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

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Olorun s'aanu mi

I remember a few times here and there, while we lived on Harlem Street, when my grandma would say to me: Olorun s'aanu e. Translated: “Lord have mercy on you.” 

This would typically be said after I’ve done something that, well, I probably needed mercy for – nothing too grave in my childlike understanding, at the time as a high schooler. I should also note that it is quite possible that almost everything my grandma said was a prayer, “Gbemisola, say amen!” Oh, sorry grandma, I thought we were just talking.” 

And I used to think that her saying “Olorun s'aanu e” was one of the harshest things to say to someone.  Lord have mercy on me? Well, jeez, Lord have mercy on you too! What did I do??? (Hey, don’t judge me. Well, you can judge me but I’m not the same me I was in 2000, glorrrraaaay!) 

A decade and some years later, I definitely see the importance behind that prayer and a thousand times over appreciate that wonderful woman God blessed me with as my grandma. (Grandma Tribute)  And I so appreciate that her prayers for mercy upon me and our family are still being performed today. 

Now, Olorun saanu mi is one of my most common and easiest prayers to say.  Translated: Lord have mercy on me. (Woooh chil’)   

Lord have mercy, let Your mercy prevail over judgment! One of my favorite prayer leaders (can we have 'favorite' prayer leaders? Well, I do.) oft-prays quoting from Isaiah, “even our righteousness is like filthy rags, how much more our unrighteousness?” during the mercy portion of the prayer meeting. word up. What's filthier than filthy rags? Our unrighteousness, eeeek!

It’s real out here in this journey of life and that’s just with our flesh and carnal minds alone, not to talk of the spirits and principalities. "The heart of man is desperately wicked."

Lord have mercy on me, my family, my loved ones, my future children (twins!!) and children’s children to the 10th generation, forever and ever. Amen!

Lord have mercy on me all day, every day. Where would I be without it… *African accent, hmph*

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our lives, 
and we shall dwell in the house of the Lord, forever and ever Amen.

Mum is NOT the word.

Shedding light on a lesson I’m learning. 

So this was my former M.O. by God's grace :-)

For example, 

Someone (who isn’t my mother or brother) pisses me off right? But I’m trying to walk this narrow path of life, embrace the fruit of the spirit, specifically meekness, right? So I just keep quiet. “Mum is the word.” 

What I think I’ve done is become the bigger person, letting that person act a fool.  Then, the pissed off-ness wears off and voila I have forgiven them. 

(Somewhere along the way of realizing arguing for free is not worth a dime, I became non-confrontational – believe it or not - in day to day interactions of course…

Oh but I’ve been told, I have the memory of an elephant. I don’t forget anything. (Side note: once I realized everyone doesn't have an "elephant's memory,", I had to mask how much I revealed to know, or they would think I had some supernatural powers – “how did you know that?” Um, you told me *blank stare*… jeez. Oh you remembered that...

Anyway, back to the story. So said person comes along some time later and pisses me off again. (is “piss off” vulgar? I never knew it to be such, so no offense if you’re taking some offense). Again, I just let it go.  In my mind, I’m like, this person is kind of crazy, duly noted, a discussion is not worth it – trying to remember my Proverbs – you know that part – don’t argue with fools...” "Argue" read "discuss in any shape or form, nada… "

Nonetheless, said person has just been moved out of my circle of trust, circle of sane people or what have you. Xtina pulls back from said person little by little. (Keep your enemies closer – naaah bro, I don’t play that – stay the heck away from me, uproot them Lord! *double snap*

Then it happens again, and again, and again, and perhaps even their close friend pisses me off too – conspiracy kai, and then they come again…. (Remember, this hypothetical is just for illustration purposes.

However, it’s very plausible that the next “again” might not receive the same “mum is the word” response. The next again might not even be as big of a deal as the first time or one of the “agains” prior.  All the while, I thought I was being meek and forgiving.  I was mum-is-the-wording and disregarding, meanwhile making my conclusions about this person’s behavior and inadvertently keeping record. 

Recently, actually just last week, I tried something different. Something happened and I was not pleased with how this something unfolded. I thought, oh well, it is what it is, but next time I know. I won’t say anything at all. Wrong response, (here). 

Hours later, when I finally had some down time on the drive home, lol, something in me decided not to just call it a night but rather pick up the phone. Right response! *ding, ding, ding*  (in this instance

Long story short, “It could all be so simple, but we rather make it hard.” (oh Lauryn). Mum is NOT always the word, necessarily. Although, it’s still a case-by-case analysis, at least I think so for now. 

Before that, I’d always be like well this is trivial; I’m not going to make any kind of big or small deal about it. I’ll just keep quiet, you’re not going to catch me arguing (unless it’s for work, and even then I’m zealously advocating, not arguing). 

For me and my elephant memory, that’s not always the right response (or lack thereof) because with each offending action, I continue to move the person down the spectrum of cool/sane person all the way down to just someone I happen to know, stranger, or even worse – that one is crazy. Unbeknownst to them all the while. 

"I’m going to let this go and not say anything" is not always equal to meekness and true forgiveness if you haven't really "let it go."

But note, "When you decide to forgive someone, don't let the devil convince you that because you still have the same feelings you have not really forgiven the person. -Joyce Meyer  

Forgiving the person is releasing them from their debt and never to use it against them.  You still may feel a certain way about what they did, but you cannot act on it.

I’m learning to distinguish between meekness coupled with true forgiveness versus simply disregarding for the moment and recording. 

I felt like I learned this lesson already here Love keeps no records of wrongs... and here the benefit of doubt but I’m also learning that we’re going to be learning lessons for life, a school we never really graduate from (til we pass on to glory). 

Lord have mercy! 

A thousand times I fail, still Your mercy remains…. Inside Out, Hillsong

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Look, we're talking about destinies here...

I attend a church which is a parish of a larger Body and the head of this organization called a special fast this year, unlike the usual expected annual fasts. A fast like this has not been called since 1995, thereabout. 

Initially, I had some questions and justifications: 

I mean is a fast “like that” really intended for people “like me?” 
Surely, people “like me” are exempt from something “like that.” 

Along with the call to fast came some prophetic declarations. 

So my desire to take hold of these prophecies coupled with some friends (accountability partners - wooop!) allowed me to put those reservations aside. Okay we’re going to do this, all the way, one day at a time, here we go… *fist pump* 

Fast forward to today, I was briefly chatting with someone this morning and they say: btw, I’m going to fast from n time to n time because of X reasons. 

And of course, the questions ensued again: 

  1. Wait, hold up, is this fast from 12 a.m. to 6 p.m., 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., or when you wake up to 6 p.m.? 
  2. If you wake up at –a.m. is that considered night or morning? 
  3. What if you work nights or a have circadian rhythm different from the “average?” Do you then alter the fast to your schedule? 
  4. Why is it 6 p.m. and not 5 p.m. or 7 p.m.? 
  5. Juice is really allowed? 
  6. Tea is allowed, but what if I don’t drink tea, can I drink my version of tea? 
  7. If smoothies are allowed, couldn’t one essentially blend all meals into a smoothie? 
  8. Can we take vitamins, you know to stay healthy? 
I texted three other people variations of some of the questions above and of course I got varied answers: 

Well technically… 
The General Overseer said… 
I do this… 
You should do that… 

I like to know why I am doing what I am doing – full understanding, full disclosure. And if I commit to doing something, I want to make sure I am doing it the right way. Moreover, when calls to fast by respected people of God, accompany certain prophetic declarations and you commit to doing it, you want to make sure you’re doing it right and not get disqualified “DQ’d” so to say on a technicality. I remember several track meets where everyone was waiting for the actual sprint relay results because a team may have DQ’d if they passed the baton outside of the exchange zone, or if someone had earrings on or did any one of the laundry list of things you could not legally do in a race. 

This past weekend, I was researching all things fasting – what are people doing out there in world wide web when it comes to fasting.  I was a little surprised to learn some people periodically fast 1 to 3 times a week for reasons that have nothing to do with religion, like just because, it’s supposed to be healthy or something – what?! So there are people in the world that are fasting not out of religious sacrifice or poverty but out of choice as a diet. But it’s not even called a diet; it’s called fasting, like legit. And people are just commenting away on these online articles about how they have “fasted;” essentially a weight-loss hunger-strike. No offense if you happen to be among those people. I digress. 

In my research, *clears throat* I came across a statement to the effect of “when you fast you’re entrusting your health to a higher power.” Eureka. When one chooses to fast, our mind should not be consumed with the adverse effects of weight gain or weight loss, caloric intake, or metabolism speed. It’s honestly much much easier to type this than it is to adopt this mind frame especially when you come from a culture which is very honest, brutally honest, in fact (a word is enough for the wise). But it’s deeper than that, it’s bigger than that. As one friend said to me today, “look, we’re talking about destinies here.” *drop the mic* 

True story! 

When fasting becomes so rigid and tied to specific rules that we’re all trying to follow and not break the rules, it becomes less about the sacrifice and more about laws, “check mark” But we’re no longer under the law! (go figure

If you’re like me, in these instances, erase your need to know the rules, what’s right, what’s wrong etc. We’re talking about sacrifice – point blank. I’d venture to say that no two fasts (fasters) are ever going to be exactly like. ie someone may exercise during their fast, someone may swear off exercising while fasting -- God is looking at the heart. 

When we’re occupied with what we’re going to do as soon as we break the fast to reverse any effects of the fast, we also need to be careful that we’re not also reversing the effects of the sacrifice – whether that is spiritually possible, I’m not entirely sure – but I know God will judge the heart.  Although, it seems logical that if we’re going to fast from something temporarily only to replace exactly what we have fasted from at a later time, it may not rightfully be termed fasting, perhaps “pausing” is more like it. Again much easier typed than done! Even still, God is looking at the heart. 

Definitely one cannot forsake wisdom in all this.  Each fast will always be person-specific. Ultimately, what matters is that we’re developing our intimacy and reliance on the Trinity – the Father, His Son seated at His right Hand and the power of the Holy Spirit in us. 

Lord, grant everyone who sets out to fast as a sacrifice in Your Name, the grace to pray and fast and complete the fast in Jesus name. And may the fasting not be in vain in Jesus name, Amen.
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