It takes a village … does it really?

Credits: Unsplash / Tim Mossholder

We are all too familiar with the saying “it takes a village to raise a child.” It is an African proverb that has filtrated the American and western cultures for decades. We can equally use the proverb in other instances; it takes a village to (fill-in-the-blanks)” to avert a suicide or a pandemic, save a marriage, etc.

As an African origin, I often retell childhood experiences of how neighbors, teachers, or even strangers ‘discipline’ you in the communities when you run afoul. Dare you arrive at your home and ‘report!’ It will be double-trouble for you. We didn’t construe it as an abuse; it puts us in check toeing the straight line. Albeit many of those disciplinary actions could have sentenced our parents to jail for life in the western world. To us, we endured and I believe that it has shaped us ruggedly and raised our resilience levels.

Cross the river in a crowd and the crocodile won’t eat you. 

~ African proverb

It takes a village … But does it really? Or when does, or will, the village “wash its hands off of the child?”

First and foremost, a village never washes its hands off of a child. However, when it deals with an adult, my answer will depend on the hat that I’m wearing.

As a mother, I could never wash my hands off of my child. When the child turns 18, and the authorities hands him/her a ‘bill of emancipation,’ those authorities don’t reveal or declare to them the multitude of responsibilities and expectations that go with the bill; leaving the adult-child to shockingly find out for themselves. It is at this point that most either learn to swim or drown. The mother is alongside, on her knees, crying to God for help for both of them and praying for wisdom, guidance, protection, and other things.

In the African culture, and I believe a few other cultures, too, sons and daughters live with their parents till they marry or are ready for marriage for various reasons. They don’t leave home at the turn of eighteen. It is a support system to assist the children save enough money before venturing out. I’m not talking about the part of the culture that forces their children in marriage to the men old enough to be their dads or grandfathers. I’m sure you’ll agree that there are both sides in every culture.

Most cultures, set the ‘freedom age’ at eighteen. But few, mostly Africans, the age is twenty-one.

The support system is what the saying “it takes the village …” refers to.

As a faith leader, I have seen the miraculous power of God. Why God performs certain miracles, and not all, is His divine prerogative. Because I have both seen and experienced God, I believe that God’s miracles are still possible and that no one is beyond redemption. Timing though will be different for each one. Patience is required in those instances when redemption (or deliverance) seems to be taking forever. In the interim, we stand in faith till it comes.

Constraints to virtual help

There is a wavering of thoughts and whether or not to render help, however, when the village is trying to save (not raise) an adult.

For the record, a village never raises an adult; the adult is a part of the village supposed to be raising the child. I’m not talking of an eighteen or nineteen-year old adult, but an adult in his/her late twenties, a thirty or even a forty-year old.

For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.” (Hebrews‬ ‭5:12‬)

Questions: what do you do when:

  • an adult “acts out of character,” or
  • an adult needs to be ‘saved,’ is seeking help or attention?
  • an adult acts or says things that are “weird?”
  • How do you as an onlooker discern which is which?
  • As a villager, would you jump in to help or, because the person is an adult, would you ignore and mind your own business?
  • Does mental health have a part in this and/or determine your reaction?
  • Does technology, trolls, and catfishes affect (or infect) your reaction?

Two ants do not fail to pull one grasshopper.

Tanzanian proverb

The Answers are relative

It’s easy to discern if the adult is a family member or close friend. But, I admit that it can be a difficult task when the adult is outside of one’s ‘community.’ Even harder in the virtual world of technology, trolls, and catfishes. If you are not a professional (therapist, counselor, social worker, etc.), you can misconstrue the act, right?

It takes the spirit of God to know what to do. We are gods (Psalm 82:5a) here on earth. Our Heavenly Father will not physically come down to save us or anyone. But, by His spirit in us, He will use us to save each other.

I once heard of a social media story about a young adult lady (early twenties, like 20 or 21) who needed help. She posted her story on her page. She found ‘solace’ in a ’pastor’ who offered her a place only for the pastor to start molesting her. One thing led to the other. Eventually, she was killed by the ‘pastor’ because she was exposing him.

I recount this sad story as I remembered it, though it was deeper. The young lady needed help but was driven away by her parents and probably friends into the wrong hands of fate. Could that have been averted? I believe that it could. However, who am I to say.

There’s still good in a somewhat gruesome world.

For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: And in multitude of counsellors there is safety.
‭‭(Proverbs‬ ‭24:6‬)

May God help us all to know when to speak and when to keep quiet; when to jump in to help and when to call others in for the help.

This post was inspired by a post of like title written by #LA, #Waking up on the Wrong Side of 50’s. I’ll share the post separately.

Have I Spammed Your Blog Site? This is Why?

I learned yesterday that I had being “Spamming” other bloggers’ sites (obs). I read Olivia Lucie Blake’s post, “How to support other bloggers,” and it disheartened me to realize that I might have spammed her and others unintentionally.

If I have visited your site either as a follower or randomly via Readers’ Discover or Following, and have “spammed” you, please forgive me.

The blog stated, among other things, that one spams to seek attention. Here’s my comment on the site:

“I love your posts, Olivia, though I don’t stop by daily as much as I’d like. Your posts are informative. This post is both good and interesting. I do what you’ve tagged as “Spam” not because I want or need the attention but because I’ve been away and missed the site/owner. I will usually stay on sites and posts I like when I have ample time in a bid to make up for the lost days so to speak. Loving all missed posts and liking other peoples’ comments (opc) on another’s site, from your post, connotes Spam. Though it’s now made me realize that others don’t see that (my actions) the way I do. It takes the fun and appreciation of others contributions away. There were opc I resisted liking as a result. Please let me know if I misunderstood. 😍”

I hope that the comment speaks for itself.

I love blogging and loving on other bloggers as much as I possibly can when time permits. The chief among those whom I have “spammed” is Banter Republic. He has been a sport not complaining either he realizes it’s clean support or he’s simply being a gentleman.

I was also on Kwoted on Friday and spent ample time reading, liking, and commenting on posts and opc. Kathy good-heartedly responded to all my comments.

I have also being “spammed” a few times and have never taken it negatively. I also have someone with the same photo but different site names visited my site several times. Though I checked the sites out, I hardly dwell on their actions or intentions.

I’m sure that we all agree that supporting one another is essential and motivating. Liking and commenting on other bloggers’ sites (obs) and opc is my way of such support. If I have visited your site and or commented on your comment on obs, and you object to it, please feel free to let me know. It was done with clean heart and totally in love. One person’s meat is another’s poison so I do understand now that not everyone welcomes it. But how am I to know since there are no rules or laws governing such, short of acting decently and ethically.

True that the actions of a few have necessitated grouping all together, it’s still nice to give each other some benefits of doubt.

I am content with who I am and where my blog is presently. I’m presently blogging primarily to share, having fun at it, and definitely not an attention seeker.

Nonetheless, it’s good to know and I’ll resist the urge to comment on opc or several posts at once on obs going forward.

Love and Peace

Jesus Ministry: Peace

Credits: Unsplash / Sunyu

Peace is a state of stillness, tranquility, harmony, or serenity. A freedom of the mind from agitation, annoyance, distraction, anxiety, warring, or obsession. It is also a state or condition available to people and nations, but not all possesses it.

In the absence of Peace, chaos, or agitation, anxiety, fear, and war, is often the order of the day for the person or nation devoid of peace. We all know the repercussions of such anti-peace/peaceful states. They result in confusion, disorder, disorientation, discord, and utter disarray. Without peace, we can do things haphazardly, make decisions in a rash, and take actions that we ought not to take.

“For God is not a God of disorder but of peace …”‭‭ (1 Corinthians‬ ‭14:33‬)

I propose to you that it is possible to be in peace in the midst of chaos. It is a state of being and knowing that Hod is in control and whatever has come to disturb our peace will soon surely pass away. We abide in the state of peace by the help of the Holy Spirit. And by asking for it. Seek peace and pursue it (1 Peter 3:11b)

Many desire peace and freedom in their minds but don’t know how to obtain it. As with most life conditions, we can be peacefully born and grow peacefully. But for those of us who were not born or growing peacefully, do not despair, we can be gifted. Because Peace is one of the fruits of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22)

I acknowledge that some life experiences could and may have thwarted or disturbed one’s peace, and there are those who have been medically diagnosed with one or more types of mental illnesses or disorders such as anxiety, depression, panic, or some other type of phobia. This post is not to belittle mental diagnosis. God forbid. I acknowledge that it is real. But the post is to offer it as help, in conjunction with any medical, psychiatric, or therapeutic treatments, as I believe that God is able to heal anyone through, and by, His Words.

“He sent out his word and healed them; ...” (Psalms‬ ‭107:20‬)‭‬‬

As a digress, a well-rounded individual will develop him/herself in six main areas. These are spiritually, mentally, financially, physically, socially, and emotionally. (Post for another day)

Jesus is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). He left us the Holy Spirit (John 14:26) as our helper in every state. Everything is available to us, but we still have to ask. “He will keep (you) in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in Him.” (Isaiah‬ ‭26:3)‬ ‭‬.

How to: 27 Scriptures To Help

If you desire His Peace, again, you have to ask Him and remind Him of His promises. If we don’t know His promises, how do we know what to ask for?

Fear attacks even the best of us. We can acknowledge that we are afraid, but it’s not okay to stay afraid or fearful for life. You have to desire to want out of the fear. You might know the cause (source or root) of the fear. Great if you do; for example, did you hear something or someone said something fearful or you watched some sad and fearful incident. It’s helpful as it helps to pray specifically against the object of fear. Whether the root of fear is recognizable and know or not, reading these scriptures will help to allay those fears. God’s Words are Spirit and life (John 6:63b). It will not return to God without accomplishing that which it was sent to (Isaiah 55:11). Personalize the scriptures as you deem necessary. For example, “I will not be anxious for anything, I cast my cares on Him, Your peace you left with me, etc. Since we are all different, some might not finish reading the 27 verses before they return to a state of Peace. Others, might have to read them more than once. Read them regularly and as often as you desire.

I have compiled the following 27 God’s Words (aka scriptures or verses) regarding Peace to aid you. They are in the New International Version (NIV). I pray that they minister to you. “May the peace of Christ rule in your hearts” (Colossians‬ ‭3:15‬)

  1. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians‬ ‭4:6-7‬)
  2. “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter‬ ‭5:7‬, Psalm 55:22)
  3. I (Jesus) have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. …” (John‬ ‭16:33‬a)
  4. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John‬ ‭14:27‬)
  5. ‭”Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew‬ ‭5:9‬)
  6. “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.” (Psalms‬ ‭4:8)
  7. ‬ ‭‬‬”May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans‬ ‭15:13‬)
  8. “… And the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians‬ ‭4:9b‬)
  9. “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. (Hebrews‬ ‭12:14‬)
  10. ‭”The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.”(Isaiah‬ ‭32:17-18‬)
  11. ‭”Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.”(James‬ ‭3:18‬)
  12. ‭”When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you.”(Luke‬ ‭10:5-6‬)
  13. ‭… the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” (Romans‬ ‭8:6‬)
  14. ‭“”There is no peace,” says the Lord, “for the wicked.”” (Isaiah‬ ‭48:22‬)
  15. ‭“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans‬ ‭12:18‬)
  16. ‭”Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (Ephesians‬ ‭4:3‬)
  17. ‭“Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.” (Psalms‬ ‭119:165)
  18. ‬ ‭“Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” (Psalms‬ ‭34:14‬)
  19. ‭“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. (Romans‬ ‭14:19‬)
  20. ‭“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation (peace) brought me joy.” (Psalms‬ ‭94:19‬)
  21. ‭“For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,” (Ephesians‬ ‭2:14‬)
  22. “A heart at peace gives life to the body, …” (Proverbs‬ ‭14:30‬)
  23. ‭“When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way, he causes their enemies to make peace with them.” (Proverbs‬ ‭16:7‬)
  24. ‭“Those who walk uprightly enter into (Your) Peace; …” (Isaiah‬ ‭57:2‬)
  25. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”(Matthew‬ ‭6:34‬)
  26. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah‬ ‭41:10‬)‭
  27. “It is to one’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.” (Proverbs‬ ‭20:3‬)

My Prayer of Peace for You

  • May the Lord of Peace Himself turn His face towards you, give you and bless you with His peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.” (Numbers‬ ‭6:26, 2 Thessalonians‬ ‭3:16‬), Psalms‬ ‭29:11‬b
  • May His mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.” (Jude‬ ‭1:2‬)‭
  • May all your children be taught by the Lord, and great will be their peace.” (Isaiah‬ ‭54:13‬)‭

“Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.” (2 Corinthians‬ ‭13:11, ‬Romans‬ ‭15:33‬)

Credits: Unsplash / Priscilla Du Preez

Of Girls and Daughters

Why do nations and parents treat or elevate boys over girls, sons over daughters, or males over females? Do they think that The Creator made a mistake?

The One who made them, made them male and female. At creation, He did not state nor gave a divine preference or importance for their roles. Granted that by virtue of their physical creation, familial roles differ, as in only women can be pregnant with the child.

I’m tired and sad of hearing nations that relegate girls, and publicly elevate sons over daughters, humiliating them and, sadder, hearing of the girls’ parents who agree with the labels for their daughters.

There have been nations known for killing girls at birth (gendercide or infanticide). This is murder and perpetrators should be reported to higher nations/organizations such as United Nations. Google to find and read more if interested.

Let’s talk about this and how we can change the ignorance.

This post was inspired by The Mind of Ayesha. I was touched by Ayesha’s post “I Live In One Of The Worst Countries For WomenPakistan.” Please visit her site and support if you choose.

My Own

I also had my own experience still as fresh today as when my beloved late Dad once told me that “no matter my level of education, I will end up in kitchen because that’s the woman’s place.” Who says? I’ve known men who cook equally as great and delicious a meal as women. There are great male chefs out there who will choose to be in their kitchen instead of their wives. Please don’t judge my late Dad in his grave. I loved my Dad and believed that he loved me, but also believed that his statement came from a place of ignorance, machoism, and traditions.

I have two daughters and have never thought that I lacked anything not having a son. I love them dearly and will never trade them for anything. I boldly state that I don’t miss not having a son. The thought never crossed my mind until about two years ago, when one of my brothers, who has two sons, asked me if I ever missed not having a son. Prior to that, noone had ever asked me the question nor had I ever thought of it. It came in one ear and slid out the other until this post. We have to be careful of agreeing with seeds of regrets, doubts, and confusion. If I had harbored the thought, my brother’s question could have triggered these trio and probably boomeranged into more unhealthy thoughts of insufficiency for not having had a son. But thank goodness, the question fell off the same way it came.

To The Nations

To the nations that treat girls as second-class

  1. Where would all mothers be without those girls who will grow up to become mothers some day?
  2. Do you realize that this stance might conjure the boys in your nation to grow into men who don’t respect women, and who in turn will (or not) treat their wives respectfully, and thus breed a revolving cycle of dysfunctions?
  3. Look unto all girls as “your” mother and treat them with love and respect.

To The Parents

To the girls’ parents, home is the first place where we all learn love, acceptance, and affirmations. You are the best support system your daughters can ever have. If you reject them at home because of their sex, it’s as if they should never have been born, you’ve let them down and have set them up for failure. They will experience rejection in the cause of their lives. This can evolve into a self-esteem issue, confusion, and a lack of knowledge (or grounding) in who they truly are. Which in turn breeds a revolving circle of other emotions. Your daughters will have to relearn and develop themselves as adults. Please support your girls. Your support super-exceeds your nation’s and is the best foundation to give to your daughters..

To The Rest of Us

To everyone else, we all either have a sister, a mother, an aunt or have a family member or friend who does. As such we need to speak up and out in support of girls. All children are important and born equal. Keeping quiet only quietly perpetuates the ‘cide. It’s only a matter of time before your silence directly impacts you.

What steps can we take to change this ignorance? Speak up.

What causes the elevation of boys over girls and sons over daughters? Ignorance

What is the cure for ignorance?
Education.

To Every Girl and Daughter

To every girl and daughter everywhere, know and believe that:

You are beautiful and wonderfully created
You are first-class with distinction, summa cum laude; not second or rear-class
You are worthy and needed
You matter and the world needs you
God loves you
I love you too.

5 Dumb blogging mistakes I have made

Blogging mistakes. Ugh! Many people, including myself, come into the blogging space ready to conquer the world. The recipe for a successful blog …

5 Dumb blogging mistakes I have made

. . .

It’s Sharing Thursday.

Sharing #Shelley DS, #Blogging with Spawn’s blog. Her lifestyle blogs always have nuggets that we can glean from; like this one.

We all make mistakes, right? Being able to retrospect and grow from it is why I love this post.

Read the post and check and follow her, if you don’t already do.

Thanks … totally in love. 😍

6 Timeless Virtues for Life and Work – Dr. Stephen R. Graves

6 Timeless Virtues for Life and Work – Dr. Stephen R. Graves
— Read on stephenrgraves.com/articles/read/6-timeless-virtues-for-life-and-work-2/

Sounds like a Philosophical Tuesday with my images, right? 😊 Yep, we’re going there today!

. . .

Do you have virtues that you live by or are known for?

. . .

Sharing Dr. Steve Graves’ (SG) Six Timeless Virtues. He is a strategic leadership consultant that I stumbled upon. Check out his website for proven faith-led strategies.

Here are SG‘s six virtues:

  • Endurance
  • Focus
  • Discipline
  • Ambition
  • Hard work
  • Patience

. . .

We acknowledge that there are tons of virtues available to each of us. Your list might differ from Dr. Graves’s as the list below shows.

Only three of the nine (9) virtues listed are also on Dr. Graves’s list. Yet there are more virtues available. Which one(s) are your favorite(s)?

. . .

While some have said that Patience is the mother of all virtues, others believe that it is Courage/Fortitude; yet some argue that it is Gratitude.

Whether you agree on any of these as the greatest, the mother or father, or parent of all virtues, I believe that what is most important is asking yourself “what virtue(s) am I living by or would like to be known for?” Make your list today, cultivate those virtues, and make the decision to live by them.

Thanks for reading.

Spiritual Gifts Part 2

Credits: Sydney Heron / Unsplash.com

From Part 1: The Spiritual Gifts are:

  1. Word Of Wisdom
  2. Word Of Knowledge
  3. Faith. I earlier blogged on this gift. Click here to read it.
  4. Gifts of Healing
  5. Working Of Miracles
  6. Prophecy
  7. Discerning of spirits
  8. Divers kinds of tongues
  9. Interpretation of tongues.

The above gifts are also often categorized as:

The Revelatory Gifts are:
1. Word of Knowledge
2. Word of Wisdom, and
3. Discerning of Spirits

The Power Gifts are:
1. Faith
2. Healing, and
3. Working of Miracles

The Communication Gifts are:
1. Prophecy
2. Divers kind of tongues, and
3. Interpretation of tongues.

What does each gift do?

THE REVELATORY GIFTS

1. Word of Wisdom

Word of wisdom (WOW) are words given by inspiration of the Holy Spirit to individuals (or even the Church) that surpasses the natural ability. It is the divine strength or ability to understand and to bring clarity to situations and circumstances often through applying the truths of Scripture in a practical way. (Supporting Scriptures: Acts 6:3,10; 1 Corinthians 2:6-13, 12:8)

2. Word of Knowledge

The gift of knowledge is the divine strength or ability to bring truth to a situation by supernatural revelation. This is often accompanied by a word from God. (Supporting Scriptures: Acts 5:1-11; 1 Corinthians 12:8; Colossians 2:2-3)

3. Discerning of Spirits

The gift of discernment is the divine strength or ability to spiritually identify falsehood, to distinguish between right and wrong motives and the spiritual forces at work in situations. Through this gift, we can determine if something is divine, devilish, or of human origin. Through this gift we not only have the ability to identify evil spirits, but we can also expose their assignments. The Spirit of discernment is our safeguard against deception.(Supporting scriptures: Matthew 16:21-23; Acts 5:1-11, 16:16-18; 1 Corinthians 12:10; 1 John 4:1-6)

THE POWER GIFTS

4. Gift of Faith

The gift of faith is the divine strength or ability to believe in God for unseen supernatural results in every arena of life. The gift of faith is in a category of its own. For instance, it is different from the shield of faith which we can, as we mature, trust in to shield us from the enemy. It is different still from the measure of faith that is given to each of us to work in the gifts, and yes, different even from our faith in God's sovereignty and His Word. These are all manifestations of faith that come forth from a heart of conviction that knows the Word and its author. Jesus is our example in Matthew 21:21-22.

The gift of faith is not ours, it is a gift that causes us to perform the impossible and produces a miracle. When God enables us with spontaneous ability to subdue or conquer physical forces, it is the gift of faith that causes us to step out in the incredible and without even thinking, bringing about a feat mortal man cannot accomplish him/herself. We can say it this way, when the gift of faith is operating in you, it is as if you are not connected to the physical so the supernatural seems natural and you just move out in it. (Supported Scriptures: Acts 11:22-24; Romans 4:18-21; 1 Corinthians 12:9; Hebrews 11; Matthew 14:28-31; Ephesians 6:16)

5. Gift of Healing

The gift of healing is the divine strength or ability to act as an intermediary in faith, prayer, and by the laying-on of hands for the healing of physical, mental and spiritual sickness. There are even divinely assisted situations where a person is healed by God through doctors and medical treatments.

Apostle Luke was a physician in the early church, and there are those that God will use today as human instruments, but guess what, this is still not the gift of healing. The gift of healing is not intellectually based, nor is it the result of spiritual insight. In fact, it is a supernatural phenomenon that can happen without any human intervention at all. It can of course also manifest through a human vessel, if God so chooses. He can release a supernatural ability or a divine power for man to exercise authority over impossible situations like broken bones, fatal sicknesses, even death. People have been given hearts, feet, all sorts of new body parts that only the Creator can supply. This is the true gift of healing. It is not an ability performed through faith, nor is even there time for doubt or unbelief. It simply manifests itself according to God's will, and the vessel being used moves out in the gift without question. (Supporting scriptures: Acts 3:1-10, 9:32-35, 28:7-10; 1 Corinthians 12:9, 28)

6. Working of Miracles

The gift of miracles is the divine strength or ability to alter the natural outcomes of life in a supernatural way through prayer, faith, and divine direction. When we work in the miraculous, we are walking in the power of God and exercising authority over the natural forces of this realm. The power gift of miracles enables us to perform feats way beyond what is even comprehensible to our human minds. (Supported Scriptures: Acts 9:36-42, 19:11-12, 20:7-12; Romans 15:18-19; 1 Corinthians 12:10, 28)

THE COMMUNICATION GIFTS

7. Gift of Prophecy

The gift of prophecy is the divine strength or ability to communicate God's truth and heart in a way that calls people to a right relationship with God.

There are five different methods of prophecy that God uses to talk to His church; namely,

  1. Office of the Prophet;
  2. Prophetic preaching;
  3. Prophetic presbytery;
  4. Gift of prophecy;
  5. Spirit of prophecy.

The gift of prophecy is just that, a gift of the Holy Spirit. It is not an office appointed by Jesus as in the office of prophet. The gifting is activated and easier to manifest in the company of prophets. Anyone filled with the Holy Spirit can work in this gift. It is for edification, exhortation and comfort, not rebuke or chastening. The prophetic word of correction comes from the office of prophet only. Prophecy will never contradict the Bible. If you are given a word that contradicts the Word of God, disregard it. It is important to stress that, depending on our walk, we can hear from either the kingdom of darkness, or the Kingdom of Light. Walk in repentance, separate from those that are of the world except to minister to them. God says, "be holy as I am holy"!(Supported Scriptures: Acts 2:37-40, 7:51-53, 26:24-29; 1 Corinthians 14:1-4; 1 Thessalonians 1:5)

8. Divers kind of Tongues

The gift of tongues is the divine strength or ability to pray in a heavenly language to encourage your spirit and to commune with God.

There are three different kinds of tongues:

  1. tongues along with the interpretation of tongues; this gifting is usually exercised during a service or public setting. Any time this form of tongues is manifested, someone will also be given the gifting to interpret the message.
  2. different kinds of tongues, or diverse tongues; this gift was experienced in the upper room in Acts 2:4-8. One with the gift speaks in his/her native language and suddenly (divinely) starts speaking in tongues. For example, a British man/woman speaking at a church in Ukraine; he starts preaching in English and suddenly starts tongue-speaking in Ukrainian or Russian even though he/she never speaks the language. It’s God’s way of helping the locals to hear and understand His message to them.
  3. the prayer language of those filled with the Spirit; this form of tongues is the voice of our spirit. It talks directly to God. We don't understand what is being said, but I do know that the gifts will flow much easier as our spirit communicates directly with the Father. Also, when we don't know what to pray through our natural mind, our spirit man can pray for us, as it is tapped into the mind of Christ. The Word also tells us that as we pray in the spirit, we are edified, it lifts us up and rejuvenates us. When you look at all that is accomplished through speaking in tongues, you can see why the enemy tries to snuff it out of the church! (Supporting Scriptures: Acts 2:1-13; 1 Corinthians 12:10, 14:1-14)

9. Interpretation of Tongues

This gift is the divine ability to interpret any heavenly language for the benefit of the people/Church.

Click here to take the Spiritual Gifts Test.

References:

Spiritual Gifts: Part 1

Credits: Sydney Heron / Unsplash.com

Preamble

God gave talents (Matthew 25:15-30) to His sons and daughters. Unfortunately, most of us never discover those talents let alone use them for the benefit of humanity. As such, majority of us have either buried our talents, are living way below God’s capacity for us, or are busy chasing after other people’s.

God also gave gifts to everyone. The gifts are innate, but could also be desired by asking God directly for it. The spiritual gifts are freely given (by grace) to us by God, our Creator. They are therefore supposed to be used freely for the purposes and the benefits of mankind. The gifts are also given in proportion, and according to ability, of our life purposes or mandates.

Per Ephesians 4:11-12 above , the offices listed are often termed “The Five-Fold Ministry.” They are the church roles given as “a framework to grow, build and mature the Body of Christ to continue the workings of Jesus through the lives of the saints.” Click the link if you’re inclined to learn more on the five-fold roles. If you’d like to take a test to see if you’ve been chosen for one of the roles, click here.

Biblically, there are nine spiritual gifts. These gifts are called “spiritual” for a reason mainly, per Dave Ramsey because they “are supernatural abilities God gives each Christ-follower.” They are separate and different from our talents, knowledge, skills, and abilities (TKSA) such as academic gifts (e.g. geniuses), social gifts (such as having charisma and being an influencer). But the spiritual gifts can compliment and complement our TSKAs.

The spiritual gifts are not “magic” or “magical.” Please click on these words to understand their means which, hopefully, will lead to a better understanding of the spiritual gifts.

Dave Ramsey also has the following to say:

“God wants you to use your unique role in the body of Christ to glorify Him. So, if God made you an amazing singer, sing for Him. If your talent is a little less conventional—maybe you’re good with numbers or with writing code—then find a way to translate that into a job or volunteer work for a God-honoring company or ministry. Use your God-given abilities to reach those who don’t know Him—and give Him the credit for your talents.” (Supporting Scripture: Colossians 3:23-24)

. . .

The Spiritual Gifts

The spiritual gifts, according to the Bible, are:

  1. Word Of Wisdom
  2. Word Of Knowledge
  3. Faith. I earlier blogged on this gift. Click here to read it.
  4. Gifts of Healing
  5. Working Of Miracles
  6. Prophecy
  7. Discerning of spirits
  8. Divers kinds of tongues
  9. Interpretation of tongues.

The above gifts are also often categorized as:

The Revelatory Gifts are:
1. Word of Knowledge
2. Word of Wisdom, and
3. Discerning of Spirits

The Power Gifts are:
1. Healing
2. Working of Miracles, and
3. Faith

The Communication Gifts are:
1. Prophecy
2. Divers kind of tongues
3. Interpretation of tongues, and

Having stated that, however, we acknowledge that there are:

  • diversities of gifts, meaning that there are a variety of the particular gift; e.g. one might have a gift of faith for healing, another to believe for anything they desire, an another for provision; also, one can have multiple spiritual gifts – one will however be dominant;
  • differences of administrations, equates the different ways in which the gifts function; e.g. one can believe by reading and meditating on a particular scripture and see it manifest, another might believe that once s/he reads the scripture, s/he has to lay hands for it to manifest, while another might believe that “I’ll just send the Word” and believe for manifestation;
  • diversities of operations, mean that there are equally various processes by which the gifts work; e.g. seeking employment and using the gift of faith; I might believe that in faith I will go out to job search and that I believe that the first company that I knock on will hire me; on another day, I might simply hear a word that says “call ABC Company,” calling the company might lead to a job offer; yet another day it might simply be that after I have prayed, I just simply say that “I believe that someone will call me today for a job offer.” Each scenario is different but I am the one and same person exercising the gift. I hope this helps. Let me know if you have questions or additions.

How do you know your spiritual gift(s)?

  • By asking God
  • By paying attention
  • By other folks (family, friends, colleagues, associates, pastors and church, etc.) telling you
  • By the laying on of the hands (of an apostle or prophet) (1 Timothy 4:14).

Click here to take a test to find out what your spiritual gift(s) is/are. Does your result confirm what you’ve been told or know? Feel free to share in the comments. Thanks and await Part 2.

Disclaimer

The topic of Spiritual Gifts is exhaustive and this post (nor the Part 2) does not do enough justice to cover it. But I hope that it does help to stir your curiosity, if you are not already aware, of having a spiritual gift and leads you on a search to know what it is so that you can start using them to benefit humanity. The simplest way is to ask God “what gifts have you blessed me with?”

Thanks for reading.

Jesus Ministry: Disturbing Prophetic Words

I don’t know about you, but I have been terribly disturbed by the multitude of “prophetic words“ given pre-the-Presidential election by several men and women of God categorically stating that God told (or showed) them that Donald Trump will serve a second term as President of the USA. But now this is not so. What happened? Let’s reason together.

Who is a Prophet / Prophetess?

Briefly, a Prophet/Prophetess is a man/woman chosen by God to speak on His behalf to His people and He, God, uses several ways to communicate through the chosen people. It is also the second office in the hierarchy of church governance. Another blog will be necessary to expatiate on the Prophet/Prophetess. Selected scripture references of the Prophet are:

  • Hosea 12:10,
  • Amos 3:7,
  • 1 Corinthians 14:32-33,
  • Jeremiah 28:8-9,
  • Matthew 10-41, 24:10-13,
  • Ezekiel 13:4-10,
  • Ephesians 2:20, 4:11-16,
  • Deuteronomy 17:15, 34:12,
  • Luke 1:70,
  • Hebrews 1:1, etc.).

The Presidential Prophetic Words

There were tons of prophetic words from “reputable” American Christian leaders all-round. Do a Google and/or a YouTube Search to view them. But now that Joe Biden’s win has been ratified, and will be sworn-in in ten days, the questions raging in my head are:

  • what happened?!”
  • were the leaders “calling those things that be not as though they were?” (Romans 4:17c) Or
  • did Trump’s attitudes and behavior canceled him out of the prophetic words?” (Jeremiah 18:7-11)

If God said it …

Any of the above is possible. But, God is not a man that He should lie …, right? If God said it, it must surely come to pass. (Numbers 23:19) Or that if God indeed said it, it might be a timing issue and probably Trump could run again (if not impeached) and win?! (Habakkuk 2:3). Or still, God probably said it, but the people negated it which is equally more disturbing as I am reminded of King Saul and King David! Lord have mercy!!

If God never said it …

However, if God didn’t say it, why did the prophets and prophetesses deliver their own words as God’s? (Jeremiah 23:26; Deuteronomy 18:20-22). Deuteronomy 18:20 states that the “prophet shall die.” It is scary. I do not wish any dead but it is so scary that one who reads his/her Bible should fear giving a false word. Please note that this does not necessarily mean a physical death. It could mean a spiritual death as in no more revelations flowing to and from the prophet. God is the ultimate decider. I sincerely hope that those prophets/prophetesses, if they indeed gave a personal word as God’s word, are already repenting. God is still a merciful God and I pray that He has mercy on them.

Where’s the fear of God?

I don’t know about you but it bothers me that the “reputable” men and women of God could have jeopardized their characters for allegedly delivering a word not from God. How do we now continue to believe them or their prophetic words?! Why would they do so?

This is the main reason why we all should endeavor not to be lazy and to hear God for ourselves by reading, studying, and meditating on the Word of God daily and allowing the Spirit of God to minister to our spirit.

Is’t possible for one to be canceled out of a prophetic word?

According to Jeremiah 18:10, it is possible. Please read the scripture. Better yet, read the before and after verses for better understanding. Though the verse refers to a nation, I propose to you that it is equally applicable to individuals and/or families. We should therefore be careful, mindful, and watchful to not veer off the right/righteous paths once a prophetic word is given. It is also important to “war” for the divine timing and manifestation of any prophetic word.

Does giving a wrong word make one a false prophet?

No according to Romans 11:29. I propose, that the lure of personal and presidential favors and/or desire to be in the limelight might have propelled the men/women of God to give their personal word. But still I do not know. Only God and them can tell us. However, I do know that going forward, I will continue to be cautious receiving prophetic words. How about you?

May God forgive and have mercy.

Californians and November 3rd

In less than a week, Californians have decisions to make in addition to deciding whether to join the nation next Tuesday, November 3rd, on who to choose as President for the next four years. It is a critical voting year. As such, unprecedented numbers of voters, more than ever before, have already trooped out to vote.

To-date, “more than 64 million Americans have already voted — and about half of them are in the dozen or so competitive states that will ultimately decide who wins the Electoral College.

The following are Californians’ State and Local Ballot Measures. ThinkTalk hopes that, in addition to your own due diligences, it helps you to be better informed.

  • Proposition 14, the Stem Cell Research Institute Bond – This initiative would issue $5.5 billion in general obligation bonds for the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), which was created to fund stem cell research.
  • Proposition 15, Tax on Commercial and Industrial Properties for Education and Local Government Funding – This initiative would tax certain commercial and industrial real property based on fair-market value—rather than, under current law, the purchase price with limited inflation. Exempts agricultural property and certain small businesses.
  • Proposition 16, Repeal of the Ban on Affirmative Action at Public Institutions – This amendment would repeal provisions in the state’s Constitution that prohibit the state from discriminating against, or granting preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting. The California Constitution defines the state for these purposes to include the state, any city, county, public university system, community college district, school district, special district, or any other political subdivision or governmental instrumentality of, or within, the state. This measure would repeal these provisions. The measure would also make a statement of legislative findings in this regard.
  • Proposition 17, Restores Voting Rights for Persons on Parole – This initiative would amend the state Constitution to restore voting rights to persons who have been disqualified from voting while serving a prison term as soon as they complete their prison term—essentially extending the right to vote to those on state parole. Proposition 17 is a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment that requires a simple majority (50% + 1) to pass.
  • Proposition 18, Primary Voting for 17-Year-Olds – This amendment would give 17 year olds the right to vote beginning in the next general election cycle.
  • Proposition 19, Changes Certain Property Tax Rules for Certain Property Owners – This initiative would allow homeowners who are over 55, disabled, or wildfire/disaster victims to transfer their primary residence tax base to a new residence, change taxation of family property transfers, and establish a fire protection services fund.
  • Proposition 20, Criminal Sentencing, Parole, and DNA Collection – This initiative would impose restrictions on parole program for non-violent offenders who have completed the full term for their primary offense. Expands list of offenses that disqualify an inmate from this parole program.
  • Proposition 21, Expand Local Governments’ Authority to Enact Rent Control – This initiative would amend state law to allow local governments to establish rent control on residential properties over 15 years old. It would allow rent increases on rent-controlled properties of up to 15% over three years from previous tenant’s rent above any increase allowed by local ordinance. It would exempt individuals who own no more than two homes from new rent-control policies.
  • Proposition 22, Changes Employment Classification Rules for App-Based Transportation and Delivery Drivers – This initiative would establish different criteria for determining whether app-based transportation (rideshare) and delivery drivers are “employees” or “independent contractors.” Independent contractors are not entitled to certain state-law protections afforded employees—including minimum wage, overtime, unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation. Instead, companies with independent contractor drivers will be required to provide specified alternative benefits, including: minimum compensation and healthcare subsidies based on engaged driving time, vehicle insurance, safety training, and sexual harassment policies.
  • Proposition 23, Changes Dialysis Clinic Requirements – This initiative would require at least one licensed physician on site during treatment at outpatient kidney dialysis clinics. It would require clinics to report dialysis-related infection data to state and federal governments. It would prohibit clinics from discriminating against patients based on the source of payment for care.
  • Proposition 24, Amends Consumer Privacy Laws – This initiative would permit consumers to: (1) prevent businesses from sharing personal information; (2) correct inaccurate personal information; and (3) limit businesses’ use of “sensitive personal information”—such as precise geolocation; race; ethnicity; religion; genetic data; union membership; private communications; and certain sexual orientation, health, and biometric information. Changes criteria for which businesses must comply with these laws. Prohibits businesses’ retention of personal information for longer than reasonably necessary. Triples maximum penalties for violations concerning consumers under age 16. Establishes California Privacy Protection Agency to enforce and implement consumer privacy laws, and impose administrative fines.
  • Proposition 25, Replaces Cash Bail with Risk Assessments – This ballot measure would prevent a 2018 law that replaces the money bail system with a system for pretrial release from jail based on a determination of public safety or flight risk, and limits pretrial detention for most misdemeanors from going into effect.

California Local Ballot Measures

References for these compilations are from:

  1. https://www.californiachoices.org/ballot-measures-2020-11
  2. https://www.stateside.com/election/2020-state-and-local-ballot-measures
  3. https://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php?search=Proposition+15&searchToken=2wofvgqmg70vx51zyd1mtm7fo
  4. https://voterguide.sos.ca.gov/propositions/

Thanks for reading; liking, and sharing. We hope that Americans, and particularly Californians, will get out to vote, or mail-in their votes on/before November 3rd.

Pyramid of Friendship

I created the above Pyramid of Friendship but had a hard time uploading the file so I did the next best thing I could think of to do; took a photograph of it. If anyone has a better solution for me on how to upload the file, I’d be glad to hear it. Thanks.

. . .

The issue of friends/friendships has been togging on my mind for a while. We call each other friends, but are we really? What does friendship really mean? Who qualifies to be called a/your friend? Is a friend someone who, or barely, knows you? Don’t get me wrong, it would be nice to be thought of as someone’s friend and to have someone to call a friend. But who really is a (or your) friend?

Yes, friendship has to start somewhere. And, if we do not stretch out a “friendship” hand, it will never begin.

Real (or True) Friends share some level of intimacy that they do not share with everyone. Intimacy, according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is the state of familiarity and act of “developing through long association; is of a very personal or private nature where you share intimate secrets, including marked by very close association.”

Here is the detail of my inverted Pyramid of Friendship:

  1. Strangers: they are friends you haven’t met or really don’t know yet. That’s where all friendships begin. This level is broad, accommodates all, and shares zero intimacy. If you get to know each other by introduction; sharing the basic demographics such as name, where you live, and occupation or hobby, you move to the next level
  2. Ally/Acquaintance(Casual): here you have a little bit of information about each other and continue to share more demographics such as whether you’re single or married. The level of intimacy is beginning to develop but both sides are still proceeding with caution. This is where/what I call “checking each other out!”
  3. Social / Social media: Social friends enjoy a common interest that ranges from following one another on the social media, love for something like parties, hiking, food/cooking, having fun together, etc., but are devoid of sharing serious life issues. They don’t want to be involved in the nitty-gritty of one’s life or bogged down with it. They tend to be superficial and care only about the fun times. But life consists of both the good and bad and life happens to all. Social friends are those who would tag one as a “drama” queen/king. When you share a little bit of your real self, you never know which way it might go. In essence, social friends are inconsistent. They befriend you today, but are gone tomorrow. They also are quick to join the bandwagon. Level of intimacy with social/social media friends is 1. They know as much as you share with them on your social media pages or during the fun/partying times.
  4. Associates/Colleagues: We spend a third (or more) of our day at work with these group of friends. These are people we have no choice but to deal with. They know the parts of us that we allow them to see or know. We could tag this part of us our professional side. But they are unaware of our real self. Those we care about move to the next level
  5. Friends (Close friends): these group often have known us for a little longer, or we attended school or college together and still maintain the association or are colleagues we choose to continue with after work hours. At this level, we’ve established some level of trust and probably have come to know another member or more of our families. Level of intimacy is growing and is at 2.
  6. Buddy/Best (or Girl) Friends: friendship has grown in terms of time and depth knowledge of one another. This group has first-hand knowledge of who you really are. They see the side you often don’t show the rest of the world. You also know each other’s families; have common interests, and can call or knock on their doors late at night or early morning without feeling guilty. Intimacy level is 3.
  7. Confidant/Confidante (Intimate friends): The optimal level of friendship is the Confidant/Confidante. It is narrow because only one (and rarely, two) people can hold the position at any time.

Level of Intimacy

The level of intimacy is a five-level measurement (from 0 to 4) of trust, openness, vulnerability, accountability, and availability that one shares in a friendship or relationship. At the Confidant/Confidante level, it is at its peak; 4. Not everyone can attain this level because not everyone can hold up to each measurement of trust, openness, vulnerability or accountability and availability required at this level. At the Buddy/Girlfriend, Intimacy level is 3. You can call or knock on each other’s doors probably till 11 p.m. or from 6:00 a.m. the following day.

At the Confidant/Confidante level, however, your doors and phones are always open to one another.

. . .

We all need someone in each level of the Pyramid in our lives but a Confidant/Confidante is invaluable.

Categorize your friendship

Finally, categorizing your friends/friendships will help avoid heartaches. For example, knowing that my colleague is only that (about workplace) will remove the burden from both of us of expecting more from him/her empathizing about my granny or dog dying. Great if they do; that might score with me and move him/her to my next level of friendship. But if they don’t, I won’t lose sleep nor deem him/her as a bad folk.

Please share your thoughts of this post. Thanks for reading.

Pyramid-of-Friendship was first published on Think-Talk.org

The Choices We Make

Credits: UnSplash / Joshua Coleman

Choice is both an act and the power of choosing the best of two or several alternatives. Choice is also exercising care in your selection.

. . .

Daily, we make tons of choices. “It’s estimated that the average adult makes about 35,000 remotely conscious decisions each day … And as your level of responsibility increases, so does the multitude of choices you have to make.”

Over the years we acknowledge that while some of those choices were good, some were bad, and some were outright ugly. We are pleased with our good choices, but regret many which, when we are humble enough to stop and retrospectively acknowledge that those choices could have been handled differently. Hindsight is 20/20.

As Dr. Arthur Freeman and Rose DeWall’s book titled “Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda” we can unblock the past, move forward, and do things differently.

What things have you been repeating over the years and are expecting different results? Make the choice today to do it differently. Else we could be diagnosed as insane! Because “doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results” equates insanity, right? But let’s demonstrate that we are the ones of sound mind.

Our Choices Shape Us

Do not continue ceaselessly to beat yourselves down for making a wrong choice. Like Abraham Lincoln, we just found or learned another way not to do (or say) some things.

All the choices we make daily, whether good, bad, or ugly, are the experiences that shape us without which we would not be who we are today.

. . .

Do not be ensnared by anger and/or a bad temper (Proverbs 22:24-25). We have a choice. Choose peace and silence. If you do not respond to the insults, noone can accuse you of saying something you did not utter.

None can twist an unuttered utterance

ThinkTalk

Likewise, if you choose to respond using soft words instead of harsh words, you would have defeated the antagonist boiling for a fight or quarrel.

Turning away from a heated argument does not indicate that you are a coward. On the contrary, it is strength under control.

Imitate the pro boxer or wrestler

Do you know that a professional boxer or wrestler is forbidden from hitting anyone outside the (boxing/wrestling) ring? I have had occurrences when I stared at the person who insulted me and simply said, “God bless you.” But, I wasn’t always like this. I matured into it. Not that I was ever a physical person (God forbid that!) but there was a time that I did give the person a peace of my mind; using my words which were often harsh but never my fists. Not any more. To His Glory I have become a new creature. It is an intentional act. I hope that you will also make the intentional act today because you have the power within you to choose right and better. But, I will also be quick to add that not that I have attained perfection, I am still a work-in-progress.

But please do not come looking to tempt me! 😊

. . .

God says “I have set before you life and death … choose life …” (Deuteronomy 30:19). Are you going to choose to be the good samaritan or Judas?

November 3rd, 2020

On November 3rd, 2020, America has a choice to make. All or some of the 50 States of America also have relative decisions to make. We, the people, have elected Presidents in previous years past. We, the people, have a decision to make. We, as people, can sometimes be so forgetful and short-sighted. We neither introspect nor retrospect. We tend to forget the prior four years at the ballot boxes and repeat our mistakes. Let’s not repeat the Saul experiences. My hope is that we will all demonstrate what we’ve learned with past presidents, bills, and propositions, and vote, not merely on party lines, or with our heads, but with out hearts. That we would have done our due diligences not only with listening to the Presidential (or Vice Presidential) debates, but thoroughly reading and analyzing each candidate’s manifesto, including all Bills and Propositions. And knowing deep down in our hearts that we exercised our votes and voted for the best candidate on the ballot.
As a nation, we’ll have to live for the next four years with the choices we make on November 3rd.

Final thoughts

Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7, 2 Corinthians 10:7a)
  • The people chose Saul, but God chose David.
  • When the prophet, Samuel, was sent to Jesse’s house to anoint the next king, Samuel thought it must be Eliab because of his physique. But God said, “… I have refused him.” (1 Samuel 16)
  • The king was looking for men of stature to fight Goliath, when David stepped forward, everyone looked at him as a “small boy” and wondered how he could fight the giant. (1 Samuel 17:19-58). Guess who defeated Goliath?
  • Everyone brought their abundance to cast in the treasury and thought they had given their best, but Jesus chose the widow as the one who gave the most. (Mark 12:41-44)

Choose wisely today, always, and especially on November 3rd.

Above all, “… choose you this day whom ye will serve; … : but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua‬ ‭24:15‬)

Thanks for reading. Like, share, and comment. ❤️✌🏾

Loving Basketball: A Note from Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner

NBA Games Restart tonight on TNT at 6:30 ET. Watch your local channels to check for airing times. For detailed schedule, visit NBA Restart Schedule. Let’s enjoy it together.

Letter to NBA Fans

Dear NBA Fan,

It’s been more than four months since we last played NBA basketball.  Tonight we restart the season with 22 teams in Orlando and attempt to establish our new normal.  And while spectators won’t be there in person, fans remain at the heart of our game.

We’re introducing several elements to improve the live game viewing experience, including multiple, new camera angles, enhanced audio of players and coaches, a feature on our NBA app that allows for virtual crowd reactions, customized alternative streams on NBA League Pass with statistical overlays and influencers calling the action, and video boards surrounding the court featuring hundreds of fans watching from home.

At the same time, we recognize that this moment is about more than basketball.  It’s an opportunity for NBA players and teams to continue a longstanding tradition of addressing important issues around social justice.

These are difficult and challenging times, but the NBA is coming back because sports matter in society.  We hope that the return of the NBA – along with other major league sports – will enrich your lives.

Welcome to a whole new game!

Sincerely,

Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner

© 2020 NBA PROPERTIES, INC.

R A P E

Rape is never a pleasant thing to talk about. It sends shivers down my spines. But, it’s an issue we find ourselves talking about today. It’s an issue dear to The Eternal Word’s heart. It is an issue everyone should be concerned about.

It’s also an issue that has no cultural, race, age, or socio-economic boundaries. To learn more, read the following:

Sex vs. RAPE

Having sex is meant to be a special thing between two loving adults. It is meant to be an enjoyable experience with the right person.

Sex is never supposed to be had with a minor! It is illegal and whosoever does so is a pedophile. Such person is punishable under the law! Even the religions and cultures that allow such acts should be banned as they are perpetuating an illegal act!!!

RAPE is forceful sex, against the victim’s will. When sex is forceful, it is evil concupiscence (Colossians 3:5-6). If the person says “NO” and pushes, please STOP, they mean “NO!” Never think that the person is playing hard to get. Respect the person. No one enjoys forced sex; except that the perpetrator satisfies an evil desire/longing.

What adrenaline, or is it testosterone, flows uninhibited through the veins and arteries of one to defile another?! The mere thought of RAPE gives me chills as one with high fever.

Effects

RAPE victims suffer psychologically, emotionally, and mentally after a RAPE ordeal. Some of the consequences could be long-term if the victims are not treated or seek counseling/therapies. Additionally, most victims suffer shame and self-blame. Because of this, the majority of RAPE incidents are not reported or even shared with family members and/or friends leaving the victim to suffer the trauma alone.

PTSD is real with RAPE victims, so also is depression, panic attacks, and anxiety. Some victims also struggle with self esteem.

Life is hard enough as it is, why dump more on anyone? Rapists must be STOPPED and brought to justice. Anyone who has ever raped another must repent.

. . .

RAPE must be categorized as a pandemic issue. We all nust do our part to STOP it locally and globally. Please do your part people.

RAPE Myths

Understand the myths about rape or sexual violence as compiled by Rape Crisis, U.K.. For the corresponding Facts on each Myth, please visit their website https://rapecrisis.org.uk/get-informed/about-sexual-violence/myths-vs-realities/

  1. If someone gets really drunk, it’s their own fault if they end up getting raped. They should have kept themselves safe.
  2. Women often lie about rape because they regret having sex with someone, or because they want attention.
  3. If someone didn’t scream or try to fight their attacker off, then it wasn’t rape.
  4. If you are in a relationship with someone, it’s always OK to have sex with them.
  5. People who were sexually abused as children are likely to become abusers themselves.
  6. Women shouldn’t go out alone at night as they are likely to get raped.
  7. Women provoke men to rape them by wearing revealing clothes or flirting.
  8. Once a man is sexually aroused he can't help himself; he has to have sex.
  9. When it comes to sex, women and girls give out mixed signals. They sometimes 'play hard to get' and say 'no' when they really mean 'yes'. 
  10. Men of certain races and backgrounds are more likely to commit sexual violence.
  11. Men don't get raped.
  12. Women don’t commit sexual offences.

. . .

Need more information or gelp for your locality on how/what you can do to help end RAPE, Click here.

Let’s end this pandemic.

Thanks for reading. Please share.

If men only knew … 5 Things men ought to know

If only men knew the gift of God that He gave them, men would handle their wives with utmost care and treat them as precious jewels.

Out of the bones of Adam (Genesis 2:21-23), Eve, the mother of all living (Genesis 20:3), was formed. And His Word said, “…, ye husbands, dwell with them (your wives) according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” (1 Peter 3:7)

That your prayers be not hindered!

Dictionary.com https://www.dictionary.com/browse/hinder provides the definition of: ‘hinder’ as: ‘to cause delay, interruption, or difficulty in; hamper; impede:

In case you still do not understand, God says that if you call on Him, when you’re being (or have been) mean to, or have manhandled, or abused (in any way, shape, or form; i.e., emotional, physically, mentally, financially, spiritually, etc; your wife, He might not answer you quickly!

Why men, or anyone for that natter, would want to go through hindered prayers beats me.

. . .

Do men not know?

It bothers me to know, or hear, that men hit their wives, cheat on them, lie, or engage in idle chatter about them, and worse yet, relegate their wives while loving and placing everyone else above her.

  • Don’t they know that charity begins from home?
  • Don’t they know that both man and wife have become one in the eyes of God, despite that your family members or the public are trying to separate both of you?
  • Don’t they know that whatever ill men do or send their wives’ way, comes back to them; sometimes even much more?
  • Don’t they also know that even if the wife doesn’t say anything and tolerate the “abuse” for the sake of the children and keeping the family together, that God, Jehovah El Roi, sees it all and will avenge on her behalf?
  • Don’t men know that criticizing their wives publicly shows much more the kind of men they are?!!!

It’s a spiritual principle

Even men’s parents ought to take second place after their wives. This is a hard pill for many immature men to swallow. “What? The one who gave birth to me now takes second place?! No way!” Before you stone the messenger; God also said this : “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife” (Mark 10:7, Matthew 19:5, Mark 10:7. Ephesians 5:31).

How I have heard rumblings and offenses at this specific God’s Word! Have men ever wondered, or even asked the Author, why He put this verse in His Book? Only the wise man would stop to think and ask.

. . .

I once was a Mary Kay Cosmetics consultant. Mary Kay Ash was the founder of beauty products established primarily to help women make some income while still maintaining their homes/families. Her business was based on a principle that God is first, family second, and everything/everyone else third (or last). She touted this principle to her beauty consultants stating that if they followed it, they were sure to excel. At the time, I didn’t have a relationship with Father God; only knew Him as someone up there. That has since changed and I haven’t deviated from the valuable principle since knowing Him.

. . .

I said that to implore men to follow this same principle because they are the head (of the house/family) from which the oil flows.

Men, your wives are your help mate to be cherished. Treat your wife like your queen. You are the head and king of your domain and your wife is your partner (or as I normally say, the neck). If the head tries to make a wrong turn, the neck steers it back or becomes stiff forcing the head back to its normal position!

Men, please love your wives “…, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;” (Ephesians 5:25). As you do, you will enjoy the favor of God and man, you’ll be blessed going out and coming in, and your children will honor you because, to your son, you reflect the man they aspire to be, and of how they would treat their own wives; and for your daughters, you will be the yardstick they use to measure men or their own husbands.

5 things Men ought to know

Men ought to:

1. Love their wives unconditionally. Charity begins from home. God says “two have become one.” Loving her is loving yourself. I haven’t met anyone who hates himself. In fact, God says, “love her as Jesus loves the church and gave his life for it!”

2. Treat their wives like queens. Because ”two have become one,” men, you are the heads and kings of your domains and your wives are your partners (or as I normally say, the necks). If the head tries to make a wrong turn, the neck steers it back or becomes stiff forcing the head back to its normal position!

3. Listen to their wives. Women have been naturally wired with instincts and intuition. They just know things. Men (and the family) would benefit greatly if they first consult with, and listen to, their wives. As an example, God told Abraham to listen to Sarah when she asked that Hagar be sent away (Genesis 21:12).

4. Cover their wives. Wise men know how to do this. But for those who don’t, it simply means that you do not embarrass your wife intentionally or otherwise, especially publicly. Even when she is the cause of the embarrassment, it’s wisdom to cover her than causing her shame or more embarrassment.

5. Cherish her and help with the chores.

  1. Let her know that she’s the most important person in your life; not your mom. Your wife is the one who shares bed with you and cooks your meals; not your mom. Your wife is also the first point of call should there be, God forbid, an accident; not your mom! If your mom is more important, maybe you’re not ready for marriage. Ouch, that’s cold. But, sorry men, you need to hear it since your wife couldn’t tell you. I’m not disrespecting mothers, I’m one too. There’s a reason you married your wife and not your mom; never forget that reason;
  2. Know your wife’s primary love language and demonstrate such to her. Men, you (or both of you) will be frustrated if you keep buying her stuff when all she wants is to spend quality time with you or vice versa. Giving and receiving the right kind of love improves the aura of the home/family.
  3. Skip outings just to spend time together or just for her to rest and recharge her energy.
  4. If you have kids, take the kids out so she can rest.

Men, now that you know, please do the right thing to, and with, your wife if you haven’t already been doing so.

Thanks for reading.

Stay blessed!

Should love or marriage be based on a business- or love-first model?

“What’s in it for me?” “You rub my back and I rub yours (or scratch or poke yours depending on how I’m feeling about you! Lol). Sounds so cold, unh? Yet, these selfish and shamefacedly statements have now become cliches in households.

Why does anything have to be in it for you? What about the other person? Why have we starved love and become so hungry for the $dollar (or money, for those who don’t spend the almighty currency!)? What happened to us all?

I could rant endlessly in the hope that some “expert” somewhere could answer my questions.

With the above outlooks on love/marriage, falling in love or getting married becomes scary. Should it? Let’s talk about it and consider both models.

Business-first model

Dictionary.com defines ‘Business’ as:
https://www.dictionary.com/browse/business

  1. an occupation, profession, or trade:
  2. the purchase and sale of goods in an attempt to make a profit.
  3. a person, partnership, or corporation engaged in commerce, manufacturing, or a service; profit-seeking enterprise or concern.

Marriage is honorable …” Hebrews 13:4a

Types of businesses

There are different types of businesses; the top four are:

  1. Sole proprietorship
  2. Partnership
  3. Corporations
  4. Limited Liability Companies.

The business-first model in marriage is similar to a Partnership. In all businesses, it is wise to have an agreement/contract that clarifies expectations. The contract in marriage is called the Prenuptial Agreement or Prenups, for short.

My humble opinion is that prenups are business-in-marriage documents that should have no place when the marriage is grounded in love.

However, I can envisage why one person (or both) favors prenups before entering into the marriage.

For your information, prenups are not relegated to famous and wealthy folks. Average, everyday, working-class people have been known to request prenups before marrying. I wonder why anyone would marry prenuptially! Personally, I won’t.

Comment below if you would marry someone who presents you with a prenup. If not, why not? Thanks.

If a business model is applied to marriage, it implies that three scenarios are imminent:

  1. either one person profits, and the other losses;
  2. both parties win; or
  3. both parties lose!

Let’s expatiate on each scenario in reverse order

The third scenario (both parties lose; lose-lose) means that the outcome was a fallout, separation, or divorce. Is it safe to say then that both parties were misfits to start with? What caused a fallout or the ultimate decision of a divorce? What differences were so grave that could not have been forgiven, or as Californian courts will rule, were irreconcilable? Are we so callous with one another such that we take the “it’s my way or the highway!” stance? Maybe, we all should choose our significant others wisely before heading on the crooked road.

The second scenario (both parties win; win-win) is the ideal. But remember that the goal of starting a business is to make a profit; aka ROI, return on investment. In a marriage, what would those investments be? Using children as an example, as I couldn’t think of a better one,. Neither party didn’t begin the marriage with children. Each party brought something; the man contributed his sperm and the woman her eggs. “The profit” is the children?! What would we say about those in a second or third marriage who brought children into the new marriage. Blended home profit? What other examples can be used? Furniture, cars, etc. with the outcome (profit) being a home?! Maybe. What if one party does not have the furniture or cars? Should they still start a “business” together or the items become “ours” rather than mine or yours? Or as in a real business partnership, the type of partnership will be defined; that is, who would be the active, dormant/sleeping, limited powers, etc. partner? I’ll like to hear your thoughts on this.

With this scenario, it appears that both parties made the right choice of “business” partner, right? We all might need to take cue(s) from this type of business-first love/marriage.
How then would the profits be divided? 50/50 or ratio relative to your contribution?

The first scenario (win-loss) is a troublesome one. Were both parties, the onset, aware of what the outcome would be? Why would anyone knowingly enter into a losing business? Were there any part of the contract that was latent, ambiguous, or intentionally omitted? If so, should there still be a contract – shouldn’t the contract be voidable, void, and/or rescinded? Let’s ponder on these for a moment. Some relationships are doomed even before they begin because everyone saw and knew that it was never meant to be nor was it going to last. Only the people involved couldn’t see nor know it! I could name a few examples but I don’t want to be litigated! You probably know one or two as well.

. . .

Each of the above scenarios is worth pondering on. If you or I were to enter into a marriage or relationship, which scenario would you or I choose as our ideal? I know for sure that I would 💯 choose the second win-win scenario and I hope that you would, too.

What could humanity do to avoid a losing love/marriage? What sustainable relationship tips can we pass on that can help others and especially the younger generation?

Please comment below.

We’ll continue with the other model, Love-first in our next blog. Till then,

Love & Peace

Thanks for reading.

Woohoo . . . Thank You!

I had eagerly anticipated hitting 50 followers and it’s finally here. Better still, it came sooner than I had expected it.

Thank you 🙏🏾😍 Trafficzionmethod and JJ Smith for being my first two followers. You both gave me the break.

Thank you 🙏🏾🙏🏾😍😍WordPress family for the encouragement, motivation, and inspiration. I cherish the likes and comments and enjoy replying to them. I equally love each follower’s website and content. You all seem to do it effortlessly.

Much appreciation to the WordPress Staff behind the scenes. You all are difference makers. 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾😍😍😍

. . .

I wrote my first two blogs, [Who Am I?], [We Yearn and Thirst For] on April 19, 2020 and didn’t write another till ten days later. I started slow but finally “getting my groove” (credits to Terry MacMillan) on blogging.

Thank you all for the support. ❤️❤️❤️

Peace!

110 days from today …

What are you going to do?

Whatever you do, do it totally with your heart knowing that you have read, watched, and studied, all that needs to be digested. That, above all, you have studied “to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.”
‭‭(2 Timothy‬ ‭2:15-16‬)

Whatever you do 110 days from today, please seriously refrain from groupthink or bandwagon effect of joining the acts or desires of the populace.

Finally, whatever you do, stop, pray, and ponder to ask yourself, will I be able to live with myself after this or will I regret having acted contrary to the truth and my heart.

I say pray because often not all that appears good are of God. I repeat, everything that looks, feel, and or sound good are not of God. Few are obvious to the naked eye, but many are discreet that will fool even the very elect (Matthew 24:24b). Be not one of those who think that God can be mocked for whatsoever we sow, we shall reap (Galatians 6:7-8).

. . .

The frailty of humanity is that we focus on the negatives of the past and of one another and sadly forget the good of both the past and one another. Psychologists confirm that this is how our brains are hardwired and term it negativity bias. Click the links below to read more on the term:

. . .

In 110 days from today, I implore you to focus on merits rather than the negatives and VOTE with your heart for the Truth.

You have ample time to research and digest each candidate and, of course, each proposition.. Start today so that 110 days from today, you will know what to do and will do that which you ought to have done.

. . .

America is presently in a dire state. But there’s hope still for by His mercies, America shall not be consumed because great is His faithfulness! (Lanentations 3:22-24)

Let your voice be heard; exercise your civic right and let your vote count. No excuses. You can Vote by mail. Check out information on how to now and be ready to vote 110 days from today.

Peace!

Love and Love Languages

How do you love yourself or allow yourself to be loved? Are you the flower person, chocolates, wine and dine, just-hold-my-hands kind of person? Or do you prefer the long (phone/face-to-face) conversations? Whatever your preference, wouldn’t you like your significant other to know, or you knowing your children’s; if you have any?

Wouldn’t you also like to know the type of love your relationship (or marriage) is exhibiting?

Well, if you already don’t know, we all speak various love languages. These languages often can be misconstrued. Knowing the different types of love and love languages can set relationships straight.

. . .

Biblically, there are four types of love. Jack Zavada writes about Eros, Storge, Philia, and Agape in his article. Click here to read more https://www.thoughtco.com/types-of-love-in-the-bible-700177.

Agape is the highest form of love. It’s the God-kind of Love which we all should aspire to.

. . .

Psychologically, there are seven types of Love. Neel Burton M.D. adds three more to the biblical types. I learned something as these three are all new to me. To read them, please click here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/hide-and-seek/201606/these-are-the-7-types-love.

Did you learn something new as well? Yes or No, please comment below.

There’s however an eighth kind that I’ll like to add.

Mania (obsessive/excessive) love. This kind of love can manifest in the other seven, maybe six (excluding Agape) if not checked.

Love Languages

Love has a language. They are Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch.

Speaking the wrong language is akin to someone speaking Swahili to a Greek. Result is chaos, (love) clutter, and reciprocity failure. It is important to know one’s love language as well as one’s spouse, children, and/or close friends.

According to Dr. Gary Chapman, “it helps strengthen relationships … as different people with different personalities express love in different ways.

Interested in finding out your love language, click here [https://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/]. Each of us have a primary (dominant) language. We can also have a secondary (recessive) language as well as multiple love languages.

Have fun discovering your love language. And should you feel like sharing, do so in the Reply/Comments below.

Housewife: A Case for the Title

Every home not only needs a woman, but every home needs a practical woman. A woman who can juggle her acts, smoothly don the hats of a Chief Executive Officer, Chief Economist, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Administrative Officer, Chief Strategic Officer, Chief Internal Officer, Chief Public Relations Officer, Chief Information Security Officer, as well as the Chauffeur, Chef, and Chief of the Family Fan Club, and still maintain her poise and sanity.

A married lady who stays home to take care of the needs of her home; is to be cherished because she happily wears all the numerous hats for which she is not compensated nor adequately appreciated. She’s often taken for granted in many homes because “it is her responsibility” to take care of the house/home, right? No! That’s wrong!

The housewife’s job is never done in a day. It’s a steady chore juggling to ensure that:

(1) the physical home is sparkling clean first and foremost, and that the ambiance of the internal decor is strikingly captivating and inviting to anyone especially such that the hubby is compelled to rush home after work and hardly wants to leave the comforts for a weekend getaway;

(2) love and peace fill all its chambers;

(3) the children love it so much they want to show it off while inviting their friends over rather than chasing after sleepovers;

(4) she also loves to call it her sanctuary, and

(5) she constantly provides (or cooks) her family’s favorite meals.

Wow … what a list of chores? Does the housewife ever get a break? She takes care of everyone, but who gets to pamper her? She who refreshes others, must herself be refreshed, right?

. . .

Before I continue, I applaud the men/husbands who not only cherish their wives, but help with the household chores, and should their wives be a stay-at-homer, compensate them by giving them allowances (sounds so archaic though) or freedom in the joint bank accounts realizing that two have become one. 

. . .

Men/Husbands, please know that your wives are reasonable and sensible human beings. Once women are convinced that both are on the same page, they will handle the joint financials at a profit! (This statement can further be blogged another day). Will be interesting to hear the viewpoints of men/husbands on this too. 

“A thrifty woman is better than a great income. A good wife and health are a man’s best wealth”

Charles H. Spurgeon

Men, please share your thoughts on this point (i.e., that women are reasonable and can profitably manage the joint account) by commenting below.

History to Present Day of Housewifing:

Traditionally, married women stayed at home, not for economic reasons but, as an honor and in submission to the man/husband as the head of the household. My grandma often told us that it was taboo in their days for a married woman to have a 9-to-5 job. The few women who did had “the female” professions such as nurses or teachers; not the CEO types nor were they ever seen in the boardroom. These women were seen as women who wanted to “wear-the-pants,” aka domineering.and in church-ish language could be termed, Jezebels.

Please read this article for more on historical housewifing: https://www.historic-uk.com/CultureUK/The-1950s-Housewife/

Modern-day reasons for staying at home however are more for economic reasons. For example, child/daycare costs are astronomical, especially in a state like California where the 2019 GDP is $3.1 trillion (https://www.statista.com/statistics/248023/us-gross-domestic-product-gdp-by-state/). According to the Economic Policy Institute, the average daycare monthly cost in California is almost a $1,000 (https://www.epi.org/child-care-costs-in-the-united-states/) compared to $500 in Alabama whose 2019 GDP was $203.97 million. Understandably, daycare cost, like every other cost, is relative. However, $500 in Alabama is a huge expense for young families with infants and toddlers, coupled with the stress of wondering whether the daycare will provide the best care. It, therefore, makes good economic sense to have one parent stay home to care for the children.

Benefits of Stay-at-homers:

  • The truism of the adage “there’s no mom like one’s mother” becomes inevitable;
  • It’s cheaper as the money that could have been paid to the daycare provider can now be channeled to other use;
  • Children are in safer environments at home than with strangers;
  • Children are healthier as there’s no ping-ponging of sicknesses that stems from having the kids together particularly during the COVID-19 period;
  • The children are well-rested as the wife/mother doesn’t have to wake them up early for daycare so that she can be prompt for work; 
  • As the children grow and begin school and/or sports, they have Mom to always drop off/pick up on time instead of looking for help or leaving them till late before picking up;
  • Family time is valued as the husband can return to home-cooked meals, which can be eaten together as a family;
  • There’s overall peace of mind.

Disadvantages of being a housewife:

  • The man-husband becomes the sole provider;
  • As a result of #1 above, there’s a higher financial burden on the man-husband;
  • This in turn causes stress in the home;
  • In today’s living standards where two wage-earners have become essential, the opportunity-cost living on one income means some things would have to be forgone and must-haves now become luxuries;
  • The woman/wife does not have a “she” money and has to rely on the bacon brought home by her hubby;
  • There’s a stigma of inadequacy that the woman/wife suffers in her circle of family and friends;
  • “If their husbands are rich, they are frequently berated for being lazy; if they are immigrants, for keeping children from learning the language and ways of their host country.” https://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/21/world/europe/21iht-LETTER.html
  • It can be boring as the woman/wife is alone at home.

It’s a Choice!

Most housewives are educated and have chosen this path for several and varied reasons that range from personal, economic, religion, to class status. Some are because the woman/wife wanted to, or the man/husband requested that the woman stay home, or both agreed that it was the best decision for them as a family.

Whatever any family’s decision is, it is time for society to acknowledge this sector of people as essential hard workers and treat them as respectable as any working woman. Interestingly though, one article noted that “… the economic value housewives create remains within their home …” This is a sad statement to make as I believe that there is a spillover benefit that is derived from the contributions of the housewife towards her husband and children.

A 2017 New York Post article stated that millennials are forgoing the career/professional path for the comfort of the home/kitchen. Read the article here: https://nypost.com/2017/05/24/im-a-millennial-woman-and-id-rather-be-a-housewife/

I have personally been on both sides of the coin – as a professional lady as well as a housewife. If I have to choose another life, I will choose to stay at home. The housewife does a lot more with her time being home than manicure and pedicure. She needs to be compensated for the many hats that she wears or be openly appreciated.

"Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate." 
- Proverbs 31:31 (NIV)

Please share your thoughts by commenting below. Thanks for reading.

Steer clear of work-at-home scams | FTC Consumer Information

As the Coronavirus continues to spread, you may be looking for ways to make money without ever stepping foot outside your door.
— Read on www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2020/07/steer-clear-work-home-scams

. . .

Everyone ought to subscribe to the Consumer FTC email/blog. The department notifies one on trending consumer issues such as this one and others, including retail stores or companies whose privacy issues have been violated and what one should do about it. Varied topics, such as health & fitness, money & credit, jobs, privacy, & online security are blogged. I have gotten beneficial information over the years from the site and know that you will too.

To subscribe, go to consumer.ftc.gov/blog, scroll down and click the [Get email updates] button.

Please share your thoughts below on the content of the site. Thank you.

Prayer: What you may not know about it

Today, I want to talk about prayers. This issue has been togging on my heart to share. So, here it is:

[ Quoted scriptures are from the King Janes Version of the Holy Bible ]

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
‭‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭7:14‬

What is Prayer?

Prayer (or praying) is a form of communication between people and God. It is merely a conversation which can be in the form of a request, call (or shout) for help, thanksgiving, supplication, seeking, or showing gratitude. Knowing when to engage in one form of prayer over the other is key to answered prayers. I deem prayer as a form of humility where I’m telling Father God that I cannot do “this thing” by myself, but with Him “I can do all things…” (Philippians 4:13)

Lord Jesus prayed (Matthew 26:36-44). We also can learn from his manner of prayer. Every religion prays; Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, even the dark kingdoms, etc. The difference is distinguishable in the channel/source of the prayer.

Prayers can be in the individual’s local or heavenly language. The local language as in English, Spanish, Yoruba, Chinese, Mandarin, Tagalog, Hebrew, Swahili, etc, or any other native dialect.The heavenly language is when the individual speaks in tongues.

Speaking in tongues is in the New Testament and can either be a gift or can be desired. Because it is in the New Testament, speaking in tongues is still relevant and powerful today. Please note that speaking in tongues is different from chanting. Because all truths are parallel; some might say that speaking in tongues and chanting are similar. This blog/platform is not to debate that stance.

Which is more effective?

Personally speaking, there is a time and place for each; that is, praying in one’s local language versus praying in tongues.

“Yet in the church, I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭14:19‬

I love praying in tongues as it not only strengthens the inner (spirit) man, (1 Corinthians 14:4) but most importantly it bypasses the individual’s mind/intellect and is a direct communication to God. (1 Corinthians 14:2)

Prayer Styles include:

  • silently or (keeping still in the presence of God)
  • fervently (James 5:16)
  • groaning before God
  • crying/weeping unto God (Hebrews‬ ‭5:7‬, Jeremiah‬ ‭11:14, 48:5‬, Psalm 141:1, Judges 6:7, etc.)

These forms of prayer are particularly famous with King David in the Bible. We also can adopt them.

. . .

Prayer Postures

Kneeling is a favorite posture of prayer by a majority of people. Other anomalistic postures include prostrating before God (2 Samuel‬ ‭12:16‬b), standing, walking around, sitting, etc.

I know that God answers prayer any which way; irrespective of posture. The posture is not as important as one’s HEART.

. 🙏 .

Prayer can be said privately, in a group of two or more, or corporately as in a church setting.

“Not all private prayer is effective, but private prayer is rewarding”

Unknown, Grace for Purpose

The private prayer, the one-to-one communication, is the type when you enter into your “closet” aka your designated place of meeting with Father God.

“…, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; …”

Matthew‬ ‭6:6‬a

I love this video from Grace for Purpose YouTube page. Please listen to it as it will bless you and your day.

Group prayer. “Where two or more are gathered in my name, there will I be.” Group prayer is when you join with a spouse or friend(s) to pray; bringing an issue before God and coming into an agreement over the issue.

Corporate prayer. It has often been said that prayer is the foundation of the church. Many churches designate about an hour for special prayers where church members (often with the prayer group leading if the church has such a group. If not church elders or leaders lead the prayer/prayer points by coming together to pray for the church, its members, church’s needs, cities, nations, and/or for other specific needs.

What is the best time to pray?

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Jesus woke up early to pray (Mark 1:35). The above Grace for Purpose video also collaborates this. As such, I prefer the morning as the best time to pray.

Most people often start their days getting physically-charged by exercising and/or going to the gym. Others do yoga for the mental-/emotional-charge. I prefer starting my day with prayer to be spiritually-charged as it takes care of all three – physical, mental, and emotional. Besides, one might get a revelation for the day! One unique word direct from God (aka revelation) to your spirit man, can take care of something(s) that could have taken you years to resolve!

Having said that, if you start your day with prayer, it is only wise to end your day also with a prayer. But, prayer in between your work (business or college) days is equally beneficial.

. . .

The Holy Bible talks of other prayer times such as the morning watch (1 Samuel 11:11), middle watch (Judges 7:19, Luke 12:38), third watch, and fourth watch (Matthew 14:25, Mark 6:48). The watches in this usage are specific three-hour blocks of time in a 24-hour clock.

According to The Global Watch, “The Hebrew watch was divided into three watches, the first, middle and morning watch. As the Roman influence and supremacy was established, the number of watches increased to four and were described in numerical order

  1. 1st (6pm – 9pm);
  2. 2nd (9pm – 12am);
  3. 3rd (12am – 3am); and
  4. 4th (3am – 6am).”

I do not suppose that God cares about the time one prays because He has specific assignments for each person. While some are early risers/worms, some are night owls. Some people work regular hours, while some work night or grave shifts. The hours and duration that you designate for meeting with Father God will accordingly be uniquely you.

. . .

I will recommend prayer before a business meeting; pray for your business outcomes, and even your customers and suppliers. It is wisdom to commit every business decision to God even before starting it. I also recommend that one prays while at work, during your lunch break, while running your errands, in the gym, etc. Pray particularly for your home, spouses, children, family, your doctors, lawyers, accountants, your children’s friends, and their families, your children’s teachers; practically pray for everyone and everything that concerns you.

Did I hear your sigh that this is a lot of praying? It seems so, but all the above could be done in about 15 minutes. Once you get started, the fifteen minutes would seem insufficient that you’ll desire to increase your time with Father God as you deem fit. Incremental times of 15 minutes are great till you get to where you feel you’ve given your best time. One-liner prayers, such as Help me! or Heal me! are equally as effective. Your prayer does not always have to be lengthy or repetitive because Father God is not so interested in how long (quantity of time), but the quality of your time is more important to Him. The quality of time with Papa God should be free from distractions. Give Him your best time; be it 15, 30, or 60 minutes.

It is also best to designate a praying spot and block out the praying time. Once designated, be diligently prompt and consistent as He will always meet you there.

Please note that though some people might have a gift of praying, realize that none was born a prayer warrior. Every prayer warrior began somewhere. I remember when I always wished that I would not be called upon to pray at home-groups.

. . .

I will be amiss if I do not mention that prayer without corresponding action is futile. Once you’ve brought your issues (or concerns) before Father God, you need to get up and take the necessary step(s) for action. After you’ve prayed, believe that Father God has heard you and be expectant (Mark 11:24). Father’s answer to your prayer often falls into either a:

“Yes” – you receive exactly what you asked for;

“No” – you do not receive exactly what you prayed for, but you get something that Father God knows you either need or is better for you.

“Wait” – this has to do with the timing of your request and means that your request will be answered later.

. . .

Generally speaking, prayer ought to be soothing and should never agitate the person, the person’s spirit, nor a situation. Any prayer agitating anyone’s spirit is often not a godly prayer.

🙏🏾.🙏.🙏🏼.

I hope you learned a new thing or two. Please comment below to share. May you be richly rewarded publicly what you have spent your private time doing in the Name of Jesus.

Caveat: this blog on prayer is not exhaustive. There’s much more that can be written on the topic. But I hope this helps on your journey to praying and spending time with Father God.

Peace.

Why do we write articles, books, or blogs?

Is it because there is a shortage of information or knowledge-sharing?

Certainly not!

Or is it because we want to make money? Maybe. But still making money does not suffice. I read former President Obama’s books wherein he stated that the proceeds from his book paid off his student loans. How I wish I could write a book that could give me a similar outcome! 😊

I love to read and write about a variety of topics, for example, leadership and the various styles of leadership. Yet I know that despite all that I have read (and written about in college), there are numerous leadership styles still untouched. Notwithstanding, I still marvel at the thought of anyone trying to surpass John C. Maxwell on leadership topics.

. . .

One generation comes and goes, and another follows. The cycle is repeated and forever will still be repeated till eternity. We tend to recycle information and knowledge albeit calling it by another name; a name that the targeted generation can relate to.  This is especially true in the fashion industry. 

So, “why do we continuously write books, articles, or blogs?” I will say that it is to share knowledge and leave a legacy. For others, it might be to make money / earn a living. Why must I write another book or article, for example, on leadership, or e-commerce, or student loan? Are there not enough of those topics already saturating the market or gathering dust on bookshelves? Is anyone still buying the books, or reading them, or even when bought, opening them anymore? As I ask these questions, I instantaneously provide the answers too. And here it is that:

The insatiability of mankind’s unquenchable thirst keeps him searching for the “next new thing” on planet earth. There seems to be a void yearning to be filled in man that drives him/her away from the old to any information or knowledge packaged in a new form of a book or an article or blog. But no sooner are the pages flipped that the books, articles, or blogs become dated.

We will keep writing because everyone is looking for something new. The market for authors is so dynamic that there will never be a shortage of topics to pen nor knowledge to share.

Whether it is a book, article, or blog, to share one’s passion, expertise, or life experiences, the reasons we still do it are as unique as the author or blogger.  The act is not disappearing soon either.