As you already know, over 70 percent of the earth’s surface is covered with water. That makes water one of the most abundant natural resources available to mankind.
From the waters we see in open oceans, the breath-taking water falls, vapour in the air, water in rivers, lakes and lagoons and the water under the soil, water can be found almost everywhere on earth.
No one can deny the importance of water, especially fresh water.
Fresh water is necessary for the survival of all living organisms on Earth. Our bodies are made up of about 60% water and we cannot survive more than a few days without it.
Water is a precious substance that meets our physical needs while at the same time being of great spiritual importance to many people. Water is also an integral part of many ecosystems that support us and a myriad of other species (Water is Life project, McGill University)
Despite this reality, there are various challenges associated with water and its uses. In many places across the world, especially in developing countries, access to portable water is limited.
While portable water is sufficiently available in some parts of the world, it is a scarce commodity in some others.
As I write this, reports filtered in about the acute water shortage presently ravaging Cape Town, South Africa. That’s shocking, to say the least.
In many other places around the world, water pollution, flooding etc are the order of the day.
Water is important for the activities of man. But man’s activities are having huge impact on the availability, accessibility and sustenability of that natural resource.
It therefore becomes imperative that the attention of the people of the world be drawn to all water-related issues around the world. So water day is cerebrated annually for that purpose.
A day for water
“World Water Day is an annual observance day on 22 March to highlight the importance of freshwater. It is also used to advocate for the sustainable management of freshwater resources” (Wikipedia).
Taking it further…
Today, the attention of the world is focused on water as a natural resource without which no life can thrive. All well and good!
But how about taking it further? Taking it further by drawing attention to another kind of water that is on offer!
This kind of water is spiritual. Jesus is the One offerring it. And it is available to everyone who will gladly receive it.
Are you thirsty?Jesus is saying to you: Come to me and drink!
Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. John 7:37, NASV.
And here is the ultimate assurance from the lips of Jesus about drinking the kind of water He offers: eternal life is guaranteed!
But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” John 4:14, NLT.
To drink or not to drink of the water Jesus offers, the choice is yours.
“Congratulations on getting 500 total follows on Victors’ Corner.” That’s the notification I recently received from WordPress.
What that means is that this blog has reached yet another milestone, just like the 200th post milestone achieved a few weeks back.
I am not writing this post in order to blow my trumpet. Rather, I just want to use the rare avenue to convey my heartfelt appreciation to everyoneof you who have been so kind to be one of my WordPress followers. Therefore kindly accept some 500 rounds of applause from me to you.
Secondly, I will also use the opportunity to invite more WordPress users to join the over 500 amazing followers of this blog. I assure you that there is so much more to gain and nothing to lose by joining this blog’s community.
You may extend the favour by recommending this blog to your friends and family so that they too can benefit from the things we share here. I hope that is not too much to ask?
Once again, thank you for your immense support this far.
Finally, what has been your experience following this blog? Kindly drop a comment.
Thanks to WordPress, I was able to set up this blog three years ago without any professional help.
Since that time, I have had the privilege of having several online interactions with many other WordPress users and I would say, it has been mutually benefiting. But the interaction has remained online as I have never attended any terrestrial event for all wordpress users.
All that got to change over the last weekend as I attended the WordPress Conference – codenamed Wordcamp Lagos or #WCLagos2018 – on 10 March 2018, where the beautiful packages embedded in the event’s theme of “Bringing the WordPress community closer” began to be unfolded before my very eyes.
For the first time in my life, I was under the same roof for a whole day with many people that have anything to do with WordPress.
Bloggers, Coders, web designers, digital marketers, lawyers, entrepreneurs etc, were there. And you know what, there was something for every one…
According to the information provided by the organisers of wordcamp Lagos on the event site, here is an insight into what a Wordcamp is all about:
WordCamp is an all-encompassing term referring to a conference, a community organized and officially sanctioned event to deal with all things WordPress…
They range from a one-day event to a three-day event depending on the local community organizing it. They comprise of but not limited to conference-like sessions, panels, interviews…, kids-camp, short or multi-hour workshops, and (en)lightning talks.
People attend to share ideas, learn about WordPress, talk about opportunities, and meet other WordPress users in person…
For over a decade now, Wordcamp sessions have been reported to have taken place in many cities across some dozens of countries of the world. Lagos has now joined the league of world cities to have hosted a WordCamp conference.
WordCamp in my City of Lagos
Earlier in the year, I became aware that such a program was coming up here in Lagos – my city of residence; and I had made up my mind to attend.
Gratefully, I realised that my schedule could accommodate it. So three days to the event I was able to complete the online registration and on the D-Day I showed up for the workshops.
This was my first experience with a WordPress wordcamp and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
In fact, I later got to understand that this was the first city WordPress conference in Nigeria and in West Africa for that matter.
It was such a huge success by my own estimation, I had to go to one of the organisers to ask, “When is the next one holding please?”
Apart from the fantastic venue chosen for the event – The Civic Center, Lagos – there were many other reasons that made it worthwhile for me. And it is my pleasure and privilege to share my experiences with you.
8 reasons I think you should attend a WordPress wordcamp
1. Improve on your knowledge with WordPress
Generally speaking, the conference improved my understanding of the workings of WordPress as an “online open-source website creation tool” which presently powers 30% of the internet.
And specifically, I also gained improved knowledge in some areas of blogging, search engine optimization, digital marketing, web development in a developing country, to mention but a few.
I guarantee you that should you attend a WordPress conference as I did, there would be something new for you to learn from the various ideas exchanged at the forum.
2. Networking opportunities
It was not all about learning new things. The conference also afforded me the rare opportunity of having face to face interactions and networking with all kinds of WordPress users, from within my country and abroad as well.
From bloggers to web designers, coders, CEOs, digital marketers, online payment companies, photographers, etc, I was able to engage with some of them in very meaningful conversations.
Now I can say that I have expanded my physical sphere of the WordPress community by reason of that conference.
Indeed, the WordPress community was brought closer to me on that day! You can have the same experience too.
3. Inspiration from people
There are many ways to receive inspiration; one of which is through the the people who have gone where you wish to go or have done what you want to do.
Many things about the conference left me largely inspired. But the one that stood out for me was the personal story of Labi Francis, “a blogger, front-end developer, SEO expert, social media strategist and tech enthusiast.”
I sat in his class as he shared the story of how he grew from being a new comer with WordPress to the enviable position where he is right now. His humility was so apparent as he told his story of how WordPress has transformed his life.
And who says WordPress is incapable of changing your own life as well?
4. Very affordable fee
For a pre-registration fee of N3,500.00 (about 10 US dollars) per person, I found the conference to be very affordable and easily within the range of anyone who has any interest in WordPress.
To think that for that amount, you got to listen to multiple speakers, used one of the choicest high profile event centres in town, got one WordPress branded T- shirt for free, had a sumptuous lunch at a magnificent lagoon-front restaurant is nothing short of amazing.
It was an experience you would not like to miss. And I’m glad I didn’t miss it. That’s why I’m sharing my experience with you, hoping that you would be encouraged to attend the next WordCamp event in your community.
5. Some Freebies for everyone
Apart from the free WordPress branded T-shirts already mentioned, there were other free items given out to all participants as well. These included, small shopping bags and WordPress branded stickers of various sizes.
Also, for anyone who needed a taxi ride home after the program, a taxi company which was on ground at the event offered free (or discounted) taxi ride to the tune of two thousand Naira, an equivalent of about six US dollars.
I would definitely have benefited from the offer if I hadn’t driven to the event myself. So you see? There are alot of side benefits waiting for you when you attend a WordPress conference.
The kids were not left out of the conference. The organisers made arrangements that also included kids (under their parents supervision) who have interest in coding, web designing and WordPress generally. The good part was that they were separately and specially catered for, for a fee less than 30% of what the adult participants paid.
Although there might be limited spaces for kids, parents and guardians are encouraged to attend WordCamps with their kids. So next time you want to attend a WordCamp, please do not say no to your teen or preteen geek who wants to tag along with you. Both of you will learn and have some fun in the event.
7. Opportunity to volunteer
I learnt earlier that “All Wordcamp organisers and speakers are unpaid volunteers; they offer their services as a labour of love.”
In the Lagos event, I could see that the volunteers were extremely friendly and very helpful, giving guidance and directions to the attendees during the program. And the help desk lived up to their name: very helpful.
So if you are a WordPress user – front end, back end or anything in between – and you want to offer your services free of charge, for the benefit of the WordPress users around you, a Wordcamp will be a good place to volunteer your time and talent.
During one of the side conversations I had with some people at the conference, I learnt that there are other WordPress meetups which also offer the platform for sharing ideas, volunteering and mentoring.
You may want to seek out the one in your community for active participation and collaboration with other WordPress users.
8. The after-party.
An “after-party for you to meet new friends, business partners, employees, employers, and life partner,” scheduled to take place at the conclusion of the day’s events was also included in the package promised by the organisers.
Unfortunately, I am unable tell you how this one went down because I didn’t wait to witness it. Sorry!
In the final analysis, I was convinced beyond all reasonable doubts that the the Wordcamp event delivered great “content and value” to all the participants.
So if you want to have a swell experience like I did at the just ended #WCLagos2018, please make plans to be part of the next WordPress Conference holding in your community.
What are your own experiences with WordPress Conferences? Share your story in the comment section.
It is no longer news that the popular British physicist Stephen Hawking has passed on at the age of 76 years.
However, as his life is being celebrated around the world, it is imperative that we reflect on a few things we know about him.
In this post, we will take a look at some things we know about Stephen Hawking and the only reason I feel sad about him.
Writing in Christianity Today about the death of Hawking, James Macintyre, described him as “the peerless scientist and leading atheist whose curiosity about the universe shaped our understanding of modern cosmology.”
Similarly, a statement reported to have been released by Hawking’s family announcing his death also recognised that “He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years. His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humour inspired people across the world.”
Snippets from Hawking’s biography
His full name is Professor Stephen William Hawking and was born on 8th January 1942 in Oxford, England;
He wanted to study mathematics at the University College, Oxford. But Mathematics was not available there, so he pursued physics instead;
In addition to the Phd he obtained in 1965, Hawkings had 13 honorary degrees in his life time;
At the age of 21, he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease which made doctors think he would die within 2 years. But he lived for additional 53 years;
He became wheelchair-bound and dependent on a computerised voice system for communication;
He published many books but the most popular ones include: A Brief History of Time, Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays, The Universe in a Nutshell, The Grand Design and My Brief History.
He had three children and three grandchildren.
We would all agree that Hawking was an extraordinary man by all means. But the only thing that makes me unhappy about him is to have heard that he remained an atheist throughout his life. And if that report is true, then it saddens my heart to note that death has now made it too late for him to change his mind about the question of God.
Unfortunately, the same God whom he rejected on Earth will be the same God whom he, just like everyone else, would face in judgement. As the Bible clearly states,
“Everyone must die once, and after that be judged by God”
(Hebrews 9:27, Good News Translation).
Stephen Hawking, Brief Biography; http://www.hawking.org.uk/about-stephen.html, accessed 14/03/2018
The 7 Times Forgiveness Question and the Surprising Answer
The Gospel of Matthew (18:21-22) has a record of an important conversation between Peter and Jesus which bothered on the question of forgiveness.
Peter had sought a validation from Jesus on his belief about the subject of forgiveness. But beyond Peter’s wildest expectation, Jesus taught him and the other disciples an expanded lesson of a lifetime.
Was Peter simply trying to show that he was magnanimous, or he merely wanted to validate his 7 times forgiveness theology? Either way, Jesus had him covered.
Validating your beliefs
When you seek information to validate your beliefs, one of two things can happen if you eventually find the truth:
1. If your belief about a subject is right and you come to find the truth, your belief will be validated by the truth you have discovered;
2. But if your belief is wrong, the truth you find will burst your bubble, deflate your ego. But you will be a better person if you would take dressing from it.
The second scenerio was the one faced by Peter in the conversation with Jesus concerning forgiveness:
Peter: Lord, how many times should I forgive my neighbour when they offend me? Is it seven times?
Jesus: Peter, I did not tell you seven times, but seventy times seven.
Wow! Peter was dazed by that response. He just learnt that 7 times forgiveness offered to someone is not magnanimous enough. Four hundred and ninety times was Jesus’ new standard measure.
Of course Jesus was not limiting forgiveness to only 490 times. But that was not what Peter expected to hear. He got the lesson anyway.
Some credits to Peter please?
Despite this shocking revelation from Jesus, I think we should still give Peter some credits here.
First he knew that he ought to forgive his neighbours when they offend him. But he got it wrong when he thought that a neighbor deserves to be forgiven only seven times and not more.
We can see that Peter’s focus was on himself and what he had the capacity to do, without knowing that with a relationship with Jesus Christ, he could have the capacity to forgive infinitely.
Perhaps he had reckoned that he could forgive a person only seven times and nothing more because he couldn’t imagine that one should go on and on doling out forgiveness limitlessly. As we saw, Jesus stretched the limits farther than Peter had imagined.
Another thing we should give Peter some credits for is that he willingly held out his belief about forgiveness against the light of the truth to be revealed by his Master.
I wouldn’t say Peter was testing his popularity by the question he asked. But rather, I can say he was on a quest for the truth. And it paid off because Jesus had the real truth about forgiveness to neighbour revealed to him in a way that he (Peter) never knew.
But then, this revelation of 490 times forgiveness rattled Peter’s theology, deflated his ego and settled the issue once and for all.
What is your take on the number of times we should forgive?
“We learn every day,” so says that popular saying.
I know that is true in many aspects of our human endeavours. But being a relatively new parent, I have come to also realise that the statement is particularly true of parenting.
Parenting is a huge responsibility. But it is also full of opportunities to learn new things.
As parents we know that our children learn from us. But beyond that, any sincere parent would acknowledge that every now and then, he or she also learns from his or her children as well.
I have experienced it several times…
I have a three-year old and a five year old. Sometimes I set out to teach them some things and in the process I learn new things from them as well. Even I have enriched my vocabulary merely listening to them. And I believe I’m not alone here.
There have been times they asked me questions I didn’t have immediate answers for. But as I looked around for the most appropriate feedback to give to them, I got to learn new things in the process.
I also get to use my experience in guiding them. But I have since realised that experience is not enough; my experience is my experience, not theirs.
Just like many new parents, I would admit that I don’t know it all. So I am still learning… And it seems to me that every opportunity that gets created for me to teach my kids something is also an opportunity for me to learn something too – no matter how small.
Granted that when I am teaching them, I tend to do most of the talking most times. But it pays to listen to what they have to say as well. Listening is a key part of parenting. Every parent should develop the skill.
I would not say I have arrived in that respect. But I know I’m no longer where I used to be when the parenting journey got started.
Now I’m learning to be a little more open and more accommodating to their many ideas and perspectives. They don’t have their way most times (obviously, they shouldn’t). But I shouldn’t have my way all the time either.
They may not be aware yet that relating with them opens a new vista of knowledge for me. But I have come to realise that I am learning a lot from them.
So in only five years experience on the job, I am convinced that parenting is learning. That’s my perspective. What’s yours?
In 1998, Bishop Benson Idahosa went on to be with the Lord.
A fearless Charismatic Pentecostal preacher, and founder of the Church of God Mission International with headquarters in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria, Idahosa, remains one of the greatest ministers to have come out of Africa.
He was a man that preached the gospel of Jesus Christ to the uttermost part of the world. From Nigeria to Africa, America, Europe and other parts of the world, Idahosa took the supreme task of evangelism to all nations with courage, faith and power of the Holy Spirit.
As the first televangelist I came to know growing up in the 80’s, I had great respect and administration for Idahosa. And for many years, it was a secret desire of mine to meet him face to face some day.
As God would have it, that silent wish came to fulfilment in 1997 when he happened to pay a scheduled visit to the Polytechnic town of Auchi where I was schooling at that point in time. Needless, to say, I made it a point of duty to see the Bishop that day and even touched him. It was a fulfilling experience for me – a dream come through!
Outside this shores at that time, one renown evangelist I also heard about so much then was American preacher, Billy Graham. I was not born yet when he held some of his gospel crusades across some cities in Nigeria in the 60’s, but his reputation as a fiery, respectable man of God did not escape me.
In some ways, one could say that Bishop Benson Idahosa was to Nigeria and the world what Billy Graham was to America and the world. While I had the privilege of meeting the former before he passed on to glory, I was not able to meet the latter in person. And sadly, I would no longer be able to do so again on this side of life.
It is no longer news that the legendary American evangelist has recently passed on to glory. He was indisputably one of the greatest Christian leaders ever known in this century; he was a good soldier of Christ here on earth who was highly respected around the world.
As the stories about Billy Graham’s ministry, life and time on earth continue to pour into our consciousness through various media, I came to realise something I never really knew I had – a wish to have met him.
Unlike being able to meet Bishop Idahosa before he passed on, I would be unable to meet Graham any more.
However, from the many available reports about him, there are some interesting things that one would easily cherish:
He was a man of great character and integrity;
He stayed true to his divine calling – evangelism;
He was highly respected around the world;
He was “a spiritual adviser to American presidents…”
He was very influential as a christian leader;
He insisted on racial integration in his crusades;
He remained conscious of Heaven all through his life.
Billy Graham has now left the world to be with with Lord. And it is gratifying to note that he finished strongly.
Just like Apostle Paul, we can say of him “Graham fought the good fight, Graham finished the race, Graham kept the faith.”
Though I never got to meet him while on this Earth, I take solace in the fact that we shall some day meet at the Lord’s bosom – in Heaven that he so much believed in and preached about.
My home is in heaven. I’m just travelling through this world – Billy Graham.
I just stumbled on this personal picture featured here and it brought back wonderful memories that precipitated this post.
I remember the day I snapped it exactly 3 years ago. It was at the church wedding of a very close friend.
The wedding took place at a location far away from my Lagos base. But I had to be there, irrespective of the distance.
The friend deserved the love and support I had to give, even more.
We are friends. We have been friends. We have come along way with each other and for each other as well.
There was a lot of significance to that wedding. The enduring love of the couple for instance: They loved each other against all odds. Believed in each other. Courted each other for several years. Planned being with each other for life…for better or worse.
But there were pockets of challenges here and there before the wedding – all through the courtship period – chief of which was that their families opposed the marriage.
However, in the end, the patience and the love of the couple paid off; they eventually got parental blessing for the wedding and the marriage was allowed to take place.
I was glad I was there to witness it all. I was glad that their love triumphed over all obstacles, giving all glory to God who made all things possible.
In more ways than one, I had a personal sense of fulfilment over that wedding. Mission accomplished for the couple; joy for all of us friends and family.
Even in times of doubts before the marriage, I stood with my friend and his love. Though a long tedious journey, it came to a beautiful climax: united in holy matrimony, against all odds.
I saw it coming. I prayed with them. It seemed impossible at first but it still took place in the end – happily.
Going for the Wedding
When I was setting out for that wedding event, I took two days off work to enable me arrive the location ahead of time. The traditional wedding was for a Friday afternoon while the white wedding was to take place the following Saturday.
I was well prepared for the wedding. I bought a brand new pair of suit for the occasion, along side the accompanying accessories.
I was happy… I was longing to see my friend walk the aisle with his bride. A big day, it would turn out be!
On a Thursday, the day to the Friday of the traditional wedding ceremony, I arrived at the inter state bus terminal not too far from my Lagos home to begin this important journey I had looked forward to for at least three months prior.
It was midday, so I had said to my self, “In the next 5-6 hours on the road, I should be with my friend ready to cheer him on as he bade goodbye to bachelorhood.”
You know that feeling you have when someone you love is celebrating! I felt it and I felt good about it…
My close friend from way back was getting married. I had to be there in flesh and blood, with all pleasure.
Some years ago when I got married, he was with me all the way. He flew in to Abuja into my waiting arms. And then together we flew further to Sokoto where he joined me to pick my beautiful bride.
I still remember how we felt when the plane touched down at the Sadiq Abubakar III International Airport.
“So Victor you are getting married?” he had asked me. You see what I mean when I say we have come along way?
“Yes” was my heartfelt response to him. “It is my turn now, it will be yours soon,” sounding very sure of the future.
As we stepped out from the air-plane then, we were both greeted by the dry very winds of the North West and the scorching Sun of the seat of the Caliphate, with temperatures measure reaching the 40″C mark.
I had never felt so much heat before my life. But it was all well and good: I got married in Church as planned without any hitches, whatsoever!
Now it’s this friend’s own wedding, and my mind was already made up about being there. “I have to be there by all means,” I had promised myself.
And the day finally came!
There were no direct flights to the local town venue of the wedding; no airport there in the first place. So the journey had to be done by road. And I was ready to take it on, joyfully and wholeheartedly!
There was the option for me to fly to the nearest airport located at the State Capital, some kilometres away from the place, and taxi inwards to the venue. But my budget was very tight, so that idea flew away from my head as quickly as it had come.
In the end, I had to travel by road. I didn’t even see it as a sacrifice even though I had to travel several rough miles to attend the marriage ceremony. Like I said earlier, I was still happy doing it.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get there until the Friday of the traditional marriage ceremony proper. In fact I arrived in the middle of the ceremony, with friends and family already seated, appropriately dressed in colourful attires.
The event was peaceful and successful. And on the following Saturday, my friend and his bride were joined in holy matrimony to begin their life together as man and wife. I thank God, I witnessed it all.
Rewind a day backwards
As you might have observed, I arrived a day later than I had planned to. The late show up was due to a setback in transportation the day before.
That Thursday when I got to the bus park, I bought my fare ticket and sat down on the public bus waiting for the journey to begin. The waiting turned from minutes to hours, and we were still there. Not enough passengers for the bus to depart the terminal.
At the end of the day, I couldn’t continue the journey same day, else I would have to get there at very late hours. And that’s not good enough, for security reasons.
I departed from the bus park for home, forfeiting my fares – as they insisted there would be no refunds.
But I had still had to make that journey. So I shifted it to the following Friday morning. This time, I switched Inter State bus terminal.
Thankfully I didn’t have to wait for too long. So the journey began and to the glory of God, I arrived safely for the wedding, stayed with my friend as he took his bride to the altar. And together we all savoured the joy of the couple that had the enduring love that conquered all odds.
...Being prejudiced comes in many forms and it isn’t just restricted to those who have a different skin colour although that is one of the more obvious forms.
I’ve often wondered why it is that we almost automatically zoom in on those who are different from us, be it a mannerism they have, or a defect of any kind.
Recent studies in DNA show that all of us can trace our ancestry back to Africa, which I think, is kind of ironic, when you stop to think about it. I have a gut feeling that a lot of our prejudice stems from a feeling of superiority, where we think we are better than someone else.
And it should be noted that being prejudiced is not restricted to only those who have a lighter or white skin colour. I’ve seen and experienced prejudice flow both ways.
I actually think that all of us are prejudiced in some ways, it could be education, upbringing, intelligence, success or failure and a host of other “particulars”.
Short story is that it is all wrong, because regardless of what colour we are, we all are sinners and there is no “coloured section” at the feet of Jesus. Nor is there a section for the “educated” or a section for those who have been “successful”.
God is no respecter of persons, He looks at the heart and the last time I checked, we all have hearts.
It is sad that prejudice exists, in all of it’s various forms but I fear is a condition of the human heart that has not come to understand how we all are alike, regardless of our skin colour, regardless of our education or upbringing or success or failure.
We all are creations of our Creator, made in His image and we [are in] error if we think otherwise. And most importantly, we all need the saving Grace that God in His wisdom holds our to us, namely the acceptance and saving shed blood of His Son, Jesus Christ, to make us new.
Thanks to Bruce for this wonderful contribution.
I agree that prejudice or discrimination exists in many forms other than racism based on skin colour. But it has to be reiterated that such prejudice or discrimination is bad, irrespective of the form it is presented.
You should feel free to lend your voice to the conversation by leaving a comment below👇
Misggrace has been a victim of racism herself. Although my post which she responded to examined the issues of racial discrimination and prejudices with specific references to America and Nigeria, she expanded the discussion by sharing her personal experience of racism as a black foreigner living in Southern Africa.
I have her kind permission to share the story here so we can all see things for ourselves:
In Misggrace’s words
…Discrimination is something that really pricks me because I have experienced it. For the life of me, I just cannot understand why people choose to look down on other people because of intangible attributes/features.
The funny thing is that you don’t have to go as far as America to witness and feel the effect of racism. Come down to the southern part of Africa, you would see and feel it yourself. It’s more transparent in South Africa and Namibia than in other Southern African countries.
You can google some of the stories of how whites treat Black workers in South Africa, you would be disappointed. I must say that there are good white folks out there that don’t belittle other people.
The first time I visited South Africa, we stayed in a neighbourhood at Randsburg and due to the condescending attitude of white folks towards us, it dawn on me that we were in a predominantly white neighbourhood. There were police cars patrolling the area more often and if you are black, you automatically become a suspicious character.
Most of the black people you see around the area were cleaners and gardeners and if you were not wearing the attire for this domestic duties, the police patrolling will ask for ID’s. I was so disappointed.
We rented a house for one week in Ransburg because we came to SA to do our Nigerian passport from Botswana. When we first arrived, I just couldn’t understand why the white old lady was acting rudely towards my family (I, my parents and 2 younger brothers).
My Dad being who he is paid no attention to the woman but I and my immediate younger brother did. I kept quiet because I was dumbfounded plus I was 8 years younger than I am now.
After this woman finally gave us the keys to the house we had rented, we had to walk about 200 meters to the house. Our last born was about 2 years and we pretty much had to carry him alongside all our luggage.
One of the domestic workers quickly volunteered to help us and he told us that they would usually drop their white clients to their houses but they could have at least pitied us since we had a small child and heavy bags. I was initially just annoyed that we had to walk a long distance to the house but knowing that it was because we were blacks, I was boiling in me.
It made me observant throughout our stay in SA and in deed, anytime I visit, I am observant. I tell you that it is painful to witness black people being belittled just because of their skin colour. Its was as if white people were afraid of black people in their neighbourhoods or work buildings.
Seeing a black person in a predominantly white area signals thief, beggars, cleaners unless of course you’re a black person with a known professional reputation.
Thank you Misggrace for sharing this story. I felt touched by it in no small measures. How I wish the human race did not have to experience racism anywhere around the world!
Do you have any personal experience of racial discrimination in any part of the world? Feel free to share your story in the comment section.
I was born here in Nigeria and it is where I have lived all my life. I have never had the privilege of travelling outside the country. (I hope that would soon change!). So consider the views expressed in this article as one from an interested distant observer…
If there is any destination I would love to visit first outside my country, it would definitely be the US – yes, the United States of America. And that’s understandable for so many reasons – some of which are outside the scope of this piece.
As the Land of Promise, America remains a beckoning place to many of us from the so-called Third World countries. The people from our backyards who have visited the US or who live there have shared with us stories that are good enough to act as veritable attractions to that country.
I love the level of development in that country. The right infrastructures exist in the right places. The schools. The technology…Hope you got my drift?
Now let’s delve into the heart of the post…
Racism in the freeworld
As someone that views America from far across many seas and oceans, there is something I often ‘see’ or hear about America and Americans that I would say I can’t so much relate to. It is the disheartening issue of racism in that country.
But that I cannot properly relate to it now does not mean I want to underestimate its reality. More than many people are willing to admit, racism (that “prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior”) is still an in issue being grapled with in 21st Century America!
While I was making the draft of this post, I came across the following confession by a blogger, an American citizen, who was wondering if racism also plays out in other parts of the world as it does in America. Hear her:
As an American I often wonder does the racism here play out the same in different parts of the world? What does racism look like other places? I also often wonder of the races within each country, The world is so big there has to infinite potential of races and mixed races living in different countries. Are they accepted in there own country or are there still barriers and such around? — TruthsOfaLostKid
Well, I’m glad to offer a little insight as it pans out here in my native country Nigeria. But first, let us put the question in a more direct way:
Does racism exist in many other places around the world?
Yes, it does exists – even in the so-called freeworld countries!
Unfortunately, not everyone agrees that it is wrong, neither is everyone actively engaged in fighting against it.
Is racism right?
No, it is not! And it cannot be. As Linda Lee remarked in the post What Colour Am I?,
What is wrong with people, that anyone would think racism is right? We are all human beings, we have all been created by the same Almighty God, and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US was made in His image.
I would agree that, black or white and everything in between, we were all created in the image of God. Unfortunately, not everyone would agree with that position.
While some people may deny that racism exists in the US, even at institutional levels, many people agree that it does exist.
From the way I have read about it in prints, watched it on the news and seen in movies, I can conclude that the issue of racism in America (especially as it affects black Americans) is real. If this were not so, why do we have such outspoken movements as “Black Lives Matter,” and not “All Lives Matter”?
The black people in the US claim they are the victims of most racial prejudices in that country. But there are some reports which also claim that white people suffer some discriminations too.
Like I pointed out earlier, I speak as a far-flong observer from another side of the world. So feel free to enlighten me more on the issue if you have firsthand experiences on racial issues. I may not know so much where the shoe pinches, because I am not wearing it.
You already know I am not living in America. So I do not have any firsthand experience of racism in that country. But that does not mean that I am looking forward to being discriminated upon or being subjected to an unwholesome treatment on the basis of my race like several people have been reported to have experienced (or still experiencing).
I am simply saying that due to my limited exposure, I am unable to comprehend the full breadth and depth of the issue of racism as it affects non-white Americans – the black Americans – in America.
The Toga of Racism in Nigeria
Does that mean we do not face the challenge of racism here in Nigeria, my country of birth and residence? Probably not!
But I do not want to pretend and say all is well with the way we the citizens relate with one another and with non-citizens around here. In fact, what you refer to as racism in America, takes a different hegemonic form here in Nigeria.
It is called tribalism, which, just like corruption, manifests itself in all aspects of our collective existence. But unlike racism, tribalism has nothing to do with the colour of one’s skin.
So you can imagine how odd it felt to be referred to as “people of colour” when you know that everyone else around you has the same skin colour as you.
People of Colour? No way!
I was taken aback a few years ago when a popular Hollywood celebrity actress who visited Nigeria during a movie award event referred to her audience (predominantly Nigerians) as “people of colour.”
Watching her on primetime television, I was like “hello, hold it…this is Nigeria, not America; we do not see ourselves as “people of colour” around here.
My point is that racial discrimination and prejudices wear attires in Nigeria different from the ones they wear in America.
In the words of Chimamanda Adichie, award-winning author of Americanah, “In Nigeria race is not a conscious and present means of self-identification. Ethnicity is. Religion is. But not race.”
This response she gave in a Goodreads interview as far back as 2013 aptly captures the differences between race issues in America when compared with same in Nigeria.
Unlike the experiences often reported amongst blacks in the US, no one in Nigeria is identified or should I say discriminated upon on the basis of the colour of his or her skin.
All of us are black! Instead of race, we talk of our ethic origins, religious affiliations and regional bases.
Ethnicity – the question around here is often, are you Yoruba, Ibo or Hausa? (Those are the three major tribes that constitute the vast population of the country);
Religion – Christian or Moslem? (These are the two hegemonic religious groupings but there are some insignificant others in between);
Region – Northerner or Southerner (broadly speaking) or (in terms of the six geographical regions), South West, South East, South South, North West, North East, North Central).
To our undoing, political decisions most often than not, are made on sentiments contrived along those three lines of ethic origin, religious affiliation and regional heritage. Unfortunately, the story is not so different in some other institutions such such as schools, labour market, and even in some churches!
While racism is the issue in America, tribalism it is in Nigeria. While racism exists as a result of differences in colour of the skin, tribalism hinges on differences in birth-roots. Both are common societal evils that must be dealt a decisive blow in order for us to have a better world.
No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite – Nelson Mandela.
You are privileged if you have Christian parents. But that does not automatically make you a Christian or a disciple of Christ.
To become a Christian, you will have to enter into a personal relationship with God by accepting Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. Your parents cannot do it on your behalf; it has to be a personal, conscious decision only you can take for yourself.
2. Being a member of a local church
Christians go to Church, but truly speaking, not everyone who goes to Church are Christians or disciples of Christ.
Being a registered member of a local Church is good, but it is not the ultimate. Many people are members of the physical church, but they are not members of the spiritual one. Such people are not disciples of Christ.
The Church is the spiritual body of all believers in Christ on Earth irrespective of where he or she lives.
Despite being a member of a local church, you are not a disciple of Christ if you do not belong to the spiritual church, which salvation in Christ offers automatic membership to.
3. Giving a part of your income to God.
Some people feel that because they regularly give the tithe, donations or other forms of giving to the church they have earned their rights to be Christians or children of God. Far from it!
Irrespective of your level of financial support to a local church, you still have to get to the point of having to have personally committed your life to Christ in faith before Heavens can recognise you as a bonafide child of God.
Unfortunately, so many people there are that give money in church every Sunday who do not know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. And as such, they are not disciples of Christ.
4. Fasting and praying.
You can engage regularly in prayer and fasting but that doesn’t make you a disciple of Christ. A good Christian should fast and pray as the needs arise, but fasting and prayer doesn’t make you a good Christian.
For your prayer and fasting to be meaningful, you have to have a personal relationship with the Lord to whom the prayers are directed.
Without complete trust in the finished work of the Cross, prayer and fasting profits little or nothing.
5. Doing good
Anyone can do good to people; even atheists do some form of good deeds.
You do not have to be a disciple of Christ to do some form of good to other people. But you cannot earn being a child of God or a follower of Jesus Christ by doing good. It is however expected that the disciples of Christ should do good.
In summary, having Christian parents, belonging to a local church, praying and fasting, doing good deeds are good in themselves but they are not what make you a Christian or a disciple of Christ.
To be a christian truly, you will have to have a personal relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ. In other words, you must accept Jesus as your Lord and personal Saviour.
Unless you can let go of what you think you know, and fully submit to the leadership of the Holy Spirit – abandoning religious legalism wherever necessary – you would definitely be unable to realize your full Christ[ian] potential in this life regardless of your best efforts. –Rev. Wildfire
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As much as possible, you should endeavour to maintain a good communication flow with your spouse. That means you have to promptly take care of anything trying to impede appropriate communications with your spouse. Failure to do so may later lead to sad moments or other unpleasant consequences which you would not like.
In a thorny situation, your spouse is not the thorn.
If your spouse wears an unusual outlook, you as the other half should show persistent care (by asking) to find out what the problem is.
If your spouse slows down in communicating with you, that’s not the time for you to withdraw from him or her.
Be strong for your spouse by whispering to him or her that you are there for him or her.
There are “three levels of knowing God: recognition, acquaintance, and friendship.” To know someone deeply, you have to regularly talk to, or spend time with, him or her.
Knowing God deeply is not different from that. Except you are willing to regularly fellowship with God, talk to Him as a friend and let Him talk to you too, you may never get to know Him at the deepest level possible.
Except you are married to the devil personified, I am free to say that your spouse is not the problem in your marriage. So resist the temptation to see him or her as one.
A vital key to amicably resolving the challenges between you and your spouse is to learn to focus on tackling the issue at hand rather than putting the blame on a person – your partner.
You may have been hurt by what your spouse said or did at some point, but the problem is still not your spouse. A problem is a problem and your spouse is your spouse. Please don’t mistake one for another.
I can’t force anyone to believe in God. But I can at least let them know some things that may help them make up their mind in the affirmative. After all, acknowledging Jesus Christ as one’s Lord and personal Saviour remains a decision everyone has to take by him/herself. So if you are an atheist, here are some sobering truths I wish you to know:
Jesus Christ is the only Way to God.
You are not the first person to doubt the existence of God.
The Bible has a word for anyone who doesn’t believe there is God…FOOL.
There have been people who turned from atheism to God and so can you.
Your lifetime is your only opportunity for you to know God.
Whatever misgivings you have about God can be handled.
God has numerous children and He has room for you too.
In His birth, divinity became humanity. It was the beginning of the unfolding of the grandest heavenly agenda in bringing salvation to mankind. Here are some of the things that proved Jesus was not an ordinary person:
Jesus’ miraculous conception by a virgin.
His conception by a virgin and birth were undeniable fulfillment of Prophecies.
Jesus got His name several centuries before He was born.
He wasn’t born to earthly royalty, but angels heralded His birth.
The birth of Jesus is the proof of God’s love for the world.
Jesus was born to die.
Jesus is the only man in history with the complete tripartite cycle of birth, death and resurrection.
He is the only one giving eternal life to anyone who believes in Him.
Part of the joy of blogging is having people following your blog, regularly reading your written thoughts and sending you feedbacks through their comments, likes, emails, reblogs etc. If you have ever wondered why people are not following your blog, then you have to check out the post.
Based on my own experience, the post was used to highlight 8 possible reasons, just like some other people, I have not been following your blog:
I don’t even know that your blog exists in the first place.
You are not following my blog.
I got to your blog, but your posts care less about my core values.
The first three posts I read on your blog did not make much sense to me.
Your picture is not on your profile.
You did not join any blogging community.
Your blog language is totally different from mine.
No one has recommended your blog to me yet.
Thank you for reading. Please feel free leave A comment and share the post.
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It couldn’t be, because we know better: God exists. But do you know what, it doesn’t really matter; whether people believe that God exists or not, it does not invalidate who He is.
Be an atheist if you want. Remain one if you have been. But know that it is in your better interest to believe in God than to believe that He doesn’t even exist.
For the records. God is God all by Himself, and He will continue to be God all by Himself till eternity.
Neither you who do not believe in God nor I who does believe in Him have anything to add to who God is. He is the all-sufficient One.
I believe in God at my own risk. You disbelief in Him at your own risk as well. So what’s all this argument about whether God exists or not?
I am convinced that God exists and I try to live my life to please Him. So it is understandable if I am filled with God-consciousness every time. In fact that is what is expected from me.
How about you? It should be a different thing all together, but it isn’t.
You are convinced God doesn’t exist. Right? Why then don’t you get on with your life and forget about all this diatribe on the notion of God’s existence? Can you do you that? May be, you can’t after all!
Honestly, I don’t even understand you! Why do you get yourself so worked-up trying to prove that the non-existent God does not exist? It doesn’t sound logical… Are you even sure of what you claim?
I say that God exists, you get displeased. Why? Should you be annoyed about Someone who is non-existent?
You have said with your own mouth that God doesn’t exist yet all your discussions and writings are not complete except there is a reference to God. Why should you be bothered so much to talk about God if you truly believe He doesn’t exist?
Somehow, I believe that even though you call yourself an atheist, you know in your innermost heart that God exists, but you just don’t want to acknowledge it. As usual, you will deny that you know… But I am hardly surprised.
May be we should settle it this way: I believe in God through Jesus Christ, leave me to enjoy the benefits of it here on earth and in the world to come. You deny that God exists, feel free to savour the ‘benefits’ of that here on earth and in the world to come.
One day, both of us, individually, will stand before the God whom you deny…
Are you all right with that? So continue to be an atheist if you want. Don’t give it up!
Did I just say that you can remain in your atheism? Oh please pardon me! What I really mean is for you to come out from atheism to God and out of foolishness into truth.
Foolishness, because atheism is foolishness. According to the Bible, only a fool can say that God doesn’t exist. (Psalm 14:1; 53:1). It is deception to think that it is wisdom to deny the existence of God.
Truth,because God exists and it is something you will get to acknowledge one day – either willingly on your own while you are still alive on earth or by default (force) after the breath of life is gone from you. By then, it would have been too late.
For those who arrogantly declare that God does not exist and rail against any mention of His Name, the Scriptures declare all people everywhere will one day confess that indeed there is a God… Until then, we must understand that all men—atheist, agnostic, secularist, humanist, moral and immoral, educated and uneducated—are under God’s judgment apart from saving faith in Christ…Billy Graham
Perhaps I should say this as a parting shot:
The God that you say doesn’t exist loves you unconditionally. All He wants from you is a relationship with Him by faith through His Son Jesus Christ.
Every year at Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Some people say we are not sure of His date of birth. “Definitely not 25 December” they say.
It is true we can’t be sure about the date. But there is something we can be sure about: A Saviour was born at a point in time in history.
This is no fiction. No fabrication. No figment of man’s imagination as some people suggest. It was a recorded historical event orchestrated by the finger of God.
Jesus was born. And He was born with a purpose. His purpose was announced before He was born. An angel of God had announced to Joseph,
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Matthew 1:21
That is it! The purpose of Christ’s birth was to save us from our sins. That’s the reason we celebrate His Birth. That is the reason for Christmas!
That tells me that if your sins have not been forgiven – or better still, if you have not received the forgiveness of your sins – by giving your life to Jesus Christ, the purpose of Christmas has not been fulfilled in your life.
As the saying goes, “If the purpose of something is not known, abuse is inevitable.” That seems to be the case with Christmas; many people are celebrating without knowing the essence of it. As a result, they end up abusing it.
I used to be like that. For many years, I looked forward to Christmas for some other reasons other than the birth of a Saviour. But once I got born again, I began to understand the real essence of Christmas.
The real essence of Christmas is not the beautiful carol we hear or sing, not the ambience, the special shoppings, the fanfare, the feasting, and all other kinds of activities we enjoy during the season. The real essence of Christmas is found in the original purpose: Jesus was born to save the world.
Christmas is a celebration of love. The love of God to the world in sending a Saviour to die for us. That popular Bible verse says,
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
So as you celebrate, do not forget the real purpose of Christmas.
Recently, I commented on a post appearing on the blog The Closet Atheist. Following that comment, I found myself also responding to other comments clearly directed at me by some readers of that blog whom I perceived to be atheists.
Amongst other issues raised, the author while relating his experience in a so-called secular university in defence of the purported claims of an unnamed professor from an unidentified Christian college, ostensibly suggested that Christians think that atheists must be savages – brutal and vicious, lacking in morality – because they have rejected the notion of God…
My initial response to that post and part of the conversations that later ensued between other readers and I form the bulk of the texts presented in this post:
My initial response…
The point of being a Christian is not on the basis of simple morality… It is about having a relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ. One is not a Christian if that understanding is not there, including the so-called Christians cited in your statistics.
Even if someone rejects the notion that God exists, that doesn’t automatically make such one a ruthless savage, contrary to the picture painted in the post. That much is clear to me and to most other true believers in God.
Besides, there are already enough laws in the civilised world to hold people accountable for their behaviours.
What should bother one is the eternal consequence of a disposition that rejects God. And it would be laughable to suggest that the Creator will have no way of holding His creatures accountable.
Let me add that the whole notion of God is grossly misunderstood and misrepresented: Misunderstood by those who don’t believe in His existence and sometimes misrepresented by those who do.
For the records, God loves everyone -whether they believe in Him or not. And contrary to the picture you painted, He loves gay people too – although the gay lifestyle is what He doesn’t approve of – according to Biblical guidelines which clearly show that heterogeneous relationship is God’s perfect plan for mankind.
God gave us a special gift called freewill. Unfortunately some of us are using it against Him. But we can never outsmart Him. In any case, we make our choices and our choices make us.
God’s love and hellfire?
One of the readers took the reference to God’s love out of context by bringing in the issue of hellfire, saying:
“So, he (God) loves us so much he invented Hell to reinforce that fact? Sheol wasn’t good enough, so he had to up the ante? Misunderstanding is not the sole province of unbelievers. Believers seem to believe what they want to believe and disregard the rest.”
Well, I was obliged to respond to that as well:
God loves us so much He has made a way for us to have an eternal relationship with Him through His Son Jesus Christ. Hell wasn’t originally meant for human beings. It was meant for the devil and his demons. Unfortunately, anyone who rejects God has sided with the devil. As a result, such people will end up where the devil himself will end up.
Believers in God don’t believe what they want to believe as you suggested. What they believe about God is what God’s book, the Bible, says about Him. It is another thing if one doesn’t accept the authority of the Bible.
Talking about Freewill
The reference to freewill in my initial comment appeared to have been misunderstood by some of the readers of that blog who commented.
One of them questioned, “…People rape, murder, abuse, rob and torture because YHWH has given them free will? So, his sovereignty allows their heinous crimes to happen?…”
“…Yes God is responsible for giving humans the freewill,” I replied, “but He is not responsible for what we do with it…
We would be mere robots if God took away our freewill. That’s why it is important He left it with us. He gave us the CHOICE…”
Along the same line, another reader scoffed the idea that we have freewill saying, “Some guy is raping a woman and he says, “But officer, free will!”. Would that fly in court? lol.”
To that I responded:
That was never implied in my comment. But I did say that everyone would be held accountable for whatever he or she did with their freewill.
Of course, freewill as an excuse to commit rape (or any other crime at that) will not fly in court. The rapist will be judged according to the law.
In the same way, God will eventually judge everyone who rejects Him based on their freewill.
The moral compass inside every man
Speaking further, another reader opined, “The moral argument for God’s existence just shows an ignorance of the field of ethics in general. There are many accounts of morality without God, but apologists won’t even address them. Most of the time they pretend that they don’t exist.”
To that claim, I simply pointed out that:
God is the original Source of morality. Inside every man is a moral compass called the conscience. And whether we agree or not, it was God who put it there.
Feel free to lend your voice to the discourse.
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There were many wonderful memories I had growing up in that predominantly agrarian village where a sizeable portion of the population, with a few exceptions, professed to be Christians.
One of such memories is that of various celebrations which took place in the community on an annual basis. Apart from the universal Easter, Christmas and New Year celebrations, there were other big festivals that were equally engaged in.
The New Yam Festival,Iwaji, is celebrated in the third quarter of the year to mark the beginning of farm harvests and then followed closely with a festival of dance and music, known as Ogbanigbe. Both festivals which attracted visitors from far and near, were ‘traditional’ in nature and were celebrated by almost everyone in that serene community.
However, many ‘serious’ Christians in the land, especially those from amongst the Pentecostal circle, did not join in the Ogbanigbe celebration for fear of being ‘contaminated’. Their sentiment for not participating in the festivals was that such ceremonies were rooted in idolatory and ancestral worship, giving glory to demons and not to the true God.
And they were right – because of some reasons outside the scope of this post.
In those early days, my siblings and I saw ourselves as Christians, having been following our mum to church. But our personal convinctions were not very deep. So we were passive participants in the festivals until we became fully detached from their celebrations.
Personally, I can still recall previously having some pleasures in the festivals during my pre-teen years, especially as far as the family feasting aspect of the celebrations was concerned. This was due mainly to the influence of my father in the home, making provisions for special meals to be prepared during those festivals.
Unlike my mother, my father – although a very morally upright man – wasn’t a christian and so he had a longstanding belief in those festivals. But he never forced any member of the family to participate in them.
By virtue of his status as as an ‘elder’ in the village at the time, he was given special recognition which required that the festival’s dance-parties visited our house to pay the traditional ceremonial homage to him during their main street ogbanigbe carnivals.
The beginning of Change
As time went on, I gave up whatever pleasures I might have had in those festivals. This happened after I became born again in my early teens and began to be taught the living word of God which empowered me spiritually and also enabled me to make decisions that were in line with my new found love and passion for the only true God, the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ.
While it is true that becoming born again helped in realigning my values and focus with respect to the annual festivities of those years, it was not an over-night change. I gradually refrained from having anything whatsoever to do with the ceremonies. The rest is history!
Therefore come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. 2 Corrinthians 6:17.
Cerebration by all
Christmas, though popularly known as a Christian festival, was celebrated by everyone around me, irrespective of religious background. But in those days the real essence of it was lost to me and, I believe, to majority of the celebrants as well.
Growing up then, it didn’t matter if one was a Christian or not, Christmas was a feast for all to celebrate; everyone one around, whether they went to church or not, or were involved in the so-called traditional worship, all of us participated in Christmas celebrations.
The only exception I can remember was a girl two years my senior in secondary school, a member of the Jehovah Witnesses. Including Christmas, she never joined in the celebration of ‘anything’ at all. She even refused to join in reciting the national anthem and other songs we sang on the assembly ground every morning.
Before the essense of Christmas hit me
Christmas is the commemoration of the birth of Jesus. But while we all celebrated it, most often than not, not all of us remembered or even cared about the real purpose of it.
We all focused on the fanfare rather than on why Jesus was born in the first place. Sadly that mistake is still observable in many places around the world today.
In my pre-teen years, Christmas time for me meant that we were approaching the time for the longest school holiday in the academic year. That meant I would have more time to play street football with my friends from school and around the neighbourhoods.
Christmas also meant that I was going to get a new set of clothes, a new pair of shoes, a wrist watch and a pair of sunglasses to match. It was particularly fun wearing those pair of eye-classes; once you had them on, the grounds appeared to be shifting and un-levelled. Still we managed to move around in them and then returned home to mama, safely.
At Christmas, relations who lived in cities would return home for family reunions, a once in a year ritual. We also visited relations and family friends around town, especially on the boxing day. We would be lavishly served with rice and chicken and in some cases soft drinks.
And once we stood up to go back home, we would be given some money which the giver would often say, “This is for all of you.” That announcement was necessary to avoid a situation were the direct recipient would think the money was meant for only him or her.
Reports were rampant then of children or teenagers fighting over such money… But fortunately for me, my ‘visitation’ groups were always cooperative, so at the end of day, we always amicably shared all the accumulated moneys from such visits.
You can say Christmas was another way of getting money from people you knew, as it appeared everyone was more generous during that time.
Rice and stew very plenty
Back at home from Christmas day service in church, there would be plenty of food to eat. Some people would prefer specially made local delicacies on this day. But the children (including yours truly) would relish the specially made Christmas rice and stew.
Our parents made sure they ‘killed’ chicken to serve it along. If anybody’s mum failed to prepare rice and chicken in special stew, especially on the boxing day, he or she would have the feeling that the Christmas for that year was not fantastic.
So basically, our Christmas then like in many other places was full of eating and drinking (mostly soft drinks, no alcohol) visiting families in new outfits and other forms of celebrations. Not many people remembered or even knew the real essence of Christmas.
Understanding the real essense of Christmas
After I got born again, I began to understand the true meaning of Christmas. A Saviour was born to save the world. The slogan Christ is the reason for the season became a living reality.
I still wore new clothes at Christmas. I still ate specially prepared meals. But those were no longer my main focus: Christ was and still is.
We became challenged to share the love of God in more active ways – reaching out to people with the true meaning of Christmas.
Yes, we went out for evangelism, sharing the love of Christ in any way we deemed fit. What better way to celebrate Christmas than to tell people the Saviour was born to save them from their sins?
As we celebrate ‘Christmas’, let us remember the ‘Christ’ in it!