Are you plugged in?

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How may chargers do you have? Maybe 3? One for your room, one for the car and then the backup charger. How often do you charge your phone? Every other night, every night or whenever you get the opportunity? Some of you are so adamant about a full battery that you’re running for a charger when you see your phone on 92%. Either way we can all say we keep our phones fully charger and have all the means to do so. Your phone is always ready to service you.

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Let me ask you this, are you fully charged? When  was the last time you plugged yourself into the word of God?  Maybe last night or a couple weeks ago? Or has it been few months or maybe even a year? We all manage to keep a fully charged battery on our cell phones, so we ALL need to be fully charged on the word of God.

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You know when your phone on 30% you’re not going to get that far in your day. So why is it some times we try to survive off of 30% of God?  Ever wonder why you can’t see clear, things aren’t going your way, feel confused and misplaced. That’s because you are becoming empty on the word.  We were not designed to tackle this world on our own. Read Psalms 121 to remind you of your helper and what He does for you.

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God is a free source! When He charges you 100% you’re going to go through your day like a super hero. Even when the enemy is trying to attack you, it won’t matter because you are ready and you are fully charged up on the word of God. The enemy get in your face, POWWW!…hit him with the scripture….POWWW!…angels jump in as defense….POWWW!…hit him with tongues courtesy of the Holy Spirit.

 

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Don’t miss a beat and stay full plugged into the word. Joshua 1:8 says ” Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful”(NIV).  You can not and will not go wrong in life making God your source!

 

 

Stay CHARGED! Stay BLESSED!

 

Renew Your Mind

To me, life is about is growth and change. I am always looking for new ways to better myself. Whether it’s financially, mentally, spiritually, physically or mentally; I want to make sure the best me is present.

Last semester I took a college prep class. I’ve been out of school for a while and I felt that taking this five week course would refresh me and get me going for the school year. To my luck the class did just that.

My professor was very unique. She had an amazing personality and drive to give back to students. It was apparent she was passionate about her job and that made me want to attend her class each week. She shared a video with us one class that changed my thinking or gave it a new direction. Some of you may have seen it but for those of you who haven’t, I  encourage youth spend a few minutes to listen.

Tell Me.

What is it about me that makes you uncomfortable?

Is it my skin?
That it’s an organ just like yours.
That is grows hair just like yours.
That it becomes warm from the sun just like yours.

Or is it my appearance?
That I have two eyes just like you.
I have ears, nose, mouth and limbs just like you.
That I put on clothes to shield my nakedness just like you.

Or is it my voice?
That it projects from my mouth just like yours.
That it sings and laughs just like yours.
That it can be heard just like yours.

Or maybe it’s internal?
That I have heart just like you.
That I have 206 bones just like you.
That I have blood running through my veins just like you.

You see, I can’t pin point what it is about ME that makes me less valuable than YOU.
For without this labeling of race, you wouldn’t know that I’m black.

You can identify on paper we are equal. Once in your presence I am less than and you take my life as if we have NOTHING in common.

Because to you, I am not equal. I’m not a person, I have no soul, I have no spirit. I’m just a body with no connection to anything substantial. An object, that when found useless can be discarded at a blink of an eye.

I AM OF EQUAL VAULE TO LIFE ON EARTH JUST LIKE YOU.

You have ran out of excuses to justify how you treat me. For we all need air to breathe, food to eat and water to drink. Unless I have a false definition of life? But I am certain that is not the case.

Spiritual Sundays: Religion is not the issue.

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I’m always encouraging my age group to come to church with me but I’m not very successful. A lot of the response that I get is I believe in a higher power but I don’t believe in religion or organize religion. Let’s clear that up right now.

Religion is a strong belief in the supernatural power that controls human destiny; an institution to express believed in the divine power. The believe in a God or group of gods; the service and worship of God or the supernatural. i grabbed this definition from my dictionary app called Te for iPhone. Also merriam-webster. com and dictionary.com

So now if you say you believe in a higher power but you don’t believe in religion you’re contradicting yourself for religion is the belief in a supernatural/higher power .

Other responses I receive is I don’t like the church. To be clear the church is the people of God. So it’s best to say you don’t like religious people. Now if you’re not in the word it’s easy to not like church people and feel that they are throwing shade. In all actuality, if you feel shade that’s all on you. The people of God are suppose to uphold his standards, meaning the Ten Commandments which can be found in Deuteronomy 5. As a follower of Christ there are some things that are just not allowed or tolerable and God does not make exceptions for that. Do not fault the people for doing so. There’s an order and design of how the kingdom of God must go. if you don’t believe that, take up the Bible for yourself and read it. It has your answers I guarantee you.

Romans 3:23 for we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. No one is perfect facts, the Bible says that and we see it daily. Just because a few people of the church didn’t do the right thing doesn’t mean the people of the God as a whole are not good. To give an example to better understand this, lets use college. You have a few bad professors in college who don’t teach well or just aren’t good. Does that mean the college is no longer good or credible? No it doesn’t. All that means is those were bad professors. You have some people of God who messed up. Does that mean God and his word is it not good or credible? No it doesn’t. it means those people did bad and they messed up. The purpose of the college is still good, same goes for the church. The process and the people in between aren’t important, it’s the promise. At the end of the day, a good education to better yourself is what you’re after, a deep personal intimate relationship with God is what you’re after.

 

A friend expressed to me he doesn’t like organized religion because he the he feels the government uses religion to control the masses. The government needs SOMETHING to guide/direct people. Let’s not use the word control for we have more freedom than you could ever imagine. America was supposed to be built on Christianity. We all know they pick and choose what they wanted, all the more reason for you to read the Bible yourself and understand the original guide manual. For Christianity, the Bible is our to guide and reference to live out life in the best way. Without that you would just be going through life blindly with no sense of direction. That’s like you driving somewhere that you don’t know and have never been with no GPS. you just driving around, going in circles because you never been there, you’ve never taken this route before! That would be your life without the bible. It is necessary to have a set of instructions on how to do life.

 

I practice religion and attend a place of worship because I love and desire a relationship with God and like to be in an area of people with common interests. Don’t get so hung up on people’s behavior because you yourself are not perfect. Focus on what you’re gaining from having relationship with God and I promise you it will change your view on religion and the people of God. Find a church and get involved. And do this because you want a better understanding and relationship with God.

Talk-that-Talk: African is now a trend

 

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I’m sure you’ve all notice the recent uprise of interest in the African culture. From dashikis to natural hair styling, all the way down to the beads and shea butters. EVERYONE wants a piece of something African. And as much as I love how we embrace it now, this wasn’t always the case. As of right now, African culture is trending, and I must say I’m a little confused.

Let me break this down a bit. I am a “first generation” American(this is an ambiguous term but will have to do to get my point across).My parents came to the United states from Sierra Leone in the 80’s. Growing up I had some cultural confusion. I lived in America but embraced just a small part of the culture. Yes, my parents came to America to start a new/better life for themselves. However, instilling their cultural ways, morales and values in us came first before anything I learned. To the world, I’m basically Sylvia. When I step foot inside my home, I’m Olayinka.IMG_1782

My parents raised me how they knew. The clothes I wore, the food I ate, even the way my hair was styled. How I conducted myself in public, all the way down to my name was all was all a reflection of their culture and upbringing. I am a proud product of Sierra Leone parents.

In my early childhood I lived in Montgomery County Maryland which was a diverse suburbs. Neighorhoods and schools were made of people from many countries. I remember having Indian, Russian and Asian neighbors. Everyone was different but embraced other cultures. In school, I used Olayinka and felt comfortable. I understood I wasn’t completely American because my parents didn’t embrace American activities such as sleepovers which was very popular for a little girl. Never the less I never felt like a sore thumb.

The African culture wasn’t openly embraced amongst American children in certain areas. The sad part about it is, I never noticed a difference in my upbringing until we moved to a predominantly black community.

 

Around age eight I moved to Prince George’s county and that’s when it hit me that my parents weren’t really “American”. I mean I knew that, but these kids reminded me daily of how African my parents really were. They teased me about my clothes, my hair, and even made fun of my grandfather who walked me to school. My name was a joke and getting called African booty scrather became the  norm.You could not convince me that being african was great at this time in my life.

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Like I said before, my parenrs raised me how they knew best. So I was natural in elementary school when “Just For Me” relaxer was popping. My parents wore uniform going to school, so fashion wasn’t on the top of their list when shopping for school clothes. English is a secondary language in my home. My clothes had a peculiar smell because of the aroma from the african dishes my mother prepared; which took a couple days to clear. Yes, I wear “africanas” to family functions. Yes, my mom wears super cool head wraps and my dad wears tan mandals(man sandals) will all summer outfit. That was me and I was happy with that! I couldnt wrap my head around the fact that people with the same complexion as me teased me for having African parents.

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Let us fast foward 10+years. African is the “thing” to be! Everyone is rocking natural hair. People are even asking me to have my grandpa send some african beads.People are drooling for cassava leaves and jallof rice. People, especially Black Americans, want to reconnect with the motherland like they weren’t alredy connected.

I’m just wandering what brought about this change? Speaking with my dad, he said, “Our culture, the dahsikis, food and what have you arent normal for Americans; so it trends from time to time. This fad was up in the 60’s but died down, and is now back again. Unfortunately for you, it wasn’t “trending” when you were a kid and it seems that some black communities weren’t exposed to the rest of the world. For that reason you were made fun of.” That wasn’t the answer I was expecting, but he’s right.

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This is normal life for me. I can’t wake up one day and stop eating the food or understanding the dialect. I can’t detatch from Sierra Leone and act as if I don’t have family living there currently. I can’t stop wearing africanas or lappas because it’s not the fashion trend. My culture is with me every single day of my life. I love that we are embracing Africa again, I just dont want it to die down again and have my kids go through what I went through growing up.

 

 

Good Vibes,

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Me currently.