Monthly Archives: February 2014

The happiness of a good person

Happy is the person, who has reverence for the Lord,

Who takes pleasure in obeying His commands’

The good man’s children will be powerful in the land;

His descendants will be blessed.

His family will be wealthy and rich.

And he will be prosperous forever.

 

Light shines in the darkness for good men,

For those who are merciful, kind and just.

Happy is the person who is generous with his loans, who runs his business honestly.

A good person will never fail; he will always be remembered.

 

He is not afraid of receiving bad news;

His faith is strong, and he trusts in the Lord.

He is not worried or afraid;

He is certain to see his enemies defeated.

He gives generously to the needy,

And his kindness never fails; he will be powerful and respected.

The wicked see this and are angry;

They glare in hate and disappear;

Their hopes are gone forever. (Psalms 112).

I read these words and found them really inspirational. Thought I should share; sometimes I wake up low on motivation, and when I read this chapter from the book of Psalms, I felt uplifted. Hope you find it as inspiring as I did.

 

 

 

 

Sex should be an open discussion

sex

Sex should be an open discussion. Many parents avoid/shy away from discussing matters sex with their children, who then result to seeking the information from other sources. It’s a given thing, at some point, children get curious about sex, and eventually they try to gather all they can about this very interesting subject. Nowadays everything one needs to know about anything is just a click away, and sex isn’t an exception.

Unfortunately, children are learning about such sensitive issues from faulty sources, getting erroneous information and all. I don’t mean to bash Miley Cyrus, but right now I’m thinking any kid who watches her over sexualized videos and tries to emulate what she does will be walking down the broad road to perdition; it’s undoubtedly clear she’s not the adorable Hannah Montana every little girl idolized.

Parents ought to know by now that eventually their kids will want to know about sex and even if they bury their heads in the sand, it won’t stop them from learning about it somehow. In my opinion, it really is a very sensitive topic, but parents/guardians need to find a suitable way to address the situation.

If a parent doesn’t want their kid’s mind corrupted by the rest of the world, they should be the ones to tell them what they want them to know about sex. I, for instance, don’t remember having the ‘birds and the bees’ talk with any of my parents. In any case, once my sisters and I turned thirteen, dad started imagining we were rolling in the hay with God knows who. Funny thing is that for the better part of my teenage years to date, I remember spending most of my free time indoors; alone or with my sisters. Dad doesn’t know that. Guess he thought when the hormones started kicking in at the onset of puberty we’d be so enthusiastic, exploring and all…

I’m not even sure when I particularly learned about sex but I know ever since I started going to school I’ve always known about it. Good thing is, from whatever sources I gathered my information, I also learned it was wrong. Sex was bad. And at age nine I already knew where babies come from. Then there was that period I went to boarding school at age ten and older girls made sex seem so appealing, with some of them allegedly getting knocked up by some of the male staff during holidays. I was still learning more about it.

Based on what I’ve learned, when it comes to this delicate issue, I realized it’s all about the company a child keeps, the information they’re exposed to and the relationship one has with their parents. The parents help put it all in perspective, but if they shy away from it, then they risk having their children gather all sorts of twisted information. My parents never really delved into matters sex, but mom particularly made sure my faith in God was firm and I believe that is what got me seeing things the way I do.

Sometimes people think I’m crazy when I say sex isn’t bad, given that I’m pro-abstinence, but here’s what I always try to make clear. Sex is God’s gift to man; and married folks at that. That’s why I say it’s good. But it’s also true that when good things are done at the wrong time, then they become automatically wrong.

Still, with all the media hype surrounding sex, it’s difficult to ask hormonal kids not to practice what everyone else seems to glorify. That is why I believe parents should not just give their kids abstinence as the only option, but they should also address safe sex, in case the inevitable happens. After that they can sit back and watch, because at the end of the day, whether they have the talk or not, it will be the kids who decide if/when they will do it. But whatever the outcome, the parents will have a light conscience, knowing they imparted all the useful information to their children.

I’m thinking, what if talking about sex was as easy as parents asking their kids to cover up on a cold day so they don’t catch pneumonia…? Without fear, or anxiety… just doing it freely in order to keep them safe.

The good wife

the good wife

Alicia Florrick, the wife of disgraced Cook county state’s attorney, Peter Florrick plays the main protagonist in the ‘the good wife’, as the titular character. I imagine part of the reason she’s labeled ‘the good wife’ is because she has been able to deal with her husband’s scandalous life with unimaginable grace. Everytime I watch her I just find it unbelievable that she deals with her husband’s alleged mistresses and sex scandals with so much-almost unrivalled-composure.

I’m always left wondering if it’s possible to play that cool when all else points to a sinking ship. After thirteen years of being a stay-at-home-mom, she goes back to work as a litigator when her husband is incarcerated on the count of abuse of office and a major public sex scandal. She further portrays her strength when she has to face the public and other professionals who had worked with Peter, while most of them insist that he really was guilty. It really does take so much will power to ride against the tide.

Plus there’s the other issue where she has to protect their two children, who are teens, from the scathing attacks against their dad on the media. I look at her and I see strength embodied. Not many women would be able to stay levelheaded and civil after so much ugliness. Still, she had the balls to take the stand in court to testify, in support of her husband’s release on bail, saying if he was released he still had a home to go back to. How many would still support their husbands/wives if they were in her situation?

I’m a Christian and I’ve been taught about forgiveness and all, but there’s still that part of me that acts out when I’m enraged. It’s only human nature. If I was in Alicia’s shoes, God-forbid, I’m imagining I wouldn’t be too forgiving. It’s painful enough to know that one’s husband was involved in some affair, but watching it? Hearing him make promises to another woman while in bed? I reckon it could take me years to get over it. But then again, maybe love or compassion would push me to forgive him.

I’m not married yet, and everytime I think about spending forever with one person-a stranger I haven’t met yet- I feel it requires strength; like Alicia’s or more. If you ask me, love is not enough to hold a marriage together. Once two people dedicate their lives to each other, it’s not just about love anymore; it’s about tolerance and understanding. Those qualities sought of weave into each other and provide a marriage with the firm base every union should be founded on in order for it to survive.

I look at mom and I see ‘the good wife’. It’s not like we’ve been made privy to dad’s shenanigans or anything, but it’s about how he carries himself around. In a previous post I mentioned how my younger sister always asked mom to find us another dad when she was still small. She would point out random strangers on the road who seemed happy. Years later, mom and dad are still together and I feel it’s a miracle.

The other day I bumped into mom on the hallway, taking dad breakfast in bed. I just gave her the ‘unbelievable!’ exasperated look and walked away without saying a word. I complain about my old man an awful lot and I reiterate that it’s not like he’s a villain, but it’s only that he’s way less than perfect; and while someone might argue that no one’s perfect, the main thing I fault him for is that he barely makes any effort to be a better man.

It’s easy to regard his union with mom as a miracle; however, I know no one sprinkled any pixie dust on them. Mom has made very many sacrifices to make it work; blood and sweat. She’s naturally a short-tempered woman; a side of her well known by her rare foes, but when it comes to dealing with dad, I see her-what I’d term-submissive side.

Based on what I’ve seen, it’s not easy being a good wife. It takes strength and so much effort to put up with someone you constantly wish you were not married to; someone who makes you madder than happy; someone who brings out a side of you, which you wished remained tamed and hidden because it’s not a role you enjoy playing. Who wants to be angry all the time really? Who wants to pretend they’re happy when every nerve in them is seeking an outlet to vent?

Mom has mastered the art; to remain outwardly calm, when the molten lava inside is threatening to spill over. She’s learnt to repay good for evil. Even though he doesn’t buy her gifts, she’s always buying him stuff. He wouldn’t cook her a meal when she’s lying in bed, sick; but still she doesn’t get tired of taking him meals in bed just for the heck of it, and the worst part is he doesn’t seem to appreciate it.

Constantly, I appraise the life dad lives and I always come to one conclusion; God loves him so much. He gave him a good wife; one who will point out his mistakes but still not hold them over him; one who easily forgets the wrongs done to her; one who chooses to overlook his inadequacies and focus on his sporadic goodness instead.

It pays to be beautiful?

A beautiful lady can get all she wants? Is that the case really? Some people say a beautiful lady can get everything she wants. If it’s true? Well, you be the judge of that.

When Tyra Banks used to host her talk show, she carried out an experiment to see how people treated women based on their looks. A beautiful woman, used in the social experiment confessed she always got favours from people because she believed she was beautiful. To confirm if she was telling the truth or was just getting good treatment out of the beauty of people’s hearts, Tyra’s make-up team transformed the beautiful swan into an ugly duckling. Apparently even makeup can be used to create unattractiveness.

I watched the show a couple of years back but if my memory serves me right they gave the lady some artificial freckles, buck teeth…whatever the society perceives to be ugly. After the ‘uglifying’ transformation, Tyra sent the same lady out into the street.

Turns out the lady was right. When she dropped some of her stuff ‘accidentally’ on the sidewalk, no guy rushed to help her. Who would care to waste precious time on a buck-toothed lady, with a ‘pancaked’ face (sorry for the choice of word, that’s how a guy I’m friends with on FB describes acned faces)?

The hypothesis being tested was that beautiful people are treated well by the rest of the populace. If it was proven true or false? In my perspective it was proven true. Unfortunately, the world we live in glorifies beauty. It puts so much emphasis on physical beauty. What about inner beauty? If you ask me that’s the real beauty.

After the experiment was conducted, the lady obviously washed her face and went back to being beautiful. I couldn’t help but wonder, what about the one who has buck teeth for real? What about the overweight woman who won’t take the fat suit off and resume their slim selves because they’re naturally big?

Personally, I can relate to the story. See, as I got into puberty during my teens, I got my fair share of acne spots. Tried getting treatment but my doctor said they would fade with time and that if I was overzealous in trying to clear them I could end up damaging my face. I opted to be patient. To be honest, at first I found them unattractive but slowly I got used to them and now I tend to think I would look weird without them as they haven’t cleared completely and I’ve gotten used to them.

I posted a pic on FB, still with the spots, but somehow because the photo was taken at a close range the spots were so visible. A guy I chat with regularly commented, “Are those spots on your face or it’s my screen that’s dirty?” I would be lying if I said the comment didn’t hurt. I took a moment to count backwards, so I wouldn’t give him a rude reply.

“Those are acne spots. And I think I look beautiful even with them. Sometimes I feel I’ll look weird when they clear because I’ve gotten used to them,” was my reply.

The guy, a different one, who posted next commented, “You’re strong lady.” I assumed that was in reference to the reply I gave. He’s my friend, and I presumed he’d realized I hadn’t let the other guy’s comment tear me down.

One thing I’ve always said is that if one feels there’s a part of their body that makes them look less attractive, they should embrace it and think of themselves as beautiful. I noticed that when someone has some doubts about themselves, their self-esteem will be crushed if someone else points out the same thing; with my acne for instance. If I looked at my spots as a defect, by now I would be sinking under tonnes of hurtful comments.

I would wish I didn’t have them, and even though my doctor said they would clear eventually, I still have them. And if I think they make me look less beautiful? Absolutely not. I appreciate how I look in my entirety. That’s how I know beauty comes from within. One has to believe they are beautiful before anyone else tells them. It doesn’t matter if one looks in the mirror and sees things they feel people would criticize. It doesn’t matter if it’s a few pounds one hopes they could just shed off, or a big scar on the face after surviving an accident, or a big forehead, like Tyra’s (still think she looks beautiful regardless), or small boobs, or a flat bum, or if one’s thighs touch, or a crooked nose, or lips that are not particularly full…etc. Whatever it is, think of it as beautiful.

It won’t matter what anyone else thinks if one accepts and loves who they are.

true beauty

What defines ‘beautiful’?

I believe we all have something we wished we could change about ourselves. But truth is, most of the time our perspective on beauty is so skewed. Plus there’s that other fact; beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. What one perceives beautiful might not be beautiful to someone else. All that matters is that one loves themselves.

The society might take ages to realize that everyone’s beautiful in their own right, and that a beautiful personality is what makes a person truly beautiful; but until that day comes (if it ever does), I feel that people should appreciate who they are, with all their flaws.

True happiness

“Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor; the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.

Happy are those who mourn; God will comfort them.

Happy are those who are humble; they will receive what God has promised.

Happy are those whose desire is to do what God requires; God will satisfy them fully.

Happy are those who are merciful to others; God will be merciful to them.

Happy are the pure in heart; they will see God.

Happy are those who work for peace; God will call them His children.

Happy are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires; the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.

Happy are you when people insult you and tell all kind of evil lies against you because you are my followers. Be happy and glad, for a great reward is kept for you in heaven. This is how the prophets who lived before you were persecuted.” (Matthew 5:3-12).

This is what Jesus taught His disciples about true happiness; to see happiness even in those challenging moments.

Sometimes while struggling to do what is expected of us; what is right, we tend to get discouraged. Sometimes one gets tired when they are caring for the old; because they are demanding and one is required to be really patient. Don’t lose hope, God sees all that and He will reward you accordingly.

Sometimes after a careful reflection one realizes they are miserable sinners; like there couldn’t be a greater sinner than them. But don’t beat yourself about it; if you feel that, you are on the right track. The mere act of acknowledging one’s transgressions is the first step towards reconciling one’s self with God.

There are many people referred to in the beatitudes, but I noticed one thing with all of them; Jesus was, in a way, motivating those who feel disadvantaged; spiritually, emotionally, physically. It takes strength to admit one’s a sinner; it takes strength to not fight back when one is feeling oppressed, because they know God will fight their battles; it takes courage to be merciful/humble, especially when can easily choose to be arrogant. It takes so much strength to live by God’s will, especially when the society seems to promote everything He is against. Jesus says to not grow weary; the reward awaits all those worthy of it.

He talked about the pure in heart. One doesn’t just get a pure heart; it’s a constant battle one has to fight to remain uncorrupted. That takes strength. Do not be discouraged; God’s watching and when the time’s right, you will get your reward.

The world we live in today encourages revenge as a means of survival. ‘Slap me once and I’ll slap you twice’. That’s the mantra people seem to live by. Only a few remember to turn the other cheek; to repay evil with good, in the quest for peace. Those too shall be rewarded.

Jesus obviously knew it would be a herculean task to be a believer in a world, so vast. He-God, made man-was Himself put to death by people who didn’t believe in Him. So where would that put all mere mortals, who profess their faith in Him? Those who are taunted/persecuted by others for believing in Him. He promises them the kingdom of heaven. That’s their ultimate reward.

It’s difficult to accept and live by God’s will, especially when there are many critics waiting to dissect and analyze everything one does; but the secret is to persist; to hold on firm; to believe that even if the world is against what you do, and you know it’s in accordance with God’s will He will reward you for your persistence.

 

OBEY, if you will

ten commandments

If you will, you can keep the commandments, they will save you. If you trust in God, you too shall live. He has placed before you fire and water; stretch out your hand for whichever you wish. Before a man are life and death, good and evil, and whichever he chooses will be given to Him. For great is the wisdom of the Lord; He is mighty in power and sees everything. The eyes of the Lord are on those who fear Him, and He knows every deed of man. He has not commanded any one to be ungodly, and He has not given any one permission to sin (Sirach 15: 15-20).

This was Sunday’s reading in church. I chose to share it because it reinforces a belief I’ve always upheld; that no matter the situation, one has the power to choose; and this particularly applies to people who feel like they have to do something to please others or fit in, or one adopting some behaviour because that is what they were predisposed to by their surroundings.

If you will, you can keep the commandments– this words help anyone reading them understand that when God is dealing with us, He doesn’t impose His will on us; he has given us the power to choose. Whether one follows the commandments or not, that’s up to them; the good thing about following the commandments though is that by doing what’s in accordance to God’s will, we win His favour; and that will be translated into blessings, while here on earth, and eventually, eternal life. That is what I feel matters most; achieving salvation; spending forever by His side.

If you trust in God, you too shall live– Emphasis on the word ‘if’. Again, that’s a choice one has to make; to trust in Him or not. I’ll tell you why-one of the reasons-I love God. Just imagine, He has the power to smite anyone who disobeys Him, He is The Almighty, yet He doesn’t force anyone to trust in Him, or love Him. He loves us so much that He lets us make that choice. Now that’s upon every individual. He Himself says, He is a jealous God, but still, He doesn’t go wiping out all those who worship/believe in other gods.

Before a man are life and death, good and evil, and whichever he chooses will be given to him-it’s all about making choices. Whoever wishes to have eternal life will follow him; and whatever one desires, good or evil, that is what they will get. Sometimes when we mess we pin the blame on others: “I’m violent because I grew up watching my parents fight,” etc… but truth is, everyone has the chance to choose what they want. If one chooses violence, that is what they will get; if one chooses to be involved in crime, making others’ lives miserable, that is what they will get. If one chooses to ride against the current; do something good even when others around them are doing wrong, that is what they will get.

Whatever we ask for, we shall get. Sometimes making some choices might be tough especially if there’s no one there to offer support; however, I feel if one believes in something and desires it really bad, they shall get it.

He has not commanded anyone to be ungodly, and He has not given anyone permission to sin-but if one wishes to sin, or be ungodly, that’s their call. He has given us the freedom to choose; we can obey Him or not. But He would be happier if we obeyed, because like a good parent, He knows what’s right for each and everyone of His children. And unlike our earthly parents, His infinite wisdom makes Him privy to what lies ahead; He sees everything. So if we trust in Him, and live by His precepts, it’s happiness and life we choose.