Archive for June, 2009

June 29, 2009

I am a Woman – Where is My Vote?


Neda Agha-Soltan: Face of the Iranian Revolution

Neda Agha-Soltan: Face of the Iranian Revolution

  • From Day 1, Iran’s women stood in the vanguard. Their voices from rooftops were loudest, and their defiance in the streets boldest.
By ROGER COHEN
Published: June 27, 2009

I am a woman, so it would be right to say that I am affected by what is happening in Iran. This is my generation; it affects me, it affects my children.

Iran seems to be the most unlikely country to stage a Revolution, then again when you look more closely, it is the most likely. Iran has since the first revolution in 1979, run a conservative Muslim theocracy, one in which male supremacy is etched in the legal code. And yet, women were part of those who struggled for the Islamic state during that revolution. These same women were pushed aside and their rights stampeded upon.

Now the women have arisen and are demanding those rights they so fiercly fought for. It is ironic that a woman who was not even associated with the struggle, but who died because of it has become the symbol of the revolution taking place in Iran.

What these women are asking for is not unreasonable: freedom. Freedom to have their votes rightly counted; freedom to have their fundamental rights upheld; freedom to be treated with respect, as human beings. Is that too much to ask?

Today it is Iran, who knows where the bells of revolution will toll tomorrow.

The women of Iran want to know where their vote to freedom is.

For more on this unfolding story, visit

Neda Agha-Soltan

New York Times.Com

Reuters

If anymore news on Iran comes up, I'll update this page. If you have any useful
links about the revolution in Iran, please leave a comment.

June 28, 2009

Something For The Week


something for the week1

When a man, either by hurting or by pleasing his woman, tries to control her, he is a Mama’s Boy who believes he gets his power from the women in his life.

When a woman, either by serving or dominating her man, tries to take care of him, she is a Daddy’s Girl who believes she will find fulfillment by taking care of the men in her life.

(Taken from: Getting Back to Love.com)

June 27, 2009

Michal – A Novel


Michal by Jill Eileen Smith

Michal by Jill Eileen Smith

I have not read this book yet. But it is definitely on my To Read list. Not because I love the author – I haven’t read any of her books so I can’t really say if I’ll like her or not. But because of the subject matter.

My family and I regularly read through the Bible in our Bible Devotions. Recently we came to the story of Michal and it really affected me in a way I cannot explain.

Here was this girl, the King’s daughter. A Princess. I guess she was really valuable in the eyes of her father – afterall, he offered her as a reward to a warrior. I could not get past it. Did he ask her if she wanted to be offered that way? What if she was already in love with someone else? Did he even care? She was just chattel, albeit a valuable one. But then, all women were chattel.

The she went and fell in love with her father’s chief enemy – even though it was her father who gave her to the man in the first place. But he probably thought she would be willing to kill the man fo him; he did not reckon with the fact that she could fall in love with her husband. And that’s exactly what she did. When he realised that his life was in danger, David (Michal’s husband) was forced to flee the palace. That’s when Michal’s troubles began.

Out of anger, her father took her and gifted her to another man. I kept wondering how she felt about that. Here she was, in love with her husband yet forced to ‘marry’ another man. Well, like any woman of her time (and this time too come to think of it), she settled in and came to care for her new husband. But then, things had changed in the Kingdom.

Her father, the King, was dead. There was war in the land and David, her former husband was now King. And he wanted his wife back. Even though he already had several others, Michal was his first love. The story of how Michal was practically torn from her current husband’s arms and dragged to her former husband’s was pathetic. I had tears in my eyes reading about how the Husband No.2 was wailing as he trailed afer his wife. I had many questions too:

  1. Did she have children with Hubby No.2?
  2. Was she asked if she wanted to go back to No.1?
  3. How could a woman be treated so abominably?

I just didn’t get it. So now, a book is out, telling us something about Michal. I am definitely going to read it if I can lay my hands on it! Will it shed more light on the biblical story? I really don’t know.

If you would like to read the story of Michal in the Bible, it’s found in 1 Samuel 18, 19, 25, 2 Samuel 3 & 6. You could check Bible Gateway.com to read it online.

June 26, 2009

Baba – Cafe Chat


Baba is what we call our fathers here in Nigeria. Of course many tribes have different versions: papa, epa, ba etc. But for the majority of us, it’s BABA. Which is why when we want to get real personal with God, we call him Baba. This connotes a closer and more intimate relationship.

Oh BTW,

Cafe Chat is now on Thursdays (although I’m a bit late). This week’s question is below

So today, I ask you what does it mean that you are able to call God your Father? Really think about this one, and then just let your words flow from your heart…

When I read the question above, this passage in John 1:12 came immediately to my head:

But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. (NLT)

Having the right to call God, the Most High Baba is a concept that makes me really emotional. It is also a concept I am just gradually coming into. I have related to God on many levels but my favourite was as my friend. But although He is constant, He is not static and His ways of relating to me constantly change. Of late, I have been enjoying His fathering. Where do I start from? A father to me, signifies the follwing:

  • A provider
  • An Instructor
  • A Comforter
  • My role model

God has been all that to me and more.

See, a good father always wants what is best for his children, even if it distresses them at the time. I remember when my dad used to spank me, he would always say that it hurt him more than it did me. I hated that phrase cos I didn’t believe him. But I think he’s got the right of it. God wants GOOD things for His children (“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?” Matthew 7:9&8 NIV)

That aside, with God as my father, there is nothing I need that I will not get. He did say He would supply ALL my needs according to His glorious riches (Philippians 4:19). To me, that covers everything; my spiritual needs, my emotional needs, physical needs, intellectual needs…. every sphere in which I might need something, He’s right there – at the point of need.

Sometimes I think when I have to go through some really difficult stuff, it hurts God. I know there are times He’s told me to take a road and I meet grief on that road; when that happenes, I climb unto my bed and imagine I’m climbing unto His laps and just weep. I remind Him that it’s all His fault cos He told me to take that step.

Having God as a father means that He understands me. He knows that when I start moaning and groaning about something He wants me to do it does not mean that I don’t respect Him. It just means that I’m comfortable enough with Him to be Me.

What does it mean to have the Lord of all the universe as my own personal Baba? I really can’t explain it in one blogpost. But if you have anything to add, please check in at the Cafe chat for the week.

God bless!

June 26, 2009

When Death Comes Knockin


tombstone

I woke up this morning with a text message from a friend, Michael Jackson was dead. At first I could not believe it. I’m not exactly an MJ fan, but I went through that stage in my teens when I thought he was God’s deputy or something (maybe I would have thought he was God but my mum’s training was too deeply entrenched for that). And so this icon/idol is finally gone. I did not think he would live forever, it’s just that MJ has always been on the periphery of my life. He’s almost like a family member, a distant relative you think of once in a while and maybe haven’t seen in years.

MJ’s death started me thinking: How do I want folks to react when I finally die?

  • if my sweetheart is reading this, I’m sorry. I know you hate thinking of me dieing – but I think about it a lot. This is MJ’s death – excuse me for writing about it today.

I do not want people to be happy that I’ve died – definitely not. But I don’t want them sad and crying either. And I definitely don’t want them to wear black. If I could choose a colour people would wear to my funeral, I’d choose green for a couple of reasons:

  1. Green has increasingly become my favourite colour and
  2. Green represents life. Death is not the end, it is actually a beginning and sometimes, death needs to happen for life to begin.

However, I would not choose a colour for my funeral because that would have the same effect as wearing black. I would like the dress code to be casual-comfortable though.

I would like all those around to treat my life as a gift, a precious gift. If my life was a gift to them, they would not dwell on the fact that I am gone but that I was there at all. I don’t know if I’m making sense. When our dog Jack died, we missed him so much. But even though our eyes might have misted every now and then, thinking of him, we did not go into mourning. That would have been an insult to Jack’s memory. He was full of life and very protective of us (the kids). He was our friend and playmate in a place where children were really scarce. When I think of him, it’s usually with a fond smile on my face. That’s what I want.

Think of me with a fond smile on your face, thanking the Good Lord for a treasure like me. Of course that means I’m going to have to work hard at being a treasure in the lives of those around me.

June 21, 2009

Marital Bliss: Who Do You Talk To?


picture from www.sxc.hu

picture from http://www.sxc.hu

I got a lot of honest, down-to-earth and useful responses from my last Marital Bliss post, responses that reminded me why keeping this blog is definitely worth the effort. With such Counselors, I’ve decided to bring another issue forward (preparing myself mentally and emotionally to enter that state).

  • Who do you talk to about your spouse?

Finding a trustworthy friend to talk to when you are married (or in a long-term relationship) can be tough stuff and sometimes, you end up getting bitten. HARD.

I learnt from watching the married folks around me that marriage, while being one of the most fulfilling and filling experiences in a lifetime, could also be one of the most lonely states a human being may pass through.

Yous spouse is supposed to be your best friend (my fiance is), the person you share your thoughts with, tell your fears to and even fight with occasionally (or not), knowing that this person accepts you the way you are, no matter what. But then, there are times when you need someone else to share your troubles with, especially when those troubles have to do with you and Dear Spouse. Someone you can rant and rave to because you know or trust that person would remain objective and point out where you are getting it wrong [I cant stand when ANYONE criticizes my man – even if they are right!]

In the US and other western countries, there are professional counsellors for this sort of thing. I mean, in South Africa they have them! If there are any in Nigeria, I am yet to hear of them.

Nigerians are a rather pragmatic lot. In situations like these, we go to the family elders. We hesitate to do this because once it’s brought to the notice of the family elders it becomes serious business. Besides, since the elders are mostly male – ladies, you fill in the blank!

Another option is usually embodied in the phrase Go to your Pastor. This has a 50/50 chance. 50% says he’ll spout spiritual cliches, pat you on the back and send you forth with a solemn sounding “It is well.” The other 50% says he will actually give you useful and practical advice. 99% – he is most likely going to give whatever he gives from a male perspective (hooray for the guys!). [I use ‘he’ because female Pastors are still just a handful in Nigeria]

That leaves the friends (who may or may not be your friends), siblings and other family members. Not Good. They will either take your side and completely vilify your poor spouse or if they like him (or her), they’ll take his side completely and tell you how if you do not get your act together you will lose him to all the Husband-Snatchers prowling out there. sigh

So in the interest of marital bliss, I would like to ask all you married folks – including the not-so-recently married – and those in long term relationships (or if you have an opinion at all):

  • Who do you talk to about your spouse?