Friday, 24 September 2010

Things I learned. . .




As if there is anyone who does not know, I sponsor a Compassion kid.  His name is Tamirat, and he lives in Ethiopia.  He is about my age (just 3 months younger). The cool thing about Compassion is they do not just ask for your money and leave you in the dark.  They want you to know about their programs, to know about the child you sponsor, and about his/her culture.  I wanted to know about Ethiopian culture and have a reference of things to talk about.  In reading Compassion's info about Ethiopia, and with a quick visit to Wikipedia, I learned some new things about Ethiopia:

  • Their new year is September 11, my birthday :)
  • Amharic, a semitic language, is the official language
  • Addis Ababa is the capital
  • Ethiopian cuisine does not have pork because of religious influence 
  • Ethiopian cities are largely at high elevations, many higher than Colorado Springs (>6000ft), where Compassion's headquarters are. 
  • Ethiopia is one of the oldest countries in the world 

All of these are off the top of my head.  

I learned about Africa in 7th grade--a full 9 years ago.  Of course, I remember very little, even about the Congo, which I wrote a report on.  But Compassion, by way of their blog and other media, has really helped to get me out of my American box.  In 7th grade, Mrs. Whitmire was teaching us geography and history, but a middle school World History class does not teach the true state of the world.  I am so much more educated in reality by Compassion.  I love knowledge; I  love information--I have been called a walking concordance, a walking dictionary, and a walking encyclopedia.  And yet, I do not watch the news (seriously, I do not have TV, and only read news on Facebook). I believe I know more about the state of the world than your average American.  The world is getting smaller, and it would seem we would be more aware of what is going on, yet I am astounded by the level of ignorance my peers have (and that I used to have). 


I would be interested to see what other people learned about their kid's country--comment below if you have anything cool that you learned

Monday, 16 August 2010

I Try

It was at the Lyricist Lounge 3, hosted by P4CM, that my need to speak life was realised.

I gained some understanding that night, and while my fickle heart still finds ways to force emotion upon me, I know better.

When someone does something against you, it hurts. When they are an intimate friend, it does not just hurt, but it kills. It kills something inside of you. Things can never be the same. How do you forgive the one who repeatedly spit in your face? Not by your own power, that is for sure. I am afraid to say I forgive, because I still feel the hatred sometimes. Forgiveness is final, and my attempts have been anything but. It is not to be based on the recipient, but I feel so unforgiving when they are so unlovable. Quite a dilemma I have. One thing, though, I can say--I try.


"regardless of who disrespected, rejected, or neglected you, slept with you. . .spiritually or physically molested you. . .despite what they did against you, if you take two seconds and think about how you've offended God, it should make you understand how much you deserve death just as much as they do. . .so if they hurt you, let them know, speak forgiveness, let it go, cuz my brethren you should know holding a grudge is the same as holding a gun." ::ezekiel azonwu::

Friday, 13 August 2010

How Two People Changed the Future

Two sponsors changed the lives of two children and ended the line of poverty. Wow, that is success. I doubt our welfare program works that well

http://blog.compassion.com/poverty-stops-here/

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Almost by Ezekiel Azonwu (transcription included)


one of the most dangerous terms in English diction
if it could be translated into audio it would sound like
pbb-bb-bb-bb from the saxophone of Lisa Simpson
two words designed and strategically combined
to form the biggest oxymoron in the history of mankind
ALL-MOST
But see, as far as the world's concerned, you could live your life vile
and could almost get away with murder if you had a nice smile
you could almost meet folks just to almost sleep around
and stop at your local clinic while you almost had a child.
see, 'almost' is no stranger to Satan. Here's proof:
he only tells lies when they're almost the truth
and it's amazing in our incompleteness we find complacence
but if almost is one of Lucifer's many traits
then we are inadvertently good Satan impersonations
But on the contrary, Christ did his job fully
and he proved he was God when he died on the cross like it was his duty
and to pardon my iniquities that I commited rudely
he resurrected from the grave just to tell death to excuse me
but excuse me, this is your life and that's something I can't impose on
but your body is God's home which was alone about to get forclosed on
See, an almost Christian looks right but lives wrong
Can't stand the conviction in Romans so they sit down to be comforted in Psalms
Never understood worship but loved to sing songs like I surrender all. . .MOST
Cuz it's far to expensive to spend your life on something that doesn't appeal to your five senses
see, nowadays, Christianity is like a Louis rag--
no function or use but we just rock it cuz it's stylish
not righteous, but right-ish
So now all God sees is a pile of ISHmael's when he intended for Isaac's
And we're moved by how we feel so we're saved when we feel like it
so technically we've never really been saved we merely tried it.
So no wonder why we're never sold out when we return it after we buy it
Let me break it down because you need to beware
that your life could lack the very standards that need to be there
Cuz on that final day of judgment while God's receiving his heir
will he say, Son, well done or [spits] medium rare!
Cuz even by earthly standards it would be highly insane
to start spending all of your money days before you almost get paid
like parents, you wouldn't send your kids to a school that's almost safe
and ladies, would you really date a man who claims he's almost straight?
and this is the very thing about God that we all try to get around
but his standards are like between two mountains--no middle ground
so a halfway life is unprofitable to you
cuz after all the Sunday service, Bible studies, and prayer meetings
and everything that goes between, God will say I never knew you
But that's not even the worst part of living your life as neutral
it's that you were once arctic but it is your lukewarmness that is causing him to spew you
and this is the very thing that had me
I was bound and held down by the unforgiving gravity of my spiritual reality
I was a Christian, or at least I portrayed the fantasy
With a filthy personal life but a "God bless you brother, how you doin' sister?" personality
I was a male enveloped by guilt because I was stamped a sinner
My message couldn't be received because I didn't represent the sender yet I was almost delivered
Till that one day when I totally, absolutely and completely surrendered
I took heed to a modern prophet who proclaimed it was time for change
now I'm no longer bound to sin point-blank off the chain
You can ask Umar Abdul Mutallab, he'll tell you the same--
you don't almost go to jail when you almost blow up a plane
like you don't almost go to hell when you almost get saved
despised the cross that he was slain and thus the cause for which he came
but don't worry i'm almost done, but before i leave this stage
we have all worked in sin and death was minimum wage
but if it wasn't for Christ we would have almost got paid





tags: ezekiel azonwu almost lyrics words p4cm lyricist lounge

Monday, 21 June 2010

Bailout Plan by Tim Glenn

“It’s extraordinary to me that the United States can find $700 billion to save Wall Street and the entire G8 can’t find $25 billion dollars to save 25,000 children who die every day from preventable diseases.” –Bono.

I don’t mean to make light of the current economic crisis in the United States, but there’s a part of me that wonders if we don’t deserve this.

As a country, we have been getting fat and lazy while two thirds of the world struggles just to stay alive. Not all of us, mind you, but collectively — as a country — we’re complaining not because we can’t survive but because our luxuries cost us more than we want to spend.

We want cheap gas and “affordable” four-bedroom homes. We want 200 channels on television and to be able to go out to eat two or three times a week.

As Americans, many of us believe we deserve those things. There’s a sense of entitlement. Meanwhile, on the other side of this tiny little planet of ours, someone is praying, pleading to God for a slice of bread.

So our government is working on a bailout plan. How can we maintain the “American way of life” without suffering the consequences of our decisions? A loan. We’ll loan ourselves money and turn a blind eye to the root causes of greed and selfishness.

We do that so well, don’t we? We attack problems by trying to change the circumstances, instead of battling the root causes. I know I’ve done it in my own life, so this is as much an indictment on me as it is on anyone else.

Then I start to think about the poor.

What is the bailout plan for that family living on less than $2 a day in a developing country? The family who struggles not with wants for luxury but needs for survival. Who will bail them out?

The answer, oddly enough, is us. Yes, the same “us” that’s struggling in the midst of this economic downturn. When our economy is bad, it trickles down to the poorest of the poor.

Higher food costs and fuel prices mean their $2 a day doesn’t go nearly as far. We have to look beyond ourselves, now more than ever, to be the church God intended us to be.

The Church is God’s bailout plan for the poor.

I’m not saying we should throw money at poverty and turn a blind eye to its root causes. I understand why Bono is frustrated over the lack of funds, I really do. But money alone won’t stop poverty.

It goes deeper than that. Besides, I think the Church can do better than any government. We understand the spiritual implications that despair and hopelessness cause. And no one can meet those needs better than the Church. If we’ll just be the Church.

This is a time to pray. Not just for the economic crisis in our country, but also for the ones hit hardest — the poor. And, there’s something else we can do: give more.

That’s right . . . more. I know it sounds odd, but what if, instead of hording our money during this time of economic struggle, we decided to be more giving? Wouldn’t that be something?

Imagine the headlines: GIVING TO THE POOR IS UP — EVEN AS STOCKS DECLINE. At the very least, we can’t afford to cut back on our giving. The poor simply cannot survive if we do.

I don’t know what giving more means to you. It could be sponsoring a child. It could be giving to a fund that feeds the hungry.

Maybe it means going on a mission trip and getting your hands dirty. But this is the time to do it. Now. Not tomorrow. Not to change circumstances . . . but to attack the roots.


Click the title to see the original post on the Compassion Blog

Friday, 4 June 2010

Why I Support Compassion

Compassion is my charity of choice, here are some reasons why

These are not in any particular order

1) Relationships: with the Child Sponsorship Program, I am not just giving money to an organisation. I sponsor an individual child. I am able to foster a relationship with the child I sponsor. The great thing about this is I can see the results personally. I do not just hear about how over a million children are being sponsored. I can hear about the child I sponsor, Tamirat, and how he is personally affected. I like such relationships.

2) I am commanded to: In at least five places in the Bible (NKJV), it explicitly says to aid the poor. Yes, I am going to list them.

Lev 25:35 If one of your brethren becomes poor, and falls into poverty
among you, then you shall help him, like a stranger or a sojourner, that
he may live with you.

Deut 15: 7-8 If there is among you a poor man of your brethren, within
any of the gates in your land which the LORD your God is giving you, you
shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother,
but you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him
sufficient for his need, whatever he needs.

Deut 15:11 For the poor will never cease from the land; therefore I
command you, saying, 'You shall open your hand wide to your brother,
to your poor and your needy, in your land.'

Psalm 82: 3-4 Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the
afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy; Free them from the
hand of the wicked.

Proverbs 31:9 Open your mouth, judge righteously, And plead the cause
of the poor and needy.

3) method: Compassion works through local churches, that are already established and who demonstrate sound doctrine. They also look for long-term situations. Poverty cannot be fixed overnight. I believe stability is very important for children. Change is good, instability is not. To me, the most important facet of their long-term changes is the fact that they are not just releasing children from poverty, but they are "Releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name." To give a child food to eat and clean water to drink, but to leave their soul hungering for the Word and thirsting for Living Water is to accomplish nothing of great consequence.

4) integrity: Compassion has demonstrated great financial efficiency. Check them out on Charity Navigator and the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance.

5) the people of Compassion: one thing I can say about Compassion that a lot of sponsors cannot is that I have been to their offices, and I have met many of their employees. I worked full time for two employees and occasionally for another. I even lived with one of the people I worked for. They are different. They are so passionate about children, and it is apparent. Is that not important, considering what Compassion does?

6) the value given to children: I believe investing in people is the best investment one can make. Of everything around us, the only things eternal are people and the word of God. Children are the future, and the effects we have on them now will be present in eternity. Think about it--some of the people that will be in heaven are going to be Compassion kids that would not have heard the gospel if it was not for Compassion.

(I will post sources later-this is being sent from my mobile phone)

I have also worked with Samaritan's Purse and fundraised for World Vision. These are also great charities too, but I have chosen Compassion as the one I regularly give to. Remember that SP and WV work in different ways. Within the church, it is great to have unity in diversity.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Love Like Crazy



They called them crazy when they started out
Said seventeen's too young to know what loves about
They've been together fifty-eight years now
That’s crazy

He brought home sixty-seven bucks a week
He bought a little 2 bedroom house on Maple Street
Where she blessed him with six more mouths to feed
Yea that’s crazy

Just ask him how he did it; he'll say pull up a seat
It'll only take a minute, to tell you everything
Be a best friend, tell the truth, and overuse I Love You
Go to work, do your best, don't outsmart your common since
Never let your prayin' knees get lazy
And love like crazy

They called him crazy when he quit his job
Said them home computers, boy they'll never take off
He sold his one man shop to Microsoft
They paid like crazy

Just ask him how he made it
He'll tell you faith and sweat
And the heart of a faithful woman,
Who never let him forget

Be a best friend, tell the truth, and overuse I Love You
Go to work, do your best, don't outsmart your common sense
Never let your prayin' knees get lazy
And love like crazy

Always treat your woman like a lady
Never get to old to call her baby
Never let your prayin' knees get lazy
And love like crazy

They called him crazy when they started out
They've been together fifty-eight years now

Aint that crazy?

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Riddance

I got the message loud and clear. You don't want me here. Good. I don't want to be around either.

Why then, do you insist on repeating it over and over and over again, when we've clearly acknowledged our feelings? Why do you hinder me from doing exactly what you say you want me to do?

Monday, 19 April 2010

Reliability

I love reliable people. MANY of my friends are rather unreliable. Loan them money, don't get it back. Loan them things, never see them again.

I'm used to it. I don't part with anything I REALLY care about.

When I let J borrow my computer charger, he sent it back in well under a month. Wow. That really means a lot. Sure, if he hadn't I could have replaced it for very little money, not to mention it was an extra. But he sent it back in a timely manner. I like it!

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Mentality

I think I have a tendency to scare people when I talk marriage. Why? I
speak candidly, and I think I often sound as if I am suggesting what I
find to be an ideal situation. But here's the disclaimer: I know that
people don't operate in these ideal situations. We live in real life and
we can't act like we live in a perfect world. . .cuz we don't. That
being said, I still offer the caveat as follows: don't settle. Because
s/he knows you aren't perfect, it doesn't mean you shouldn't attempt
perfection.

See, here's the thing--I'll make it perfectly clear that I don't want to
sit around on my tush if it's time to get married. I don't have a
problem with getting married quickly, if it's to someone who doesn't
have the entitlement mentality. We tend to think of marriage as
getting, when really, we should see it as giving. All the benefits are
not what it's about. It's about joining yourself to another when as a
pair, you can serve God and his people better than you can as
individuals. To simplify marriage into a equation, I choose to see it as
marriage=sacrifice.

Marriage isn't a fairy tale. It's not magical. And husbands don't
sparkle.

Marriage is a lifelong commitment. Think about that. Life. Long. I get
tired of a cell phone contract well before the 2 years is up. Now,
realising a 75 year marriage is a possibility is sobering. And I sure as
hell am not going to always feel swoonful over a man, especially when
he's in his 90s! Old and wrinkly. . .But marriage is meant to be a
CHOICE to love. Day in, day out, through the years. Through the
decades.

Still, I want it. In the right time. Yeah, soon. But not the result of a
rash decision made by one whose common sense is blinded by emotion and
hormones.