To tithe or not to tithe?

I don’t like to talk about religion and politics on my wall. Two volatile topics that makes people lose their senses. Smh
But I will say I am really disappointed in this issue of tithing. I am disappointed in the Christian body but not surprised.

Our men of God and their minions have gotten so comfortable with their idea of serving God. Pompous self serving men/women claiming to be holier than thou. Leaving what they are supposed to do and focusing on self gain. Now, a lot of people who go to church just to fulfil all righteousness are going to leave or just blank out and become lost to the kingdom.

When I was in the University my school fellowship (RCF UNAD) organized a program and a woman and her husband (both preachers) came to minister at the program. The woman titled her message “Where is your grandchild” I will never forget the message.

The white men who brought religion to Africa, where are their own descendants now? They built cathedrals that are mostly empty and more of a tourist attraction now.

This is what will happen to Christianity in Africa very soon. Daddy freeze came up running his mouth about tithing, it started as a joke but it’s gaining momentum. Not one “man of God” has come out to prove Daddy Freeze wrong. So what have “they” been teaching us all along?

So what is the usefulness of pastors? To buy new suits and struts on a pulpit? To declare empty prophecies? I don’t like pastors. Some of my friends know why. I serve God my own way now, and I am closer to God than ever before.

Dear pastor, you may be getting people into church but how many are you leading into the kingdom of God?

Smh.

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Down the memory lane.

I sat down tiredly inside the bus after a stressful day at the office, I sent a silent prayer to God for a light traffic at most then opened my Facebook to check the latest trend when I saw the pictures. John and his wife’s third year wedding anniversary. Three years already? I don’t wish him bad at all, even when I was still angry. I believe that we all have our journey preplanned by God. Our destinies are already written in the stars, we are just actors in a movie orchestrated by God the Almighty. I hardly allow things I don’t have control over to weigh me down. As the bus moved out of the park though, memories came flooding back.

I was on my way back from church on that faithful Sunday when my cousin Helen called me and immediately I heard her voice I knew she was calling about ‘the’ matter on ground. “Funke, even the bible says that it’s not good for a woman to be alone……” “Which version of the bible are you reading?” I cut in jokingly. She wasn’t having in this time, “Funke why are you so determined to spend all your time alone, please give John a chance. I know him very well and I promise he won’t mess up. He is ready to settle down! I am your cousin and I can’t push you to your death, you know that” she implore whole heartedly and this time I couldn’t say no again. There’s is no harm in trying, it’s been eighteen months since Olashile and I parted ways, and sometimes, loneliness creeps in. “Ok, give him my number Helen. But if he misbehave, I will hold you responsible o” Helen screamed joyously and again promised that John is the real deal.

Later that same day, John called me and my heart melted immediately I heard that deep baritone voice. We spoke for over 30 minutes that first time. “This is looking good” I thought. The next weekend, we met and I liked him even more. We sometimes stay up till 3am in the morning chatting about everything. He was so much fun to be with. He made it clear from the beginning that he was not looking for a fling. I wasn’t too, I would love to start a family of mine own. The first 1 month was so blissful except, he refused to tell me why his previous relationship broke up. He didn’t even mention her name, not even once in our conversation did he let he name slip. Every time I asked, he will say he didn’t want to say anything negative about her, besides it’s all in the past. After a while I decided not to make a mountain out a molehill, I let it slide. Four months into our relationship, he told me he will be traveling home to meet his mum, he want her to know that he is planning to get married in few months’ time, I was really excited and I wished him well. The very day he got to his mother’s house, he called me late in the night and in a voice that was strange to my hearing he told me to pray. I could not sleep that night. Pray about what? Did the mom take my name to a seer and they gave him negative prophesy? I prayed like I have never prayed before.

To compound my worry, he refused to pick my calls the second day, he just sent a text to me that he will call me when he could. That there’s an issue to attend to at home. I was on pins and needles all day, I couldn’t concentrate at work. Finally on the third day he came back to Lagos. I met a different John. He was lean and sad, nothing I do could cheer him up, I asked him about what he went to tell his mom and he answered with a heavy sigh but refused to tell me anything. My instinct told me that it has to do with the Ex and I decided it’s high time I found out what went wrong so I set to work. With the help of Helen and her friends I was able to unravel the identity of Johns Ex. I also got to know also that John and his Ex are back together. I was numbed at first, I couldn’t even process it. Helen was panicked but I told her not to say a word

to John.

I finally confronted him and he opened up to me, though reluctantly at first. Apparently, the whole family threatened to boycott his wedding if he married me. His mother vowed never to step feet in his home. They told him the devil one has known for long is better than the angel one just met. He succumbed to the pressure and the issue between both of them were settled.

I was devastated, vow never to allow my heart to be broken again. I told John no hard feelings, I harbor no hatred for him. He got married few months later, I congratulated him and I decided to close my heart off any relationship.

Three years! All alone. I looked at the picture again and I thought of trying again. I should have my own family…….

But what if it happens again? I may not survive it.

THE END.

To love and to Hide: 2.

I waited till my husband came back from the office and I showed him the WhatsApp messages sent to me by my friend. In his usual funny way he told me maybe we should invite Mary Igbin to our bedroom so that she can have things to tell others about. This made me laugh and calmed my fury. I decided to let go of the issue, no point, what is done is done.

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Mary called me a week later, “Hello Seyi, how are you and how’s work? I want to come and visit you please send me your address”. I laughed at first, then wasted no time to shut her down. I replied, “So you can take pictures of my home and post on your WhatsApp group right?”. The silence from her end was total, she was stunned. When I told my husband about her reaction later that night, we laughed till our belly hurt.

.

To my utmost surprise, Mary called back few days later. She apologized for the WhatsApp messages, I told her that she didn’t offend me but she is not welcome in my home. She Said ok, then told me about a friend of hers that sells shoes and bags, I told her if I needed to patronise her, I will call.

.

When she called me few days later, I didn’t want to pick the call, in actual fact, I decided to block her later that day, but when she kept calling me repeatedly all day, I finally picked to hear what she had to say. I felt a little pang of guilt though when she started crying over the phone.
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Her husband lost his job five months back and all the savings are gone. They have not paid the year’s rent. To make matter worse, her son is in the hospital and they needed some money. I asked for her account number and transferred 50000 naira to her. I talked to my husband and he promised to help her husband secure a job. I expected that to be enough, but Mary must be very determined to know everything about me at all cost.
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I decided to host some of my friends and their spouses at our house, so I sent an invite, I never made it public. It was to be a small gathering of close friends only, I was shocked to my bone marrow when my friend Celina and her husband got down from their car on the set day and Mary came down from the back seat.
She was alone and she was smiling sheepishly, I couldn’t contain my anger so I asked her what she was doing in my house. She was taken aback by the intensity of my anger and as she was stammering, Celina explained that they saw Mary at the gate to the estate where we live, and they exchanged greetings. When she asked where they were going, they told her that I invited them to a party, Mary then told them that she was also invited but she mistakenly deleted my address from her phone and she has been trying to call me but I didn’t pick my call. That was why Celina asked her to follow them to my house. I had a only one question for her before I ordered her out of my house. “Mary, why are you so desperate to know where I live? To know everything about me!!
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I didn’t allow the incident to ruin my party, I filled others in about what she has been up to and everyone agreed with me that her behavior towards me is not healthy, that I should stay far away from her. So I blocked and deleted her number off my phone, I also blocked her on Facebook. I informed my gate man never to allow her into my home. I heaved a sigh of relief, with the believe that I won’t have any encounter with her again.
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A month later, on a Sunday Evening, my husband and I were on our way home from an event when my he checked the rear view mirror and asked me if that is not Mary on a bike behind us, I told my husband to drive around a little to be sure that she is really tailing us. We saw her directing the bike man to follow our car so I called the estate security. She was picked up as she got down from the bike running towards as we drove into the house. We asked her to be handed over to the police. Then by Monday, we will know the next step to take. I went to bed that night really confused. What does she want from me?
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As I was driving out to work on Monday morning, I met Mary’s husband and her mother at the gate. I called my husband and he told them to meet us at the police station. I called them at the office and headed to the station. In her statement, Mary said she only wanted to ask for help from me and reminded me about the job my husband wanted to help her husband to secure. So that was why she was stalking me? She said yes.
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I didn’t believe her and I said so, but the investigation officer on the case told me to give her a final warning not to disturb me anymore. She was made to write an undertaking not to come near my family again. As her release was being processed, I looked at her and when our gaze met, a shiver of dread run through my spine at the cold look she gave me.

.

On our first year anniversary, I decided as part of the celebration to post some of my wedding pictures showing my husband’s face. I posted random pictures taken previously too. I wondered if the incident with Mary wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t hide my husband’s identify.

But do I owe anyone a sneak peek to my life?

🔅🔅🔅🔅🔅🔅🔅🔅🔅🔅🔅🔅🔅
THE END.

To Love and to Hide..

One after the other, my friends got married and I became the last girl standing. It was a difficult period due to incessant questions and veiled mockery by some people. The pressures were out of this world but I bore all with dignity. After a while, I came to the realization that a lot of people wanted to know my story so they can have something to tell others, spread gossips around, so I locked up.

I remain ever friendly and vivacious, but my love life was out of bounds to anyone and everyone. So it came as a surprise, even a big shock to some when I sent a message to my friends that I just got married.
I apologised for not informing them ahead and I pleaded for understanding. I also changed my relationship status on Facebook to married, and I got a lot of congratulatory messages. When I uploaded pictures though, none showed my husband’s face. I didn’t change my Facebook name to reflect my new status too.
I kept the identity of my husband a secret known to only a few persons outside my immediate family. It was not really something I planned but I decided to do it when I noticed an unusual interest in the person I got married to.
I got Messages and calls from people asking varieties of questions about my husband. Some friends who have never sent me an inbox message were doing so, asking where he is from, some wants to know where he works etc. So I decided to keep my home out of the social media. For months, every picture i posted on social media always shows my husband’s back or profile. After a while when I expected the curiosity to have died down, It took a very strange and disturbing turn.
✳✳✳✳✳✳✳✳✳✳✳✳✳✳✳✳✳✳✳✳✳✳✳✳✳✳
My husband is an only child of his mom. The mother got pregnant while in a teacher’s college and the father refused to take responsibility, she died while giving birth to him and the mother’s parents raised him as their own. He grew up to be a spitting image of his father though. So as time goes by, the traditional ruler of their town called both families and made my father in-law to apologise to the family and he admitted to being scared of being a father since he was also a student then. Over the years, even though he got married and had his own family, my husband never really warmed up to his father.
When we were about getting married though, we met with his father and he stood as the father of the groom at the registry especially since my husband’s grandfather who raised him was dead. My husband and his half siblings aren’t close except for occasional phone calls and little interaction on Facebook. But when the first born of his step mom wanted to get married, my husband was informed and we made preparations to attend.
We got to Ibadan a day before the wedding and lodged in an hotel, my husband said he didn’t want much interaction with his father’s family so we didn’t go there till early Saturday morning for the engagement. Immediately I got down from the car, I heard someone screamed my name and I turned around to see Mary Igbin a Facebook friend, she went to the same University with me but she studied a different course. We exchanged greetings but her eyes kept going to my husband walking towards us. I had no choice than to introduce her to my husband. I got pissed off when she said “Haba, Seyi! Why are you hiding your husband nah. He is young and handsome”. My husband laughed at this but I didn’t find it funny. I just smiled though and we entered the house to greet family members.
So, that’s what some people have been saying. That I hide my husband’s face because he is old or ugly? I wondered for the umpteenth time why people are so curious about my life!!! Not that I am a celebrity or anything remotely close to that!. So why the curiosity?
I sat down among the guest and I tried my best to blend among the people while my hubby was with his father and some other people discussing the arrangements made for the day. I was uncomfortable when this lady came to sit my side, she was full of questions. When she saw my husband with his father and the uncanny resemblance between them, she wanted to know how come. She kept saying they looked like twins except one is older.
She asked again why I don’t post my husband’s picture on Facebook and I told her it’s how I want it. When she asked me for my number, I didn’t know how to decline so I gave her. She was in my ear throughout the engagement ceremony, talking about one person or the other. She has one story to tell about everyone. I wondered how she got to know the family so well and she told me that her father built a house on that street years back and she lived there till she got married.
She took a couple of pictures with me and I was a little dismayed when I saw she posted some and tagged me on those pictures on Facebook. One of those pictures shows my husband’s back as he was talking to an Uncle. So I had no choice than to tell her not to post my husband’s pictures online. She was quick to say “ok”, so I knew she will do something silly!. I couldn’t seize her phone so I decided to let go of it since I have no negative reasons to hide my husband anyway, I love him and I am super proud of him, I just didn’t want to feed the curiosity of some friends.
Mary followed us to church from the engagement venue, she practically glued herself to me throughout the rest of the wedding. When she asked when we will go back to Lagos, I told her we don’t know yet.

I didn’t want her yapping about everything and everyone on the way to Lagos.

On Monday Evening after I got home from the office, I got message from a dear friend who told me he will send some screenshots to my WhatsApp number. I said ok, as a parting shot, he told me I did good by keeping my home off social media, that I should try to keep friendnemies off too.

I was speechless when I opened my WhatsApp and I discovered that Mary posted my husband’s pictures on a WhatsApp group.

To be continued…………

Musings:Healthy competition.

A healthy competition enables growth.

When it seem you are the best, there is a tendency to relax and not push yourself to be better, but when a competition comes, you are forced to reevaluate yourself and grow. Never be afraid when competition comes, instead use it as a spring board to climb higher.
Never underestimate anyone. It’s takes less than a second for a dramatic change to happen. Suddenly, an athlete leading may come second place just very close to the finish line. Watch it.
Don’t assume a position is yours unless it has been given you. Don’t assume you deserve it, there may be someone who has better understanding or capabilities to handle it. Dont pull down others  because the rising of one may be the ladder you need to climb higher.

Wait and watch.
Don’t relent in doing good. Pay the good forward, the bad too will germinate one day. Then you reap what you sow.
Don’t compare yourself to others. Even twins are different in many ways. Live your life the way you want as long as it’s not against God’s ordination. You will be surprised to know how many people are watching you and looking up to you as an inspiration.
You have something to offer. Find it, and make a difference in your generation.

Love, peace and light. 
Shalom.

#Repost

Written on 25th of July 2016.

When love ends part 2

It’s hard to believe that Kemi and I met less than two years ago, we have similar interests​, and she is funny and very kind. We don’t do the party scene, we will rather watch a movie at home or just visit each and gossip about happenings around us. I introduced her to my other friends though I never met hers because she said she hardly keep friends. Her parents were over joyed when they were told she got a job through my contact, her parents are poor so the fact that she can contribute to the family’s upkeep and help out with her siblings was a huge relief. The fact that she got a job before me never dimmed our friendship, her relationship with Lekan, the man she met through her colleague was going stronger by the day and I was happy for her. All that changed though when I got a job.

An advertising company here in Lagos called me for an interview seven months after service, I couldn’t even remember sending my CV to the organization. The lady that called me for the interview asked if I could come by 8am the next day and I said yes. I went for the mid-week service after that and I came back a little late, all I could do was eat and grabbed my GMAT in preparation for the interview. I woke up early next morning and got to the venue of the interview by 7.30am, 30minutes before the stipulated time. The managing director of the company saw me waiting at the reception on his way in and asked the receptionist if I was one of the interviewees which she replied in the affirmative. The MD asked me if I know how to use the major social media very well and asked another staff to test my knowledge of Twitter application. Just that! and when I did well, I was asked if I can resume work immediately. I was dazed! I asked for the remuneration and welfare package of the company, what they offered was higher than I expect. I was over the moon.

 

I called my mum and sister immediately I was shown my cubicle then sent a text message to Kemi, “Ore you won’t believe this! I got a job! I mean I am at work right now. Full gist later tonight.” I dropped my phone and focused on the orientation I was being given by one of my new colleagues. I checked my phone twice before the closing time, but there was neither a call, text or whatsapp message from Kemi, I was a little worried because a day has never gone by without us having at least a chat, I called her number immediately I left the office but she didn’t pick, I decided to wait till I get home and give her the full gist of my miracle Job.   

When I got home though, I was quite surprised by the message I received from her! “So you got an offer of employment and you never bothered to tell me till you resumed. Nawa o”. I was dumbfounded, not even a congratulation! How could​ she conclude like that without asking how it came about. I called her immediately and I could hear from her voice that she was really furious, I apologized and explained to her that it was totally unexpected. She calmed down a little and congratulated me. I didn’t understand why she was so angry though  but I let that slide. Then barrage of questions began.

Kemi wanted to know how much my salary is, I told her it’s 120,000 and she Screamed! I never asked her how much she is being paid and she said “that’s 50k more than my salary, you are Lucky o”. That means her salary is 70k, she wanted to know if there will be other allowances, if traveling will be involved since it’s an advertising agency, she wanted to know the staff strength and if there are handsome single guys there. I was a little taken aback by her attitude so I gently cut her short that I need to eat now but will give her fill gist when we see by the weekend.

Two weeks after I resumed work, one of my cousins came by the house and gave me some money to shop for office wears, Kemi was the first person I called to ask if she will be free to follow me to get some things for myself. She agreed to go with me but she kept saying “Fiyin, you are now a big girl o, levels don change”. I have never seen this side of Kemi. Is she envious of me? Or am I being too sensitive? I shrugged and concluded that she is just being her funny self.

Few months later, one of my colleagues informed us that she is getting married and brought asoebi to the office for 7000 naira, i told Kemi about the wedding and asked if she will like to follow me, she said that on the condition that I will buy her own asoebi. I laughed over it and collected asoebi for both of us and I paid the 14000 naira with the intention of collecting her own share of the money when I give her the cloth.

I gave the cloth to Kemi and asked for the money, she said that she doesn’t have money, besides she had already told me that she will go with me only if I was willing to pay for her own asoebi. She said after all, I earn more than her and I don’t​ have any responsibility at home since both my parents are working and don’t need me to contribute to the upkeep of family. I bore the cost​ of the cloth and kept quiet.

Few weeks later, a mutual friend of ours who served in the same PPA with her informed us about her wedding and she brought Asoebi for both of us. Kemi said I should borrow her the money that she will pay by month end. I borrowed her the money and when the month ended and I asked her, she flared up and said can’t I wait a little while? That she can’t run away because of 3000 naira. I kept quiet and Kemi refused to pay the money till date. I let that slide also.

Gradually, big cracks developed in our friendship, I don’t feel comfortable with her again. If I told her that I went out with a guy on a Saturday, she will say I am a big girl now that my level has changed. I never felt like that when she and Lekan started their relationship. I had no choice but to keep some things from her. When I got fed up with her attitudes, I told my brother about it and he advised that I should call her and have a heart to heart talk with her so that I can find out what is making her act that way.

I called her asked why she changed all of a sudden, why she always give snide remarks to everything I say or do. I was speechless when she mentioned that I didn’t tell her when I got a job till I resumed. She said she didn’t believe my story that it was totally unexpected. I was too weak to even argue with her. How could she still bear a grudge over that all this while? She also said that I buy nice things for myself and never even help her out, knowing fully well that she has so many dependants with her little salary. I couldn’t even ask her in what way she expect me to help her. When she started working and I was still going about looking for job, she never sent even recharge cards to me for once or do anything for me, if we go out then, I pay my fare and she pay hers. I apologized again but I was so sad at the turn of events and I realized that Kemi can no longer be trusted.

I am yet to recover from the shock I got when I met one of Kemi’s colleague who introduced Lekan to her at Ikeja and she asked how preparation is going. What preparation? She said Kemi and Lekan’s wedding of course. I can’t even remember what I said to the lady I must have sounded so silly, I couldn’t believe Kemi will keep something like that from me. Why? I still chat with her that same day, she never mentioned anything.

It’s been two weeks since I got to know, yet she hasn’t told me. I was confused as to what I should do. Should I ask her? Should I pretend I didn’t hear? The wedding is in two weeks. We communicate almost every day!. 

What should I do?

THE END.

Epilogue:

Exactly a week to the wedding, I received a text message from Kemi, “I had my registry wedding today, engagement is on Saturday. Full gist later”. I am yet to reply her message. So this is her pay back? Should I go for the wedding?.

……………………………

 

When Love ends.

 The bus stopped in front of the orientation camp and I was relieved. It was a two hours journey in a rickety bus and to make matters worse, I sat at the back with old women going to the market. I took my bags and the buckets I bought at the motor park from the floor where the conductor dumped them.  On getting closer to the gate I saw a line already formed and a lady at the front of the line gestured to me to come to her which I did and she whispered to me to stay in front of her, I gladly did. Even though others protested, we ignored them. She introduced herself as Oluwakemi, a graduate of business Administration from a neighboring state from the school I graduated from, studied the same course as I, also Lagos based. I was so happy to have met someone nice so quickly, it means the three weeks orientation will be more interesting.  

My name is Fiyinfoluwa judge me if I am wrong.

We went everywhere together, even though we weren’t in the same Platoon, we were posted to the same room. I made friends in my platoon also but Kemi and I were a team throughout the three weeks at Elebuwa Camp. We made friends with some NYSC officials with the hope that we can influence our posting to the same local government at least. Our trips​ to the mammy market were always fun and we made friends with some of the sellers so that we can get extras. 

 Finally on the last day at the orientation camp, we waited with bated breath while letters were being distributed. I was over the moon when we were posted to the state capital. I was posted to a school as a teacher while she was posted to the ministry of education. We reported to our place of primary assignment, got our letter of acceptance and went to the state secretariat. We also contributed money for accommodation because our PPA didn’t provide any accommodation, we bought few things needed and proceeded to Lagos together. We even met each other’s family during our brief stay in Lagos, so fast was how our friendship blossomed.

We were both single to stupor, her insecure boyfriend broke up with her after she wrote her final papers because he believed she will meet another man during her service year and he still had​ one year left at school since he was studying a five year course. I on the other hand had​ been single for two years since my ex decided to seek greener pastures abroad and he told me not to wait for him. We always make fun of each other on not getting hooked during orientation because we were busy looking for freebies at mammy market.

 Two months into our service year though, I met a former neighbor of ours who was transferred out of Lagos to a neighboring state, he came on an inspection to the branch of his office and we met by chance. He asked for my CV and I submitted both mine and Kemi’s CV to him. To my greatest surprise, both of us were called for an interview a month before our passing out parade. We prayed and fasted for both of us to be employed and promised not to be sad even if only one person was employed. We went for the interview, she was called back for a test but I wasn’t. Exactly two weeks after we came back to Lagos, she got her employment letter. We celebrated the fact that she didn’t even stay long in ‘labor market’, and I told her to be on the lookout for me in case an opportunity came up.

We saw less of each other though. Understandably so because she sometimes go to work on Saturdays, but we continued our Aproko through chats and calls. She met a nice guy through a colleague at work who was serious about her and we occasionally hung at together. All was well with between on and we hardly have course to fight until I got a job everything changed.

 

Part 2 coming soon.