Search This Blog

Saturday, 31 December 2011

My 2011 journey ... so much to be thankful for ..

I have sooooo much to be thankful for this year. It has been a year of changes, of growth, of falling, of being picked up by GOD, of knowing how much my Saviour loves me, of answered prayers, of friendship, hope, home renovation, of physical, spiritual, mental & emotional changes.

I began writing this blog on the 9th of January 2011 and would not have believed I would have had almost 7000 views by the end of the year. I posted sporadically for the first 9 months and only really began writing here consistently and seriously from September. I am grateful for everyone who's dropped in, read a postcard or 2 or 3, made comments on the blog or back on Facebook. Whether encouraging or critical, every comment has been welcome. Most bloggers tend to write a blog that is very specific in pursuing one interest - but mine follows the story of my life, my walk with GOD, my weight-loss, my love for Arsenal, for politics, for Nigeria, for current affairs, and any other thing that grabs my attention at that time. I am thankful to everyone who has been part of this meandering journey with me.

My property renovation is going slowly - my builder has family issues so we are at 70% completion - it means I have not had a kitchen for quite a few months now but amazingly enough, we have survived. Big shout out to my brother who has stayed patient and to my son who runs back to Uni every time he can!!! LOL. But seriously, while it is frustrating to live with the grinding halt to the work, I know that it will soon be finished in a short while. My target is that by the end of January 2012, my ground floor will be completed, decorated and furnished - kitchen/great room and study and then I can turn my attention to the other two floors.

My Weight loss journey has been great. After a promising rewind back in August and mega progress in September, it slowed down in October when I came down with a series of horrible migraines - and since then my health's been on a bit of a downer. With no exercise and being in bed a lot, my weight crept slowly back up to 11.4 stone (72kg) but has gone now down to 10.2 stone (64.5kg). I was really hoping to be no more than 9.6 stone (60kg) by the end of the year but I am thankful thankful thankful. Considering that I hit 12.2 stone (78kg) at a point this year, to end it at 64kg without having done any exercise for 3 months is a huge blessing. It has been a long journey from my starting weight of 15 stone (96kg)  in Oct 2009 but I would rather lose the weight this way (healthy eating and some - not enough - exercise) and keep it off than to have gone on a crash diet and have regained it all a few months later. My goal is to end 2012 at 8.6 stone  (54kg).

My walk with GOD has been amazing, life-changing and humbling. I have been a recipient of His love, grace, mercy, forgiveness and favour in ways I simply cannot begin to describe. His gentleness has upheld me, His loving kindness has made me great. He has covered my shame and has been the friend that sticks closer than a brother. GOD has opened up new doors to serve Him and continues to open up new doors. When I began this blog, I could not have imagined I would write posts that would bless and touch people. JESUS blows my mind.

As for my love-life: hmmmm, from the roller-coaster of ending a relationship at the beginning of this year to the surreal experience of turning away 3 apparently eminently suitable candidates by Mid-November (because they just weren't right for me), all I'll say for now is, watch this space! *giggle*.  We need to understand that our times and seasons are in GOD's hands - I have stopped worrying about what I cannot change, I have stopped trying to manufacture or bring about stuff by myself and I am now content to just sink into GOD's provision knowing that HE cares about me and takes care of my every need.

Work has seen an interesting change. I used to be totally passionate about my job and to throw myself into it 150%. It consumed almost every waking moment and I lived, ate and breathed property. However I noticed a change when I returned after my Nigerian trip. I still love my work but it is now in its proper place - it is now something I do and not something I live for. Poor health the last 3 months has also meant my activities have been severely curtailed. GOD's been gracious, I have had very few tenant vacancies and most of my job-load the last 3 months has been administrative. A laptop and a telephone are all I need to keep the business ticking over.

Writing has become a passion again - with the blog for now taking the place of my almost finished novel. However, the re-write on that is almost finished so again I say, watch this space. :-)

Arsenal are doing great!!! Yahyyyyyy. After hitting a low of 17th in the table, the team has clawed it's way up to the 4th position, 3 points behind the Tottenham at no 3 who have a game in hand, 9 points behind Man U no 2, and 9 points behind Man City the no 1 team who also have a game in hand. Getting into this position in the New Year means it is still theoretically possible to fight for 1st place. However this season is all about getting into the top 4 for a Champions League place. In this year's Champions league, we've qualified for the last 16. And Robin Van Persie has been OUTSTANDING!

Thank you LORD for my numerous blessings; for sonshine - the world's greatest son, for my amazing siblings (& siblings in-law) and fantastic parents, for my bestest friend forever - 27yrs and still going strong, for my fantastic church-family - 21yrs guys and I still love ya all to bits and pieces, for my awesome circle of friends, for my prayer-partner, for my FB friends, my blog readers, and for my totally awesome music buddy of 26 yrs. Y'all know just who you are and exactly what you mean to me. My 2011 journey would have been extremely poorer if any of you had been left out of my life.

Here's to a fantastic 2012 for us all. May He grant you and you and yes you AND me, ALL the desires of our hearts.


Friday, 30 December 2011


A grain of sand
lodged in a shell

sharp, ..
gritty, painful
often company
sometimes a nuisance
but always there

the mussel folds arounds the grain ..
enfolds it
shapes it
moulds it
births in pain
a hidden secret

just a shell

the day comes
to prize open the mussel

its treasure unfolds

a perfect pearl


Saturday, 24 December 2011

Pastors are NOT GOD - just sinners saved by Grace.

Pastors are NOT God. I’ll repeat that – your pastor is NOT God. Your pastor is NOT Jesus Christ. Your pastor is NOT the Holy Spirit. Your pastor is NOT even more special to GOD than you are. They are simply men and women like you and I, saved only by GOD’s grace, standing only by GOD’s grace.

Two abuse stories have leapt out at me over the last year. Eddie Long in America and Albert Odulele in the UK. Both men were accused of inappropriate sexual contact with young men in their congregation. Odulele was jailed for 8 months while Eddie Long settled out of court with his four accusers. Eddie's Long's wife has just filed for divorce.

As a Christian, what should my reaction be when I hear these and other horrible stories? Should I leave the Church and conclude Christianity is NOT real? Should I rally around and blindly support the pastor? Or should I raise my voice shrilly to condemn the pastor?

Hmmmm, how about doing it the Biblical way. What does GOD command that we do? CATEGORICALLY CONDEMN THE SIN WHILE PRAYING THE ONE WHO HAS DONE IT COMES TO REPENTANCE.

GOD does not ask us to support sin – whether committed by the Pastor or the lowliest bench warmer. HE does NOT expect that we will make excuses for ‘PASTOR’ and say he was under stress, seduced, provoked etc or all the other silly reasons people come up with. He does NOT expect us to CONDEMN or blame the raped victims, HE does NOT expect us to talk about ALL the good the pastor has done and how he/she should not be judged harshly. 

GOD definitely does not expect us to quote those too-often misquoted verses ‘JUDGE NOT’ ‘Touch not my anointed and do my prophet no harm’ or ‘Who judges another man’s servant.’

I’ll quickly run over what the biblical viewpoint: Paul tell the Corinthian Church to judge sin in their midst. The verse ‘Touch not my anointed and do my prophet no harm’ actually refers to ALL of Israel – so for today, that verse would refer to all the Church or the ENTIRE body of Christ. Paul judged and told Peter off publicly when he realised Peter was wrong. Nathan judged David’s sin and told off the anointed King of GOD.

What GOD says is, sin is ALWAYS wrong and it is NEVER right.  Sin should NEVER be excused or glossed over. We are meant to ‘judge’ sin in our lives and the lives of other believers and then flee to Jesus to repent. We are meant to pray for our brethren if we see them caught up in a sinful lifestyle and to then speak to them in love, so they can repent and their souls can be saved.

So how does anyone go about that? You hear of a brother or sister committing adultery? What do you do? Thank GOD that JESUS shows us what HE does in the story of the woman caught committing adultery. Adultery was punishable by stoning under the law. Her accusers brought her to JESUS to trap Him. His words to them were: ‘He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone’. OKAY NOW! After they slunk away, His words to the shivering sinner: “Woman, where are thy accusers? Neither do I condemn you. GO AND SIN NO MORE.”  He did NOT condemn her, He did NOT even ask her why/what/where – He forgave her and told her to turn her back on sin. Suddenly a sinner was forgiven and restored. That is ‘hating the sin and loving the sinner.’

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. I will admit that when I first heard about Odulele and Long, as the mother of a son, I picked up my batch of stones, washed and polished them nicely and was about to start flinging them at their heads – when I heard Jesus say – “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone”.

Now my stones dropped to the floor as I examined my own life.  No, I have NOT raped anyone NOR abused kids  – however Jesus said something once – “He who looks at a woman lustfully in his heart has committed adultery.”

I was sunk right there! While physically I lead a celibate life (albeit a difficult celibacy), I have committed the sin of lookery/thinkery/dwell uponry/and imaginatively.  Now I dunno about you married Christians, but for us unmarried Christians, most of my brothers & sisters will agree that staying celibate is one of the hardest commands to follow.

So now y’all can see why my stones dropped to the ground. ‘Thou shalt not commit fornication/adultery’. ‘Thou shalt not covet someone else's property.'

Neither Long nor Odulele's sins came about in one day. God would have been warning them for a very long time – no rape starts with just pouncing on the victim.  Sin begins with a stray thought, then a longer thought, a sneaky look at porn, a dwelling on lustful images, a reflecting and deep thinking of things you can share with no-one. Sin grows. It mushrooms. It corrupts and destroys. It warps character. It leaves death in its wake until finally one day sin becomes master of the person and a man finds himself abusing a child.

I do not forget the many victims of these and other sexual abuse stories. My heart bleeds for them. I pray God comforts them and heals them of this great betrayal by someone they trusted. For anyone abused, there is only one answer, JESUS. Only HE can heal the deep pain, scars, bitterness, mistrust, nightmares, left by the experience. RUN TO JESUS and receive life-long healing.

For anyone caught in the grip of sin, there is only one answer. JESUS. HE died on the cross for every single sin ever committed, past/present/future. RUN, FLEE to HIM quickly before sin overpowers you and becomes master and you become slave. GOD forgives freely because of Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross.

No matter how bad you think things are, remember JESUS says – “Neither do I condemn you. NOW GO AND SIN NO MORE.”

Friday, 23 December 2011

God's Anointing vis-a-vis Godly character

To be anointed by God is to have been gifted by the Lord - often the individual has done nothing to deserve it. God chooses who He will lavish His gifts & callings upon. Thus Saul was anointed to be King, although he had done nothing to deserve or earn it. The anointing of God is a wonderful thing and the book of Romans tells us to covet all the gifts of the Spirit.

However character is not a free gift. Godly character is wrought and forged in our lives by God's hand squeezing, trying and testing us. Developing character is painful. It involves denying ourselves the easy pleasures our flesh craves. When we don't lie, flee sexual sin, don't steal, are not greedy for gain, forgive others even when they have hurt us deeply and are NOT sorry, give up our rights, stay quiet in the midst of insults, trust God even in dark times, praise God when everything is negative, speak faith in the middle of seeming hopelessness, obey God, it develops Godly character in us. We are yielding to the Holy Spirit and allowing the life of God to grow in us.

No-one can choose to be anointed by God; God's anointing is His free gift that He bestows upon whosoever He pleases. However it is our choice to allow or not allow God to develop character within us. Because God's anointing is a free gift, a man can have the gift of prophecy but still be a thief like Balaam. Godly character on the other hand, can only be developed by fleeing iniquity and being obedient to God. (Balaam’s story is in Numbers : Chapter 22 – 24)

Joseph had the gift of dreams - the only anointing or gift we appear to see in his life. He was also very handsome. However Joseph was a MAN of character. From his childhood, he was diligent, hard-working, obedient, submissive to authority as a son, a slave and a prisoner; honest, forgiving and FAITHFUL to GOD and these were the traits that took him far. God tried and tested Joseph’s character, refined him and Joseph came forth as PURE gold. Although he was cruelly sold into slavery by his own brothers, falsely accused of rape by Potiphar’s wife, wrongly imprisoned by Potiphar, callously forgotten by Pharaoh's butler; through those 13 yrs long years of slavery, imprisonment & seeming abandonment by God, Joseph never stopped holding unto God and living a Godly life. No anointing could have kept Joseph through those 13 years of pain & sorrow. What kept him was his relationship with God. Joseph TRUSTED God & lived a life worthy of that relationship. (Genesis: Chapters 37 – 50).

Contrast this with King Saul. Saul was greatly gifted. Tall, handsome, charismatic, a brilliant general, anointed to be Israel's 1st King, a prophet, the Holy Spirit even came upon him a few times ( in the days when the gift of the Holy Spirit was given to very few) - Saul had anointing and giftings in spades! He even had a Godly mentor – Samuel, God’s great prophet-judge. However Saul lacked one vital thing - a relationship with God. He was a man of flawed character. His gifts and anointing could NOT make him right with God. He died a sad lonely miserable end, rejected by God, the Kingdom torn from his hands, plagued with bouts of madness and periodic demonic attacks, a man who authorised the killing of the Levites (the priests of God). By the end of Saul's life, he could no longer hear from God as God refused to speak to him.

It is very important to note that after Saul was rejected by God, nothing seemingly changed in Saul's life. He was still King, he still won battles, he was surrounded by his sons and grand children and life appeared to continue as normal. Saul was king for 40 glorious years – during his reign Israel NEVER lost a battle until Saul's final battle. (1Sam: Chapters 9 – 27).

Anyone looking at Saul from the outside would have called him a blessed anointed man highly favoured by God. In fact, some might have wanted to ‘hang around him’ so they could 'share in his anointing'! (All they would have got were madness and demon possession - a very sobering thought). As for Saul's armour-bearer? Well, the poor chap committed suicide at Saul’s last battle and defeat. Be very careful who you associate with. The wrong person can impact your destiny negatively.

Having gifts, talents, anointing is wonderful and a blessing from God. However all one's gifts will not mean anything if Godly character is not formed in the individual. Apostle Paul (a man greatly anointed by God and who had yielded his life completely to God so he had tremendous Godly character) says by the Holy Spirit,"Let those who are named by the name of the Lord depart from iniquity." That simply means is if you are a Christian, then stop excusing sin in your life. No ifs, no buts, no excuses, just flee temptation like Joseph and don't try to excuse sin like Saul. Those decisions made by each man impacted their lives, their walk with God, their children, their calling.

For Joseph, it meant he became prime-minister of Egypt, the man God used to save the entire world from famine, he became head over his brothers, the birthright became his, his children were blessed and God stamped him with God's own seal of approval (he is mentioned in God's hall of faith - Heb 11). His two sons were even named among the 12 tribes of Israel - an honour that was meant to be reserved for Israel's (Jacob) sons alone. Basically, Joseph received a double-portion of the blessing.

For Saul, his decision to disobey God led to ignominy and rejection by God. His genealogical line was disinherited by God, he went mad, his sons were killed in battle, he committed suicide, died hopeless & defeated by his enemies, and even after his death, God's judgement upon Saul did not end. Saul's grandsons were put to death many years after his death. Of Saul's male line, only his grandson Mephiboseth survived because his father Jonathan had been faithful to God. But while Mephiboseth survived, he was crippled.

It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. God is gracious in mercy and loving kindness, but He is also a judge. It is much much safer to stay on the right side of God - for who can deliver the person God unleashes judgement and fury upon?

Let us all endeavour to see Godly character formed in our lives. Let us yield our all to God and be faithful in whatever He gives us to do. God’s anointing is given to every Christian to do the work of God. We should desire God’s gifts so we can serve Him, however Godly character is what will give us a relationship with God. Anointing without Godly character is meaningless in the long run.


Let's remember that God will anoint anyone to carry out His work. The presence of God's anointing does not indicate the person anointed has Godly character. Jesus said ‘the stones will praise me if you do not’. Even Balaam's donkey became anointed of God, saw an Angel and then SPOKE to Balaam, a prophet. Now that was one heavily anointed donkey!!!!! LOL (Num 22: 23 - 30)

Friday, 16 December 2011

Christians are NOT perfect people but sinners saved by grace.

Christians are not perfect people - just greatly flawed sinners saved by grace. The new birth is of the spirit, so it is impossible to look at it with physical eyes and understand what it really is about.

Let me try to explain. Jesus, died for all men. He carried the burden of sin of mankind and on the Cross where He was crucified, sin was defeated and man was released fom the slavery to sin. Man was reconciled to God. The prison doors were flung open and all mankind, enslaved by the chain and yoke of sin, were invited to step forth into a new life. Some prisoners audaciously grab this message of hope and run out into the light, while some slink further into the deeper gloom of the prison muttering it must be a trap and the promised freedom is hollow. Others have become so acclimatised to prison, they are too afraid to function anywhere else.

God created Man. He gave Adam & Eve one simple instruction - do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Now, there isn't anybody out there who actually believes this tree or the fruit thereof was a symbol of or about sex, is there? If they read a couple of verses up, they'll find God had already told Adam and Eve to procreate and FILL the world. Now I dunno about all you lot, but this strikes any logical person as a commandment to make love, do it lots & lots, do it frequently with great zeal and have babies. Unless there is anyone who actually thinks GOD lacks a basic knowledge of Biology and did not quite realise children would only come about from Adam & Eve 'doing it'! LOL

To all those who think GOD is a pleasure-hating-kill-joy, let me share something - GOD INVENTED SEX. HE made it the pleasurable fun joyful activity it is designed to be. However, His commandment about sex is to share this pleasure in a committed marriage as He knows human emotions are not built for casual sex. No matter how much peeps protest, someone is usually hurt in a casual sexual relationship. Human minds and souls become scarred. Men and women lose that joyful innocence we have as children as we become cynical, hardened and brittle from putting our bodies, mind and emotions through a wringer they were not designed for. (Sex is for another blogpost .. LOL)

So man eats of the tree and something happens - he now knows good but can only DO evil. I hear people protesting - I do good, I am nice, I give to charity etc etc. Ahhh, but to the Judge of the universe, our 'so-called good is rotten through and through'. Humans do 'good deeds' to feel good about ourselves, we do good while having evil thoughts, we do good often with base motives etc. With GOD, good and evil is totally black or white. If you want to be 'good' in your own strength, then the passmark for goodness is 100%. Any slip-ups and you are a sinner - plain and simple. Man has an extra burden: Sin came down in our DNA from grandpappy Abraham so even if you never commit one sin, your DNA labels you a sinner!

Huh? Really? Ok, let's face it - the human race is totally 'screwed' and on its way to hell! Straight to hell! Do not pass go! Do not collect £200! Just go straight to Hell!

But GOD made a way out. He decided to take man's sin upon Himself, pay the price for sin, and then offer man freedom from the Sin DNA principle by giving us new lives. So Jesus was born, lived a totally sinless life while faced with every temptation, was crucified, on that Cross unflinchingly accepted the whole outpouring of God's wrath and judgement for Sin, took Sin and Death upon Himself, died and was resurrected on the 3rd day! He is GOD's spotless lamb, the divine gift to Mankind. His death has paid the price in full. I'll repeat something I have said on a previous blog postcard: No-one will go to hell for their sins because the full price has been paid. Anyone who chooses to go to hell will do so for rejecting God's redemption.

So Christians still make mistakes, still fall, still do the wrong thing. It is a new birth, which means a new life. We start off as babes and grow into adults. When a believer sins, the bible tells us to run to Jesus and repent. To my fellow believers, I say one thing. JESUS died for everyone. We are not called to hate one group or the other. Sin is sin. If you hate homosexuality, then please also hate lies. Hate fornication (sex outside marriage) and also hate gluttony. hate adultery and also hate the lust for money. Hate cruelty and also hate abuse. Can you see that we are called to hate the SIN and love the sinner? We are only saved by grace, perfect because GOD calls us so, Holy because HE clothes us with His holiness. In and off ourselves, we have no goodness. The message we are called to preach is called the GOOD NEWS. We are to tell all that Jesus died for them and the prison doors are open. We are called to share a message of hope: 'though a man or woman's sins be as red as scarlet, GOD can make them as white as snow.  He will forgive ANY sin no matter how dire or evil it is. JESUS has already paid the price for it. Telling people they are worthless hopeless useless sinners who are their way to Hell is NOT Good News! (D'uh!). The Good News is telling everyone there is NO reason anyone has to go to Hell.

God is kinder than we could ever think, more loving than we could ever imagine. Let us learn to love ALL, even as we are loved by Him.


Thursday, 8 December 2011

I Am A Woman

I am a woman ...
Irrational, emotional, sensitive, illogical,
I am a woman ...
Intuitive, talkative, unshakable, unstoppable,
I am a woman ...
Weak, tender, gentle, soft-hearted,
I am a woman ...
Strong, steady, calm, down-to-earth,
I am a woman ...
Delicate as a flower, sturdy as a steel beam,
I am a woman ...

A tender word from you can brighten up my day,
Your frown can cause the sun to go down,
I am a woman ...

Loving you doesn’t make me weak
It strengthens me,
Crying doesn’t break my heart
It refreshes my soul,
Please don’t try to change me,
Embrace me,
I am a woman ...

Your woman.........

Copyright © 2010 Noir.

Monday, 5 December 2011

A life of constant sunshine with no rain?

“Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” or ‘If we are happy to receive good from the Lord, should we not also be prepared to receive the not-so-pleasant-at-the-time-its-happening-to-us?’

Job asked, admonished AND encouraged his wife with the timeless words above, at the lowest point in their lives. After a happy life together with a good marriage, healthy children, uncountable riches, great health, honour & respect, suddenly, without any warning, on one day, EVERYTHING in their lives was ripped away – children, wealth, possessions, reputation, health. Everything physical that could be stripped away was taken away in the blink of an eye. For anyone who doesn’t know the story, please read the book of Job in the Bible prayerfully. It is a life-changing eye-opener.

Most human beings would like pleasure without pain, love without commitment, riches without work, life without death, summer without winter, a harvest without planting, exams passed with no reading.... However, these wants are actually pretty stupid & harmful to us in the long run.

Babies are an amazing gift – they look cute, cause love to well up in a parent’s heart & give joy to every sane person around em – however, the parent also puts up with loud crying, stinky poopy nappies, constant feeding & sleepless nights. You cannot have the joy of the baby without the work of those smelly nappies! And let’s not even discuss the pain of childbirth! But what mother would forgo the joy of a happy healthy baby to save herself the swiftly forgotten pain of labour or a Cesarean op?

Why do we expect (or even desire) a life filled with sunshine and no rain? Can we imagine what the earth would look, and be like, if there was sunshine everyday with no rainfall? Dry/brown/parched/famine/death! Can we picture endless warm sunny light-filled days with no cool dark nights & no way of darkening bedrooms to get some sleep? What a nightmare! We’ll rapidly become a race of hot, itchy, sun-burnt sleep-deprived, irritable, paranoid humans going around shooting anything that dares move.

So also reflect for one moment on the truly horrendous awful reality of a Christian life filled with everything going the way we THINK we want it? Okay, let’s be truthful here – how many of us would ever pray or turn to God for anything, if everything in our lives, is going the way we want it, at the time we want it? End result? No growth in our lives, no patience learnt, no faith strengthened, no deep love for the Lord that comes only by relationship-building, no comfort received from God, no testimony to share, no dependence upon God, no laying our will on the altar, no sowing good, no joy when God answers prayers, no encouragement with which to strengthen others... in short A SPIRITUALLY DEAD, SELF-CENTERED, SHRIVELLED, DECAYING CHRISTIAN useless to God, himself/herself and everyone else.

Unfortunately, too often we ‘unknowingly’ lust after what Adam & Eve really sought – independence from God and a desire to run their lives their way. Wellllllll, we all know HOW well that decision turned out them and us!

Jesus on the other hand, prayed & sweated blood as he struggled mightily so that He, the sinless spotless lamb of God, the Son of God, could surrender His will to God’s will. “If You will, please let this cup pass away from me, but Lord God, NOT my will, but Yours alone.” And we ALL know HOW amazingly WELL Jesus’s surrender to God’s will turned out for us!!!!!!! (Thank you Lord Jesus!) 

No matter how dark or long the night seems, dawn will finally break & daylight will dispel the thick gloomy darkness. Beloved, Weeping may tarry for the night but Joy is coming in the morning.

This is God’s unshakable promise to you and I. Hold on to God. Hold tightly to His promises. Trust God. Do not become weary of doing good. After we are tried and tested, our faith will come forth like pure gold.

"But for you who fear God's name, surely the Sun of Righteousness will arise with healing in His wings". Say to God’s people, "Rejoice, your salvation draweth near".

Remember the glorious end of Job!


Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Herman Cain's Gingergate ... Ginger White Alleges 13yr affair

Finally Herman Cain's 9-9-9 pizza of; women, denial and arrogance, appears to have become a splattered mess.

Ginger White, a 46yr old woman has given a press conference and several interviews to allege she and Cain had a 13yr affair. Ginger White doesn't appear crazy, look like a stalker, or sound like she is shaking him down for money. She's shown proof of numerous calls & texts and has hard details of their on-again off-again relationship. Cain's denial increasingly sound extremely hollow.

I am not throwing stones. Sh*t happens. People make mistakes and get into inappropriate relationships - affairs take place. That is reality. I do not think an affair disqualifies him from the presidency. Perfection is not a requirement for political office. A 13yr affair with the same woman speaks of more than just sex or a fling. Being with a woman for 13 years even in an on-again off-again relationship sounds like something where there was at least a measure of affection on both sides. According to Ginger White, the relationship finally ended when Cain decided to run for the presidency. In other words, he only 'threw her under the bus' for his presidency ambitions. I speculate that if he had not been running for the presidency, the relationship would probably still have continued. Humans are complex - Cain sounds like a man caught between his wife and his mistress - caring for both while doing his best to keep both parts of his life separate. While the morality police will have a lot to say about this, I simply say - 'let him who is without sin cast the first stone'. Cain's relationship with Ginger is strictly a matter between Cain and his wife.

However, it is Cain's continued denial that is a matter for concern re his political aspirations. It makes it a lot more likely that the 4 women who accused him of sexually harassing them were speaking the truth. Cain appears to have a disconnect with owning up to the truth even when he has his hand caught in the cookie jar. Look, most people can understand why a married person might initially denying having an affair if caught. However, it is one thing to first deny it to one's spouse before crumbling and telling the truth, and a totally different thing to look 300 million American people in the eye and to keep denying denying denying. It is even more tacky to find he is blaming his political opponents and calling it 'gutter politics'.

Cain can still turn this around. He needs to throw himself on the mercy of the American voting public. They need to see him humble and repentant. An interview where Cain confesses he did wrong, has had issues, wants to apologise for all the hurt he has caused, and he has apologised to and made up with his wife, might just help him get past this. However, his play-book of denying it all, is no longer working. Soon he'll become a laughing stock and be known as a liar.

However, it needs to be stated all these accusations are only allegations thus far. If Cain is innocent, he should also schedule an interview, forcefully tell the American voters all these stories are lies, produce as much evidence as possible to back up his truth and challenge the 5 women making the different allegations to produce hard evidence. His lack of a forceful defence while telling the press to go away, just smacks of total arrogance and a disconnect from reality.

This is NOT a black thing. If Cain's opponents are behind leaking the stories, they would have done the exact same thing if he was a white politician. Anyone running for political office has to know their personal life becomes fair game. The only way to defuse a story of this nature is to get in front of it and to tell the truth. Voters forgive personal-life mistakes - they find it much more difficult to forgive politicians who lie to them and refuse to admit the truth.

Sadly Cain's arrogance does not seem to have any room for humility. It is humility that allows us to admit that we have done wrong. Humility apologises and takes responsibility - however arrogance denies the truth and blames everyone else.

Saving Herman Cain's historic run as GOP presidential candidate is now firmly in Cain's hands. It will be interesting to see what he does next.


Tuesday, 29 November 2011

You ain't British, You're black! Video of Racist rant on Croydon Tram

"You ain't British, you're black! Go back to your 'effing' countries."

This video isn't simply distressing - it is also extremely sad. After years of the tabloid press whipping up popular sentiment against immigrants, is it surprising this young woman vents against blacks, the Polish and Asians? These menacing 'others' have stolen her country. She is carrying a child on her lap. How does the child not grow up spewing forth the same evil?

The tram is is a microcosm of multi-cultural Britain. White, Black, Brown commuters, numerous cultures and races represented. One black passenger on the tram says something many immigrants feel and the film 'Dirty Pretty Things' depicted - "Native English don't want to work, we come here to do the jobs you don't want."

The young barely incoherent lady whose vocabulary is littered with F this and F that, is to be pitied. Her country has let her down - she sounds poorly educated, in a country where a contracting economy means hope is fast fading, where newly arrived immigrants pick up jobs within a week while native British are on the dole for years. Fear, poverty and a shrinking economy is causing people to turn against their neighbours, to blame others for their lack of jobs, instead of blaming a poor education and no qualifications which leaves them ill-prepared for the real world.

Racism is deep and ugly but its ugly tentacles have spread everywhere. I have heard black British people talk about how Eastern Europeans are stealing their jobs and advocate that Eastern Europeans should go back home. The face of racism is ugly and distorted whether it is white or black, yellow or brown.

Have a look at the video - the subject matter will upset some - however, she's only saying what a lot of people feel inside but stay silent about. I believe it's better to have the ugly words out in the open so they can begin a national discourse, than to bury them and pretend everything is okay. British Racism is nice and polite, it is so subtle that you don't realise it is there until you get an itch beneath your skin; when you are followed by security guards in expensive shops in the West End,  when the police pull you over for the crime of driving a nice car, and neighbours assume you must be renting if you live in an expensive neighbourhood.

The racist lady ranter has been arrested. It is nice that another White passenger on the tram told her to keep quiet. This video does not demonstrate all the UK, just a very ugly part of it.

The retrial of the alleged killers of Stephen Lawrence is currently taking place. The inquiry into the first handling of that case 18 years ago stated there was a culture of institutional racism in the police force. Some things have changed for the better, other things have stayed the same.

The economic collapse and fear for the future has fuelled the rise of the EDL (English Defence League), a racist organisation that organises marches and demonstrations and like the BNP claims to want to keep Britain for the British.

These racists need to know Britain has always been a country of immigrants; the Romans, the French, Scandanavians, Polish, Spanish Jews, African sailors, Jewish refugees, Ugandan Asians, West Indians etc. Wave after wave of immigrants over the centuries have contributed and left their stamp upon the melting pot that Britain is today. Inter-racial unions and marriages in Britain are probably the highest percentage of any European country. It is reckoned that about 10% of the Brtitish population is mixed race.

I like Britain. In general it is a friendly country. However it only takes a bigot like this to blow the lid off the civilized veneer and show the ugly pockets of racism that still lurk and bubble below.


You aint British, You're black! Video of Racist rant on Croydon Tram

"You ain't British, you're black! Go back to your 'effing' countries."

This video isn't simply distressing - it is also extremely sad. After years of the tabloid press whipping up popular sentiment against immigrants, is it surprising this young woman vents against blacks, the Polish and Asians? These menacing 'others' have stolen her country. She is carrying a child on her lap. How does the child not grow up spewing forth the same evil?

The tram is is a microcosm of multi-cultural Britain. White, Black, Brown commuters, numerous cultures and races represented. One black passenger on the tram says something many immigrants feel and the film 'Dirty Pretty Things' depicted - "Native English don't want to work, we come here to do the jobs you don't want."

The young barely incoherent lady whose vocabulary is littered with F this and F that, is to be pitied. Her country has let her down - she sounds poorly educated, in a country where a contracting economy means hope is fast fading, where newly arrived immigrants pick up jobs within a week while native British are on the dole for years. Fear, poverty and a shrinking economy is causing people to turn against their neighbours, to blame others for their lack of jobs, instead of blaming a poor education and no qualifications which leaves them ill-prepared for the real world.

Racism is deep and ugly but its ugly tentacles have spread everywhere. I have heard black British people talk about how Eastern Europeans are stealing their jobs and advocate that Eastern Europeans should go back home. The face of racism is ugly and distorted whether it is white or black, yellow or brown.

Have a look at the video - the subject matter will upset some - however, she's only saying what a lot of people feel inside but stay silent about. I believe it's better to have the ugly words out in the open so they can begin a national discourse, than to bury them and pretend everything is okay. British Racism is nice and polite, it is so subtle that you don't realise it is there until you get an itch beneath your skin; when you are followed by security guards in expensive shops in the West End,  when the police pull you over for the crime of driving a nice car, and neighbours assume you must be renting if you live in an expensive neighbourhood.

The racist lady ranter has been arrested. It is nice that another White passenger on the tram told her to keep quiet. This video does not demonstrate all the UK, just a very ugly part of it.

The retrial of the alleged killers of Stephen Lawrence is currently taking place. The inquiry into the first handling of that case 18 years ago stated there was a culture of institutional racism in the police force. Some things have changed for the better, other things have stayed the same.

The economic collapse and fear for the future has fuelled the rise of the EDL (English Defence League), a racist organisation that organises marches and demonstrations and like the BNP claims to want to keep Britain for the British.

These racists need to know Britain has always been a country of immigrants; the Romans, the French, Scandanavians, Polish, Spanish Jews, African sailors, Jewish refugees, Ugandan Asians, West Indians etc. Wave after wave of immigrants over the centuries have contributed and left their stamp upon the melting pot that Britain is today. Inter-racial unions and marriages in Britain are probably the highest percentage of any European country. It is reckoned that about 10% of the Brtitish population is mixed race.

I like Britain. In general it is a friendly country. However it only takes a bigot like this to blow the lid off the civilized veneer and show the ugly pockets of racism that still lurk and bubble below.


Monday, 28 November 2011

The God wager .. tis a 50/50 thing.

My American friends have a wonderful saying .. 'this is a come to Jesus talk' .. all it means really is a talk that kicks the other person into gear .. a 'time to sober up mate' talk ..

My younger brother lost his friend, a young man of 31, whole life ahead of him, killed by armed robbers. When I hear stories like that, my heart gets heavy. It gets me thinking about eternity.

I have friends who truly believe that when we die, there's nothing in the here-after. Our energy disperses into the universe or we have no awareness any longer - we enter into a void of nothingness and simply cease to exist. Sometimes for their sakes, I could almost wish it is the case. Why would I wish that?

There is a 50/50 chance that GOD exists or that He doesn't. Let those who think He does and those who think He doesn't, just pause for a moment to consider they might be wrong and the other side might be right.

I believe with all my heart that Jesus Christ is the son of God. Jesus wasn't a guru, a philosopher, a radical reformist, He is exactly who He claimed to be - the Son of God. He came to save us. He died to pay the price for my sins. He was resurrected 3 days later. If I accept His sacrifice, it makes me right with God. God is not the joyless, fun hating, hard-as-nails-just-waiting-for-you-to-get-it-wrong-so-He-gets-to-crack-the-whip humans paint Him to be. GOD is love. Total unconditional love. He loves you and I right now just as we are and is constantly calling us and wooing us to come to Him. No matter how much you reject Him, sass Him, bad-talk Him, cuss Him out, ignore Him etc He does not reject you.

So what if I am wrong about God existing? Well, if I am wrong, I am in a win-win situation. I would have lived a happy fulfilled life. For those who say God is a crutch? Well, I have the greatest, best, most awesome crutch ever. God fills that void all humans have that we instinctively spend our lives trying to fill. I have the GOD crutch and I am one happy content joyful crutch waving bunny. So I die, and there's nothing in the here-after?? Well, my energy gets dispersed into the universe, I enter into a sleepless void - and I've lost out on absolutely nothing. I would have lived a happy content life, and get to have a blissful nothing hereafter. However, if I am right and there is a heaven, I get to be with God for eternity. Win-win position for me. Heads I win, tails I still win.

But what of the energy-consciousness individual? Well, if they are right, they live the life they want and hereafter, long sleep. All good. But what if they are wrong? Ahhhhh, well, that's the rub. Finding out one has been wrong all along about God after death is a huge 'Oops!'

For those who think of hell as where all the cool peeps have gone, so it's gonna be one long party - well, I got news for ya. If God is real, then all goodness comes from God. That means the ability to feel joy, pleasure, have fun, have a great time, feel hope, love, etc all the good stuff that makes life worth living is a gift from God. Hell is total separation from God - the absence of anything good. It is agony, pain, loneliness, depression, self-hate, torment, horrible thoughts etc. In other words, hell will be all the horrible bad stuff lived through endlessly for an eternity. And we haven't even spoken about the fire yet! LOL

Redemption is not cleaning up your act and becoming a moralistic person. Redemption is NOT living a good life or doing good deeds. No-one can impress God with their goodness. Jesus's death is the ONLY sacrifice acceptable. God is not into good deeds Vs bad deeds. There is no balance sheet. All have sinned. The price of sin is death. Jesus, perfect and sinless paid the price for everyone. The price for sin has been paid. Everyone has the opportunity to be right with God. No-one will go to hell because they are sinners BUT because they rejected Jesus.

Jesus shows us via the thief on the cross that ANYONE who accepts Him is made right with God. The thief did not have any time to clean up his act, he couldn't balance out his bad deeds with good deeds - he met Jesus while they were both being crucified.  After initially mocking Jesus, something about Jesus struck him. He said 'Lord, when you enter into your kingdom, remember me'. His eyes were opened and he 'saw' Jesus. He accepted Jesus was Lord (A King, a Master who possessed a kingdom). The thief believed and asked for mercy. Jesus's reply? 'Today, you will be with me in paradise'. Wow! What total assurance. Read the gospels and you'll realise something quickly - Jesus is either just who He says He is - the Son of God. Or he was one totally bat-shit crazy dude with grandiose ideas and deep-rooted psychiatric issues.

I am not looking to die but I am not afraid of dying either. I'll hate that my loved ones will be hurt  but I know I'll be with God. Don't get me wrong, I am not looking to check out of this side of eternity anytime soon - I wanna see my son get married, parachute jump with my grand-kids, carry their kids, travel the world, get married again etc etc .. BUT if my days are numbered and I don't get all those things, I am okay with that too.

Are you ready to die right at this minute? Are you ready to gamble the dice with your eternity? If you aren't 100% sure of your eternity, then please my friend, consider Jesus.


Sunday, 27 November 2011

Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu is dead. Leader of Biafra, patriot, hero to many.

Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, the Ikemba of Nnewi, Ezeigbo, is dead (1933 - 2011). A colossus among the Igbo people, possibly the most famous Igbo man of his generation and perhaps of all time, he led his people into a struggle to break away from Nigeria. Biafra, the sessionist State he led, survived only 30 months between 1967 - 1970, but the pride, pain and tears created by those years continues to live on over 40years later. Many Igbo people are nostalgic about Biafra and wonder 'what if'. What if the war had been successful? What if Biafra was an independent functioning nation today?

No man is all hero or all villain - most are a unique mixture of many elements. In this giant of a man, I see many qualities - a caring for his people, a dogged determination to keep the war going in the midst of overwhelming odds, a ruthless streak needed to keep sending young men to the front even when the cause was helpless, a desire for freedom for the Igbo people, a naive idealism that the 'idea' of a nation could survive the overwhelming odds of military superiority of arms and men that finally crushed the dream.

Many non-Igbo Nigerians have long forgotten the causes of Nigeria's civil war, it is glossed over in our history books and the concept of a unified Nigeria is fed to all. I cannot claim to understand the place Ojukwu holds in the hearts of his people, the Igbos but I can recognise a patriot when I see one. It is easy to forget today the failed military coup in 1966 and its bloody aftermath that led to one of the first recorded acts of ethnic cleansing in Nigerian history. Over 10,000 Igbo people were slaughtered in Northern Nigeria in a few weeks. In acts of brutal genocide, Igbo men, women and children were wiped out by their Northern neighbours among whom they had lived, worked, and laughed for years.

In the midst of this, after the failed peace talks in Aburi with the Nigerian Government, Ojukwu, then a young man of 33, military governor of the Eastern Region of Nigeria, rose up and called upon his people to take up arms, to carve out a nation where they could live in peace, to break-up the artificial union called Nigeria created by the whim of the colonial British. His bold experiment failed. It is estimated that between 1 - 3 million people died in the devastating war that pitted Nigeria against Biafra. Many died of starvation - photographs of starving Biafran children with stick-thin legs and huge stomachs is still imprinted on the minds of many in the West. The evil of a civil war is that when people who had considered themselves to be of the same nation, turn against each other, the ensuing savagery and brutality is usually worse that a war among strangers.

I am a Nigerian. Nigeria has a lot wrong with it but I am proud to be a Nigerian. If Ojukwu had succeeded, if Biafra had succeeded, there would be no Nigeria today. I would be a citizen of a vastly different nation. Nigeria would have broken up as the Yorubas would not have stayed in a union with the Hausas. We would have 3 separate Nations today with everyone going to war over who controlled the oil-producing Delta areas. Many think maybe that might have been a better solution for Nigeria, however, in many ways, all I can see is an alternate universe fraught with insurmountable perils.

Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, a man whose name has gone down into history has died today. He will be remembered as a patriot, a hero, an Oxford educated historian, a military leader, a fighter, the leader of a short-lived 'nation', son of a millionaire, an idealist who gave up his a life of privilege to try to create a new destiny for his race. Today it is time to say RIP Ezeigbo. RIP Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu. The legend that is Biafra salutes you, the Igbo people salute you, Nigerians salute you.

Nigeria, your country that probably emerged stronger and more unified out of the ashes of the civil war, salutes you.

Farewell Emeka Ojukwu. Farewell Dikedioramma (beloved hero). Farewell.


Friday, 25 November 2011

Do Turkeys give thanks for thanksgiving?? LOL

I asked a question on Facebook earlier today: "Do turkeys give thanks for thanksgiving??"

Below are a summary of the answers flying back and forth :

"Yup, all the other turkeys gather together the day after thanksgiving to give thanks for surviving another thanksgiving! They keep out a beady eye, looking over their shoulders until the next one."

"I am certain every turkey that escapes alive on Thanksgiving gobbles massively in thanksgiving."

"Turkeys can give thanks but then Xmas comes round."

"Like Paddy Ashdown asked: Do turkeys vote for Xmas?"

"British turkeys are presently sweating under their feathers despite the cold weather. Unedited reports of the great slaughter that befell their American cousins across the pond has reached them. The news has been smuggled out by 2 brave i-turkey reporters reporting for TNN (Turkey News Network)."

"Hmmm, what might a turkey thanksgiving day be like? I see a group of turkeys gathered around, solemnly nodding and gobbling."

"Wonder what turkeys might eat for their thanksgiving dinner?"

"Breaking TNN (Turkey News Network) Report: Surviving turkeys lose their appetites on Turkey Thanksgiving day... after their near-death experience on Human Thanksgiving day."

"Whatcha talking about? Near death experience?? Did they see the bright lights of the Oven?"

"Wonder if the turkeys all flap together in a corner, smoothing down their feathers and trying to look as skinny as possible when the humans come to cull em?" 

"Winner of the Turklitzer prize: The rise of anorexic and bulimia in Turkeyville. Turkeys warned to shun food or throw up after meals. Slim turkeys stay healthier and live longer - they keep their heads!"

"Winner of Turkey ad slogan of the year: Above all, remember Turkeys, FAT KILLS!!" 

"The skinnier the turkey, the greater their chances of surviving Thanksgivings and Xmases, and of being able to attend the Turkeytron Praise-Party!"

"Above all, remember Turkeys, FAT KILLS!!" That must be the best print advert yet to be launched in TurkeyVille... #still-gasping-for-breath# Lol!"

"The skinnier the turkeys..."
"... the longer the life-span & the louder the shouts, oops, gobbles of turkey praise!"

"No wonder...the turkey I had today was pretty fat and juicy. You are right joor, it is survival of the skinniest turkeys!"

"Yup, only fat greedy turkeys get gobbled! Skinny turkeys escape death - hahahahaha."

"Turkeytron Praise-Party! Oh gosh, I see some skinny turkeys jumping up & down in joyous abandon, flapping those wings & breaking out into the new gobble dance!"

The responses above made me crack up. Hope it's made you smile a lil too as you try to digest the mounds of turkey and stuffing consumed earlier today.

Live life to the fullest. Laugh a little. 


Thursday, 24 November 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

We don't celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK, but I've always loved the idea of the American Thanksgiving. While it's true it's been commercialised beyond belief, the idea of a day set aside so friends and family gather together to eat, chill, kick-back, watch a game or two, and by their presence together give unspoken thanks for just being together, is an awesome idea.

It's got me thinking. What am I thankful for? How about instead of just a day of Thanksgiving, I have a week or month of Thanksgiving? (Hey, I know I should be thankful everyday but as I find myself muttering and complaining loads, let me go for a week, a month of no complaints, just thanks). Just give thanks to God every single day for His goodness & kindness to me, my world's greatest son, my loved ones, my amazing friends, my health, my brains, my career, my finances, my writing - let me give thanks whether things are going as well as I would like or not.

It is easy to be thankful when our lives fall into the order that we want. Only a boor is not thankful when life is working out just fine. It however can be mega-difficult to be thankful when life throws you a curve-ball you really truly absolutely do not want. But like Russel Brand's character in the film 'Get Him to The Greek' says, "When life throws you a Jeffrey, stroke the furry wall." (Watch the film & you'll totally understand. You'll also laugh like crazy!)

So for all my American friends, as you devour heaps of Turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potato, candied yams, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie,vegetables, rolls, corn, etc, pause for a moment and really give thanks. Give thanks you still have a job, give thanks for good health, give thanks for your spouse and kids, give thanks for the roof over your head, give thanks for the food you have on the table, give thanks for the friends around the table. You might think your job is crappy but some-one out there is praying for a job, any job. Some-one's in hospital wishing for good health, someone's crying because they don't have a spouse, someone's heart is broken because they are infertile and can't have kids, someone's home just been repossessed or they live in fear waiting for the bank to take away their home, someone can't afford to put food on the table or worse still, has had their power cut off for non-payment so can't cook a meal, someone's moved to a new city and is finding it difficult to make friends. Someone's struggling to be thankful as they look around a table that's lost a loved one to death.

Open your home to a stranger and invite a lonely friend in to celebrate with you.

There is ALWAYS something to be thankful for. If you have 9 things in your life going wrong and only one thing going right, change your mindset and heart-set. Begin to give thanks daily for the one thing that's right and say nothing about the 9 wrong things. In a very short space of time, you'll be surprised to find yourself thankful about all 10 things. Why? Because a thankful attitude has been cultivated. Soon, you'll see your challenges as blessings to make you grow, not as obstacles to destroy you.

So what am I truly overwhelmingly most thankful for? A God who loves me absolutely and totally, A God of love whose idea of judgement and mercy is to send His son Jesus to take my sins upon Himself and pay the price for my misdeeds. GOD ROCKS!

What are you thankful for?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. xx

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

One life to live - So live, love, praise, rejoice, it away. xx

A boil has suddenly sprouted over my right eye and it itches, hurts and is just a general nuisance. I can't wear sunglasses as using my contacts at this time is a no-no, so got my specs on. Avoiding people and bright sunlight (not like the UK has any!!!)  is eminently desirable as I model the new look in designer eyes - swollen & half-closed! LOL

Now this boil has picked the best of times! I am meant to have a reunion on Saturday and a 1st date on Sunday. Now, trying to peer out of a painful swollen half-shut teary eye is not part of my planned look for either event so unless it clears up quick smart, my weekend plans are getting cancelled.

My builder's sick so work has crashed to a halt on the kitchen. I've been trying to write recently and the words are dead/stale/flat. My insomnia's come knocking again. I've put on 4 lbs. And I still can't get one stupid poignant song out of my head!! *grhhhhhh* 

But I sit here, typing away in bed, I can tell you that I am having a blast. LIFE  is fun. Okay, please don't call the men in white coats! The pus from the boil hasn't leaked into my brain (yet!) LOL. Bola Essien-Nelson (Diary of a Desperate Nigerian Woman), shared a status update on 'living life' and it got me thinking and writing and inspired this blog postcard. 

Life is meant to be lived. It is meant to be enjoyed. Don't worry it away. Don't regret it away. Don't waste it away. Don't cry it away. Don't nag it away. Don't hate it away. Don't complain it away. Instead: Praise it away. Pray it away. Give it away (to GOD). Bless it away (to others). Dance it away. Laugh it away. Love it away. Rejoice it away. Above all, LIVE this one life in the fullness that GOD intends for you.

Guess I sounds a lil disjointed and nutso. But hey, I'll share one of my favourite verses in the bible.

Zephaniah 3:17. "For the Lord your God has arrived to live among you. He is a mighty saviour. He will rejoice over you with great gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will exalt over you by singing a happy song."

See, GOD is rejoicing over you and me with gladness. He is calming all our fears by flooding our hearts with the knowledge of His love. BUT (and this always blows my mind), He is SO happy to have you (and me) in HIS life, that He is SINGING a happy song. GOD, singing a happy song over me???? Me? WOW! 

We've been given this amazing gift of life - we have just one life to live. LIVE IT with GOD!!!


Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Arab Spring - Tahrir Square Erupts again

Egypt's version of the Arab spring began fairly quietly in February 2011. After the stirring events in Tunisia, young men and women trooped out to protest on Egyptian streets and thus a revolution was born.

That revolution has unseated Hosni Mubarak, led to the arrest and trials of Mubarak, his sons Gamal and Alaa, and other members of his cabinet, and caused Egyptians to have hope that maybe, just perhaps, democracy might actually really come to Egypt. They might finally stop being afraid of the secret police, of a country where nepotism, patronage and corruption are rife.

More than 6 months after the heady days of unseating Mubarak, some things have changed but a lot has stayed the same. The Military backed ruling cabinet says it is trying to govern and prepare the country for elections. However, no Military is suited to the art of governing well. Life in the Military is simple - a command is given and obeyed. There is no room for discussion, no arguments, no objections allowed - in short, the total opposite of civilian and democratic life.

Last week, ordinary Egyptians were enraged by a draft document from the governing council outlining principles for the new constitution. In it, the Supreme Council of the Armed forces (SCAF) will be given veto power over a civilian constitution and the military's budget be exempt from civilian oversight in Egypt's future. It also suggested presidential elections might be delayed until 2013. The head of SCAF, Field Marshal Hussein Muhammad Tantawi was Mubarak's defence minister for over 20 years. Things change but the faces at the top remain the same.

Many who marched in the initial revolution felt cheated and betrayed. A coalition of the opposition tired of the slow pace of getting a constitution written, a parliament elected and presidential elections afterwards,called for mass demonstrations. Egyptians trooped out again in their thousands to protest, to demonstrate, to demand presidential elections immediately after the parliamentary elections beginning later this month, in short to take advantage of rights that most in the Western world take for granted - the right to match against one's government, to demonstrate peaceably, to tender demands.

But for some crazy reason, the Egyptian police and military decided to go to war against their own people. 20 Egyptians have been killed and over 1800 injured in 3 days of mass demonstrations. Tear gas, batons, and rubber bullets have been fired at the protesters who have responded by throwing stones at the police and security forces.

The protests have spread from Cairo to other major Egyptian cities with the police firing tear-gas at protesters in Alexandria. Shocking photographs have been broadcast around the world showing police beating up innocent demonstrators, people coughing their lungs out, eyes tearing from tear gas, bruised bleeding dazed demonstrators fighting back, carried away by friends, but most shocking of all, dead bodies stacked up. Young men dead for demonstrating for the right to vote, the right to quick elections.

It is easy to watch it far away on the TV screen and forget that those who have died are real human beings with families that love them. I look at the faces of the police and the demonstrators and my heart weeps - how can brother set upon brother at the behest of a government that cares for neither but is only interested in maintaining the status quo?

When will governments learn they are not there for themselves but are only in power to run the country well for the people? Why does authority get scared when the people demand answers and ask that their government does better? A government is meant to belong to the people and NOT the people to the government.


Saturday, 19 November 2011

Robin van Persie Goal scoring Machine - Norwich V Arsenal 1 - 2

Robin van Persie comes through AGAIN. Arsenal's captain, man of the moment, man of the match, team mascot and linchpin has lifted the spirits of his team and the fans.

31 goals is his current tally of this year in the premiership. 31 GOALS? This is despite being injured a lot of the earlier half of the year. Less than half-way through this season, he's already scored 13 goals in the premiership and is its current top goal scorer.

The Gunners attacked right from the start but threw away 3 chances in the first 15mins with Norwich's Morison scoring first from a Meresacker mistake. It wasn't the German defender's best showing. His imposing 6'6 presence is currently striking fear into the Arsenal goalkeeper and NOT the opposing teams as he keeps making mistakes that gift goals. The Canaries held unto that lead for 10 minutes with a solid defensive wall.

However Arsenal continued to attack doggedly and Van Persie scored his first goal from an excellent pass from Walcott who is also having his best Arsenal season to date. Walcott's speed is extremely hard to beat and the Norwich midfield was caught napping.

The first half ended 1-1 and it is a measure of how much Arsenal have changed that the team did not crumble in the 2nd half. The team are no longer the mentally defeated team their fans despaired of at the start of the season. Van Persie put in a 2nd goal with a pass from Song a few minutes into the 2nd half. Norwich fought back hunting for an elusive equaliser and their best chance was in the 66th minute when Pilkington managed to fumble in front of Arsenal's open goal.

After that, it was Arsenal's game with Walcott almost extending the lead in the dying minutes with a shot off the outside of the post. 3 points firmly in the bag, up to 6th in the tables (which we can hang unto if Liverpool lose or draw tomorrow).

Most of the thanks for this should go to Van Persie. My brother (A ?Man U supporter) referred to Van Persie as a goal scoring machine. Extremely apt.

Robin van Persie - you ROCK!!

Friday, 18 November 2011

Black Hair - The Weave effect - going Brown & Blonde

My first weave was about 12 years ago. It was the period I call 1st weight-loss, I had lost 40lbs and decided to to try a different look. For some reason I cannot remember, I decided to get 2 different shades of darkish brown (nos 2 and 4). Although I was full of trepidation, the subtle streaking worked. The hair and I got a lot of compliments.

So next time, I went much bolder with the colours. Picking out two shades of brown and gold, I decided to dive into the new look head-on, and instead of letting it just fall long and straight, I had it tonged into bouncy curls. As soon as I stepped out of the salon, a black guy across the road wolf-whistled! I was startled. Walked a few metres and another black guy sidled up to me, said 'hello sexy' and asked for my number. I fended off a couple of other black guys in the next five minutes. I am female enough to have smiled. : )

A few months after this, I had a date with an ex boyfriend from Uni. Background: we had met up a few years after Uni, gone on a couple of church-type dates, then things just fizzled out. Guess it didn't help, it was pre 1st weight-loss period and I was 50lbs heavier than when he knew me in Uni. Anyway, we got talking again, and he suggested we meet up for a meal. I didn't think to mention to him I had lost about 40lbs. Brown and blonde glistening curls, purple overcoat, 40lbs lighter, contacts instead of glasses and he didn't recognise me. He was picking me up at the station and it was very satisfying to see him give me an admiring look but walk past me, look puzzled at a couple of other girls, and then whip out his phone to call me to ask if I was running late. I laughed and asked him to look again behind him. He looked around, saw me, his eyes bugged out and he did a double-take. For the next 10 minutes, he stuttered about how much I had changed and then proposed to me at dinner. No kidding. Such can be the power of the weave.

When I am brown & blonde, I have guys stop me in shops, on the street, at the petrol station (ok, that one surprised me) etc to chat me up/and ask for my number. Now you gotta understand, I am quite ordinary with average looks - I scrub up okay but that's all. When I have an afro, guys smile at me, when I have single braids, they smile and a few come over, when I have a brown weave streaked with blonde, drawn by the power of the weave, I get requests for my phone number and offers of dinner/drinks/movies etc. Almost enough to make a gal want to permanently attach the hair to her head!

Some black guys love to talk about how much they dislike weaves - well, many guys might feel that in their heads but their eyes have obviously not received the memo! LOL.

I'll be clear - I am not advocating weaves as the notion of beauty and am pretty bemused about the new craze for Brazilian & Asian weaves. I absolutely love black hair in all its looks - the ultra-low buzz-cut, the short natural, large Afro, intricate cornrows, single braids, sexy locs, quick pigtails, relaxed & bone-straight etc. My motto is, if it works for your face and shape of your head, go for it.

However, when it comes to hair, I am equal opportunities all the way. My hair's 100% natural - no chemicals near it for 3 or 4 years. This year, I've worn my hair in different looks - a natural Afro, Locs, chunky pigtails, afro-puffs, single braids, cornrows, and in a weave. I can't speak for anyone but it's not about not loving my natural hair or wanting to have European hair or believing that's the standard of beauty. I like natural, I like relaxed, I like weaves, I like locs. I just simply get bored with a hairstyle after a while and want to shake things up.

I love having the freedom of being able to have all these looks.


Thursday, 17 November 2011

No Racism in Football - Sepp Blatter says abuse is just a tactic.

FIFA's president says there is no racism in football.

Asked whether he thought racism on the pitch was a problem, FIFA's president Sepp Blatter told CNN World Sport: "I would deny it. There is no racism. There is maybe one of the players towards another - he has a word or a gesture which is not the correct one. But the one who is affected by that, he should say 'this is a game'. We are in a game, and at the end of the game, we shake hands, and this can happen, because we have worked so hard against racism and discrimination."

No racism in football????????????

Is Sepp Blatter on another planet? Does he live in a world where men and women are actually always judged by the content of their character and not their skin colour? Does he refuse to see the disgusting sight when English teams go to play in some European countries and the fans of these European clubs mock and hoot at the black players all through the game?

While Blatter accepts there is some racism by fans which still needs to be stamped out, in his view, there is none on the football pitch. In his world, anything players say to each other on the pitch is all part of the game. The black players should man up, grow a pair, be good sports about it, understand it's all about their opponent trying to out-psyche them - and once the game is over, they should accept an apology and shake hands on the pitch afterwards.

Blatter is unbelievable! So, call me a black idiot or a monkey on the field, but as soon as the game is over, just apologise and say it was a game and let's shake hands?

This is utter madness! A black player is meant to ignore the crude racist abuse from the fans of opposing European teams and is now also expected to ignore being racially abused on the pitch. I guess in Blatter's tiny little world, all black people are smiley happy robots who just shrug off any abuse. It's all part of the game, innit!!

This is the same Sepp Blatter who said women footballers should wear tighter shorts to boost the popularity of the female game! What next??? Have the black female players play topless during the game?

The UK has definitely come a long way from the dark days of the 1970's. Black players are no longer routinely called monkeys or have bananas thrown on the pitch. Some racism still exists but the football clubs and the FA have done a lot to stamp out the petty everyday racism that black players had to face daily from their own team-mates and fans 20 - 30 years ago. Football is probably the most racially united game in the UK with fans of a team no longer caring what colour their players are, as long as they deliver on the pitch. As an Arsenal fan, I can tell you we would happily accept players from Mars if they were geniuses on the pitch!

The English FA is currently dealing with 2 high profile cases of alleged racism - Liverpool's Suarez has just been accused of racially abusing Patrice Evra of Man U and Chelsea's John Terry is under investigation for abusing Anton Ferdinard who plays for QPR. John Terry also happens to be England's captain, so it will be interesting to see how the issue is dealt with.

Just remember, when you are called racist or sexist names on the pitch or at your work-place, understand it is all a tactic to psyche you out, do a Blatter and shake your opponent's hand afterwards! *sarcasm*


Cain's Libya Fiasco - watch the disastrous video interview.

Aas many readers might know, I have previously written a  blog postcard about Herman Cain's sexual harassment allegations problem. Whilst I believe he has handled that very badly, and I also think his 9-9-9 economic plan is a targeted assault against the middle-class, poor and vulnerable, I have always thought that as a very successful business man, he would be mega-smart, on the ball, and able to pick up new things quickly.

Now, I don't know if Cain froze with the cameras on him, or his handlers just sent him off into this interview ill-prepared. This video is almost painful to watch. At first he doesn't seem to know where Libya is or what President Obama's role has been, and then it goes downhill from there. Please watch the video posted below yourself.

What can one say about the current crop of Republican candidates? Bachmann is a crackpot, Ron Paul is eccentric, Cain is becoming more of an embarrassment by the day, Perry is ill-prepared, Santorum (huh? who?). The intelligent thoughtful candidates, Huntsman and Romney, are not liked by the Republican party. Gringich is also intelligent but carries an enormous amount of baggage. It is almost enough for one to want Sarah Palin to run!

President Obama might have had a difficult 3 years in office, but one thing is clear - if he wins the elections in 2012, the Republican party will have lost the election because it has allowed its soul to be bought and owned by the Tea Party. The Tea Party's agenda of slash & burn, take no prisoners, no compromise, do not work with the other side under ANY circumstances, is destroying a Grand Old Party that was once known for thoughtful intellectual ideas. True conservatism is not despise the poor and make the rich richer.

The Tea Party's agenda is also destroying the USA. Poll after poll shows that majority of Americans favour spending cuts AND also raising tax on corporations and the wealthy. Any sensible person knows if a country cuts spending but does not increase revenue, it is harder for a country to grow than if  a government cuts spending but also finds way to increase revenue. The so-called job creators (the corporations) are not creating jobs or wealth in America but are shipping American jobs overseas. American Corporations are job creators all right - in CHINA and INDIA & for Chinese and Indian workers!

No political party should ever allow itself to be hijacked by a small radical wing.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Life is a game of 2 halves ..

Imagine for a moment that you are a football fan who's recorded your favourite team play their rivals. You discover the scores are 5 - 3 with your team winning. Getting home, you settle down to watch the match with a long drink and a pack of chips. Now, if you are anything like me, knowing the results does not stop you getting excited, jumping up and down, yelling at the screen and bemoaning all the missed chances of your team. You almost have heart failure when the 1st half ends with your team down 0 - 3. The 2nd half opens and your goal-keeper is sent off, then you lose another player. Your head slumps as you frantically check the results again to assure yourself your team did actually win 5 - 3. 90 minutes of play pass in a blur - your team still hasn't scored and you whimper in horror. The referee gives 4 minutes of extra time and suddenly, your team scores - you leap from your seat in delight, and in an amazing heart-pounding display they proceed to score 4 more goals in quick succession. You flop back in your seat, emotionally drained, voice gone from whooping in delight and heart pounding from the death-inducing roller-coaster.

For anyone who believes in the GOD of the bible, that is pretty much the story of our lives. Psalm 139 says all our days are numbered and written in His book. GOD knows what we will say before we say it - our thoughts, our plans are not hidden from Him.

What does GOD say about you? All things work together for good for those who love the LORD. His thoughts towards you are good and not evil to bring you to an expected end. He will never leave you nor forsake you. No-one who trusts in the LORD shall be ashamed.

Whatever the first half of the match of your life looks like, don't despair. It does not matter if the other team scores 3 goals and you score none. It doesn't matter if you are staring failure right in the eyes, if everything seems to be crumbling around you or is seemingly delayed. Life is a game of 2 halves. It is half-time right now. The 2nd half is coming.

Ok, so you have faith. You hold on. You believe GOD. You trust Him and cling to His word but as soon as the 2nd half begins, wham, bam, your goal-keeper is taken out. You struggle to hold on, to see GOD's hand in this new disaster, to try to fathom how He'll turn this around. But discouragement creeps in, your head hangs down, your legs get tired, then your mega-talented striker is kicked, falls down in agony and is carried off the field.  All you now want to do is give in. No goalie, no striker, 3 goals down, surely it is all over. Hang on, dig deep. Whatever word or promise GOD has given you WILL come to pass. When GOD made a covenant with Abraham, He sealed it with a covenant - a promise. He slew an animal, cut it into two. His actions told Abraham - if I GOD, do not bring forth my promise to give you a son, then let ME God, be slain and cut into half like this sacrifice.

This is not an invitation or excuse to keep sinning wilfully. GOD is a GOD of both judgement and grace. HE abhors sin. Those who love Him hate sin too. The child of GOD sins but doesn't want to. They cry out to God for deliverance. And HE delivers us. 

JESUS's death on the cross is the absolute promise we need that ALL our sins are forgiven. JESUS's resurrection from the dead is the guarantee that if we accept HIS sacrifice, then we are made right with GOD. JESUS sending the Holy Spirit was a guarantee that everyone who comes to HIM is accepted by GOD the Father.

All our misdeeds, mistakes, disobedience (wilful and otherwise) are written into GOD's plan for your life. The bible says He knew you and chose you even before the foundations of the earth were laid. So, if you love GOD, hold on and cling to Him. GOD is never late. Ever. He just has this habit of strolling in right in the nick of time, looking around and going, Wsup? Surely you knew and trusted I would arrive. And before you know it, in a speedy dizzying turn of events that make your heard whirl and jaw drop, in the very last 4 minutes of extra time, every promise GOD has given you is fulfilled. Hang on. Never Ever let go. He is faithful and can be trusted always.

If you do not have a relationship with maybe, maybe today is the day it is written that you will come to Him. Is JESUS knocking at the door of your heart? Today, if you will hear His voice, let Him in. Is today your day of Salvation?


Sunday, 13 November 2011

Berlusconi quotes - Sex, Bunga Bunga parties, Escorts, being German, Aids.

Silvio Berlusconi has finally resigned as Italian prime minister after 18years in the job. Italians are out dancing in the street in delight. There are parties being thrown to celebrate the momentous day. Hundreds lined the streets to jeer and pelt Berlusconi's official car with missiles as he drove to give his resignation.

While Italians were divided in their opinion on Berlusconi, many Italians saw him as a national embarrassment. He seemed to commit a gaffe every time he opened his mouth.

Here are some of his more memorable quotes:

"When asked if they would like to have sex with me, 30% of women said, 'Yes', while the other 70% replied, 'What, again?'"

"All of us have a homosexual part of 25%, which I also have. The only thing is that I, after a profound examination, have realised that my homosexual part is lesbian."

'Girls are lining up outside my door but I have to turn them away. I do only eight girls a night, because I can't do more.'

On Italy's growing economic crisis: "Life in Italy is life in a prosperous country. We see that on every occasion, consumption has not gone down, the restaurants are full, you have trouble booking seats on aeroplanes, holiday areas are totally booked out on long weekends. I don't think that if you went to live in Italy that Italy is feeling anything that could resemble a serious crisis."

"In Italy I am almost seen as German for my workaholism. Also I am from Milan, the city where people work the hardest. Work, work, work - I am almost German." 

"In my opinion, and not only mine, I am the best prime minister we can find today."

"The best political leader in Europe and in the world." 

Berlusconi suggests his ruling PDL party should rename itself "Forza Gnocca!", a play on the name of his original Forza Italia! (Go Italy!) party, using a slang term for female genitals. 

Advocating women should marry rich, older men: "Women are lining up to marry me. Legend has it, I know how to do it."

Berlusconi brags of "doing only eight girls a night, because I couldn't do more."

"It's better to like beautiful girls than to be gay,"

Berlusconi tells survivors of an earthquake camping in emergency tents: "They should look at it as a weekend of camping."

“Barack Obama is handsome, young and also suntanned"

"I am the Jesus Christ of politics, I am a patient victim, I put up with everyone, I sacrifice myself for everyone."

Berlusconi promises to give up sex until the next election. "Thank you dear Father Massimiliano," he tells a preacher who praised him for defending family values. "I'll try not to let you down and I promise you two and a half months of complete sexual abstinence until April 9."

On Finnish President Tarja Halonen: “I had to use all my playboy tactics, even if they have not been used for some time,"

"Mussolini never killed anyone. Mussolini sent people on holiday in (internal) exile," Berlusconi claims the  dictator was "benign".

On himself: "One citizen is equal to another (in the eyes of the law) but perhaps this one is slightly more equal than the others, given that 50 percent of Italians have given him the responsibility of governing the country"

Encouraging laid-off workers to find employment on the black market. "The most keen can certainly find a second job, maybe unofficial."

During a group photograph at an informal EU summit in Spain, Berlusconi raises two fingers behind the head of the Spanish foreign minister, Josep Pique, in the traditional Latin gesture for a cuckold.

"We should be conscious of the superiority of our civilisation, which consists of a value system that has given people widespread prosperity in those countries that embrace it, and guarantees respect for human rights and religion. This respect certainly does not exist in the Islamic countries."

"I unfortunately have never in my life been to a wild party."

"I deserve to be left in peace: enough violations of privacy."

"I am not a saint, you've all understood that."

On paying for sex: "I never understood where the satisfaction is when you're missing the pleasure of conquest."

"If I wasn't already married, I would marry you right away." Comment to a woman at a TV awards dinner.

"With you, I'd go anywhere." Comment to another woman.

Opinion about Italian secretaries: "Italy is now a great country to invest in. Today we have fewer communists and those who are still there deny having been one. Another reason to invest in Italy is that we have beautiful secretaries, superb girls."

"I am without doubt the person who's been the most persecuted in the entire history of the world and the history of man."

"There is no-one on the world stage who can compete with me."

"Out of love for Italy, I felt I had to save it from the left."

"The right man in the right job."

"I don't need to go into office for the power. I have houses all over the world, stupendous boats, beautiful airplanes, a beautiful wife, a beautiful family - I am making a sacrifice."

Mr Berlusconi jokes about Aids: "An Aids patient asks his doctor whether the sand treatment prescribed him will do any good. 'No', the doctor replies, 'but you will get accustomed to living under the earth'."

His response when told the joke was offensive: "They have lost their minds; they really have come to the end of the line, indeed they have gone beyond it. I would advise them, too, to undergo sand treatment."

Larger than life, colourful, defiant, obnoxious, bombastic, frankly often offensive - love him or hate him, there are not many politicians like Silvio Berlusconi. There will be many Italians hoping his retirement from politics is a permanent one. However with Berlusconi, who can tell? He has come-back many more times than can be counted.