FOR BELIEVERS ONLY: Where are the Good Samaritans?

As I sat in church this morning, a totally random experience creeped into my thoughts. Except it was not so random because it had happened to me on my way to church- albeit many years ago.
Some years ago, I set out to attend the early morning service at an unnamed church. As I was wont to do, I hailed an ‘okada’, gingerly climbed on (gown and all) and began the ride. The wind whipped past as we sped on and I let my thoughts wander- I hoped I would not miss the praise session, I wondered what I would eat for lunch and how I would spend the rest of my day.

As we turned into the street leading to the church, my thoughts turned to getting the right amount of change for the driver to avoid any delay.

About 20 steps or a minutes ride to the church, the okada rider sped into a culvert and lost his balance. The details are hazy as everything happened quickly, but I was crying, my right leg had been burnt by the exhaust tube and my left thigh was grazed raw by the kerb.

As other okada riders gathered around to help, I saw -through tear filled eyes- my church members, driving past and headed to church. A few looked right at me and glanced away, others didn’t even bother.

So I sat there, on the road, hurt and teary, only a few steps from my church, while my fate was decided by a few okada riders. Finally, I was helped back on the bike (imagine!) and I was driven back to my uncle’s house. Thereafter, I was taken to the Pharmacist, and you know what followed.

Why did my church members see me, clearly wounded and hurt and ride on? Clearly, I wasn’t easily recognizable after a great fall of a speeding bike. But even if I wasn’t a church member, I was a young lady- not mentally insane- who was in some pain. Was it too much to expect some concern no matter how superficial from those with whom I fellowshipped? From the body of Christ?

You can say this was a modern day version of the ‘Good Samaritan.’ I am sure we all ooohheed and aaahhed at the levites and prophets who would not stop to help the man who was badly beaten and injured. Only we do it every day in the business and busyness of our daily lives:

All those years ago and I can’t say the tale has changed. If anything the pace has quickened and days pass by in a haze. Can we actually interrupt our lives to affect, infect and impact those hurting around us?

This is the question we must all answer.
For all those who do, kudos. Continue to be the light.

P.S: Self-righteousness, eye service or superficial concern do not a good Samaritan make.

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A Green Patch in a Brown Field

It’s a brand new week, and if you are a Nigerian, it’s entirely possible you are being regaled with tales of misery and woe. Before I continue though, let me tell you about my lawn.

Thanks to the scorching sun and the harmattan hangover, our gardener -cum- security guard has little or no work to do and he is very glad that all that remains of the verdant green is brown, unfruitful grass. But there is this one ‘troublesome’ spot located just under the water tank. Because it was constantly watered by the overflow from the tank, it sprouted and flourished even in the driest periods of the harmattan season.

As I looked out my window one morning and observed the green patch thriving in the midst of the barren-land, it occurred to me that this was my story- this is my story and it could be yours too.

I am the tree that is planted by the streams of righteousness, flourishing in and out of season. I am the green patch in a desolate place, watered continuously from the source, my source.

Yes, economic stats matter, and yes they do look foreboding and bla, bla, bla, but I would have you know that some of the giant and enduring names including Microsoft and HP were founded in times of ‘recession.’

One man’s recession is another man’s succession.

Choose ye this day whose report you will believe, and if it’s the Lord’s, for Christ sakes, speak like it and act like it!!!

Break forth!!!

P.S: Believing the report of the Lord means you have to know the report of the Lord. From me to you, it is more crucial than ever to
study and speak the Word.

Keeping Open House in 2016

…And in the twinkle of an eye 2016 came to pass. Happy New Year Everyone!

For some time, I have pondered, faltered and wondered about the reason for this blog; was it just something I was doing for the sake of it? Was it something I intended to continue in 2016?

I was thinking and I honestly cannot say I ever prayed about it- it was just something I grappled with in my thoughts.

And then this morning, the answer to my un-voiced question jumped at me from my YouVersion Bible memory verse in Matt5:14-16:

“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! KEEP OPEN HOUSE; BE GENEROUS WITH YOUR LIVES. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.”

…God is not a secret to be kept…Keep Open House…Be Generous with your lives.

These phrases leaped out at me and went ‘ka-boing’ in my head. This was it. This is the reason I started and the reason I will continue. How ‘generous’ I will be, I do not know, but be prepared for some open-house sessions on ‘Jenny-Lane’, the uncensored deal in God-colors.

And while I am at it, I am high on my Word for 2016… BREAK FORTH!
Isa 54:3 “For I shall break Forth on the left and on the right, and my seed shall inherit the gentiles and make the desolate cities inhabited.”
You may want to read the whole of Isaiah 54 in as many versions as possible too.

And though I am presently working to get back into the game after the oh-so-short holidays and praying to hold onto the extra weight I gained, I am shining forth in my God-colors and declaring “There is a lifting up!”

Happy New Year! Break Forth!!!

P.S: I Love YOU.

Keeping up With the Joneses…Especially When They Are Your Family

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It’s a bit of a cliche, this phrase, ‘Keeping up with the Joneses’ especially considering the widely popular spin-off, ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians.’ I would not advice anyone to try either… you simply cannot keep up with someone else’s life or expectations for the simple reason that you have a different life to live from the one you are trying to live. [Read this again and you will get it!!!]

Someone described December as a ‘high maintenance’ month and I think we all know why. Sometimes it feels like one works throughout the year just to save monies to spend during the two-week vacation that we call ‘Christmas.’ There are trips to be made, clothes and shoes to be bought, gifts to be wrapped, goats and cows to be slaughtered, bags of rice and bottles of oil to haul off, hampers to show appreciation, and a thousand and one other things that require the transfer of monies from account to account and hand to hand. Simply put, we spend more money on a two-week vacation than we spend in six-months… and it’s all good. After all, how else do you reward yourself for working so hard all year long? If you get the opportunity to let down your hair at the end of every year, why not take it with both hands? Why not indeed?

Well, what if you really cannot afford it? What if your account is gasping and you know that it cannot survive the upcoming splurge on Christmas paroles? For most people, it would be easy to have a quiet Christmas if they did not feel the pressure to impress the extended family. Imagine having to shatter everyone’s expectations- Everyone is traveling, how can you not? Everyone is buying a goat, what about you? Everyone is shopping at Ruff ‘n’ Tumble…did you just mention Balogun market? For your children’s party clothes? What about the Christmas tree? Why are there no wrapped gifts from your family underneath it?

God forbid there is a major ‘owambe’ planned for the period as well, your account is under-performing and one sibling keeps asking, ‘But when are you sending the money now?’ Or there is a grand gift planned for a parent and your contribution is the minutest.

How do you keep up with the Joneses especially when they are your family? [Because no one else can really put you under pressure to ‘perform’ unless you allow it.]

For me the answer is found in the Bible, in one sentence… “The Truth Shall Set You Free.”

Remember that after all the ‘forming’ school fees awaits you in January. If they cannot deal with the truth, that is their problem, not yours.

Uncensored: The little Bae, lil Mr Handsome, Alexander the Great turns one on Friday, 4th December!!! Does time fly or what!!!

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Happy New Month Everyone!!! And yes, I missed me too!!!

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Women Can Drive Too!

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I haven’t been driving for very long. In popular parlance, ‘my hand is just getting strong.’ I also still have butterflies in my stomach when driving through uncharted territories.

In my short experience though, I have discovered this: most road users are impatient, selfish and plainly speaking,  not nice,  especially towards female drivers.
Long before I started driving, I had observed this adverse reaction towards women on wheels. Its two-fold: 1. Women are not sharp drivers, and 2. Women won’t let you shunt.

Nos 2 I not only understand, but fully implement. Prior to this time, I was the nice driver who allowed people pass before her at junctions, who slowed to allow anyone reversing etc do so in peace. The favour it seems, is never returned. You allow a cab driver enter your lane and he rewards you by stopping every other minute to pick and drop passengers. People want to edge me out of my lane because they think I will go without a fight. They give you black looks for accommodating other road users, and honk you down for obeying the traffic wardens.

Why? Because other road users are impatient & ungrateful. And I am taking the gloves off. Only pedestrians make my ‘slow down and allow list’. Let’s go there.

Uncensored: Yes, I have pondered and wondered about whether I am letting the bad overwhelm the good. Right now however, this feels like the way forward. Do not try to bully the next female driver you see…it might be me!

Wisdom 101

The wisdom that is from above is… PURE, PEACABLE, GENTLE, WILLING TO YIELD, MERCIFUL, IMPARTIAL, UN-HYPOCRITICAL.
James 3:17 NKJV   “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.”

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Doesn’t sound much like the wisdom we practice, does it? When we say ‘Shine your eye!’ or ‘I no fit carry last,’ or ‘No dulling,’ etc etc, are we really thinking, ‘I must be willing to yield, merciful & yet gentle in all my dealings?’ Well, maybe you are, but those ‘exhortations’ usually fire up my church mind, to rationalise, politicise and sensationalise. I mean, it’s everyman for himself,  and God for us all…but is that God’s kinda wisdom?  

When we say, ‘Be wise,’ we usually mean, ‘prepare to take advantage, use or be used, dominate or be dominated, and whatever else a thousand and one motivational books have convinced us is the way to the top.  
Now you’ll say, but Proverbs says, ‘Be gentle as a dove and wise as a serpent,’ and that begs the question, ‘How wise is a serpent? What are the parameters for gauging its wisdom? If you can’t answer these questions, then James 3:17 has shown the path to follow.  

Shall we evaluate our utterances,  actions, decisions & relationships in the light of this verse? Is it pure, peacable, gentle, merciful,  willing to yield, impartial & bereft of hypocrisy?  

Reminds me of Philippians 4:8 NKJV   “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are  noble, whatever things are  just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are  lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there  is any virtue and if there  is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”  

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It is out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks right?

Here’s praying we enjoy a wisdom filled week!
 
…And by this time next week, the Nigerian election brouhaha should be abating; we will enjoy a peaceful electoral process! Rooting for Prof Remi Sonaiya in case you were wondering.  

Uncensored: #NaturalHairTip More length, more stress, but I overcome ie I jump and pass!

10 Signs You Are a Mom… #HappyMothersDay

You know you are in ‘Momville’ when…

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1. You have ‘me’ time all alone…in the loo.

2. Your nipples are cracked and sore, but you bravely breastfeed.

3. You can hear your child squirm…from behind five closed doors.

4. You are a fix-it, get-it-moving machine.

5. You combine breastfeeding with getting homework done and making dinner.

6. You get excited about free shipping from Carters, and The Childrens Place.

7. You have three pairs of shoes & your daughter has eight, & counting…

8. You sleep deeply but lightly and awake quickly but slowly.

9. You have wiped down a fever, cleaned up vomit and endured a splash of poo.

10. You pray, sacrifice, give, bend over, abase, abound…to ensure your babies are healthy, happy & thriving.  

#HappyMothersDay to the World’s Greatest Beings!

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Grandma of Life!

Uncensored: Typed this during my me time in the loo…can hear the Boo going ballistic. Poo stinks, but will stay in another 20 minutes!

The Mean Street Called Social Media

 A wise woman once said, “If you dislike someone, don’t follow them on social media…” and I verily agree.  
Why else would you troll over the pictures, tweets and joys of someone you dislike except to further feed your spite? Perhaps this is the root cause of the ravaging disease I have chosen to call social-media-rage.  

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Sometimes,  I believe its the anonymity, the invincibility or the impersonal feel of social media that accounts for the depth of vitriol we cast on each other in the name of ‘having an opinion.’ You can’t disagree with someone these days on social media without going through the wringer…what exactly are we all trying to prove?   Imagine you were having that same convo with someone face-to-face…would you so easily fling abusive words? Or so easily get riled up?  

Pre-election Nigeria has been an eye-opener, the wolves have indeed come out to play. No decorum, courtesy or respect is necessary when you are valiantly defending GMB’s certificate’lessness’ or GEJ’s cluelesness. Friendship, gender and age are trivialities to be dispensed with. You must agree with me or… “Your father! ” This is freedom of speech & expression gone sour!  

If I had only social media to go by, I might conclude that the concept of humanity must be investigated. How do people spew such hate and cruelty with their words and cry when a suicide bomber detonates a bomb? Hate and cruelty is the meat of those people, same as you!  

On instagram after the AMVCA’s, checking out what the stars wore, and there’s this girl -urgalsugar- who is writing a derogatory comment on every picture she sees. She goes as far as to say, that ‘fat people should not be allowed to attend the AMVCA’s’ under a picture of OAP Miss Wana Wana. Of course, I had to see what she looked like, and bam! She had a picture of her bare backside on display, and was furiously insulting anyone who did not believe that a slim girl like her could have such a …( LOL). Needless to say, I weak! The capital L word came to mind, but I moved on. These insta streets are mean!  

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Then the comments on Blogs like Linda Ikeji…OMG! Nothing is sacred there. Mother, father, ethnicity,  religion…they will slice, dice and serve you up for dinner! The topic or thrust of the post is disregarded by the 5th comment as the warfront is declared open.  
Twitter…hmmm. People have too much stamina there, they can go on for dayyyyssss! President, Celeb, Elder or younger statesman…on Twitter,  everybody be mate! Not for the faint of heart!  

Facebook… I daresay a lot of relationships are a little strained already. Seriously though, when you post a Facebook update, and then go on to say, ‘Its my timeline,’ aren’t you being a little ridiculous? The whole reason you put it on Facebook and not in your diary or even blog is because you wanted your 700-and -something acquaintances to see it and deliberate on it. Even more ridiculous is when you expect everyone to agree with you. That however gives no one the right to be derogatory.  

I mean, when did we forget how to ignore stuff? Do you pick a fight with every person that looks at you wrongly in the office or on the street?   Shoutout to those who try to keep it positive and uplifting, who know how to fight fair, and how to lose without being sore.  

As you stroll through social media this week, kindly commit to being sociable, forgiving, even tolerant. The hate starts from somewhere, please don’t let it start with you!  

Uncensored:Told my almost 3-year old I would give her a spanking for which she would have no reference point! LOL! A tired, bothered Mom speaks a lot of grammar and should not be trifled with!

New Baby, New Book, New Look!

Its March!
It’s also the official (LOL) unveiling of my new blog: jennyuncensored.

It’s also been 3 months since I was delivered of (an evil spirit? ) No! LOL. That phrase just sounds wrong! I birthed a bouncing bomboy 3 months ago to the Glory of God! Pictures below. He’s thriving& growing in leaps and bounds. I had a short (by my standards) labour, & a lightening quick delivery. So quick, I didn’t make it to the delivery room. Now your ear is itching to hear more!

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Preggers&unashamed

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Hebrew woman things!

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La Bomboy... Children are a Gift from the Lord...

Finally,  I just published a collection of short stories (you know how I like them) on Okadabooks.com. The Curious Case of the Small Pikin & Other Stories.  URL is http://okadabooks.com/book/about/8562. It sells for N200 ONLY, so sharply download the app and make your purchase. Thank you in advance.

It seems my ‘omugwo’ days have slowly wound up or down, but the good news is…I have added some weight! Yassssssss! I don’t even care about my tummy bulge…just please Lord, let me keep this weight & justify my mother’s hardwork!

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New&Improved

P.S: I love you!

Its Jenny…Uncensored!!!

Hello! Guess who’s back?

Decided it was time to move on from blogging at jennienkem.blogspot.com to jennyuncensored.wordpress.com. This Blog is still a work-in-progress but I trust that all the glitches with commenting and following etc we experienced with Blogger will be gone with the wind on WordPress.

Happy new year and a happy new month! More to come!

Jennie wordpress