Wednesday, July 25, 2018

God is not a simulation expert.



Well, if praying meant asking God repeatedly in my head why this happened to my parents then yes, I had been praying.
Nikky Abe
Still 2

In the process of writing Still 2 and in the process of living life in general, I could never answer certain questions.
The above is a quote from one of my characters aka  Nikky the feisty one( if you have read still 1)  of the second part of the bestselling four book series.
Yes, it’s a shameless plug for book 2 *Insert Nollywood Dramatic Voice * Coming in December
I aint ashamed.
But I digress.
See, I didn’t understand why bad things happened to good people.
 Why women get raped, why innocent bystanders get murdered and the people that are the kindest patients have the worst disease processes. A sure way to know if a patient will die is how kind there are. If the patient is  nice there’s a high likelihood of death while the more cantankerous ones must be drinking the “everlasting life” cool aid. There’s a woman that was particularly kind whose death hits me till this day.


John 16 vs 33, KJV say These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

The truth is I could not be of good cheer.
My mind would be filled with questions of why a good and kind God would allow children he claimed to love so much to go through devasting events in life. And I wasn’t satisfied with Christianese answers.
There is always a tacit ideology among Christians that those questions should not be asked? That those questions are for unbelievers, agnostics and atheists. However, I believe it is a question that comes from the base of human instinct. It comes from a hurting heart, full of questions trying to make sense of life.
See in my quest, I also found the word that we have a high priest that is empathetic to our suffering.
I asked myself why did God go through the drama of having Jesus born, having him grow up from a toddler to a teenager and then an adult then have him suffer and die.
The answer is empathy.
There is an empathy that can only come through experience.
When he sits on the right hand of God he really empathizes with our struggles because he lived the full human experience.
See the point of life and our relationship with God is not to make heaven, if it were we would have been taken to heaven immediately we gave our lives to Christ.
Why should he risk losing us while we continue living in a worldy system that is under Satan’s control?
Let me speak a little christianese and say he did it so we could be little “gods” on earth. See God believes in us more than we believe in ourselves, He believes that the devastation will not kill us like the enemy intends but it will only make us stronger. We can get up and like nemo in “Finding Nemo, and we just keep swimming.
See when you go though some experiences you can look at another hurting soul and really mean it when you say “I have been there.”
Unfortunately, God cannot simulate losing a loved one or debilitating illness or grave injustice. You must go through it to become a “high priest” for that situation.
Then you can tell someone else in that situation confidently, “You will be fine. If I made it through, then so can you. “
When we yield to God in that painful situation, he uses it to empower us to help others.
However, sometimes the pain fogs our views and we play into the hand of the enemy. We become brittle and bitter.
I certainly don’t feel all situations are that simple and there are complex nuances in every painful experience we go through.
And the maddening thing is sometimes it will not make sense. Refer to Proverbs 3 vs 5
But I have learnt and continually learn to trust God and believe that He will make it all beautiful in his time.
I clear my head of stinking thinking mindsets that attributes these situations to God. God doesn’t want me to suffer but He allows the suffering for his purpose.


In trust, I have learnt that God may not be  simulation expert.  That while I hoped he would simulate certain experiences in my life, I have gotten to the point that I can say like the psalmists, I was glad I was afflicted that I may learn your statutes

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Forward/Young Girl Dreaming


I am just going to act like I haven’t blogged in a whole year.

A lot has happened in my absence from this space.
2017 is a year I will always remember but also one I would like to forget and move one from.
A lot of happy happenings sprinkled with small dose of pain.
But it was hopeful, exciting breathless.
I almost sound like I miss it.
I do.
I miss the hope I felt, the breath of new promise.

But I am learning to look forward and not limit God.
See if I keep my eyes on the past and how fun it was or what could have been, then I wont move forward. If I can’t move forward then I can’t experience the new plans God has in store for me.  It was a strange year.
One I both loved and hated, but I loved it more.

This year almost feels like one long continuation of 2017.

But  life should be lived in one direction: forward!



Young Girl Dreaming

My foundation is having its first event, a seminar about getting into medical school. I have always been very self -directed and goal oriented. I knew I wanted to be a doctor from a very young age and pursued it with a single-mindedness for a long arduous time. One day on a literal uphill walk to a friend’s house, during my wilderness years,  I remember thinking  one shouldn’t have to struggle so hard for a dream.

Maybe I was being a little bratty a la’ Israelite in the wilderness.  

But I was tired.

I promised myself that if I ever had a chance, I would make the journey easier for the  young women coming behind me. I would tell them my truth. I would do everything possible to shatter the lies of the enemy, lies a young girl tends to believe during the  the dark days.

The spark was there before that day but the fire was ignited that night.
So I had this vision to mentor your girls not necessarily personally but to sow “God” seeds in their lives using education as a medium and a relationship with God as framework.
I realize I have a LOT to learn and have a long way to go.  However, I felt this year was the time to MOVE.


I think it’s  also my desire to give my life meaning.
Life has to be more than life and work and a tupsy tursy love life. J
No I rebuke that! No negative confession. I speak life ! My love life is languid and peaceful.

I hope to help the young women that come to the seminar because I believe we all have something to offer the world.

I think the biggest tragedy is an unshared testimony. You never realize who you may be helping or more importantly encouraging

Sometimes its difficult to relate to David or Elijah or Samuel but it’s easy to relate to  Joanna down the street or Funke a class mate .

Coming from a Christian-ese African traditional culture shrouded in sometimes unnecessary secrecy, my personal pet peeve is when someone  gives a testimony comprising of
  1. 30 minutes of vigorous praise ad worship
  2. 30 minutes of repeated repeatedly –God is great. God is good. God is God. Or a variation of the above.
  3. Finish testimony 

Hey to each his own but if you give a testimony, GIVE IT
Don’t do something that is an a obligatory tick of the box. Give God a balls to the wall, all hands of deck, crying-with-snort-running-down-your –face testimony.

The bible says in Revelation 12 vs 11
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death


I do understand some issues are personal that one would rather not share. But sometimes self has to die, our personal reservations have to die and we share knowing that its more about the person you are helping and encouraging. Its more about being open before God and really giving him the honor he is due.  

Anyhoo, let me get off my soap box. Please do pass along the information to anyone you know that is interested in embarking this riveting career of saving lives.

Love and light folks.
Eniola Prentice

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Pride


I have always thought Pride was not subtle.

It was puffed up. It was apparent, very apparent.

Like Jay Z apparent. The man calls himself HOVA for Jehovah for goodness sake!

Or that arrogant rich kid we all went to school with.

Those people are proud.

Certainly not me.

God himself said He would oppose the proud.

Certainly He cannot be talking about me.

So pride wasn't an issue that concerned  me.

I did my thing with Jesus and Jesus loves his girl.
Good times, all around. Right?

WRONG! Like President Trump would say. 


God recently  began to reveal to me  the state of my heart. I must say it wasn't  pretty nor was it pleasant. It was actually shocking and embarrassing.

First He led me to James 4 vs 10 " Humble yourself before the Lord and he will lift you up. "

Then he led me to passage in II Samuel  and I had to get the right interpretation from a mentor. Solomon was a man that did not hold back with building, beautifying the temple of God. the passage talks about a man skilled in making objects for buildings. It essentially was talking about me being or ( my heart) being the temple that God was skillfully repairing and building.

Pride is most times not apparent. Its the subtle type that takes preeminence then congeals in our heart, that is the most dangerous. The one  that exalts  your intellect or intelligence above seeking God's face. Its essentially acting like you know more than God. Its not a conscious decision. We unconsciously  choose our will so often that it becomes a way of life.

 Its the subtle type  that is most dangerous because you don't even realize you have a problem.
 So it becomes stronger and stronger until "self" or "me me me" becomes the "god" of your life But  because you are a christian, of course you have to seek Gods face. So you make a decision then ask for God's approval. That arrangement works for us, the one where God is the malleable assistant that does not disrupt our carefully layed out plans.

See pride, how the enemy devises it, is not puffed up and apparent. Its not like the peacock we so liken it with, that would be too obvious. It is more refined  and yet  more damaging.

It has not been easy accepting  the deeply ingrained flaws that are part of me. But God reminded me of  Psalm 118 vs 18.  Chastisement is for the children of God. So I take the correction and move on.

I think humility is something we all have to practice everyday. That deliberate humbling of ones self has to be exactly what its called ... deliberate. Its an act that acknowledges that you are nothing without God and can do nothing apart from him.It a constant checking of the heart, putting every decision before the holy spirit. Its takes practice because it is not that natural for me.

I strongly believe the un- shared story is the only tragic story. If you die without sharing your story you died without preventing another person from making the same mistakes. Its waste of  your pain and suffering, the least you could do is save another person from that.

So that's it folks.
My shared story of how I thought I was the epitome of humble but  in God's eyes I was exactly like Jay -Z..... but for the cross.
Thank God for Jesus. : )

Live fearless

Eniola P



Friday, January 13, 2017

On this year past

*I wrote this on December 20th 2016 and was going to post it before the end of the year. A mixture of procrastination and work prevented me from doing so. *

I don’t do new years resolutions. I don’t see the point of it. I think if you notice a behavior, goal whatever you want to change/achieve etc then make necessary adjustments right there. Though a new year always gives one the opportunity to mentally re assess  lives and goals. I personally don’t think God sees time like we do but a new year is a mental shift that sometimes focuses our attention on God.

Most people I know thought this year was a mess, Trump was elected, Brexit happened, Aleppo is still happening and continues to get worse, insert any other anomaly in this space.
Personally, 2016 was a good year for me.   A majority of my prayers were not answered, no major life changes happened like getting married, nothing changed really but my mindset.
2015 was most peoples 2016 for me . I got into two car accidents back to back and two cars were totaled. The beginning of the year was one of the most challenging periods in residency. I wasn’t writing much and even when I tried to push through like I do now I just couldn’t muster enough strength to write. 

I will always refer to 2015  as the dark ages.  *Insert Charle Barkley meme "It was turrible.”  

My relationship with God also suffered. Yes, I was praying almost regularly but it was mostly christanese. It was this year I realized I can be insincere even in my personal prayers to God . It was a ticked box for me, a performance more for my conscience. It was pray in the morning, tick. Like we all do, I suppressed any hurt, anger and resentment I felt over some perceived disappointments ( I call them perceived disappointments because I believe there are not really disappointments in your life when you are a Christ refer to  Romans 8 vs 28). Towards the end of the year, I had a chastisement from God that re aligned me and made me focus on my underlying issues and back on God. I think sometimes when you have been a Christian for a long time we get caught up in Christianese, we keep up appearances even to God which is extremely foolish as He knows your heart before you even speak.

In the world of “christianesity” certain human emotions are sacrilegious, disappointment, hurt, anger. We are all supposed to keep that smile on our face and not act human because hey God will be our superman and come to our aid. But what if he doesn’t (which isn't possible refer to Psalm 25 vs 3, No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame)  or more aptly we perceive he doesn’t. Aren’t these emotions part of a human experience? Are these not the emotions that David felt when he wrote the Psalms? That Elijah felt or even Christ felt? I think the isolation and ignoring those feelings creates  an opening for the enemy to wreak havoc.  I, for one compartmentalized my life, still went to church, still prayed but my thinking was  “Hey God you can do your own thing in heaven while I do my own thing on earth.” Thinking erroneously that God would still bless me in my borderline rebellion.
I have to borrow a popular saying from christianese speak “God cant bless a mess.”   Don’t misunderstand me, dwelling on life circumstances and throwing pity parties is not healthy. I believe those feelings are humans, dwell on them for one day, one month how much time it takes but what we do after is more important.  Living in despair is not right, soldering through despair by the grace of God is Christianity. Learning from it is not merely existing in life but thriving in life. 

That’s when we really live.

I began to tell God sincerely how I felt. When there was no pretense in our relationship. I began to feel the presence of God more strongly in my life.  I am not quite there, yesterday during morning prayers I was like God I  can’t offer you christianese today, this situation is really bothering me. 

So, all in all, the year wasn’t a total disaster with me.  Scratch that it was great year for me. The trinity and I fixed our fractured relationship. Work was going great. I realized I am blessed to have the family and friends that I have. I realized that I can actually LIVE my life while waiting on God, that I was important enough to live a good life.


Stay fearless folks. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Pregnant, Pastoring and Unwed


I was going to blog about something else today but I stumbled on this story about a pregnant female pastor here

Apparently, New York pastor Desiree Allen is unmarried and got pregnant. she decided to come public with her pregnancy and refused to stop preaching.

In a post on her personal website Not Cinderella,  she says

“After the initial shock was joy. Yet, underneath something else was lingering. Anger? No. Disappointment? No. It was pure and utter dread. Not at being pregnant. Not at whether or not I would be a good mother. What had my stomach turning, other than nausea, was me being pregnant AND a pastor. Let’s face it. The church has not had a good track record of accepting unmarried women who got pregnant. If you’ve been in church for any period of time you’ve heard or witnessed the aftermath. Shunning, slut shaming, being sat down from your position, having to go up in front of the church and confess your sin, etc. etc. No one can be na├»ve enough to say this type of stuff doesn’t happen in church. An ugly truth is people in church leadership have sex outside of marriage, affairs, do drugs, drink, so on and so forth. Generally, these are not considered acceptable acts. BUT I have seen many churches turn a blind eye to this behavior, because it can be hidden. Don’t ask. Don’t tell. To be pregnant is a very visible indication of a private act and for some reason provides people with more of a need to respond.”

While I commend her for her choice, as it is her life, I am not entirely comfortable about it. I wonder if this is  the churchy judgmental side of me talking. I have been accused of being judgmental. Usually by people that are in denial about the plain truths in their lives. ( YES, all shade intended :))

I do agree that neither she or her child  should be shunned from the church. The church should operate as a refuge for weak, hungry, homeless,tired. she should be encouraged and supported.  So no, she should not be thrown out of the church BUT she should not be in a leadership position.

Yes, I agree. Unnecessary and somewhat unrealistic expectations are placed on church leaders. We hold them to higher standards that we don't hold ourselves to without realizing that they are human after all and are prone to mistakes.  However, this  sends a dangerous message to the younger generation. With her remaining on the pulpit, it diminishes the seriousness of her mistake. It makes pre -marital sex  and unwanted pregnancies okay. "After all my pastor got pregnant and shes still preaching." There has to be some accountability. I personally feel the younger generation's perception bother's God the most. When a pastor falls it affects the congregation negatively. The foundation of faith for younger Christians not as advanced in their work with God is shifted. They consequently may lose faith in church and then God.

There are consequences for our actions even with God. Yes, there is mercy and grace but God IS also a judge.  The pastor does not owe us an explanation nor the forgiveness of her congregation. It is between herself and God.

Though, I have to be frank.I am not as open minded and non judgmental as I would like to believe. I have side eyed this pastor  in my mind. As if, there haven't been times in my life that I have been a hop skip and jump away from being this pastor, if not for the grace of God.  Jesus, my homeboy is a shame remover. 

Perhaps this will open the dialogue on how sin is treated in the modern church.

Update : I discussed this with a friend after originally posting  and I am still conflicted. On one hand,  if there is grace and she is forgiven, she should be able to go through her process while living her life (which happens to be a pastor.) If I am not required to withdraw from my department in church ( albeit not a leadership position) when I sin privately, why should she?  I do agree that the public nature of an unplanned pregnancy always provokes a response. The leadership  church feel they have to respond because this is a public manifestation of a private sin and needs to be addressed.  I am more bothered by her lack of contrition in her statement and omission of any statements addressing reconciliation with God. It could have been a valuable lesson for a young teen with an unplanned pregnancy. I believe experiences are wasted if they are not shared in the hopes of teaching the less experienced generation and preventing the same mistakes.
Maybe she addresses this privately with God but as a pastor with eyes watching she sounds very much like "I am here. I got my baby and I will not be ashamed." That's all well and good for her.  I don't think the standard step- down -from- position- and- get- shunned is the best  response either. I think I was just looking for her to mention the painful lessons learned, advice or even Godly  encouragement to other women that find herself in her position


Stay fearless folks


Friday, November 11, 2016

The Great Divide


lake, landscape, nature

I have taken a moment before posting about the election results merely because l didnt want to write a hate filled, foul mouthed, expletive filled post.  I am angry, resentful and surprised. I think it's extremely base to interpret the results as half of  america being racist. It's much more complicated. 

Reasonable people, by all standards voted for him. That, I find hard to forgive nor understand. 
I can understand the marginalized entitled white collar worker. Trump's rhetoric pandered to them. I can understand the white college educated male, that is self explanatory. 

I will never understand the college educated white woman, the ones that could be my colleagues.  Never understand the Christian evangelicals  that will vote Republican if a reformed Lucifer  ran on the Republican ticket. I am angry at the Christian leaders that voted for this man and did not fight for the undocumented immigrant, single mother, any non white group in their congregation, even their four year old Muslim neighbor. 



Never have I been so despondent after an election. 



When Bush was elected I was merely annoyed that we would be ignored as a group, as we were. Not the devastation and quite frankly fear I feel now. I reminded myself of Isaiah 41 vs 10  and had to really ask myself if I based the stability of my life on who was president. 


There is such a divide in this election especially among older vs younger christians, that we must not have. There must be unity in the body of Christ. As unpalatable as that man is,  we have to mourn the results pick ourselves up and support the country.



Live fearless as always

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Heart like David






I have realized that the christian walk is not easy, much like any relationship, it takes work and commitment. There are highs and lows. There are some days you feel that you should win christian of the century award,  that the big GOD is extremely proud of you. There are other days when you are sure you are not among heavens best. . I do not think God really ranks us. I thank God for his grace everyday. But the point is the christian walk is prone with mistakes. I made such a a mistake with my prior blog post. Not with the content but with the title "Mediocre White Male." Its a constant struggle being in a christian writer/blogger and writing in all my sassy glory within the tenants of Christianity. Making sure I use writing as a gift and not wield it as a weapon.

Yes, mediocre white male is provocative but it isn't really Christ like language, is it?

Trust me, I  did not reach this conclusion on my own.  I have been listening to from Pastor Dele Osunmakinde of The Baptizing Church. In one of his sermons, he states  it was Gods plan to put David under Saul. Even though Saul would do all in his power to eliminate  David.

However, what I really got out of the teaching was Gods expectation that we respect and honor those He has put in authority ie pastors, priests, deacons, reverends etc even when they clearly fall out of line with God as Saul did. David had numerous chances to kill Saul but that belief was so deeply ingrained in him, he respected the anointing of God in Sauls life.

Politics does not bring out the best in me and there are many times I want to blog with a strong  sense of disapproval about certain christian publications but I chose not to. And to be honest if I hadnt listened to this message, i would have probably written one or two fire brand caustic blogs about my opinion. But I am a child of God * angel face*. I would never indulge in such. :) 

My problem is how to respect those God has put in authority while respectfully  disagreeing with them because pastors, priests, deacons are not perfect. They are flawed human beings just like you and me. I think part of the problem is "disappointment" we feel when those we put on a pedestal let us down. I have learned the hard way that no one is above mistakes and the only one that really should be put on  a pedestal is God. 

I guess the answer is as chessy as it sounds is love. Love covers a multitude of sins and corrects out love. David loved Saul even when Saul was clearly in the wrong. We should show the same type of love to leaders in the christian community, church or otherwise. There should also be unity among Christians and to be honest we don't think like that, or at least I don't. 

I aint going to lie. I am not there yet. I hate any type of perceived injustice and my first reaction is usually to rile against it. But this is not the type of heart that pleases God. The things we perceive as unfair is Gods way of enabling us to grow.  You rarely grow when things are honky dory and fair but we grow during the opposite.

So the next time a certain christian publication endorses the orange one, because no matter what he does his ideals are christian (Really? Some evangelicals would probably vote for the devil if he was under the republican ticket) I will remind myself that I have the heart of David and keep silent 

Sorry I couldn't resist. :)

Till next time folks
Live fearless.