Love

In order to fully utilize and walk boldly into the new year, seeking elevation and conquering new territories we cannot pour new wine into old sheep skin. Our inner nature must be continually transformed by a daily encounter with the Holy Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit are essentially the tell-tale signs in the life of a believer, as the proof that indeed we are allowing the Holy Spirit to fully have its way in us. We do not engage in behavior modifications and try to change ourselves to exhibit these traits rather it is the inner workings of the Holy Spirit in us as He walks with us on this journey (no matter how it may look) to transform us into having the nature of Christ.

What is Love?

There are multiple definitions if love and so many different layers to it. A few years back there was an ensemble post for Valentine’s Day that asked on the meaning of Love. At that time my response in the blog post was that love is a commitment that requires dedication. Love is a choice and not based on feelings and emotions. Love is setting aside our preferences and desires at times and to put aside self-seeking ways in order to seek the best for someone else. The ultimate display of love will always be God’s love towards mankind.

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

Imagine giving away your own begotten Son who is so pure and so perfect for a group of people who’s commitment and dedication to you isn’t even guaranteed?

God gives us the free will and the choice to select how we would like to live our lives even after performing the ultimate sacrifice for the salvation of our souls. Can you imagine making such a huge sacrifice and for someone not to return that favor in the same manner or with same fervor to match that energy? #DeepIt

To love is to be devoted to someone or something. When we are devoted to something we go to the ends of the Earth

"There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends." John 15:13 

This is one of the central and pinnacle acts of Christianity. That Jesus loved us so much that He was willing to give up His life for us. We cannot claim to love anyone if we ourselves do not yet understand the depth of the love Christ had toward us. We will always display conditional love. That is we will only love others when it is conducive to us and it satisfies us. We only love our family, friends and colleagues when it suits us best and whenever they step out of line or do something that displeases us we are quick to shut them out.

So, how then do we love?

In order to practically and genuinely love others we require the help and wisdom of the Holy Spirit. True love is self-sacrificing and this has been modeled perfectly by Jesus Christ. This verse lists beautifully the practical attributes of love

"Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance." 
1 Corinthians 13: 4 - 7 

Why do we love?

We love first because God first loves us. There are different types of love Eros, Familial, Philia and Agape.

Eros – romantic love between lovers.

Familial – love felt toward our family members and loved ones, for example a mother’s love for her child.

Philia – brotherly love that we feel for fellow brothers and sisters in the faith and humanity including those in our community and vicinity.

Agape – the unconditional and immeasurable love of God towards ALL mankind. This is the type of love we must all strive to achieve and actualize in our daily lives as Christians.

Game Animation GIF by Intel

That’s the peak of our love engine. In life we experience and engage in the different types of love but ultimately we are to get to a stage where our standard and factory setting is agape love.

Love can so easily roll off the tongue yet so difficult to truly live out in real life. To love someone is to deny yourself just so you can fulfill the desires of that person.

Musings with Mo

We love God so we deny our flesh and live to fulfill His purpose and please Him with our lives. We love our spouses and our loved ones by doing our best to satisfy them and ensure their needs are met.

Power of Love

This is why countries would wage war against each other just because one king wants to avenge and pacify his queen or a king because of love can relinquish his power and authority of his kingdom (I am looking at you King Ahab of 1 Kings 19).

Propose Love You GIF by Disney Channel

Beyond that our source of power and strength is found in the love of God for us. (Power of Your Love by Darlene Zschech is such a powerful song that highlights this power).

Love is powerful.

Love is God.

God is LOVE.

"May we experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then we will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God." 
Ephesians 3: 19

May we always be found delighting ourselves in our savior, fully receiving and growing in understanding of His love and pouring that love on those around us. So help us Lord, Amen.

#SeekGodMore

Mo 🙂

Further study/References:

  • Journeywoman podcast ‘Love‘ episode
  • Types of Biblical love

Back to the Basics

With our plan and goal this year being to enlarge our territories and enter into the open spaces God has called us to, perhaps it is time to go back to the basics of our faith. Time to ensure we are in the right step to actualize our targets. Even as we go back to our normal routines and maybe it is time to form new habits if so needed.

Chuck Berry GIF by Back to the Future Trilogy

https://giphy.com/clips/jason-clarke-back-to-life-reality-soul-ii-zGPdTNdpDCAaWDFlAh

“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock" 
Matthew 7: 24 (NLT)

We will start the next few weeks by delving into and trying to understand the 9 part Fruit of the Spirit.

How do we measure our walk and level of intimacy with God? How much room are we giving the Holy Spirit to move in our lives? We test ourselves through the manifestations of the fruit of the spirit in our lives. We test ourselves not for fallacies and frivolous reasons but because the Word states in 2 Timothy 2: 15:

“ Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth."

This means our walk with God is dependent on spending time in the Word and allowing that word to flow through our lives, to transform our minds and our pre-engineered ways of thinking and acting. The Holy Spirit does a work of transformation in our lives to help us look more and more like Christ. So our thought patterns, tendencies and therefore our actions reflect the mind of Christ. No one from birth comes with the mindset of Christ. Even if we might appear morally righteous and seem like our actions are good, it is only when we pass it through the lens of the Word can we stand confidently on the fact that it is right. I hope that makes sense? If not, we have the new series to delve deeper into these things!

black hole lsd GIF by Feliks Tomasz Konczakowski
Delve into the Word!

Connect to the Vine

Photo by David Alberto Carmona Coto on Pexels.com

In order to know more of God and allow His Holy Spirit have its full work in us, we are required to remain plugged into the Source which is Jesus Christ. We do this by staying in the Word. In order to #SeekGodMore we need to find every opportunity to stay connected to Him. It’s like we are falling in love with Christ all over again. Christ as our husbandman requires our attention. No one ever wants a marriage that is stale, instead we stay dating and learning more and more about this God. Imagine He has already done the ultimate sacrifice showing us that He is in this for the long haul, and He is utterly committed and devoted to us. Imagine the grace He shows us daily when we aren’t as loving, faithful to Him or as committed in our marriage to Him.

Yet, He patiently waits for us, still provides for us and performs his duties as our husband whilst not fully receiving from us what was promised in our vows.

Back to Our First Love

I Love You GIF

It’s time to go back to our first love. To re-discover our first love and pour our affections and attention on Him. Who wouldn’t want to be courted over and over again? We speak sweet words to Him and commune with Him in prayer and use our words of affirmation to speak His refreshing words back over our own lives. We spend quality time with Him and fulfill His love languages. We shower gifts on Him by providing for His flock and those in need as He stated in His Word. We live a life of service by working to support His ministry on Earth. We are physically present by showing up to fellowship with the brethren and being His hands and feet within our community.

Ultimately, God helping us as we embark on this journey, we are reminded that only God can help us and He alone is our Source as we go back to the basics of our faith.

 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." 
John 15:4 (NIV)

#SeekGodMore

Mo 🙂

Rehoboth

Last year we started with the term ‘Tabula Rasa’ which referred to a blank slate. Now we are in 2022, the year of elevation and expansion. Looking at the story of Isaac in Genesis 26, we are introduced to a narrative where Isaac moved his family to a new land known as Gerar after encountering a famine in his land. This new place known as Gerar was inhabited by the Philistines which was then ruled by King Abimelech. God gave Isaac a decree to stay in this area of Gerar and made a promise to establish and bless Him in the new land because of the obedience of his father Abraham (Genesis 26: 2- 5).

Although Isaac was intimidated and scared by the Philistines, he tried to do whatever he could to just get by and avoid any form of conflict. In the end, that which he tried to hide was all revealed. He found that what he was so worried about wasn’t really necessary because God had already provided a way. The name Rehoboth was birthed after a series of conflicts with the neighboring Philistines who kept damaging the wells of water that Isaac was building for his household. This was a fighting stance because at those times it was almost like they wanted to kill off Isaac’s descendants because living in a desert location with no access to water, could easily lead to dehydration and possible death. Isaac exercised patience and kept rebuilding new wells until finally his third attempt was met with no resistance with the Philistines and finally there was no longer any disputes.

Genesis 26:22

Isaac named this newly dug well “Rehoboth” meaning open space in Hebrew and stated that “Now the Lord has given us room and we will flourish in the land.” Is this the same thing we hope to lay claim to in 2022?

That means that the promise of God after moving us and bringing us to this new land, we can finally start seeing the manifestation of that truth. As for me and my own household we shall hold strong to those promises of God for He is faithful to fulfill His promises to us and bringing His word to pass.

The Siege is Over

Declaring and walking into the new spaces God has set for us. It means stepping boldly into the promises of God for us this year. Leaving behind all those things that so easily entangle and declaring victory over the siege of our lives. Walking into new territories with authority and power. We are entering and breaking new grounds. Walking passionately, boldly and unapologetically in the arenas we are called to be influential in. Pull up you boot laces, arm yourself and get ready for the work ahead.

Foundations

Photo by David Alberto Carmona Coto on Pexels.com

It’s not just in words and flowery language but we need to remind ourselves of the basics of our faith. Faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God. Reminding ourselves daily of the promises and faithfulness of God in His scriptures (2 Peter 1: 12-13). There is no special formula or special word we run with except the word of God. It’s not because we have it all figured out also that we can then be reminding others, rather it is a daily reminder to each other. We are working hard to working on growing our faith and dependence on God. In order to do this, we go back to the foundations of our faith and follow the things that have worked for us in the past. Seeking God passionately is the basis of all things. Working on strengthening our faith and our inner man. Remaining at the feet of Jesus. We get to know this God for ourselves, and avoid pretense and trying to package ourselves in the presence of our Father. We come as we are and when we do, we best believe that we won’t stay as we are (Hebrews 11:6). Being genuine and having a heart that is truly committed and surrendered to Christ. It may look different to different people but that is the beauty of serving God wholeheartedly. Just as our faces are different our interactions with God also differs. We know that God sees the truest and deepest parts of our hearts, He cannot be deceived even if we try and deceive ourselves or others (Matthew 5:8). We can be honest with Him and allow his transforming power have its way in our lives this year. We can soar on wind like eagles and experience divine ease and enablement in areas we never thought possible. That is the transforming power of God at work in our lives. May we not dispel the power of God at work in us.

Immanuel – God with Us

It is important that we are intentional and purposeful by watching and praying. We are looking and observing while committing things into the hands of God. We are trusting Him totally with all that concerns us. Walking with confidence in this year with the assurance that God is with us. That can only happen if we allow Him into our spaces and lives. We invite Him in, but also allow Him to have his way, we ake the environment of our hearts and lives conducive for the Holy Spirit of God to thrive and grow. We are great hosts and make it easy for Him to dwell with us. This will involve seeking God with vigor and running after Him.

Singer Ccm GIF by Essential Worship - Find & Share on GIPHY

New Mandate for the blog is to encourage and remind us all of the goodness and faithfulness of God. To point us to the person of Jesus Christ and display his goodness in the lives of his children. To provide a platform where young adults navigate this thing called adulthood so we can attain our potential and have satisfaction and pleasure in bringing glory to God in every aspect of our life. In saying that we understand that;

"We are humans, but we don't wage war as humans do. We use God's mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the  strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ."
2 CORINTHIANS 10: 3-5
Im Ready Video Games GIF by Call of Duty - Find & Share on GIPHY

Happy New Year 2022, looking forward to performing exploits and attaining new levels of elevation as we continue to seek God more.

#SeekGodMore

Mo 🙂

Songs of Worship

If you’re reading this, y’all we made it to the end of December 2021!

Happy Excited Dance GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
via GIPHY

Living beyond our feelings is a lesson that is vital we learn as Christians. This means learning that feelings are fleeting. For me when I feel low that is when I need to remind myself more of the goodness of God and to go into His presence in worship. Worshipping God grants a supernatural awareness of His presence that goes beyond our current circumstances.

ln worship it’s like we can see God face to face and we are able to reverence Him in the beauty of his Holiness. It captures our hearts and quietens our souls. Our worship of God takes our eyes away from our situations and we can focus on Him instead.

Also, when usually followed by praise this invites God into our situation.

1. Blessed Assurance

Favorite version is by Cece Winans

One of my all-time favorite songs and that has meant much more the past few weeks has been ‘Blessed Assurance‘ and it simply says

“This is my story, this is my song,

Praising my Savior all the day long.”

I don’t know about you but this is what I want the anthem of my life to be when it’s all said and done. It’s that I was found praising my saviour all the day long. The reason we as believers and hope bearers can sing this is because we are assured and confident that this ‘Jesus is ours‘. The lyrics allude to the assurance that we have a hope and future in Christ Jesus. There is no fear of the unknown because we are heirs of salvation and have been purchased by God. Christ has caused us to be reborn and born in His Spirit. We are renewed and rejuvenated. Our spirits have been revived and strengthened because we are not the source of our own strength. Rather our blessed assurance comes from our assurance in Christ. Therefore we can boldly and confidently live out our purpose of ‘praising our saviour all the day long.’

1 Peter 1: 3 - 7 (NLT)
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, 
4and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. 
And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.
So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. 
These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

2. Often As I Breathe

Chris Morgan’s ‘Beyond the Shadows” album has a whole host of top notch songs

Often as I Breathe by Chris Morgan still remains one of my all time favorites.

“Daily as I live and often as I breathe let my whole life be expressions of your grace.”

The prayer is that Lord let my life reflect your goodness and faithfulness always. We do not believe the deception that says we come to God’s presence already perfect and complete. No it’s in his presence that we encounter His wonder working power and transforming Spirit. Our life and the way we submit to the leading of the Holy Spirit can truly show the grace of God at work in our lives. It’s not our human responsibility to present Christ to the world but it is our responsibility to allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives so that the nature of Christ within us can naturally and genuinely flow to our world. This relives us of the pressure to feel like we must say the right thing, do the right thing and make the right choices. Because WE are not the ones doing it. Submitting to the Holy Spirit gives us an understanding that HE directs and leads us. We have a confident hope and can fully trust in his leading power. Just imagine God selecting you as a vessel in which to show His goodness and faithfulness to the world. That is such a huge privilege and great blessing.

3. Ijoba Orun

This Yoruba song is a call to sober anyone up and realizing that our end goal is to reign with God in Heaven. Heaven to my understanding isn’t necessarily a geographical location but rather a disposition we get to where we are not limited by our earthy bodies and vessels. It is in being in the presence of God where our joy is full and where our blessings are incorruptible. It is in Heaven that our soul reaches its peak and is fully satisfied as we will constantly be in the presence and atmosphere of the spirit of God.

Let Your Will be Done, Let Your Kingdom Come
Philippians 3: 17 - 21 (NLT)
17 Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example. 18 For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth. 20 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. 21 He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control

4. In Your Presence

This song boldly declares that in the presence of God is fullness of joy and at his right hand are pleasures forevermore. This song declares that everything we need is in the presence of God. “Every need unspoken, every broken heart can be healed and all burdens will be lifted“. The joy that comes from seeking God’s face is impenetrable and cannot be replaced by anything. Regardless of how you might feel about things and situations God still remains sovereign. God’s sovereignty means that he has the power and ability to do all things and nothing is impossible for him to do. Then why does it seem like sometimes God doesn’t just give us what we want? It means that everything God knows we need that our soul truly needs is provided to us. Beyond the additional things we would like to have, God provides ALL that we could ever possibly need to thrive.

5. Here We Are

God inhabits the praises of his people. His presence is felt when we praise him.

For every answered prayer
Oh yeah, for always being there
For love that hears us when we call
For arms that lift us when we fall, oh Lord
Oh, You have always been
Right beside us, leading us all along the way
And we made it through (we made it through)
Because of You

We can only return the gratitude to God for his constant care and love for us. Out of the abundance of the love God has poured on us, is that which we can return to Him. For the fact that He answers when we call and lifts us when we fall. In case you think that God hasn’t answered you or heard your prayer, imagine that as you are reading this now you have eyes that can see, a mind that can comprehend these words, access to an education to even be able to read and access to internet and the right technology to read this content. Moreover, think back to your darkest pits and the fact that it’s a memory and not a current state, that’s an answered prayer. You may feel like where you are now isn’t much different but if we reason it within ourselves you can see that there is a change, even as we see a new day.

Remember that our worship of God takes our eyes away from our situations and we can focus on Him instead.

#SeekGod

Mo 🙂

Rejoice

Merry Christmas everyone!

As we take a moment to celebrate the gift of salvation through the person of Jesus Christ this season, let us pause, reflect and ponder on the joy that is ours regardless of how this year might have gone.

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

We are told to “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say, rejoice!” [Philippians 4:4, AMP], yet how do we reconcile this truth with the reality of what current human situations may be? People have lost loved ones this year, lost their jobs and battling with serious health issues as well as financial woes, relational struggles and academic or career distress. Yet we are commissioned to rejoice and be merry. The reason we can do this is that the joy of the Lord is our strength. It isn’t dependent on our situations. Whether in plenty or in drought, the joy of the Lord remains our strength. It is in the Lord alone that we are able to rejoice always, looking for joy outside of God is futile work.

God is Sovereign

Our joy doesn’t mean that we do not feel pain, hurt and disappointments rather it means we are able to leave it in the hands of a capable and Sovereign God who has a much bigger and better plan for our lives than we could ever imagine.

Learning this year that God’s sovereignty means that His will be done and His kingdom will come. Nothing we can do as mere humans can change that. It can be difficult and hard to accept especially when it doesn’t work in our favor on the surface level but we know that God always causes all things to work together for our good. Therefore if it isn’t looking good right now, trust that God is still working things out. That is the beauty of God’s sovereignty, in that He will always accomplish his plans for us, which by the way are ALWAYS good!

Photo by Ben Mack on Pexels.com

“Remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like me.

Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish'”

ISAIAH 46: 9-10 (NLT)

While it may be difficult to celebrate as fully as we might like or it seems like everyone else has this joy that we don’t seem to have. Learn that God is the source of our Joy. His Holy Spirit living within us is the proof that joy resides and emanates from and through us. It’s not based on your social media posting or whether you’re always smiling 24hrs. Yes, for those that might have lost loved ones or are grieving in one way or another that joy might come in different forms. It could be that you take a moment of silence, looking outside, observing nature and just wondering at the amazement of God’s creation. For example, you can be on one side of the world and the ground is completely covered in snow yet hop on a plane and go to a different side of the world and it can be as hot as nobody’s business. Yet, we are still on the same planet Earth. I mean thinking about that alone, however simplistic it may be, should totally blow our minds.

Photo by Archie Binamira on Pexels.com

Holy Spirit brings Joy

Apart from this, knowing that the job of the Holy Spirit within us brings out that joy of Christ from within us. We cannot fake the joy or try and replicate that which we see around us. Rather we surrender to the inner workings of the Holy Spirit and allow him to restore unto us the joy of our salvation.

This Christmas season more than ever is such a beautiful reminder that we have been given such a huge gift in the person of Jesus Christ. He was conceived and born for the sole purpose of saving our souls. For the redemption of mankind back into the presence of God. The salvation of our souls so that we can experience the true joy of being called sons and daughters of God. That is enough for us to Rejoice!

Rejoice and be Glad

It requires intentionality for us to consistently choose Joy. To think on joyous things and playback joyful memories in your mind.

The joy of the Lord will forever be our strength on this side of eternity and until the day we shall all behold our heavenly father face to face and be lost in his presence. Then we can fully experience the joy that doesn’t fade away or drift along with time. Our confidence is that things will work itself out in the end because Christ has already gone ahead of us. No matter what the present circumstance is right now, we win in the end. It might look bleak in our physical realm and like we are wasting away yet we know that we have spiritual victories in high places.

My prayer today for us all is that: “GOD, the source of hope, will fill us completely with joy and peace because we trust in Him. Then we will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” [Romans 15:13, NLT]

Someone once said to me in passing “do what you can, while you can”. For the simple fact that we are alive to see a new day, each day we must be grateful and Rejoice!

Photo by Eunice Lui on Pexels.com

#SeekGod

Mo 🙂

BeefDodo for the Win!

Summer time is officially here. I don’t know about you all but I am getting excited at the opportunity of coming out of hibernation. There is just something special about the summer months and the sunny days especially when it comes to FOOD!

I finally got some inspiration recently to make a variation of ‘gizdodo’ with beef which I have named ‘beefdodo’. Now if you’ve been following this blog for a while you know I don’t always like to follow the norm and love remixing dishes. Well, in this case the store just didn’t have gizzard so I had to make use of beef stew pieces instead and it turned out quite alright.

Feast your eyes on the images below and I hope you get inspired to explore food options this summer. #BBQing2021
  1. Boil your meat of choice and grill it in the oven for a few until browned or crispy depending on your preference. I added some suya spice on top of my beef.

In the past I had also attempted to make this using shrimp (read to the end for the finished product)

2. Fry plaintain. It’s always best to get slightly ripe plaintain. The key I found was making sure the plaintain was still slightly firm, not yet too soft (too ripe) and not too hard (that would be unripe).

Allow plaintain to drain so that oil isn’t held in the plaintain

3. Boil blended pepper (in this mixture I used about 5 fresh plum roma tomatoes, 2 red peppers, 1 red onion and 1 clove of garlic) until it is boiled down such that the water in the mixture is reduced.

After adding seasoning to the frying pepper, add chopped green, orange and red peppers to get a beautiful medley of peppers!

4. Add beef and plaintain to the mixture

5. Voila! Food is ready

Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture before devouring my meal (beefdodo with white rice), I found a picture of an earlier attempt I made earlier with shrimp and with mushrooms with jollof rice.

So go ahead. Eat your food with joy, and drink your wine with a happy heart, for God approves of this!

~ Ecclesiastes 9:7 NLT

#SeekGod

Mo 🙂

Tabula Rasa

Tabula Rasa is a Latin term for ‘blank slate‘ or ‘clean slate‘ and it is typically used to refer to the human mind and condition at birth.

The start of a new year usually ushers in a wave of hope, anticipation, excitement and eagerness for the year ahead. Especially given the type of year we had last year, it seems things ended for a lot of people in unexpected and strange ways. Either because traditions were different or because certain yearly expectations and goals were not met. Either way we are firmly in a new year and new month now and this signals the start of something new. It means wiping the slate of our minds clean and starting afresh.

One of the difficult lessons I learnt last year was the hindrance I placed on myself by getting ahead of myself. There were times where I thought I had things all figured out and would get ahead of myself. God taught me to slow down and not get ahead of His plans and purpose. The idea of a ‘clean slate‘ can contradict a world that tells us to keep pushing forward and to always be on the go. 1 Corinthians 1:27 says

Even if the world, yourself and human logic would condemn us we must learn to humble ourselves as children and overcome this sense of pride that fears coming across as a fool or a nomad pertaining to the direction of our lives. The funny thing is when we surrender to Christ, we no longer live under the same obligations that everyone else in the world does. Still, with our purest intentions we can sabotage the things God has planned for us because it doesn’t fit our ideal of success or what we want out lives to look like. John Locke’s theory of ‘Tabula Rasa’ states that the mind is blank when a baby is born but through learning and experiences from the environment, the child assimilates to the present culture. New born babies don’t necessarily have a say in what they eat, wear or drink. They are at the mercy of their parents and their mother. Whatever mother deems fit is what the baby eats, wears and drinks. No loving mother would give their baby anything that is harmful or that would not stunt the growth of the baby. The ultimate goal of that mother is to nurture the baby to grow in good health and to grow strong. Same with us as “babies” of God. He watches over us and leads and guides us to be transformed and perfected into the image of His son; Jesus Christ. That is our end goal and our growth model.

That is the beauty of the message of Jesus Christ and something that as Christ followers we can tap into.

Tabula rasa in modern psychology has become the idea that we are born with a blank slate and all our behaviors are influenced by our environment. If you’re reading this then I can safely assume that you do not have a blank mind or that you were not born yesterday. So, why refer to the term in the first post for 2021? That is because to me this means we have a new start, a fresh beginning. The bible verse in 2 Corinthians 5:16 reminds me of a change in perspective and mindset.

This isn’t just a one and done phenomenon. Rather, it requires a daily renewing of our minds. Unlearning and relearning certain things and letting go of our human limitations of a God that cannot be quantified or understood by our human minds. We cannot save our interaction and fervency for God only for a new year. God constantly and consistently has a word for us for every season of life. He always wants to draw closer to us and He wants us most especially to draw closer to Him. That is to say there isn’t anything bad in having new year resolutions but we have to be careful that we do not limit God to being a new year alone resolution God. He desires more from us. More of our time, our devotion, our dedication and our love. That is the beauty of accepting Christ in a childlike manner. We do claim to know more than we do, rather we trust God the all knowing Father. A child asks their parents’ questions to better understand life, situations and to see things from the perspective of someone who is knowledgeable. The questions children ask are inquisitive, to gain more understanding and depth on a topic and never because they doubt their parent or because they believe that their parent would lead them astray. As children of God we are called to live our lives by constantly recommitting to God and allowing the Holy Spirit cleanse us and help us re-evaluate our attitudes, our hearts and the direction of our lives. January is always know for making resolutions and having fresh starts and things haven’t changed in 2021. But what should change is allowing the past frustrations, failures and shortcomings to somehow limit and affect our trajectory in the new year.

To Vision Board or Not?

One of the ‘new things’ I have engaged in for 2021 was making a vision board!

For the first time ever this year I actually made a vision board! It’s so funny that I had discussed with one of my friends 3 years ago about making one. (Check out her tutoring business and the amazing things she’s been up to!) Actually, I think she was even the first person that made the idea accessible to me. I had heard of vision boards before and knew about them theoretically, you know like one of those things ‘other’ people seem to do. It never seemed like something I would be interested or even have the energy to do. basically it just seemed like a lot of work that I didn’t think I really needed to do at the time. Fast forward to 2021, and I finally decided after being prompted by an assignment to make one myself. Surprisingly, it really was more of an enjoyable experience than I thought it would be. Honestly, it took a while but not too long. It was an exercise in taking time to just breathe, be still and allow my mind to wander and the possibilities to flow. I allowed my hopes, dreams and thoughts for the year to flow out. I entrusted my year, my plans and dreams into the hands of God.

It’s an assignment in having childlike faith. Placing my requests before God and entrusting my hopes, desires and wishes into the able hands of God.

I am not bound by the board but rather I place my requests before my Father like a daughter leaving her Christmas list for her parents. These are not demands and neither are they points of contention between me and God. Rather, this is a father daughter relationship. I am requesting for my father’s card and I am providing him with the shopping list of items would like to purchase this 2021. But guess what? My father is hands on and won’t just give me access to his card. Nope, rather he’s going to vet my list, review the items listed and determine the urgency and importance of each before granting me unrestricted access to the card. Some things on the list will be modified as time goes on and as I mature and learn how to become more responsible. However, due to the father-daughter relationship I stay in close relationship with my father throughout the year. I am not a leech who preys on the goodness of my father and after being given what I want, forget my father and not fill him on how things are going in my life. No, we carry God along and update Him.

Perhaps, this year is a time to do things different. It is time to go back to having the childlike menatlity and comraderie with God.

2021 is about developing the ability of being still and trusting God through it all. We can choose to start a new and afresh no matter how last year might have looked or even the first few weeks in this new year. There is always grace to continually seek God as children and specifically as His children.

“I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”

~ Mark 10:15

#SeekGod

Mo 🙂

Carrot Banana Bread

What is the perfect food/dessert flavour to eat during these winter months?? Carrot cake of course! Everyone else seems to love pumpkin spice but I am lowkey a bigger fan of the carrot cake taste during these colder months. Here is a quick and easy recipe !

First, mix all your dry ingredients together;

1.5 cups of all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 0.5 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Shred 1-2 carrots and dice 1 whole banana

Then, mix your wet ingredients;

0.5 cups of salted butter (100ml), 2 large eggs, 0.5 teaspoon vanilla extract, 0.25 cup of milk, 2/3 cups of sugar

Add 1 cup of sweetened chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients together and pour into a baking tray and bake at 350 F for 55-60mins.

Voila! Carrot Cake is ready

What is your favorite baking recipe?

#PursuePurpose

Mo 🙂

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Guess what I spent a lot of my quarantine time doing? Baking like everybody else of course! One of my go to recipes is this quick and easy banana bread recipe, because I am all for quick and easy recipes.

Mix your dry ingredients

1.5 cups of all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda,

Mix your wet ingredients

Melt 0.5 cups of butter (~115ml) and add 2/3(~0.67)cups of sugar, 2 large eggs, 3 whole bananas crushed, 0.5 teaspoon vanilla extract

Add 1 cup of chocolate chips to the mixing bowl

Add 0.5 cups of milk to the mixture

Prepare your baking tray/mixture

Spray your baking tray/pan so to prevent cake from sticking to the tray!

Pour out mixture on a baking pan. Sprinkle a handful of chocolate chips on the surface

Bake at 365 F for 55mins. Check that cake is done by sticking a knife in to check that it isn’t moist.

Cut cake and serve!

#PursuePurpose

Mo 🙂

Be Audacious!

So I am sure when you read the title you thought of Barack Obama’s 2004 book ‘The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream‘ which detailed his climb into American politics and the humble beginnings he came out from. Well, in this latter part of the year 2020 I have been reminding myself to be audacious, especially in light of all that has been occurring in our world.

The Audacity

The definition of audacious that is employed in the context of this blog is ‘showing a willingness to take surprisingly bold risks.’ Therefore to be audacious is to take bold risks and to be daring in one’s pursuits.

As we are firmly in the last quarter of the year 2020 I find myself thinking back to the very first days and all the hopes and dreams of the year. I think the death of Chadwick Boseman also showed me what it means to live audaciously. For a man with stage 3 colon cancer to have worked consistently for four years like Mr Boseman did is extremely bold and audacious. He was out here working hard, pursuing purpose, using his talents and gifts, serving his community and being of service to others. I mean, imagine the sheer audacity of it! He refused to succumb to a debilitating disease that most likely caused him so much pain, yet he was ensuring to inspire a new generation of young black achievers.

Dare to be Revolutionary

What if 2020 was meant to uncover the foundations of the status quo? What if the revolutions that was supposed to happen this year was meant to start from each and everyone of us? Rather than stay apathetic to the whole situation I found myself getting informed, having discussions and trying to find out how I could positively contribute to positive and effective change. We can dare to be audacious by contributing to revolutionary change.

There have been a number of protests occurring in the continent of Africa to tackle oppression and bad governance in the constitutions of various countries. Recent protests in Nigeria with the #EndSars, #EndBadGovernanceInNigeria movements has shown that we are living in a generation that dares to be audacious! The term ‘Soro soke‘ is a Yoruba term (Tribe in Western Nigeria) that means ‘Speak Up!’. It is basically a call to action. It dares you to lend your voice to a worthy cause and stand for the rights of those that are treated unjustly and brutalized under the abuse of power. No longer will we stand for injustice and settle for living under mediocre standards.

To survive COVID and a global pandemic, we deserve better than this as a human race. We must strive to do better, be better and live better. The history of Nigeria highlights that generations previously have been audacious in striving to advocate for a better standard of living for all Nigerians. I came across the story on the execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa and the 8 other members of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP). MOSOP was a group that organized nonviolent protests in 1993 to challenge the influence of Shell in the Niger Delta area. Shell had been operating in the Niger Delta area since the 1930’s but had sabotaged the living conditions for the half-million Ogoni people who were residents of the Niger Delta area due to oil spills polluting the water and surrounding area. This audacious spirit is evident in the recent uprising against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a notorious unit of the Nigerian police which was set up in 1992 as non-uniform wearing undercover officers, that would target individuals involved in crimes such as armed robbery, kidnapping and fraud. Therefore, it is a shame that the unit that was created to tackle crimes such as this in recent years has become notoriously known for inflicting pain on the citizens they are meant to be protecting by engaging in bribery, torture and several other human right violations.

This is the actions of a country that celebrated 60 years of independence from British colonial rule on the 1st October 2020. Yet, the actions even after all this time does not represent a nation walking in true freedom, but of one that has transferred the mantle of oppression from a foreign party to a more familiar one. What was most shocking was the Lekki tollgate massacre (October 20th 2020), when the Nigerian Army opened fire on peaceful protestors on a narrow bridge. How a constitution that was created to protect and serve its citizens had become an image of oppression really startled me. Yet, one thing that stood out to me was the passion and drive of the young adults on the road peacefully protesting, organizing, rallying support and resources.

Militant in Prayer

One of the greatest lessons I have learnt his year and especially in light of the protests in Nigeria has been the importance of staying Militant in Prayer.

“From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violent assault, and violent men seize it by force [as a precious prize]”

Matthew 11: 12 (amp)

Our audacity starts from having a fervent prayer life. This year has done all sorts to our mental, physical and emotional fortitude. But, in order to maintain our strength and stamina we must rely on God’s help, His guidance and wisdom in all things. There is no point in being audacious and not being strategic. No point in utilizing manpower if it isn’t backed by heaven and by God. We do our part and times when we can’t even muster strength to do our part, we turn to God. We stay militant in prayer. We have our prayer-wall shield up at all times and we do not lose sight of the greater picture.

Have the audacity to live boldly for Christ. Even at times when you are burnt out, we turn back to God. Be audacious in your prayer life and watch God turn things around to His glory!

Personal Feats of Audacity

To me, this means that in whatever area I find myself I have to first of all start by being the change I hope and envision to see in my world.

I want to live a purposeful life like Chadwick then I strive through the battles and struggles everyday brings like a warrior like Mr. Boseman did through his cancer struggle. I want to be a champion against brutality and oppression to defend the rights of others while also ensuring I am not abusing my own positions of power and influence.

In my own personal life, I dare to be audacious by;

#PursuePurpose

Mo 🙂

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