Music Corner with Mo

 

William Shakespeare once said “If music be the food of love, then play on.” This shows how powerful music can be to the human soul; it can inspire such strong emotions such as love. For me, music has been one of the greatest tools in helping me uncover God’s unending love for me.

Here, I list a few songs that have encouraged me and that remind me of the faithfulness of God. Also, in celebration of Nigeria’s 57th Independence I have selected songs that celebrate my Nigerian heritage. Hope you are richly blessed and encouraged by my selections!

 

  1. Simi – Aimasiko

So, this is a remix by the Nigerian singer/artist, Simi and it seems the song was inspired by a Yoruba proverb.

It was actually originally performed by Chief Ebenezer Obey-Fabiyi popularly known as Ebenezer Obey. He is a popular Nigerian artist known for promoting the highlife-juju music genre. For non-Yoruba speakers the lyrics of the song, generally states that when things don’t seem to be working out for us and it seems our hopes and dreams for the future isn’t being manifested in reality and we can easily become disillusioned, we must remember that the situation we are in, is in God’s hands. I totally enjoy the vibe as well as the message of the song as it reminds us that everything has its time and season and no matter what your current situation, it’s all in God’s hands.

The chorus of the song which is also the most memorable part states “Aimasiko lo n daamu eda, Oro mi lowo Oluwa lo wa” which loosely translates into “We fret/worry unduly because the future is hidden from us, but God is in control of everything concerning us” (major shout out to my family and in particular my cousin for helping me translate this, my Yoruba is trying sha). Now, this reminds me of another song ‘Ain’t No Need To Worry by Anita Baker and The Winans (you should check out the blog post Music for Keeping On if you haven’t already).

At times, due to our human nature it is easier said than done to just not worry therefore I offer another practical advice. Somewhere towards the end of this song, there’s a dance interlude. I don’t know about you but for me dancing is such a great stress relief.  This interlude could be a wonderful opportunity for some “komele” (serious dancing), because sometimes you might just need to dance the worries and fears away.

 

  1. Gbadebo Odufuwa – Nothing for your Grace

This is a recently released song with a clear and simple message along with being a great tune.

Nothing for Your Grace

It reminds me of the salvation of my soul and the great privilege I have to say I am a child of God. So freely was this given to us, so feel free to #DabForTheLord because trust me, I definitely did during the many times I listened to it. Apart from the general hype and great artistry on this song ministration, it also has such an impactful and strong message. Since a majority of the song is in Yoruba, I have listed the English translation to a section from the lyrics below to give a general understanding on what the song is about.

 

Chorus:
I paid nothing nothing
I paid nothing for your grace
I did nothing, nothing
To deserve your love so great
I gave nothing, nothing
Yet you died in my place
Nothing at all
Thank you my Lord
Nothing at all
Thank you Jesus

One of my favorite verse states:

     Yoruba                                                                                                 English
Ko gba sisi to yo                                               He never took a penny from me
Emi gan o ni kobo lowo                                   I never really had a kobo to pay
Ore elese tooto                                                              The true friend of a sinner
Loni mo useful, l’oro ba tan            Said I’m useful to Him and that is all that matters
O dust mi, mo di mimo                             He dusted me and I became clean
O clean mess mi, l’egbin ba tan              He cleaned up my mess, and my filthiness ended
Kini mo gbe fun o                                                  What did I offer him?
Mi o ma mo o                                                              I don’t really know
Kini mo ri fun o?                                           What could I have given to him?
Mi o mo’di to fi femi                                        I don’t know why he loves me

Lyrics and Translation by Mr Gbadebo Impression

For more information, check out this page

NOTE: Kobo is Nigerian currency. It is to the naira what cent is to the dollar.

The ‘Hallelujah oo’ at the end signals the end of the song beautifully, but also silences all the fears and worries we might have. ‘Hallelujah” means to “Praise God” and to me this means that in order to truly praise God you have to put aside all your worries and fears. Indeed, we have no need to worry because God’s in control and Christ finished it all on the cross, by dying for us he won the victory over death.  Nothing else matters.

In the midst of the turmoil and troubles occurring in the world as well as the internal turmoil we go through on a daily basis, it is necessary for us to remind ourselves of the faithfulness of God through it all. Likewise, we thank God for his faithfulness to Nigeria and all its citizens. We look forward to the future with hope and prayers for a better tomorrow and a brighter future for Nigeria(#EGoBetter). Just the fact that we are still alive is enough reason to show utmost gratitude to God. Moreover, He is the only one that can truly change our situation and turn things around for our good.

What are some of your favorite songs that encourage and inspire you? What do the different songs mean to you?

#KeepOnKeepingOn

 

 

 

 

The Power of Voices and Story Telling

Recently, I attended a performance at the Timms Center for Arts.

Timms Center for Arts.JPG

The performances also doubled as a story telling workshop where the two guest performers, Chunga Otiende and Tololwa Mollel shared tips on how to tell a good story.

East African storytelling
Robert Kpogo, Chunga Otiende and Tololwa Mollel being introduced.

Since the title of the workshop was ‘A Story Evening from East Africa’, both performers incorporated elements of their East African culture into their story telling.

The first performer was Chunga who is an award-winning story performer from Kenya. He told a very intriguing story based on meat. Now, I know that sounds very strange and trust me as a listener I was slightly perplexed at first. But I enjoyed his use of audience participation and involvement by coaxing us to finish the end of his sentences, actively recruiting the audience in the story and into the role of story-teller. He showed me that voices matter, most importantly the voice of the majority is very crucial.

Interestingly, Chunga introduced music into his story by playing a harmonica. It created a calm and soothing atmosphere and transported the audience from a packed theater room to sitting cosily listening to childhood stories (or something like that!). Although, this was also contrasted with more fast paced story-telling which included dancing to tunes played by the wonderful percussionist Robert Kpogo (Ghana born, Togo raised and Canada residing percussionist, who is currently teaching at The University of Alberta). The pace of his narrative was driven along by Kpogo’s eclectic style on the drums and wooden xylophone.

pdiddy-giphy

The second performer, Tololwa is actually an alumni of The University of Alberta and is a Tanzanian-Canadian playwright and author of several children’s books. Now, his story-telling style was a bit tamer than Chunga’s nevertheless every bit as exciting. An interesting style he used which was unlike the first narrative was his use of different voices to represent the different characters in the story. He generally adopted a third person narrator perspective which he delivered in a calm reflective tone, almost reminiscent of the voice of grandparents telling a story of the ‘good, old days’. I particularly enjoyed his repetition of the same song. It acted as a theme throughout the narrative which was useful in carrying the audience along because it was easily recognizable but also it was catchy and the audience got a chance to learn the song. This was evident as sometime later on, audience members started singing along the lyrics of the song as well.

ArtistInfo
Detailed Information about the performers

Continue reading “The Power of Voices and Story Telling”

The Importance of Finding Your Tribe

As September rolls in, students are soon returning back to school and beginning the process of learning all over again. However, another important aspect of this new season is the development of great friendships.

It was at a bible study almost four years ago that I heard this statement that ‘People are in your life for a reason and for a season’ . It’s up to us to figure out who’s in our lives and what purpose they are designated to serve. When I talk about ‘tribe’, I am referring to the importance of developing an environment and friendships that are purposeful. We are used to hearing our parents say ‘Show me your friends and I will show you who you are’ and that “Bad company corrupts good character”[this is actually a bible verse, 1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV)]. But on a real level, the people around us are very vital to our growth and to who we become. These are the people we allow to sow into our lives and they influence us whether we like it or not.

 

When God wants to bless us he introduces someone new into your life, to bring a new and fresh perspective  to broaden our insight and to inspire and bless us. Now, at times it can be difficult to trust people and let them into our lives and divulge our inner struggles to an outsider. But God made us for fellowship right? And would it not be considered a sin for us to forsake the fellowship of fellow believers. Sometimes we even need to ask ourselves all the  “lone soldier” tactics we may have employed thus far what has been the profit? Has there been any tangible improvement in our lives?

“Walk with the wise and become wise: associate with fools and get in trouble.”

– Proverbs 13:20 (NLT)

 

 

An interesting concept to me in the christian faith has been the topic of accountability. At first, I had always thought that we are held only accountable to God according to Romans 14:12 (NLT) “Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God.” So, to me this means we are all on an individual and personal walk . Therefore, the only person I may be held accountable to is God. However, in that same chapter where it seems we are being told to do our own thing (verse 5), it also states the importance of interdependence (verse 13), and not causing one another to ‘stumble and fall’. Yet again,  in Luke 17:3 (ESV) “Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins rebuke him and if he repents forgive him.” What does this mean exactly??

“We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. This is the interrelated structure of all reality.”

-Dr Martin Luther King Jr

 

Well, we human beings are made to cohabit in a state of interdependence. We should have vertical relationships, that is our fellowship and walk with God as well as horizontal relationships which is our relationship with our fellow human beings. We cannot pick and choose which one to focus one. In order to be well rounded individuals and in order to fully achieve our purpose on Earth we must learn to live at peace with all men on Earth whilst also keeping our minds on reigning in eternity with Christ. At times it can be difficult to try and balance out these two and slip into the struggle or either being too worldly and allowing the cares and worries of life to overwhelm you. On the other hand, it can lead to living life without regard for those around you or living life recklessly because after all we are “in this world and not of this world”. Ultimately, this confirms that #NoManIsAnIsland. Even island countries need to consolidate with neighboring nations in order to survive.

 “As iron sharpens iron so a friend sharpens a friend”

-Proverbs 27:17 (NLT)

If we are being honest with ourselves and we truly desire growth in this Christian race as well as walking in our purpose on earth, then we will realize that we require friends around us that can check us. Not just in the social aspect but also the spiritual aspect. It should be normal for a friend to message you and ask ‘hows your spiritual life going?’ And you in response should feel comfortable enough to be honest with them and let them know if its currently non existent  or if you and the Holy Spirit are currently best friends. As young adults, our minds are still being shaped and what we do now will affect  the direction of our lives. It sounds dramatic I know but honestly at times it is easy to forsake and belittle the importance in guarding  those we surround ourselves with.

Now, it is not just in terms of your spiritual growth that one requires sound friendship. One might require friends that are financially astute to advice you on money matters, or you may need advice in furthering your career or doing better in your academics. At times, we require different friends to play different roles in our lives. In our “tribe” of friends it is important to discover what your strengths are as this can reveal your role within your friendship group. This can even be essential in helping us figure out our life’s purpose by highlighting our strengths and weaknesses.

These should  be the people that will keep us accountable, people that we will learn from and  people that should be able to correct us and vice versa.

“The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are.”

-C.S. Lewis

 

Similar to accountability, there is also seems to be an emphasis on the importance of mentor ship. We need people that are where we want to be to and people that are where we used to be. We need people that possess the traits and skills we hope to develop and to avoid complacency and mediocrity. We also need people who have skills we think are unattainable to push us beyond our own predetermined limits.

We have to be deliberate in the kind of friendships we develop and to a certain extent be conscious of building a “tribe” that encourages growth and where we are may be pushed to fulfill our purpose.

My prayer is that God grants us the grace to form the right friendships that will help propel us forward in Jesus name. Amen.

#KeepOnKeepingOn

 

Mo 🙂 x

Music for Keeping On

Here’s a list of songs I listen to whenever I need to refocus my mind and continue keeping on this journey of life 🙂

 

Tye Tribbett – What Can I Do

Tye perfectly encapsulates that everything we are able to do and all that we are stems from God and his strength.  Plus, its such a hype song that it is able to  push you through whatever “low” moments you may be having.

Travis Greene – Made A way

This song is such a great reminder of the faithfulness of God and that the same God who was there in the past is still the same God today.

Buchi – It Is Well

One of the ad-libs in this lyrics of this song state “No matter how you feel, It is well with my soul in the name of Jesus.” We must learn to live beyond our feelings, because sometimes even our feelings are confused…So what should you trust? Trust the words of God which says that it is well with your soul.

Anita Baker & The Winans – Ain’t No Need to Worry

This is such a well titled song because it tends to have a calming effect. The chill and soft blending of alto (Baker) and tenor (Winan bros) voices is quite soothing and is quick to convict and remind me that no condition is permanent. Moreover it reminds on the importance and the power  of prayer and that he send his angels to keep watch over you and me. #JustPrayy!

“For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” Psalm 30:5 (NIV)

Guvna B ft Deitrick Haddon – Nothing But The Blood

What is a better reminder to  keep on keeping on than the realization of the great love of God towards us that he sent his son to die for our sins? Even when we fall,  His grace is sufficient for us.

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:17 (NIV)

What are some verses, sayings or songs that help you #KeepOnKeepingOn?

Keep On Keeping On

We are all aware of the cliche saying that life is a journey. Except that it actually is;  From the time we are born to the moment we take our last breath on earth. Yet, one of the most defining moments in one’s life is when you discover your purpose. This doesn’t happen straightaway and even when you do discover it, daily life still continues. We still have to work and study and do chores and do day to day activities. Therefore, in order to press on in the journey of life we must constantly keep in mind our future goal whilst also enjoying the experience of our current season. All of this should include bringing glory to God by living in complete satisfaction in Him. This means to live your life to the fullest and display  the supreme excellence of God in all that you do.

There are times and seasons in life where sometimes one feels inadequate and almost like one isn’t manifesting that God given potential. When I go through these seasons I am reminded of

“ For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.”

Ecclesiastes 3:1

[In fact, I would recommend reading the whole book of Ecclesiastes it puts this whole life  journey in perspective].  But basically, the rest of the chapter goes on to list the different seasons we experience in life. It clearly states that we will experience moments of ups and downs. Now, what do we do in our down moments?

Continue reading “Keep On Keeping On”

#ExploreEdmonton

This year Canada reaches a great milestone and turns 150.
#AfricaRepresent #CanadaRepresent
Canada 150

I have been living here for a while now but haven’t really explored and enjoyed the beauty of this country as much as I should. In fact, I think a lot of people tend to disregard Canada because they are so intrigued by our North American ‘neighbor‘. Although, with recent events people are starting to pay more attention over here. I believe Canada is a great combination of European, particularly British and American culture but what makes Canada what it is? And why should we celebrate this milestone?

Canada 150

From my understanding, what makes a lot of people fond of Canada is that unlike most English speaking Western countries, it isn’t overbearing in its status as a First World country. This may be due to the fact it has experienced life being a colonizer as well as being granted its own independence. So, originally the inhabitants of the land now known as Canada were the Indigenous people comprising of the Inuit and First Nations. This was before the European settlers from countries such as Britain, France and even Italy started exploring the great north. As is always expected when there are two powerhouses in an establishment there is bound to be some conflict, as seen with the Constitutional Act of 1971 which resulted in the splitting of the province of Quebec. There was the eastern half (lower Canada) which was the French speaking portion  and later became known as Quebec while the western half (upper Canada) which was the English speaking portion was later named Ontario. However, by July 1st 1867, the Canadian Confederation came into effect which produced four provinces: Ontario, Nova Scotia, Quebec and New Brunswick.

As time went on, more provinces were added as more land was developed and present day Canada now has ten provinces and three territories. Yet, Canada became a source of refuge to immigrants such as refugees escaping the Great Irish Famine of the late 1840’s.

While that is great and insightful information to have, how does that apply to my blog post? Well, I love the idea of traveling and exploring the world but I am also realizing that sometimes one needs to start in one’s local environment. Therefore, I decided this summer to embark on a summer project #ExploreEdmonton by visiting and partaking in events taking place across the city of Edmonton throughout the summer. Luckily, due to Canada 150 celebrations there has been quite a bit happening around the city.

Afro Fest  YEG 2017

Firstly, I was able to briefly attend the Afro Fest 2017 that was held in Churchill Square, Edmonton from the 2nd – 4th of June. The aim of this festival is to ‘bring awareness to the colorful, rich, inviting and diverse culture of people of African descent’ as stated on the AfroFestYEG website. There were several stalls present displaying beautiful African attire from all around the continent as well as musical and dance acts.

I particularly enjoyed the dance battle which seemed to hype the crowd and get everyone involved. Those of us that didn’t really know where to go could at least engage and get involved by cheering the dancers on. It was absolutely refreshing and wonderful to see the enterprise within the African community as people were using the works of their hands to highlight the beauty within the African culture.

This reminded me of the bible verse Jeremiah 29:7

“And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare”.

 

Here were these wonderful people sowing into the Canadian economy by displaying and sharing the African culture with their community. Sometimes, while trying to figure out what our purpose is and what the next step for our lives may be, we need to start in our local community. What is lacking in your community or among your peers? How could you utilize your God given skills or talents to fill that void?

 

Daniel Generation Young Adult BBQ

Then, in the month of July I attended a barbecue organized by ‘The Daniel Generation‘ and the young adults ministry of Rhema Chapel held at Government Park to celebrate Canada day.

 

It was a great time spent eating good food and just enjoying the great Edmonton sunshine (which can be quite rare!). As the day progressed, myself and a group of friends decided to explore the Park and see what it had to offer. As we were exploring we walked by this beautiful lake and it looked so serene and peaceful. At first we marveled at the beauty from a distance but after a while we wondered if it would be possible to get even closer. To be honest, I was happy just looking from a distance and taking a few pictures to post on here but once we discovered that we could climb down (fairly safely) to get closer to the lake we decided to do just that! That makes me realize that sometimes we may be happy to witness things from afar either out of fear of falling flat on our face and failing (Trust me, the fear was real climbing the steep slope to get down!) or because we are satisfied with our current location. Either way, once we are able to push through our initial reservations we discover that things can be a lot better.  This brings to mind one of my favorite verses and a #GemOfWisdom;

 

” For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline”
2 Timothy 1:7.

 

We ended up taking lots of amazing pictures and being able to take in the beauty of the lake in its entirety rather than from one limited angle.

IMG_7998

I hope everyone had a great start to the month of July! Let me know in the comments if you did anything interesting or if you have any exploration plans for the rest of the summer.

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I will be posting new blog posts every first Thursday of each month, so stay tuned and till next time.

#KeepOnKeepingOn

Mo 🙂

Musing – period of introspection and reflection.

Welcome to my first official blog post!

This has been in the works for so long I wasn’t sure if it would ever come to fruition, but sometimes God has a way of working things out and providing the final push needed to just get things done!

Why Blog?

So, why start a blog in the first place?

Well, originally the plan was for this to be a podcast which was inspired by a music class I took last semester. The class had a podcast component and through this I rediscovered my love of writing and creating interesting and inspiring content. Therefore the “musings ” in the title refers to the different topics that I hope to address like the aspects of life such as; growing up, social media, relationship with God, daily knowledge, inspirations and life experiences.

I want this to be some sort of account of my growth and I hope to somehow be inspired to learn from others and hopefully others are inspired to learn from me.

2017-06-01 14.23.00

Musings with Mo

The reason for the particular title, “Musings with Mo” is that I find introspection to be very important, especially for me at this stage in my life. In fact, introspection and self-evaluation is critical and essential at any and all stages in life – that is if one hopes to grow. I find it especially essential  for me as a young woman trying to navigate my journey on this Earth and figure out what God’s purpose is for my life, while living to bring glory to Him in all that I do. It  was starting to become easy to be satisfied with living a mediocre life  and just going with the flow. Yet, I believe God has placed a specific goal inside each and all of our hearts and has given us missions to accomplish on Earth. Now, it is up to us to figure it out and start working with Him but He is a faithful and loving God and He won’t leave us on our own, He has placed help along the way to guide and steer us in the right direction.

I am absolutely not an expert but I am striving to grow daily and get better each day. I hope you come on this journey with me and find it enjoyable as well as be inspired to learn something new and discover your mission/purpose.

2017-06-01 14.17.39

#KeepOnKeepingOn

#LiveAPurposefulLife

Mo 🙂 x

 

 

 

Summer Readings with Mo…

Here is a list of books that I have read, am currently reading or that  I am yet to read. I hope they inspire and teach you something new as they have done for me 🙂

Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill

Wisdom meets Passion: When Generations Collide and Collaborate by Dan Miller and Jared Angaza

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

The Defining Decade by Meg Jay

Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper

Born A Crime : Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

Crazy Love by Francis Chan

……..

Cicle of Books

 

 

 

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