knew, know, known

There’s a reason we call God the ‘Author and the Finisher, the Alpha and the Omega’. Most times, we remember and call Gods names in prayer and I think we forget the meanings of these names because each carry its own might if we dive into its full revelation.

I sit with inquisitive Christians and non-Christians alike often and one of the biggest questions they always ponder on is ‘why God didn’t save Adam and Eve when He knew they were going to sin and why He allowed the children of Israel wait that long for the Messiah to come’. And often in discussing these things, I find that people actually think God operates like us, moment by moment, limited by only what we see in the present and is also hoping about what is to come, because it will only explain why we question His sovereign decision to sit back and watch the world unfold as it did.

When we call God the Alpha and the Omega, it means the one who has seen the end from the beginning. As a matter of  fact, I sat under the teaching of a man of God once and He actually explained it saying that God does not start what He has not already finished. He is that knowing and present across the past, present and future. 

Jesus Christ was always the plan. God did not invent the idea when Adam and Eve sinned. He had planned long before they sinned that ‘Jesus will bring redemption to my creation’. He would save them from their sins and reunite them back with me, hence the full access we now enjoy reaching the Father.

Understanding why he didn’t stop Eve from collecting and eating that apple is a post that i’ll focus on one of these days as it is quite extensive and also includes a bit of theology relating first to God’s sovereignty and the principles that God works with which includes not going back on His word or His person.

But the absence of this understanding right now is not a hindrance to grasping that God is such a planner that before He starts a thing, the end of the thing has already been established. I’ll also cast our minds to a verse in my favourite psalm that says;

“Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.” – Psalm 139:16

This verse is also an indication of God’s intentional plan for our lives that he has ordained each day even before they have come to be. I don’t know if this helps you, but it helps me in reminding myself daily that my day has been scripted, and as long as I walk in step with the Holy Spirit, He leads me according to that script which was written by the most loving and all knowing Father.

This knowledge brings a sort of liberation to know that whenever God calls you into something, He’s seen the end of the matter already and so despite facing difficulties through the process, there’s the assurance that its end is glorious just by the nature of the person who’s called you in.

When next you find yourself praying and saying ‘The Alpha and the Omega’ or ‘The beginning and end’, allow your mind delve into the full meaning of these phrases, because the knowledge of the phrases in themselves hold power.

IamAlphaOmega3

Don’t pressure the Now

I have been on a plan talking about goal setting for a few days now.
The focus has been on understanding goal setting from God’s perspective and not merely what the world tells us.

Every day on the plan, I’ve seen something that has linked to one main thing and I’ve seen how important this one thing is and have understood the reason why the devil has it on surveillance and under attack constantly.
It is the power of moment.

All the things you’re concerned and worried about right now don’t necessarily affect your now, or this moment but rather, it’s something that happened in the past or something we’re looking to in the future.
We get so carried away with either or both and forget the Now.

When the devil succeeds in taking the Now from you, you’re not able to enjoy the phase you’re in at that moment because it’s either what I should’ve done or what I should do that you’ll remain focused on and daily, it’ll drain you till you even look at that moment and not see any worth or good in it.

I have aspirations, oh God, I have aspirations, i’m sure you do too, I also have things in my past I’m not proud of or I feel differently about now, but I’m intentionally learning to focus and be appreciate of the moment I am.
To focus on the Now and plan for the next step, not the 10th step or the 20th step but the next step.

It doesn’t alter or eliminate your future focus or inner drive, rather it allows you focus to actually learn all the things that need to be learnt and will be useful for that place you’re headed.

There’s power and value in This moment.

Don’t get carried away with what you think you should’ve done or where you think you should be and pressure your now out of an equally important phase.
Take a few minutes and observe and appreciate the environment you’re currently in, the activity you’re currently doing, and the thoughts at the tip of your memory.
Embrace it and learn from it.
Moments don’t last, but there’ll always be the past and the future.

Culture difference pt 1

The western culture is actually really funny, I know the African culture have their hiccups here and there but I’m more inclined to be all and for it in spite of the trouble it causes us sometimes.

I was at an event a couple of weeks ago and half way into it, I walk out the main hall to use the toilet, as I was walking past a sitting area between the hall and the bathrooms, I here a muffled sound and some serious sobbing.

I was actually really pressed but I think my ‘amebo’ was more at this particular time so I make my way into the small open room to see what’s going on. I was hit with a young woman, about my age or younger, curled up in a chair at the edge with her phone in front of her and a terribly stained face as her make-up had been completely messed up by the tears and her wiping away with her hands.

All my antennas shot up and it was less about amebo and more “what is wrong with you??”

As every other crying person will say, she said “nothing”, trying to wipe away the recently rained down tears and hide her face. So I sat beside her and waited till she thought she had covered it all up and asked again. She Hesitated at first but finally realised the lost battle and said she had just received a call from her brother that their dad had just died. Just like that, in a middle of a conference, this young lady had got a call that her Dad was dead.

At this point she was back in tears again and I was too shocked to speak too, so it was just rubbing her back and barely muttering “I’m so sorry”, I couldn’t even add her name after cause I didn’t know it.

One of the organisers walk past and walks back again slowly, obviously trying to see what’s going on, (his own version of amebo)

And because I didn’t know if she wanted him to come any closer, I walked up to him and explained why she couldn’t come back in as per the news she had just received. He was also obviously devastated and asked if there’s anything he could do, of which I couldn’t answer.

Long story short, we get a cab and send her home, so I’m left with this man and he asks me if she’s my sister (because she was also a black girl … typical). I told him no and he’s proper probing about how I know her and I’m like “I really don’t, I met her on my way to the loo and she didn’t look too good”.

He starts praising and commenting about how what I did was so brave and selfless and is even asking me to write my name down, that he was also to write a letter to the organisation I had come with.

I left him still questioning myself, if this man is praising me and even wanting to write me a recommendation because I saw someone crying and went to ask her if she was okay. I was thinking how even if you were the meanest person in Africa, seeing someone in tears will always move you to find out if they’re okay, but in the western culture, it might be the best time to mind your business, which might differ with scenario.

I know Nigerians call it amebo mostly but frankly, there’s actually the caring and concerned part that genuinely wants to know that you’re okay if you’re met in a disoriented situation.

Then it hit me, I actually wasn’t the only one leaving the hall between when that girl came out and when I came out. Several other people (predominately white) had been out but hadn’t approached her despite how audible the sobs had been when you walk back the little wall.

Either way, I’m glad she didn’t have to be there by herself, I’m happy I am African and had the first instinct to go console her rather than ‘mind my business’. I’m hopeful that across all cultures one day, our first response to anything and anyone will be the highest form of love, however nosy it might seem.

Culture

Happy New Year!

We always wait a few days before we acknowledge celebration on this blog, and frankly, it is intentional. We realise that on the day of any national event or holiday were  all bombarded with congratulatory and well meaning messages on the day and frankly, it might get long and boring so at some point, we begin to scheme read and not really read to get the message in the content.

For us, day 7 of the New Year is the best time to come say our own Happy New Year because you might have replied or deleted all other Happy New Year messages by now and settled proper into 2019.

Nothing different came with 01/01/19 except a fresh orbit of the earth round the sun and the obvious change in date. The only other changes that will be occurring will be the ones intentionally decided with measurable steps to achieve them, so by day 7, you know already that anything you have not consciously decided to stop, start or pause, is not going to miraculously happen oblivious to you.

We announced on the Instagram page couple of days ago on FOCH woman’s theme of the year. We said it is a year of Depth! Growing in depth in whatever God has placed in your hands. The beautiful thing of depth is that it is directly linked to growth. There is no depth without a level of growth, so as we strive to increase depth, we strive to grow.

Here’s wishing you your best year yet!

Foch Team x

happy new year!

PROMISE

promise

This month, we started a thing on FOCH woman where we have a word of the Month every Month, and this August, my heart was led to the word Promise.

It is such a vast and deep word depending on an individual but at least two things will mostly come to mind when we hear or think of the word.

Friendship and Trust.

Friendship mostly because it is a commitment from 2 people to be what a friend is to each other and that commitment can be seen as a sort of promise.

Trust because we make and keep promises to people we trust.

Unfortunately, the second is now debatable because you find that people are quick to make promises they actually know they would not keep.

It has ceased to be something that is solemnly upheld and cherished and has become a sort of higher way of sounding truthful.

Our yes, isn’t our yes anymore and our no isn’t a no anymore unless we say ‘I promise…’ I don’t know but I think it has come with this uncaring and individualistic season of ours in this generation.

The things our generation now seem to support, promote the use of promises to denote sincerity and honesty regardless of the fact that we know that we would not meet these promises.

I don’t know about you, but this really unsettles me, I should not need to make a promise for you to believe me and when I do make a promise, it should be that I am actually committing myself to fulfilling this promise.

If we continue like this, we build a society filled with hurt and untruthful people which translates unhealthy relationships.

I want us to commit to lives of truth, this means, our yes, being yes and our no being no. Let’s reject the norm that society is bringing of needing a promise to be made before we can be believed.

I think God expects that from us.

The bible is filled with so many promises and these promises are what God tells us to hold on to and trust Him with. Imagine if God handled promises like we do today?

He wouldn’t be such a good and loving God would he?

Then it’d make you think why we would be comfortable doing same to others around us. I want us to commit to a higher level of responsibility with our words, particularly our promises. Because God actually holds us to what we say, especially the promises. He has called us to something higher. Don’t go with the flow of society!

I wish you a beautiful last week in August! x

NEW FEATURE – SHORT STORIES

Hey guys :),

I’ve finally decided to put up my short stories up here, they’re all very relatable and have moral lessons that I’ll love that you pick up as you read.

It’s the tab beside the blog tab titled short stories. I have attached the link below. I love feedback, so please leave me a comment or email when you read!

And Hey, Happy August! 8 is the number that connotes ‘New Beginnings’ and our word for the month is ‘PROMISE’.

I’ve just returned from a summer school in all the way Asia, I saw, felt and heard God in the most unique ways and I can’t wait to come and share it all with you. But enough about me! Here’s LOVE AND SACRIFICE. Enjoy!

LOVE AND SACRIFICE

 

INTENTIONAL

I honestly think our generation has made a mistake believing or entertaining the thought that everything you come across is for you to take, imbibe, learn or begin to live out.

It’s the only explanation I have for the rants and arrogance I see or read each time someone states their opinion

I think at some point, we’ll all learn that even though there’s a place for society, there’s a bigger place for individualism and individualism in the right context.
Individualism that works with principles and values, it’ll help filter out the clutter that our world is filled with.

You come across something that does not edify you in any way, walking away doesn’t make you a looser or a propagator for the evil that it might be, it’ll actually reinforce your stand in your principles and untimely save you your time and sanity.

It’s not passivity, it’s another way to say deliberately choose what catches your time and attention.

focus

Another Tuesday

tip-tuesday1

I woke up today remembering that it is another one of my long day.

I think it is a mental thing I’ve done to myself but it is now a norm for time on Tuesday to appear to be a lot slower than normal. I’ve not been able to understand it fully but I notice that every Tuesday, when I look down expecting to see a time, I always see an hour or 2 hours before that time, and to be honest, it’s not much of a shock anymore.

Monday’s appear to be my fastest day and Tuesday’s, my slowest.

It is expected and  very possible for me to begin to dread every Tuesday. Like waking up every Tuesday morning and going like ‘aaarrrggghhhhh, another Tuesday, another long day’ but when I wake up every Tuesday morning and remember ‘Oh, Rubie it’s our longest day’, I get up and do what i’d normally do on a Monday or any other day.

Today, I quizzed myself about this and I wondered why it didn’t bug me that it was a Tuesday each time I woke up on a Tuesday morning.

I realized that no matter how long a Tuesday lasted, it always, always came to an end. Like, even if I looked at the time expecting to see 4pm and I saw 12noon, I might be pissed but i’m reminded that no matter how it drags, it will end.

I don’t know why it was this period that this realization hit me, but as it came, I remembered all the stories I’ve heard in the last week about all the people who decided it was time to leave the world by themselves due to one reason or the other.

Added to that, I watched about 10 minutes of ’13 Reasons why’ as I waited for my friend yesterday and saw how this beautiful teen girl created 13 videos of the 13 reasons why she took her life.

As I listened to the 13 reasons why she did what she did, with her counselor being the 13th reason (LOL), I realized that none of the reasons were permanent. None of them was going to last forever, in a nutshell, she would have left high school from the people bullying her, healed physically and mentally from the rape she’d been through, got a job and left her uncaring parents and found friends who appreciated her for who she was.

This is not me being insensitive or undermining the gravity of what she felt. To be honest, I don’t even know what she felt because pain is like our finger print. No one truly knows where or how it huts. But my point is how neither of the reasons were permanent.

Same way my Tuesday will always come, but cannot stay forever, no  matter how long it drags.

It is a theory that we all have to intentionally learn that ‘Nothing lasts forever’. Particularly on the negative side. Things always get better, and even when they don’t, we get better at handling these things.

Think of all the things you want to end this minute. If you critically look at them, neither of them will be forever. One day, it will end, and guess what? You’ll probably still have a new list then.

I want Tuesday’s every week to remind you that though it may last, it will end.

My heart goes out to all the people currently going through anything that just you know about.

Here’s something my dad said to me.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Feel free to ‘reach’ out too to talk. Just maybe you’ll feel better.

Stay where you are forever?

I was having a quiet day at work so I got to reading something on my computer when a discussion among a Senior manager, my Manager and an Analyst ensued. Because it was right opposite me, I could hear the conversation word for word.

The Senior manager was talking about how young people of these days don’t like to stay in a place for too long and how they are changing jobs after every year or two. He was comparing it to his time, how they started their careers there and grew through the ranks.

My Manager could also identify with him and they talked on and on, on this topic.

While what they said held a lot of truth, I don’t think we can deny the fact that time has really changed and one of the biggest differences I’ve seen with our time and the time of our parents was the fact that they were mostly out to provide for themselves and their family really regardless of how they did that. So most of them took this advice and went into careers that they probably had no love or joy for/from but because priority was family, that didn’t really matter.

With time, some of them found happiness, while others just got comfortable with the jobs and have since forgotten that it’s not what they always wanted to do.

With our generation, were being advised happiness. Most speakers of our time will tell you to ‘do what makes you happy’, ‘don’t take a job that you don’t find fulfilment in’, ‘your happiness over the money’.. and on and on, so I’ve found that most people in our generation will choose happiness over settling.

I thought this might explain why young people jump from job to job annually. While some actually just like the life, most are looking for their ‘happy place’ and i’m a believer in the fact that this actually exists, but the idea is really to create it, not to look for it in a place.

Half way into their conversation, the analyst with them got excited and started telling them how they have her forever and how she was here to stay and all and if I want to be honest, I sat there thinking in my head like ‘whattt?, you really want to be here forever?’

Ps. I work for a beautiful company and I have the most amazing Manager but I’ve known from when I received my employment letter that this was seasonal, not permanent, so my thoughts weren’t because of the company, it was more the analysts’ career desires.

And that’s where I made the mistake, to think that she  carried the same aspirations that I did. It took me a while thinking about the whole conversation and my reaction to the statement from the analyst that I realised that the analyst had found her ‘happy place’. It was obvious in the way she worked and her relationship with most people and I was truly really happy for her when I came to this realisation.

I think you’ll always recognise your happy place when you get there, this analyst arrived there faster than most in our generation which I think is pretty cool.

Here’s the catch though, your happy place ties strongly with your purpose and who best knows the purpose of a thing than it’s creator…

I want you to spend some time thinking about the last statement but I want to know more what category of the 2 generations described above you fall into, regardless of your age.

happy place

 

>>> Comfort Zone <<<

I like to tell myself I get out of my comfort zone often.

But recently, I’ve been convicted about the lie that the above statement is.

Today though, I did something very out of my zone, good, but crazy and I actually spent the whole day reminiscing on how it all transpired and thinking if it could have gone better or gone worse.

First of all, this is a good sign that you are actually out of your comfort zone so keep going until you can relate with the paragraph above.

We’re having an event in my church called ‘All Nations Sunday’ and it is one of our biggest annual event because we go all out for it. It’s our biggest evangelism tool too as a church and i’m grateful for how far we’ve come really.

Because we need to raise awareness for the event, intentional and constant evangelism and flyering is important. So on my way to work this morning, I made sure to carry a bunch of the flyers with me because I had a plan and a goal for the day.

I got to the train station and got into my train, walked through the train dropping flyers on seats because I noticed that I read extensively the flyers I meet on my seat so I thought to myself, ‘this has to be the best strategy’ (although nothing really beats word of mouth evangelism’.

I got to where I would seat and saw a woman seating right behind me.

It was a 10 seconds battle of ‘Give her or not give her’.

I decided I’d walk up and hand her one.

I got about 5 inches from her with a smile definitely too wide for 7:30am in the morning and I handed one out and said my ‘Sales pitch’.

I wish I can tell you she smiled back, asked more questions and collected it but sadly, I can’t.

This beautiful young woman, stopped me half way, raised her hand to my face and said ‘It’s too early in the morning, please’.

She was polite enough to say please and I respected that, but I was crushed.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been rejected before, even in similar situations like evangelism but something about today was different.

I apologised, got to my seat with my wide smile that had become a straight hurt line.

I’m still not completely over it as I write this but what’s really funny is that I’ve felt a kind of peace even with the hurt. I’ve also felt really excited knowing that I was completely out of my comfort zone.

I can’t tell you it was an amazing feeling, especially at first but what I know is, I probably won’t feel this bad if this happens again and I’ll be so much more confident next time I have to do it *brushing nothing off my shoulders*.

shoulder

We actually cannot do great things in our comfort zone. In our comfort zone, were protecting ourselves, our image, our reputation, our face and our security but outside, we’re letting all guards down and open to what might come our way and that’s where growth will happen.

I’m excited for the next few days left to evangelise and flyer.

Dear Foch woman,

Stop playing it safe all the time. I promise, the growth will exceed the hurt if you even meet any hurt like I did. Slowly but surely!