Welcome to the month of August!
This week’s topic is on Social Justice
1. What is your current thought about the current situation of the world (Coronavirus, Rape Culture in Nigeria, Race Issues in the Western world & Police Brutality)
1. What is your current thought about the current situation of the world (Coronavirus, Rape Culture in Nigeria, Race Issues in the Western world & Police Brutality)
So I recently have been looking for clips on The Clark Sisters due to their recent Lifetime biopic. As I usually do, I went on a YouTube rampage and started to research into who the Clark Sisters are and what they’re all about. Of course I stumbled upon Karen Clark Sheard and I had known of her for a few years as well as her daughter Kierra Sheard but I think I gained a new found respect for her and her ministry. The mother-daughter relationship reminds me of the verse in Psalm 145: 4 which states
“One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.”
Man, what a beautiful thing to leave a godly legacy and start a path that future generations can follow and build their walk with Christ upon. Anyways, in my ‘research’ I discovered Kierra’s new album!
Now don’t get me wrong I had listened and knew of Kierra Sheard here and there but listening to this album gave me a new found admiration for her. As you may know if you’re an avid follower of the blog I love me some Jonathan McReynolds music.
One of the reasons I truly appreciate his music is because of the transparency and authenticity in his songs. His lyrics at times speak directly to the situations in my life as a young adult. The struggles, insecurities and doubts that we all go though he portrays so beautifully, eloquently and without judgement in his music and that is a powerful testimony. It reminds me of the verse that talks about they overcame him by the blood of the lamb and the power of their testimony.
“They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.”
Revelations 12:11 (NIV)
The ‘him’ referred to here is the accuser that is the voice of insecurity, feeling like you are not enough and just the general stress of life. We need the Holy Spirit and the power of God to set us free indeed but when ministers like Jonathan McReynolds and now Kierra Sheard can put those victories into song form, we remind ourselves daily of the victory and power we have in Christ Jesus. Our victory occurs in our personal life and it is an inside job which is then carried into our every day living in the way we speak, we think and we relate with others. Anyways, back to the main topic! I decided to do a quick run down of Kierra’s latest album and share some of my thoughts!
Straight Banger Alert! This song represents to me the saying if you don’t anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all. I love the video too, you should check it out! But what I love about this is the transparency in which Kierra shares her past mistakes and embarrassing moments, we all have those once in a while!
‘I did it all for the first time
Made a mistake, but I earned mine I broke it on a one time
I’m glad I did it all my way
Fixed it on a front line
I’m over the pain
If I’m dancing when I wanna (Please don’t judge me) If I’m smiling when I’m under (Please don’t judge me) I just ran through the fire, Please don’t judge me
Favourite song right now as a young woman this song is my anthem right now!! I love what Kierra Sheard stands for and I am totally rooting for her! I love how transparent she has been with her journey, her struggles and most importantly her victories (YASSS!).
2. Prepare tomato sauce by blending red peppers, tomatoes and onions (include scotch bonnets if you want extra flavour and spice)
3. Allow peppers to boil and add seasonings including salt
4. Wash and add locust beans to the cooking sauce
5. Wash and drain the stockfish or whatever other fish or additional protein of choice
6. Add palm oil for the authentic Nigerian taste. Allow pepper to fry and for oil to rise to the top. Palm oil is the one thing I hadn’t added in the past when making this dish but decided to try this time.
7. Add your main proteins. In this case cooked beef cubes, tripe and shrimp were added to the fried pepper.
8. Add your choice of vegetable to the sauce which in this case was spinach.
9. You may add beef stock from boiling your beef cubes for extra flavour.
Voila! the finished product
Adding the palm oil gave the dish an authentic Nigerian taste that i hadn’t really tasted before when making this dish in the past. Although, for the future I would want to try using fresh spinach leaves rather than frozen and maybe mix a bit of kale with the spinach too just to see if it changes the taste.
Let me know what you think and share your tips for perfecting the Nigerian Efo Riro recipe !
As things seem to be getting back to some version of normal, people are venturing out with hope of making the best of this summer. Although, we are now firmly in the decade 2020, let’s take things all the way back to the 1990’s. I decided to try out a look-book of sorts as I love the whole vibe of the 90’s and thought it would be an interesting style to try and reinvent with friends. As a proud 90’s baby I have taken solace that I am firmly in my young adulthood right now (yikes!), and sometimes it’s necessary to be nostalgic of the past and the things that reminds us of childhood. Holding onto that childhood inquisitiveness, helps to breed a wide avenue of creative ventures.
Disclaimer: we are not fashionistas o, we just wanted to dress up and enjoyed channeling the style of the 90’s. Enjoy the novice look-book and have a great summer 2020!
You might be familiar with ‘That 70’s Show’, well in today’s blog, I will be sharing some of my favorite 90’s TV shows.
There is a big debate that this show was basically the original Friends and it was ripped off my major networks and marketed to a more Caucasian audience.
Likes: The dynamic of the characters and the great chemistry of the cast members. The theme song which was performed by Queen Latifah is also pretty dope and reminds me of a typical 90’s era soundtrack.
Likes: The character development and the rapport of the various characters is very heartwarming especially Dwayne Wayne. Man! The character of Dwayne Wayne should be the poster boy for what growth looks like. And obviously we love a good love story (no spoilers!) Dwayne’s transformation is what you hope happens to you by attending university.
Likes: The different mishaps the sisters get themselves into and how they navigate out of it while trying to outwit their parents. Sometimes it works out for them but most of the time not quite. It is also pretty interesting to see the physically growth of the sisters on the show as they literally grow up before our eyes.
Likes: Theme Song. The friendship between the crew and just how they always seemed to be there for each other.
Likes: Character Development. Will really transformed before our eyes on screen. His relationship with Uncle Phil is still iconic till today and helps some young men today navigate dealing with their emotions and helps tackle toxic masculinity
Likes: Man o man! The character of Adrian Monk is very interesting to say the least. At time he may come across as slightly annoying but you can’t help but love his character. Moreover, he was my first introduction to mental health on a major TV show. His regular meetings with his therapist can be quite insightful at times as he tells him things that we as an audience can see so clearly, yet Adrian seems oblivious to it. Just goes to show that sometimes talking issues out can be quite helpful.
Likes: Apart from the awesome theme song (y’all should check out this amazing remix version), this show displayed the beauty and importance of friendships even in old age. One learns to see the elderly like people with dreams, tendencies and habits just like everybody else.
It’s quite funny I just realized as I was putting this together that all these shows are sitcoms! Lol, I guess laughter really is the best medicine for the soul!
“We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy. And the other nations said, ‘What amazing things the Lord has done for them.'”
– Psalms 126:2 (NLT)
So I celebrated my birthday early last month and I was super blessed and highly favored to have been pleasantly surprised by my amazing friends with a 90’s themed party.
Although, they refuse to share the behind-the-scenes planning with me (yes, imma call all of you out on the blog, lol), I decided to share a few of my own personal tips for planning a 90’s themed party with a virtual twist.
Optimistic – Sounds of Blackness
Ain’t no Stopping us Now – McFadden & Whitehead
Celebration – Kool & The Gang
Summertime – DJ Jazzy Fresh & The Fresh Prince
I Wanna Be The Only One – Eternal ft Bebe Winans
MMMBop – Hanson
Wannabe – Spice Girls
U Can’t Touch This – MC Hammer
Shackles (Praise You) – Mary Mary
Major shout-out to the birthday planning squad, y’all are amazing and planned a dope 90’s surprise party!
It’s interesting that usually July is seen as a month of freedom in the North American continent because Canada celebrates Canada Day while America celebrates Independence Day on July 4th. But then again the institutions of this countries are challenged as people wonder if indeed the freedom they seem to stand for is freedom indeed? If every person isn’t free then how can one person be free?
I don’t have the right answers neither do I claim to have them but what I do know is that who the Son sets free is free indeed (John 8:36). Lauryn Hill stated in her song,”How you gonna win, when you ain’t right within?” It’s the same thing with freedom. It starts in the mind. Personally, operating as a child of God means unimaginable freedom for me, although that doesn’t mean I don’t deserve the right to basic rights and freedoms as a human being. Let’s get to enjoying Summer 2020 regardless of whatever coronavirus and life tried to plan!
One of the things you can still do to celebrate with family and friends is have an outing, permitting that the weather is feasible and you maintain physical distancing of course!
Food is of course the first course of business and very important as much as the sights and just enjoying the summer weather.
“And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We’re free of it! All of us!”
2 Corinthians 3:17 (MSG)
Happy 3rd Anniversary to Musings with Mo!
It is truly a blessing to have a platform to express thoughts and lessons learnt throughout life. I find myself growing and learning so much through what is inspired on this blog daily. What was started as a way to document growth and grow a community of lifelong learners and those that are able to contribute to personal growth as a young adult as well as a believer in Jesus Christ has turned into a passion project and hopefully a community resource. Recently, I had found myself striving and wanting to work on ways to grow the audience of the blog. Come and see me sharing the links and doing all the fancy razzmatazz to get more people to read the content. However, I had also began to realize that I have to be careful not to isolate or neglect those that have always been a supporter of the blog since its establishment. Moreover, it is pertinent to understand that there is no need to chase popularity, the quality of the content will continue to speak for itself.
In a world that constantly forces us to prove our worth it is time to challenge the status quo and practice what we preach and let purpose be a guiding light in everything.
It is time to go back to the basics and the foundations of the blog and remind new followers as well as established followers that we are still on the matter of purpose.
Therefore, allow me to re-introduce the blog;
To encourage and inspire a community of learners dedicated to growing and walking in our God-given purpose and mission on Earth. Passionate about knowledge translation and communication with creative young adult Christians.
Firstly, I want to thank all those that read this blog, either subscribed via email or otherwise. Those that message me with words of encouragement, support and feedback (that means so much to me, God bless yall!). Those that like the posts and leave comments on the blog posts and also connect with us on our social medias. Those that share with others visibly and under the radar, you are all truly appreciated and you make the whole process worth it.
Legendary players like Allen Iverson inspire me to continue to work on my craft and passions. Lol, the context of this might not necessarily align with the intention but we can always know that with practice and diligence to a craft we get better at it. We have to exalt progression above perfection. One might not be the best writer, designer, communicator or whatever but we keep trying! Never giving up. When we encounter what seems like challenges and barriers we continue to press forward. Note: not strive but we press through. #WeMove2020
“I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.”
Philippians 3:12 (NLT)
When creating content of any kind it is very easy to start to pander to societal expectations and seek external validations. There is nothing wrong in taking stock of your audience and what they may need and what might be useful for them but at the same time, one has to be careful not to seek validation from external sources and by people’s likes, shares and comments. I have had to learn through a process that it is vital to keep focused and let God be the center of it all. When I find myself entering this striving and a head space that can be quite toxic, I have to remind myself to go back to my first love and rediscover why I started writing in the first place.
(Sidenote: You should check out the song by Hillsong Young & Free).
It starts by working on the ‘people pleasing ‘ mentality. Make the vision plain and commit it into the hands of God, whether the people follow or not.
“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”
Colossians 3:23 (NLT)
One of the good things that has come out of this quarantine situation has been watching and being able to actually research the different aspects of a blog. There’s so much that goes behind the scene that one doesn’t even know about! Reading about technicalities including analytics like Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and the likes has been quite interesting. Although, it has been slightly overwhelming but also just learning how to have a continuous branding/marketing theme throughout the blog. Now, I don’t know how much of these information I’ll implement but still it’s nice to know about it because as they say ‘knowledge is power‘. Beyond that reaching out to people and just doing more research on topics and ideas I personally am interested in or would like to try. I am learning that it is necessary to take initiative for my own growth and development.
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”
2 Timothy 2:15 (NIV)
I pray that we may always be inspired by our father in Heaven to follow our dreams and goals. May God continue to be our sustainer and the source of our strength and life. May He teach us in and out of season what it is He requires of us and teach us how to bring that vision to life to the glory of His name in Jesus name.
It is well with our souls in Jesus name. Year 3 is gonna be legendary!
So keeping with the yearly trend, I am back to reflect on what year 24 may look like for me.
I watched an interview with young Kobe Bryant and Stephen A. Smith and I must say I developed an appreciation and respect for the guy that I never really had before. It is interesting when they say we should give people their flowers while they are still living. It was quite inspiring and interesting to see his thought process and him sharing his journey of becoming the ‘Black Mamba’ that we know, love and celebrate today.
I also watched a talk by Francis Chan to single Christians, where he spoke about being one minded and kingdom minded. Chan referenced the relationship dynamic between Kobe and Shaq and stated that while the two guys were busy having an ego trip and feeling some type of way to each other, the people of LA were busy worrying about the power of their partnerships and the potential championships that dynamic could bring to the city of LA. The Lakers were already a well known and well established dynasty thanks to the likes of Jerry West (alleged NBA logo model) , Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabar and the showtime Lakers. Yet, the possibility was endless and the team could see beyond to greater exploits to be achieved. And that made me think that is how life is at times, we are so busy fighting seemingly superficial battles that distract us from the what we should actually be focused on. The enemy can be quite cunning in distracting us with conflicts both externally and internally such that we are prevented from building and working to achieve greatness. Yet, in the interview with Kobe you see his revelation that truly there is nothing God cannot see a human being through.
In light of the current social climate and how so many issues have been brought to the forefront in terms of police brutality and equality for black people in the Western world and abuse of power, the rape culture and victimization of females in Nigeria, now more than ever I am reminded that Earth is not my home yet one cannot remain silent on issues that affect the quality of life that myself and my fellow human beings can live.
It can be very easy to shy away from these topics and feel overwhelmed but the reality is that while earth is not my home, I am a sojourner here for a while and just like when I go and visit anywhere I want to leave that place in a good condition and contribute to the beautification and upkeep of the living area, as much as I possibly can. This is why I think moving forward these are issues that have always been prevalent in society it just seems there is a time such as this for things to really change and for people to really effect changes systemically in the form of policies implemented and even just public awareness. However, I also find myself getting swept up in the emotions and the angst and frustration of the situation and I have to remind myself to keep focused and to retain that kingdom mindset.
Not wanting to sound like a broken record but honestly one of the things that has encouraged me and kept me sane through this whole craziness of 2020 has been trying to maintain the kingdom mindset. There has been far too many deaths of people that are tagged as great and successful in their own rights such as Kobe Bryant, Ravi Zacharias, Ibidunni Ighadalo and so many more, as well as regular every day people like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and even those that have died from the coronavirus pandemic.
“There is time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens;
a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot.”
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-2 (NIV)
A quick and easy recipe if you need lunch/dinner ideas.
1. Firstly, season and grill chicken wings in the oven. As a professed #ChickenLover I say whenever in doubt always cook your protein first!
2. Dice and boil your plantain and potatoes
Plaintain can still be delicious and amazing whether it’s fried, roasted or boiled.