Monthly Archives: September 2012

The Essence of Praise and Worship

I was talking to a friend a while back about the church I attended in the UK and he couldn’t “believe” I attended what is called a white church (white church because it was headed by a Brit and it wasn’t RCCG or Winners or any of the popular Nigerian/African church). He asked “how do you flow with worship in such church”. For him, the fact that he couldn’t get to church and dance (evidently the Nigerian kind of dance), he felt he won’t fit into that kind of church. A church where you can dance and sweat and jump and komole was his idea of what it should be. He couldn’t accept that Nigerians could attend non- Nigerian churches.

Truth be told, I attend RCCG in Nigeria and I did attend a service in one of the RCCG churches in UK. Service was fine. The church is even more “spiritual” and more like the old RCCG than the one I attend in Nigeria. Still I was drawn back to the “white” church I attended. When it comes to picking a church to attend, I look out for more than just the worship and whether they sing Imela or Awimayehun or Nagode.

That got me thinking. Is worship about the dancing and komole-ing? And when we are done dancing, we are so tired we can’t even concentrate when the word comes? I have seen a lot of people who dance their lives out during worship and doze off once the pastor gets on the pulpit. Funny thing was in the church I attended, you can dance and jump and sweat. In fact there were days after praise and worship, I had to ask one of the ushers for water.

However, it seems that for most people, their idea of praise and worship is the dancing bit. Don’t get me wrong. Even the Bible admonishes us to dance and play instruments when we worship and praise God. We should scream and shout. After all, we have an example of a worshipper in David. And oh boy, didn’t he dance?

But when we focus on just the dancing part and we believe except the song is danceable, we haven’t praised God or haven’t worshipped Him, I think there is a problem. I know worship is more than just the singing and dancing and screaming and shouting and playing instruments. The essence of worship is much more than that.

Love Songs

There was a post on heartcriesholy yesterday and one thing that struck me was the love song part. So here are the lyrics to two songs that….. I can’t describe the feeling. Songs I hear and I feel the writer/composer was in my heart. Songs that move me to tears when I hear them. In Christ alone by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty and Lend your song to me by Micah Stampley. Watch Micah perform on New Year’s Eve 2011 and all I could say was WOW…

In Christ Alone

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm

What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless Babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save

Till on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live, I live

There in the ground His body lay

Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again

And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From a life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny

No power of hell, no scheme of man
Could ever pluck me from His hand
Till He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I stand 

Link to In Christ alone (quite a number of people have youtube videos on it but here is one which features one of the original composers and Owl City’s): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLy8ksqGf9w&feature=related and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ipl-rLRxOrs&feature=related

Lend your song to me

I will worship u with a song in the desert breeze
I will worship with the drumbeat on your holy hill
I will worship u as an instrument of your righteousness
I will worship u with the words you wanna hear

[Chorus:]
Lend your song to me 

U can trust me
And I will sing to u with my voice my voice
And I amplify the sound of heavens with pipes

And I will offer up myself a holy sacrifice here I am
And I? ll drink forever more from the river of new life

[Chorus]
Lend your song to me

I can hear the sound of heaven like a mighty rushing wind
I can hear the sound of heaven rushing rushing me in 
Give me a sound
Can u hear it I can hear it

Link to Lend your song to me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i33pP4rWbH4

In other news

SingleNigerianMan is back blogging…..

Please visit this blog, follow and comment: http://myethnicconundrum.blogspot.co.uk/

Musings on soul ties, family, homophobia, diaries and promises

Ok, it is past 4 and I am still not able to sleep. *sigh*. I got a major long day *deep sigh*. Well, decided to blog again.

From my previous post and some older posts, you might have noticed that I have had quite some encounters with married men. Interesting creatures. You might have also inferred that I detest, no, I hate when married people, husband and wife cheat. Whether it is a one night ish, short term or long term. Yes, I hate it.

Funny, this hatred has been since I was a child. For reasons I don’t even know till date, I had just never liked it. Never had such issues in both my immediate and extended family but somehow I hated the idea that someone took a vow before God and man and broke the vow. I understand that in every relationship even as boyfriend, girlfriend, temptations arise but I believe the moment you make up your mind, you want to be with someone, you learn to close your eyes to everybody else and ask for grace. After all, His grace is sufficient.

Therefore, when the first married man tried rubbish, yes, it is iranu with me almost a decade ago, he heard it. That didn’t stop them, and it also didn’t stop me. I think it even made me hate it more and for a while I hated the idea of marriage. I think I even did say at some point I was never going to get married. Why get married if one person won’t keep his/her side of the “deal” (for want of a better word). Then in uni, I met two different ladies whose had cheating fathers. Both had different approaches to how they handled the issue (they were coincidentally, the first children). For one, since her father felt it was okay for him to cheat, at some point even with someone she called her best friend, she felt she was justified sleeping with other peoples fathers too. She saw nothing wrong with it for a very long time. And it destroyed to a very large extent her family and other families. On the other hand, the other lady did confess she had opportunities to do same and at times almost did, but when she thought about the effect her own father’s had on them, she couldn’t bring herself to do same to another unsuspecting family. I really did admire her courage and the fact that she did accept that while hers might have been ruined, she wasn’t going to ruin another’s. Brings me to the issue of soul ties and family. I believe no child should be brought into this world and experience such. No child should at any point go through what both girls went through. I believe no man or woman should live in fear of contacting some disease from a philandering spouse. No spouse should live in fear of having sex with a partner that through his/her isekuse is soul tied to many other men or women (1 Corinthians 6:16). As husband and wife through sexual relations, you are already soul tied to each other and that is the way God wanted it to be. To now add another person or more people to the equation is………… Your soul gets fragmented and can be destructive. Little wonder why it is hard for some people to leave/free their past sexual partners. I don’t think it is fair on the other spouse.

Homophobia. I am proudly homophobic. I don’t hate them, I don’t just understand and I would never understand how someone would say God created him/her to like someone of the same sex. My Bible tells me God created Adam. Looked at other creatures and didn’t find a suitable helper for man. Cause man to sleep and created woman and brought her to man to be his help meet. I haven’t seen anywhere God brought another man to man, or He created woman and brought another woman. So someone telling me he/she woke up and suddenly discovered he/she liked the same sex, or isn’t sure which one he/she prefers, or found out from childhood that “I preferred my sex”. Ta. Olorun maje. Just typing it irritates me sef. I used to be really disgusted but now I just look at them and seriously pity them.

I read somewhere yesterday about a generation that have no idea what letter writing is and don’t keep diaries and I remembered my love affair with diaries till my mum saw one. The horror. JSS 1 na, all that was in the dairy was a list of my crushes especially the current crush; a family friend’s cousin (whew) a couple of years my senior. What else? Excerpts from the only “book” I ever wrote and the fact that I had given myself Elizabeth and Jessica as names * embarrassed* and many many things I can either not remember or type here. Anywayz, got back from school that day and mumsie asks to talk to me. I enter her room. Lo and behold, she brings out my diary. I wanted to die. After all her talk and in her mind advice, I collect the thing, get kerosene and matches and burnt the life out of it. I remember that day like yesterday. I learnt to keep my thoughts to myself. Store them in different compartments in my head. Didn’t keep a diary again till about 2009 when I found myself writing about some guy (let’s call him D) I had met the year before who I pretty much liked and he liked me but after about 5 months, I “suddenly” didn’t have that kind of feeling for him any longer. Let me point out o, we didn’t date. Everybody else was horrified except a friend of his who figured we were too good to be true and felt one of us would wake up soon. Back to the diary, all I did was write about him, what I felt went wrong, things I prayed about and answers I got and all. I diligently posted “entries” everyday and had that book with me to avoid it falling into the wrong hands. Somehow I was still scared mumsie might see it someday. Abi, what would you think when your mum finds a book you hid very well in between clothes? Even my sisters never found it. What was she looking for that day sef?

D’s issue brings me my musing on promises. Have you ever made a promise you fulfilled even without remembering you made the promise in the first instance? Let me explain. I read He-motion by T.D Jakes sometime sin 2005 or 2006 and I think I was even thinking (not sure I even said it out loud) that I was only going to buy it for 2 men in my life; my father and whoever I got married to. Got popsie’s copy and forgot about it. When D and I became friends, and I thought it might go further, 3 times, emeta, I went to Laterna to buy this book. They either just sold the last copy or it was out of stock and they weren’t sure when they would have it again. Even after we just decided to remain friends, I thought to get it for him as a birthday gift but couldn’t (remember, I didn’t even remember the “promise” I made). Then YB’s birthday last year, I had gone on their site, decided what books to get him and went to the store. I wasn’t going to pay them the extra for delivering to me office since my office was some 10 minutes away. I get there, pick the books I had in mind and was heading to the counter when I saw He-motions staring at me. The last copy they had. I picked it and dropped one of the other books, paid and left. I remembered the “promise” I made February this year. About 6 years after and almost a year after I bought the book. How that happened till date, I don’t know.

I really need to force myself to sleep now. 5:20am.

Good morning.

Life in the UK(3)

I think I blogged about fear in January. Something of that sort. Well, exams were fast approaching and somewhere along the line, I was convinced that I was sick and just couldn’t pinpoint what the issue was. Different symptoms and issues each day. About a few days to my first paper, I was so disturbed and couldn’t concentrate no longer. My chest hurt so badly. I couldn’t take it no more and headed to the GP’s. In my mind, I had thought of a lot of heart conditions and read up on many of them and started comparing the symptoms I read with what I was experiencing. Got to the GP’s and I was directed to A&E. The fear entered gear 5 right away. Did all sorts of tests which really didn’t freak me out till I was told to do ECG. At that point I couldn’t take it again. I was sure I had a heart condition and was gonna die. It was that serious. Nothing YB, my mum and my sisters said calmed me down. Did the tests and while waiting for the results, I remembered a sermon in church a couple of weeks before that and I suddenly felt at peace. Results came out negative and I headed home. Past 9. Had a paper for 10am the following day. Remember all these started some couple of weeks before exams so reading was somehow sha but truly I knew I didn’t read as I would have loved to especially for my first paper. I had all my notes prepared but just couldn’t read them. How my results came out and I passed all my courses; the first even very well, I don’t know. It was definitely God.

Well, 1st semester came and went quickly and we were still battling winter. February came and lectures started again. Fortunately unlike others, we (my classmates and I weren’t writing a dissertation) so we didn’t have the issue of seeing a supervisor and all. By February though I was already in March. My body was in February, my mind, spirit, soul, everything else was in March. I was going home. I couldn’t wait.

I had missed home, my parents, sisters and YB. Like I said in the first post, this was the first time I would be leaving home as such and boy was it tough? YB and I had only started courting in May and I shipped out to school in September. We had sorta prepared ourselves yeah that it was just a year but seriously it wasn’t easy. That preparation no work. It was way harder than I thought it would be. I survived by God’s grace. Also, remember I came with my mum. I lied to her the day she left that I had classes (Lord know she mustn’t see this). Couldn’t stand following her to the airport and crying as she left. Nah, I knew I was going to cry so there was no point going to embarrass myself at the airport. However, I cried in my room. Big girls don’t cry ba? This one me I cried o. I wasn’t going to see her for like 6 months. Like I couldn’t just wake up and say am going to see my mum? TEARS!!!!! Popsie too came at some point and I remember holding back tears when we got to the train station and he headed back to London. Plus I missed Christmas. I was the only one not home for Christmas. Christmas was tough. Really really tough. Everybody kept saying try and enjoy yourself se o gbo? It can’t be that bad. It would soon be over. And am thinking “ya all don’t understand”. “Do you know what they are doing at home”? “Do you know the parties they have been to”? To make matters worse, a cousin now started posting pictures of food and recounting what happened at the January 1 party my aunty usually had.

I can’t count how many times popsie called just to encourage me and tell me I would be home soon. So you understand why I was desperate to go back home. I just had to. Not sure I would have survived a full year without going back home. February went even faster. Forget that it is the shortest month. It was even shorter than normal. I think I had packed my bags by the end of the month sef. Mid March, I was home. For a month. And as you all know, something major happened then. No need for details here. Back mid April and took another two weeks to adjust. At some point I regretted going home because it was like I was starting the adjustment process all over and I had exams in less than a month. Well, I survived it. Whew. May (exams), June, July, August were blurry really. Asides a wedding, meeting people, presentations, essays and exams, I really didn’t do much. My mind was on August 24th. Last day of school. Like I said I didn’t write a dissertation. All I had was an exam on 24th and that was the end. Freedommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

That day came even faster than I thought. I remember dropping my pen after the exam and am thinking dang it, it is all over. Should I be happy or sad? It was bittersweet. Bitter because I won’t be seeing the beautiful (mostly wonderful; well 80% wonderful) people I was classmates with.  Bitter because it meant I didn’t have anything to do. No deadlines to meet, no essays to submit, no presentations to prepare for, no meetings to attend, no exams to prepare and read for. I was just going to wake up every morning with no plan whatsoever (plan as in work plan). Wow. Seriously. What was I going to do? Bitter because now I have to start looking for work. And find one asap. I am a pretty restless person who hates being idle. I hate being bored. And not having work to do bores the life out of me. Bitter because I was leaving a city I had come to love, asides the weather. Bitter because I would be leaving a church I fell in love with and don’t wanna leave. Bitter because it was just sad mehn. Sweet because finally, the stress was over, finally I had some days left before going home. HOME. FINALLY. HOME. Like seriously? Finally finally finally, MSc was over. School ti pari.

Ha! I can’t forget the guys I met here. No amount of am in a relationship could deter them. From the one who felt telling me he recently made some nice soup he is sure I would enjoy to the married one (this category of men, I can write a book about) who felt telling me all his marriage issues and asking me if I won’t mind dating a married man to the ones who asked me not the read meanings into being friends to the one who no matter what I said, would decide to ping me just to tell me he liked me (this one, I reported to the mutual family friend we had before he freed me). In fact, until I told one that the way he is chasing me is the way some other guy would chase his fiancée that was when he freed me. I heard ridiculous statements like “until there is a ring on it” and am like true, but when a guy or lady tells you “I am in a relationship”, I would think you would back off. Am not sure I would like another man (if I were a man) chasing my girlfriend. I def won’t and don’t appreciate girls who chase after men who are clearly taken, ring or no ring and def not my man. If someone tells you am in a relationship (whether you believe it or not, whether they are having issues or not, respect that fact). And apparently most guys don’t but they didn’t see anything wrong in chasing another man’s since there is no ring. Mtshcewwwwwwww. I was told I was being rigid and there was no harm in seeing other men. And people asking me “are you one of those girls who form I have a boyfriend in Nigeria to keep the male folk off your back?” Na so. I really don’t get what the world is becoming sha. I no do means I no do. Kini wahala (what is the issue)? Kapish. Shikena.

Coming here was an opportunity to see old friends. Some I haven’t seen in almost a decade. Repair relationships. And meet new people especially fellow bloggers. It is/was an opportunity also to see another side of life and be more open minded. Doesn’t stop me from being homophobic though I def was able to talk to a lot of them without issues. I can stand them, I just can’t stand their “orientation”. It also made me a wee bit more tolerant. Considering the fact that I had these loud and irritating flat mates who made it a point of duty to piss everybody off at least once a week. Bring friends over, make noise till about 3am the next day, smoke in the flat. How I didn’t kill one of them amazes me considering the fact that another flat mate apparently did consider killing two of them a few times.

Sadly, one thing coming here didn’t cure me of though is my inability to read in a library. Till date I can’t read in a library. I entered a library to read twice at ISI in six years, once at Babcock in four years and three times here at Manchester in a year. And I never spent more than 2 hours except maybe once of the times I went in to read here. Read? Nah. I can do everything else, browse, print ish, borrow books (most times that’s all I entered a library to do) but to read in one was serious long tin. I would rather just borrow and go to my room or anywhere else to do any reading. I think the fact that I find it hard concentrating in a library is a bad thing yeah? I mean people should be able to concentrate in libraries ba?

I think I better stop now. Whaow, past 3am. Better get my beauty sleep. I got a long day ahead; moving, a house party and a trip to make. This might be the last post on this topic. And for all you know, there might be more. But till then, cheers. Meanwhile I go to bed singing “beautiful one I love, beautiful one I adore, beautiful one, my soul must sing”.

Tada

Life in the UK(2)

So I got in September and because I resumed like two days to when lectures should start, I had no time really to settle. Why did I resume late ba? First, my school kept making mistakes whenever they updated my CAS. At some point I was sure I was just being paranoid and I should really just go apply for my visa. But somehow I kept seeing more mistakes and finally got everything corrected first week in September. School resumes September 19. To get a visa is like 14 days. So I had about 10 days to get a visa and ship out. As God would have it, my visa came out in 8 days as against 14. Of which got to the embassy and saw people who had applied since June/July just getting their visas. Back to my paranoia. Apparently it was good I was paranoid. When a friend told me about how an I in her name became 1 and because of that she was denied, I thanked God. She couldn’t figure out why she was denied until she saw 1 in her surname. She had to re-apply.

Back to September, adjusting was bad. I cried some nights. Some nights? Scratch that. A lot of nights. I remember waking up in the middle of the night one day, sweating and in tears. I couldn’t sleep. Ended up calling my sister (as she was the only one who I knew would be awake at that time because of time difference). After talking to her sha, I braced myself and it became a little easy. A tiny bit easier. Also found it hard and I still find it hard adjusting to having to take buses to go anywhere. What happened to having my car? Definitely that put a big question mark on my going out especially to places that were pretty far. You have to come pick me o or really convince me to come out of my place. Me? Go and stand and wait for a bus to come? Ninu otutu (Yoruba English: inside the cold).

Classes started and omo, was it different? I so wasn’t used to this teaching style. Funny I adjusted quickly. Spent the first couple of Sundays not going to church which was a first. And then I heard about this lovely church a walking distance from my flat and decided to pop in. It happened to be the church one of mumsie’s cousins attended and quite a number of other family friends friends (once again, figure it out). Apparently they all wanted me to pick a church without being forced to go to a particular church. Fair enough.

Adjusting to the weather too was a different story entirely. Even with thermal wears and winter jackets and gloves and head warmers. And people kept saying winter wasn’t as bad as previous years. If it now wanted to be bad nko? Christmas too was pretty much boring. Like seriously boring. I dunno how people enjoy Christmas in this place. Went to see people yeah but it just wasn’t like Christmas in Nigeria.

January came so fast and with it came essays to submit and exams to write. Now real business started. All that play play all along…..

To be continued.

Watch out for part 3.

Life in the UK

I dunno what the title of this post should be. Am sure before am done, I would figure out a title.

Ok, I didn’t post for about two months so trying to make up for that especially since I no get work. Have to find any and everything to get me out of the house now, before I lose my mind. Feels strange to just be home doing nothing. Absolutely nothing. Except shop for my sisters. Thank God for them. There were times I almost could beg them not to ask me to shop for them but at the moment? Am glad I had something to do, even if it means shopping. It is as bad or is it as good as me saying thank you to them for going to shop for them. Don’t get me wrong, I do like shopping but at my own convenience and most times online as I would most likely get what I want than get into the store and discover they don’t have in store and save myself hours of walking round malls. It is that bad/good. Bored out of my mind and am just counting days at the moment. Well, since I no get job, I thought I should blog about the last abi na past one year. English is getting hard mehn. Ok, back to the post. What did I say I wanted to blog about again? Yes. Schooling here.

I have lived all my life in Nigeria. 20 something plus years and schooled in Ibadan and Ilishan, lived in Ibadan and Lagos and asides trips to the UK and Ghana, I can’t remember travelling anywhere else. None the least, not for this long. Maximiun 2 weeks. So it was a whole new experience coming here to school. Can you blame me? From Taiwo’s playgroup to Staff School to ISI to Babcock. A bitter-sweet experience though. This would be the first time I would be leaving home literally. And be alone. So I thought sha. In the bid to form Miss Independent, I found a school in a city I thought I knew no one. Only for me to pay my fees and an uncle goes “you know XYZ, ABC and DKM live there?” 3 of my mum’s cousins (all sisters). Whew. So much for running from family. Ok, not running in that sense. I am just not the keeping in touch, family family, calling, texting, visiting person. Plus I always feel I might be inconveniencing people. So I would rather just keep off. Then to make matters worse, mumsie decided to follow me. *side eye*. I become the source of jokes for my friends and uncles. The one whose mum came with her. So much for forming Miss Independent. Strike one.

Landed o and found out that not only does mumsie have cousins here, popsie too get them plenty, family friends friends (figure that out) I didn’t even know about and they all just kept calling. Like someone called them and told them I was in town. Now I had no choice than to keep in touch with people even if na to dey text. Even the ones living outside Manchester. Well, I guess it made me a better person. At least the fear of calling my aunty or mum or grandma and they ask after LMN and I don’t have an answer made me keep in touch. And it was fun sha. At least I knew I couldn’t go hungry even if I tried. Especially during exams. And I had fun babysitting though for the love of God, 2 kids maximum. Chasing my aunty’s brood wasn’t an easy something especially on days when they are just ready for you. Threatening to report them to their dad worked sha. Got them quiet for a while.

I met a lot of interesting people. Interesting on both sides, good and bad interesting. Funny characters. Some I blogged about. And really nice people. Like a senior of mine at school I met on the bus, funny am sure he doesn’t remember but he dropped me and my bestie off (well with her elder brother; his friend) for our graduating class dinner at ISI. And some other really nice people from church and in class. And some very annoying and irritating characters, mostly Nigerians. Horrible, horrible people. They had me on the verge of pulling my hair out on some days. As in if na my natural hair dey my head on those days am sure I would have. Or maybe hit my head on the wall.

Attended a very lovely church. I dunno why people always complained about “white churches”. What exactly is a “white church” sef? If anything, asides the people I met here and school, I am so gonna miss church. This post seems pretty disjointed ba? No flow? I dunno. Just writing as it came to mind biko. The effect of boredom. I should/would post more on my experiences as time goes on.

Tada

Oh, haven’t found a title yet. Guess my experience would do or something of that sort, since more stories would come.

Tada once again.