Posted in Creative Content, Culture, Faith Life, Lifelong Learning

Why would you do differently?

It is so easy to make big plans at the beginning of a new phase of life, a new job or even a new year but being consistent and persevering irrespective of the different demands on our time and resources is the bigger challenge.

This year my approach will be to breakdown big goals into more attainable tasks and douse it with a healthy confident and pleasant disposition with dollops of kindness to boot!

I am learning more and more that in the the end it’s not so much how much was done but the experience for the person on the receiving end that makes the bigger impression.  What are those basic tasks you have considered or committed to that will make for a more productive year and perhaps also a big positive impression on others?

Spill it!

 

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Posted in A New Year, Culture, Faith Life

How extending grace can shift our focus

As I recall several occasions especially in the last few months, where I was given grace that I was not deserving of, I am grateful.

As we wrap up and move into a new year, I pray that I am intentional in being gracious towards others, deserving or otherwise.

May the new year bring about a shift in our focus towards service that honors our Father in Heaven.

 

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Posted in Creative Content, Culture, Faith Life, Lifelong Learning, Storytelling, Uncategorized

Kemelayefa Crisis- Identity Crisis

It had been three years since their meeting at IDC by the 7th floor elevator banks.

In spite of several invitations, Kem’s schedule seemed to never allow him make it to Bible study at Tam’s church such that he was pleasantly surprised when he got a call from Kem asking if he could join them at the next Bible study. 

Tam made a mental note to talk with Kem after their Bible study about finding a Bible based home church even if OTR was not an option.  From Kem’s questions asked during the Bible study, it was clear he had at a minimum, a curiosity about forging a personal relationship with God, but seemed to think he needed “to “be ready” before he could make himself fully available. 

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He suspected this desire to draw closer to God had something to do with Kem’s efforts to get back in Sammie’s good books. 

Sammie had made it clear that her relationship with God was her first priority.  In Kem’s words “I am pulling out the heavy artillery for this one.”.  He had met Sammie about  a year ago and things seemed to be going well.  But to his surprise about seven months into the relationship, Kem decided it was best for him and Sammie to go their separate ways.  Tam’s cue that things may be warming up between the two was how, Sammie seemed to come up more often, lately in Kem’s conversations. 

It had been two weeks since the Bible study at OTR when Kem called to ask that they meet up the next day to go over the design mockups for Kanyi’s group.   Continue reading “Kemelayefa Crisis- Identity Crisis”

Posted in Creative Content, Culture, Faith Life, Flash Fiction, Storytelling, Writing

Kemelayefa’s Crisis -Lets Talk

“I am done.  I can’t do this anymore.”

Kem blurted out, clutching his head between his palms, his anguished expression partially visible to Tam.

“My guy! what’s the problem?”

“It’s Rio.”

“Backup, what about her?  Are you not trying to work things out with Sammie?”

“Arrghhhh!! yes that was…is still my plan but…”

Kem had met up with Tam .  He wanted Tam’s opinion on some t-shirt mockups for Kanyi’s  youth camp group taking place in a few months.

Tam which was short for Tambari placed his glass down on the wooden slab table, wiping off the droplets from his sweating glass with a napkin.

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“What are you talking about Kemelayefa?”

Kem slowly raised his head.

What? Tam asked astonished by how quickly Kem switched from the  bewildering facial expression to a relaxed countenance.

“Oh its nothing!”

Tam sounded like his father, the way he pronounced his full name.  Kem short for Kemelayefa which means nothing is greater than a human being, was named after his Ijaw maternal grandfather.

 Tam continued ” I thought that the business with Rio ended when you made the decision to work things out with Sammie?”

Kem was quiet.  Tambari knew his friend all too well, so his non responsiveness was even more disquieting.

Continue reading “Kemelayefa’s Crisis -Lets Talk”

Posted in Creative Content, Culture, Faith Life, Storytelling, Writing

Surrender All of it- The Conclusion

Kanyi caught a smile creeping up on him as he recalled growing up, some of the things his parents did for each other.  He had observed how the principle of surrender to God and to each other had played out in his parents’ 43 years of marriage.

Tenderness, a forgiving spirit, trust, vulnerability and mutual respect were core ingredients of their relationship.  Even after all these years, the way they strived to be of service to each other in the simple and big things, still amazed him.

As simple as they made it seem, he always marveled at the depth and richness of their friendship; something he was beginning to appreciate and desire more as he got older.

Earlier on in the year, following his breakup with Minna, there had been a growing uneasiness that was gnawing away at his spirit.  Then something happened at his church and the message was clear: he had to surrender it all.

On that particular Sunday, the pastor was teaching a sermon based off of scripture in Deuteronomy 11:12.

It was about God’s providence and His promise to have His eyes continually on our needs from the beginning of the year to its end. The only condition required was that as Christ followers to surrender their will to a loving Father who only desires the best for his children.

He walked out of service that day with a renewed desire to surrender his struggles which stemmed from ‘free fall’ fear, doubt, stubbornness and even pride.

Sunday Brunch and then some 

As they polished off what was left of their brunch at Ah-Wholein de Wall, Horace Silver’s “Song for my Father” was also winding down.  Judging by Kanyi’s crumb free plate, it appeared to Kene, the sweet potato pancakes and the mango jicama salad with cilantro and lime dressing were a big hit.

On the drive back to pick up Kene’s car, a Christian radio show came on and the topic was pornography and erotica in the Christian’s life.  Kanyi reached over with his right hand for the radio station knob. Continue reading “Surrender All of it- The Conclusion”

Posted in Culture, Faith Life, Lifelong Learning, Storytelling, Writing

Surrender All of it- Part 2

 

Kanyi plopped himself onto the couch after having some of Efe’s cooking.  He replayed bits of the conversation with Kene.  It had been a while since he had a refreshing conversation with a female, not related to him.

Suddenly he felt the flood of self-admonishing fill his thoughts “Maybe I should not have been so quick to extend an invitation to Kene…What was I thinking…STOP!  Kanyi blurted out aloud.

Lowering his forehead onto his interlaced fingers resting on the dining table.  “Lord God, Father in Heaven, please take charge and give me peace.  Let me worry less and focus on you more.”

The prayer seemed to have calmed him down.

Kene called a few days later to thank him again but had to turn down the invitation because of a schedule conflict.  Just as she was about to hang up, Kanyi said “Kene, if it is ok with you, after the festival is over,  I would like to grab coffee or chocolate, your choice, and chat for a bit”

They arranged to meet up a few weeks after.

Continue reading “Surrender All of it- Part 2”

Posted in Culture, Faith Life, Lifelong Learning, Storytelling, Writing

Surrender All of it – Part 1

“Pardon me if  this comes across as a bit forward, but can I ask you a question?”

“Sure.”  Kanyi leaned in closer adjusting his arm on the rest. “Shoot”

Kene smoothed out her skirt and said “This is the first time I have heard the name Kanyi. What does it mean?”

“It depends on whom you ask.”

Kanyi Blaize noticed her half raised quizzical brow.

“Let me explain.”

Kanyi recounted it as his father would tell the story: Continue reading “Surrender All of it – Part 1”