How I see It

Posts tagged ‘Religion’

Life Cycle of Rightoeusness

I’m sure you’re like me and you have those moments when you’re absolutely convinced that you can be the best version of yourself and achieve whatever seemingly impossible feat you dream about. That you can be righteous – to the fullest, and be the beacon of light that shines through in moments of severe temptation. That your Holy Spirit never diminishes. That all who see you see grace and strength beyond measure. It’s almost like the holy ghost surrounds you in an unmistakable halo that transcends any possibility for unrighteousness.

Yet, you sometimes consciously choose vice over virtue like you’re just tired of not living in the world, even just for a moment. Sometimes it’s just easier to lie your way out of a problem, or decide it’s okay to succumb to his or her touch just this one time. Christians would understand what I mean. I’m talking about those times when your desires trick you into thinking, no, BELIEVING that you need to just be human and save your arse any way you can, forgetting what consequences wait ahead.

When you’ve consciously fallen to your vices, the guilt seeps in almost immediately, a smirk on her face because she knew all along that you’d falter. And now you wish you’d listened to that nagging voice in your head that kept telling you to think of this particular moment of regret. So you whine and pine because that’s all you can do. You question why God lets you fall so far down, or why His Spirit and Grace leave you ever so often.

And after you’ve beaten yourself up and wallowed in the deepest pit of self pity, you start to make peace with your past and hope for stronger morality. You hope that next time you’ll actually adhere to the warnings of that oh-so-righteous conscience, and skip this cycle of self degrading hatred. You tell yourself God loves you anyway, and you work at climbing out of your self-dug pit.

But then your humanity gets in the way and suddenly you’re taunted with every possible possibility to fall in to your vices again. So you fervently pray every waking moment, for the strength it takes to overcome.

I’ll leave the end to you, because whether or not you overcome is up to you. Will you fall again, or will you triumph over the things that are not of God?

You and I, We Have What It Takes.

righteousness

Spiritual Breakthrough

Breakthrough

Last week I decided to finally do something I’ve pondered and mulled over for at least half a dozen years, but never mustered courage to go through with it. I decided to fast and pray.

fastingI’ve coasted through most of my teenage and young adult life, not really knowing God. Don’t get the wrong idea; I have been a christian, but only in title and rarely in practice. I never really sought to deepen my relationship with God or even try harder than pray a couple of times a month and go to church once in a year or two. In other words, God just wasn’t a priority in my life, except when I needed something from him.

Isn’t it amazing that despite our human nature to seek God only for favours, he still helps us and loves us unconditionally? That in itself is our small miracle each and every day, but I digress.

Like I was saying, I decided to fast and pray 12 hours a day, for a week. Why? Well, true to nature, I needed something from the man upstairs. I needed him to bless me with a few things I’d rather not name in this blog.

I couldn’t eat or drink anything from six a.m, to six p.m. everyday. While those were some of the most excruciating hours of my life, I felt the closest I’ve been to God in a long time.

Many times I found myself fantasizing about a mouth-watering steak dinner, feeling hungrier by the minute. I would imagine how much face stuffing awaited me, how my stomach would magically surpass its natural elasticity to accommodate enough food to last for the entire next day. Yet the clock literally crawled through every second. Everyone at work seemed to think that was the best time to ask me if I wanted anything to eat from the store. My stomach made growling sounds loud enough that I’m sure our Canadian counterparts across the border heard. I never thought that week would end.

In those moments, I reminded myself of why I was giving up my comfort and what I stood 27232772717193915_uszqkn87_fto gain. I said several payers for grace and strength, peace, love, family, and so much more. I read scripture after scripture on morality and living in Christ. I started to look beyond myself and to see God in others. I found myself making efforts to be slow to anger and rich in mercy, to love and live the golden rule the best way I can. P.S. It’s not quite an easy thing to do, I’m learning that now. But faith the size of a mustard seed, Jesus says, can move a mountain (Matthew Chapter 17, Verse 20). I believe.

That was my breakthrough, my miracle.

And now that I’ve felt the Spirit work in me and the hand of God touch me, I want more.

Diverse

Diverse: The perfect way to EMPHASIZE difference while seemingly being accepting of it.

Diverse like who?

Like black or white? Like brown or pale? Like light-skinned or charcoal dark? Like heavy-set or skinny-bod? Like tall or small? Like smart or dumb? Like rich or poor?

Diverse like how?

Like Muslim or Christian? Like believers or atheists? Like church or club? Like Gospel or secular? Like priest or pastor? Like sinner or saved?

Diverse like when?

Like communism or capitalism, like democrat or republican? Like Monarchy or Anarchy?

Truth: The safety of the familiar, the skepticism of the diverse.

North + Sahara + South = 1 Africa

African culture is a combination of several, with Africa being the umbrella. The idea that there is an “African culture” that is entirely separate from the Arab cultures north of Africa is exaggerated. I like to think that Arabs and Muslims in Africa share the land with the rest of the continent and their culture or religion is just as “African” as any other.

The issue of an identity crises  facing Arabic nations in Africa only exists because of the mainstream understanding of “African Culture”. When you mention “African culture” it is immediately associated with tribal practices common mainly in sub-Saharan Africa. This excludes most of our northern counterparts making people more inclined to finding a distinction where there shouldn’t be one.

But the issue begs this question; do the nations north of Africa want to be considered African?  They look different, and speak different languages. In addition, being African undoubtedly carries a stigma based in the roots of slavery and racism. I won’t go into a history lesson here. What I’m getting at is this; having lighter skin and soft curly hair plays into their identity and the great, vast Sahara desert divide doesn’t do much to help. It is human nature to identify more with those who share one’s beliefs and customs. As such, Northern Africans gravitate more towards their middle eastern neighbors than they do with their brothers South of the Sahara.

So, how do you include someone who doesn’t wish to be included?

The answer is the Map. Africa was drawn they way it was for a reason. If we are to exclude the northern countries from the African culture, we would have to re-draw the map and make them part of the Middle East.

Yes they look different, talk different and act different. I say we embrace it! This difference only goes to enhance the beauty and diversity of the -in my opinion- highly coveted continent. The Saharan-divide between north and south should be a unifyer and not a divider. We can help each other and learn from each other.

North + Sahara + South = 1 Africa. The future of a unified and thriving Africa depends on this concept.

Breakthrough Dream

 

I had a dream last night. I think it meant something.

Enter dreamland…

I’m driving home from work on a Friday afternoon. There’s been a storm warning which because of the sheer stubbornness in me, I decide to ignore.

I drive my way through Southeast D.C without a hiccup. The clouds are gathering; dark clouds that cover the skies in nothing but a deep  somber grey. The sun is buried so far behind these large blobs of condensed water. It’s almost like we’ve seen its last ray.

I approach the John Phillip Sousa Bridge that crosses the Anacostia River.

John Phillip Sousa Bridge Southeast D.C

Now, the fog is so thick like tons of dirty grey cotton just sitting in the atmosphere. I find myself wishing I had a large pair of scissors and a miracle so I could cut through the cloudiness and find the other end of the bridge.

The winds are hurling at unbelievably high speeds, pushing back anyone who tries to defy the angry elements.

Feeling defiant, I press down on my accelerator in an attempt to brave the force of the wind. I’m barely a quarter of the way into the bridge when I realize that my Toyota Highlander Sport is the only car on the road in either direction. What are you thinking Gabriella? I turn around and drive back. Too late!

N.B: Because this is a dream, events may or may not be completely sensible.

Next thing I know, I’m several feet in the air, no car anywhere in sight, screaming my way down as I fall.

I get an areal view of the surface that awaits my landing. I can see the demarcation of the river and it’s banks. At this point, I’m hoping I’ve done enough good in my life to warrant a place in heaven. I cannot swim.

By some miracle, I land on the soft grounds by the river. It seems like a calculated landing, something straight out of a comic book, a super landing – if you will.

Humming a sweet tune, I peruse my surroundings to see how far away from the water I am. I missed the deep end by only a few feet. The pieces of land around the river bank have fresh farm produce, sprouting from the fertile soil.

The storm has disappeared. All is calm, and the sun is even peeking through from behind the slowly brightening clouds.

I approach a farmer and ask for the way back to the city.

“With a voice like yours, you should be going that way”, he says and points in the direction of a tiny road leading out of the cultivated land. I smile, wave and follow the single file of people heading the same way.

I had been humming this song:

Lauren Daigle performing How Can It Be

You plead my cause,
You right my wrong,
You Break my chains,
You overcome,

You gave your life,
To give me mine,

You say that I am free,
How can it be.

…Exit dreamland.

The song I was sin gong is a gospel song called How Can It Be by Lauren Daigle. It testifies to the amazing nature of God and his forgiviness. It fits perfectly. I’ve just been miraculously rescued by God, from what could have been a horrendous accident that ended my life (In the dream). What did I do to deserve saving? I am only a scarred, sinful human.

I recounted this dream to a close friend of mine to which he responded;

“You should be happy. I think you will have a breakthrough. If I were to interpret that dream I would say you were going through something and God saw to amend your situation in your favor.”

I believe.
I accept.
I receive.

-GaBriElla

 

 

 

 

I didn’t agree with Meagan Good’s husband.

Very well articulated!!!

www.frorealdoe.com

One of my friends on Facebook shared a video that a guy made in response to Meagan Good and Devon Franklin’s video. The guy was bold and called out something that I saw too, but I was too cowardly to speak up on. But, after watching it, I had to write this.

Okay, so for those who don’t know, the actress Meagan Good and her husband, Devon Franklin wrote a book called, “The Wait.” It’s about abstinence and not having sex before marriage. Both profess Christianity and they have been doing interviews promoting their book. Before I even get into this, I want to say, I admire their mission and ministry to encourage couples to wait on God. I certainly believe lives will be touched and people will grow from reading their book. I plan to read it myself. As a married woman, who knows what I myself can learn?

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