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Secret Place of the Most High, Kingdom
Learned Student, Honest.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Are we reading the same book, what page are you on? . . . oh.

Men and women view relationships differently (to a certain extent). . . {Well duh} <--- stating the obvious – but is it so obvious?

I remember this saying I once heard: "a woman enters a relationship wanting to get married, while a man wants to get married and then decides to find a wife." If that statement holds true, then there is a greater likelihood that any two given people, in their early to mid-twenties, starting a relationship, will be on a different page, when it comes to the purpose and ultimate goal (or lack thereof) of the relationship.

I met up with a friend from undergrad, earlier this month, and it was interesting to see (or hear) this in action . . .

So he says he is ready for a girlfriend now. He focused on med-school, the first three years, hardcore, and now he felt ready to take on the added responsibility of a girlfriend. I admit, I was a little impressed and somewhat surprised at his timing, since he is my age (mid-twenties) and Nigerian. Usually, it seems as though the men are not on that marriage page until their later twenties -- not a blanket statement, as rules always come with exceptions -- but just what I've noticed. So the conversation thickens, and I inquire about his intentions regarding this to-be-determined girlfriend.

His views: One step at a time...

Girlfriend . . . that was it, he just wanted a girlfriend now, but he was not ready to get married. I soon found out he was not necessarily on the marriage page, just the relationship page. They ought to be two separate pages to be read one at a time. He did not really desire for the girlfriend to be his wife at this point in time. It seemed like if it (marriage) happened (seemingly, way down the line) it would happen, but he was not thinking along those lines right now. He just planned to take one day at a time and not jump the gun.

Then he asked me what was my story. “So Alabi, are you married now or what?” This was obviously a halfway comedic statement but an introduction to see my current views on relationships.

My views: Don't step unless it's right...

I don’t want to date. I would like to just court. Although, it seems logical and reasonable to have something in between friendship and courting. Likewise, it seems illogical, somewhat drastic and maybe even unreasonable, to enter a relationship and just know that they are the “one.” I know it may not make absolute sense, but it doesn’t really have to; it's not a science or formula, but art and analysis. But with that said, I will say, I have been considered something like a cupid, and my success rate is continuously improving ;-) but I wouldn’t say I’m a relationship guru, just yet.

This topic came up in a conversation with another friend, I nicknamed “Roger,” who was also confused at my "math" lol. Here is the gist of the conversation.  I just assumed he was ready to “wife-up” his long-term girlfriend. But he also let me know, that’s not the way men think.
Roger: so you don’t date, you just look forward to courting? I think I'm getting it all wrong.
me: LMBO, whoa whoa whoa Roger, nah dude not that I don’t. I have guy friends, but I mean idk, not gonna just date anyone.
Roger: lol, I don’t even know what that would mean.
me: so yeah they try to holla you know
Roger: umm…I think I do
me: but if I’m not feeling them, why bother!
Roger: okay so...they try to holla, but you don’t give them the time of the day because you're not feeling them? or ‘cause you're not supposed to date but just court?
me: the first mixed with the second. I’m not gonna date them if I don’t like them, so it goes with the second too. Like, I definitely wouldn’t court them. I prefer to get to know the person really well, as good friends, before I even think about dating them, otherwise 'friends' is good enough for me.
Roger: if you like him, then get to know him, you would date him? ‘cause it sounds a little crazy to jump from like and know him to courting him, that’s a long jump...most dudes wouldn't ride like that.
me: oh sure sure, mos def
Roger: most def what?
me: yeah like I would get to know him first! then learn that I like him. then! start dating but it’d be like ok I could be with this person long term, otherwise it’s like what’s the point if I couldn’t?
Roger: lol right but that’s something that nobody really knows. Everybody would like to get it right the first time...well maybe not everybody.
me: mmmmm
Roger: but nobody truly knows, right?
me: yeah but if I know it’s not! then no way, like I need to get out of it fast, but learning from my last, I shouldn’t even get in it!
Roger: Okay wait a minute...there's no way you could have known not to get into a relationship like your last in the first place right? You obviously like whoever it was when you first met them. My point is only God knows stuff like that, so you can't say "I shouldn’t get into it in the first place"

By the way, this conversation with Roger was over a year ago, and partly comedic. But, hopefully this excerpt helps to break down my logic and highlight a man’s thought process. I still stand by my views, but even then it's important to understand that “only God knows stuff like that.” So until then (and after!) – we just pray. Thanks for the insight Roger and undergrad friend.

So ladies, (well men too...=)...) there's only one statement that comes to mind, which sums it all up:
Stay on guard, and be prayerful.” – Bade D.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

City Girl Swag

"Welcome to New York City, the new Windy City," says the flight attendant. The plane ride was exceptionally bumpy because of the wind. We had to fly over Connecticut because of the winds. On the way to the hotel, I see a group of black, white and Puerto-Rican school girls walking carefree in a group, fighting the wind. I like the view.

Bell Man: Where are you from?
Me: Chicago.
BM: Oh Chicago, I lived in Naperville. I've lived everywhere!
Me: So where do you like the best?
BM: oh New York, definitely! What do you like to do for fun?
Me: Dance.
BM: Are you kidding me? Everything is here. Dance, shows, the arts, everything. You'll love it!
Me: *Smile*

That's nice. As soon as I get upstairs to my room, I look outside the window and see a dance studio! I didn't even unpack or anything. I just stared out the window for a few good minutes sitting on the window ledge, taking pictures with my phone, appreciating the beauty of the Big Apple. I like the view.

I see an older male figure walking a younger female home from school. It looks like a uncle-niece relationship but it could be young looking father- daughter or half-brother half-sister relationship. The little girl was so cute, she had a lot of untamed sandy brown hair blowing in the wind, with cotton lace up knee boots. She had a Willow Smith look to her. New Yorkers have a different style, a different swag. I like it.

I walk down the block to grab some Chipotle. My new friend got excited for this bakery we passed on the way to the hotel, I was content when I saw the Chipotle. I decide to dine-in to city and people watch while I eat, why not? I see two sisters, they look like identical twins but their personalities based on their attire are fraternal. One is a tomboy, with baggy yet girly pants and sneakers. The other is a girly girl, with a skirt, winter tights and ugg boots. Both sisters have their hair pulled back in a bun.

I start walking back and notice my pace is a half-step slower than most New Yorkers. I'm a city girl, but I look like a tourist. It's definitely a faster-paced city. I could pick up the pace, but I'm in awe of the views. I like the view. Sometimes, it's good to just slow down and take in the view.

I decide to cross the street to see if I can get into the dance studio. I got in! I had to talk my way upstairs and wait for a couple of locked doors to open but after explaining my interest to one of the directors, I get escorted into the studio through the back. There are so many people here in different dance attire; sweat pants, over-sized and cut-up shirts, and tights with funky sneakers. I need a pair of funky sneakers. They're either waiting for their class to begin or they're in a class. They're not dancing for a show, just because they love to dance. I would totally do that! I get carried away watching Studio 5, the hip hop studio, and the time flies. Unfortunately, it's time for me to leave the studio. By now the sun has set and the streets are fully lit.

Next stop Times Square. The city never sleeps. The lights are bright and beautiful, everywhere. The trash bags come out onto the sidewalks at night and I even like that, adds to the culture of the city. I meet up with a friend from undergrad and continue my quick sightseeing. Being a tourist is so liberating. It feels so free. And it's always good to catch up with old friends. We walk around for a minute to find some place to eat. As we walk (fast) I see the British-style architecture and layout of the neighborhoods. (I've heard this comparison before, but I've never actually been to the UK to see it with my own eyes yet, so I guess that's hearsay). The four story buildings on the side streets look just like the backdrops on Crooklyn. We find a Thai place, on accident, no less. I took a risk with my order and it was pretty good, very satisfying, so I'll be back.

All in all, it was a good yet short-lived trip with nice weather for walking. I couldn't imagine driving in that city though or at least that area of the city. I took a few pictures which you can see on the right pane.

Thank God for the little adventures He brings our way. Another chance to see the beautiful work of His hand. So much more to see though. I hope to return soon.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Change is necessary

One of my high school track coaches wrote on my facebook status and said “I see you made a few changes to yourself.” {The comment's connection to my actual status is not readily apparent to me, just yet, but hey, he's old[er] and relatively new to facebook :-) }

My mental response: umm. GREAT! Praise God then.

One of the worst things we can tell someone is "Don’t Change . . ." {a common high school yearbook comment - at least it was back then}

"Change is necessary, growth is optional." -Julie W.

I'd like to believe I'm doing both and it's a process. I'm a work in progress.

Wouldn’t that be a shame if I was the same person I was when I graduated high school at 17? Thank God I’m not the same person today, that I was in 2003, or even yesterday for that matter. 

"I want to be able to look back every 2 years and not recognize who I used to be." #change #transformation -Kimberly S.

I hope tomorrow, I will not be the same person that I am today. Many more changes to come :-) Progress.
"I jokes, no stress, love, live life, proceed, progress." -Julie W.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Are these the days of Elijah?

People have been saying we are in the end times for quite some time it seems. So, as another year comes to an end, and we anticipate the next one, I see how people could receive the end times message with a grain of salt. 

For many people who have the privilege of internet access and accordingly this blog, our proximate surroundings do not resemble what has been prophesied as the "end times." {Or do they . . .} Generally speaking, we're hopeful and optimistic that the economy will eventually pick up and unemployment will fall. Likewise, people will naturally hold some skepticism of an end times message and continue making long-term 401k-type plans.
Fatherlessness is the great crisis of the last generation. The greatest crisis that our nation will face is Fatherlessness.Derek Loux 
This morning, I came across a video, recorded in 2007, and posted below, where Derek Loux is preaching in South Korea on Fatherlessness. (Fatherlessness meaning the fathers heart is turned away from his child.) He believes we are living in a Fatherless generation and says we need to rise up and be spiritual moms and dads. 
See I will send you the prophet of Elijah before the great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers or else I will come and strike the land with a curse. Malachi 4:6
Well . . .
  • As of 2007, an estimated 163 million children in the world were orphaned. These children have lost one or two parents to any cause. 
  • As of 2009, an estimated 18.52 million children have no parental care at all.
  • In America, 40% of children grow up in a home without their father present at all.
The facts and his personal story held my attention and I was drawn to his adoption revolution. A quick online search further revealed that he is the father of 10 beautiful children, eight of which are adopted. His family also has a Josiah Fund for their son that went to be with the Lord in 1996. Last December, after a tragic car accident, Derek also went to be with the Lord.

It could seem ironic that as a father revolutionizing the adoption movement, his 10 children would also become physically fatherless. But I don't believe in coincidences. I believe in revelation.

So, I can’t help but to think that these really are the days of Elijah's return. Are The People watching well? Still processing that  . . . 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Unashamed 1 1 6

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. Romans 1:16

I went to the 116 Unashamed concert yesterday night in Chicago at the Moody Bible Institute (my grandma’s alma mater heeyy).

To sum up the concert --> Off. The. Chain.

The group I went with (African Christian Fellowship, Verbill Punishment COL, Spoken Life Project and friends) had front row seats after waiting in line for hours. And I happily joined them during their last hour of waiting. :-) It was worth it! Shout out to Jerry and Preston for getting the tickets before the show sold out in October!

While we were waiting in line and we had a couple Christ cyphas and made some new friends “Give the Lord Praise, Give the Lord Praise Hey!”

The doors finally opened and people rushed the auditorium. An auditorium full of believers of every race Romans 1:16’in it. The attendees were so diverse, but we were color blind. It was also a mini reunion, you just run into different people you grew up with, or went to school with.

And just as we were about to get the program started, Satan busted the generator! The devil is such a liar. {but why?} Can we just pray for him? I’ve seriously been thinking about that; that would solve everything. Anyways, everyone stopped taking pictures, catching up, etc. and just started praying. In 10-15 minutes God handled that little issue and we were ready to get the party started.

And it begins; there we were front and center, in spitting distance. Everyone [EVERYONE!] was so on fire. All the ministers (Pro, Tedashi, Sho Baraka, Trip Lee, Lecrae, DJ Official, the drummer, the spoken word artist/missionary - Nehemiah?) had great energy and stage presence. We were on our feet from beginning to end, dancing, and singing, praising and worshiping, with our pride on low and our faith on HIGH, L’s in the sky, listening to this Jesus Muzik! If only church could be like that everyday! I can’t even imagine what heaven will be like. I have never had that much fun at a concert. This definitely tops the list of events I’ve been to in life. That’s because it was not just a gathering of people having a good time. It had a message.

We have to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in us. The moment we received our salvation, we joined the winning camp. However, Satan was crouching at our door, at that very instant, no one is exempt. But we must rule over it. Nevertheless, we’re all missionaries, we need to not be ashamed of the gospel when we’re out in the world! Unashamed!
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 2 Timothy 1:6
If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it! Genesis 4:7

This one goes down in the books. I’m so on high, {Faith High} I can’t wait for the next opportunity to do that at onething next month.

One thing I really appreciated is that the ministers made sure to make known that this singing, dancing, praising, worshiping was not about them. “I always pray that Lord, You would John 3:30 your boy!” – Lecrae. That He may increase and I may decrease. {Listen to the Background song below}

Some of my 3 snaps moments:
  • They’re trying to save whales and kill babies. {come on!}
  • Even on our best day we are still filthy rags.{whoa! So true. chew on that.}
  • When I get backstage, I’m a drink a COLD bottle of water, when I get home, I’m a take a HOT shower. No one wants lukewarm water. (Revelation 3:16 - or you will get Spit out!!) {THIS!}
  • We’re all missionaries, we don’t necessarily need to go overseas. We need the missional mindset everyday. {<-----Say that!!}
  • [lights off, total silence] If we didn’t get the generator fixed, this room would have been like this. . . You know what, the world outside of this auditorium is dark like this. {wooo message!}

As much as I loved that utopia feeling: being around hundreds of believers just praising the Lord in a beautiful world that the Lord intended, The world is dark and ugly.

What are we doing about it?

As children of the light, we need to infect and brighten this dark world daily. Talk is cheap. Yet, talk without actions will be very expensive. Because everyone owes a huge debt to our Maker! Some of us have realized that it’s been paid off. {count yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Romans 6:11 - so go ahead an bury me!!} Yet many people don't understand that yet. If we’re just talking about it amongst ourselves and not getting other people to sign up then their blood is on our hands.
But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone’s life, that person’s life will be taken because of their sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood. Ezekiel 33:6
  • I wonder how many of my facebook-friends are not Christian. 
  • I wonder how many of my friend-friends are not Christian. 
  • I wonder how many people I know and see on a daily basis, do not have Heaven as their intended final destination right now. 
  • I wonder if more people will be in heaven or in hell and what are we doing about that ratio. 
  • More importantly, where do we fit in the equation? 
Time to stop wondering!

America, Chicago, our neighborhoods are overdue for a revival! I pray that every Christian, myself included, will fearlessly profess His name everywhere we go.
Pray  . . . that whenever [we] speak, words may be given [to us] so that [we] will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel. Ephesians 6:19
Another shout out to Moody Bible Institute and Ashanti Pettaway & team for putting this event together.

Okay I’m still so on fire from the whole weekend! I’m so glad I decided to be spontaneous and take that half-day trip up to Chicago for it. Cheers to many more times like this! *cheers*

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I remember when we were young and color blind

I remember when . . .
When we were young and color blind.
When we had no sense of time.
Spelling and Math homework was our only concept of responsibility.

I always knew I was a Nigerian.
No one had to tell me, I could just figure it out.
Made my first trip to the Motherland when I was five.
And this was increasingly evident when my mom dressed me in a purple tie-dye Ankara on Halloween.

Little brown girl, with the best of both worlds.
Leggos and jump ropes, Fresh Bread, Semo and Soup (Stew).
Just the same, no one had to tell me I was black.
I was black and so were several people in my neighborhood (Uptown) and in my church (Faith Tabernacle).
I was black and so were a few people in my grammar school and on my bus route, my bus driver was black too.

Ms. Meister was my first grade teacher and she was my favorite teacher at the time.
My classmates and I looked forward to reading time at the end of the day.
We would form on the carpet, one after the other, once we finished our class work.
Ms. Meister read us several novels: The Boxcar Children, Stuart Little and the like.
Then she began reading Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad.

I remember when
She came to the part just before Ms. Tubman was struck with an iron.
Some time prior to that, I involuntarily curled up in a praying position, on the carpet.
I was so fearful of what was to come.

Suddenly, Ms. Meister stopped reading
Christina? [pause]
I just looked up; surprised that I even ended up in that position.
Are you okay?
I felt 60-something 6-year-old eyes staring at me awaiting my response.
With a shocked yet embarrassed look on my face, nervously I nodded in the affirmative.
Then I fixed my posture and she continued reading.
And we continued listening not only with our ears and imaginations but with our eyes.

Then I started to understand what it meant to be black.
In a classroom where the African Americans could be counted on one hand,
it became very apparent, not only to me, but also to everyone else, that I was black.
We were still young but no longer color blind . . .

Monday, November 1, 2010

Church in the state

So I’m working up the courage to just invite people openly to church events without thinking about the political correctness.

This morning in class . . .

Thoughts: hmm I wonder what some of these valley girls are going to think? Would I get a “how dare this law grad try to invite us to something about church here, doesn’t she know better?” Followed by all this unwarranted {in my objective opinion} offense for the rest of the year.


Me: Professor A., are we allowed to announce campus events? {I mean they announce all types of events in class, some of which could be offensive to me, why not? it's only fair, equal opportunity.}
Professor: Sure. What is it, just so I know and I’m not caught off guard?
Me: It’s called All Campus Worship
Professor: Oh. It’s religious *hand toss* well maybe we can just save that, but you’re more than welcome to announce it after class.

Thoughts: Oh of course, when everyone is packing up to go as quickly as they can after sitting here for three hours…. O____O ok...."a time and a place for everything huh?..."

Lesson 1: There are going to be people that will say no, but that doesn’t change my role. Moreover, there are going to be people that say yes, {Praise Jesus!} and that still does not change my role [here].

A few weeks ago, I went to an intercession meeting where a woman prayed about the upcoming elections. One of her points asked [in summation] for the Lord to completely occupy all government positions with pro-life Christians [sounds like an oxy-moron, but that's a different post], among other related topics and issues. My legal training made me question if that’s even constitutionally possible and just possible right now . . .

For example, on the issue of abortion:
  1. Do people know enough about where the candidate stands on abortion or are the majority of voters casting party-line votes?
  2. Would everyone who is pro-life vote for that candidate based on that one issue?
  3. Would the pro-life votes be enough to place someone in office? Are there enough people that care?
  4. Prior to that, and more importantly, would a pro-life candidate add their pro-life beliefs to their campaign without fear of losing their pro-choice constituents?
[it is possible by the way]

Then I thought . . .
  1. Is everyone tip-toeing around trying not to offend “somebody?” I mean I know there are a lot more Christians on this campus, in this program, in this class right now. . . I hope . . .
  2. Are we just trying to be politically correct?! {but why?} 
What am I doing, what am I waiting for?

Political correctness – I’m done with that! It's so incorrect. Separating the church from the state, for Christians should be a {pound, capital fail}.  ---> #FAIL
"No church in this world should ever be satisfied with the separation of church and state!"  -David Sliker.
My beliefs come before my profession because my beliefs came before my profession.  It is only because of my beliefs that I am here.  Moreover, the fruition of my ultimate beliefs will be here way after my profession is all said and done.

If you’re faithful with a little you’ll be faithful with a lot. He has placed us in these various spheres of influence for one main reason. If I'm not doing that, then what am I doing?? {being politically correct? - is that what that is? sounds like something else . . . } Furthermore, how am I going to go from not openly witnessing at school {my current level of influence} to witnessing at the next perfect position He will bless me with? {a possibly greater sphere of influence, with likely more at stake}. Salt serves no purpose in the shaker.

"Save that" <--- Respectfully, I dissent. ;-)

I'm voting church in the state and church in the schools! --> church everywhere because church is everywhere {it should be} since we are the church. >>  *CHURCH!
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