Dear 5: My Address to You

In today’s #lockdown blog challenge, which also marks day 3, writers are to say five things to five different people and below are the group I wish to address in this post:

  1. To the young single woman

I know you have a lot of fantasies and one of them is to be swept off your feet and fall head-over-heels in love with Prince Charming. You have been doing a lot in your power to ascertain this happens but before you agree to spend the rest of your life with him, ensure you are good friends. Do not sweep the red flags under the carpet because they always pop up some time later in the marriage and when that happens, the ‘forever’ journey becomes very difficult to navigate.

2. To the unemployed graduate

This period of your life may be a little confusing as you are still trying to put your dreams and vision into perspective. Don’t listen to the naysayers. Some of those job ads are genuine, thus, keep on applying. The fact that you haven’t received any favourable responses yet do not imply you aren’t good enough. Keep writing those applications and one of them will fetch you the awesome news you’ve been waiting to hear.

3. To upcoming bloggers and content creator

This job/hobby/pastime or whatever you may choose to call it is not a walk in the park. If you are here for the fame or the money or the number of followers, then find something else to do. Blogging and other forms of content creation require passion and consistency. Like the way you’ll feed a child, ensure you consistently feed your blog with engaging content. To be able to do that, select a subject that you are passionate about, if not, you will be gaping for air like a fish that has been taken out of water in future.

4. To all comedians worldwide

This may be a little strange and random but if no one has appreciated you for the awesome job you’ve been doing, then I am doing that in this post. Life in itself is full of challenges and a little boring at times but we are grateful to God for giving you guys the creative ability to put smiles on our faces . A honourary mention to Basketmouth, Trevor Noah, Nana Gyasi Owusu (Ghana) etc

5. To the struggling Christian

Hey. Don’t ever think God has forsaken you. When He died on the cross, He had you in mind. He forgave you your transgressions. He knows you may have such moments in your life that is why He is always willing to forgive you. Don’t let that incident weigh you down, go on your knees and confess it. He understands.

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5 Items on my Bucket List

Bucket lists are activities or ideas one wishes to implement before they die. Do I have five things I would like to do before I die? That is quite challenging to answer but for now, these activities are what come to mind:

  1. Take a leisure walk on the Osu-Oxford street – One day, I would like dress casually, put on a simple pair of slippers and take a walk on the Osu Oxford Street. To readers who are not familiar with this neighbourhood, Osu Oxford Street in Accra-Ghana, is your typical urban area that has good restaurants lined up on both sides of the street. I would love to sample all the foods served in the eating places lined up on this street.
  2. Become a Full-time Blogger – Another thing I would like to do at a point in time is to be a full-time blogger. I dream of keeping several blogs on different subjects and posting content on them regularly. I will not care too much about the incentives that come with blogging but I will only write because I love it when people read what I have shared.
  3. Author a Christian Novel – I would love to be a renowned author of a Christian novel that would have its setting right here in Ghana. This is a project I have been contemplating on undertaking for a while but I haven’t put into action yet.
  4. Take a real vacation – I dream of taking a long vacation alone (to precede the writing on my novel, hence, would meditate and come up with a concept) or with my husband (to have the honeymoon that we haven’t had yet). I do not have a destination in mind even though the location should have an element of water (beach or pool).
  5. To be able to walk around freely – Now, this wouldn’t have been on my bucket list a few weeks ago but due to what the world is currently facing, walking freely, breathing good air and going wherever you want to go to without thinking of what you are inhaling can be on bucket list. Shouldn’t it?

This post is the second of the 21-day lock down blogging challenge asking bloggers to list five items on their bucket list.

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An Open-Letter to the President of Ghana

Dear Sir,

I saw you celebrated your 76th birthday a few days ago and we are grateful to God for your life and giving you good health. How are you doing? Genuinely? I am concerned about how you must be feeling in these time because the past few weeks have been very challenging for the citizens of your country. I suspect you’ve also not had it easy as this global pandemic has brought everything to a standstill and now, it’s almost impossible to predict how the next few weeks or months are going to be like.

As a Ghanaian who has been observing you and your government in the last three years or so, there are a number of plans and policies that you put in place that did not sit well with me at all. I have gotten angry at some of the news headlines and as a floating voter, I get convinced that you are not one of the people I will be considering in the next elections.

In the past few weeks, however, I think the number of people who have fallen in love with you have increased tremendously. Like many others, I have watched how you seem to calm a lot of nerves with your addresses in the wake of the covid-19. I see admiration and love for you and your government and your last address to the nation, which you called for a partial lock down and also stated that you knew how to bring the economy back to life but do not how to bring back the people of this country has really caught on with the masses. You also pledged to give your three-month salary to the fund that has been set up to fight the virus. Not forgetting the National Day of Prayer and Fasting that was held a few days back. They have been impressive and from our various lock down locations, we watch on to see how you and your government will stop this virus from ravaging this country.

Sometimes I wish protocols will be put aside and more laboratories set up to test for the virus. I wish there could be a mass testing for all the citizens who have been contact traced and I would also love to know if there is the community spread of the virus.

I continue to pray for you each day and I hope God gives you the wisdom to govern and that, this period passes on without causing too much damage to lives and the country’s economy. May God continue to protect and remember to read Psalm 91.

Yours sincerely,

This post is the first of the 21-day lock down blogging challenge asking bloggers to write a letter to someone, anyone.

5 Reasons Online Church Services may not be for All

All of a sudden, Sundays or Saturdays do not imply wearing one’s favourite dress, leaving home and finding a physical location where we are ushered to a seat to pray, sing, dance, listen to a sermon and fellowship. In the last couple of days, attending a church service, for a lot of people, has a whole new meaning which implies turning on your Facebook or Youtube or Twitter and watching your Pastors preach, thanks to the Covid-19.

Even though a lot of people are quite excited about ‘churching’ online, there exist some challenges or conditions that make this mode of worshiping not suitable for everyone and here are some of the reasons:

  1. Internet and Smartphone Accessibility: This is the truth. A number of us in Africa do not have access to the internet or the electronic device that enables us to access the internet (now powering our church services). Internet accessibility /usage is mostly common in the urban areas and quite limited to a specific age group (usually the youth). According to the Africa Internet User Stats, only 37.8 % of Ghana’s population has access to the internet. Out of the population that has access to the internet, 5 million are Facebook subscribers. As a social media manager for my church, when I shared the mode through which the church was going to worship now, the question someone posted was, “Are we now cutting off those who do not have smart devices?
  2. The cost of streaming online: According to another report compiled in 2018 by the Alliance for Affordable Internet, Ghana’s internet cost is the fourth cheapest in West Africa but genuinely, how many people can afford to stream an hour or two’s service online without checking their remaining data or receiving notification for the telecommunication network on the amount of data they have consumed. Data cost does not provide individuals the peace of mind to enjoy the church services online. For the church to also constantly stream online, they need to re-strategize and that may include getting sophisticated devices to produce quality videos/streams. This may come at an extra cost and how many churches can afford that?
  3. The level of distraction is higher for the viewer: Last week Sunday, I vowed in my heart to involve myself fully when my church started streaming. I successfully prayed and sang and immediately the sermon began, there was a sort of disruption from the internet providers making the viewing difficult. It was at that point that my little girl started disturbing to which I assumed that she was hungry. That was how I ended up in the kitchen to prepare food for her and everyone and when I got back, the service had ended.
  4. There is some amount of belonging when we meet physically: After working hard all week, some of us genuinely look forward to getting into a physical space to pray, sing, listen to a sermon and meet other members to fellowship. Sometimes, a word from another church member may encourage you or someone really singing and crying during prayers may touch your heart to also seek God earnestly. So how do we ensure we fellowship on these virtual platforms? What good fellowship we once enjoyed as we walked together to the house of God.Psalm 55:14
  5. Some churches and pastors are late to the online party: In the past few weeks, I can almost feel some sort of awkwardness and shakiness in a number of pastors who, hitherto this pandemic, were very confident standing in front of large gatherings to preach. It seems nerve-wracking as some of these pastors, who were born before the era of social media, are now being forced to stand in front of cameras and preach to an empty auditorium or office of a sort. Some churches did not really take the effort to build an online community and now that most services need to be held online, there is some struggle to even get members to watch.

This period, indeed, is very unusual (and we pray it ends soon) but there are several lessons that needs to be picked up by individuals, churches, Christians etc. We pray that whatever lessons we pick up now will be used to make our lives better after this global pandemic. Remember to pray for the world.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Data Sources: Internet World Stats dot com

Alliance for Affordable Internet (2018)

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Acting in a Confusing History: One with its End Unknown

One day when all is said and done, 
we'll be part of a history
Of the period when a certain virus crept up on us
The one which seemed to eat the respiratory system of humans
and brought life everywhere on the globe to a standstill

We'll be remembered for how this plague brought certain nations to their knees
and a part of their generation totally wiped out.
With countries with the best of healthcare systems being challenged 
and there was no cure but the mantra was prevention.

Keep your distance - both physically and socially.
Remain at home to be healthy. 
Drink water to boost your immune system and most importantly, call on your creator.

Social distancing, self-isolation and quarantining became the new vocabulary.
Hand washing, sanitizing, not touching the eyes, nose or mouth were the new practices.
Expression of love through handshakes, hugs and physical touches became old school.
Love meant keeping your distance.

There was no difference between Sunday, Tuesday or Saturday.
Time was crystallized and the days meant nothing.
Humankind waited. 
Waited for the wind to pass and for a solution to be found in order for life to reset. 

Somehow we felt like actors in a movie 
The problem with this script is that its end is being created.
We are going to be part of the history 
of a generation that created vaccine to fight a novel virus.

Meanwhile, let's remain hopeful.
And rely on God's promises. 
He is the one who saw generations through plagues and pandemics
He will protect His own.  


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COVID-19 Sadly Revealing all We've Taken for Granted

Ever since Ghana started confirming cases of the novel corona virus (covid-19), I have not been very productive. All I find myself doing is following tweets on my personal handle to know the latest. I think I am currently suffering from the effect of its information overload and I am not proud to say I feel a little anxious on how things will eventually turn out.

Speaking about my country, we cannot boast of the best healthcare systems and the number of health workers are frankly inadequate. I watch how countries with better healthcare systems are struggling to contain the corona virus and I look at my country’s and I shudder (not too proud of this either).

Currently, Ghana has recorded 16 new cases with some suspicions of community transfers. My work place is among the ones that has been shut down because of the threat of the virus so I’ve been in isolation.

It has been my fervent prayer that God shows scientists and pharmacologists and pharmacists what is needed to fight this virus and after we successfully kick it out, I resolve:

  1. Never to take the gift of life for granted – Most of us wake up each day, muffle something that sounds like a prayer and go about our duties but when you begin to see the number of deaths being recorded as a result of a virus, you’d realise that indeed, life and good health are gifts from God.
  2. Never to trust in my own abilities – There is an advert on DSTV where a man seem to have made a lot of plans for himself and keeps using the phrase, “what could go wrong?” I think that was the phase our generation found itself in until recently. We seem to have put our hopes in our own abilities and what technology can do for us but this virus seem to have ruffled a lot of feathers. Now, we see that science is limited, thus, only a greater power can help us fight this. Even the most powerful world leaders are setting special days to seek God’s face.
  3. Never to be lackadaisical when it comes to praying for my country and the world – When the church organises prayer retreats and the topic is, ‘Now, let’s pray for financial breakthroughs.’ That is when you see fervency in the prayer of believers but immediately that is switched to ‘pray for our country and the world,‘ the level of urgency in our prayers becomes low. Covid-19 shows the need of praying constantly for our own country and the world as whole.

Even though I admit that these are trying times for everyone, I believe that God is showing us how limited we are as individuals, thus, the need to rely solely on Him. I still say my prayer for the world in these special times and I believe without any doubt that we’ll overcome this.

Let’s continue to observe the rules of social distancing, not touching our faces, washing our hands with soap and water and sanitizing them regularly. I trust that we’ll open our eyes in a few days to realise that this period is over.

In the meantime, let’s remember what God has promised us in Psalm 91:

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”
Surely he will save you
    from the fowler’s snare
    and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
    nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
    ten thousand at your right hand,
    but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
    and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
    and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
    no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
    you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he[b] loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
    I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble,
    I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.”

Dear God: Parenting

Dear God,

This blog topic has been ringing in my spirit for quite some time now. I suspect You want me to write about it and be as plain and truthful as possible but before I begin, I know You are doing well. Watching us while your prophecies about the world unfold.

Now, I’d like to thank You for making me a parent. It isn’t a role that I take for granted. Like marriage, parenting is not a role that we attend a school before we qualify to be one. It is thrust on us immediately we receive the beautiful gift of a child from You and we learn as we go along. To be candid, the role is tough, especially, for those us who are reflective and ponder over every situation.

Most times, I look at this beautiful toddler and I am so confident I am being the great custodian. I pat myself at the back when I try to ensure she is eating healthy, growing beautifully, learning and doing the right things as You’d want us to do. At other times, I get confused and begin to ask myself questions, particularly, now that she is talking (very tricky stage). For, instance, one Sunday evening, she used a not-so-good word. Both her dad and I were so shocked and we inquired where she learnt that word from. She said, “Mummy said it.” I was stunned. I wondered when I used that word for her to pick up that easily. Of all the words that we’ve been using and teaching her, this was the only one she could use (this is me thinking too much). When I was driving her friend and her to the nursery school a few days later, a taxi driver was right in my lane and kept prompting me to use the other lane instead. I kept driving towards him and in my anger, I insulted the driver. Aloud. It was then that it dawned on me that I still had two toddlers in the car who will probably go and quote me in their conversation (Now, I have the Holy Spirit in the form of toddlers who keep me in check 😊).

I really thought I was patient till I had to share my roof with a toddler. I cannot recount the number of times I had lost my cool all because a little girl had refused to take a meal I had carefully planned and prepared just for her. I think about all the resources, including the precious time, that I had wasted to get her that meal and she will fold her arms and say, “I don’t like.” Or after a tiring day at work and you tell her to sit down so we complete her homework and that is the time that she wants to do every other thing and not the homework (why they give these ones assignments is a topic for another day).

These are the times that I question myself: Am I playing this role right? Am I disciplining enough? Will she and her siblings turn out right? To hit or not to hit her? Looking at her and other kids, I have come to understand exactly what the Bible describes as a ‘baby Christian’ and I really hope I don’t act like one.

Today, I pray for all parents. I ask that You’ll provide us with long life so we bring these little ones up like You want us to. I also pray that you’ll empower us to get everything right. It is also my prayer you’ll make us more environmentally-conscious that we leave a beautiful earth behind for these young ones to also come and enjoy (parenting has made me more conscious of what we’re doing currently and how that will impact the earth and future generations).

I believe it is well because You are in charge.

Love,

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