Unveiling The Hidden Beauty Of Your Heart

Tag: family

Book Review ~ Ada, A victim of fate & Cultural circumstance by Barclays N. Amadi.

 

image by lutonculture.com

We have thousands of cultures in our world, with rituals and taboos which to some may not make sense but to the respective culture it is everything.

I have visited Nigeria a number of times and the country is steeped in culture and tradition. This beautifully written book Ada, A Victim of Fate and Cultural Circumstance by Barclays N. Amadi was a joy to read and beautifully written. 

The scene is set in a Nigerian village and it tells the story of Ada who was forced to marry at 16 years of age because her parents could no longer afford to educate her. Educating girls was a privilege  and not a right as education was reserved for male children who would grow up, takeover and run the family affairs. Girls were given in marriage and so would transfer into the family of their husband to become home makers.

The story tells of Ada’s various plights after she marries and the subsequent poligomus relationship her husband enters, causing her much pain. I loved the fact that Barclays weaves the culture and traditions into the story, thus giving the reader an understanding of various culturial settings throughout the book. It helped me to understand the plight of both families involved in poligomus relationships with the added expectations of tradition and cultural. 

The book highlights the plight of women in a society which sees them as second class (however I do believe this is changing) and the devastating effects of poverty on families and women who run single homes in such societies. 

I do not want to give away to much of the book but I will encourage you to read it as it gives great insight. Barclays does a great job of  “Highlighting the limitations and hardships forced on women in a traditional, male dominated society”

image from luton-dunstable.co.uk

Serving in your local church

The local Church can be a very hectic place if you serve or volunteer  and for some  it can be like taking on another job. There are so many things to do behind the scene, so when Sunday comes around, it looks flawless.

There is a pressure to do things for God, you are not serving man but you are serving God. I heard that so many times but no one spoke about balance. balancing home, work and church life. many who serve in church have imbalance in there serving and the important areas of their personal life suffers because of the ” vision”.

Please note I am not knocking volunteering in your church because I still volunteer and I think it is important to give back but what I am talking about is getting the balance right and not neglecting your family or yourself.

I know a few people where the pressures became overwhelming and it affected their families and themselves.

Work life balance or church life balance is very very important. God created this world for us to enjoy, see and experience. God is not going to abandon you if you need to rest or take sabbatical. He created and blessed rest  (Gen 2:2-3).

Jesus also rested from his ministry and encouraged his disciplines to do the same (Mark 6:30-32). Many Christians will take the lead on many things Jesus taught but rest appears not to be one of them.

I want to challenge you today to REST and enjoy your life and do not feel guilty for doing so. Develop the art of saying no without feeling guilty.

Here are a few tips that you can use to REST and ENJOY. There are others but these are only suggestions, if you have other things that you would like to do to relax then do that.

1. Visit the theatre and see a play or ballet.

2. Start to pursue your dream, research it.

3. Take a trip to a spa

4. Go on holiday to a place that you have always wanted to visit.

5. Visit museums.

6. Take up a hobby.

7. Read books on topics that you are interested in.

8. Keep in touch with family and friends.

9. See a movie that you have been meaning to see.

Jesus came so that you can have life and have it more abundantly. This is not only spiritual but we are to enjoy this physical world also. There is so much beauty in it. When you are relaxed and recharged then you are better able to serve your local church with a spirit of excellence and excitement.

 

The President of the United States of America – The Pressures

obama1Living in London and observing what is currently going on in The United States has made me consider what it  must be really like being the President.

The daily pressure and extreme scrutiny from media outlets and social media must be excruciating. Not to mention the pressure from groups lobbying for their causes, national and personal security, international affairs, daily consistent criticism and the daily threats from opposing factors at home and abroad. What a workload! Of course he has a team around him to help carry the weight but the overall responsibility is his and his alone.

Barack Obama has set a precedent with the use of social media in terms of using it at grass root levels to gather support and momentum for his campaigns and it has worked well. He has broken so many barriers the first being the first African American to become president.

But I always wonder behind his great smile and charisma what are his pressures and challenges that we don’t see. When he leaves his day job and retreats to his private quarters, what pressing issues trouble him the most? The secrets he has to carry must be a burden.

I was watching Sky news last night and a news pundit stated that they did not like his policies but they admired the way he has stood up underneath the pressure of the job. The pressures and stress comes with the  territory.

It’s easy to criticise but how would you cope with the daily responsibility of approximately four hundred million people not including those abroad, trying to make  decisions for the best and being a fair representative for all the people. Not easy! The decisions made may go against his personal convictions but because of the nature of the job and the people his represents he has to make them.

Some of us manage small teams in the work place and have to balance out the team needs. How would you feel managing a few hundred million people and the fact that they all want something from you? What happens when you don’t deliver?

The bible encourages us to pray for those in authority.  If you are someone that prays lets pray for our leaders and their families on a regular basis because they are under pressures that we would never in a million years understand.

1st Timothy 2:1 – 2a

“… I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings

and all who are in authority…”

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Parents Apologise to your Children.

  

Parenting is a role that no one is prepared for. You can read numerous books on being a parent, watch lots of videos and even take parenting classes. To a certain degree this helps but nothing fully prepares you for the task ahead.

As adults we can look back on our own relationships with our parents some parts of it were good and some bad. Parental negative words and wounding have affected us in more ways than we care to realise. I know of a few people who are striving not to be everything their parents said they would turn out to be. In essence they are fighting against those negative words in their mind, heart and soul.

No parent is perfect and because of this, some time ago I sat my own adult children down and apologied to them. We had a long discussion and at the end of it they felt and appreciated that I heard them and it went someway in liberating them.

Some parents may never do that because they are the parent and why should they apologise for things that have happen. Well, if you do not hear your child out without becoming defensive as a parent you are creating a wound in them that will never heal. I am not saying this is the case for every family situation and parents should not go around apologing for everything but it is important that as parents we listen, listen to heart of our children. This should be done after much consideration and prayer. Each situation is measured by its own merit.

As a parent think for a moment about your relationship with your parents. What do you wish your parents would have considered about you? Before we judge our children so harshly, think about your relationship with your parents and then think and consider your relationship with your children. If there are any cycles then you must think about breaking them so it does not go down another generation and affect your grandchildren and subsequent generations. 

You are not perfect so why do we expect our children to be perfect. Parents make mistakes and often times will never own up to it or apologise for it. This is food for thought and I trust this post has got you thinking.

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