night or Monday; I would email people with whatever I learnt from study or quiet time and just encourage them to have a good week.  Then I moved to MSN web space, but then that was not really a good and flexible tool and I wanted a much bigger platform.  I did a bit of research and found blogsville a whole community of wonderful people, a whole community of people could communicate to, from all parts of the world.  So the rest as they say is history. A day in God’s will was created, and I have been blogging since.   


3) Can you tell us about your unique poetry blog "Words in Poetic Motion"? What inspired you to create it? How different is it from your original every day blog? 


Words in Poetic motion
Flowing Through my veins
Intending to heal
This and future generations...


Poetry helps to give further expression or understanding and insight into what I write on my main blog.  Poetry is very powerful in that with one word and one sentence, hidden depths of a desired meaning or emotion can be conveyed. I find that most people will read a short poem as opposed to an article.  Thus, I sometimes use this to support a post on the main blog to emphasize the point, or just for the reader to enjoy the pleasures and wonders of life through words.  I am privileged to be a member of my church’s Drama and Dance team called – Word In Motion, where I am able to, alongside my fellow members use the gift of poetry through drama and dance to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ, through poetry, drama and dance.  The reception we get is very much profound.  






4) You once wrote a poem titled, “The Essence of Poetry.” What is the essence of poetry in a summary? 

I believe the essence of Poetry is the ability for the entwined words to transport the reader to another place like prose (Ordinary speech or writing) can do. A reader can conjure up and experience the reality of a world in the words a poem presents. 


5) Do you consider yourself to be a poet as well as a writer?


I would like to consider myself a poet at heart, and well, I do love writing. The strange thing is I compose most of my poems in my sleep – quite spooky. I wake up and I see and know the words already and then I remember that I recited them when I was asleep. Very strange!


6) I think you’re a natural-born teacher. Have you had any teaching positions/influences in the past? Do you think you have the calling to “teach” (especially the Word)?


Funny you should ask that, my profession means that I am always in a mentoring, teaching or solution implementing and coaching role. My desire is to encourage, and therefore teaching comes as part of it; which is not in isolation of the word. It is wrapped into everything I do.  Life and the word are one, thus, encouragement and teaching with and through the word is the path to a successful life. 

I am especially passionate about encouraging and instilling confidence in the younger generation. They have so much of life ahead of them and there is so much they can do to influence the world around them.  This is one of the reasons I am a member of the drama / Word in Motion team of my church as mentioned above.
Remi and 2 'younger generation' folk she works with



7) You seem to read a lot of books. What book stands out to you the most? 


Ooooh books, one of my favorite words and things!  I absolutely LOVE books. Wow, to pick a book that stands out is pretty hard for me, for I have read so many books that have impacted me.  A favorite one that comes to mind now is "The God Chasers" by Tommy Tenny!  I actually recommended that for my book club this month.  It teaches and challenges one to go beyond needing God, but to develop a hunger for Him.  It helps me to further explain to people that ‘we are not meant to just look in God’s direction, but we are to look at Him in the face’. Imagine if we all had a hunger for God like we did for food… the result will be awesome.  


8) Have you published any books and/or do you plan to publish in the future? Should we be looking out for you really soon?


I have not published any books yet, and Yes, you should be looking out for me really soon.  I am in the process of writing three books – I know, unnatural multi – tasking. Lol. The first is a compilation of articles from my blog ‘A Day In God’s will’. The second is called “My Father’s Illness” – my dad is  currently ill with a neurological disease, but through the storm, God has taught my family the intricacies of His love, the birth patience, requirement for togetherness and trusting in Him.  God is just awesome like that! The final one is a compilation of poetry called “A Love Story”.


9) According to your blogger profile, your 2 other interests apart from writing are dancing & singing. So tell us, do you think you can make it on the British X-Factor/American Idol competitions?


I love dancing and I must confess, I am usually the last one standing on the dance floor when I go to a wedding party, for instance. However, I don’t think I will win the British X-Factor/ American Idol competitions.  They might need to create the “z factor” or the “wannabe Idol competition” just for me.

10) What was the last crazy/funny thing that happened to you recently? 

Funny thing…hmmm it has to be my gym antiques.  A week ago, I went to the gym before an appointment. After my workout and shower, I realized that I forgot my shirt at home! Hilarious! I had to put my wet gym clothes back on, run to a shop nearby, buy a shirt, and go back to the gym, shower and then change.  Needless to say, I was late for the appointment.  However, my explanation of what happened was the "ice breaker" and I am still being teased about it! lol 


BONUS: 
Can you share a poem you've written that made you cry (or at least made you emotional)? 


This is an emotional one. I wrote it when I met my special someone.


"IF I HAD"

If all the colours of love
 were entrusted to me.. 
I would show you a beautiful dream

If I was given a canvas to express the emotions 
I would show you the desire that rotates within

If I was given the platform to speak
Your name will come forth with ease

If you asked me to define my desired reality
It would be to share it with you
Lost within the realms of your masculinity
In the essence of your security 
Is where my love simply desires to be


Those were 10 interesting things about Remi. BTW she is very passionate about enlightening people to knowledge that is readily available, through books and such; every month, she gives out free books on her blog "A Day in God’s will" and the book club – A Page A day. She also has a 12 page Booklet and some gifts (pens, e.t.c) that support the blog.


Follow Remi on TWITTER: @ADayInGodsWill
Become a Fan on FACEBOOK: A Day in God's Will

So what do you think? Does Remi inspire you to live every single day of your life in God's will? I'd love to read your comments. Have a lovely weekend and see you next week Monday. 

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