To round off the throwback to summer 2017.
I will be sharing a few great dishes I enjoyed throughout summer in order to celebrate ‘good food‘ aka ‘Foodiebration!
Check out the caption for more information on the dish and where it is from 🙂
Current Favorite player : Giannis Antetokounmpo
The boy is good! Picture the taller and leaner version of Lebron James. He is able to do everything and almost anything on the basketball court. He’s definitely one to watch for the future.
Favorite basketball show : NBA The Starters
I’m kinda representing #WeTheNorth with this choice.
Favorite team : Golden State Warriors
Favorite WNBA player : Nneka Ogwumike
Women’s basketball needs more love. Nneka is one of the best defensive players; she’s Nigerian and was the 2016 Finals MVP #NeedISayMore
Favorite NBA analyst : Inside The NBA crew – Charles, Shaq, Kenny & Ernie
Such a great crew, they have jokes for days as well as great on screen chemistry.
Favorite NBA podcast : Ball Girl Magic
Kinda like #BlackGirlMagic, plus it features one of my faves, Yvonne Orji.
What are some of your favourite basketball tidbits or sports tidbits in general?
It recently started snowing in Edmonton, Canada (literally two days ago), so I thought I would relive the glory days of the summer by throwing it back to some events that I attended this past summer.
So every summer there’s a fun fair exhibition known as K-Days (Klondike Days) that is held for 10 days usually near the end of July in Edmonton, Alberta. It consists of different rides and games, both for children and adults which makes it a great opportunity for family fun. It is usually held alongside other great activities across the Albertan province such as ‘A Taste of Edmonton’ and ‘The Calgary Stampede’. If you’re looking for fun things to do next summer, you should definitely check out these events!
Unlike previous years that I attended K-Days, I was actually able to explore some of the exhibitions rather than just going for the rides. (#Adulting!). There were lots of very cool and interesting options. One of the things I did was to try and plan the day because it is quick to get easily overwhelmed.
The first exhibition I went to was the Canada 150 exhibition held in collaboration with Camp Northlands. There was so many interesting things going on in there. I particularly enjoyed the photo booth section which highlighted the beautiful Canadian outdoors (#GreatNorth) and it was a opportunity to take fun pictures. As a basketball fan, I enjoyed the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame exhibition.
Other recommended stations:
‘So You Want To Be An Anchor’
Did you know that James Naismith, the inventor of basketball as we know it, was a Canadian?
Overall, it was a great experience and it inspires me to want to explore more of Canada beyond Edmonton. What are some of the events you like to attend during the summer? (It’s never too late to start planning now!) Or those that you plan to attend during winter? Make sure to keep warm during this winter months! If you need to re-visit those great summer pictures to remind yourself of a more cosier time then go ahead.
I am constantly inspired and motivated by the great attributes I see in the lives of my loved ones. I am surrounded by phenomenal women and men that have done and are still doing great things. When one sees a good thing it is only right to celebrate that and try to emulate it as well. It is so important to value those that have gone ahead of you and to consider some of the insightful lessons they might have inspired. I am dedicating this post to all the great people God has surrounded me with and who have knowingly and unknowingly impacted me in some way. I might not outwardly say it but I appreciate you all. Seeing my loved ones ‘living their best life‘ and walking in their God – given purpose motivates me to keep on striving to do the best in my own life.
One of the people that I admire is my grandmother. When I think of some of her attributes that I am influenced by, the things that come to mind are; her loving nature, her servant attitude and how she lived and fearlessly walked in her purpose (professionally she was a nurse and she was also involved in choir ministry). She lived her life of love and selflessness that causes me to ponder on the kind of legacy I want to leave for future generations. Here, I share some of the great lessons I have learned and hope to better incorporate into how I live my life.
1. Learn to make gratitude the soundtrack to your life.
We may say ‘ in all thing give thanks’ but how truly do we live out this statement. I have learnt over the years that a heart of gratitude is so important in everything. This doesn’t mean that you are not worried or fearful about your current situation, but you are aware that God is greater and bigger than whatever problems you might currently be facing. For me, this is where music and dancing becomes paramount. One of the greatest gifts I believe God gave to mankind is the ability to create music and celebrate the goodness of God through words in musical form. It is such a potent tool in living a life of gratitude. Yes we are NOT to live by our emotions, but sometimes the fluidity of our emotions can work in our favor. By being able to manipulate our emotions, we can transition from whatever lowly state we might be in to a higher state of gratitude. When we live a life of gratitude and allow that to be the soundtrack to our life, the songs of fear, worry, frustration, failure and disappointment are silenced. I mean look at the life of king David, it’s not like things were always rosy for him but yet he was a man after God’s heart. I can only imagine how many times he had to remind himself to intentionally praise God through the pain.
2. Try as best as you can to live a life of love.
What does this mean exactly? #PositiveVibes. Allowing the flow of love to run through you. God pours out his love on us right? So, we must be willing and open to receiving the love of God and to share that with others. Be humble enough to accept grace of God over your life and know that you are not in this race of life alone. God is there with you and he has set a path of great helpers for you, do not be afraid to utilize the great people and experiences God has planned for you. Do not selfishly rebuke the love of God but humble go before him and ask for his help and direction. Also, be willing to share that love with others. It can be difficult because we tend to want to keep our light to ourselves because of fear of how others might treat us or manipulate the ‘love’ we are showing. But that’s not for us to worry about. Remember we are just vessels, do not esteem yourself higher than you ought to. Humility is to place others before oneself.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.”
Philippians 2 : 3 (NIV)
3. Learn to give as much as you can
Man! If there is one thing I can say I have learnt from my grandmother it would be the spirit of generosity. This refers to generosity with your money, your time, your talents and your space. Are you willing to share with others? King David this time highlights the idea that all we have freely flows from God:
“But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.”
1 Chronicles 29 : 14 (NIV)
Understanding that all God has blessed us with is not our own possession but must be used to bring the glory back to Him, helps us to freely give what we do have.
“Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all.”
1 Chronicles 29 : 12 (NIV)
Are you able to inconvenience yourself so that your neighbor might have some comfort? Can you freely give as you so freely receive from God?
The gag is… when we give to others we are able to receive even more. Although, we must be careful to check the intent of our hearts remembering that if we give to receive praise either from men, then best believe that is all we are getting! Sometimes I wonder also, when we bless others because we want to receive from God, how impactful that is on the quality of the blessing we receive? God is faithful to his word and he will bless us in return (Luke 6:38). But, surely there is a greater blessing that we should pursue; that is our hearts being transformed into the image of Christ, so we start to have a heart to help others without necessarily thinking ‘ What’s in this for me? ‘.
Loving daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister.
Served God. Loved God and people. Hard worker. Giver.Humble.
Child of God.
“For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day-and not only me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”
2 Timothy 4 : 6- 8 (NIV)
“One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts.”
Psalm 145 : 4 (NIV)
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!
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.
This is a recently released song with a clear and simple message along with being a great tune.
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.
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:
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?
Recently, I attended a performance at the Timms Center for Arts.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Mo 🙂 x
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?
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.”
[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?
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.