Monday, 24 June 2013

Don't drop Boaz to pick up Bozo!
When I was a little girl, I read the story about the dog and the bone...I am sure a lot of you remember it. The dog that look over the water with the bone in his mouth and in looking to get that bone, he drop the one in his mouth. I remember after reading it, many of us, thought how greedy and stupid that dog was to grab at the shadow when he had the real thing in his mouth (also the moral of the story). I live to see many women behave like that dog.

Have you ever heard any woman say, ohh I use to be with that guy... you look across to see a settled, handsome man walking with his wife and kids and so you couldn't resist asking, so what happened? To your amazement, at times, you hear statements such as he was too nice or too soft. I often wondered, how can a man be too nice, but I have lived to see some men who can fall in that category and to understand more of what we women look for in a men. For example, at times some women have a tendency to willfully do things to upset a man, just to hear them 'MAN UP' I guess, and say No!! We love the authoritative part of a man and though we do not want an abuser, we want a man who can control us to a degree. Well sad to say that in yearning for that, many have given up some great Boaz for some worthless Bozo and live to regret.

There are ladies who had reached the point of engagement and it ended not because of irreconcilable differences or any dramatic event, but because a Bozo shadow appears and you think he is better, only to realize you dropped the real thing. This Bozo just sweeten you up when you are with the man and show you some false colours and you figure, oh he is better and later on after you have given up your Boaz, the Bozo revealed his true colours packed with his many excuses and you are too shame to admit your mistake.... "Butt like rain" It is either stay and live in torment or leave, but too embarrass sometimes, many end up staying. Remember, there are some men out there, like women, who only want you when they see you with somebody else. Some even make bets that they can take you away. Once they get you for themselves, you move from looking great to looking mash up like hard time meeting you...Stress!

I would tell you this, marriage with a Boaz or a Bozo still requires a lot of work, but I am quite certain with a Bozo is more work, so which would you prefer to end up with, the man who is too nice or the worthless one?  Don't grab at the shadow ladies. Be careful how you go about making the decision to drop one bone for another...It might look sweeter and juicer, but later on you might  find out it is neither sweet nor juicy...Or maybe doesn't even exist for their are men who come after you at times, knowing they are with another woman and in the end you might choose to stand up and fight for that Bozo who put you in that position in the first place or leave empty-handed. 

A section of the story " The dog and his Reflection" states:
"If he had stopped to think he would have known better. But instead of thinking, he dropped his bone and sprang at the Dog in the river, only to find himself swimming for dear life to reach the shore. At last he managed to scramble out, and as he stood sadly thinking about the good bone he had lost, he realized what a stupid Dog he had been."

Friday, 14 June 2013

How Women Treat Man? Man versus Dog
There are a lot of writings on the needs of the women, how they should be treated, where men go wrong etc etc, but many times we fail to write about the man themselves. Are they always treated fairly? When we make demands on what he is not doing for us, do we ever take time to focus on what we are not doing for him. In my own relationship, from time to time, I have to stop breathe and take in my man right in the midst of what he  not doing something that I asked him to do. I weigh out how I treat him and how he treats me and many times I find gaps and I see where he has tried and I know I must appreciate my good good man.

Well ladies, like us, the man them have feelings. We can't go around and talk them down with our girlfriends and sometimes even our boy friends who at times we end up with after they pretended that they are better. If you check out what you say at times, you would realize that most of the times, when you talk about your man is mainly negative. The fact that you are still with him says that he has some positives that you admire, let us focus on 'bigging' them up for that. There is no woman or man who can ever say I talk bad about my husband to them. Is it that we are perfect? Of course not, but I am certain that his positives outweigh his negatives and I see no need to complain and even if it was the opposite I would prefer to go a professional who can help that someone who just have ears to spare and a mouth to tell others the wrongs in my relationship and how bad my man may be treating me. I know there are times we may have good, trust worthy friends who can offer words of advice so with that I say be very careful who you talk to. If it is a case that you are looking for help, it might be better to seek professional help. Still, a lot of times women talk down men, they are not looking for help and the person listening just want the juicy details. 

Do not embarrass your man in public especially amongst his friends. What is wrong with you girlfriend? I am sure you have always heard about the BIG EGO. Well I believe every man has one and it can be bruised and when it is, you might not like their reaction. Some women believe that they are so hot, so sexy, so educated etc etc that the man should feel lucky to have them. So they say meet them for 5 and they should be there by 4:30. They should never ever have them waiting. Really now? Are you in a relationship or a competition to prove that your Lassy, the dog is most obedient? So at the end of the day, because the man move when you shout and do not hit you back when you slap him in front his friends, you feel like the boss. You have his friends calling him soft and you, yourself, might even leave him because he is too soft for you. What you fail to see is that you have a gentleman who loves you and another man would have 'buss'  and twist your face with a slap! Sadly, I say without condoning any action against women, sometimes we blame the man for treating a woman a particular way, without looking at how the woman has contributed to her own treatment. I see with my own eyes women embarrass men and I think to myself, that couldn't be my brother. It is good to respect your man and let his friends see that he has a good woman.

Finally ladies, we love the flowers, the romancing, the finer things, but unless you have a rich man, do not put holes in the man pocket. There are times that women want a man to give them so much and nothing cheap either, that they fail to realize that money can run out. Help the man budget. Be observant of the fact that he might own a car, but not a house and one day instead of living in a car, you would want to live in a house and to get a house, he must save. So your last birthday you might have gotten a gold chain or even diamond earrings, but this one you can only get some nice natural cosmetic jewelry, accept it and smile. Stop look at what your friend's man buy for her all the time; his pocket might be larger than your man's. Maybe he has a better job or richer parents. In a relationship,consider the thought behind the gift or the lack of gift. Know that he loves you regardless and yes I know some men stingy, but I am speaking generally here about a good man who cares, who wants to give, but cannot give all the time. 

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Culture and Christianity: Is there an issue
I choose to write this blog now, as Vincy Carnival has already started on the island. Although the big mass is yet to come, rural carnival is taking place. Are Christians attending? I am sure of it. I choose not to put Christians in inverted commas because I am talking about persons who believe themselves to be born again at heart. Whether people want to debate who is true Christians or hypocrites is left up to them. I have found myself in a position where I choose not to call anyone who claims to be a Christian, a hypocrite. Rather, I seek to investigate and understand why others may call them such and how they view themselves or understand Christianity. I remind myself daily, that many of us, including myself, might have been referred to as a hypocrite by someone at some point in our lives because we do not uphold the standards held by others (normally those who proclaimed the hypocrisy) of who a Christian is. Instead, I recall my own level of understanding or lack of it that changes as I grow more and more in Christ. I watched what I participated in, how I dressed, how I speak and at what stage of my Christianity I was and I learnt a few things.

Culture plays a major role in how we as a people behave. I remember as when I was in college, I was riding in the car of my pastor with his wife to school and we were having a conversation. Somewhere in it, I remarked, what the hell am I hearing here? The pastor wife said, somewhat jokingly to ease the pressure off me, but at the same profoundly, Steve, here Jasmine cursing. I was shocked. Did I just curse in front of my pastor? Was the word hell as used really in the category of profanity and so I asked, is that cursing? I said that to say there are many of us who grow up with a language, which is very much cultural, that includes words like hell, darm and sh-t and we grow up saying these things, feeling nothing is wrong with them. Does it make us a hypocrite? Hmmm...I just think that at every stage of your Christian life, you Learn, you Grow, you Change.

So let us talk carnival. Is it culture? Should Christians be a part of it? It is a question to be answered individually by the persons who felt the need to attend, but let me give my opinion. I think that whilst it would be nice to be able to embrace ourselves in everything culturally, as a Christian we are or choose to become part of a new culture. I really do not think every aspect of carnival is bad. I for one love to listen to the social commentaries that comes out in the calypsoes,  and I also particular enjoy certain aspects of the queen show such as the talent and interview sections. I am not here to say that because I love them it is right, I am just saying that if I listen to love songs, then how is it wrong to listen to calypsonians singing about the economy etc and until such time that I learnt differently that is my opinion. Still, I am selective in what I choose to listen to.

Nevertheless, while carnival display the art of our people as shown by the costumes, their talent as shown by music and dance, it also promote and creates an atmosphere than the bible will describe as rivalry. There is a lot of drunkenness, promiscuity whether in behaviour or action leading to a lot of pregnancies at time etc. The things that take place during carnival goes beyond showing the art or culture of our country. Surely our culture is not one of drunkenness and immoral acts. So while some Christians will want to go and see certain aspects of a 'pure' culture, there is a general tendency to fall prey to other aspects that are unholy and against the principles of the bible. So I urge Christians, whatever stage you are in your Christianity, whatever your level of maturity, think it through thoroughly and ask yourself, what would Jesus desire? Is it really so important to you to go and watch the carnival festivities, even though it is not to dance as some would say, knowing that the world (who see you there) will have a bad report to give? And to say who cares what they say...Of course we must care, if we are the ones who are charged with taking the very word of God to the unbelievers. Finally, why live with the regrets of yesterday, when you could avoid them...if you are in two minds, CHOOSE GOD, HE NEVER FAILS. 

To all the Kingdom Life Tabernacle youths, who go on camp each year during this time...Big up yourself in accepting spiritual food during a time when worldly food is offered. This camp should be celebrating some how much years of anniversary, but I know its good. Initially, I attended to avoid the temptation of carnival and then I attended because of my spiritual experience year after year, especially during the day of fast. So have a great time with your brothers and sisters.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Individualizing You
It is a very sad state when persons do not have an identity of their own, but it is worse when their actions are often dependent on who they are around and what is taking place at that very moment. I have seen it a lot in schools, churches, relationships and other aspects of our society. So I choose the title " Individualizing You," not in an effort to underplay the role of the wider society at large, our friends and families, but rather to highlight the importance of knowing self. 

There are many people who are a part of relationships but do not know who they are. They cannot say no, even when they want to, because their actions are determine by what their friends say or what they spouse would do and ohhh how they do not want to lose him or her...they would do anything. Often, they remain in abusive relationship because they cannot see themselves outside of the shadow of their spouses. There are many men who sleep with girls and then get those very girls to sleep with their friends. You may wonder why would she make such a crippling decision...she might answered she loves him with little thought about how much he loves her. Is it that she doesn't care? No, rather, it is that she cares too much for him and too little for herself. She does not know her own worth. There is a lack of individuality or singular identity and her actions are determined by the crowd, leaving only a collective identity that is shaped and molded by whom she is around.

Even within the church, this lack of individualism is observed in the actions of persons, others would referred to as hypocrites. At times, these Christians are not hypocrites, but lack the individualism of determining who they are and what they want, rather than what others want for them. So today, they are in church serving God, singing and crying and lifting up holy hands. They are happy and contented because this is the life they desire, it feels right, but next week, they have found themselves at a picnic that turned into a party. They know something is not right, but in the flair of the moment, the friends they cherish and respect, they other 'christians' they see doing actions that seem contrary, but they feel are holier than they are so it can't be all that wrong, they let what should be a war against the enemy become an easy victory and so they join the party. Then they are invited to a next and the guilt and shame of saying no because they were just seen at another causes them to attend and before they know it, they are in a state where, even to attend church is a burden of guilt and shame, and instead of confessing, they choose the easy way out by pulling down church and church people to justify their actions, without even considering what God has to say.

To be an individual means to know self...Who am I, What is my purpose, What are my dreams, How much of my actions are me? Christianity is not about submitting to what church people including the pastor says, but to submit to what God says, so the question to be answered is Who am I in Christ? I believe when we have answered that, backsliding would not be an option regardless of the war we will face. Our lives would no longer be defined by what others tell us about the bible, the guilt trip that, shamefully, some pastors takes us during their sermons, but our own genuine love and relationship with God. 

To know you is to stop peer pressure in its tracks.
To know you is to accept the consequences of our decisions without casting blame on another
To know you is to live with little regrets. Just check how many of your regrets were influenced by another.
To know you is to be happy and contented with your life as you are living it.

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