Eternity and the innumerable number of days

It’s starting to look like death spurs the writing in me. It’s only a look, I promise.

It’s 20112018 today, I wake and go for my morning run on Twitter and find out that Tosyn Bucknor passed. While I didn’t know her personally or ever listen to her, something about her vibe was right. Cheery. I particularly loved teasing Chu’s huge crush on her. As is usual with most of such news, people have flooded timelines with eulogies. It’s a unanimous verdict that she was a good person.

Only a couple of hours till we go back to regular programming, and heaves now and then when the thought of her crosses our mind.

I particularly felt sorry for Harry, in about a calendar year, Sickle cell had robbed him of 3 friends (that I know of). I remembered to pray for the ones we still had on earth, and for the seemingly whole ones too.

Reading all the eulogies and getting sad anew that all these kind words and sweet thoughts of her mean nothing to her.

Actually, this here is my piece of befuddlement.

The life after death side of things.

I am a Christian, and accordingly my faith attests to an eternity in heaven or hell, and the purpose on earth is to make heaven, return home.

Beginning or end?

Mans mind is conditioned to see a finite picture. The paintings have a beginning and an end. It puts perspective to things. Or does it?

Am I going to spend eternity in my 1 year old body, or 16 year old or this current Fat Albert stage that I am on?

I have read jokes, even my sister made one about wearing fancy designer clothes while on earth, because in heaven every one gets to wear the same white robe. Or is it the one where people don’t think a daily routine of singing hallelujahs is a prime way to spend the days.

We didn’t ask to be born, and the consequence of having to exist ad infinitum is a choice we didn’t even get to make.

I take consolation in the thought that if humans, mere mortals, can find ways to make these finite days we have created count, God is certainly able to do better.

Do you have any concerns about eternity?

xx

Jem

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The Chicken or the Egg….

I was walking to “work” this morning, and there is this makeshift refuse dump by a pole an ordinary pedestrian like me has to walk past. I remember feeling relieved these past days because every time I have walked past that pole, there wasn’t any dumping there.

Relief because this is not a designated dumpsite, it was along a very major and beautiful expressway, and it embarrassed me because human beings, who claim to share the same number of faculty as I, repeatedly make this mess and think it okay.

Today’s pile interested me because it was packed in a clear bag, and filled with eggshells. The culprit of that heap became clear. There is a Mai Shai right at the turning into the crescent. So his customers were wont to stop by for a little “Indomie and blanket” or Bread and omelette. From the heap, yesterday was a very prosperous business day.

I wondered if that was a normal days sales or….*wait for it*… a slow days sale!!

For one location, that was a lot of egg, and it got me thinking about all the chicken and egg consumed on earth daily. It reflected another wonder of the Almighty God, because how can this quantity of the bird be consumed on the daily, and it is still not extinct!?!? Nothing is spared, not the young unhatched or the grown, and adult bird. I will jump guns and assume that 3x the human population on earth is consumed in form of that bird daily. Explains why they are genetically engineering it, for fear that there are not going to be enough chickens to eat soon (I’m not worried about it because the chicken featured in Yoruba mythology of the creation story. It is a shareholder to earths existence) (I am just glad the chicken wasn’t in the christian version. It may have featured as a villain 😥 )

I am grateful for chickens.

I did this as an entry to something GTBanks’ Gtcreate account on Instagram used to host on Thursdays years ago. The theme was to draw a chicken Lol! Guess who is the chicken??

I still don’t know the answer to the riddle; the chicken and the egg, what came first?

Fried rice and Chicken!

Jemjem

The labours of our heroes past…

I haven’t sang the national anthem in a bit. I usually do it as a prayer on Independence day, along with the national pledge. But, last Independence day, I was overtaken by life, I am not sure I took the time to carry out this tradition. I guess I can blame this on the fact that it was a Sunday, and I was in church, and certainly, na pray for Nigeria go be the theme.

Naija

In my conversations on The Port Harcourt Bookclub Whatsapp group (Thanks Andy), personal curiousity and learnings from my “Socio-Political Environment of Business” class, I have learned so much history and stories about Nigeria that leaves me like R Kelly singing “If I could turn back the hands…”

I am not sure how all these new knowledge makes me feel about singing the national anthem. For starters, I’m the minority that really liked the original one that the oyibo people gave us. But what do I know, I am the minority after all.

Here is one thing I do know; that labours of our heroes past, I’d like to clarify on which of the heroes exactly we are talking about before asking that it never be in vain.

Nigeria, and poor Nigerians have had a roll with bad leadership. its really bleak running through the photo album of them all. There is so much pervasive selfishness and greed among the pages, you might just have a fit. An epileptic one. (Word to the wise, you are better off not looking through them) (Unless you are trying to confirm the bad track record of one of them. I promise you won’t be disappointed in that front)

Its been 18 years of Democracy. We say things are getting better, but young Nigerians (who are even old if i do say!) need coercing to go and get their PVCs and be eligible to vote in the coming elections. How they are hoping things change while acting defeated beats me.

Andy had a beautiful thread, on twitter, where I think he has found a hack out of our “situation” if we can be patient and strategic in our application. See, the institutions that exist already nurse our misfortunes in this country. Its up to us to wean it of the badness.

Now, back to that “labours of our heroes past”, who wants to be a sport and send me the list, so that my anthem singing can be more precise. I certainly would not want to include the “hero” who was overwhelmed by the Forex earnings, and publicly admitted to having “too much money, the problem is how to spend it”

By the way, Happy Democracy Day!! Our Democracy is old enough to drink beer now!

two persons holding drinking glasses filled with beer
Photo by Tembela Bohle on Pexels.com

The Orthodox girl musing.

The Orthodox girl musing.

I grew up an Anglican girl.

Singing hymns and the eucharist, Te deum’s and Benediction. This represented a worship service to me. I love the sobriety and piety of it all.

Let me rephrase that first line, I grew up an Anglican girl in a small conservative town. The only variations in my services were the language in which the service was held.

The same things people dont love about my denomination is the absolute reason I stay.

But then, Religion is not my favourite topic of discussion, so I won’t talk about it. I’m just going to ask what I came to ask…

There is a new trend where the teenagers, youth and young adult have their own church separate from the rest of the “adult”. These sections are funkier, for lack of a better adjective (considering how funky the church already is, which road are we going again, abeg), and tailored to suit the young people’s style of worship.

Here in lies my inquisition;

1. Where did young people assemble and thus decide that this is their preferred style of worship?

2. Why are we tailoring services to suit our fancy? Is this one too also about us?

3. Time passes and you are not a youth/young adult/teenager any more, you have to transcend to that “adult” church that wasn’t good enough for you before, is it going to be good enough for you now? Or are we just going to carry on with labels that don’t mean anything?

OK.

I don’t want to be that cat that curiousity you-know-what.

I’m deeply..deeply comforted that the power of prayer is not in the one who prays, but in the one who is prayed to (Max Lucado-paraphrased)

Peace & Bubble wrap

Jem.

The #HallelujahChallenge

I’m big on challenges.

Anything that makes me want to conciously do something is a welcome occurrence. I’d do a writing challenge,  a drawing challenge, a fasting challenge  sef,  if the end product includes an improved me.

It’s been 15 days since the #HallelujahChallenge began. 15 more days to go and I am certain my midnights will never be the same. I have never spent my midnights in a more productive way. Halfway through and I feel the need to document this special occurrence, that its memory may be more vivid.

I have always liked Nathaniel Bassey. I can’t tell you exactly what it is that drew me to him; his deep resonating worded songs, which reflected his love for God, or the way they are expressed in the most calming melodies in praise and worship. Or maybe because he somehow reminded me of my uncle Chidiegwu, who shared similar qualities with him ranging from their disarming smile to their disciplined servitude to God. I don’t know Nathaniel personally, but I know my uncle, and some how I am convinced that they are genuine and goals.

Now is a good time to appreciate everyone who shared a post, publicising the #Hallelujahchallenge. It was enough to encourage me to join in and I have loved the experience entirely.

I understand that there have been misreadings of what the Hallelujah Challenge is, and I believe now is also a good time to explain in my own words what it is to me. The convener, Nathaniel Bassey,  by inspiration scheduled June as a month of praise and worship to God. For one hour every day in June, between midnight and 1am, Christians are joined in praise and worship via an Instagram and Facebook Live feed (pros of technology). The guiding Bible text  is from the book of Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 16 verse 25 and 26, with additional readings from the book of Psalms (Psalm 150, Psalm 147,Psalm 149) It was originally a local bred assembly but with the ubiquitous nature of social media, Christians all over the world have keyed into this exercise and you know what they say about where two or more gather in the name of God- The blessings and the testimonies have been profound.

As a christian, I have always been fascinated with praise and worship to God. Not because I am fantastic at it but because it is the one thing and only thing God requires from me. He said if i wont praise him, he is able to raise rocks and stones to sing in my place, and never will I let a rock cry out in my place. He is more than worthy of whatever praise I can muster and so I shall go over and beyond any chance I get to render my praise. I have been enthralled by the Olowogbogboro, the God whose hands are mighty to save, the one who is able to turn situations suddenly, just like that! And I have been acquainted with the soothing melodies and the fulfillment of Kaestring‘s “He is here”(That’s Lowkey an anthem now, can’t explain the pump in my spirit when it comes on!)

Of course like all good things, there have been criticisms  on why we (hello every one of the 70k plus streaming and praising!) are doing what we are doing, so it is important to educate these naysayers a little. They say subscribing to the Hallelujah challenge is not the solution to the problems in our country, Nigeria, nor a cure for our collective hypocrisy. I’d like to inform the people of such school of thought that It is not a revival to bring about any change in the country, or a miracle wreaking crusade of any such. It’s like when I do a writing challenge or a drawing challenge, I want to consciously rise up at midnight for 30 days to sing praises, and worship my God whom I think is deserving of even more. It’s not my job to fix Nigeria with my praise and worship. It’s our collective responsibility to do so (with that hardwork you people prescribe) at a time which has not been set apart for something greater. After all, prior to this challenge, I either spent my midnights fast asleep or chugging down alcohol or something even more unproductive. It’s not like I am expending anybodys mahour.

If miracles happen and prayers are answered along the way, it’s only as a by-product of my exercise..and not the core reason why I do what I am doing.

I don’t even get why anyone would have a reservation to the #HallelujahChallenge.

Is it really a bad thing that people, who share a common faith are rising to praise without the barrier of denomination and “my pastor said”??

If you have not been joining the exercise and praise is what you do,i.e you are interested, trust me, it’s a refreshing way to spend an hour. If for nothing, I have become a brighter morning person (I have always been a morning person but it definitely has become cheerier!)

The instagram handle is @Nathanielblow, and the Facebook page is Nathaniel Bassey. Remember what I said about Nathaniel being disciplined, his live feeds are set in such a way that at exactly an hour it ends. So you don’t have to worry about losing too much sleep. I usually catch an hour or two before midnight and the rest after. If you would like to join but have difficulties waking, you can send me a message, I’d love to be your alarm.

Let us give thanks and praises to the Lord, for he is good and his mercies endures forever!

Jemjem.

One Nigeria.

Before I went to bed last night, my friends uncovered something that may have been evident to even more people. It was clearly beyond speculations.

Nigeria’s celebrated artiste Innocent Idibia aka 2 baba, formerly 2face, had spread word about organising a peaceful protest/march in the metro cities of Lagos and Abuja,Nigeria on Monday 6th of February, 2017(today). The aim of this protest was/is to demand good governance, Accountability and efficiency from our leaders.

However, on the morning of Sunday 05th February, 2017, 2face (my preferred of his names) released a video retreating from anchoring the march. In his words “… the intent of the march is not worth the life of any Nigerian…”

He was evidently looking harassed and upset, but I assumed it was because of the lack of support and interference of ignorant  (if I do say so myself) Nigerians and law enforcement agencies.

It was until a picture from a wedding he performed at the day before (saturday) that it became clear, obvious that he was bullied into backing down.

And na there I come vex.
There are so many things wrong with Nigeria, and I am tired of blaming it on the leaders alone. It is stark evident that the issue with this country is more about the people than the anything else.

How does someone stand up to do what is right, and long overdue and you applaud his efforts but undermine his suitability as a frontman because of his personal life decisions which affect his sense of social and political  judgement in no way?

My (Our) theory is that he was picked up by the law enforcers (hence the non-outfit change) and threatened some more.

If Nigerians weren’t feeble and feckless, maybe he would have called their BS and still championed on today. Alas,we are who we are. If not that I haven’t lived anywhere else to base my judgement on fact, I’d have said that we were made up of a bunch of Judases in this country.

I am glad people still showed up in those cities and made their voice heard.

He who has ears, let them hear.

Shame on all the police men who were in the way of expression. Denying democratic citizens of their right.

Shame on all the sleazy politicians who had a thing or two against the protest to say. If it is not pinching you, Sir, IT IS PINCHING US! if you don’t know what we are talking about, we made a list for example;

And you know how back in school, the example was always the easy stuff. Same here o! Same theory applies to this our little list.

A revolution cannot happen until we change our lipservice ways as citizens of Nigeria. A revolutionary also is not signing up to be a saint, there is no need to condemn his flaws and disrespect his mission on that account.

I’m tired of being Nigerian, can you tell?

And even worse, those IPOB jokers are brewing fantasies. Ugh!

Aluta Continua.Pro Unitate!

Jemjem