A Good & Faithful Servant

As the world prepares to finally lay HRH, Queen Elizabeth to rest, we are reminded of her life of service and sacrifice. The documentaries and playback on all major news channels looks at her story from a young girl, to young adulthood, to raising her own children and eventually becoming a grandmother and great grandmother.

Seventy Years

It is not an easy feat to rule on a throne as a human being with our faults and weaknesses. Yet, she did it with such grace. That isn’t to say there wasn’t time when she wasn’t criticized whether rightly so or not,and there were times she perhaps didn’t respond in the way the public she served would have wanted. But then you consider the fact that she had to give her life to a cause and to serving her country. Yes, she was blessed to live a luxurious life and all that. Yet, I cannot imagine how many of us would be able to live and represent our countries and ourselves in such light.

As citizens of heaven and as sons and daughters of the Most High, do you realize that we are called to an even higher calling than her?

What will be said of us when we are no longer on earth? When our stories are being discussed by others what narrative will be said about us?

Good & Faithful Servant

The only one worthy of this statement thus far has been Jesus Christ. We strive to hear God say this about us at the end of our time on earth. But are we aware of the fact that God has already sent us a standard, somebody who He has already said similar words too. He said “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” [Matthew 3:17] This reflects the statement Jesus himself uses in a parable in the New Testament to explain faithfulness,

  "Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let's celebrate together!" 
[Matthew 25:21] 

Who doesn’t want to be appreciated and celebrated? Yet, we know that God alone is good. As his children we have his goodness at work in us and through us when we allow the Holy Spirit have its way in our lives. We see the nature of faithfulness as portion of the fruit of the Spirit and it is a result of fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Many are indeed called and many people claim to be Christians but how many of us actually walk the walk and talk the talk. Trust me I am speaking to myself even as I write this out. Just as a lot of people will have opinions about the rule of Queen Elizabeth, yet a lot of people cannot walk a mile in her shoes or be able to take the pressure of what she had to endure while on the throne. Yet, we serve a God with an eternal throne. His rule and reign is everlasting. It knows no end and does not die. So we fellowship with the Holy Spirit to equip us to stay faithful in serving our God and His Kingdom.

He is a Sovereign God

We have no choice but to re-examine ourselves and our walk. Are we truly walking in the light of God’s word? Are we truly consecrating every part of our lives to Him? No man knows the day or the time. We all thought Queen Elizabeth would rule forever, even though we know that is impossible, yet we can celebrate a life well lived and a true life of service to her people. Will the same be said about us?

We serve a sovereign God. His reign is everlasting and eternal. We are indebted to Him. We are to live a life of service consecrated to worshipping Him and carrying out his good works on Earth. When we start and have the mindset and heart posture of sacrifice and obedience to the work of God, we are able to easily yield to the direction of the Holy Spirit.

We are working for an everlasting kingdom. For our God and His Kingdom.

So while everyone else mourns the legacy of this earthly queen, let us think and consider what our role will be in the eternal Kingdom and how we can be more faithful in our devotion to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

God help us all,

AMEN.

#SeekGodMore

Mo 🙂

1909 Media presents…IAMMYHAIR

“The woman was not an afterthought in creation. God made women with such importance and great intentionality that to avoid input, God made the man go into a deep sleep. With this level of thought in order to avoid interruptions and input, imagine how much God has placed in us.”

Aanu of 1909 media productions

“The story of the ‘I AM MY HAIR’ project started a while ago. I had always wanted to talk about African and black textured hair. We are also planning to dig into the interactions between men in the barbershop (this is a pending project). It is important to talk about these things now and especially as we have kids that are starting to become aware of their experiences and realities.

1909 Media productions has various projects throughout the year with the goal of impacting the community and highlighting community issues/topics. We show up to document and support black businesses and black business owners, by taking pictures and videos at their events and narrating their story and process.

We have had two main events this year:

  1. Ladies in Business which took place earlier in the year
  2. International Women’s Day highlighted black female business owners that are based in Edmonton.

The pictures and videos taken from these events are available on our Youtube channel @1909Mediaproductions

Towards the second half of the year, myself and my team started talking about highlighting the discrimination toward black textured hair. We were not too sure how we would work this out but we were willing to figure it out. The plan was to look at the institutional biases against those working in a corporate environment and within a professional setting.

The second project would document the stories of people with experiences of abuse, either in the workplace or in their personal life (marriage, relationship, financial etc).This would include cases of victims sharing their story of breakthrough and how they overcame their abuse situations.

So, it was in the midst of concluding our ongoing projects (mother’s day and father’s day giveaway shoots, check it out on our Instagram page), that I joined the instagram livestream of one of my friends. My friend started narrating how her daughter felt about her textured hair. Her story really affected me. We had been praying, thinking and planning for this project, but this livestream was the sign I needed to move forward with the particular project. There were other online spaces I had joined as well where people shared their feelings and thoughts about their natural textured hair. A few people that shared on these social platforms were based in Edmonton and talked about feeling inadequate when it came to their natural hair.

Personally, due to the coarse nature of my hair, I would prefer to use protective styles like braids, wigs and such rather than styling my natural hair in itself. But, my mindset shifted when my husband (shout out @altarpro), did a photoshoot with a brand that featured different textures of hair and wigs. As a participant in the shoot, I asked if it was okay for me to rock my natural hair in that shoot and it was accepted. This was a shock to me.

Although, I still experienced resistance in how I style my natural hair because I would get a few comments at work that insinuated that my hair was untidy or unkempt and this started to make me feel apprehensive in leaving my hair out. I felt the need to cover it using turbans, scarfs or hats etc.

My now husband, who was my fiance back then, would encourage me not to cover my hair and tell me to leave my hair out rather than wearing scarves or turbans.

So, hearing the story of this little girl, I told her mum this is probably not the first time she has heard comments about her hair but this is the first time voicing it since her classmates’ hair doesn’t look like hers.

During my conversation with my friend, we spoke about doing a photoshoot for her daughter to highlight her hair. During the photoshoot, I asked the little girl ‘what was the most beautiful thing about her hair?’, and she was able to list her length, texture etc. I realized that her mum must have done a great job in educating her and causing her to see the beauty in her hair by styling it in different ways.

It is very important for every girl child to enter into a room with their head held up high. As a mother to a two year old child, I understand the work it takes to style a little girl’s hair. This was a project that required different cameras, microphones, organizing and reaching out to people. It was important for us as a team to recognize the importance of this project. We reached out to a few ladies and got their input on it.

We like collaborating with various artists both spoken word, visual and much more.

One of the goals is to understand that our hair is our crown, our glory. As a Christian I knew it was my glory but it wasn’t  until I heard the story of the three year old girl or heard the stories from the ladies about the comments made about their hair etc. that I really appreciated this understanding.

One of the reasons 1909 Media productions started was to tell our own stories, shine light on things going on within our communities and in our businesses to help to drive our own narratives.

Aanu of 1909 Media productions

We are done with phase one of the shoots and interviews. We will be sitting down with professionals in the natural hair industry and getting their perspective on things.If you would like to be involved in this project, please feel free to reach out, we would love to capture your natural hair in all its glory. As we said before this is quite an intensive project and we are looking for all the support we can get either emotionally, virtually by commenting, sharing with your networks and communities as well as financially to support with the cameras, lighting, editing etc. Feel free to reach out to us at 1909media@gmail.com

The driving force behind this project is this question,
‘How do we want the girl child in their thirties to feel about their hair?’ 

We are looking forward to working with you and receiving all the support you have to give for this project!

#SeekGodMore

Mo 🙂

My Hair, My Crown

Did you know?

  1. The average person has 100,000 – 150,000 strands of hair.
  2. On average, we shed around 50-150 strands of hair a day.
  3. A new hair begins to grow as soon as it is plucked from its follicle.
  4. A single hair has a lifespan of about five years.
  5.  A strand of hair is stronger than a copper wire with the same diameter.

These are just five quick interesting facts about our hair as found on the Mane ‘n’ Tail website. Which fact interested you the most? Which one did you not know before reading this?

Hair Project

I was privileged to take part in a Hair showcase project by 1909 Media Productions that looks to highlight the beauty of black hair and its versatility. The visionary behind the project is Aanu, who as a mother and fellow naturalista who is passionate about empowering young women to see the natural hair that grows out of their head as a thing of beauty. My Hair, My Crown.

During my shoot with her she tells me the motivation behind the project which was inspired when she watched an instagram live of a mother lamaneting that her young daughter felt insecure about her hair. This triggered a response from Aanu which birthed this wonderful #IAMMYHAIR project.

When I first saw clips on social media, my first response was to applaud and celebrate such an amazing initiative. As a young black woman myself who is on a continually journey of learning my hair and how to best manage it, I could only imagine what a young child would feel in this situation.

I thought about the song ‘I Am Not MY Hair‘ sung by India Arie. I wondered what might have caused her to write those lyrics. I thought about her experiences as an Afrocentric woman with prominence in the early 2000’s in a fairly Eurocentric society. She had to have felt some pushback and she was battling against being the representative for all black women. That can be quite exhausting. Honestly, to some extent I can relate with this. Being one of the only other black women in my workplace, I have had situations where I had to explain my hair wash routine to colleagues who wondered how I take care of my braids. I have to preface my explanations with instructing them that this is my experience and routine and it doesn’t stand for every other black woman. That is one of the things I really love about this #IAMMYHAIR project. All of the ladies involved in the project have different hair textures and different ways and preferences of styling. As I stated in my hair journey blogs which I wrote a few years ago, it really is all about figuring out what works best for your hair.

Getting to know and explore your hair and what works best for you.

From “I Am Not My Hair” to “Crown”

So, how did we get to “I Am Not My Hair” and even most recently Solange’s “Don’t Touch My Hair” to Kelly Rowland’s campaign song “Crown“. The history behind these songs can also mirror the history we see culturally, as people began to embrace and appreciate the complexities of black hair.

India Arie’s song, “I Am Not My Hair” was released in 2005 when there was a large eurocentric drive in the hair industry. Although India stated that the song was birthed as a way to free women from being attached to their hair. For example, an artist choosing to cut her hair off and rock a low cut look shouldn’t make her less appealing or beautiful. Similarly, an artist who has to cut her hair due to the effects of chemotherapy, does that make her less beautiful and alluring? Imagine the weaves and hair strengthening that was prominent in this era. I am sure we all remember it. In fact, at this point in time, I had just applied a chemical relaxer to my hair as a young child, in order to better manage it and reduce my teary visits to the hairdressers as well to reduce the time spent on a Saturday evening.

Throwback to my relaxed tresses in the 2010’s

Eleven years later, Solange Knowles releases a song titled “Don’t Touch My Hair” in 2016, which shares similar sentiment but more so establishing boundaries as women take back control on what grows out of their head. She writes from the perspective of likely having had to deal with some ignorant behaviors and people overstepping boundaries by grabbing her hair. We have all experienced this in one way or another.

Meanwhile, Kelly Rowland pens a song (“Crown“)for hair empowerment a mere three years later in 2019 that is used as part of a Dove campaign to challenge bullying and discrimination based on hair type. Yeah, hair discrimination is definitely a thing! In fact in that same year California State in America passed a law known as the Crown Act which prohibits discrimination against students and workers based on their natural hair. Not too sure what the status is in the other states in America as we still read stories of children that are forced to either change or cut their hair or told to leave a particular institution.

But with these three songs, do we see a theme forming here? I would say as time has progressed, artists and people in general has gone from having the various stages of hair empowerment. From needing to defend, to educating and finally to accepting and celebrating the beauty of the hair that literally grows out of our skulls. Black women worldwide are owning their hair, its beauty and seeing the crown on their heads as a thing to be proud about. No matter how it looks like or feels like, we learn to style it and take care of it such that it reflects a little of ourselves.

That’s one of the main things I discussed with Aanu during my shoot with her on this project. It has been very important for me to learn my hair and in doing that, I fall more and love with my crown.

Sometimes it can be overwhelming thinking about the different types of hairstyles and in trying to be intentional I am reminded about the bible verse in Matthew 10:29-30

"What is the price of two sparrows- one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it."
"And the very hairs on your head are all numbered."

Therefore, I embrace the different ways of wearing and rocking my hair as my crown. I may not be the best hair stylist or be able to always 100% execute the style I want, but at least I am able to try. As a creative, my hair gives me the opportunity to reflect some of the diversity I experience within myself.

Today, it can be styled as space buns, tomorrow it can be mini twists, next week it may be a bob wig and the week after that it could be cornrows extensions. Whatever the flavor, I fully embrace my hair as my crown! You should too!

What does your hair as your crown mean to you?

#SeekGodMore

Mo 🙂

An Ode to The One

An Ode is a ceremonial lyrical poem that addresses and often celebrates a person, place, thing or idea.

Today’s ode is dedicated to the One.

To The Lover of My Soul,

The One that is able to bring purpose and direction out of chaos and confusion. He brings clarity in moments of distress and discomfort.

The One who shows up right on time. The One that makes ALL things beautiful in its own time.

The One in whom we live, move, breathe and have our being. He is the One that gives us identity and a purpose. The One that gives our life meaning and direction. 

The One who infuses us with strength and causes us to mount up on wings like eagles. 

The One who nourishes our soul which is the seating place of our emotions, personality and thoughts.

The One who has amazing plans for us. The One who makes us His masterpiece, the pinnacle of His creation and the conduit of his eternal glory.

The One who is seated in heavenly places yet is invested in the very intricacies of our lives.

The One with the power and ability to transform our nature and thoughts.

The One who can turn us the right side up and turn things right way around for us. 

The One who commands the birds of the air, the seas, the waters and all of the firmaments.

To the Almighty One, to the Everlasting One. 

An Ode to the One

The One that is the source of our righteousness and strength.

The Only One worthy to be exalted on high.

The One that is Elohim, Adonai, our Lord and Master

The SOVEREIGN ONE.

The One with the power, authority and influence to rule in our hearts, our lives and all of creation.

The One that the angels and celestial beings bow down in reverence to.

The One that is set apart from all other beings.

The One that speaks and causes all thing to fall into place, all of creation stands in attention at your Word and command.

The One with the power and ability to save, redeem, sustain and transform us.

The One that handles us with gentleness, patience and kindness.

The One that fills us with his peace, joy and everlasting love.

The One that is the source of our hope and the anchor for our soul.

The One that is faithful even when we fail Him and live recklessly. The only way He treats us recklessly is in His manner of loving.

The One that is intentional about every iota and map of our lives.

The One that will NEVER leave or forsake us.

The One that is always fighting for us, advocating for us and bringing us back to Himself.

To the Supreme One, To the Almighty One.

Thank you for loving us. Thank you for seeing us (El Roi). Thank you for hearing us.

We are eternally grateful.

May our whole lives prove that indeed you are Good.

May all the angels bow under the heavy weight of reverence due You, Oh God! On bended knees with faces to the ground, may they express homage to You who are set apart from all other beings! You have only to say the word and all of creation falls into line, snapping to attention. You speak to chaos and disorder, and purposeful life forms and flourishes. Your voice is the invincible force…unequivocal grandeur. When You say the word, tyrants topple and disasters dissipate, vanishing with one blow of Your breath. Oh, Lord, fill us with Your awesome strength! Wield Your power to transform us in every way!

#SeekGodMore

Mo 🙂

Checking In

Hellooooo and welcome to the second half of the year! Yep, even as we say goodbye to July 2022 we can still celebrate God’s goodness and for successfully ushering into the summer months.

Hope you everyone is enjoying the summer heat wave or just the hubbub activities surrounding summer wherever in the world you might be reading this!

Even if it is just to rest and be still. Do not overwhelmed or be coerced into the summer expectations we see on social media, as long as you are getting the soul nourishment you desire this season, that’s the key thing.

Let wisdom lead in all things.

But as we are well into the second half of the year it is time to check in and see as a community if we are growing in a healthy way and in alignment with God’s plan for our lives.

Luckily, we have had a few series on the blog that has aimed to nourish us spiritually, financially, academically but there is still so much that we need to work on in order to fully thrive as God intends us to do.

Just thinking about the fact that we are already 7 months into this year, the biggest lesson learnt so far is this:

GOD is Good.

We know that God is good when we see his beauty and magnificence in nature or in the good things He does in our lives and in the lives of those around us. But what happens when we see destruction in our environment? When the wickedness of men is becoming more rampant (or likely more widely reported on), or when we ourselves encounter dark situations? Does God still remain good?

Yes, He does.

Having a heart for worship and eyes for gratitude helps us to know that beyond those physical things we see, God remains good because it is part of his nature. Just like we as human beings might have a calm demeanor and peaceful disposition and certain life situations can aggravate us but yet our demeanor largely still remains the same or at least impacts our response to those situations. The very nature and core of our person never changes.

Photo by Julian Paolo Dayag
Such is the same for an unchangeable God.

So, let’s get into the key lessons learnt so far this year!

1. GOD is GOOD

What better way to kick things off than to reiterate this fact that we so quickly forget in when dealing with our human situations and through life’s circumstances. You see God’s goodness is evident because of the truth found in the word of God. God’s goodness has been tried and tested. For the simple testimony that as children of God, (if you do identify as one), we have a hope and a beautiful future. You might say what good does that do me when my current situation doesn’t look so hopeful. The truth is that nothing on this Earth is ever permanent. I will never claim to know everything and be able to explain everything because I am not GOD, but my experience of God’s goodness shows me that nothing in this life is permanent. Both good and bad. That is why reading the book of Ecclesiastes is one of my favorite things to do because it really just puts things in perspective in this life. It may sound depressing and a little dramatic but King Solomon was historically one of the wisest men and kings to rule. He explored all the pleasures of the world, had all the human wisdom and really just satisfied all his heart’s desires and more. Yet, he concludes at the end of his musings and rantings;

"That's the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commandments, for this is everyone's duty." 
Ecclesiastes 12:13

Guess what? A good God places structures in place to ensure His children can fully enjoy the satisfactions He provides them but in a safe way. And that is the beauty of God. I can not fully break down and provide all the necessary verses to prove this but I really suggest you look into the goodness of God yourself. Really spend time meditating, researching and pondering the goodness of God, it will blow our minds our magnificent this God truly is.

See: Psalm 25:8, Psalm 145: 5-9

2. Life can sometimes be distracting

At times we are convinced or distracted from God’s goodness by situations that take our eyes off of the author and finisher of our Faith.

What does this mean? It means we are distracted by

a) People’s opinions of us. Does this person or group of people like me? Do they think I am cool? Would they want to hang out with me? The truth of the matter is no matter how amazing those people are, their opinion on you LITERALLY does not matter in the grand scheme of things. Do not be fooled by what people appear to be, rather focus on who God says you are. Those other people hold no merit and will not be the ones measuring you at the end of your life. That is when we ALL must give an account for all our actions on earth.

b) Relationship status? It’s all fun and games in conversations especially within young adult circles but my brothers and sisters there is sooo much more to life than that! Whether married, single, engaged, talking to somebody, courting, or never even been approached, the truth is that we are desperately and eternally loved by a heavenly Father that will move heaven and earth on our behalf. Trust me, I can empathize with the frustrations or disappointments that might arise from failed or non existent relationships. But, dear brother and dear sister, there is only one of you and best believe our heavenly Father wants the very best for you! No good thing will He withhold from those who love Him and walk according to His purpose for them. So, be patient bask in the love of your Father no matter what your status may be, God offers us grace to thrive in these seasons and to bring Him glory

c) Accomplishments and Milestones. I need to have achieved this before I turn this particular age or I have done this and that. I want to be this accomplished in my career, in my finances or in my entrepreneurial attempts. That’s all great! But the key thing is that whatever we do should bring glory to God and He works all things out in his own time to bring Him the maximum glory. God does not want us to be put to shame, He is too good and kind for that. Plus, we are his representatives and his light, therefore He needs to use us to shine His light to the optimum.

Now these are just a few of the things we can be distracted by but for those that are suffering with long term chronic diseases or enduring financial hardships, we cannot necessarily call that distractions now can we??

So how do people in these situations cope…

3. Living by faith and not by our feelings

Our feelings are valid but not always true. It can be hard, tough and emotional to go through certain things but the word of God is the truth and He has so many promises and encouragement to us in His word:

"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
"Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed" 
Isaiah 53: 4 - 5
"Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well." 
3 John 1:2
"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
"And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." 2 Corinthians 9:8
"Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." 
Luke 12:7
" And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus." 
Philippians 4:19

This is just a few verses and a quick Google search can provide so many more verses to lift up one’s heart and spirit.

In addition, sometimes we are the answer to the prayers of others. We are indeed the hands and feet of God on Earth. As we look to God to lead and help us, we are the conduits He wants to use at times to answer the prayers of those around us.

But when we are too caught up in our struggles and our pain, we cannot offer our lives as a living sacrifice and show up for others.

May God help us to open our eyes and hearts to the needs of those that are around us.

May God help us to live beyond our feelings and emotions to truly trust in Him and His Word. May His Holy Spirit infuse in us the strength and wisdom to make God’s word the anchor for our soul. Such that we run to His word and to Him in prayer first when we encounter difficulties or hardships of any kind.

Wishing everyone a fantastic rest of the year. May our soul prosper even as every part and portion of our being prospers in this year. And may our whole lives prove that God IS good.

#SeekGodMore

Mo 🙂

Monday Money Nuggets – Episode 4

Our resident finance enthusiast, Wale has been sharing his ‘Monday Money nuggets‘ throughout the month of June. We have reached our grand finale!

Our hope is that someone somewhere has learnt one thing from Wale’s experiences and insight.

Disclaimer:

This is not financial advice but simply someone sharing their experience and perspectives on money matters.

Enjoy learning and feel free to share with friends or loved ones!

Catch up with the other episodes on the blog.

Young adults are generally oblivious to the fact that there is a such a thing as what your relationship with money should look like.

Photo by cottonbro

Scripture talks about how the LOVE of money is the root of all evil –

.

1 Timothy 6:10 (NLT)
"For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows."

It means you can have a relationship with money that is actually bad, where it becomes your mammon or god

One of the decisions I made when I started earning was that money wasn’t going to control me, and as a result, I put things in place in form of my giving to ensure I stayed on track. 

One of the common debate recently about money and the Christian has been centered around giving to the church. While this is an important discussion, one crucial thought to discuss when talking about giving is Essence.

What is the essence of your giving?

Like the wise saying, if the purpose of a thing is not known…abuse is inevitable. 

So, why do I give?

I have heard some young people say instead of giving to the church, they’d rather go out and give to the needy outside. While giving to those who are in need is a good act to imitate, there is still a displacement here.

Most have been taught to see giving as a donation, and not a service, which is where the issue lie. 

Your mindset on giving needs to shift from donation to service.

From scripture, we actually see giving is referred to as a MINISTRY. (2 Cor 8:6, 2 Cor 9:12-13 NLT & NKJV).

2 Corinthians 8:6 (NLT)
"So we have urged Titus, who encouraged your giving in the first place, to return to you and encourage you to finish this ministry of giving."

2 Corinthians 9:12-13 (NLT)
 "12 So two good things will result from this ministry of giving—the needs of the believers in Jerusalem[f] will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God.

13 As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ."

From these texts, our attention is drawn to a couple things as to why we give to the church as Christians.

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk
1. The needs of the believer is met, and they express thanks to God.

See how scripture say they thank God, and not you? This is clearly a show of your worship to God. Through you and your giving, a believer out there is giving thanks to God. 

2. It shows the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ.

Your generosity shows proof to the fact that you actually confess the good news of Christ. That’s massive! Your disposition towards generosity can actually point to the revelation of Christ you have received.

A common excuse people say as to why they don’t give is “I don’t have enough“. Like I mentioned in Episode 1 with respect to savings, if $100 is not enough for your expenses, having $95 will make no difference.

Therefore, no matter your financial condition, God still expects you to give according to the grace afforded to you.

You can clearly see this with the poor woman in the bible –

 Mark 12:41-44 (NLT)
"Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. 42 Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins.[j]43 Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. 44 For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.”

As a matter of fact, Jesus said she gave more than the rich people.

3. Finally, put your money where your faith is.

Your money will always flow in the direction of your heart. Rather than fixate and argue on the doctrinal requirement of whether to give or not, the right question to ask is; ‘how does this help me and help the church of God?’

In summary, highlighted are a few things that points back to what generosity can show about a believer.

1. Your love for God

2. His Lordship over your finances 

3. Your love for His church and the saints

Other biblical references on giving:
2 Corinthians 9:7 (NLT)
"You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”

1 Corinthians 16:1-4 (NLT)
"Now regarding your question about the money being collected for God’s people in Jerusalem. You should follow the same procedure I gave to the churches in Galatia. 2 On the first day of each week, you should each put aside a portion of the money you have earned. Don’t wait until I get there and then try to collect it all at once. 3 When I come, I will write letters of recommendation for the messengers you choose to deliver your gift to Jerusalem. 4 And if it seems appropriate for me to go along, they can travel with me."

Bonus Point

Your generosity shows the disposition of your heart in gratitude to God for the good things you have received in life.

#SeekGodMore

Mo 🙂

Monday Money Nuggets – Episode 3

Our resident finance enthusiast, Wale will be sharing his ‘Monday Money nuggets‘ through the month of June.

Hope everyone is excited to learn from Wale’s experiences and insight.

Disclaimer:

This is not financial advice but simply someone sharing their experience and perspectives on money matters.

Enjoy and learn something new 🙂

This topic among young adults has always made for an interesting conversation.

In the previous episode, I had mentioned that most people would at some point like to get married. With this in mind, I believe it’s important to learn about finances in Marriage.

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First, like any counsel an intending couple will get is the criticality to discuss and align money philosophies before getting married. In my little marriage experience, I find that you will probably always have to discuss finances even after getting married depending on how things are structured.

The common theme these days is that money has its individuality in marriage. Well, scripture says in marriage you have become ONE. No matter the new generation interpretation you want to give to it, it doesn’t exclude money. As a matter of fact, statistics have shown money issues as a top reason marriages dissolve in North America.

It means aligning with your spouse on money matters can by itself reduce the probability of a breakup.

One of the adjustments I had to make in marriage was increasing my spending. In the previous episodes, you’ll see I had created a pattern of spending over time, so having to spend more was initially uncomfortable for me. My student and single working professional grocery shopping list was fine with me but with my wife, it was totally different. The good thing was I already took advantage of the counsel I received from a number of married people, coupled with external resources, to get a rich understanding of how money worked in marriage so it wasn’t a big deal adjusting.

So, if you haven’t been married before, don’t think you know it all by refusing counsel from those ahead.

I got an interesting revelation from a money radio I was watching sometime. They had done a study on millionaires in the US and on a particular episode, millionaires called in. While they talked, I picked on a certain word most of them used, “WE are millionaires“.

In their explanations, I deciphered that while one person was actually the one who was able to get the finances to qualify as a millionaire, it was still seen as both spouses were millionaires, and yes of course, because two have become ONE.

I personally believe that aligning finances and financial decisions in marriages has the ability to create wealth in itself.

There is also a difference when you and your spouse agreed to a financial decision (investment) which later backfired, the pain of loss is different from when one person was in disagreement.

The way money is handled in marriage will likely be different and unique for every marriage, however, the underlying factor that makes it work and create wealth for you is ONENESS.

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Bonus for Intending couples  – Use this to understand your money philosophy and ensure you discuss with your partner so you synergize.

#SeekGodMore

Mo 🙂

Monday Money Nuggets – Episode 2

Our resident finance enthusiast, Wale will be sharing his ‘Monday Money nuggets‘ through the month of June.

Hope everyone is excited to learn from Wale’s experiences and insight.

Disclaimer:

This is not financial advice but simply someone sharing their experience and perspectives on money matters.

Enjoy and learn something new 🙂

Photo by Daria Obymaha on Pexels.com

So, you are done with school and now in the Job environment making some cool or hot cash. It’s time to spend the money you have worked hard in school for, right? 

Within a few months, you are about to realize the responsibilities of Adulthood – shey they told you to be responsible since, you refused😋. 

A quick rude shock, especially if your parents decide that it’s time to be independent once you start working, is the expenses you will bear on your own. Before now, you were spending like Hushpuppi, now it’s time to get real. 

Canadian graduates typically will have the opportunity to earn a salary relatively decent for a young single professional. How and what you decide to do going forward will determine how fast money works for you. 

Now, one question I always had was, as a young professional, how much is enough to save. This really depends on your goal. Is a $200 savings out of a $4000 monthly check enough? Maybe/Maybe Not? 

One thing I’m sure of is building wealth and financial freedom aren’t an accident. It requires Delayed Gratification – a word that appears to have disappeared from the woke young generation. 

As I entered into the professional space earning a decent average figure, I had ONE plan. Like they say, if you fail to plan, then you are planning to fail. 

Save at least half of every month’s check.

Your eyes are probably rolling seeing this statement, but I’ll show you how super possible this is. It all comes down to your goals for money. For me, I got to understand the power of real estate as an investment and how that can help fuel financial freedom. 

If you want to save half of your monthly check, a simple step to follow is:

a. Track your expenses

– Write out everything you spend on in a month, I mean EVERYTHING. 

b. Budget your expenses.

–  Find a way to merge all of your expenses into one paycheck. Most of the time, you get paid bi-weekly or bi-monthly in Canada. I like to use the bi-weekly check as my expense limit though, because it gives you 2 additional paycheck savings in the year, if you follow the strategy.

c. Do a weekly/bi-weekly review of your bank account and credit cards 

– Sometimes certain charges or deductions are applied without you knowing, and getting on it fast can save you some money. 

– With the popular use of credit cards, you’re liable to spend more than you have budgeted, so constant checks to see your balance during the month allows you to stay on course. 

Why was I doing this?

1. Save and Invest Money for Wedding Expenses.

I like to believe that the majority of people would like to get married someday. For me, I had planned to work for about 2-3 years before getting married. As a result, I wasn’t going to wait until the date of the wedding had been set before I started saving. 

Having a rough idea of the amount I would need for a wedding, I saved a large sum of money over some months and invested it until it was time for the wedding. Talk about free money😉 

2. Save up for Down Payment of a House

As a young professional, I wanted to buy a house as quickly as possible, so I ensured not to change my status even after graduating. I stayed back at a shared residence and kept the same car I had as a student. Doing this enables you to get maximum savings on your paycheck, and cut back expenses on rent which is the largest expense typically. Doing this for a year, I was able to save enough money to buy my first property. 

Bonus Point – Invest your savings as much as you can in whatever works for you, however, make sure you invest in something you understand. Read about the investment, understand it to an extent, before putting your money in there. 

In closing words, live below your means and save/invest the difference. 

All of these strategies are still very applicable to me currently. I saw the results and have since implemented this even in marriage, as you’ll see in the next series of Money Mondays with Wale.

#SeekGodMore

Mo 🙂

Monday Money Nuggets – Episode 1

Our resident finance enthusiast, Wale will be sharing his ‘Monday Money nuggets‘ through the month of June.

Hope everyone is excited to learn from Wale’s experiences and insight.

Disclaimer:

This is not financial advice but simply someone sharing their experience and perspectives on money matters.

Thank you!

Photo by LinkedIn Sales Navigator on Pexels.com

Coming to Canada as a student in 2015, I sort of understood the financial implications. 

I remember talking with a friend who already was in Canada who gave me a perspective of how the minimum wage could sustain you as a student. Bam! My mind opened! I started calculating the imaginable possibilities (with a minimum wage) 

Having done my Undergraduate and Nigerian Youth Service Corps (NYSC) program back in Nigeria, basic budgeting, spending, saving were not new concepts to me. Every semester, my parents would give me a little amount to shop for school items and also for stipend in school, but I always looked for a way to save no matter how small. I mean, you don’t want to spend all your money while you are in school and then have nothing during the holidays. Also, getting paid N#19000 during NYSC meant managing finances, so you don’t soak garri (granulated cassava) for the most part of the month. 

Fast forward to being in Canada, I was hungry for a job right off the get go. Fortunately, I got an opportunity to work in a professional space a couple months after I started my Master’s degree program. 

I had financial paralysis at the start of my stay in Canada which is typical amongst immigrants. I just couldn’t bring myself to buy anything. I was converting everything back to the naira equivalent – Biggest mistake😀. My roommate at that time had to force me to start buying things. 

As a student, I had a plan. 

1. Work 

There’s no free money in Canada, so you are rewarded as you spend time working. 

As International students, immigration only allows 20 hours of work time in a week – shey you said you were coming to study, so you cannot be working all day. 

However, during the off-school period, mostly during summer, if you choose to work 24 hours in a day, you are allowed.

This latter part was where I took advantage of, and made about $18000 in one summer. Sounds enticing yea?🤪 

I have also realized that rather than looking for something to do to earn during holidays, young students would rather use this time to flex, and in a twinkle, the holidays are over. A common saying is “I need to relax after such a stressful exam.

While it is good to relax after exams, it is important to make sure relaxing doesn’t become a full blown vacation. 

2. Budget, Leverage Opportunities and Save

I do believe every student has to decide first which direction they want to go financially. Do you want to be that extravagant, flamboyant student or the conservative one? This influences how you budget every expense

Just like I had done when I was still in undergrad, I already understood there was no way I would spend all my monthly stipend without saving some regardless of how small. In my mind, I always had the amount to save less than the total stipend for the month. For example, if $100 can’t cater for your needs, then having $95 won’t make a difference, but that’s a savings of $5. What it requires is cutting your coat according to your size, and cutting down on expenses. I remember I had to move residence at some point because monthly rent was too high. I had to trade the comfort of having more privacy to a shared residence for a while. 

A number of opportunities present themselves in Canada especially when you are a student, and when you are within a community, certain perks could be advantageous.

In my case, I leveraged the opportunity of saving weeks of spending on groceries which came as a result of my community. On several occasions during an event, there would be surplus food at the end, and I leverage that at different times to get a head start on my savings. I saw no reason why as a student, I’d be too concerned about the thoughts of other people towards this action. As a matter of fact, a number of students followed suit after me and started doing this. The effect of this may seem small, but overtime, it accumulates. 

3. Ease the financial burden off Parents

One thing many young students forget is, while this phase is an opportunity to get educated academically, it is also a disguised opportunity for you to start being responsible. Parents do their best to take care of their children’s needs, which is their responsibility. 

As an International student, being in Canada is definitely high maintenance, and a financial pull except if you are a relative of Bill Gates. So, a very good and responsible thing to do is to watch how you spend, and also see ways where you can support your parents no matter how small. 

4. Give to loved ones back home in Nigeria

Finally, even as a student and being in Canada, I was in a better position to help a few people back home. I know the easiest thing to say is, “what I have is not enough for me”, but this is also part of the sense of responsibility I talked about before. A $10 converted to local currency could mean something tangible for someone back home, so it doesn’t have to be a full blown charity.

Again, even as a student, you want to develop the act of giving. This has the ability to essentially shape your financial mindset later as you grow in life as you will see in the next series of Money Mondays with Wale

#SeekGodMore

Mo 🙂

Deep Dive into Proverbs: Appreciation

We made it till the end of May guys! Glory be to God! The plan was to post every day in the month of May and by God’s grace that was possible.

This initiative was also greatly supported and actualized by our awesome guest bloggers, Seyi and Chizoba Adebola (round of applause for them!). The insight, knowledge and practical tips shared and as we studied the book of Proverbs has been incredibly profound.

Personally, I have found myself playing the book of Proverbs through the YouVersion audio bible a lot more in this month, to try and digest this information.

How has this deep dive into Proverbs impacted you?

Of course, it is impossible to digest all the wisdom of Proverbs all at once but it is our life’s mission to find delight in the Word and to continue to explore and search through it all the days of our lives!

You can connect with this awesome couple on various platforms;

Facebook – chizoba.azubogu & seyi adebola

 Instagram – chizobaazubogu & seyiadebola

 Twitter – @cheezyazubogu & @Seyiman

 TikTok – seyiadebola

 YouTube – Seyi Adebola

As we round off this deep dive into Proverbs in the month of May, we once again want to appreciate the Adebola’s for taking the time and effort to provide such a great insight. May God continue to bless and strengthen them and make himself known to them more clearly in Jesus name.

Amen!

Seyi & Chizoba Adebola are a young happily married couple who have dedicated their lives to humbly serving God in different capacities as they come; with complete loyalty and reverence for Him.

#SeekGodMore

Mo 🙂

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