One thing I know for sure …

Credits: Unsplash / Pro Church Media

No matter who you are and how many people rave about you, about your cookies or cooking or style or looks or you-name-it, one thing I now definitely know for sure is that there is always someone somewhere who doesn’t give a hoot about you, still can’t stand you nor like you nor adore anything everyone is raving about you. And I also know for sure that that’s definitely all right.

It’s pointless trying to be all things to all men (and women). It just turns you raggedy and into an unconscious dissociative identity disorder personality.

What I’m saying is that it’s totally all right not to be liked by or raved on by people and we should all be comfortable with it.

As a kid, I repeatedly heard an international artist’s song whose lyrics in part went thus: “there’s no intelligence nor behavior that you may have that will please all people or the world; life is but a short time so people do good always …”

Lately, I also heard Oprah Winfrey say that people always accused her of being “too full of herself.” It used to hurt until she started embracing it. She went on to say that “I can only give out of my overflow; so those who say that I am full of myself are saying the truth – I am full and my cup is running over and I give out of the overflow.”

Road to greatness or making history

You might have heard that Steph Curry, of the Golden States Warriors (GSW), recently made history breaking Ray Allen’s 3-points record by 511 less games.

The road to breaking the record was aired and tracked by the news and social media for days. With 17 3-pointers to making history, Curry was frustrated by opponents. I’m sure by now players know that keeping the key player under wraps is a strategy that not only frustrates the key player, but can secure wins. So it wasn’t unusual that Curry was double-teamed most of the time thereby making it impossible for him to rain those threes. The game between Golden State Warriors and Philadelphia Sixers was the start of the 17 3-pointers needed by Curry to make history. Sixers won the game and Curry only made three 3-pointers of the 17. A rarely-frustrated player, I saw Curry openly frustrated on that game night. What caught my attention however was during the end-of-game chat with the reporter, a young Sixers player stated that he and veteran teammate, Joel Embid, talked before the game and agreed that Steph Curry would not make history on their turf. People, Seth Curry, Steph’s brother is on the Sixers team! The young player’s statement caught my attention. Why say that? What does it matter if Curry broke the record on your turf or not? Curry was closer to breaking it anyways, and it will happen – your turf or not, right? I concluded that they might not have been happy with Curry trying to make history. The subtlety of envy and jealousy or is’t intense or negative competition?! You be the judge. I don’t know but I surely didn’t like it.

The road to greatness is not all smooth or paved with gold. There will be bumps, curves, detours, lies, slanders, overt or covert hatred, and some times temporary or permanent stops. The permanent stops happen when we give up out of frustration. Some history makers, like Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, and Joseph, who were supposed to liberate their people, had themselves been imprisoned before achieving destiny. Most millionaires were once penniless. Most real estate/home developers were also once homeless. Those who carry out the negative, wicked acts to deter anyone’s momentum often do so out of ignorance unknowingly doing the devil’s bidding. But my people, we can take a rest to comeback stronger, but we should never ever give up, for that breakthrough will surely come.

Congrats, Steph Curry

Stephen Curry broke the record at the GSW and New York Knicks game night; the third game after the Sixers. The New York fans were elated for him and so were the reigning record-holder, Ray Allen, Reggie Miller (another previous record holder), family, friends, and the NBA community. New York looked a better ground for the record-breaking moments than it would have at the Sixers.

I am so happy for Stephen Curry. He not only put in the work, but was key to changing the trajectory of the NBA games with his three-pointers. For someone who was overlooked and once rejected, Steph, like Michael Jordan, has proven that you can turn everyone’s rejection to applause. Now, Steph’s on to the next record …

Curry’s way to making history and the Sixers’ comment supports my point that not everyone will celebrate you, but you have to be okay with it. Waiting for the approval of men just means that we will never get anything done, because that approval might just never come.

Sometimes people (or things and, God forbid, even ourselves) deter our momentum in life, but if we don’t give up, what has been ordained for us will surely happen. Delay never equates denial. Those stumbling blocks are meant to buffet us and make us more determined for a stronger comeback.

Till your breakthrough or history-making happens, keep on keeping on, my friend.

The Antagonist

Credits: Unsplash / Callum Skelton

Have you ever encountered an antagonist? I’m not talking about a storyline or drama-type antagonist. I’m talking about the one who is passive-aggressive, subtly malicious, unkind, intentionally does things to hurt you, and pretends that it was done unintentionally, in error, without bias, or were just trying to help you.

Who’s The Antagonist?

The Antagonist knows you well, knows your likes and dislikes, has studied you intensely, knows your weakest points, and know what to do not only to stir, but exploit, your emotions.

The Antagonist can be a close friend, family member, colleague, business associate, neighbor, or a sports teammate.

Most antagonists are charismatic, sociable, and have lots of friends. These character traits, which are great traits to possess, only serve as a cover-up for the antagonist’s true personality.

The Antagonist’s true self is one who seeks the attention and love of everyone and woe to the one who does not join in their attention-seeking group.

The antagonist goes after those who resist their attention with the goal to stir their emotions such that when those react, the aggressor looks like the pacifier.

Lakers and Pistons brawl

Such was my reaction regarding Sunday’s Los Angeles Lakers and Detroit Pistons’ game-turned-brawl that got LeBron James (LBJ) and Isaiah Stewart (IS)’s subsequent NBA decision of game suspension without pay. The incident occurred during the third quarter and was all over the media. You probably already heard or watched it. If you didn’t, google Lakers and Pistons fight.

The outcome was that NBA suspended LBJ for one game, but IS was suspended for two games, both without pay.

It’s unfortunate that IS got the heftier penalties, whereas LBJ, who in my opinion was the initiator, got a lighter penalty.

Sir Isaac Newton once said that “for every action, there is an equal or greater reaction.” Though Newton’s statement refers to the law of motion, the same statement is applicable in this instance. LeBron’s action, unintentional or not, including his response afterwards necessitated Isaiah’s furious actions. Granted that IS should have restrained himself when the officials stepped in to the court, but seeing and tasting your own blood threw commonsense outta the window for him.

What happened?

On this unfortunate Sunday, the incident happened during the third quarter. A younger team (Pistons) with one of the worst records of the season (4-11) was leading the game by two-digit points. It was also the second game day back for LBJ, having been out with injury and missed eight previous games. To have Pistons leading the game was an embarrassing moment, to say the least, for LBJ and the Lakers.

At the point of a free throw, LBJ elbowed IS by the brow causing blood to ooze down the right-side of his face. As would be expected, IS walked to LBJ, in my opinion, in an attempt to “verify” if it was an accident or an intentional act. Whatever response LBJ gave certainly compounded an already charged IS and thus infuriated him the more. He was furious and attempted retaliatory attacks before he was finally restrained. He was also seen running to the “tunnel” in an attempt portrayed by the media as going to the Lakers’ locker room and for LBJ.

For the record, the Pistons have been known to be a combative team. Which didn’t help a lighter NBA decision-making either.

My take is that if the initial act hadn’t been committed by “the antagonist,” the ensuing incidents wouldn’t have occurred. LBJ’s response, in my opinion, added fuel onto IS’s troubled waters.

One team player commented that LBJ is not a dirty player having been ejected only once (during the Cavs and Heat’s 2017 game) in his 19-year career. Sunday’s was his second ejection. The fact is that LBJ is not a saint either on the court, nor does he play a-100% clean game 100% of the time. He’s sly and being a veteran of the game, he knows how to tweak without breaking the NBA rules. I’ve watched him done several on-court unkind acts, both intentional and unintentional, over the years. To his credit, most of those acts were overlooked by the referees. LBJ would be a saint when compared to some players such as Draymond Green of Golden State Warriors (to his credit, he’s a changed man now), Rus Westbrook now of LA Lakers, Demarcus Cousins (now a free agent, Patrick Beverley now of Minnesota Timberwolves, etc., who are notorious for intentional vile acts and who would easily warrant a foul or technical for the slightest acts.

I do not advocate violence nor retaliatory acts. But I am fed up with antagonistic folks who act like the innocent after their intentional harmful deeds hence the need to speak up and call the act out for what it is. The NBA ruling also sends a strong message against such actions.

Do incidents occur when playing games? Sure they do. Both intentional and unintentional. Most intentional acts go undetected by the referees. But none should have to draw blood out of another. IS got five stitches for the brow bust. The more reason I feel that LBJ got away too easy.

Know how to handle them

Antagonists are everywhere. You might not understand my post if you’ve never experienced one. I had. At the time, I didn’t know how to handle antagonistic acts and people. After making outburst reactions, I learned to dissociate myself from such people.

I also recently had an experience at an Asian grocery store I occasionally visit. I bought fresh fish, shrimps, and a bag of local foods. On my way out, I realized that I had couple more errands to run before heading home. So I turned back to ask for a bag of ice to help preserve the seafood. I took out the other item from my grocery bag to make room for the ice. As I was about to grab a plastic bag near the exit of the store, to go get the ice, one of the staff (an Asian lady) chased me down. She ran all the way from the back of the store, was so loud speaking in chinese, pointing at me and the item in my hand. Since I didn’t understand, I ignored her and went straight to the store’s freezer room for the ice. The lady was still talking to her other store staff when I returned. So I asked what her uproar was. When I realized that she was actually accusing me of not paying for the item in my hand, I got upset. Now it was my turn to cause an uproar. I demanded an apology. The lady instantaneously shifted gear and said “me help you …”. She stated that she was trying to help me. Which was untrue. The lady ran from the back of the store to the front to accuse me and tried to cover up her act when she was told that I had paid.

My recent experience is nothing compared to LBJ-IS’s, but the outcome of turning the vile act to one of help-apology is similar.

If you have antagonists in your sphere of life, the best reaction is to ignore them. Their goal is to have the incident escalate from your reaction, while they keep silent and feign ignorance of why you’re reacting as such thus portraying you as the aggressor.

Another way to deal with antagonists is to be assertive. As in my recent instance, I requested an apology which was given. I am of the opinion that LBJ ought to apologize publicly to IS to portray the true NBA sportsmanship and face. Being proactive is also helpful and be prepared to walk away to avoid the situation getting out of hand. I wished IS had walked away.

Taking the above measures will help to know how to tame the antagonist.

Saint Francis’s Prayer

Credits: Unsplash / Chris Liverani

I had some personal decisions to make that will change the trajectory of my life. As such, it has been a two weeks of mental fatigue for many reasons. I haven’t posted as a result. Sorry. I truly missed not posting nor reading any of my favorite peoples’ posts. During the period, I pondered about several things including those who have been diagnosed with mental issues. Not that I never did before. But it just became more apparent this time. Alas, I agree that mental health is real. Everyone ought to have someone who understands and who they can talk to when situations that overwhelm arises. In addition, we all deserve love; both giving and receiving, and being kind to one another. I’m somewhat okay now. I just realized during that period, that most people with mental issues and no help often snap and find themselves in a “rabbit hole” of sorts.

This post is not about mental health issues; a topic I know not much about. I however am aware that there’s a lot encompassing mental health. Some of which have to deal with the complexity of the brain. Others have to deal with trauma and or people’s perceptions, real or otherwise. Whatever it is, it is important to talk it out and through with someone who understands and wouldn’t judge you, This post is a plug for kindness.

Traumatic experiences can, and often does, drive one into a mental frenzy. The more reason why we all ought to be nice with and to one another.

Last Friday was the first day in two weeks that I read a few posts. I came across a lady’s who was suffering from mental issues. Her post was, in my opinion, a cry for help. I got stuck in my track not knowing what to say or do to help alleviate her “suffering” that hasn’t already been said to her. It was the last post I read for that day. I however took her issues to God in prayer which is the least I could do. She’s not alone, but how I wish she didn’t, nor does all who are.

It was in my Q&A with Father God that the below prayer surfaced in my spirit. God-cidentally, one of my YouTuber personalities happened to be talking about the Prayer, too. Such is far from a coincidence. May we all have a heart that demonstrates the fruit of the spirit: “ … love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: …”. Here’s the Prayer;
‭‭

Saint Francis of Assisi’s Prayer

Lord make Me an instrument of Your peace
Where there is hatred let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness joy.
O Divine master grant that I may
Not so much seek to be consoled as to console
To be understood, as to understand.
To be loved. as to love
For it’s in giving that we receive
And it’s in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it’s in dying that we are born…
To eternal life.
Amen.

According to many sources, the prayer was first recorded in 1912. Though over a hundred years ago, the prayer is still relevant today.

The prayer recognizes several life issues as hatred, evil, doubt, heart wounds, and other unhealthy or, dare I say, evil deeds that are prevalent in our world. But, the popularity of the Prayer rests in rising above those issues and being contrarian in ourselves; forgiving where injury and discords have occurred, not repaying evil with evil, dying to self, letting go and letting God.

We, including atheists and agnostics, wrestle between two worlds; the spiritual and the natural. The laws of which operate also contrary to one another. But as it is written, though we live here on earth, we are not of this world and should act as a spiritual being on earth crucifying fleshy acts.

I acknowledge that we cannot of ourselves (in our flesh) do these contrarian acts of forgiving a wrong or being loving when evil has been done to us. But when we purpose in our hearts that that’s what we desire, God, by His Spirit, will enable us.

The flesh (soul) and the spirit cohabit together in the same body and often wrestle within. It is the wrestling match remnants that transition to others if and when we allow it. The more intentional we choose to operate in one, the more the attributes of that one grows and are seen in us. It is of those attributes that we give to ourselves and others.

God help us to live by the Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi. Have a peaceful and loving week.

WISDOM (I)

Each block/paragraph below is a verse. Absolutely no indigestion nor congestion. Simply enjoy, digest, ingest all you can, and egest the ones you can’t. At the end, I hope you badly desire Wisdom.

From the Holy Bible: Proverbs 8:1-36

“Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice?

At the highest point along the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand;

beside the gate leading into the city, at the entrance, she cries aloud:

“To you, O people, I call out; I raise my voice to all mankind.

You who are simple, gain prudence; you who are foolish, set your hearts on it.

Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right.

My mouth speaks what is true, for my lips detest wickedness.

All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse.

To the discerning all of them are right; they are upright to those who have found knowledge.

Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold,

for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.

I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion.

To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.

Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have insight, I have power.

By me kings reign and rulers issue decrees that are just;

by me princes govern, and nobles—all who rule on earth.

I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.

With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity.

My fruit is better than fine gold; what I yield surpasses choice silver.

I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice,

bestowing a rich inheritance on those who love me and making their treasuries full.

The Lord brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old;

I was formed long ages ago, at the very beginning, when the world came to be.

When there were no watery depths, I was given birth, when there were no springs overflowing with water;

before the mountains were settled in place, before the hills, I was given birth,

before he made the world or its fields or any of the dust of the earth.

I was there when he set the heavens in place, when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,

when he established the clouds above and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,

when he gave the sea its boundary so the waters would not overstep his command, and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.

Then I was constantly at his side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence,

rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind.

Now then, my children, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways.

Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not disregard it.

Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway.

For those who find me find life and receive favor from the Lord.

But those who fail to find me harm themselves; all who hate me love death.”

Selah (ponder on this for a moment)

Blindsides

Credits: Unsplash / David Olubaji

Blindside has only two definitions in each of the dictionaries (Collins, dictionary.com, Oxford, and Merriam-Webster). This is a little surprising considering that most words usually have various definitions.

One meaning of Blindside relates to sports, “to tackle, hit, or attack (an opponent) from the blind side.” The other, is considered an informal word used, and means “to attack critically where a person is vulnerable, uninformed, etc.”

I love the Oxford’s definition better though;
to attack someone from the direction where they cannot see you coming” and “to give someone an unpleasant surprise.”

There’s the movie, The Blind Side, which relates to the first definition. This post is about the second.

Life Blindsides

We all tend to focus on one or two things in life and neglect other equally important areas. Good if it’s for a period of time and we suddenly catch ourselves and change. Unfortunately there are those who are unaware and live it perpetually.

Those neglected areas often hunt, bite, or unexpectedly attack us and we are unpleasantly surprised by the neglect. These are life blindsides.

Examples

  • Some folks may focus on their career or business and ignore relationships or personal finances. Or vice versa.
  • In dating, some may chase the “obviously” handsome or beautiful and ignore those with flawless characters carbons-metamorphosing-into-diamonds.
  • In friendships, we sometimes focus on certain gregarious and extroverted folks while paying little, or no, attention to subtle niceties and empathetic affections of the introverts.
  • In businesses or at work, sometimes the boss focuses on one employee to the detriment of the team, and the unhappy employee(s) bailout. Most often it is the team that produces the result, but the one employee who gets all the focus becomes unproductive without the rest. By the time new employees are hired, productivity would have suffered and the employee would have burnt out.
  • In families, most dads are present, but barely engaged in the affairs of their children; they think that leaving the ‘dough’ on the table equates fatherhood; yet the moms that are readily available and accessible seem to be taken for granted. What a life!

Worse yet, we’re able to see clearly how another person is ignoring an area of their life, but blind to ours. Can you relate?

By the time we realize that we’ve left an unattended area for too long, it’s often too late.

My Blindside

I have been blindsided a few times in the course of my life. But this recent one stood out. How or why? Because I heard it loud in my spirit: “you’re so focused on that, but you’ve ignored this!” This and that were two personal things (or issues, if I may call them that, that were supposed to happen on my recent birthday.) The truth was that I was indeed focused on one and totally ignored the other. But with “hearing,” I now changed, and all was well. How I wish I could hear that 24/7 or whenever I’m faced with a decision. How great that would be.

That was the Holy Spirit ministering to me days before my birthday last month. without which I wouldn’t have had the good day that I had,

Effects of Blindsides

Blindsides are painful and unnecessary because we know they could have been avoided. Communication, the act of talking and active listening, is a necessity in life scenarios. In the examples given above, on one hand, one person is unhappy, uncommunicative, and checks out. Another is feeling in, but rejected and surprised by the blindside. What’s going on?

How to avoid being blindsided

The more self-aware you are, the easier it will be to understand the motives of others.

Jill Weber
  1. Be vigilant. Know yourself, express your emotions, and learn to know others and their emotions. It is by so doing, that you can catch the feelings or reactions of others when something is wrong.
  2. Never take anyone for granted. Unfortunately, though ironic, is that those who readily offer help and are readily available and accessible are taken for granted. Why, beats me. Eventually those taken for granted will realize that they are and will not be there when you need them the most because they got tired of being a doormat.
  3. Communicate to avoid the unpleasant surprises. Everyone is talking and few are actually listening. In families, relationships, at work, or in business, learn to communicate and ensure that everyone understands the message you’re sending.
  4. Ask for feedbacks. Pairing your communications with feedbacks helps reinforce a clear message and that all are on the same page. Also be ready to receive both the positive and negative feedbacks. You might not agree with all, but be accepting of them, else people will not want to give you feedbacks again.
  5. Have a vision and be far-sighted. Where do you want to be in X years? How are you getting there? Who’s helping you get there? Having answers to these early will help you stay on track and minimize sidetracks.

Being farsighted is both a wellspring of new opportunities and a buffer against disruption.

IMD
  1. Be relevant and present by regularly weighing your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT). For example, being aware of your weakness(es) might help you avoid certain places, people, or things.

Doing the above six can help you avoid being blindsided.

Have you ever been blindsided? Did you realize that you were while in the process, or you did in hindsight? Leave a comment if you please. Thanks.

Is your Heart healthy? Or Are you on a Verge of a Heart Attack?

There are devices we can use at home to check our blood pressure, our temperature, and blood sugar for glucose level? But how does one check the heart? I do not suppose that there is a home device yet for the heart.

We all need a heart check up. And I don’t mean medically. That is necessary and important. I’m referring to a spiritual heart check up. But how do we go about it?

We could ask a trusted family member or friend for an honest review, but still they do not have a full picture of our heart. They can only evaluate based on their interactions with us. Their evaluations might be skewed not wanting to offend us.

The best evaluator of our heart therefore is God. He sees our hearts and the innermost part of our beings which are hidden to others. He also knows our frames and intentions. We should humbly go to Him often to say

“Search me, O God, and know my heart: Try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.”                
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭139:23-24‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Will you? I do occasionally.

Have you ever wondered what state your heart is? Or been told that you do need to check your heart? Not that I have been told to, but I do often feel like telling some folks to do just that – check their hearts.

Keep (check) your heart with all diligence for out of it flows the issues of life.

Proverbs 4:23

I’ve been on

which I selected out of sheer curiosity. I’ve almost completed it and thought it would be great to share. Check it out for a Transforming of Your Heart. I won’t give all the details away because it is worth reading. I got the types of hearts from it.

We’ve heard the cliche “Follow your heart,” but will you agree with me that sometimes our hearts can deceive us. Or how does one explain a lady who tells everyone that “my heart says he’s my husband” to a married man? Odd, but true. I’ve heard it twice. And you just stare at the lady in disbelief while refraining from shaking your head and telling her that she is delusional. Please note that this has nothing to do the mental capacity of the lady.

There are other examples I could give. The heart state is also the reason why some employees slander and tattle to the boss about another fellow employer. Anyhow

May God help us all.

So, What Kind of Heart are You?

I know that I used to have a stubborn, anxious, and condemning heart. But thank God for searching, delivering me from it all, and replacing it with a teachable, thankful, contrite, loving truth- and peace-filled heart. It is surely more than I can ask for. He has blessed me with a faith-filled, generous, joyful, and wise (could use some more wisdom) heart. But I do need and pray for a more grace-filled and surrendered heart. And yet Father God desires of me a trusting heart though what I still give Him is a questioning heart. God help me.

How about you?

Holly Melton, the author of the Plan, listed the following hearts. Will you share, in the Comments, the type of heart you think or know you have, the one you desire, and also need help with.

  • Stubborn or Teachable Heart
  • Forgetful or Remembering Heart
  • Questioning or Trusting Heart
  • Unbelieving or Believing Heart
  • Complacent or Thankful Heart
  • Deceived or Truth-Filled Heart
  • Sorrowful or Glad Heart
  • Anxious or Peace-Filled Heart
  • Prideful or Humble Heart
  • Hopeless or Hopeful Heart
  • Selfish or Generous Heart
  • Overly-Sensitive or Grace-Filled Heart
  • Hateful or Loving Heart
  • Angry or Forgiving Heart
  • Clean or Dirty Heart
  • Repentant or impertinent Heart
  • Sincere or Dishonest/Deceitful Heart
  • Serving or Controlling and Master’ing Heart
  • Condemning or Contrite Heart
  • Idolatrous or Surrendered Heart
  • Lustful or Pure Heart
  • Compassionate or Hardened Heart
  • Wise or Foolish Heart
  • Joyless or Joyful Heart
  • Courageous or Fearful Heart
  • Righteous or Evil Heart

May we be willing to allow God to search our hearts and correct the anomalies lest we have a spiritual heart attack some day. May it never be.

To your spiritual heart wellness

Unrequited Love

Credits: Unsplash / S. Ruvalcaba

How do you feel when you love someone who does not love you back? Thanks to Think Written for the writing prompt.

Love ought to be reciprocal. Yes? Right? Remember Teddy Pendergrass’s 50/50 (or is’t 70/30 or 60/40) love song? Who wants to be the one holding on to the 30 or 40 in a relationship when better is imminent or probable? Only a few exceptional instances will qualify; like a parental love. Even at that, some parents have been known to be justifiably callous or exercised tough love. (A post for another day.)

For today’s post, Unrequited love in any relationship sucks.

Sometimes we equate love for all the other things such as infatuation, lust, passion, crush, or simply lasciviousness. These can emanate from one or both people and we eventually find ourselves in unrequited love.

Unrequited love in any relationship sucks and is a mental torture.

ThinkerTalker

It may have begun as a requited affair or of mutual consent, but along the way, things and life happened, people changed and eyes strayed elsewhere, and left our love unrequited. It becomes troubling. Gazillion questions run amok in our minds chiefly resting on two “what did I do to deserve this or the change and straying?” and “where did I go wrong?”

Effects of Unrequited Love

The receiving person (of the unrequited love) does what most people do; internalizes, withdraws, and blames self for the other person’s unbecoming attitude. Unfortunately, the embarrassment is blatant to all leaving one feeling unworthy, sapped confidence from ours and others reactions, and our esteem turning low. We feel deserted, betrayed, and left alone to deal with it. You got yourself into the situation, now how do you get yourself out?

What do you do?

What do you do? Do you stay put trying to win the other person back, make excuses, or do you leave with or without packing your bags and say “hasta la vista?!”

Is it escapism or humanism to blame ourselves for other people’s shortcomings? Is it as a first stop of self-reflection or second-guessing ourselves that we are less deserving of better? Everyone reacts differently. However you react and whatever it is,

  1. First admit your part – how you got into the relationship. It’s time for deep reflection. Most often, the handwritings were on the wall, but passion or desire blindfolded you from clarity,
  2. Ask for forgiveness. It is the first step to wholeness. Better yet, forgive the other person because it is only then you can be objective in moving forward.
  3. Ask God for help. You need Him more now than ever. It’s definitely not a time to be mad at God. “Why didn’t He stop me?” “Why did he allow me?” Or better still, “why didn’t he knock him/her on the head to wake up?” Remember, or if you don’t already know, there’s the permissible will of God where He allows us to do what we desire as a result of our resistance to where He’s steering us.
  4. Ask family and friends also for help. Still, it’s not the time to be mad at them for not telling you. There’s another time for that.
  5. Don’t run (or jump) prematurely into another relationship.
  6. Give yourself time to heal. It is only then that you will most likely not repeat the experience.
  7. And finally, be wise and seek God before starting or getting into the next relationship.

I am so grateful that God is not a man.

Unrequited Love towards God

Now imagine how Father God, your Creator feels when His love is either ignored, unwarranted , or unembraced. Lack-luster love towards God is the epitome of unrequited love. We’ve given Him no love at all, while some have only given Him the minimal. God is holding on to the 30 and 40 of our love while wishing you’d give Him the 100. Yet He loves us so.

But I am glad that God does not abandon us when His love is unrequited. Every other unrequited love pales significantly in comparison. God is there all along patiently waiting for the day we will wake up to realism (the doctrine that universals have a real objective existence) and our need of Him.

Wake up or Woke

And so it is as well when we find ourselves in earthly unrequited love. We allow ourselves to go roller-coasting through all the e-motions until realization steps in. We can humbly or boldly state that “I’m better than this and deserve the best.”

So whosoever is not returning your love, woke or wake up, and know that you deserve better. There might be a reason. Maybe it is the “invisible hands” blocking him/her from seeing the beauty (I don’t mean the physical/facial) God created and he/she is being prevented from blocking your real soulmate. Just maybe because all things are working together for your good.

Remember God loves you unconditionally. He loves you today, loved you yesterday, and will love you forever. Embrace His love today and now. He is waiting on you to return His love; turning the unrequited to Requited Love. Isn’t that what we all desire?

Have you experienced unrequited love (loving someone who doesn’t love you back) and would like to share? Please do so in the comments. Thanks

So you think you’re ready … how is your E-Emotional Development

PEMFESS+P: The First E-Emotional Development

A lot can be unpacked as regards Emotions. Your emotions impact every area of your life. It is your brain and feelings connection. When fully grounded in the emotions, other areas will be positive. Similarly, out-of-control emotions negatively impact other areas of one’s life. This does not mean that you suppress those emotions though. They are there for a reason. It merely means that you give them the right balance of how to appropriately express yourself at the right time. However, if you are one to have emotional outbursts, now is the time to work on them before those emotions get you in trouble.

As an example, I used to work where an Executive Manager would throw the desk phone at someone or the wall when he was angry or work wasn’t going his way. The last time he did it unfortunately the organization’s Chief was walking into his office and had to duck. The Executive was asked to resign or be fired. Such behaviors are unacceptable especially for a leader in private or publicly. Neither would such be acceptable in marriage.

The development of our emotions begin in infancy and involves how we express ourselves in the good, bad, and ugly situations. It involves self-expression, using our words positively rather than our fists and name-calling, self-control, etc. What, and how, you do when you’re fearful, angry, or sad, feeling sorrow or hate, or are excited. Do you wear your emotions on your sleeves? Do you throw tantrums and everyone around you have to walk on eggshells? Or do you suppress those emotions in an attempt to be “nice.”

Your Emotional Development is the difference between being proactive and reactive.

“Children who grow up in a less nurturing environment are more likely to have an unstable emotional foundation – affecting the rest of their lives.”

Being proactive and seeking counseling or therapy will be beneficial in unpacking and dealing with any covert or overt childhood emotional or traumatic experiences. The earlier you identify the need for counseling or therapy sessions, the better it will be for your emotional wellness and stability.

This is the time to deal with any emotional wounds so you aren’t carrying those baggages along with you in life and into your marriage.

You must have achieved a mastery of some emotions as an emerging adult, while other emotions will continue to develop. Also, being aware that the brain is not fully developed until age 24 (some say age 25), explains the irrational and/or immature behaviors of emerging adults, which includes you.

What emotions do you exhibit when you’re happy, sad, angry, frustrated, afraid, etc. What or who brings those emotions to the surface? How do you handle yourself when those emotions surface? We all obviously gravitate towards affable personalities and those who gives us a smile or use kind words. Are you any of this?

Identify those emotional habits that need to change and begin working on them. You’ll be the better for it.

Helps for Your Emotions

  • Sleep is essential and therapeutic. A good rest and sleep helps us to express ourselves calmer. I hope that you make rest and sleep a priority.
  • Good and balanced diet is also essential for your emotional development. “A hungry lady is an angry lady” is true. Ensure that you feed yourself healthy and timely meals.
  • In addition, I cannot overemphasize the need for your physical exercises. Having a trainer is good, but unnecessary in my opinion. Neither do you need to purchase expensive exercise gadgets. A 30-minute or more walk or run round your block at least thrice a week is all you need. The gym membership, exercise gadgets are merely extras.
  • Laugh or Smile. Yes, laughing and smiling not only slows aging, but is also a stress reliever. Also freely laugh at yourself; it won’t hurt much when others laugh at you.
  • Meditation. I meditate in the Word of God. Some choose yoga. Find what works for you and start doing it.
  • Remove yourself from toxic environments and people. Don’t linger in such merely for the sake of friendship or because you need the job, especially now that businesses are opening up after the long closure due to covid-19.
  • Surround yourself with positive influences.

Once you cultivate these habits, they’ll become a part of you that will be difficult to forego going into marriage.

Master Your Emotions

We all love the happy and positive emotions and want more of them. However, we will not be human without the negative emotions. We just hope that we have less of the negative ones. So, what do we do when certain negative emotions surface?

  1. First, dig deeper and find out the root of the emotion. Is’t really the person or incident or there’s an underlying, untended, and untreated reason. Am I just having a bad day? Is this a one-off emotion or recurring given the person, place, or thing?
  2. Once identified, deal with the root.
  3. If it still persists, have a talk with the person
  4. Changing your perception of the person, place, or thing is also helpful. Not reacting, but redirecting the emotion. Also, choosing to see something positive in the person, place, or thing to replace the negative emotion is also helpful.
  5. If that fails, remove yourself if possible from the person, place, or thing.

Our emotions impact our mental abilities. Stay tuned for the next post on Mental Development.

To your holistic beautiful self and higher emotional intelligence 😍

References

“I was busy but not fulfilled.” Are you, too?

Anyone could have said that statement and it probably wouldn’t have made such an impact as it did when I had it from the 43rd President. To say that I was stunned was an understatement!

I just heard Mr. George W. Bush, former President of the United States of America and former Texas State Governor, made the above statement during a short interview with Ernie at TNT’s Inside the NBA. I believe that Mr. Bush was referring to his job as President as being unfulfilled. He also said that he didn’t think he could paint until he read Winston Churchill’s book. He then said “if he (Churchill) could paint, he could too.” He started his artistic journey in 2012.

He was at the Dallas Mavericks’ pregame and got to be interviewed on his new book “Out of Many, One: Portraits of America’s Immigrants.” A book in which he painted 43 portraits of the immigrants he talked about in his book. One of such is Dirk Nowitzki former NBA Dallas Mavericks Star. Understandably because the former President is from, and resides in, Texas.

Who would have thought that being the President of the United States of America was unfulfilling? I could have understood if he said that the job was stressful but that he loved it.

There you have it people. If you thought that you were alone in dutifully showing up at work for a job you despised or are not fulfilled, now you know that even a former President was in the same boat. Brings me to the question: “but why do we do it?”

Why do people stay at an unfulfilling job or one they hate?

I think the main reason is because people depend on the regularity of their paychecks. Paycheck is a good reason to work a 9-to-5, but never a good reason to stay, especially for too long, at a job you detest. It’s not healthy and affects one’s wellbeing in the long run.

Contractual obligations. Some are locked in as a result of having signed term contracts
and feel that the cost of terminating the contract outweighs their health.

Fear of not being able to get another comparable or better job opportunity elsewhere

Fear of leaving or not knowing where to start especially if the person has been at the particular job for a long time. Which leads to

Fear of the Unknown. Playing it safe though it’s hurting. We’ve all heard the saying that “the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know.” Why does anyone want to stay with the devil? There is no concord with belial. Fear is torment and will keep one locked up on that job when better is calling them somewhere else.

Job Security. Similar to above … affects those who have stayed longer on-the-job and are vested. Non-managerial positions would also have some seniority perks. Leaving such jobs would mean that such people may have to restart and work their way back up at another company.

None of the above reasons might relate to Mr. Bush. His reason might have been any or all of Power, Global Recognition, and aspiration to the highest possible public office position. A position he held for two terms, yet unfulfilled.

What other reasons do you know or have heard that makes people stay in unfulfilled jobs or jobs they hate? Are you currently in an unfulfilled job or one you hate?

Of God The Creator and Satan The Imitator

We’ve all heard and probably know or acknowledge the deity of the Almighty Creator of the universe. He goes by different names, in the Christian spheres, among which are:

I AM. Elohim. Yahweh. Alpha.
Omega. Omnipresent, Omniscient, Omnipotent. Ancient of Days.
Jehovah El Roi, Nissi, Tsidkenu, etc.

Other religious spheres call Him by other names. This post is not sufficient to do the ultimate justice of narrating all that God is, but its point is to reemphasize that He is God, the Creator, and there is no other like Him.

In the Book of Genesis, we learned that He created the universe, in six days, from nothing. Though some argue His creations and ascribe it to evolution, I propose to you that God existed before science or evolution because He created it all. Please don’t engage me in any argument regarding this statement. We can each believe what we want or like, but there will come a day and time when our beliefs will confirm His Ultimate Supreme Being.

God the Creator breathe into man and man became a living being. He created knowledge, understanding, and wisdom and gives them liberally to whosoever asks Him for it. You don’t pray to have what someone else has; that’s covetousness and it’s sin. You go directly to Him for any and everything you desire and He’ll give it to you according to the way and manner that He has created and wired you while taking into consideration your purpose. I hope you get that.

Because He is the Creator, He is more than able to create anything. And because we are made in His likeness, we have the capability to create as well. Any wonder why you are a creative being. Wow! Ponder on that for a moment.

God the Creator is not limited to how He does what He does. He can use people, things, animals, or allegories, to accomplish His purpose.

On the other hand, we’ve all probably have heard of Satan, the Imitator. Some are even privileged to know him. Satan goes by other names, too, such as

Devil. The Deceiver. The Liar. The Destroyer. The Enemy, Robber, Stealer. Lucifer, etc.

Satan cannot, and does not, create. But he knows how to destroy what has already been created. He knows how to delay creation if he’s allowed.

We read how Satan came to deceive after creation. Satan is still causing confusion today because we’re allowing it. He’s the author of confusion. The lies, deceits, manipulation, jealousies, envies, etc. are his manifestos. Father God we repent for allowing ourselves to be deceived. God forgive us all.

Satan cannot create. He is a counterfeiter and duplicates. He speaks (or suggests) half-truths such that if you are ignorant of the real truth, you’ll be hooked on his bait. God deliver us all.

Nobody likes to talk about satan. “Why are you focused on the negative …?” Whereas God loves to illuminate our minds and grant us knowledge, Satan loves for people to be ignorant and stay or live in the dark about themselves or an issue. That’s why we need to expose him and his tactics so that the eyes of our understanding might be enlightened (Ephesians 1:18a)

God loves gentleness, humility, meekness, kindness, etc. Satan loves bravado, pride, arrogance, etc. God is Light and loves openness and light. Satan lives the dark and secrecy. Please let’s not confuse secrecy with privacy; they are two separate things. Whereas God uses people to bless a person, Satan uses people, and particularly those that are closest to one, to hurt them.

Some are wallowing, out of ignorance, in deception and the dark. It is by talking about this that they (and we all) can recognize that they have been deceived, lied to, and can be brought out of the darkness. May God deliver such folks and us all.

Next time you do something, pause to ask; “who is this glorifying?” The answer will either propel you to action or stop you in your tracks.

Thanks for reading. Stay blessed

Monday Financial Nuggets: 10 things I wish I knew about Insurance

  1. Keeping the life insurance I had when I was younger. Generally speaking, we are all more agile and healthier at 20-30 years old than we are at 40 and over. Buying life insurance at an older age is more expensive. I realized that if I had retained the whole life insurance, I could have locked it in at the former premium.
  2. Buying whole life is better than term. At end of term, one is older and life insurance becomes more expensive. Exception is only if one dies before the term life ends.
  3. Auto insurance is higher for a leased or financed car than for a car bought outright or owned free and clear. This is one of the reasons people talk about preferring to buy used cars.
  4. You get a better (I hate to use the word “cheaper”) rate/premium having the same insurance company for multiple cars, as well as using the same insurance company for your other needs; for example, home, renters, personal, life, etc. It’s called bundling.
  5. That auto insurance companies can use your no-fault auto claims as a potential negligence on your part and raise your premium.
  6. In insuring personal items, keep detailed information and receipt of valuables, as well as take photographs. This will help in case of loss.
  7. Having a fireproof safe box is a good investment.
  8. Staying with the same phone company is good. You can lock-in the plan/price you initially got if your needs remain unchanged.
  9. The essence of having insurance for cellphones, especially when new. The concept is similar to any other insurance, but not necessarily worth it after 2-4 years of owning the phone.
  10. Your good, and long, driving record can get you discounts off your auto premium.

The above are based on my experiences. Insurance companies’ policies do vary. As always, please do your due diligence (research, compare premiums, and ask questions) before purchasing any type of insurance.
Have a financially-wise week.

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.

Ladies and Their Last Names

Credits: Unsplash / @austinkirk

Is’t necessary for ladies to change their last name on marriage?

Credits: Unsplash / @beatriz_perez

First, what’s in a last name? Or, put another way, what’s in your last name? Some regions call it surname.

Your last name/surname is your legacy. Your DNA.

Traditions

In researching for this post, I found an article on the origin of last names. The article stated that

  1. People haven’t always had last names.
  2. China was one of the earliest civilizations to use surnames.
  3. For many years, surnames were passed down by mothers, and
  4. European last names had many sources which can be put into four groups: patronymic, locative, occupational or status, and nicknames.

Most cultures now take on their father’s last name. People change their first names all the time. I did legally from the long to the short form of my name. But it is rare to change one’s last name.

Marriage and Last Name

In several cultures, once married, ladies take on their husbands’ last name. But is’t necessary? When and where did it start? Does it have to continue unchanged forever? This is not about women’s lib. Let’s reason together. I think it is just a tradition that people are hard to let go of. Falls into the “it’s the way it’s done” and “we’ve always done it this way” kind. Read this article to find out more.

As I write this post, I remembered a guy who five years ago took on his new wife’s last name rather than follow tradition. Of course his family didn’t appreciate him doing that but … Initially, I also was apprehensive but later shrugged it off. Why not? Who says that it has to always be one way?

I recognize that some ladies will desire to change to their married name to showcase their new title/status. Society and sometimes the families (both the maiden and marital) insist that the lady change to her married name. If not, it is viewed as if the woman still wants to “roam the singles’ fields” and is not ready for marriage. That’s certainly not true. The change to marital name shouldn’t be mandated (or forced) for those who don’t desire it.

Divorce and Last Name

Noone married hopes for a divorce, but it happens. The after-divorce is one reason why some women retain their maiden name. Some might connote this as a self/fulfilling prophecy to which I disagree. On divorce, especially in a highly-contested one, the desire to continue to carry the name might not be present. Changing back the last name is easy, but it is a huge hassle to change one’s records (for example, career, academic, professional, credit, financial , etc.). It is not a one-time-take-care-of-it-all thing. You never know when you might have to prove your identity in the future because of the change. So what do ladies do? It’s the ladies’ choice. But if it causes disharmony, err on the side of peaceful agreement. An alternative is to use the maiden-married last name hopefully that soothes both parties,

Daughters of Daughters

Also, daughters easily lose their patronymic identity on marriage as a result of this tradition. What if those daughters bore more or only daughters? This might mean that the maiden last name might eventually be extinct. What do such daughters do? My suggestion is to include the mother’s maiden last name on their daughters (or even all children’s) birth certificates so the last name can continue and because it is an important part of their identity.

What are your thoughts on ladies maintaining their maiden last name, and continuing the legacy of the name, on marriage?

The Mystery is Over

I self-award myself The Mystery Blogger Award as I have blogged anonymously over the year. During the period, I have been asked “what’s your name?” to which I had (I hope, politely) requested to simply be addressed as “ThinkTalk.” I also use Thinker-Talker as my name on most sites. But I did consider revealing a bit of my identity on my Blogiversary when I commented on one post some weeks ago. I’m now unsure whose post it was.

ThinkTalk is the blog of a real, genuine, authentic, but frank daughter of God, called Funmi (long name is “OluwaFunmiLayo”which means God gives me joy. ThinkTalk is a space for all that I represent and would like to see in people and the world, including outlet to share lessons learned over my years on planet earth. I am passionate about some things, love Jesus The Christ, and wonder why there is evil, wickedness, and hate in the world. It’s unnecessary and still believe that there is always an opportunity for light to shine amidst the dark and gloomy.

The original name the site started with was FunmiTalks. Though I liked it, I wanted more focus on the Think-ing than Talk-ing and preferred not to link my name to it. I still prefer the anonymity.

I’m based in the American continent; West Coast of the United States of America. Originally from the oldest continent (let’s see if you know your history or geography) (smile).

I love my privacy, I’m private and an introvert, but the extrovert part of me rears its head occasionally. I concluded that I must be an extroverted-introvert. I sometimes wonder if I need to petition Myers-Briggs because it’s always scoring me as an INTJ; only once did I get an INTP. Well maybe the personality type was true for a while. With maturity and life experiences, I wonder if I have radically changed. Will have to retake the test to find out.

I believe that greater difference would be made in the world if people paused to ponder (think) before talking or acting. Words can hurt, words do hurt, and hurtful words are more damaging than physical wounds. Hence, the site ThinkTalk and its tag “Let’s reason together.” I believe that it’s totally alright for people to disagree, but much better to reason together from the center of our agreement. And that if we take time to reason together, we might be able to understand each other better.

Quadrant

A quadrant (quad) among other definitions, is “the area included between such an arc and two radii drawn one to each extremity.”

What quadrant do you belong to? Which quadrant are you presently operating in? And which should you truly be in?

Other terms have been used. Terms such as buckets, sections, structure, quarter, etc. But I like the term quadrants. It is the term used by Robert Kiyosaki, the Rich Dad, Poor Dad best-selling author, in his Cashflow Quadrant book. It is a good personal finance read if you choose to read it. I first read the book over a decade ago and it’s being more meaningful now than ever before.

Not everyone is cut out to belong in the same quadrant. The quadrants that I’m talking about are E (Employee), S (Self-Employed), B (Business), and I (Investor).

Over the weekend, I pondered on these quadrants. Most of us will start out as an Employee and progress through the “ranks” before finally settling in one. It is possible to operate in more than one rank simultaneously. But for maximum impact and benefits, it’s better to focus on one. Did I just say that? Scratch that. All Investors are Business folks and vice versa. Most Employees also operate as Self-Employees (Self-Ees).

The E-Quad

We all know what it means to be an Employee; you’re at the mercy of your employer who has placed a cap over what you can make working for him or her and probably a ceiling on how high you can go. The “official” number of hours you signed up for was eight (8) per day or 40 a week. But the number of hours needed to get the job done or to impress the boss so that s/he can remember you (or your name) for promotion or the five percent (5%) annual salary increase, is 10-12 per day or 50-60 per week. Some “smart” Employees, who are aware (and woke) decide simultaneously to start a “business” with the hope of some day transitioning to it. The problem however is that the constant inflow of bi-weekly checks feel so comfortable and subsequently derails the courage to transition.

The S-Quad

The few who do transition however are happy that they’re putting all those hours into “building” their “business”. The problem though is that they are building a Self-Employment. Happy that they are working for themselves and not another person. Happy that they have their own schedule; can choose to work their own hours, schedule doctors’ and dental appointments around their clock without feeling guilty asking someone for time off. And equally happy that they have no micro-mangers standing behind their desks or staring over their heads. But, is Self-Employment really better?

Self-Employment is still a one-man show (sole-proprietor). Well, before you shout me down – yes, you can employ an admin or receptionist. But you are still the major driver of the ship and without you, there’s no business or sailing. The problem also is that you do not get paid if you’re sick or hospitalized. You don’t get paid if you don’t work. If you have a family emergency or a sick child or spouse, you do not get paid for taking time off your work to care for them. And I hope that you do not leave them uncared for because of your work either.

So, which is better?

Self-Employment is good; better (or not necessarily better) than being an Employee depending on your variables and reasons for starting it in the first place.

The B-Quad

The second-to-the-last quad is Business. Being in Business means creating everything that demonstrates that you are doing business. By this, I mean, a business name, business phone, business bank account (with a business debit or credit card) to avoid co-mingling which gets one in trouble with the IRS, a business website, and a business marketing strategy. Setting the business up is one thing, running the business is another. In business, you have (hire) folks who can do other segments of the business while you focus on your area of expertise. These are your team. The goal is to eventually create a system that can run on its own leaving you time to take a vacation, rest (that will be beneficial to avoid sickness), and probably start another business.

The I-Quad

The last quadrant, an Investor, is one that a majority of people never aspire to. This does not mean that you become a stock trader. There are tons of commodities that one can invest in besides stock. You also don’t have to do the investing yourself. There are a few ways to get involve in investing. You can learn to understand the basics or engage the services of investment bankers or companies. It is in the Investing quadrant that you have your money working for you. You can roll the money made from being an employee, self-employed, and your business into Investing.

Ponderous Note

If everyone becomes a Business person or an Investor, who would be their Employees? This is where one’s purpose comes to play. Know yourself and decide accordingly. One can be an Employee and still be an Investor, though the income-generating capacity might be limited. While Income is limited as an employee, it is infinite in business and investing. You can make income in each quad, but one quad generates more than the other. Sure, other variables might contradict this statement. Please do your due diligence, bear in mind your life purpose, and choose your quad wisely.

There are also tax advantages in the B and I quads that are not available to the E and S. Again, do your research, consult a tax advisor.

This post is not saying that one quad is better than the other. It’s just an overview of all the quads.

It’s Nothing

If everyone believes in you
But you don’t,
It’s nothing

If God says you are and can
But you don’t think so,
Agree or feel it
It’s nothing

No matter how many people
Tell you the qualities they love in you
Still, it’s nothing
If you don’t believe you possess those qualities

Until you know, that you know
That you know, that you know
Who you are
You will be roaming planet earth LOST

Today choose to be FOUND
Give meaning to who you are
Believe you are

CHANGE

Change any and every thing
That needs to be changed;
your mind, your thinking, your words
And your image, if necessary

Give yourself a do-over
See yourself in the image of that which you know you are
or aspire to be

God is waiting on you
To discover
And agree with Him
On who you are

Stop waiting on Him

Today is the day
For a new you
A new beginning.

Just believe
Else
It’s nothing.

What is your state – Happiness or Joy?

What determines your emotions or state of mind – people, things, family, events, – or your self?

We all love and cherish our relationships. I hope that we all do. We cherish our family and families. I hope that we do. We love gifts when gifted. I hope that we do, else we’ll be looking a gift horse in the mouth. And, of course, we love to attend events for various reasons. Who are we and how do we respond to others, especially those closest to us, when these things are taken away (or not forthcoming) for whatever reason? The answer describes the difference between happiness and joy.

What is Happiness; What is Joy?

Happiness is superficial, external and dependent on something or someone. Joy is internally cultivated, thoughtful, and independent. Being Joyful is constant and a state of contentment irrespective of the externalities (that is, people liking and/or befriending or not, your family dumping accolades on you or not, your boy/girl friend buying you gifts or not, or whether you have money in the bank or not). If joy is constant, happiness is erratic and dynamic.

Someone once said that “happiness is when you’re happy when things (and people) are happening for you, but joyful when nothing is happening.” True or true?

What role does Money play?

Money is a biggie and some people allow it to control their emotions. Sometimes one is able to tell when a friend just got some money. The same friend becomes irritable to be around when s/he is financially broke. This is a developmental thing as well. It takes a level of maturity to be constant with or without anything, especially money. And, yes, we all need money and more money, Bills need to be paid, and without money nothing can be done; not even an ice cream night with friends. I get it.. But why be irritable. One can buy things and even people when we have the money. It therefore becomes a tool used not to benefit humanity but to control.

The BIG Telltale

Constant complaint is a telltale sign of someone who is unhappy about something. Sometimes it feels like they are unhappy with the world. It is not uncommon to hear someone who is unhappy complain and shift blame on another person or thing. They are also fault finders. The truth is that, given the right person or thing, that same unhappy person will find something else to shift the blame on. In essence, it is not the person or thing, but the unhappy person’s state of mind.

One who is joyful, on the other hand, is at peace with themself and often is a grateful individual. I have learned that one who lacks gratitude for life or self or anyone, is often a complainer and one whose happiness is short-lived.

Happiness therefore is good, but Joy is better.

So, how can we cultivate a state of joy?

  1. Learn to be grateful and live a life of gratitude
  2. Be at peace with yourself and others
  3. Avoid arbitrarily complaining
  4. Avoid comparisons - there will always be people who are better, prettier, more financially stable, with more more and more than you. Accept or change it, else you’ll be miserable for life; not a good state to be.
  5. Avoid triggers like fear, stress, jealousy, and envy; these are joy blockers.

Now that you know the differences between Happiness and Joy, where would you prefer to make your residence – chasing happiness or spreading joy?

Don’t condemn yourself, neither let any condemn you

Everyone makes mistakes, right? At one point in our lives, each one of us will do or say something regrettable and wish that we could retract or delete or just wished that it was a bad dream? There’s none that hasn’t made a mistake at least once in their lifetime, right? If you haven’t, raise your hand, and I can guarantee you that before the day is over, you would have made your first! I said all that to say that mistakes happen to the best and worst of us all.

But, why condemn one another? Worse; why condemn yourself? Condemning oneself and being condemned by another is an unnecessary weight much worse than the bad committed.

Lord Jesus gave us an example when a woman who was caught in adultery was brought to him. The people wanted Jesus’s permission to stone her to death according to the law. Lord Jesus bent down and wrote in the sand; “he (or she) who has no sin, cast the first stone.” His message was addressed to no-one in particular, yet to everyone, but when the people read it, each one started walking away and left the woman. Jesus then turned to the woman “where are your accusers; hath no-one condemn you; woman, neither do I condemn you. go your way and sin no more.” Read about it in the Holy Bible, the Book of John 8:3-11.

Doing or saying regrettable things only confirms our humanity. Yet His grace is available to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9b). But shall we because of grace continue to sin? God forbid (Romans 6:15).

Don’t we love it when someone understands us, or stands with us, makes us feel better when others condemn us, desert us, or make us feel more rotten than we were before we came to them?

There is enough of condemnation and judging already in the world and we each need to do our part to stop and/or reverse the bad and evil to good. It takes too much energy to be and do bad with the resultant effects of headaches, insecurities, fears, and heartaches that goes with it. I’ve seen people destroy one another for no cause, except merely to feel better or superior than the other! Why? Beats me. Do they not know nor can’t they see that the sky is vast enough for the birds to fly without bumping into each other? I learned a long time ago that destroying another with your words or action is like shooting yourself in the foot and wishing it’s the other’s foot instead. Not that I ever did the bad – God forbid. Eventually people will see/know you for who you are and avoid you like a plague. I’m talking to slanderers, backbiters, liars, deceivers, adulterers, manipulators, and the likes. At that time, you’ll need someone (which you never were) on your side. Ponder on that for a moment. How does that make you feel? I hope that it stirs something in you to cry out for a change.

There is always room for change even to the best of us. Change is available for each one of us. But we have to acknowledge our errors and be willing to want to change, else it will be futile.

The Bible abound with imperfect people who still did mighty deeds for the Kingdom of God. If God could use them still, who are we to cancel anyone out? Um, cancel culture?! I’m not saying that we should not speak up against an evil deed or utterance, but once the person acknowledges and apologizes, we should be willing to let it go.

To err is human but to forgive is divine.

Alexander Pope

What to do if we’re condemned by someone or others?

  1. Let the person(s) know that you’re sorry and apologize yet again
  2. Pray for the person(s) for God to heal their heart(s). Often times the condemnation might not have anything to do with you, the error, or deed done, but with the person looking for someone to justify their own heart issues
  3. Do your best not to repeat the bad deed
  4. After you’ve done all that you know to do, stand therefore (Ephesians 6:13c-14a). Leave God to handle it. It might not happen right away, but trust Him to eventually right the wrong.

Let’s not condemn one another but love in words and deeds edifying one another to the glory of God our Father.

Peace

Obstacles in the way of finding the love you want?

I watched one of Iyanla Vanzant’s show one day after a long absence. The episode was “What gets in the way of finding that one love you want?” I sat to watch as I was curious to see and hear if there will be some surprises or if I am simply old-fashioned regarding the topic.

Iyanla Vanzant Show is a regular on Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). I’m unsure if the particular episode was new or a rerun. Three hundred ladies (a large sample in my opinion) from diverse races, work lives and ages who supposedly couldn’t find love, were invited to share their experiences. Unbeknownst to them, fifty men of equally diverse races, ages and work lives, were behind the curtains watching and listening. Iyanla posed three main questions, offered her advice, and brought the guys out to offer their opinions. We also watched one of the ladies who was set up with three different dates and how she turned each one down because she had criteria that the men didn’t meet. Two of the guys requested a second date, while one wasn’t keen on returning for a second date. As an onlooker, I felt that two of the guys looked eligible enough, but who am I to decide for her, right?

I share the questions and answers below:

Question #1. What gets in the way of finding that one love you want?

Question #2: What is it that you don’t want a man to know about you?

LadiesAnswers:

  • over analyzing everything (turns me insecure)
  • not direct with what I want and getting upset when he doesn’t give it
  • laziness
  • all the good ones are taken
  • men cannot be trusted
  • I don’t need a man
  • I’m scared (my fear is blocking...)
  • I don’t see the red light
  • have too many expectations.

Iyanla’s Ten Advices /Comments:

  1. What goes on in your mind, goes on outside
  2. Anything that moves you to be self-reliant, self-independent, self-…, moves in the way
  3. If you don’t give up that air, he can’t show up.
  4. Your criteria blocks your intimacy with the guy
  5. Be willing to be vulnerable and to do something different
  6. You see the lights but ignore them
  7. People violate you when you don’t give them clear values
  8. Your boyfriend is not your girlfriend. Don’t say/do to/with your boyfriend what you should be saying/doing with your girlfriends
  9. Don’t do the “fight” stance (that is, standing akimbo with or without tapping your feet and the snapping of fingers) it makes the man run!
  10. Take the mask off.

The next question was addressed to the men:

Question #3: Why don’t you call when you say you will?

  • not interested
  • don’t want to disappoint you
  • fear of rejection
  • the chase is the man’s job; don’t do it for us … We don’t want a lady who’s thirsty. (ouch!)

Now you have it, ladies? Do you see yourself in any of the responses? Next time when you wonder why it seems hard to find that special one, hopefully you take something away from this.

Did I say that I was from the old school who still believes that the man ought to seek the lady out? If I didn’t, now you know. This is a conversation that I have had with tons of young ladies and most times they respectfully disagree with the ever-ready response that “it is different now.” This Show proves that, when it comes to dating and love, nothing much has changed except the years, from 70s, to 90s, to the 21st century. The foundations remain constant. True or true?!

Let’s Reason Together

There’s nothing wrong in setting criteria for that special person that you’d like to spend the rest of your life with. But a perfect being who can find? I think it’s only wise not to be rigid. In setting a 10-point criteria, any point beyond 7 is still a pass mark, right? So we need to cut ourselves some slack.

In being too picky one tends to strike out the potentials.

Finally, one with potentials (future value) is always better than the best one now (present value) who can’t hold it together for the long haul.

What are your thoughts on the questions posed and corresponding answers? Differing thoughts? We would all like to hear them and learn. Gentlemen, please chime in as well.

Thank you.

5 Tests of a Leader – Dr. Stephen R. Graves

5 Tests of a Leader – Dr. Stephen R. Graves
— Read on stephenrgraves.com/articles/read/5-tests-of-a-leader-2/

The Heart

Our hearts are tender and should always be kept pure at all times. If not, things such as greed, lust, bitterness, un-forgiveness, resentment, etc. could clog it up and turn us into a contemptuous cynical being that no-one wants to be around. This list also includes the “unhealthy” independence. I’m beginning to accept that being independent is a trait that demonstrates that one loves to roll (or fly) solo and does not need anyone. It is also a false sense of independence. A blog for another day.

Dr. Graves has something to say not only about the unhealthy independence, but also the storms (or tests) of our hearts.

The tender heart can grow cold and callous if left untended. We need to do a regular healthy check. “Search me oh God and see if there be any iniquity in me” (Psalm 51)

I love to receive Dr. Steve Graves’s articles and read how he “weaves themes of strategy, leadership and faith together.” I’ve shared couple or more of his articles previously. In this article, Dr. Graves asks five questions based on the heart:

  1. Where can you give this week and what can you give away?
  1. Where do you need to flee today?
  1. Who do you need to forgive this week?    
  1. Are you suffering from unhealthy independence?
  1. Where do you need to share credit?

I could do away with the unhealthy independence which, for the longest time, I didn’t see as unhealthy prior to now. You know, you cultivate the attitude of not wanting to bother anyone if that was all you heard as a child. Now I know better and have to be intentional about asking for help.

Your turn. Which of the questions resonate with you. I hope you love the article.

Financial Monday: Best Practices for your Finances during Covid

Are you managing your finances differently during covid? If so, what are your best practices?

It has been over a year that we all have been plagued with uncertainties of life and living. Most of us have either lost a loved one or know someone (or family) who has. In addition, tons of folks have either lost their jobs or had pay cuts or reduced work hours in lieu of being laid off. And for those still privileged to have a job, permanence is not guaranteed. Neither is the future certain for pay increases irrespective of Congress’s recent action to raise the federal minimum wage.

And yes we are grateful that the vaccines have arrived, and are being strategically doled out. But the end of covid is still not near.

With all these uncertainties, it will be prudent for us to manage our finances wisely. I hope you agree with me. What steps, if any, have you incorporated for yourself and household regarding finances? Have you made adjustments in the areas of personal finance such as spending, saving, investing, budgeting, and/or retirement, that have been beneficial and you are willing to share?

There are daily necessities that cannot be forgone especially if you have children. Bearing that in mind, are you one of those working from home, but still indulge in purchasing the latest foundation though you have one unopened bottle, and another halfway through, at home? Are the cups of lattes and croissant ($7-$9) from Starbucks still a daily necessity for you? And though there are restrictions of movement in place nationally, are you still indulging in buying clothes/clothing everyday or week though you can’t go out? Are you ordering food delivery everyday? These are a few of the things that I see folks still doing. However they are areas that ideally could be minimized or totally eliminated till normalcy returns to our lives.

There are helps available for those struggling to pay their bills. Creditors are being empathetic during these times and are offering various kind of help. But you will need to let them know. Please contact your creditors rather than avoiding their calls.

So, what are your thoughts on living minimally during covid? Do you agree or not? Are there any other areas that you would advise folks to trim financially?

I have eliminated a few things myself. For example, Starbucks is no longer a daily want for me. Since I’ve been cooking a lot, I am reluctant to dine out. My business/personal trips have been eliminated till further notice. Understandably, right? You’d be surprised how many folks are still traveling around the nation and across the seas. I could still use some more trimmings and I’m looking for those areas.

How about you? Feel free to comment. Thank you.

Unnecessary Evil

Uhm uhm uhm
I have seen so much evil in my days
Days that culminate into years.

Evil that are just unnecessary
Evil that tears families and friends apart
Evil that refuses to go away and lingers generation after generation
Evil that despite one party apologizing for the wrongdoing
The Evil festers and, like
The one bad apple that destroys the whole basket,
That Evil separates a whole family or group of friends.

I began to wonder
Why. Oh why? God why?
I listened to what He would say to me
And this is what I hear:

The heart of my people is maliciously wicked
None of you can fathom it
For I see what you don’t see
I see the hearts of everyone
What is said openly
Does not often match their hearts
What is done openly
Differs from what is done behind closed doors
If I could just open your eyes
To see what I see
It would blast your mind.

The evil stems from
Jealousy, envy, wrath, rivalry, evil concupiscence, greed, lasciviousness, hatred, lying, and the likes.
All these are not from Me.
All these are the unnecessary evil
They stem from fear
They stem from people wanting other peoples’ stuff
Being impatient to wait for theirs at My time.

But this one thing I would say
I see it all
Just be who I have created you to be
One of pure heart
One with a big heart
ever willing to help
Ever loving all but hating none
Do not be overcome with evil
But overcome evil with good.

Do not look at the evil being done
Just look up to me
I got this. Trust me.

The evil you see today
And the people who perpetuate them
One day. Oh one day soon
You shall see them no more.

Nonetheless

There are still much Good
In my people and on earth
Just like the 7,000 whom I reserved
whom have not bowed their knees to Baal
There are still my chosen ones on earth who are good
They are all around you
Some are near
And some far away
But I’m bringing them closer
To my people
And together
You band together
To destroy
The unnecessary evil that is plaguing my people on earth.

Peace to all My Sons and Daughters, old and young.

p.s. never stop being the good person because of the bad people or the evil you’ve experienced.

Philosophical Tuesday: Morals and Morality

Morals. Morality. Social Morals. Moral Compass. We’ve all heard it. But what exactly does it mean and are we all morally conscious and/or (socially) morally obligated to one another. Why or why not?

Seems as if the world is divided when it comes to certain topics, issues, and/or values. We all don’t agree on simple things. One of such things is the issue of morals. I’m not here to judge (aka moral judgment) anyone. Which is also one of the problems. Because the issue of morals/morality is often met with defiant responses/statements such as “you’re judging me” or “don’t judge me.” Such responsories make it difficult for sincere interventions such that no one wants to touch it – let sleeping dogs lie! But I believe that we are socially responsible to one another or that we ought to be and such conversations are necessary.

Morals and ethics sometimes are interchangeably used. As the above definitions state, it is mainly about the right conduct. But could the right conduct of one person be a wrong to another? Or is there a unanimous agreement that right is right and wrong is wrong? Let’s ponder on that.

We need to understand and agree on what morals (and morality) are before moving forward.

. . .

Once agreed, the next question will be “are we born with a moral compass or does life and environment dictate it?

. . .

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP) states that morality can be descriptive or normative. Morals also relate to both an individual and the society.

“Descriptive morality refer to certain codes of conduct put forward by a society or a group (such as a religion), or accepted by an individual for her own behavior. When “morality” is used simply to refer to a code of conduct put forward by an actual group, including a society, even if it is distinguished from etiquette, law, and religion, it is being used in a descriptive sense. It is also being used in the descriptive sense when it refers to important attitudes of individuals. Just as one can refer to the morality of the Greeks, so one can refer to the morality of a particular person.”

Normative morality however refers to a code of conduct that, given specified conditions, would be put forward by all rational people; it takes on the form of avoiding and preventing harm and “holds that morality is (or would be) the behavioral code that meets the following condition: all rational persons, under certain specified conditions, would endorse it.

In addition, there are several views of morality: the relativist, naturalist, consequentialist, utilitarians, and more. Read it all in the SEP.

. . .

Final thoughts

Morals, as you can see, is not so straightforward. “Confusion about the content of morality sometimes arises because morality is not distinguished sufficiently from religion.”

What are your thoughts on this post? What does morals / morality mean to you? Are you one to take a stand for morals or not? What do you think about the various views of morality?

Thanks for reading – to be continued next week.

Financial Monday Nuggets: How would you spend a windfall of $1.5 million

Credits: Eric Prouzet / Unsplash

How would you spend a windfall of $1.5 million if it fell in your hands today?

Let’s talk.

The time to think about $1.5 million is when you don’t have it because you’ll have the time to allocate and fine-tune its use before it shows up in your hands.

If you had $1.5 million today, how will you utilize it?

We’ve all heard of various people such as athletes and lottery winners who have had windfalls of money literarily. Some by a dint of big and multi-year contracts and or hard work, while others by sheer “luck” falling in their laps only to be “begging” and/or homeless and back to square one within a short period of time; sometimes in as short as a year. I hope that no one reading this post will have such an experience.

So, let’s talk family. If you won $1.5 million, were gifted or “luckily” sign a multi-year contract to its tune or more, how would you spend it?

This post is to steer our hearts, minds, and heads to think and effect a sustainable outcome. How many years will you stretch the $1.5 million to work for you, and your family if you have children?

. . .

Technically, most of us would have made over $1 million in the course of our working lifetime. For example, a college grad starting work right out of college, earning $25,000 per year, and working straight till retirement – p.s. college grads earn much more in the USA, except it’s a sales job base salary which of course has bonuses attached. Others making much more would make the $1 million in lesser number of years. But few, or none, of us have $1 million in total assets. 😓

A paradigm is required to be able to effectively manage money. Your attitude towards (or with) money will often determine whether money flows to and stays with you.

Let’s think on the post’s question today, through the week, and hope that the question stays with us and propels us to fruitful financial action. 😊

Jesus Ministry: Dreams

Credits: Sharon McCutcheon / Unsplash

Do you dream? I mean the real dream (the noun). Not the act of you thinking and imagining what could be. Those are good too as was Disney was built on the foundations of imagination and fantasy were.

But today, I want to talk about the Dreams in which you lay down, shut your eyes, and within an hour or so, involuntarily start seeing people and things, while sleeping. Yes, that one. Do you experience that? Let’s talk about it.

What are Dreams?

Biblically, God has been known to speak to His people in and through dreams. (Numbers 12:6, Job 33:14-30). Christians are too familiar with Joseph and his dreams (Genesis 37), King Nebuchadnezzar and the three Hebrew boys (Daniel 2), including Pharaoh and his butler and baker (Genesis 40). In fact, the warning (or advice) to protect baby Jesus came through a dream to Joseph (Matthew 2:19-21). Dreams is also one of the signs of God pouring out His Spirit on earth (Acts 2:17). All these, in my opinion, demonstrate the importance of Dreams.

Scientifically, dreams have been acknowledged as occurring during sleep and are often referred to as REM (rapid eye movements.). However, a research admits that “the initial equation of REM sleep with dreaming has been shown to be inaccurate.” And though I disagree with the research’s conclusion that “dreaming may be closely related to imagination, where brain activity presumably flows in a “top-down” manner,” I somewhat agree that in the scientific world “disconnection from the external environment when dreaming poses a central unsolved paradox, the answer to which may be instrumental for understanding dreams.”

Nonetheless, dreams are so important that the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes (NINDS) wrote about it. Not to state that it is a disorder, but to draw your attention to the importance of sleep which is where and when dreams occur. Click here to read more.

So, what are Dreams? I’m glad you asked. The dictionary has various definitions.

Contrary to the dictionary’s definition, however, research has confirmed that dreams are involuntary.

“Dreams show that our brain, disconnected from the environment, can generate by itself an entire world of conscious experiences.”

My interpretation of this is that we do have conscious experiences though unconscious while sleeping. Is this your interpretation as well? If not, please comment.

Could dreams therefore be paranormal? 🤔

Here’s my definition of Dreams:

An involuntary visualization of succession of events or objects that reveal either God or others’ planned actions, whether good or bad, for you for the present or future. These visualization can also reveal past events that can help with underlying issues in one’s life. They can also be in form of a warning or direction.

. . .

I propose that we all would have dreamed at least once in our lifetime. Also, that dreams are not restricted to any particular one – everyone is capable of dreaming; Christians, Moslems, even non-believers, old and young, male and female.

Some people remember their dreams even years after, while several others do not or barely remember but will often have de ja vu moments later in real life. Some people have multiple dreams during the night. Some of those dreams might be a series of short continuous or different dreams. Others dream occasionally. Some dream in color (God/divine), others dream in black and white, yet some have both types of dreams. I propose to you that the more you remember your dreams, the more God will send them your way. However, if you’re one who says “I don’t dream.” It is either that you do not remember them or you are not interested in what God is trying to show or tell you. God speaks and is still speaking but your antenna might be dull or not tuned to His. You can change that. If you are one who doesn’t remember his or her dreams, a first starting point is drawing nearer to God; start reading your Bible, and by asking God to talk to you.

I believe that Dreams are significant especially to one’s spiritual life. I also believe that they reveal tangible clues.

I hope this blesses you. Feel free to comment. Thanks for reading.

So the former President was acquitted but who was really responsible?

Credits: John Cameron / Unsplash

I’m sure that you’ve heard the news and I’m curious to hear your thoughts on it. I was musing on the news that the 45th President of USA, Mr. Donald Trump, was acquitted from impeachment because of a lack of two-thirds majority required to convict him. Were you happy for him or, like the majority of people, angry with the constitutional process?

The 45th President

There were three quarters regarding the 45th President: one quarter believed that Donald Trump is evil, racist, homophobic, and the (WOATs) worst-of-all-times President; another believed that he was bold, one who could stand up to anyone and one President who was needed for America; yet another quarter were clueless and could care less. Which quarter did you reside in?

We all knew that Donald Trump was impeached twice; once in 2019 while in office for “abuse of power and obstruction of justice”, and recently on January 13, 2021 for insurrection. This was after leaving the office of the President of the USA. This second impeachment was right in the middle of two critical events in the US; that is, exactly a week both before the swearing-in of new President, Joe Biden and after the insurrection. The second impeachment was strategically time-slated and makes Donald Trump the first US President ever to be impeached twice.

Again, like you know, the impeachment proceedings commenced on February 9th and ended with Donald Trump’s acquittal on February 13, 2021.

Did you move quarters after the acquittal or did you love your quarters more? Why?

Personally, I think both impeachments were merely political maneuverings that were unnecessary. I would have been both surprised and disappointed if the outcome of the second impeachment had passed. Why? I’m glad you asked.

  1. I watched both sessions pre-impeachment (to decide if it was constitutional to proceed) and the impeachment hearing itself. Both sides made compelling arguments for and against; some more emotional and convincing than others, that could move the easily-swayed to either side.
  2. It would have contradicted the new President’s call for unity.
  3. It would have lifted the Congress higher and as the optimal seating of the US power rather than the constitutionally-shared power among the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial.

. . .

Undoubtedly , there are consequences when a President is convicted of an impeachment. One of such is that he would have been barred from the GOP from ever running for office again. Another is that he would have been stripped of all benefits and privileges accorded to former Presidents. Read more here.

It is the latter that irks me.

It is a tremendous service of the highest order to be the President of the USA of which there are equally prestigious perks, honors, and most times sleepless nights as well as reliving the saying “uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.” Not all countries can boast of these perks. To have those perks removed as a result of the actions of some folks, in my opinion, would have been extremely unfair.

Now let’s talk about the real people who committed the insurrection.

Who was really responsible for the Insurrection?

One question we were often asked as children was “if someone asked you to put your hands in a blazing fire, would you?” Another was “if someone asked you to jump from the rooftop of a skyscraper, would you?” It didn’t mean that anyone would indeed say such things, but it was a learning statement for kids to think before they commit any act. By the time you’ve heard those statements repeatedly for years, you wise up knowing that if you erred, you cannot be exonerated telling your parents or teachers or any elder that someone made you do it. Smart kids would normally reply that you show them first what you were asking them to do aka learning by example!

My people, let’s not blame Donald Trump. It’s a free country where the Constitution upholds freedom of speech. The President, oh excuse me, the former President was free to open his mouth and freely utter anything he wants. The people we saw on the television, aired globally, were indeed adults and not children. Several could have been parents too. They chose to act without thinking. So I hope that Congress rightly goes after and prosecute the culprits we all saw breaking in, vandalizing government properties, and putting government officials’ lives in jeopardy, including any insiders who connived or collaborated with them.

I didn’t really believe that the former President’s legal team did a great job, but I am glad that Donald Trump was acquitted.

I hope that we all learned some lessons from it all. That we need to:

  1. Think before we vote going forward
  2. Think before we act foolishly based on someone else’s words or actions to us
  3. That Congress would think before wasting government funds conducting a wild goose chase.
  4. That Donald Trump would also now realize that no one is above the law and hopefully, should he choose to run in 2024 , if allowed, will dignifiedly act as a man of honor worthy to represent the USA, including would have learned to be a unifying leader and not a divisive one.

I ask again, were you angry or glad that Donald Trump was acquitted – please no partisan sentiments. Feel free to share your thoughts.

Thanks for reading.

Attitude towards Yourself

Credits: Valentina Conde / Unsplash

Attitude. Attitude. Attitude. We’ve all heard the saying that attitude is everything. It is your attitude that will determine your altitude. Attitude is the equalizer; it’s what makes one or breaks one.

“The greatest discovery of any generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes.”

William James, Harvard University

What is Attitude?

The best definition of Attitude that I found is from Myers’ Social Psychology where Attitude is defined as “a favorable or unfavorable evaluative reaction toward something or someone, exhibited in ones beliefs, feelings, or intended behavior. It is a social orientation – an underlying inclination to respond to something either favorably or unfavorably.”

Attitude towards Yourself

Attitude towards others is one thing, but I believe that our attitude towards ourselves are more important than those towards others. I also believe that there is a direct correlation in one’s attitude towards others and self. If you treat yourself better, you will undoubtedly treat others like you do yourself.

Attitude towards yourself:

  1. can be positive, negative, and/or neutral towards an “attitude object” (a person, behaviour or event).”
  2. is intangible, but the effects are tangible.
  3. is directly inferred and observable. So is the effects of attitude be it positive, negative, or neutral.
  4. is both implicit and explicit.

Attitude towards ourselves determine our attitude toward the world. If you believe that you can, guess what, you will. On the contrary, if you believe that you can’t, guess what, you will not. We shape our own lives and the shapes of them will be determined by our attitudes. For example, a person with a poor attitude towards learning, isn’t going to learn much until he or she changes his or her attitude.

. . .

We’re so familiar with ourselves we tend to take ourselves for granted and we tend to minimize the things we can accomplish, or the goals we can reach, and for some equally strange reason believe that others can accomplish things in our field which we cannot. There are literally millions of human beings living narrow, darkened, frustrated, and defensive lives simply because they take offensive and doubtful attitude towards themselves and as a result towards life in general.

Attitude is a reflection; a result of a person’s will. It is incalculably powerful. It can bring about marvelous results for us but we need to train it patiently day-by-day.

Let’s talk about the attitudes of successful people. The top 5% of people go sailing through life from one success to another and, even when they fail at something, shrug it off and head right out again. No matter who the person is or what he/she does, wherever you find a person doing an outstanding job and getting outstanding results, you will find a person with the right kind of attitude. These people take the attitude towards themselves that they can accomplish what they set out to accomplish. There’s no good reason on earth why they can’t be competent or successful. They have a healthy attitude towards themselves and, as a result, towards life and the things they want to accomplish. And because of this they achieve some remarkable things and they come to be successful, outstanding, brilliant, lucky, and a lot of other things. They’re quite frequently no more brilliant or outstanding than the majority of the people by whom they are surrounded but they did develop the right attitude and they found their accomplishments not too difficult and, many times, surprisingly easy simply because it seems that so few are really trying and really believing in themselves.

Successful people come in all shapes and sizes and in widely varying degrees of intelligence background and so on. But they all have one thing in common:

  1. they expect more good out of life than bad;
  2. they expect to succeed more than they fail;
  3. they radiate confidence assurance;
  4. they have about them the attitude of success in their walk, talk, and even dressing.

. . .

If you think you have a bad or negative attitude, you’re probably right. But choose to change it today. The distance between the negative attitude and positive is the amount it took you to read this sentence. Your intentional decision to change. Start today. Start now so you can reap the benefits of the best positive attitude towards yourself tomorrow.

Sex and Soul Ties

Preamble

Soul ties, and its causal relationship with sex, has been togging at my heart for a couple of weeks now. I finally succumb to its togging to post. I hope that it helps someone.

. . .

Sex is meant to be enjoyed by both partners. It was originally created for enjoyment at marriage (could be a post for another day.), and not pre-marriage. But in a society, where everything is sexual, sex-base and oriented, I acknowledge that this statement might not be welcomed or could be largely contended.

Sex is a tri-dimensional experience involving the spirit, soul, and body of those participating in it. Anytime you have sex with anyone, you bond with them. Whenever a person is sexually involved with another person, neuro-chemical changes occur in both their brains that encourages limbic emotional bonding (LEB).

Limbic bonding is “an emotional and biological connection you form with your partner.” It is the reason that casual sex doesn’t really work for most people on a whole mind and body level.

Casual Sex

Soul ties occur primarily from sexual intimacy.

Two people may decide to have sex “just for the fun of it,” or because they thought that “they’d be together forever,” yet something is occurring on another level that they may not have decided on at all.

Sex is enhancing an emotional bond between them whether they want it or not. One person, often the woman, is bound to form an attachment and will be hurt when a casual affair ends. (this is not to say that men do not hurt when casual sex ends.) One reason it is usually the woman who is hurt most is that the female limbic system is larger than the male’s.

Sex is like gluing two pieces of wood together. Ending (casual) sex is akin to ripping the pieces of wood apart the next day! Of course, the wood from the opposite board (wood) remains on each board. A piece of your sex partner (the good, bad, and ugly) stays with you and vice versa for the rest of your life. You can only imagine what it looks like when you bond with multiple partners. Unhealthy soul ties are often the ramifications of having partners that you create a lifelong bond with through a sexual encounter but with whom you only have a short-term relationship with. What we don’t know is that the bond remains long after the relationship is over, leaving both sexual partners longing for wholeness.

People are misinformed and, therefore, convinced that sex is strictly dimensional, physical act with no emotional or spiritual connections. Yet after sex, they find themselves mysteriously longing for the person they may not even like. A person (usually the woman) gives herself sexually to someone, expecting that the intense intimate act of intercourse would create a bond that would lead to deeper levels of commitment in the relationship. But soon she discovers that her sexual partner was taking advantage of her (or his) need for intimacy and used her/his vulnerability to have sex. Of course, this leads to a person being emotionally and spiritually bonded to somebody they deeply resent!

Also, when two people commit to marriage, they surmise that the covenant vows are only a formality. So they live together and enjoy a sexual relationship outside of a lifelong commitment. But later they decide, for whatever reason, that they don’t want to live in a covenant relationship and eventually break up. They usually don’t realize how deeply they have wounded each other as their souls are ripped apart, tearing the very fabric of their beings in the separation.

. . .

Whether you’re a religious person or not, soul ties is a theory that can be explained and understood by anyone. It is the idea that certain actions can connect you to a person and cause you to bond in a way that is not easily broken. Typically, soul ties are said to come from sex (but are also known to have come from other sources; for example, blood covenants, frats or sororities, or other soulish organizations, etc.). It is the physical act of giving yourself to another person that makes you vulnerable to such a connection.

In a healthy relationship, sexual intercourse is used to unify two people in a way that is nurturing and empowering. It is the manner in which couple shows their love and commitment to one another.

However, in a volatile, hostile or unhealthy relationship, sex causes you to tie your soul to someone who is disempowering and damaged. While it is very easy to recognize healthy and emotionally rich soul ties, it is not as easy to identify the unhealthy ones.

Engaging in intercourse with your partner is something that would be enjoyable. It intertwines your energies and should leave you both feeling loved, adored, appreciated and gratified. If you are engaging in intercourse with your partner, but you’re left feeling hollow, unappreciated, used, or dirty, or you’re experiencing a negative emotional reaction to your mate; this should be addressed. If there’s no resolution or if the reason for your experience is based on the state of the relationship, it’s time to separate. (But please, do not separate mainly on this post or the videos shared. These are shared to enlighten you. I therefore urge you to seek counseling and/or your own resolutions as to understanding your negative feelings in your relationship.)

If you want to know whether you’re connected to a person in a destructive way, monitor how you feel on a daily basis while in each other’s company. If you’re living in a constant state of sadness, hopelessness, confinement, and depression, you’re bonded to your partner in several unhealthy ways. A negative soul tie drains you.

3 Signs that you may have a Soul Tie

  1. You’re in a physically, emotionally, (mentally) or spiritually abusive relationship, but you feel so attached to the person that you refuse to cut off the connection and set boundaries;
  2. You have left a relationship (maybe long ago), but you still think about the other person obsessively. You can’t get them out of your mind. It seems like you’re on withdrawal and your mind is on steroids and you just can’t get him/her out of your mind; for every time you close your eyes, it’s like you see this person; like you’ve developed an unhealthy attachment;
  3. Whenever you do anything, make a decision, have a conversation with someone, you “feel” like this person is with you or watching you. It’s like that neural or mental link is still there. It is not a healthy place to be;
  4. Imagining or hearing a person’s voice in your head; and,
  5. Dreaming about the person or waking up thinking about them regularly.

. . .

Soul ties are outside the will of God for there is an unusual desire to spend all their money on the person and try to please that person. A soul tie outside of marriage echoes statements such as “I can’t live without you,” “I can’t be happy without you,” “I will die without you,” or if I may add, “I’ll die if you leave me.” The negative statements go on and on.

These relationships are not based on the (Holy) Spirit’s love, peace, and joy, and can lead to body ties resulting in physical relationship, and health issues; sometimes afflicting their own bodies or starving themselves and/or losing sleep; often leading to an addiction.

Breaking Soul Ties

If you’re in an unhealthy relationship that reflects any of this post (or the videos shared), know that it can be broken and you can become whole.

The first step is to please seek help today – go for counseling.

  • One way to break it is by renouncing every illicit word you’ve ever said: for example, I renounce ever saying that “I cannot live without you.” I declare that I was uniquely created and can live by myself.
  • Two, ask God for forgiveness for having gotten yourself into the relationship.
  • Ask God for His Grace to move on and to seek His divine relationship.
  • Three, forgive the person, and forgive yourself as well.
  • Four, remove any item belonging to the person still in your possession.

. . .

Also, next time you “feel” like having a quick fling (aka casual sex), please think before you act.

References:

This YouTube video was largely used in this post.

  1. https://youtu.be/gUZMPMyZboI
  2. https://www.brisbanecounsellingcentre.com.au/what-happens-in-your-brain-and-body-when-a-relationship-ends/
  3. https://goals.com/the-science-behind-break-ups-and-how-to-move-on

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.

My Dental Experience

Credits: Jonathan Borba / Unsplash

I need to share this with you all. I forgot about it until I read #K. E. Garland’s post yesterday and it came flashing back!!

. . .

I read one of the WordPress posts from the Reader Discover titled “How to Reverse Tooth Decay – Operation X” in November. The title caught my attention and, lo and behold, it happened to be just what I needed. Please read on. 😊

. . .

Back in November, while having dinner, I felt like I bit on something that was painful. I was eating rice with chicken and broccoli, 😃 but I remembered spitting out a small piece of bone and I thought that must be it. But the following day, I realized that every time I bite down, I felt uncomfortable pain. The pain got worse by the next day. One family member said that it was probably my wisdom tooth and that it needed to be pulled out. Another said that it’s probably a root canal. The thought of either made me cringed. I made an urgent appointment to have it checked.

. . .

The prior year, I was told by my former dentist that I had cavity and should have it filled asap but I didn’t.

Having just relocated, I needed a new dentist. I found one and greatly appreciated that I was given an appointment immediately.

. . .

At the dentist’s office, my teeth were x-rayed. I was expecting to be told that I had a cavity that had deteriorated and needs to be filled. But, no. The dentist started explaining what he thought was going on and how it could be corrected. Though he didn’t use any technical terms, his explanations flew over my head. I did not understand what he was saying! So I enquired again,

Me: “are you saying that I have no cavity; my last dentist said that I did?!”

Dentist: “no you don’t.”

Me: “What?! Really? Not even one?! Did you thoroughly check the x-rays?”

I was perplexed. Now who do I believe? Ain’t dental examinations supposed to be the same across board? And cavities are cavities and cannot be missed? Several thoughts and questions were running in my head.

Dentist: “Mam, you do not have any cavity. Do you want to go ahead with it?”

Me: “does my insurance cover it 100%? If not, let me know how much I have to pay out-of-pocket.”

Dentist: “I’ll get the Office Manager over to check that for you.”

The Office Manager came over and explained what my insurance covered and my co-pay. According to the dentist, eleven teeth (almost half my whole mouth!) were involved and each tooth would cost $200 each! They even offered me the opportunity to split the works in two – have six teeth done now and return in 3 – 6 months to complete the rest.

Me: “if I do these, are there any guarantees?”

Dentist: “no; nothing is guaranteed.”

Me: “okay, thanks. Can I just have my teeth cleaned and let me think about it.”

Office Manager: “will you like an appointment for Wednesday?”

This incident happened on a Monday.

Me: “no; I’ll call you once I decide to have it done. Thank you.”

Office Manager: “how about your 6-month appointment?”

Me: “okay please schedule it. Thanks again.”

I have to share the above details for better understanding of what happened next.

I read the WP post about a week or so after my appointment. The post was a long read. I saved it to read and digest later. On reading it, I mused to myself, “I think this is what my dentist was trying to explain to me.” In the post, the blogger talked about “mineralization,” “demineralization,” “remineralization,” and oral hygiene among other things. The blogger also shared that he uses a few drops of tea tree oil mixed with water as his preferred mouthwash product. So I decided to try out his preferred mouthwash product. Tea tree oil has a variety of uses and I have used it in the past for other purposes. I know that it is a very strong product that needs to be used cautiously. But I was willing to try it out so just maybe it will relieve my toothache.

I bought the tea tree oil. Took a Q-tip and dipped it in the tea tree oil and dabbed it on the aching tooth and over my gum. I repeated it on the other side of my mouth. With the saliva formation, I gargled for about 5 minutes. I repeated this at night.

When I spit out in the bathroom sink, at night, I heard a sound. “What’s that?” I picked it up, felt it and tossed it round about trying to figure out what it was.

Ladies and gentlemen, it was a small piece of chicken bone – about half the size of a tooth! 😱 I can’t tell if the tea tree oil did it or the Q-tip I used pushed it out or a combination of both. But, I was so glad and relieved that it fell out.

. . .

Well, the tea tree oil is now also my preferred mouthwash product; thanks to #Operation X #Dyami Millarson. Can you all imagine that I saved over $2,000 by using a $7 tea tree oil. This is the power of us all. Our blogs are helping one another. I sincerely hope that my blog is helping someone too.

My teeth and the particular one hasn’t hurt me since then!

. . .

After this experience, I was turned between what to do. Should I report the dentist/dental office to my insurance for charging for x-ray but couldn’t detect a chicken bone stuck in my tooth and could have “defrauded” them and me of more?

What would you have done under the circumstances?

Thank you for reading.

Following/Unfollowing on Social Media

Following/Unfollowing on Social Media

http://think-talk.org/2020/05/18/following-un-following-on-social-media/
— Read on think-talk.org/2020/05/18/following-un-following-on-social-media/

I first posted the above almost eight (8) months ago. The topic is very relevant today. I edited a bit of the initial post. Thanks for reading.

. . .

The essence of any community is to support one another. In supporting one another, it is okay to agree to disagree respectfully.

In any community, and especially the blogging community, we recognize that there will be differences in style, niche, tonality, etc. To that degree, maturity, wisdom, and mutual respect are needed and essential to stick with one another despite our apparent differences that goes beyond gendering.

Is it right for anyone to un-follow another?

Who am I to force anyone to follow me; not even my family members will I insist to do so, let alone my internet friend. Don’t misunderstand me – internet friends are essential and we all need some for social media purposes as the lack thereof sends a contrary message. What with covid making physical socializing impossible, right?

I googled [https://bit.ly/2AGyrrD] “why do people unfollow on social media” and got “About 118,000,000 results (0.50 seconds).” This is serious and shows that it is an act that is frequently committed by all. The truth is that I had, once ever, un-followed some folks in the past and I do not regret doing it. The sad thing was that it was while being involved in a “Christian” organization. I later realized that though the organization was tagged as a Christian-based, not everyone involved were Christians; as such, there were things said and done that I felt were contrary to my Christian doctrines. Rather than the leaders taking a biblical stand to address the issues, they resorted instead to “preach” about it and against those of us who were exposing the mixed messages. I felt this was hypocritical and I left the organization. I also deleted my FB profile because it was used as our meeting platform. In addition, I realized that most of the members followed me not because they “liked/loved” me, but to “monitor” me, and others. Sadly, this is not uncommon with, and unbecoming of, Christians or Christian organizations. It’s the little foxes that spoil the vine. Anyways …

Why un-follow?

Following personalities and brands on social media signifies various things to various people. It is often because the other party likes/loves the person, brand or content published. It could also be because the person is a family member, an alum or frat or sorority, or simply a fan. Most do not even know the person they are following.

The advent of technology/social media has made everyone a friend so near. Whatever the reason one chooses to follow another, there is equally a reason to un-follow. It’s all good when we follow. But let’s talk about unfollowing.

The first Google result states that “41.50% of Social Media Users Unfollow a Brand That Posts Too Much.” This contradicts the blogging principle that states the more you blog, the more people know you and that blogging a lot helps drive traffic to your site! Another reason was that people unfollow when one doesn’t blog enough. Hello somebody?! What then is considered enough or reasonable blogging?

Some unfollow as a form of rejection. I disagree with this thought. How can someone I don’t even know reject me? If it happens, I won’t take it personally. I either merely ignore the person or statement or post an extra-nice comment to the person. And if I do know the person, it is a free world that allows people to change whenever they feel like it. Unfollowing me does not a hair remove from my head. And I hope that the folks whom I unfollowed feel likewise. I might see the person the next day and still be cordial. I said all that to say don’t take it personally if someone unfollows you. It has become part of the social media un-etiquette.

Other reasons, according to Sprout Social, include as listed in the chart below:

Source: SproutSocial.com

Un-Netiquette

I have read about bloggers following another in order to garner a follow-back only to unfollow once the said blogger follows them. It probably had happened to me unawares. Why go about follower-ship in this manner? It is nothing short of deception. People know your immature tactics and eventually, it will catch up with those who are doing so, and they will be exposed and eventually suffer follower-ship. The act violates simple courtesies but since there still isn’t a valid social media law, who am I to state that a law had been violated?! If there’s no law, none can be violated! Be that as it may, people are entitled to follow or un-follow. Notwithstanding, the un-following, those who like your content will continue to follow you.

. . .

Final Note

Please let’s continue to support one another the best possible way that we can. There’s a lot of “bad” already in the nation/world. Let us be the light that shines in darkness.

Stay graceful.

Monday Financial Nuggets: Earl Nightingale’s Checklists

youtube.com/watch

The above Earl Nightingale’s video has been popping up for a while. I finally watched it and what a goldmine! Please watch till the end as I believe that the platinum nuggets lie within the 5-7 final minutes of the video.

Haves and have nots. The have nots always begrudge the haves! (p.s. Tyler Perry has a series with this title. The only series that I have watched religiously in the last ten years! Love it. Check it out on OWN. You can also find various streams on YouTube.)

Why do few manage to be financially well-off in a country where success is available?


Statistics

  • 10% of men 65 years and older have income of $6,000 a year; >80% of all men >65 have income of $4,000 a year
  • Starting a career in your 20s, would mean you would have worked >40 years at retirement. Using a meagre $25,000 per year salary, (a paltry in this tech age), means you would have made >$1 million. How much of this was saved or invested?
  • Only about 10% will be financially secure when the age of 65 rolls around.

Questions to ask yourself

  • What are you doing at the present time to increase your income now?
  • How much do you want to earn?
  • How much money are you planning to be worth at age 65?

Constructive thinking on the above questions is necessary for change in how much you earn.

Big income earners made the decision to earn more. Have you? Will and when would you?

Analogies:

  • A woman who does not think about baking an apple pie for dinner tonight will not think of looking up a recipe for apple pie. Without the decision for pie, there’s no motivation for checking out the recipe. Likewise,
  • A man who does not think about driving his car to St Louis MI or Nacogdoches TX will never make the decision to get roadmaps that will help him get there. Therefore,
  • A man who never decides to earn more money will never think of learning how or looking up the rules for making more money.

Lifestyle Quotes

It’s a free country; anyone has the inalienable right to be just as wrong as they want to be!

We must view with profound respect the infinite capacity of the human mind to resist the inroads of useful knowledge. – Thomas Lounsbury

Knowledge is available to everyone. We can either listen to those qualified to teach us or we can go along with those ancient stumbling blocks we get from people who don’t know any more than we do.

. . .

A jet pilot goes over his checklist item-by-item before a takeoff from the airport and before he lands at his destination. Living successfully is just as important as flying an airplane.

. . .

Checklist

  1. Our rewards in life will always be an exact proportion to our contribution our service. (Similarly regarding JOB: The money you’re paid by the company you work for will always be in direct ratio to the need for what you do, your ability to do it, and the degree of difficulty involved in replacing you.)
  1. The gold mine. “The only thing about a man that is a man is his mind; everything else you can find in a pig or a horse.” – Archibald MacLeish. The key to any man’s success is his mind!
  • How many good ideas have you come up with in the past year?
  • Are you being a copycat or following the follower?
  • Whose drum are you marching to?
  • Do you want to be a contributor or a beneficiary?

3. Attitude. Alter your life by altering your attitudes of mind. (We become what we think about!) – Williams James

Think. Start getting up one hour earlier than you’re accustomed to. One hour earlier a day gives you 6 1/2 40-hour week a year. Take a refreshing shower, dress, have a hot cup of coffee (or tea) and then sit down with a clean sheet of paper. At the top of the paper, write your financial goal which is the amount of money per year you intend to earn soon. Then start to think; think about your goal and see how many ideas you can come up with to help you reach that goal; ideas to improve what you now do for a living, ways of increasing your contribution to match your income goal . . .

Cheers to a strategically financially you in 2021!

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.

Jesus Ministry: Fasting and Understanding its Power

youtube.com/watch

Understanding the Power of Fasting video

. . .

I have wanted to blog on Fasting and, again, the beginning of the New Year is a good time to post the topic. Not that fasting is only done at the beginning of a New Year. Far from it! Fasting can be done anytime and for various reasons/causes.

There is nothing I could post or share however that will surpass the above video by late Dr. Myles Munroe. Please watch and form your own conclusion.

. . .


What is Fasting?


According to Dr. Myles Munroe, Fasting is

  • the willful abstinence from natural pleasures for a spiritual purpose;
  • it is a personal commitment to renounce the natural to invoke the spiritual;
  • it is the dedication to a period of time to devote oneself to spiritual priority of prayer without food.

Fasting is like a plunger. Food is a clog in a pipe – the more you eat, the smaller the hole in the pipe. Fasting unclogs the pipe.

Fasting puts your body where it ought to be; that is, under your spirit.

Effects of Fasting

  1. It changes you
  2. It does not move God
  3. It increases your spiritual capacity
  4. It breaks habits and spiritual bondage
  5. It quiets the heart to hear God’s voice/mind and calms your spirit
  6. It brings godly intimacy
  7. It speeds up healing.

Fasting Scriptures

  • Esther 4:16
  • Psalm 109:24-25,
  • Jeremiah 18:7-11, 36:9,
  • Daniel 9:2-3,
  • Joel 2:12-13

Fasting is not dieting

*** Disclaimer ***

Please consult your physician before embarking on a fast.

Are you a People Pleaser?

Credits: Vanessa Van Edwards

Are you a people pleaser and would rather please everyone rather than yourself or God? Are you afraid to say ‘NO?’ Are you “too nice or too agreeable?” Do you allow everyone to walk all over you? “Are you desperate to gain other people’s approval while neglecting your own needs?” If you answer ‘Yes’ to any or all, you are a people pleaser. See also Amy Morin s ten (10) signs of a people pleaser.

Morin described a people pleaser as “someone who tries hard to make others happy. They will often go out of their way to please someone, even if it means taking their own valuable time or resources away from them. People pleasers often act the way they do because of their insecurities and lack of self-esteem.” Also, there are underlying issues (such as feelings of unworthiness, molestation, rape, to name a few) that are being suppressed that enables a person to become a people pleaser.

. . .

God’s Word says that

“If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:18‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Living peaceably with all however does not equate turning oneself into a doormat for every Tom and Harry or Jane and Sally to wipe their feet all over you; does it?

It’s all right to be agreeable with all and to be perceived as a peacemaker/keeper, but wanting to be so to your own detriment is not okay. “Some people don’t know how to say ‘NO’”. Is that really true? Maybe they just don’t know how to say ‘NO’ to some people. I have noticed that these kind of people end up taking their anger or aggression out on the wrong people in their lives such as a spouse or their children. They have said ‘YES’ to everyone else and don’t have any left for the very special people in their lives. They end up hurting the ones they ought not to hurt! I call it misplaced priority.

Amy Morin states that “You’ll never reach your goals if you’re trying to be all things to all people … often than not, people-pleasing wasn’t really their problem; their desire to make others happy was merely a symptom of a deeper issue.

For many, the eagerness to please stems from self-worth issues. They hope that saying yes to everything asked of them will help them feel accepted and liked. Other people-pleasers have a history of maltreatment, and somewhere along the way, they decided that their best hope for better treatment was to try to please the people who mistreated them. Over time, for them, people-pleasing became a way of life.”

Are you a people pleaser? Take the test here to find out!

. . .

We all will, at some point in our lives, please people. But I hope that the times we do/did were only as a choice not an obligation.

In the New Year, I implore you to choose whom you will please – yourself, other people, or God. Pleasing people often hurts us, but pleasing God categorizes you/us as His favorite. Choose wisely this New Year whom you’ll please.

If you are a people pleaser and need help stopping , click here to read Vanessa Van Edwards’ eleven (11) helpful tips.

Caring for one another: 10 things you can do to show you care

Credits: Bible.com / (C) ThinkTalk

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

Leo Buscaglia

In a world where everyone is in a rush, where everything needed to have been done and completed yesterday, and where microwaving is preferred to stoving, it takes a real human to pause and care for another.

Most of us don’t pause to know who our neighbor is. I once lived in a neighborhood where it took damage to my neighbor’s fence for her to acknowledge that she had someone living next door. We had been neighbors for six years and never saw each other though I attempted to introduce myself a few times to no avail! I know it sounds ridiculous … I could have ignored her when she finally came knocking, but I seized the opportunity to express my feelings. Happens that she’s a registered nurse (RN) and works the night shift; so our days/times were anti.

Still no excuses – six years is a long time. We can either justify or be intentional about caring. When we justify why we can’t, guess what, we will never. But, it is greatly appreciated when one steps out to care despite one’s busy schedule,

. . .

It really doesn’t take much to check on one another. It’s both humane and a great safety measure. For example, I will not be able to differentiate between an intruder and a true guest if I did not know who my neighbor is. We’ve heard incidents happen that otherwise could have been averted had folks stopped to care.

Yes, you have projects that need to be completed;
Yes, you need to fulfill that mega-dollar contract; and,
Yes, you’re on the go for the next (fill-in-the-blank),
But, before you set off, let someone know that you care and love them. You might just put a smile on their face and hope in their heart.

This is particularly essential for children. A hug, caring eyes, a smile, look that shows that they are the most important to you, is paramount for their development, helps build up their self esteem, and grounds them securely in the knowledge of who they are.

There are tons of ways that we can care, but here are my top Ten (10).

  1. A hug. My daughter told me that a 22-second hug releases endorphins 😊 This was confirmed by Healthline (https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-increase-endorphins) “When released, endorphins can help relieve pain, reduce stress, and may cause a euphoric feeling. In short, they can make you feel pretty darn good.”
  2. A smile costs the giver nothing but is everything to the receiver.
  3. Saying “I love you” should never be rationed nor justified. Because you said it in the morning doesn’t mean that you must withhold it at night, or yesterday and withhold tomorrow. Neither should love ever be justified. Love just because!
  4. Listen with intent to understand. Everyone likes to talk, but it takes the special few to actively listen. Be one of those special fews.
  5. Affirm - your love, loyalty, support, etc. daily.
  6. A phone call. Pick up your phone and make the call instead of texting. Hearing the voice gladdens the heart that no texting can replicate.
  7. A note - slip one into your children’s bag or a book (or Bible) that you know they’ll read on that day or in your significant other’s jacket or wallet.
  8. Send occasional flowers or plants without waiting for a special occasion such as anniversary or birthdays.
  9. Order a meal or two for delivery to your loved one(s). This gives them a break and is appreciated more during Covid-19.
  10. Do random acts of kindness; for example, offer to run an errand for them, walk with them or walk their dog, help take their children out to the park or to watch a movie.

Many display love and caring only after a person is gone (as in dead!). Let’s display the affections now, in the present. Who knows – it might just extend the lives of our loved ones.

I’ll end with

Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.

Og Mandino

Love & Peace!

The D-Day has come and gone – 2

Credits: NBC

[Last paragraph from the previous post:]

The Constitution of the United States of America states that “the results won’t be official until each state fully canvasses and certifies its presidential election results, which occurs on a different timeline in every state.” The Electoral College has to declare the Presidential winner after the electors vote on December 14. The votes have also been recounted and, yes, some have reaffirmed Joe Biden as the winner. But it’s not final until the Electoral College’s proclamation and Donald Trump’s concession. All eyes and ears will be fixed on December 14.

But, wait a minute.

. . .

Did anyone think

Did anyone think to ask “why has the Associated Press (AP) declared Joe Biden and Kamala Harris the winner; replicating and reiterating Hilary Clinton’s victory presumptuously in 2016?!”

But, wait a minute

What if …

What if, come December 14, the Electoral College, after casting their votes, reverses the presumed JB-KH victory?

What if this was all to teach Donald Trump a lesson in humility? Okay, yay, YOU can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but GOD can.

But, what if truly the alleged fraud was detected? What if the Electoral College’s vote on December 14 overturns the presently assumed winner? How would we all handle it? Undoubtedly, we cannot as a nation afford another unrest. I pray that there will be peace irrespective of the outcome.

What if we all said though Donald Trump does not deserve my vote, I’m willing to give him another chance? Hey, don’t shut me down – I’m just a messenger.

Several other what-if scenarios, but that’s not the point of this post.

. . .

The D-Day has come and gone; yet the presidency (or is’t the President) is still hanging, and the presumed winner Joe Biden is already selecting his proposed cabinet.

. . .

The Point is …

The point of this post is to actually reveal ourselves to ourselves! How hard-hearted everyone has been towards Mr. (Incumbent President) Donald Trump. Or is’t a matter of politicking at its best (or worst depending on your view!)

Two wrongs not a right make! We all, on one hand, profess good, love, forgiveness, positivity, and whatever lingo we profess it by. But with a swift turnaround are quick to throw stones and crucify!

God help and deliver us all!!!

Credits: Bible.com / ThinkTalk

More pondering

Why hate one another so? Or rather, why hate on Donald Trump so?

Would you be glad if someone gave you another chance?

Would we rather be the Good Samaritan or the neighbor who refuses to answer his door when you knocked at 3:00 A.M.?

When you’re in trouble or in need, would you want at least one person coming to your aid?

When everyone wrongfully accuses you, how would you feel if at least one person stands out and up for you?

Could all that happened had been a case of good versus evil and Donald Trump wrestling with spiritual wickedness?!

Ponder on these defying moments for a second.

May there always be a rescuer in our time of need. Let us all pay it forward.

. . .

If you’ve ever been in dire straits you’ll understand Donald Trump’s dilemma. Did I hear you say “he asked for or caused it?”

“He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone!” 

John 8:7b

If you’ve ever been in a place where everyone who was your friend turned against you for no cause or course!

  • A place where everyone and everything lied against you for no cause or course!
  • A place where everything you easily did suddenly became a chore!
  • A place where no-one, including your family, knows you any more – you’ve become a mystery to all
  • A place where your life defies a cause-and-effect scenario.
  • A place where it’s all confusion for one who’s known to be orderly.
  • A place where it’s just you and God!

A place, just you and God, is always a great place to be. It’s a place where all your questions get answered. A place where all doubts are eroded and all negatives are turned to positives. It’s a place where even the prophets dare not to tread and all intelligence, clout, or moolah are silenced. A place where the storms keep still!

Get in there and cry out to Him. He will meet you there and give you solutions that only He can!

Peace!

Alexander The Coppersmith

Credits: Bible.com/ThinkTalk

Paul made the above statement, in chapter 4 of his second letter to his spiritual son Timothy. Other references to Alexander the coppersmith can be found in 1 Timothy 1:20 and Acts 19:25-27).

. . .

Numerous times that I have read this chapter, I have wondered what Alexander the Coppersmith did.

Could it have been because Alexander greatly withstood Paul’s words, opposing his message about Christ and the church? Or was it because Alexander organized against Paul because he, and the metal workers, were losing business as a result of Paul’s evangelism? The organization caused a riot, tears and trial for Paul. Or could it be that Alexander slandered Paul and instigated the people against him?

Whatever Alexander the coppersmith did, it is noteworthy that Paul did not seek a personal revenge; nor did he request his spiritual son to handle the issue on his behalf. But instead, he wisely turned the matter over to God for justice. (see Proverbs 20:22, Hebrews 10:30).

The point of this post is to implore us to surrender all wrongdoings, done to us, to God; whether the wrong is personal, against our family/families, our race, our finances, relationships, marriage, work/career, or business/es. I know that it is not easy and probably doesn’t come natural as we’ve been used to “taking charge.” But I have come to the realization, stemmed from acknowledging, the incessant messes I have made taking the matters up personally. That I now, prefer for God to handle my affairs. I finally realized the much-better job that He does when I leave it to Him.

. . .

Human beings, by nature, prefer to take matters into their own hands either because we’re impatient or we desire instant justice, the need to be right, or all of the above.

You’ve probably heard statements such as “God is not going to come down to do it …” or “I must be a fool.” There are several utterances that stir up our ego to action that essentially ought to be ignored and for us to simply say, “thanks, but no.”

True that God won’t come down to do everything you need to handle yourself. But do you know, without any shadow of doubt, which ones you are to handle and the ones to give to Him to handle?

We know that God uses people to carry out His purposes and works on earth. Allow Him to choose who, but know when to do and when to surrender it to Him. He will often speak to you through His Word or peace. Please hands off if you have an unsettling! Constantly ignoring either the peace or unsettling could impact one’s ability to sense either or both. So please don’t ignore or shrug these off.

Also, a fool in the eyes of men/women, is a wise one in the eyes of God.

Anyways, Paul continues:

“At my first defense no one appeared on my behalf, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them! But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed and all the Gentiles might hear it. …” (2 Timothy 4:14-17)

This verse tells me that he was one-against-many; found himself solo on the other side of the room. Trade a minute and step into Paul’s shoes. What would you have done? Whatever you do, stand firm and remember that one with God is a majority.

Credits: Bible..com & ThinkTalk

Guiding Scriptures

“Hatred stirs up strife but love covers all sins” (Proverbs 10:12).

“Love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8)

““… See that none render unto any one evil for evil; but always follow after that which is good, one toward another, and toward all.”
‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:14-15‬ ‭

“Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord‘ ” (Romans 12:19).

Epilogue

My people, if we live our lives based on these scriptural foundations, we will all be easily forgiving of one another.

“Leaving retribution to God does not mean remaining silent about the harm that has occurred. Instead, Paul (and we too should) set an example to follow in naming the misdeeds, warning others, and then leaving retribution to the Lord.”

Whoever Alexander the Coppersmith represents in your life (our lives), today, I beseech you and us all to take a cue from Paul and leave it to God. His Grace is sufficient to help us.

May His Peace continue to guide us.

References:

Popular or Electoral?

Are you following the American Elections or still glued to your television awaiting the results like I still am? Or while driving, tuned to the radio that’s analyzing the American Election results?

If you are, I’m sure you’ve heard Popular Votes and Electoral Votes. What do they really mean as it concerns America’s Election and the ongoing count and results?

Well, remember that I blogged about being “anxious” (something I ordinarily I’m not) about the Election and post-Election. It still bothers me that the feeling is not falling off despite my prayers. I can’t wait for God to reveal the why.

. . .

Well, well. We all know what popular means. It simply means favored by the majority. As in someone being popular, right? The majority of the people like the person. Good.

Please note that not all States’ votes have been 💯% counted. Mail-in votes are still trickling in and will continue to be counted for the next few days.

At the moment, though, the counted election results are indicating that Joe Biden is the popular guy. But, wait a minute . . .

Well, well, well. But what do we know about the Electoral votes? Electoral votes, in the U.S.A., determined the 2016 Presidential Race. As you now know, Hilary Clinton won the popular votes, but Donald Trump won the electoral votes and became President.

“Each state has a number of electoral votes equal to the combined total of its congressional delegation, and each state legislature is free to determine the method it will use to select its own electors.” The numbers are shown on the map below.

Credits: ncsl.org

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), “the 50 States and the District of Columbia use one of two methods for awarding their electoral votes.” These are either the Winner-takes-all System or the District System. Read more about it here.

For your information, and for the benefit of my non-US followers, there are currently a total of 538 electoral votes.

“The U.S. Constitution specifies that the President and Vice President of the United States are to be chosen every four years by a small group of people (currently 538) who are individually referred to as “presidential electors” and collectively referred to as the “Electoral College.””

Interested in learning more, click here. Hence, the Presidential candidate needs a total of 270 votes to be a winner. Biden currently has 264 and Trump 214. But, uno momento! I hear you say, that’s not difficult, right?

It’s not. But you might not be aware that

the President of the USA is not chosen by a national popular vote.

Read more here.

. . .

We might not know the true and final results for many days to come. What with incumbent President Donald Trumps’ lawsuits. Till then, join me in praying for peace not only in America, but globally. 🙏🏾✌🏾😍

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. ❤️✌🏾

We are a complicated species

Credits: https://unsplash.com/@ryoji__iwata

Human beings are so complicated. I wonder why. Lately, I’ve been pondering on why it’s so hard for us to get along with each other. Some might claim that my statement is invalid that human beings do get along. To this I say that few people getting along, when ALL or majority could, does not invalidate my claim nor equate everyone getting along. Please read along with me.

In terms of religion alone, we all claim to be of, and worship, one and the same God, yet we have a multitude of branches of religion. The multitude of branches and denominations stemmed mainly from disagreements over doctrines and/or subjective interpretations of parts of the Bible or the religion’s sacred book.

Why so many?

According to records, there are five major religions; namely, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism, but a staggering 4,300 religions worldwide

Image: Carrie Osgood / weforum.org / World Map of Religions

Intra-Branches

Christianity is divided between Eastern and Western theology. In these two divisions there are six branches: Catholicism, Protestantism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, Oriental Orthodoxy, and Assyrians. Restorationism is sometimes considered the seventh branch.”

Each major religion also has its own branches. For example, there’s the Roman Catholics but “the German monk Martin Luther … denouncing the Catholic sale of indulgences — pardons for sins — and questioning papal authority led to his excommunication and the start of the Protestant Reformation.”

We can go down the list of each major religion and its branches.

. . .

Islam is also represented by several major branches: Sunni, Shi’a, Ibadi, Ahmadiyya, and Sufism.

Modern Hinduism is divided into four major devotional sects: Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Shaktism, and Smartism.

Judaism also has four branches; the Reform, Orthodox, Conservatism, and Reconstructionist.

Each religious branch also has its branches; branches within branches!

I hope you get the point?

Yet some might say that “variety is the spice of life” and that it is better to have choices rather than be restrictive. True, but doesn’t it make life somewhat harder and the people more complicated to deal with? A branch of religion prefer to stick together with its members and view others suspiciously because of differences in doctrines.

Well, well, well … I could go on and on. As it is with religion, so it is with other areas of life.

I’m not complaining, just pondering.

What would the world view be like if we all practiced one religion? Do you think it will be boring or fun? Just a thought.

Thanks for reading.

Nutrition Facts Label: Should We Really Care?

What are Nutrition Facts Label?

“The Nutrition Facts label is required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on most packaged foods and beverages. The Nutrition Facts label provides detailed information about a food’s nutrient content, such as the amount of fat, sugar, sodium and fiber it has.” (Source: Mayo Clinic)

When do you start caring about nutritional facts – Now, Sometimes, or Never?

If you’re like me who can eat anything I want at anytime without any problem. I’m not one to act frenziedly about the daily caloric intake of my food or meal. I’m grateful to be blessed with a petite stature; except that my doctor thinks that I might be overweight because of my BMI. Read my thoughts on that here. Though I watch certain seafoods that I eat, I’m free from any sort of allergic reactions visible or latent in foods, and who humbly says that overall health and wellbeing is pretty good, you might fall into the category of “Never.”

. . .

But wait a minute. All that might change as it did for me when I had some skin issues that were diagnosed as extremely dry skin; not eczema not psoriasis. Thank goodness. The dryness were only on my scalp, which occasionally flared, and certain parts of my body. I got myself a skin haircut and I’m loving it.

Thereafter, I became extremely concerned about what I feed my body. I became particular about nutritional contents of every food and drink; wanting more of certain nutrients and less or none of some.

I began wandering about the validity of nutritional facts. How do we verify the information on those labels? Do they really contain all the items and percentages listed? Except for iron and calcium which are obvious by their outcomes; that is, the “greenness” of one’s excreta and nails growing respectively, it’s difficult to validate the remaining nutrients.

For example, you know that your antibiotics are working when your urine smells like the antibiotics, right, which means its flushing out whatever shouldn’t have been internally. But what about the other minerals and nutrients supposedly in our foods? Do we merely accept the nutritional facts on the labels for what they are?

A, B, Y, or Z?

Anyways … I realized one day that I spent almost thirty minutes comparing the facts on all available milk brands because the store ran out of my usual brand. I went to the store for a quick pick up of milk, so spending that much time to compare was a lot of my time that I didn’t intend to spend. I finally chose one.

Also, at the onset of COVID-19 and the stay-at-home order, most stores were out of Black Eye Peas; my favorite type to buy. Same thing, I compared the nutritional values of every type of beans available. The nutritional information were all pretty similar. Though I tried other types of beans, I reverted to my Black Eye Peas.

. . .

I once blogged about adding avocado to every meal? I thought out one day; “what did I used to eat before avocado?” My daughter responded “beans!” And all present bursted into laughter. I love my beans – you gotta get your protein.

. . .

I also realized that I would compare the nutritional information of almost every available brand of food items before settling to buy one.

Again, I lately compared the nutritional values of jasmine rice and long grain parboiled rice. Imagine how many decades that I have been eating this staple food item only to now woke up to care about the nutritional facts?! I thought it interesting and mused at myself. Well, times are changing or realization of desiring to age gracefully is settling in 😊

By the way, the bag of jasmine rice contained zero nutrients (another brand contained only 2% Iron and 3g of Protein), but the long grain parboiled rice contained the following:

  • 25% Thiamine. • 8% Iron
  • 2% Calcium. • 15% Niacin
  • 50% Folate. • 3g of Protein

That made me ponder why we even bother with the nutritional facts. Growing up, we never bothered. Why now? Well again, times are changing especially with climate and environmental changes affecting produce and what the cows and fishes feed on.

Anyways, since this new “mindfully-healthy me” emerged, I became somewhat obsessed with nutritional facts. I began to wonder about the accuracy of the information we’re given? Are we sure that we’re really getting the correct amount of nutrients? How does food manufacturers know (or measure) the nutritional facts and values? Does anyone “police” food manufacturers? So I went on a search and this is what I found:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) (the government department responsible for controlling and supervising food safety among other things) states that nutritional information “help consumers make informed choices for themselves and their families.”

Nutritional facts are not only available for food items, but are supposed to be provided for menus at restaurants, including frozen and raw foods. I do not remember ever being given or seen any at restaurants though. Let me know, in the comments, if you have seen or being given the nutritional information of the food you ordered at any restaurant.

There are variations of nutritional facts labels. FDA has fifteen posted on its site.

The nutritional facts on labels are conducted via a nutritional analysis (“the process of determining the nutritional content of foods and food products”). According to information found on Wikipedia, there are various types of nutritional analysis; namely,

1. Laboratory analysis

2. Software

3. Online nutritional analysis

4. Turnkey nutritional analysis services.

You can read the full details of the methods here. Based on your reading, do you wonder, as I did, how feasible it is for manufacturers to conduct the analysis for every food item either once or regularly? I’ll love to hear your thoughts.

Click here for additional reading.

Final Thoughts

Nutritional facts on labels are not always accurate. According to a US Health News, “The law allows a pretty lax margin of error—up to 20 percent—for the stated value versus actual value of nutrients. In reality, that means a 100-calorie pack could, theoretically, contain up to 120 calories and still not be violating the law.”

A registered dietitian nutritionist writes that “manufacturers are often dishonest in the way they use these labels. They tend to use health claims that are misleading and in some cases downright false.”

Be your own expert when it comes to your health and wellbeing

Now that you know, be your own expert when it comes to your health and wellbeing and feed yourself based on the healthy food pyramid as well as the healthy eating plate.

As per, your daily caloric intake and nutritional information, do realize that though it states “facts” that the values are merely recommendations and should not be taken as gospel truth. Allowing a +/- twenty percent variance, coupled with exercise, might be more beneficial.

The FDA has detailed information on how to understand and use the Nutritional Facts Label. Check their website for more information. A downloadable format is also available.

Thanks for reading. I hope the information was helpful.

What makes a man marry several women?

Libido? Cupidity? Power (Clout) and Control, Social Status, Shortage of men, or simply because they can and the women allow it?

Your answer is as good as mine.

. . .

Polygamy is the act of marrying multiple spouses, simultaneously or sequentially, without first divorcing the other spouse.

Sociologists have different terms when the man marries multiple wives. The act is called polygyny; and polyandry when the woman marries multiple men.

The term globally used though is polygamy and it is widespread among men; rather than women. This blog prefers the term polygamy to polygyny.

Where is Polygamy Practiced?

While polygamy is illegal in most countries, it is still an act practiced in parts of Africa and Asia.

Polygamy was practiced up till 1993 in France! Click here for a list of countries’ current statuses on polygamy.

Justifications

Religion:

Religious reasons permit men to marry several wives. For example, the Islamic religious tenets permit men to marry a maximum of four wives, with a caveat that they can afford to take care of the women and treat them equally. However, I know tons of moslem men who can’t afford to marry one wife let alone four, but nonetheless indulge in polygamy.

Likewise, I have known devout moslem men, though rare, who married only one wife till death.

What is disturbing though is that Christian men also marry several wives! Granted that the Quran/Koran (Islamic sacred texts) permits the moslem men to engage in polygamous acts, there is nowhere in the Bible where it is written that a man can marry several wives. Some might want to exemplify Solomon or David or Abraham and his sons. Before you do, first, it was not a religious permission; the men chose to do it of themselves, and secondly, that was Old Testament (pre-Christ); and thirdly, please note that God did not sanction their actions.

The Mormon is another religion that allows polygamy.

To avoid mistresses

Some men justify the act of polygamy by claiming that it is better to marry the women rather than hiding to have mistresses outside the home. The sad truth is that the men still have mistresses anyways.

. . .

Another factor is that some women simply like to be “kept” women and be splurged with money and things. The men often pay the women’s rents or mortgages and everything else the women want and need.

Historical reasons

History tells us that men married several women in order to have help on the farm and in their businesses. Such that the children also were put to work prematurely.

Cultural pressures

Certain cultures pressure the man to take on other women for various reasons which include:

  1. if the woman suffers from infertility and is unable to bear children, or
  2. if the woman bears sole sexes (that is, all boys or all girls), or
  3. simply and wickedly to force the woman to succumb to the man’s family pressures to let her know that her in-laws still control the man and/or relegate the woman to an inferior position in her home!

Should the men alone be blamed?

Maybe the onus should be on the women? Why would any woman agree to be number 2, or 5, or infinite? Why would any woman, knowingly, still agree to marry a married man? What makes the woman think that she will be different? It is often a matter of time. Seems once the woman bears the children, the man is out fishing again for a younger or more beautiful woman, and the cycle continues.

. . .

While some younger women marry into polygamy because of wealth or fame, others do so because they believe that their marriageable years have eluded them.

I believe that there is a man for each woman. The gender ratio; that is, the ratio of male to female, according to world records is still insignificant. In 2019, female world data was 49.58%,, compared to 49.97% in 1960!

The above world data link is interactive. To compare the numbers for any given years, simply change the base year (in the picture below, it is 1960) and the comparable year (here it is 2019).

Polygamy is not a positive or progressive lifestyle. There’s a hypocritical living style where everyone claims to be happy, loving, and cordial with one another. The truth however is that none is as happy as they claim and everyone is fighting for the love and attention of the Patriarch who is often the glue holding the family together.

Even with maternal siblings (those who share the same mother), true love often seem to be lost or uncertain. Children are tagged as belonging to (or favored by) one parent rather than both parents. With this stance, the siblings are pitted against one another or against the other parent.

Is there any Derived Benefit(s)?

Frankly, the only beneficiary of polygamy is the man. He gets to have any woman any time he wants. He also tends to put the women on their toes competing for his attention, love, and/or money.

. . .

Seriously, though, there might be some benefits derived from polygamy. I do not however advocate this form of marriage.

A few derived benefits, if true love were possible and exists within the home and its members, are that each member of the family has unique strengths, gifts, and skill sets that can be (or should be) shared and would be beneficial to all. Rather than looking outside, family members can depend on one another for those resources they would otherwise pay for. Bottomline, there’s ample help to go round.

Downside of Polygamy

I sincerely believe that men who indulge in polygamy are inconsiderate and can be described as both selfish or self-centered as they only live to satisfy their libido regardless of the feelings of their wives or children. They are unable to love the women equally or unconditionally. It is a loveless full house! They also are ignorant of the possibilities of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The children become their mothers’ responsibilities as they do not have the full attention of their dad. Unfortunately, the mothers find themselves becoming “forced” single parents as they, not both parents, are responsible for the upkeep of their children.

There’s chaos where the man, wives, and children all live under the same roof. I often wonder about the sleeping arrangements and who gets to sleep with the man daily. Would it be on a rotation-basis? Or would it solely be the youngest wife? Again, your guess is as good as mine.

There’s also immense and unhealthy competition among the wives and the children. Should one woman’s child or children succeed (or be more successful), the other wives and children become jealous and envious. This often leads to the Joseph-saga (in the Bible where Joseph who was loved by their dad became the envy of his siblings. They plotted to sell him as a slave and lied to their dad that an animal killed him – some of us will remember the story and its ending). Some households resort to occultism and fetishes against one another. This is barbaric.

In addition, the first wife, who often is the oldest woman, sadly has to live in silence watching her husband daily exhibits his machoism with the younger women. What mental torture!

Many homes have been split (if not destroyed) on the demise of the patriarch of the family.

Final word

Whatever the reason(s) men choose to marry several women, or women choose to marry an already-married man, just as technology presently is to the world and is still evolving, the idea (or act) of polygamy is archaic should be eradicated in this modern world and its future.

Women should resist the urge to be second or nth fiddle, as well as the pressure to marry an “already-married” man. Don’t give up ladies, your man will surely come. No marriage is without continuous work. There is a saying that goes, “one wife, one trouble!” Marrying multiple wives therefore equates multiple trouble irrespective of the family front that appears in public.

Men ought to know how to love and love well. There are abundant resources to help those who need the help. Love is a continuous work.

Women are better off marrying monogamously than polygamously; just pray that the right man seeks you out.

Men, on the other hand, should do their part to curb their libido and control their appetite for more. Resist the urge to jump in-and-out of love and beds!

My two cents. Thanks for reading.

Feel free to comment below and share.

Your Voice

Your Voice is an indispensable part of who you are. Its uniqueness cannot be duplicated. Granted that, by reason of DNA, siblings might sound alike or like their parents, but there is always a distinguishing factor that tells one voice apart from the other.

I remember a long while back, a favorite Aunt of mine while chitchatting on a visit, suddenly did a swish and said, “for a moment, I thought I was talking to Uncle (my Dad).” I just stared at her as I didn’t know how to respond. Was it a compliment or was she telling me that I had a deep husky/masculine voice? No one ever told me so.

Except I am ignorant, I would not suppose that a lady wants to hear that she sounds like a man, neither would a man appreciate being told that he sounds feminine. Being the first-time I heard such a statement, I didn’t appreciate it and wouldn’t expect anyone to.

Well, I would hear that same statement a few more times after.

In a way, it’s an honor to be told that I sound(ed) like my Dad (of blessed memory) as it further authenticates me as his bona-fide daughter lol. Anyways …

WHAT IS VOICE?

The American Academy of Otolaryngology (man, I never heard that word before … the new things we learn during researches for blogging!) – Head and Neck Surgery says this about Voice:

“Voice” is the sound made by vibration of the vocal cords caused by air passing out through the larynx bringing the cords closer together. Your voice is an extremely valuable resource and is the most commonly used form of communication. Our voice is invaluable for both our social interaction as well as for most people’s occupation … Read more here.

Let Your Voice Be Heard

Whatever sound your vocal chords are releasing, those sounds are for both specific and general purposes, as well as for some people and place. Your Voice is what God uses to communicate His message(s), through you, to His people. And if you choose, Satan also can use your voice. I pray however that you choose life (Deuteronomy 30:19b).

The earlier you recognize it and embrace your voice, the sooner you’ll be able to identify your purpose which includes the people and place. So, let your voice be heard.

“Don’t let the noise of others opinions drown out Your own inner Voice.”

Steve Job

. . .

Some voices are soothing as a mother calming her baby, some are akin to angels that speak a specific message to someone or some people.

While some voices make the demons tremble and they obey, the demons will challenge some voices without authority! “Jesus we know, Paul we know, but who are you?!” (Acts 19:15).

Your voice carries power and authority in heaven and on earth

Have you ever felt like you were ignored or rejected when you speak/spoke? Spiritually speaking, a voice that carries power and authority in the spirit realm often is the voice that the wicked tends to try to “shut down” in the natural. This is an evil tactic used to confuse the person. But, I dare you to know who you are and stand unperturbed. One rejected by man, but favored by God (Isaiah 53:3a). My friend, don’t worry. The voice they ignored, rejected, or refused to listen to, will be the same voice that they will chase after, begging to speak, even when you don’t have anything to say. As it is written, “the stone which the builders rejected, has become the cornerstone” (Matthew 21:42, Mark 12:10, Luke 20:17).

Note: The power Your Voice has is a gift from God, the authority comes as you follow Jesus Christ; for all authority belongs to him.

You lose the power and authority that your voice carries when you compromise; that is, intentionally and willfully keeping mute when you should speak up against evil, wickedness, injustice, and any form of ungodly acts.

Conversely, continuously speaking up, speaking the truth always and boldly, despite opposition and irrespective of who’s involved, and/or it not being popular, will sharpen Your Voice and reinforce your standing.

What (or who) are you allowing to shut Your Voice down?

If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint,” then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.

Vincent Van Gogh

Some voices have been silenced by fear, while the wicked have shut many down.
Some voices have been silenced by poverty, while many wealthy have shut others down.
Some voices have been silenced by sickness, while the healthy have deprived others.
Some voices have been silenced by their own families, while society has forced many into silence.
Some voices have been robbed and others raped, while the perpetrators freely roam.

Lift up your voice like a trumpet; declare to my people their transgression, to the house of Jacob their sins. (Isaiah 58:1)

Also, “Be a voice! The Bible says, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice” (Proverbs 31:8-9 NLT).

. . .

I challenge you to “raise your voice for understanding,” (Proverbs 2:3 NLT). There is a people, place, and message that is waiting for Your Voice. In so doing, it is important to know “when to speak and when to be quiet” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7b) as well as when to use your soft voice or amplified voice. Nonetheless, always be assertive.

Peace.

Suggested readings:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/what-your-voice-reveals-about-you-11565716426

https://www.lindamarksmusic.com/the_power_of_voice.html

https://www.redletterchristians.org/finding-your-voice/

6 Habits of Highly Focused People

by Nick Wignali

”Focus is a skill you cultivate, not a technique you implement. If you want to improve your ability to focus deeply and do your best work, work to cultivate these habits:

Embrace routines: “The imagination is unleashed by constraints. You break out of the box by stepping into shackles.” – Jonah Lehrer

Procrastinate productively: “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. – Walt Disney

Ruthlessly eliminate distractions: “Edit your life frequently and ruthlessly. It’s your masterpiece after all.” – Nathan W. Morris

Be compassionate with yourself after setbacks: “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” – Albert Einstein

Take advantage of inspiration but don’t rely on it: “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” – Stephen King

Make the time to clarify your values: “Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” – Theodore Roosevelt”

To read the full details of each of the above points, click on this: 6 Habits of Highly Focused

. . .

My Thoughts:

Focus is both a science and an art. The art is your creativity; how you utilize your uniqueness and innate gifts to partner with the science. Find the art that works best for you and embrace it! But whatever you do, remain steadily focused. Distractions will always come, if one allows them or give them a thought, one’s tasks will never be completed.

In the Church, distractions are tagged as a spirit. You simply cast it out by speaking to (better yet, commanding) it “Oh I see you, but you aren’t going to disturb me today or ever. Now, get out and return to where you came from in Jesus’s Name” or “I cast you out in Jesus’s Name.”

Peace people.

Fair Fighting Rules for Relationships

Written by Dr. Eric Perry Image Credit: Pixabay “An eye for an eye will only make the world blind” ~Mahatma Gandhi Arguments and relationships go …

Fair Fighting Rules for Relationships

I’m sharing Dr. Eric Perry’s blog on Fair Fighting Rules for Relationships. Click on the above link to read it.

The Rules are shared with couples mostly during relationship counseling sessions. I believe that Dr. Perry is a Clinical Psychologist. Check his website out and follow him.

I recommend these Rules for all relationships; whether you’re still dating each other (best time to learn the rules!) or newly-weds or even had some years in marriage.

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Have you ever walked in to a home where the couples were yelling at each other? Worst still, calling each other names? And you stare, eyes wide, not knowing what to do? Loving couples are not supposed to do certain things, right? Or maybe I belong to another planet but can’t help myself sharing life on planet Earth.

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Husband: “You never listen to me?!

Wife: “You never allow me to talk?!”

Husband: “You did the same thing last month.”

Wife: “Yes, because you did it first!

Husband: “You’re always competing with me!

Wife: “Shame on you for saying that! Who did I marry?

As the guest, what do you do? Walk back out the door? At least the rantings paused for someone to answer the door. They knew you were coming and you would have expected that they would at least delay the quarrel. But, no, none will budge.

The above rantings are not uncommon in households. But those rantings should be missing in loving homes.

There’s often an underlying problem that needs immediate attention. But some folks prefer to sweep issues under the rug hoping that it will quietly fade away. To this I always say that “it has a way of rearing its ugly head when you least expect it.” And a relationship that has both overt and covert personalities should find a middle ground very early in the relationship to avoid the above kind of rantings. Dr. Eric Perry’s Rules should help.

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Love should not resort to name-calling or try to suppress or oppress the other’s voice or personhood. And, there should be freedom and mutual respect in a relationship.

Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 

2 Corinthians 3:17

All relationships should have Rules and boundaries. Set yours today.

✌🏽😊

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.

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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.

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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.

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