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From Rodney King to George Floyd

People what is going on? This is an extremely sensitive topic/issue. But we need to talk about it and seek to find a lasting solution. Change begins with dialogue (or conversation).

“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.”

Albert Einstein

. . .

Various demonstrations because of the umpteenth killing of a young unarmed black man, George Floyd, by an ex-police officer, have been ongoing from Minneapolis to New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Chicago, San Francisco, Oakland, Emeryville, San Jose, Los Angeles. Which city is next? Some of these demonstrations were peaceful, but most were rowdy. Even the ones that began peacefully, eventually took another turn. These demonstrations are so disturbing yet, though apropos. What we are witnessing is a combination of an avalanche of frustrations and opportunists seizing the moment.  

Things fall apart and the center cannot hold ... sheer anarchy is loosed upon the land!
- Chinua Achebe, a Nigerian novelist
Courtesy of kidzone.ws

People, there is a root cause. We have a systemic problem that needs an urgent systemic solution. Pruning a tree when done right, encourages new growth, greener leaves, stronger branches, and healthier twigs and trunks. Simultaneously, to kill a tree, like any systemic issue, we need to deal with it at its roots. Government (departments such as the legal system and law enforcement agencies) keep treating the symptoms rather than the cause. We need to deal with the root cause.

Systemic: Bias, Problem, Solution?

Systemic is anything relating to the entire system rather than a part of it. Undoubtedly, we have systemic problems in America that have shown bias in its solutions or lack of solutions. As such, as Simplicable, states, there is both a systemic bias and systemic problem and offers the following definitions:

“Systemic Bias: a society, culture, or large system that exhibits bias. This essentially means that a large system produces sub-optimal decisions that are analogous to a person …

Systemic Problem: a problem that infects an entire society, culture, or system.” 

(Reference: https://simplicable.com/new/systemic)

Therefore, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. As I said this, I found another site, https://thenextsystem.org/about-next-system-project, that agreed with me. This site has noteworthy information relevant to our current topic and issue. What we need is a systemic solution to systemic problems and biases in America. A systemic solution, therefore, is a solution that resolves root causes.

This blog is not about how we go about resolving all the issues.  

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

Desmond Tutu, former Archbishop of South Africa

Let us talk about the way the demonstrations were conducted in certain cities. I speak against injustice of any kind. Looting and vandalism is also an injustice. Looting and vandalism is not the answer and it also has to be condemned else we would be speaking from both sides of our mouth. Neither the killings of anyone, be they black, white, brown, purple, or red nor the vagrant looting of stores and burning of cars or stores nor anyone claiming supremacy over another nor the police driving into the mob is acceptable! People, two wrongs not a right make!! All sides claim to be fighting for their lives and right. If we continue this way, whose life is going to remain? All the acts must be condemned in no unjustifiable manner.   

https://abcnews.go.com/US/george-floyd-protest-updates-joe-biden-nationwide-protests/story?id=70979091

https://www.foxnews.com/us/protests-demanding-justice-for-george-floyd-ramp-up-again-nationwide

Demonstrations can be peacefully done. It has been done several times in the past; see [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonviolent_resistance]. We all are still reeling from the effects of COVID-19. The recent violent demonstrations surely take us back a few more years.  

. . .

Is there another way?

Let us look to a brighter future. Ask any sprinter, anyone running a race does not look back – they lose time and never win the race by so doing. We all need to stop looking back in time except to analyze what happened and use it as a catalyst for the future. Yes, it is easier said than done. I know. But, let us take a cue from China/the Chinese economic turnaround. Though China is not currently our best political ally at the moment [https://www.state.gov/u-s-china-bilateral-relations-the-lessons-of-history/], the country underwent systemic changes that transformed “complex number of reforms in China’s fiscal, financial, enterprise, governance and legal systems and the ability for the government to be able to flexibly respond to the unintended consequences of these changes. This transformation has been accompanied by high levels of industrialization and urbanization, a process that has influenced every aspect of China’s society, culture, and economy.” [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_history_of_China_(1949%E2%80%93present) ]

That said, China, like any other economy, can still be said to be unfulfilled in other areas.  

Two wrongs not a right make

True, many of us have been subjected to several wrongs. So, have I. Many of us have had our loved ones untimely snatched from us; so have I. I have been let go of my job due to what was apparent racism – it hurts that it was done and that I felt helpless to fight back. But I did not burn down the building, neither did I drove back to the place to run down anyone. So please do not yell at me or ask for my head on a platter. I honestly can relate to both sides of the equation.

Frustration stems in when one witnesses the incessant injustices, racism, inhumane brutalities and killings of anyone. African Americans generally have been dealt a harder blow. And it is perceived that the men have been particularly targeted. From Rodney King to George Floyd, it appears that the brutalities and killings of African American men have been unnecessarily on the rise. However, except I conduct the research, I cannot use the data being presented as conclusive because data, research, and conclusions can be subjective. Each data (or survey results) can be manipulated to present whatever message the researcher wants to communicate to its readers/users.  Having said that, here’s couple of charts that I found.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/585152/people-shot-to-death-by-us-police-by-race/

https://mappingpoliceviolence.org/

The truth is that law enforcement officers are killed almost daily as well in their line of duty. Sadly, because of the animosity and recent tensions, these deaths go unnoticed and no one seems to care; except the affected’s family. Check the FBI https://www.fbi.gov/services/cjis/ucr/leoka and The Peace Officer Safety Institute https://leoka.org/ for current data.

Is revolution the answer?

Some think that we probably need a revolution. Maybe we do. I do not know neither am I advocating for it. But do we all understand what revolution is?  According to Merriam Webster online dictionary, Revolution is:

  • 2a: a sudden, radical, or complete change
  • b: a fundamental change in a political organization especiallythe overthrow or renunciation of one government or ruler and the substitution of another by the governed
  • c: activity or movement designed to effect fundamental changes in the socioeconomic situation
  • d: a fundamental change in the way of thinking about or visualizing somethinga change of paradigm 
  • e: a changeover in use or preference …

(Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Revolution. In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary. Retrieved May 31, 2020, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/revolution)

. . .

Revolution is a change, but it does not necessarily have to be bloody or rambunctious. The revolution that we need is a drastic change from the manner that things are done. This can be done by a 360-degree change in our policies; legal, law enforcement, medical, education, etc. I am not talking about the type of change that was done with diversity reforms (another topic for another day), but one sincere change that must have consequences for non-conformance.   

Where are the good men and women?

Finally, Abraham Lincoln once said, “All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” This quote has been echoed by others such that no one really knows its original owner.

Those who do nothing while witnessing injustice and wrong-doing do worse than those who commit acts of injustice. The privileged have a responsibility to do what they know is right. Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
- Martin Luther King

Good men (and, of course, women) everywhere need to rise to speak the truth. But good men (and women) should not merely jump on the bandwagon, but strive to seek to truly find a solution to the problem. And good people should not be paying others to confuse the land. It is akin to folks being paid to carry placards as long as we have activists. During the years of my active job search, I had called some “paid-same-day” ads that happened to be that our job would be to carry placards about issues. So, I know that this does happen.

For every demonstration, there is always someone championing it either overtly or covertly.

The truth is that those who are instigating the chaos are not affected by it. Like we always say, “people in high places” are powerful, wealthy, and influential. They have friends everywhere who they can call upon to either support or carry out their bidding. In addition, these people have high security that prevents the rioting masses from getting to them.

To the people in high places, secretly instigating all these, please stop. If you think no one knows who you are or know that you are doing it, do not be deceived because God, the Creator of the universe, is not mocked and sees what is done in secret.  

Let’s not continue to hurt ourselves

This is an extremely sensitive issue to write or talk about. But talk, we should, and talk we shall.

No one wants to be at the receiving end of injustice. Anyone who has been on that side knows what it feels like and it’s surely not good. By the same token, anyone who has never experienced injustice certainly does not know what it feels like.

The brutalities, violent demonstrations, and looting is not the way to honor the dead neither will it bring the dead back. I say this as apologetically and softly as I can. My heart goes out to everyone who has lost a son on this journey to freedom. May their spirit live forever and pave the way for true freedom for all.

. . .

Every good man (and woman) please stand against the injustice, racism, brutality, and senseless killings of black men, minorities, and people generally. It is sad that after over sixty years of Martin Luther King’s “Walk for Freedom” speech, we are here still trying to walk the freedom! 

Coincidentally or ironically, depending on the way you view it, MLK’s speech occurred in May in 1956! [https://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/king-papers/documents/walk-freedom]. Any surprise – go figure!

We can still make MLK (and Rosa Parks) proud, not by giving in to political maneuverings that disrupts our economy, which in turn affects all of us, but by choosing to do demonstrations peacefully. 

Peace people!

Featured

Dear younger me

If I knew then what I know now, I would have done many things differently. Yet, no regrets. The paths were meant for me to take as I now realized the the invisible Sovereign hands were guarding, guiding, and steering me all along.

10 things you need to learn sooner in life

1. Cultivate a relationship with God

I believed that there is a God. As a kid, I talked to an invisible being but did not know who I was talking to until I became a Christian in my later adult life. How I wish I knew Him sooner. Learning early in life the order of honor (God first, family second, all others next) would help put everything else in the right perspective. Find Him sooner.

2. Listen more to your parents and spend quality time with them

Honoring one’s parents is the first commandment with a promise. Though I disagreed occasionally with my parents, I never disrespected them. I loved them dearly. As a parent, I recognize that parents are not always right. The truth is that parents are also learning-on-the-job as they raise their children. But most parents desire the best for their children, young or adult, and might sometimes not know how to communicate those desires in a manner that the children might understand.

I never lived with my mother and missed the mother-daughter bonding and connection. Though I had a strong father-daughter relationship, I acknowledge that the roles of fathers and mothers are so uniquely different yet interconnected and one cannot be substituted for the other.

Spend quality time with your parents now and, when you leave home, visit them frequently.

3. Listen more to your instincts (intuition, gut feeling, etc.)

Whatever you call it, know that it is a gift that will work the more you use it. Pay attention to it, accept it, follow it, and don’t second-guess yourself or your gift.

The first step toward change is awareness. The second is acceptance.”

Nathaniel Branden

4. Speak the truth more in love rather than abrasively

No one wants to hear your truth until they understand you care for them. You might be right, but might shut-off people with loud or harsh words. The truth spoken in love, coupled with soft responses, are a true disarming pair.

5. Always let your parents/family know who your friends are

My grandmother always advised that there were different categories of friendships: acquaintances (slight, but not close friends), colleagues (work but not necessarily close friends), activity friends (e.g. sports, party, etc.), and buddies (close friends). Know who your friends are. Never lump them all in one bucket and never be friends with anyone you will not be proud to take home or introduce to your parents. Note that not all friends will pick up your call or be enthused to open their doors to you when you knock at 3:00 a.m. Categorizing your friends will also help you avoid unnecessary disappointments.

Invite your friends home so your family knows who you’re hanging out with. You’ll be glad you did.

6. Just as there is a reason why meals are differentiated breakfast, lunch, and dinner, there’s a reason why you ought to do life in the right order: go to school (middle, high, college) before getting married or having babies

Order is the law of life and life is manageable when the sequences are followed. True, there are rare exceptions to all sequences, but except you’re a genius in your craft, those exceptions might not apply to you.

If within your power, choose to complete your education first before marriage and starting a family.

7. Life development is essential, may be critical, in these areas – educationally, financially, physically, and spiritually

Decide on what you want to study, how long you’d like to study (for example, 1st degree, 2nd, PhD, JD, two 2nd degree, add a vocational, etc.) and go for it.

Schools have never been known to teach financial education; wish it will be added to the k – 12 curricula. Nonetheless, there is some teaching you can do on your own. Research and learn it sooner. What is the best saving instrument? What does the FICO score mean? What do I need to do to increase my score? What are the requirements for buying a car or house?

Physical development includes healthy habits (eating, sleeping, playing, exercising, no drugs, etc.). It also includes your regular wellness check-ups. Do your part early and your body will serve you longer.

Everyone is yearning for things in life that can only be satisfied with the knowledge of and intimacy with God. As a Christian, how I wish that everyone was or became a Christian. However, connecting with God is personal. Find yours. As you take time to develop yourself in other areas, it is equally important to develop yourself spiritual for a balanced life.

8. Are you cut out for marriage or singleness?

“There are eunuchs that are made by God; there are those made by men, and there are those having made themselves so for the kingdom of heaven’s sake …”

Matthew 19:12 KJV (King James’ Version)

Know what each (institute; yes they’re both institutes!) entails; responsibilities, benefits, and disadvantages, etc. and be prepared to work it truthfully till the end; except, of course, God redirects your steps.

9. Look for potentials in your mate and not necessarily the cool dude or prettiest girl in town. Not that this is bad of itself, but it is vanity

If you decide that marriage is for you, look for potentials with the longer-term in mind. Ask yourself if your partner is the type of man or woman whom you’d be happy with for the rest of your life, do you have the same values or anything in common, will you still be the loving spouse when the physical characteristics change such as becoming bald, putting on weight, etc.?

10. Be intentional about success.

Think early about being successful in life. What does success mean to you? Paint a picture of it and pursue it relentlessly.

. . .

All the best to you, My Younger Me. I wish I knew these sooner in my own life journey.

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Of Wealth and Attitudes

Do you know what determines whether you will be wealthy or not? Or yet, if you’re wealthy, whether or not you’ll be able to manage and hold it?

There is a science and art to wealth and most of us are still trying to figure it out. I do not have the right answer, but I realized that that there is no one thing that determines one’s propensity to be rich. Well, being born into a wealthy family could be one inclination to continue in the wealthy paths if the wealth is passed down and properly managed. Sometimes the wealth is donated to organizations rather than willed to the children. Another inclination is to hit the jackpot. Short of these two, you’d have to work and make your money work for you.

The Science

In making your money work for you, one scientific way is to save or invest. Savings is less riskier than investing. With savings you’re guaranteed your money back, with a meagre extra. Except, of course, there is a bank run. I pray not. But with investing, there’s no guarantees – you can either lose it all or make large sums of extra money from it following a rule of finance of “the greater the risk, the greater the reward.”

But how do we save or invest? Consistently. Consistently setting aside a fixed amount is the key.

For how long? Forever. Excuse me, nothing is forever. Howabout holding for the long run, at least consistently for ten years. Better will be twenty to thirty years, and best for as long as you live.

This is the main secret of Warren Buffet’s wealth after his experience of selling his initial stocks too early only for the stock to quintuple. According to sources, Warren Buffet started investing in stocks at the age of 11.

Undoubtedly, Warren Buffet benefited immensely from the compounding interest (CI) over the long haul. With CI, your money multiplies exponentially. For example, if interest rate is 5% and you invested a $1000, the first year will be $1,050, (note: leaving the same amount in a savings account might only yield about $2-$5!), second year will be $1,102.50, third year $1,157.63, 4th year 1,215.51, 5th 1,276.28, etc.

The compound interest formula is P*(1+i)^n; where P = principal, i = interest rate, and n = number of years. You can plug the numbers on your computer or an Excel spreadsheet to calculate it.

Compare compound to simple interest using the same example of $1,000 at 5% for 5 years, the total interest will be $250.

The difference in this examples are not so great; $26.28. However, the larger the amounts invested, the higher will be the yields and thus become more meaningful sums.

The yields will also depend on if the rates are calculated annually, quarterly, monthly, or daily.

“It is science because investing is a process and art because of the manner in which it is executed.” –

Brijesh Damodaran

The Art

Having the money is not enough. Our behaviors with money; how we view it, including our spending habits, whether we believe in savings, in taking risks or not, will also determine whether we hoard money, donate it, or just like to stare at it in our room, drawer, or safe. Unfortunately, some still don’t believe in keeping their money in the bank. Once the bank is full, do we go on a spending spree or start bragging about it? May God forgive us for either. These sums up our money attitudes and falls under the art of money. Our attitudes towards money is constant irrespective of our salaries or business revenues. Some folks wished they made more money. But I propose to you that it is not about making more, it is about efficiently managing what you already make.

The art of money management can be genetically-inherited or environmentally-acquired by learning from different sources such as friends, from work, or self-taught.

Like everything else, the art of money management (that is, our behaviors and attitudes) can be changed. We can reprogram ourselves if a particular habit is not working. May God help us all to see what areas of our money habits need to change.

Of God The Creator and Satan The Imitator

We’ve all heard and probably know or acknowledge the deity of the Almighty Creator of the universe. He goes by different names, in the Christian spheres, among which are:

I AM. Elohim. Yahweh. Alpha.
Omega. Omnipresent, Omniscient, Omnipotent. Ancient of Days.
Jehovah El Roi, Nissi, Tsidkenu, etc.

Other religious spheres call Him by other names. This post is not sufficient to do the ultimate justice of narrating all that God is, but its point is to reemphasize that He is God, the Creator, and there is no other like Him.

In the Book of Genesis, we learned that He created the universe, in six days, from nothing. Though some argue His creations and ascribe it to evolution, I propose to you that God existed before science or evolution because He created it all. Please don’t engage me in any argument regarding this statement. We can each believe what we want or like, but there will come a day and time when our beliefs will confirm His Ultimate Supreme Being.

God the Creator breathe into man and man became a living being. He created knowledge, understanding, and wisdom and gives them liberally to whosoever asks Him for it. You don’t pray to have what someone else has; that’s covetousness and it’s sin. You go directly to Him for any and everything you desire and He’ll give it to you according to the way and manner that He has created and wired you while taking into consideration your purpose. I hope you get that.

Because He is the Creator, He is more than able to create anything. And because we are made in His likeness, we have the capability to create as well. Any wonder why you are a creative being. Wow! Ponder on that for a moment.

God the Creator is not limited to how He does what He does. He can use people, things, animals, or allegories, to accomplish His purpose.

On the other hand, we’ve all probably have heard of Satan, the Imitator. Some are even privileged to know him. Satan goes by other names, too, such as

Devil. The Deceiver. The Liar. The Destroyer. The Enemy, Robber, Stealer. Lucifer, etc.

Satan cannot, and does not, create. But he knows how to destroy what has already been created. He knows how to delay creation if he’s allowed.

We read how Satan came to deceive after creation. Satan is still causing confusion today because we’re allowing it. He’s the author of confusion. The lies, deceits, manipulation, jealousies, envies, etc. are his manifestos. Father God we repent for allowing ourselves to be deceived. God forgive us all.

Satan cannot create. He is a counterfeiter and duplicates. He speaks (or suggests) half-truths such that if you are ignorant of the real truth, you’ll be hooked on his bait. God deliver us all.

Nobody likes to talk about satan. “Why are you focused on the negative …?” Whereas God loves to illuminate our minds and grant us knowledge, Satan loves for people to be ignorant and stay or live in the dark about themselves or an issue. That’s why we need to expose him and his tactics so that the eyes of our understanding might be enlightened (Ephesians 1:18a)

God loves gentleness, humility, meekness, kindness, etc. Satan loves bravado, pride, arrogance, etc. God is Light and loves openness and light. Satan lives the dark and secrecy. Please let’s not confuse secrecy with privacy; they are two separate things. Whereas God uses people to bless a person, Satan uses people, and particularly those that are closest to one, to hurt them.

Some are wallowing, out of ignorance, in deception and the dark. It is by talking about this that they (and we all) can recognize that they have been deceived, lied to, and can be brought out of the darkness. May God deliver such folks and us all.

Next time you do something, pause to ask; “who is this glorifying?” The answer will either propel you to action or stop you in your tracks.

Thanks for reading. Stay blessed

Of Fathers and Daughters

Know any man who adores his daughter such that not only his whole family (immediate and extended) knows it, but his friends and the world are equally aware of the father-daughter lovely relationship? Such was the love that occurred between late and former NBA Laker Star Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna. Such love is uncommon in a nation known for absent Dads. The beloved duo popularized “Girl Daddy” title for father-daughter relationships.

We’ve also heard Daddy’s Girl which refers to the daughters who are known as Dad’s favorites.

People often say that parents love a particular child over another. I don’t necessarily subscribe to that notion. Even if it is so, parents ought to be wise to not allow it to be apparent as it might breed sibling jealousy, rivalry, and competition. And who knows what else. Joseph’s story and the proverbial “coat of many colors” in the Bible is a true instance.

Good traits of being a Daddy’s Girl

Daddy’s Girl’s are blessed to have a first-hand knowledge and experience of what a man is and can be. Because of their closeness to their dad, Daddy Girls learn firsthand about men; what they do and how they do that which they do. They’d rather prefer to help their dad wash the cars and fix a tire, help with picking up and holding the tools ready to be used, than be in the kitchen with their mommas. Being in the kitchen bores Daddy’s Girls and they don’t understand why meals have to take so long to prepare. “Why don’t we just order pizza?!” is a constant question to their Moms. They are most likely to lean towards studying courses and careers that have been tagged “traditionally male-dominated.” They are also more comfortable in the boys group than their own gender types and have more male than female friends. Whoever said that roles, or anything, should be gender-based anyways? Except, of course being pregnant. They excel in technical and practical projects and activities where other girls fail. In essence, Daddy’s Girls are also no-nonsense strong girls who also grow up to be strong ladies and women. They are unafraid to lead a movement against injustice of any kind. All you need is their buy-in. They are extremely loyal, confident, and independent.

Downsides

Daddy’s Girls can however be plagued with relationship difficulties with both their female counterparts and in marriage. They relate on different planes with their girlfriends, are not girly-girls, feel that girly-girls are too touchy, too vain, and narrow-minded. They also often are perceived as harsh. They can also have difficulties in marriage because they don’t wait on, and for, their husbands to take care of things. They climb the ladder to change the bulb and know how to free the blocked toilet. The husband doesn’t understand why his Daddy-girl-wife wouldn’t cook home meals and prefers to dine out or order pizza. He feels she’s “wasting” money. It is a good thing to be proactive, but Daddy Girl’s proactivity might rub off wrongly on an insecure hubby who might feel that Daddy’s Girl is competing with his turf. Hubby’s insecurity will mar what otherwise could have been a God-sent gift to his life and might lead to or create issues in the marriage. At home, they appear to be competing with their Mom and tend to criticize their mother more than they do their dads. Worse if the woman is a step-mom, it will always be tension and unnecessary conflicts.

Daddy Girls are often misunderstood especially in traditional role environments and cultures and, even in liberal settings, they might be misconstrued as weird. Their “interests are at odds with expected female personality” roles.

Outcomes for misunderstanding Daddy’s Girls

With relationship difficulties, Daddy Girls can coil inwards and start believing the lies that something is actually wrong with their wiring. Except they are wired strong and “unbreakable,” these lies might actually come true and manifest in depression or anxiety or both with its resultant effects on other areas of their lives. They lose friends and wonder why nobody understands them. If no affirmation is received soonest, they might take solace in drugs and or drinking.

Finally

Daddy Girls are everywhere but they are more noticeable in households with predominantly daughters.

Next time you befriend or marry a Daddy’s Girl, please show more love and understanding. They are who they are because of divine wiring; snap a cord out of their wires, and they will be less and disoriented. But understanding them and allowing them to be will bring out the best in them. Build them up and support who they are, but please don’t crush their spirit.

Where would we be without the courage of Daddy’s Girls who have defied traditional stereotypes of daughters and risen to various levels of leadership. Look around and you can distinguish them by the foregoing.

To be continued

Monday Financial Nuggets: 10 things I wish I knew about Insurance

  1. Keeping the life insurance I had when I was younger. Generally speaking, we are all more agile and healthier at 20-30 years old than we are at 40 and over. Buying life insurance at an older age is more expensive. I realized that if I had retained the whole life insurance, I could have locked it in at the former premium.
  2. Buying whole life is better than term. At end of term, one is older and life insurance becomes more expensive. Exception is only if one dies before the term life ends.
  3. Auto insurance is higher for a leased or financed car than for a car bought outright or owned free and clear. This is one of the reasons people talk about preferring to buy used cars.
  4. You get a better (I hate to use the word “cheaper”) rate/premium having the same insurance company for multiple cars, as well as using the same insurance company for your other needs; for example, home, renters, personal, life, etc. It’s called bundling.
  5. That auto insurance companies can use your no-fault auto claims as a potential negligence on your part and raise your premium.
  6. In insuring personal items, keep detailed information and receipt of valuables, as well as take photographs. This will help in case of loss.
  7. Having a fireproof safe box is a good investment.
  8. Staying with the same phone company is good. You can lock-in the plan/price you initially got if your needs remain unchanged.
  9. The essence of having insurance for cellphones, especially when new. The concept is similar to any other insurance, but not necessarily worth it after 2-4 years of owning the phone.
  10. Your good, and long, driving record can get you discounts off your auto premium.

The above are based on my experiences. Insurance companies’ policies do vary. As always, please do your due diligence (research, compare premiums, and ask questions) before purchasing any type of insurance.
Have a financially-wise week.

Jesus Ministry: Peace

Credits: Unsplash / Sunyu

Peace is a state of stillness, tranquility, harmony, or serenity. A freedom of the mind from agitation, annoyance, distraction, anxiety, warring, or obsession. It is also a state or condition available to people and nations, but not all possesses it.

In the absence of Peace, chaos, or agitation, anxiety, fear, and war, is often the order of the day for the person or nation devoid of peace. We all know the repercussions of such anti-peace/peaceful states. They result in confusion, disorder, disorientation, discord, and utter disarray. Without peace, we can do things haphazardly, make decisions in a rash, and take actions that we ought not to take.

“For God is not a God of disorder but of peace …”‭‭ (1 Corinthians‬ ‭14:33‬)

I propose to you that it is possible to be in peace in the midst of chaos. It is a state of being and knowing that Hod is in control and whatever has come to disturb our peace will soon surely pass away. We abide in the state of peace by the help of the Holy Spirit. And by asking for it. Seek peace and pursue it (1 Peter 3:11b)

Many desire peace and freedom in their minds but don’t know how to obtain it. As with most life conditions, we can be peacefully born and grow peacefully. But for those of us who were not born or growing peacefully, do not despair, we can be gifted. Because Peace is one of the fruits of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22)

I acknowledge that some life experiences could and may have thwarted or disturbed one’s peace, and there are those who have been medically diagnosed with one or more types of mental illnesses or disorders such as anxiety, depression, panic, or some other type of phobia. This post is not to belittle mental diagnosis. God forbid. I acknowledge that it is real. But the post is to offer it as help, in conjunction with any medical, psychiatric, or therapeutic treatments, as I believe that God is able to heal anyone through, and by, His Words.

“He sent out his word and healed them; ...” (Psalms‬ ‭107:20‬)‭‬‬

As a digress, a well-rounded individual will develop him/herself in six main areas. These are spiritually, mentally, financially, physically, socially, and emotionally. (Post for another day)

Jesus is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). He left us the Holy Spirit (John 14:26) as our helper in every state. Everything is available to us, but we still have to ask. “He will keep (you) in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in Him.” (Isaiah‬ ‭26:3)‬ ‭‬.

How to: 27 Scriptures To Help

If you desire His Peace, again, you have to ask Him and remind Him of His promises. If we don’t know His promises, how do we know what to ask for?

Fear attacks even the best of us. We can acknowledge that we are afraid, but it’s not okay to stay afraid or fearful for life. You have to desire to want out of the fear. You might know the cause (source or root) of the fear. Great if you do; for example, did you hear something or someone said something fearful or you watched some sad and fearful incident. It’s helpful as it helps to pray specifically against the object of fear. Whether the root of fear is recognizable and know or not, reading these scriptures will help to allay those fears. God’s Words are Spirit and life (John 6:63b). It will not return to God without accomplishing that which it was sent to (Isaiah 55:11). Personalize the scriptures as you deem necessary. For example, “I will not be anxious for anything, I cast my cares on Him, Your peace you left with me, etc. Since we are all different, some might not finish reading the 27 verses before they return to a state of Peace. Others, might have to read them more than once. Read them regularly and as often as you desire.

I have compiled the following 27 God’s Words (aka scriptures or verses) regarding Peace to aid you. They are in the New International Version (NIV). I pray that they minister to you. “May the peace of Christ rule in your hearts” (Colossians‬ ‭3:15‬)

  1. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians‬ ‭4:6-7‬)
  2. “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter‬ ‭5:7‬, Psalm 55:22)
  3. I (Jesus) have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. …” (John‬ ‭16:33‬a)
  4. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John‬ ‭14:27‬)
  5. ‭”Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew‬ ‭5:9‬)
  6. “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.” (Psalms‬ ‭4:8)
  7. ‬ ‭‬‬”May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans‬ ‭15:13‬)
  8. “… And the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians‬ ‭4:9b‬)
  9. “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. (Hebrews‬ ‭12:14‬)
  10. ‭”The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.”(Isaiah‬ ‭32:17-18‬)
  11. ‭”Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.”(James‬ ‭3:18‬)
  12. ‭”When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you.”(Luke‬ ‭10:5-6‬)
  13. ‭… the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” (Romans‬ ‭8:6‬)
  14. ‭“”There is no peace,” says the Lord, “for the wicked.”” (Isaiah‬ ‭48:22‬)
  15. ‭“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans‬ ‭12:18‬)
  16. ‭”Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (Ephesians‬ ‭4:3‬)
  17. ‭“Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.” (Psalms‬ ‭119:165)
  18. ‬ ‭“Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” (Psalms‬ ‭34:14‬)
  19. ‭“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. (Romans‬ ‭14:19‬)
  20. ‭“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation (peace) brought me joy.” (Psalms‬ ‭94:19‬)
  21. ‭“For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,” (Ephesians‬ ‭2:14‬)
  22. “A heart at peace gives life to the body, …” (Proverbs‬ ‭14:30‬)
  23. ‭“When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way, he causes their enemies to make peace with them.” (Proverbs‬ ‭16:7‬)
  24. ‭“Those who walk uprightly enter into (Your) Peace; …” (Isaiah‬ ‭57:2‬)
  25. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”(Matthew‬ ‭6:34‬)
  26. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah‬ ‭41:10‬)‭
  27. “It is to one’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.” (Proverbs‬ ‭20:3‬)

My Prayer of Peace for You

  • May the Lord of Peace Himself turn His face towards you, give you and bless you with His peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.” (Numbers‬ ‭6:26, 2 Thessalonians‬ ‭3:16‬), Psalms‬ ‭29:11‬b
  • May His mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.” (Jude‬ ‭1:2‬)‭
  • May all your children be taught by the Lord, and great will be their peace.” (Isaiah‬ ‭54:13‬)‭

“Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.” (2 Corinthians‬ ‭13:11, ‬Romans‬ ‭15:33‬)

Credits: Unsplash / Priscilla Du Preez

Of Girls and Daughters

Why do nations and parents treat or elevate boys over girls, sons over daughters, or males over females? Do they think that The Creator made a mistake?

The One who made them, made them male and female. At creation, He did not state nor gave a divine preference or importance for their roles. Granted that by virtue of their physical creation, familial roles differ, as in only women can be pregnant with the child.

I’m tired and sad of hearing nations that relegate girls, and publicly elevate sons over daughters, humiliating them and, sadder, hearing of the girls’ parents who agree with the labels for their daughters.

There have been nations known for killing girls at birth (gendercide or infanticide). This is murder and perpetrators should be reported to higher nations/organizations such as United Nations. Google to find and read more if interested.

Let’s talk about this and how we can change the ignorance.

This post was inspired by The Mind of Ayesha. I was touched by Ayesha’s post “I Live In One Of The Worst Countries For WomenPakistan.” Please visit her site and support if you choose.

My Own

I also had my own experience still as fresh today as when my beloved late Dad once told me that “no matter my level of education, I will end up in kitchen because that’s the woman’s place.” Who says? I’ve known men who cook equally as great and delicious a meal as women. There are great male chefs out there who will choose to be in their kitchen instead of their wives. Please don’t judge my late Dad in his grave. I loved my Dad and believed that he loved me, but also believed that his statement came from a place of ignorance, machoism, and traditions.

I have two daughters and have never thought that I lacked anything not having a son. I love them dearly and will never trade them for anything. I boldly state that I don’t miss not having a son. The thought never crossed my mind until about two years ago, when one of my brothers, who has two sons, asked me if I ever missed not having a son. Prior to that, noone had ever asked me the question nor had I ever thought of it. It came in one ear and slid out the other until this post. We have to be careful of agreeing with seeds of regrets, doubts, and confusion. If I had harbored the thought, my brother’s question could have triggered these trio and probably boomeranged into more unhealthy thoughts of insufficiency for not having had a son. But thank goodness, the question fell off the same way it came.

To The Nations

To the nations that treat girls as second-class

  1. Where would all mothers be without those girls who will grow up to become mothers some day?
  2. Do you realize that this stance might conjure the boys in your nation to grow into men who don’t respect women, and who in turn will (or not) treat their wives respectfully, and thus breed a revolving cycle of dysfunctions?
  3. Look unto all girls as “your” mother and treat them with love and respect.

To The Parents

To the girls’ parents, home is the first place where we all learn love, acceptance, and affirmations. You are the best support system your daughters can ever have. If you reject them at home because of their sex, it’s as if they should never have been born, you’ve let them down and have set them up for failure. They will experience rejection in the cause of their lives. This can evolve into a self-esteem issue, confusion, and a lack of knowledge (or grounding) in who they truly are. Which in turn breeds a revolving circle of other emotions. Your daughters will have to relearn and develop themselves as adults. Please support your girls. Your support super-exceeds your nation’s and is the best foundation to give to your daughters..

To The Rest of Us

To everyone else, we all either have a sister, a mother, an aunt or have a family member or friend who does. As such we need to speak up and out in support of girls. All children are important and born equal. Keeping quiet only quietly perpetuates the ‘cide. It’s only a matter of time before your silence directly impacts you.

What steps can we take to change this ignorance? Speak up.

What causes the elevation of boys over girls and sons over daughters? Ignorance

What is the cure for ignorance?
Education.

To Every Girl and Daughter

To every girl and daughter everywhere, know and believe that:

You are beautiful and wonderfully created
You are first-class with distinction, summa cum laude; not second or rear-class
You are worthy and needed
You matter and the world needs you
God loves you
I love you too.

Ladies and Their Last Names

Credits: Unsplash / @austinkirk

Is’t necessary for ladies to change their last name on marriage?

Credits: Unsplash / @beatriz_perez

First, what’s in a last name? Or, put another way, what’s in your last name? Some regions call it surname.

Your last name/surname is your legacy. Your DNA.

Traditions

In researching for this post, I found an article on the origin of last names. The article stated that

  1. People haven’t always had last names.
  2. China was one of the earliest civilizations to use surnames.
  3. For many years, surnames were passed down by mothers, and
  4. European last names had many sources which can be put into four groups: patronymic, locative, occupational or status, and nicknames.

Most cultures now take on their father’s last name. People change their first names all the time. I did legally from the long to the short form of my name. But it is rare to change one’s last name.

Marriage and Last Name

In several cultures, once married, ladies take on their husbands’ last name. But is’t necessary? When and where did it start? Does it have to continue unchanged forever? This is not about women’s lib. Let’s reason together. I think it is just a tradition that people are hard to let go of. Falls into the “it’s the way it’s done” and “we’ve always done it this way” kind. Read this article to find out more.

As I write this post, I remembered a guy who five years ago took on his new wife’s last name rather than follow tradition. Of course his family didn’t appreciate him doing that but … Initially, I also was apprehensive but later shrugged it off. Why not? Who says that it has to always be one way?

I recognize that some ladies will desire to change to their married name to showcase their new title/status. Society and sometimes the families (both the maiden and marital) insist that the lady change to her married name. If not, it is viewed as if the woman still wants to “roam the singles’ fields” and is not ready for marriage. That’s certainly not true. The change to marital name shouldn’t be mandated (or forced) for those who don’t desire it.

Divorce and Last Name

Noone married hopes for a divorce, but it happens. The after-divorce is one reason why some women retain their maiden name. Some might connote this as a self/fulfilling prophecy to which I disagree. On divorce, especially in a highly-contested one, the desire to continue to carry the name might not be present. Changing back the last name is easy, but it is a huge hassle to change one’s records (for example, career, academic, professional, credit, financial , etc.). It is not a one-time-take-care-of-it-all thing. You never know when you might have to prove your identity in the future because of the change. So what do ladies do? It’s the ladies’ choice. But if it causes disharmony, err on the side of peaceful agreement. An alternative is to use the maiden-married last name hopefully that soothes both parties,

Daughters of Daughters

Also, daughters easily lose their patronymic identity on marriage as a result of this tradition. What if those daughters bore more or only daughters? This might mean that the maiden last name might eventually be extinct. What do such daughters do? My suggestion is to include the mother’s maiden last name on their daughters (or even all children’s) birth certificates so the last name can continue and because it is an important part of their identity.

What are your thoughts on ladies maintaining their maiden last name, and continuing the legacy of the name, on marriage?

The Mystery is Over

I self-award myself The Mystery Blogger Award as I have blogged anonymously over the year. During the period, I have been asked “what’s your name?” to which I had (I hope, politely) requested to simply be addressed as “ThinkTalk.” I also use Thinker-Talker as my name on most sites. But I did consider revealing a bit of my identity on my Blogiversary when I commented on one post some weeks ago. I’m now unsure whose post it was.

ThinkTalk is the blog of a real, genuine, authentic, but frank daughter of God, called Funmi (long name is “OluwaFunmiLayo”which means God gives me joy. ThinkTalk is a space for all that I represent and would like to see in people and the world, including outlet to share lessons learned over my years on planet earth. I am passionate about some things, love Jesus The Christ, and wonder why there is evil, wickedness, and hate in the world. It’s unnecessary and still believe that there is always an opportunity for light to shine amidst the dark and gloomy.

The original name the site started with was FunmiTalks. Though I liked it, I wanted more focus on the Think-ing than Talk-ing and preferred not to link my name to it. I still prefer the anonymity.

I’m based in the American continent; West Coast of the United States of America. Originally from the oldest continent (let’s see if you know your history or geography) (smile).

I love my privacy, I’m private and an introvert, but the extrovert part of me rears its head occasionally. I concluded that I must be an extroverted-introvert. I sometimes wonder if I need to petition Myers-Briggs because it’s always scoring me as an INTJ; only once did I get an INTP. Well maybe the personality type was true for a while. With maturity and life experiences, I wonder if I have radically changed. Will have to retake the test to find out.

I believe that greater difference would be made in the world if people paused to ponder (think) before talking or acting. Words can hurt, words do hurt, and hurtful words are more damaging than physical wounds. Hence, the site ThinkTalk and its tag “Let’s reason together.” I believe that it’s totally alright for people to disagree, but much better to reason together from the center of our agreement. And that if we take time to reason together, we might be able to understand each other better.

It’s been a year – how time flies

The aphorism that time really flies when one is having fun sums up my blog year with WordPress.
It’s my first blogiversary people and I thank you all, the community, for it. It’s been rewarding doing blog life with you all, my followers, commenters, and likers. Thank you 🙏🏾 Couldn’t have done it without your support. For I recognize that though we write, if none (or all) reads, but none comment or like or share, it is nothing.

It can be frustrating and might cause one to give up. So I appreciate you for flying with me. In the words of the pilots “we know you have options, but we thank you for choosing to fly with us.” I thank you for rolling and flying with me.

My WP Stats

Per the numbers, I had a total of 4,080 (2149 in 2020 + 1931 for 2021) views, 2,485 visitors, 330 followers, and published 233 posts.

I wonder what the difference is between visitors and views. I would consider that one visited in order to view my post and that the numbers should be the same. You can’t view the post without visiting, right? Or is’t possible? Let me know in the comments. I’ll continue to pay attention to those numbers to see if they finally converge.

In 2020, my blog was viewed (and probably read) from 56 countries, out of a total of 196 in the world, with the top five being USA, India, Nigeria, UK, and Philippines. Compared to 2021, the countries went up by 1 to 57 and my top three countries remained constant. However, Philippines was out from the top five and UK dropped to fifth. New top country became Germany at #4! Interesting. Again, if I was in Business, I’d want to know what and why.

233 Posts

There are 365 or 366 days in a year or leap year. Excluding weekends (2 days each for 52 weeks for a total of 104), we are left with 261 days. This lets me know that I blogged less daily for the year. Put another way, I took an extra 2.3 days per month off! Let’s just say that was my vacation. But seriously, I would reconsider those extra days off if this was my business.

As you can see, both from the overall Stats and breakdown of the months, my stats are personally commendable and relative given my input. But equally commendable is the realization that I would meet, and exceed, stats for 2020 (which was only nine months), before the end of the second quarter of 2021. Hoping to continue with similar or on an accelerated pace.

I thank WordPress for including the Stats. I don’t dwell on it, but as a former Financial Analyst, it became significant finally looking at them yesterday. I write mainly because I love to share my knowledge, experiences, and even failures in the hope that it will help, inspire, and possibly steer someone somewhere. The Stats are meaningful especially for those blogging as a Business. Others could benefit from it for other relative purposes.

Does the Stat matter? Yes and No. Yes, because it demonstrates that I am active and growing. No if I’m not interested in the stats nor in converting the information to other purposeful, tangible and/for profitable form(s). Comparing for statistical purposes, I am not where most bloggers are. My Best One-Day Total View of 112 is some bloggers’ singular post view for the day! I have seen younger bloggers (in terms of when they started blogging and not birth age) with much more followers and stats. And likewise seen older-terms with lesser stats. Business world does those comparisons. For now, regarding my blogging structure, I’m in-between and trying to decide which way forward. Time will tell.

Plugs

I seize the post to do a couple plug.

The first is to the real blog warriors. Shout out to all the blog warriors out there who consistently blog despite no views, visitors, likes, comments, or shares. And it is not for lack of qualitative content but can sometimes be linked to some back-end analytics. Don’t give up. Keep blogging because it shows your passion, and I pray that you will sooner be recognized for your relentless pursuit.

The other plug is, if you love the analysis of my Stats, I’d love to do it for free for the first ten bloggers that show interest. I love analysis (not paralysis) and would love to give you an objective view of what your numbers (WP Stat) are saying.

Thanks again for the first year. To everyone responsible, ☕️🧋🫖🥂 🍻 Love you. ❤️💕💙

Quadrant

A quadrant (quad) among other definitions, is “the area included between such an arc and two radii drawn one to each extremity.”

What quadrant do you belong to? Which quadrant are you presently operating in? And which should you truly be in?

Other terms have been used. Terms such as buckets, sections, structure, quarter, etc. But I like the term quadrants. It is the term used by Robert Kiyosaki, the Rich Dad, Poor Dad best-selling author, in his Cashflow Quadrant book. It is a good personal finance read if you choose to read it. I first read the book over a decade ago and it’s being more meaningful now than ever before.

Not everyone is cut out to belong in the same quadrant. The quadrants that I’m talking about are E (Employee), S (Self-Employed), B (Business), and I (Investor).

Over the weekend, I pondered on these quadrants. Most of us will start out as an Employee and progress through the “ranks” before finally settling in one. It is possible to operate in more than one rank simultaneously. But for maximum impact and benefits, it’s better to focus on one. Did I just say that? Scratch that. All Investors are Business folks and vice versa. Most Employees also operate as Self-Employees (Self-Ees).

The E-Quad

We all know what it means to be an Employee; you’re at the mercy of your employer who has placed a cap over what you can make working for him or her and probably a ceiling on how high you can go. The “official” number of hours you signed up for was eight (8) per day or 40 a week. But the number of hours needed to get the job done or to impress the boss so that s/he can remember you (or your name) for promotion or the five percent (5%) annual salary increase, is 10-12 per day or 50-60 per week. Some “smart” Employees, who are aware (and woke) decide simultaneously to start a “business” with the hope of some day transitioning to it. The problem however is that the constant inflow of bi-weekly checks feel so comfortable and subsequently derails the courage to transition.

The S-Quad

The few who do transition however are happy that they’re putting all those hours into “building” their “business”. The problem though is that they are building a Self-Employment. Happy that they are working for themselves and not another person. Happy that they have their own schedule; can choose to work their own hours, schedule doctors’ and dental appointments around their clock without feeling guilty asking someone for time off. And equally happy that they have no micro-mangers standing behind their desks or staring over their heads. But, is Self-Employment really better?

Self-Employment is still a one-man show (sole-proprietor). Well, before you shout me down – yes, you can employ an admin or receptionist. But you are still the major driver of the ship and without you, there’s no business or sailing. The problem also is that you do not get paid if you’re sick or hospitalized. You don’t get paid if you don’t work. If you have a family emergency or a sick child or spouse, you do not get paid for taking time off your work to care for them. And I hope that you do not leave them uncared for because of your work either.

So, which is better?

Self-Employment is good; better (or not necessarily better) than being an Employee depending on your variables and reasons for starting it in the first place.

The B-Quad

The second-to-the-last quad is Business. Being in Business means creating everything that demonstrates that you are doing business. By this, I mean, a business name, business phone, business bank account (with a business debit or credit card) to avoid co-mingling which gets one in trouble with the IRS, a business website, and a business marketing strategy. Setting the business up is one thing, running the business is another. In business, you have (hire) folks who can do other segments of the business while you focus on your area of expertise. These are your team. The goal is to eventually create a system that can run on its own leaving you time to take a vacation, rest (that will be beneficial to avoid sickness), and probably start another business.

The I-Quad

The last quadrant, an Investor, is one that a majority of people never aspire to. This does not mean that you become a stock trader. There are tons of commodities that one can invest in besides stock. You also don’t have to do the investing yourself. There are a few ways to get involve in investing. You can learn to understand the basics or engage the services of investment bankers or companies. It is in the Investing quadrant that you have your money working for you. You can roll the money made from being an employee, self-employed, and your business into Investing.

Ponderous Note

If everyone becomes a Business person or an Investor, who would be their Employees? This is where one’s purpose comes to play. Know yourself and decide accordingly. One can be an Employee and still be an Investor, though the income-generating capacity might be limited. While Income is limited as an employee, it is infinite in business and investing. You can make income in each quad, but one quad generates more than the other. Sure, other variables might contradict this statement. Please do your due diligence, bear in mind your life purpose, and choose your quad wisely.

There are also tax advantages in the B and I quads that are not available to the E and S. Again, do your research, consult a tax advisor.

This post is not saying that one quad is better than the other. It’s just an overview of all the quads.

It’s Nothing

If everyone believes in you
But you don’t,
It’s nothing

If God says you are and can
But you don’t think so,
Agree or feel it
It’s nothing

No matter how many people
Tell you the qualities they love in you
Still, it’s nothing
If you don’t believe you possess those qualities

Until you know, that you know
That you know, that you know
Who you are
You will be roaming planet earth LOST

Today choose to be FOUND
Give meaning to who you are
Believe you are

CHANGE

Change any and every thing
That needs to be changed;
your mind, your thinking, your words
And your image, if necessary

Give yourself a do-over
See yourself in the image of that which you know you are
or aspire to be

God is waiting on you
To discover
And agree with Him
On who you are

Stop waiting on Him

Today is the day
For a new you
A new beginning.

Just believe
Else
It’s nothing.

Money and Propensity to Splurge

Money. Money. Money. We cannot do without it, but can we have more than enough of it such that we do not know what to do with it?

Money, in my opinion, is primarily a tool to be used to get the things we need or want. It is when we have the “more-than-enough” that we are able to help others. Someone who is unable to provide for him or herself and family cannot financially help another. Yes, some are wired to “give the shirt (or blouse) on their back” to another and go without, but not everyone is so wired. There is a special grace for that kind of selfless giving. I think of Mother Theresa in this regard. I’m sure that there are others, too. I however don’t know them. Most of the time, albeit with a few exception, folks give for what they can get back in return.

The way we spend (or treat) money is primarily relative and depends on different demographical factors. For example, someone who was born into poverty could vow to work so hard to make it in life and never have to be poor again. I would expect such a person would value money and make wise money decisions. Still, I acknowledge that this is not always so. Then again, there’s another born into poverty, who hustled hard, made the money, and splurges on everything, including their children, excusing him or herself for the childhood lack. I would expect such person to understand and be willing to help those who lack. Yet again, I acknowledge that it is not always so.

I commend both categories of people because they recognized the lack that they were born into, but rose above and from it.

There’s yet another category of folks who inherited wealth. Some know its value, while some don’t.

Any of these categories of folks might or not lean towards extravagance and splurging.

I am not judging anyone.

I just want us to ponder on the excesses we indulge in. The thought of splurging has being tossed in my head for about a month since I heard the news about a mid-day robbery incident that occurred in Beverly Hills. I wanna spit it out today. Several items were stolen from unsuspecting residents while enjoying meals at a restaurant. Among the items that made the news was a half-a-million dollar ($500,000) wristwatch. I’m like OMG 😱! What d _____!!!! The next day, the victim got on TV to request that the rogue return it as “it will be useless to you, you’ll not be able to operate it.” I was astound as I watched the guy. I just shook my head.

I were the victim, I would rather not show my face for safety and security reasons.

First thing first, it is sad that in such an affluent neighborhood, the Authorities were not super-efficient to detect the planned attack before it happened. Secondly, what audaciousness of the perpetrators – I mean in broad daylight?! That’s a slap on the neighborhood’s law enforcement agencies. Thirdly, was it a random act or targeted? Well, we’ll leave the Authorities to do their jobs.

Going back to the stolen item. I am not judging. I love the good things as well, but I cannot fathom wearing that priced watch, or any such item, on my hand. My hands better be made of pure gold or FL (flawless) diamond for it to happen! The watch’s price tag is enough to buy a home free and clear. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. The wristwatch’s value is probably peanuts, to the owner, and might equate a $500 price tag to you and I. And that might be true. But since I don’t personally know the guy, we can only make some assumptions.

Anyways. I compared the above guy to Warren Buffet who, though he’s one of the richest men in the world, still lives in the same house he bought in 1958, buys used cars, and eats McDonalds three times a week for lunch!

Where does the differences lie? Again, we do not compare apples to oranges, but for the purposes of this post, for ponderous money thinking, let’s weigh the two. Which money side/habits would you lean on? Offer your reasons for either Splurging or Frugality in the Comments.

Have a great and wise financial week.

Jesus Ministry: Resurrection

Credits: Unsplash / Kelly Sikkema

Resurrection, according to Dictionary.com, is the rising of Christ after His death and burial.

We do not need a dictionary to tell us what Resurrection means. But that the dictionary includes the word is confirmation that Resurrection is real. Yes, crucify me for that. As a lover of Jesus The Christ, I believe in His death and resurrection. It is the most significant day in Jesus’s ministry and, for that matter, in the Bible and Christians’ lives. And because He died, was buried, and rose again, every Christian can. In fact, I propose to you that anyone who believes, can.

Christianity is the only religion that claims Resurrection. It is the power available to all who believe in the name of Jesus. It’s the difference maker.

Resurrection is both symbolic and non-symbolic. As such, literally the dead can be resuscitated. I have actually witnessed a dead being brought back to life. The medical field will debate Resurrection. Any wonder since they also don’t support natural medicines. Yet it works? Intellectuals and scientists will also debate Resurrection. But they cannot deny its power.

“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭1:18‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Several books are in print regarding the dead being brought back to life to share their heavenly or hellish experiences; hopefully, to minister to us still alive for a change in our paths or to stir up our faith and hope.

Symbolically, anything dead in one’s life can be resuscitated. Anything such as relationships, dreams, work or business, a prodigal child, an absent father, etc. All because of the power available to anyone who believes in Christ and His Resurrection.

Credits: Unsplash / Kelly Sikkema

Nonetheless, I pray that we have the wisdom to know when to leave the dead and dead things alone.

I once read about a church when, during service, one of the member’s toddler allegedly died and had to be air-lifted to the children’s hospital. While in the hospital, the service continued beyond the expected end time. The service turned to prophetic praise and worship for the family. Long and short, the child lived.

About a year later, another similar incident occurred at the same church. The family requested a praise and worship service on behalf of their child. The church obliged. Despite the parents’ hope, citing that the same God who did it then, will do it again for them. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen. To say that the family, friends, and members, were distraught is an understatement.

Mystified. Yes. Why did God do it the first and not the second time? It is the mystery of God. He alone decides. He would put that decision in someone’s heart to stir them to speak His words and to act. God acts through anyone available for Him to use. He alone raises the dead; not any human being.

My prayer today is that God who sees the dead things in your life, and knows the secret desires of your heart, will remember you and make alive anything and everything according to His will for you.

Peace and Happy Resurrection Day.

What is your state – Happiness or Joy?

What determines your emotions or state of mind – people, things, family, events, – or your self?

We all love and cherish our relationships. I hope that we all do. We cherish our family and families. I hope that we do. We love gifts when gifted. I hope that we do, else we’ll be looking a gift horse in the mouth. And, of course, we love to attend events for various reasons. Who are we and how do we respond to others, especially those closest to us, when these things are taken away (or not forthcoming) for whatever reason? The answer describes the difference between happiness and joy.

What is Happiness; What is Joy?

Happiness is superficial, external and dependent on something or someone. Joy is internally cultivated, thoughtful, and independent. Being Joyful is constant and a state of contentment irrespective of the externalities (that is, people liking and/or befriending or not, your family dumping accolades on you or not, your boy/girl friend buying you gifts or not, or whether you have money in the bank or not). If joy is constant, happiness is erratic and dynamic.

Someone once said that “happiness is when you’re happy when things (and people) are happening for you, but joyful when nothing is happening.” True or true?

What role does Money play?

Money is a biggie and some people allow it to control their emotions. Sometimes one is able to tell when a friend just got some money. The same friend becomes irritable to be around when s/he is financially broke. This is a developmental thing as well. It takes a level of maturity to be constant with or without anything, especially money. And, yes, we all need money and more money, Bills need to be paid, and without money nothing can be done; not even an ice cream night with friends. I get it.. But why be irritable. One can buy things and even people when we have the money. It therefore becomes a tool used not to benefit humanity but to control.

The BIG Telltale

Constant complaint is a telltale sign of someone who is unhappy about something. Sometimes it feels like they are unhappy with the world. It is not uncommon to hear someone who is unhappy complain and shift blame on another person or thing. They are also fault finders. The truth is that, given the right person or thing, that same unhappy person will find something else to shift the blame on. In essence, it is not the person or thing, but the unhappy person’s state of mind.

One who is joyful, on the other hand, is at peace with themself and often is a grateful individual. I have learned that one who lacks gratitude for life or self or anyone, is often a complainer and one whose happiness is short-lived.

Happiness therefore is good, but Joy is better.

So, how can we cultivate a state of joy?

  1. Learn to be grateful and live a life of gratitude
  2. Be at peace with yourself and others
  3. Avoid arbitrarily complaining
  4. Avoid comparisons - there will always be people who are better, prettier, more financially stable, with more more and more than you. Accept or change it, else you’ll be miserable for life; not a good state to be.
  5. Avoid triggers like fear, stress, jealousy, and envy; these are joy blockers.

Now that you know the differences between Happiness and Joy, where would you prefer to make your residence – chasing happiness or spreading joy?

Monday Financial Nuggets: Youngsters and Money

Few working youths (per United Nations’ referenced ages 15-24) know what to do with money, either earned or gifted to them. I used to be one of those several years ago. Maybe not totally, but looking back, I acknowledge that I could have done better.

A working teenager has no money responsibilities like bills or rents/mortgages, except to splurge on new outfits, shoes, makeups, eat-outs, and other mundane things. Not that those things are unimportant, but it’s sheer vanity to acquire and accumulate endless amounts of them, most of which lay unused.

By the way, if you have tons of these mundane things lying unused in your closet or house, have a garage sale or post them on platforms like Depop, OfferUp, or Facebook Marketplace. Of the three, I have only used OfferUp, but my daughters have successfully used Depop and FB Marketplace. Please do your due diligence before choosing one for your purposes.

Once those mundane items have been sold, resist the urge to buy more things, and invest the money or put it in your savings account.

But what if the teenager could save at least half the amount of their paycheck every week and never touch it. For example, saving $50 every week for three months (using summer when most work), s/he would have saved $600 . On top of this, interest accrued depending on where the money is saved or invested, could add an additional $1-$25 or more per year. Imagine leaving that money untouched for another four years while in college, with compounded interest … Think about that for a second.

If a teenager could discipline him/herself to save and/or invest, it becomes a habit that will stick and only get better. The teenager would have mastered a money habit where most have failed.

Similarly, graduating out of college and starting full time job is the dream of almost every graduate. Some however are anxious to be independent and live alone. But precious one, what is the hurry? Ponder for a second how great it would be if you could live rent-free with your parents while working in an effort to save the most that you can for down-payment for your own house? It becomes harder to save when the bills start pouring in and/or when you start a family. I am puzzled when kids look forward to being 18 and independent. “Now I can drink alcohol” seems to be the most popular reason they give for the excitement! Hello?! There are better and more things in life than the liberty to be able to buy and drink alcohol. Why not think on those things?

Needless to say, the earlier you start saving and investing, the better. The rule of thumb is to save three to six months’ living expenses. Some say three months’ salary. Either way, the goal is to start and save the minimum of either three months’ salary or living expenses.

There’s no need to rush out of your parents’ home. It is a shield for you. Use living with your parents wisely and to your advantage before the bills start rolling in.

I acknowledge however that there are several other reasons when a young adult might decide to move out. Reason such as finding their first job in a different City or State. This is understandable but should be the exception and not the norm.

The essence of this post is to encourage youths to save, invest, and spend wisely. I hope it communicated that. If not, do let me know.

Don’t condemn yourself, neither let any condemn you

Everyone makes mistakes, right? At one point in our lives, each one of us will do or say something regrettable and wish that we could retract or delete or just wished that it was a bad dream? There’s none that hasn’t made a mistake at least once in their lifetime, right? If you haven’t, raise your hand, and I can guarantee you that before the day is over, you would have made your first! I said all that to say that mistakes happen to the best and worst of us all.

But, why condemn one another? Worse; why condemn yourself? Condemning oneself and being condemned by another is an unnecessary weight much worse than the bad committed.

Lord Jesus gave us an example when a woman who was caught in adultery was brought to him. The people wanted Jesus’s permission to stone her to death according to the law. Lord Jesus bent down and wrote in the sand; “he (or she) who has no sin, cast the first stone.” His message was addressed to no-one in particular, yet to everyone, but when the people read it, each one started walking away and left the woman. Jesus then turned to the woman “where are your accusers; hath no-one condemn you; woman, neither do I condemn you. go your way and sin no more.” Read about it in the Holy Bible, the Book of John 8:3-11.

Doing or saying regrettable things only confirms our humanity. Yet His grace is available to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9b). But shall we because of grace continue to sin? God forbid (Romans 6:15).

Don’t we love it when someone understands us, or stands with us, makes us feel better when others condemn us, desert us, or make us feel more rotten than we were before we came to them?

There is enough of condemnation and judging already in the world and we each need to do our part to stop and/or reverse the bad and evil to good. It takes too much energy to be and do bad with the resultant effects of headaches, insecurities, fears, and heartaches that goes with it. I’ve seen people destroy one another for no cause, except merely to feel better or superior than the other! Why? Beats me. Do they not know nor can’t they see that the sky is vast enough for the birds to fly without bumping into each other? I learned a long time ago that destroying another with your words or action is like shooting yourself in the foot and wishing it’s the other’s foot instead. Not that I ever did the bad – God forbid. Eventually people will see/know you for who you are and avoid you like a plague. I’m talking to slanderers, backbiters, liars, deceivers, adulterers, manipulators, and the likes. At that time, you’ll need someone (which you never were) on your side. Ponder on that for a moment. How does that make you feel? I hope that it stirs something in you to cry out for a change.

There is always room for change even to the best of us. Change is available for each one of us. But we have to acknowledge our errors and be willing to want to change, else it will be futile.

The Bible abound with imperfect people who still did mighty deeds for the Kingdom of God. If God could use them still, who are we to cancel anyone out? Um, cancel culture?! I’m not saying that we should not speak up against an evil deed or utterance, but once the person acknowledges and apologizes, we should be willing to let it go.

To err is human but to forgive is divine.

Alexander Pope

What to do if we’re condemned by someone or others?

  1. Let the person(s) know that you’re sorry and apologize yet again
  2. Pray for the person(s) for God to heal their heart(s). Often times the condemnation might not have anything to do with you, the error, or deed done, but with the person looking for someone to justify their own heart issues
  3. Do your best not to repeat the bad deed
  4. After you’ve done all that you know to do, stand therefore (Ephesians 6:13c-14a). Leave God to handle it. It might not happen right away, but trust Him to eventually right the wrong.

Let’s not condemn one another but love in words and deeds edifying one another to the glory of God our Father.

Peace

Obstacles in the way of finding the love you want?

I watched one of Iyanla Vanzant’s show one day after a long absence. The episode was “What gets in the way of finding that one love you want?” I sat to watch as I was curious to see and hear if there will be some surprises or if I am simply old-fashioned regarding the topic.

Iyanla Vanzant Show is a regular on Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). I’m unsure if the particular episode was new or a rerun. Three hundred ladies (a large sample in my opinion) from diverse races, work lives and ages who supposedly couldn’t find love, were invited to share their experiences. Unbeknownst to them, fifty men of equally diverse races, ages and work lives, were behind the curtains watching and listening. Iyanla posed three main questions, offered her advice, and brought the guys out to offer their opinions. We also watched one of the ladies who was set up with three different dates and how she turned each one down because she had criteria that the men didn’t meet. Two of the guys requested a second date, while one wasn’t keen on returning for a second date. As an onlooker, I felt that two of the guys looked eligible enough, but who am I to decide for her, right?

I share the questions and answers below:

Question #1. What gets in the way of finding that one love you want?

Question #2: What is it that you don’t want a man to know about you?

LadiesAnswers:

  • over analyzing everything (turns me insecure)
  • not direct with what I want and getting upset when he doesn’t give it
  • laziness
  • all the good ones are taken
  • men cannot be trusted
  • I don’t need a man
  • I’m scared (my fear is blocking...)
  • I don’t see the red light
  • have too many expectations.

Iyanla’s Ten Advices /Comments:

  1. What goes on in your mind, goes on outside
  2. Anything that moves you to be self-reliant, self-independent, self-…, moves in the way
  3. If you don’t give up that air, he can’t show up.
  4. Your criteria blocks your intimacy with the guy
  5. Be willing to be vulnerable and to do something different
  6. You see the lights but ignore them
  7. People violate you when you don’t give them clear values
  8. Your boyfriend is not your girlfriend. Don’t say/do to/with your boyfriend what you should be saying/doing with your girlfriends
  9. Don’t do the “fight” stance (that is, standing akimbo with or without tapping your feet and the snapping of fingers) it makes the man run!
  10. Take the mask off.

The next question was addressed to the men:

Question #3: Why don’t you call when you say you will?

  • not interested
  • don’t want to disappoint you
  • fear of rejection
  • the chase is the man’s job; don’t do it for us … We don’t want a lady who’s thirsty. (ouch!)

Now you have it, ladies? Do you see yourself in any of the responses? Next time when you wonder why it seems hard to find that special one, hopefully you take something away from this.

Did I say that I was from the old school who still believes that the man ought to seek the lady out? If I didn’t, now you know. This is a conversation that I have had with tons of young ladies and most times they respectfully disagree with the ever-ready response that “it is different now.” This Show proves that, when it comes to dating and love, nothing much has changed except the years, from 70s, to 90s, to the 21st century. The foundations remain constant. True or true?!

Let’s Reason Together

There’s nothing wrong in setting criteria for that special person that you’d like to spend the rest of your life with. But a perfect being who can find? I think it’s only wise not to be rigid. In setting a 10-point criteria, any point beyond 7 is still a pass mark, right? So we need to cut ourselves some slack.

In being too picky one tends to strike out the potentials.

Finally, one with potentials (future value) is always better than the best one now (present value) who can’t hold it together for the long haul.

What are your thoughts on the questions posed and corresponding answers? Differing thoughts? We would all like to hear them and learn. Gentlemen, please chime in as well.

Thank you.

5 Tests of a Leader – Dr. Stephen R. Graves

5 Tests of a Leader – Dr. Stephen R. Graves
— Read on stephenrgraves.com/articles/read/5-tests-of-a-leader-2/

The Heart

Our hearts are tender and should always be kept pure at all times. If not, things such as greed, lust, bitterness, un-forgiveness, resentment, etc. could clog it up and turn us into a contemptuous cynical being that no-one wants to be around. This list also includes the “unhealthy” independence. I’m beginning to accept that being independent is a trait that demonstrates that one loves to roll (or fly) solo and does not need anyone. It is also a false sense of independence. A blog for another day.

Dr. Graves has something to say not only about the unhealthy independence, but also the storms (or tests) of our hearts.

The tender heart can grow cold and callous if left untended. We need to do a regular healthy check. “Search me oh God and see if there be any iniquity in me” (Psalm 51)

I love to receive Dr. Steve Graves’s articles and read how he “weaves themes of strategy, leadership and faith together.” I’ve shared couple or more of his articles previously. In this article, Dr. Graves asks five questions based on the heart:

  1. Where can you give this week and what can you give away?
  1. Where do you need to flee today?
  1. Who do you need to forgive this week?    
  1. Are you suffering from unhealthy independence?
  1. Where do you need to share credit?

I could do away with the unhealthy independence which, for the longest time, I didn’t see as unhealthy prior to now. You know, you cultivate the attitude of not wanting to bother anyone if that was all you heard as a child. Now I know better and have to be intentional about asking for help.

Your turn. Which of the questions resonate with you. I hope you love the article.

Financial Monday: how long will The Stimulus Check go

As you may have heard, President Biden’s $1.9 trillion covid relief package was signed last week. According to reports, some families have received their $1,400 stimulus checks this weekend. I’m happy for those people. We all could use some financial/money help, couldn’t we?

The $1,400 Stimulus Check per person is for earners of $75k or less. As a result, several have rushed to file their 2020 tax return. Others will have eligibility based on their 2019 tax return, if they qualify.

What are your thoughts on the stimulus checks? Is it worth it? If you qualify, would you rather receive the check than be employed, or have a steady work/business?

If I’m not mistaken, it is a one-itime check. Then what?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not expecting anyone who gets it to “look a gift horse in the mouth.” A British saying that simply states “don’t be ungrateful.” My thoughts are that the check will be applied to unpaid bills since the amount barely covers rent for most. The check undoubtedly will be worth receiving for many. However, my question is “how far will the $1,400 go?” As I pose the question, I ponder on the popular saying “teach a man to fish rather than give him a fish.”

I would suppose the people would prefer certainty and consistency. Where is next month’s pay (or $1,400) coming from? Looks like the smile or happiness will be short-lived.

How far will your stimulus check go?

Akara (Fried Bean Patties)

Akara on bread slices
frying Akara

Akara, like other foods, can be simply or richly prepared. The simple and plain is to merely add salt (or Maggi) to the ground beans. While you can add as much optional ingredients as you like to make it rich. However adding too much ingredients could impact the Akara from gelling and cause it to crumble in the hot oil.

Ingredients:

• 1 cup of Beans (red or black-eyed)
• 1 medium-size Red bell pepper
• 1 medium-size yellow onions
• 1 (or 1/2) habanero
• 1 Roma tomatoes
• 3 eggs
• 1 cup of oil (vegetable, corn, canola, or olive)
• Spices (salt, seasoning salt, thyme (or Italian seasoning, beef or shrimp bouillons)
• A 12-18oz frying pan

Step One: De-Peeling the Beans

  1. Soak the beans in a large bowl for about 5 minutes. This softens the beans and enables the skin to easily peel off.
  2. Pour beans in a blender (might have to do this twice or thrice depending on the size of your blender).
  3. Use low (and slow) speed to blend. A swirl or two is okay. Note: if you use high and fast speed, the blender will chop the beans into smaller pieces that will be hard to handle later.
  4. Pour into another large bowl.
  5. Repeat 1-4 until all beans is done.
  6. This process de-peels the skin off the beans.

Step Two: Blending the Beans

  1. Add the de-peeled beans into a blender
  2. Add 1/2 of the onion
  3. Add 1/2 of the red bell pepper
  4. Add 1 habanero
  5. Add 1 Roma tomato
  6. Add 1/4 cup of water into the blender; not a lot, just enough to aid the smooth blending of the beans.
  7. Blend till smooth. Smoothness will depend on the power of your blender.
  8. Repeat 1-7 until all beans is blended.

Cooking (Frying)

  1. Pour a cup and a half (12 oz) of oil into the frying pan
  2. Heat till slightly hot
  3. Use a scoop and scoop the ground mixture, scoop at a time, into the oil leaving space between scoops.
  4. Fry over medium heat
  5. Use a spatula and flip over once slight-to-dark brown (your choice) being careful not break the round form of the Akara.
  6. Remove from hot oil once both sides are fried to your desired color
  7. Repeat till all mixture is done.

Your Akara is ready to enjoy.
Best eaten alone, with porridge (ogi), or with bread slices.

Financial Monday: Best Practices for your Finances during Covid

Are you managing your finances differently during covid? If so, what are your best practices?

It has been over a year that we all have been plagued with uncertainties of life and living. Most of us have either lost a loved one or know someone (or family) who has. In addition, tons of folks have either lost their jobs or had pay cuts or reduced work hours in lieu of being laid off. And for those still privileged to have a job, permanence is not guaranteed. Neither is the future certain for pay increases irrespective of Congress’s recent action to raise the federal minimum wage.

And yes we are grateful that the vaccines have arrived, and are being strategically doled out. But the end of covid is still not near.

With all these uncertainties, it will be prudent for us to manage our finances wisely. I hope you agree with me. What steps, if any, have you incorporated for yourself and household regarding finances? Have you made adjustments in the areas of personal finance such as spending, saving, investing, budgeting, and/or retirement, that have been beneficial and you are willing to share?

There are daily necessities that cannot be forgone especially if you have children. Bearing that in mind, are you one of those working from home, but still indulge in purchasing the latest foundation though you have one unopened bottle, and another halfway through, at home? Are the cups of lattes and croissant ($7-$9) from Starbucks still a daily necessity for you? And though there are restrictions of movement in place nationally, are you still indulging in buying clothes/clothing everyday or week though you can’t go out? Are you ordering food delivery everyday? These are a few of the things that I see folks still doing. However they are areas that ideally could be minimized or totally eliminated till normalcy returns to our lives.

There are helps available for those struggling to pay their bills. Creditors are being empathetic during these times and are offering various kind of help. But you will need to let them know. Please contact your creditors rather than avoiding their calls.

So, what are your thoughts on living minimally during covid? Do you agree or not? Are there any other areas that you would advise folks to trim financially?

I have eliminated a few things myself. For example, Starbucks is no longer a daily want for me. Since I’ve been cooking a lot, I am reluctant to dine out. My business/personal trips have been eliminated till further notice. Understandably, right? You’d be surprised how many folks are still traveling around the nation and across the seas. I could still use some more trimmings and I’m looking for those areas.

How about you? Feel free to comment. Thank you.

Strong Women of Africa

Strong Women of Africa was first blogged on November 25, 2020 as part of The Strong Women Series. The first of the Series highlighted my favorite Strong Women of The Bible. In honor of International Women’s Day, and celebrating all women globally during the month of March being Women’s Month, I will re-blog the Series throughout the remainder of March. Read along, even if you read the initial post of each section of the Series, as changes may have been made.

Credy: azquotes

We congratulate Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (NOI), the newly-appointed General of World Trade Organization. Madam NOI was actually included in the initial blog though in an acting capacity.

As you may, or may not, know, Africa is a continent comprising of fifty-five 55) countries spread across its northern, southern, central, eastern, and western regions; each having seven (7), five (5), seven (7), twenty (20), and seventeen (16) countries respectively. Nigeria is the most populous African country with 206 million. For countries that make up each region, please click here.

This information is necessary to help visualize the magnitude of people that we are attempting to highlight. It is impossible to include every strong woman of the continent. As previously stated, in our initial blog of the Series, several strong women are unknown. Most are heads of their households. Those who are married are overworked and inadequately compensated or not compensated at all. Those in the workforce are still grossly underpaid compared to their male counterparts working the same job.

In my research, I found a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) interactive map of Women in African History. I love the interactives; I hope you do too. Unfortunately, this interactive lists only 32 women; one woman per country highlighted. There were 23 countries that did not have any woman highlighted. Click on the link above for the interactive map and on the picture to view details of the woman.

We know that there are tons of Strong Women of Africa than the referenced interactive showcased. But I would rather not burden you with the encyclopedic information of these Strong Women. As you read, if you know or have heard of any Strong Woman, kindly include her in the comment.

The above highlights Historic Strong Women of Africa. This link, courtesy of Forbes, showcases modern notable Strong Women of Africa. Again, the list might not be exhaustive. Include other known names you’ve either read about, heard, or known in the comments.

Credits: azquotes

African Women, like their global counterparts have defied several odds to attain their current pinnacles. From the first African female Head of State, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia (there has since been other African female Heads of States), to Asnath Mahapa, the first African woman to become a pilot in South Africa, to Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, to Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the first African woman to head the World Trade Organization (WTO), African Women continue to graciously stamp their footprints on the sands of time. Yet, there are still more Strong African Women needed to rise up and/or pass the baton on. I salute your courage and thank you for paving the way.

Happy International Women’s Day.

Loving Basketball: Steph Curry

Give it up for Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors on winning the 3-Point Shooting Contest at the ongoing 2021 NBA All Star Games.

It’s the second time he’s won the contest.

Jesus Ministry: Faith under Fire

Fire can be both a good thing and a bad thing. Good when it does what we desire it to do. Such as having a camp fire, keeping warm, and cooking. But when it is the opposite, such as fire from a cigarette flick near an open gas cooker in a house, the fire can destroy the home, and God forbid, the people in it when rescue is delayed. And should it spread beyond the home to other homes and the neighborhood, the fire becomes bad and destructive.

Such negative outcome is akin to having one’s faith under fire.

Like a muscle, your faith has not atrophied because you have continuously exercised it and gotten positive results. You’ve prayed, read and meditated on scriptures, fasted, in the past and gotten speedy results. You did all that, too. Only now the unthinkable is happening. No result. And heaven seems like brass over your head.

What do you do? What do you do when your faith is tested by failure, rejection, lack, frustration, everything is at a standstill, bills unpaid, children sick, spouse misbehaving, and God seems to be silent or had forgotten you? What do you do?

Hebrews 12:29 tells us that “our God is a consuming fire.” He (God) comes (or sends the fire) to consume what should not have been in the first place. In the Bible, Fire is denoted by several things allegorically and symbolically serving different purposes.

It is written that “faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen.” That’s Hebrew Chapter 11, Verse 1. Hebrews Chapter 11 is termed the Faith Chapter. I meditate on the chapter several times until I feel it in my spirit when my faith is under fire. Meditating on the chapter changes things.

The fire sometimes come to purge out the chaff from the wheat and those things that ought not to be in our lives. When the fire comes though, to us it seems like we will be consumed by it. But afterwards, we are glad for the purge and the remnants are what cannot be moved or shaken. In the process however it did not look good. Just as a diamond’s cut and clarity is shaped and obtained by going through fire (up to 1562°F), so are we sometimes taken through fire to become better.

Faith tells us to hope for the opposite of all that is testing us and speak the desired outcome into existence. We refuse to be moved by our circumstances. Faith is not believing in what is visible; what we see. If we do, it is not faith. But when all circumstances tell you that you cannot get out of your mess, and you “prophesy” to yourself and call the things that be not as though they were, that my friend is exercising your faith. You will get what you speak.

I dare you now to speak life to every dead thing in your life and speak to every mountain to be moved and call for angelic help. And after you have done all that you know to do, stand. Stand therefore believing that God’s got this.

Faith is action. You have done your part. Now await God’s part.

Recap

To recap, when your faith is on fire:

  1. Pray
  2. Meditate on the Faith Chapter, Hebrews 11
  3. Stand and put on the whole armor of God
  4. Wait for, and on, God. Waiting on God does not mean that you sit still and fold your arms. It means that you keep doing what you are supposed to do while believing that your circumstances will change.

I pray that God will answer you speedily in Jesus Name.

Unnecessary Evil

Uhm uhm uhm
I have seen so much evil in my days
Days that culminate into years.

Evil that are just unnecessary
Evil that tears families and friends apart
Evil that refuses to go away and lingers generation after generation
Evil that despite one party apologizing for the wrongdoing
The Evil festers and, like
The one bad apple that destroys the whole basket,
That Evil separates a whole family or group of friends.

I began to wonder
Why. Oh why? God why?
I listened to what He would say to me
And this is what I hear:

The heart of my people is maliciously wicked
None of you can fathom it
For I see what you don’t see
I see the hearts of everyone
What is said openly
Does not often match their hearts
What is done openly
Differs from what is done behind closed doors
If I could just open your eyes
To see what I see
It would blast your mind.

The evil stems from
Jealousy, envy, wrath, rivalry, evil concupiscence, greed, lasciviousness, hatred, lying, and the likes.
All these are not from Me.
All these are the unnecessary evil
They stem from fear
They stem from people wanting other peoples’ stuff
Being impatient to wait for theirs at My time.

But this one thing I would say
I see it all
Just be who I have created you to be
One of pure heart
One with a big heart
ever willing to help
Ever loving all but hating none
Do not be overcome with evil
But overcome evil with good.

Do not look at the evil being done
Just look up to me
I got this. Trust me.

The evil you see today
And the people who perpetuate them
One day. Oh one day soon
You shall see them no more.

Nonetheless

There are still much Good
In my people and on earth
Just like the 7,000 whom I reserved
whom have not bowed their knees to Baal
There are still my chosen ones on earth who are good
They are all around you
Some are near
And some far away
But I’m bringing them closer
To my people
And together
You band together
To destroy
The unnecessary evil that is plaguing my people on earth.

Peace to all My Sons and Daughters, old and young.

p.s. never stop being the good person because of the bad people or the evil you’ve experienced.

Loving Basketball: Team LeBron vs. Team Durant: NBA All-Star Draft rosters and results

Credits: NBA

The Captains, LeBron James for the West, and Kevin Durant for the East, selected their starters and reserves watched by probably millions on TNT a few minutes ago.

Below is the roster per the NBA website:

Team LeBron

Starters:
• LeBron James*

• Giannis Antetokounmpo

• Stephen Curry

• Luka Doncic

• Nikola Jokic

Reserves:

• Damian Lillard

• Ben Simmons

• Chris Paul

• Jaylen Brown

• Paul George

• Domantas Sabonis

• Rudy Gobert

* Captain

Team Durant

Starters:

• Kyrie Irving

• Joel Embiid

• Kawhi Leonard

• Bradley Beal

• Jayson Tatum

Reserves:

• James Harden

• Devin Booker

• Zion Williamson

• Zach LaVine

• Julius Randle

• Nikola Vucevic

• Donovan Mitchell

Interested in details, click here

The, one-day 2021 NBA All Star Game is scheduled for Sunday, March 7th.

Schedule (per NBA):

Both Captains are playing for a Charity Organization. Should be lots of fun.

I hope you will join to watch and support. 😍

Philosophical Tuesday: Morals and Morality

Morals. Morality. Social Morals. Moral Compass. We’ve all heard it. But what exactly does it mean and are we all morally conscious and/or (socially) morally obligated to one another. Why or why not?

Seems as if the world is divided when it comes to certain topics, issues, and/or values. We all don’t agree on simple things. One of such things is the issue of morals. I’m not here to judge (aka moral judgment) anyone. Which is also one of the problems. Because the issue of morals/morality is often met with defiant responses/statements such as “you’re judging me” or “don’t judge me.” Such responsories make it difficult for sincere interventions such that no one wants to touch it – let sleeping dogs lie! But I believe that we are socially responsible to one another or that we ought to be and such conversations are necessary.

Morals and ethics sometimes are interchangeably used. As the above definitions state, it is mainly about the right conduct. But could the right conduct of one person be a wrong to another? Or is there a unanimous agreement that right is right and wrong is wrong? Let’s ponder on that.

We need to understand and agree on what morals (and morality) are before moving forward.

. . .

Once agreed, the next question will be “are we born with a moral compass or does life and environment dictate it?

. . .

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP) states that morality can be descriptive or normative. Morals also relate to both an individual and the society.

“Descriptive morality refer to certain codes of conduct put forward by a society or a group (such as a religion), or accepted by an individual for her own behavior. When “morality” is used simply to refer to a code of conduct put forward by an actual group, including a society, even if it is distinguished from etiquette, law, and religion, it is being used in a descriptive sense. It is also being used in the descriptive sense when it refers to important attitudes of individuals. Just as one can refer to the morality of the Greeks, so one can refer to the morality of a particular person.”

Normative morality however refers to a code of conduct that, given specified conditions, would be put forward by all rational people; it takes on the form of avoiding and preventing harm and “holds that morality is (or would be) the behavioral code that meets the following condition: all rational persons, under certain specified conditions, would endorse it.

In addition, there are several views of morality: the relativist, naturalist, consequentialist, utilitarians, and more. Read it all in the SEP.

. . .

Final thoughts

Morals, as you can see, is not so straightforward. “Confusion about the content of morality sometimes arises because morality is not distinguished sufficiently from religion.”

What are your thoughts on this post? What does morals / morality mean to you? Are you one to take a stand for morals or not? What do you think about the various views of morality?

Thanks for reading – to be continued next week.

Financial Monday: Teenage Millionaires

Do you remember what you did at ages 4, 8, or 9? Most of us probably don’t.

The above featured teenagers started their businesses at those ages. They have now made some impressive business and financial strides that most adults have never made, nor would ever make in their lifetime. I still haven’t made my $1 million dollar, still working towards it!

These teenagers have made millions for themselves, retired or employed their parents, and are using business lingos that most adults have never heard of.

They were not born with silver spoons nor had parents who handed them the businesses. Each teenager made it by sheer curiosity, hard work, and determination.

I would guess that about 50% of most kids their ages put up lemonade or cookie stands outside their homes during summer. I remember being compelled to stop to buy a $1-cup (and a bag of cookies) most times just to encourage those kids. But one took it a notch higher.

Another traded stocks, while one started with “hustling” trading t-shirts. All three are now famous entrepreneurs.

There are probably more of them out there. Geniuses or unicorns? You be the judge.

While most kids were being kids, some are stepping out and being exceptional and even surpassing the adults.

Here’s to their much more success 🪘

What are your thoughts?

Jesus Ministry: God Speaks

Do you believe that God speaks? Do you believe that God speaks to you, or is speaking, and wants to speak to you?

God speaks all the time and more so at the end of a year/beginning of a new one. In reviewing a prior year and getting ready for the next, it is wise to know the ways God speaks so that we can align ourselves to hear what He will say (or is saying) to us. Granted that the new year 2021 has begun, do you know what God is saying to you for the year? It’s a good time to align ourselves with what God is saying for He is speaking.

The 10 Ways God Speaks

  1. The Holy Bible contains several examples where God spoke and is thus the primary way that God speaks. Every other way becomes secondary and must align with His Word.
  2. God speaks through men and women of God
  3. God speaks through dreams and visions
  1. God speaks through placing ideas into your heart
  2. God speaks through people; even babies and children
“But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.”
Jeremiah 1:7 KJV
  1. God speaks allegorically and symbolically
  2. God spoke through a donkey (Numbers 22:28) (and can probably speak through your pet today.)
  3. God speaks in His still small voice.
  4. God also speaks audibly as if you heard a vocal word from your parent, spouse, or a friend. (1 Samuel 3:4-14)
  5. God can speak through non-believers

I’ll reiterate that the Bible also contains men/women, and even satan’s, speeches. Please know the difference.

Know thyself

It is important that you know the way God speaks to you so that you will be quick to respond, quick to act, and because “the sheep knows the voice of the shepherd.” (John 10:14). But I can tell you that God can, and does, change that way for several reasons. The key is to pay attention and you’ll be able to grasp it when the change happens. Of course, God does not change once and expect you to grasp it immediately – He “works” with you till you grasp it.

It is also equally important to know how God speaks to you and judge it with His Word in The Bible. God will never contradict His Word. Whatever you hear God speak to you must align with His Word. As an example, it is ridiculous to state that God told you to marry another’s spouse because His Word says that He hates adultery.

As a precaution before acting, it is okay to ask God to confirm what you heard. (Judges 6:36-40). Some times our flesh and emotions can get in the way and subjectively misinterprets what we heard. As such, having a confirmation is a precautionary measure.

Blockers to hearing God

Though God speaks, and He is speaking, all the time, we might not hear what God is saying to us for several reasons which includes:

  1. Sin without confession or repentance
  2. Too busy
  3. Restlessness
  4. Not communicating with Him
  5. Not looking for Him
  6. Not understanding His ways or the way He speaks
  7. Lack of knowledge, or proper interpretation, of His Word
  8. Some folks have been known to be unable to hear when ill.

Desire to hear God Speak?

If you desire to hear God speak, the first step is to tell Him. “I desire to hear You, God. Please speak to me.” Start reading your Bible if you haven’t already been doing so. God will answer and take you through His process uniquely yours.

Finally, it is not enough to hear God speak. What is much more important is to act on what you heard. Faith without works is dead. (James 2:24, 26).

Has God being speaking to you? If so, how? Feel free to share in the Comments. Thanks

Cooking with Unmis: Fried Yellow Plantains

The Yellow Plantain, from the family of bananas, can be fried or boiled. Some like the plantain really ripe and soft; others like it just right and fresh. Some also like it fried till it’s deep brown in color, while others prefer that it maintains its yellow color.

Fried Yellow Plantain can be eaten alone or paired with rice or beans. “It is made in different ways: salted or unsalted, cut into “ears”, “fingers”, can be diced, or fried whole.”

Like to know more, click here.

An Outdoor Aquarium

I couldn’t help taking a photo of this outdoor aquarium that I saw while on my walk the other day.

The walk was around a more residential neighborhood and a change from my usual route. I got to a path that I had to wait on the side, in adhering to the safe distancing, to allow an elderly man to pass by. We exchanged pleasantries and he asked “have you seen the fishes?” I was puzzled. The area is not my neighborhood so I didn’t understand what he meant. But I responded “no, what fishes?” He, rather than walk past me, then moved to the left and pointed. So I walked closer, still maintaining the six-feet distancing rule, to look at what he was pointing at. I was blown. “Wow,” I exclaimed. “Beautiful. Thanks for showing it to me.” He also told me that “they just added more.” Referring to the owners adding more fishes to the aquarium. We spent a few minutes together watching and chatting before continuing our separate walks but we never saw the owners/residents of the home. They probably entertain numerous visitors and chats daily and don’t come out any more when people/walkers stop to admire their aquarium. They also could have been away. As for me, I was glad that I

  1. walked a different path that day
  2. met a stranger who shared with me
  3. found a beautiful outdoor aquarium. I’ve seen a variety of indoor aquariums but never an outdoor
  4. took a photo to add to my collection and WordPress images.

I hope you find both the aquarium and photo beautiful as I did. If not, it’s okay. I love them both. 😍

Be inspired to:

  • Do something different; from your normal routine, today
  • Meet someone new
  • Try something new
  • Share – it doesn’t detract from you, but adds.

Enjoy your weekend! ✌🏾

Coping Mechanisms for Career Mothers

Are you torn between your career and home? Or are you one of the few efficiently balancing both? If so, what are (or were) your secrets?

Indra Nooyi, former CEO of PepsiCo, offers mothers an advice. She recommends “coping mechanisms.” Watch this video to catch it, and other advices she gave. Married for 30+ years; any wonder that she was able to successfully balance both career and her home?

. . .

Having a successful and rewarding career and a happy home where both parents are happily present for lunch, or at the dinner table, with their children, has become a rarity. Parents attending their children’s PTA’s, sporting, or end-of-year activities has become a luxury because of work and/or due to working late hours. It is not unusual for the parents also not to see each other. As a result of the need to have one parent home with the children, most parents chose alternate work hours where one works the regular 8-5 hours and the other works the night or graveyard shift.

Granted that these scenarios have shifted due to covid19. Covid19 now has “forced” parents to engage more with their children making it one of the good things that came out of it. However, what are parents going to do when it’s over and we return to normalcy?

The biological clock and the career clock are in total conflict with each other.

Indra Nooyi

For most mothers, and according to Nooyi, the biological and career clocks are in conflict with each other. I totally agree with her. Neither does one clock chooses to wait for the other. Each goes the opposite way and the gap widens and never converge.

Some cultures, especially Africans and Asians, have the extended family support system that surround them with love and the necessary pro bono help in times of need such as new births, deaths, surgeries, etc. Others employ the help (maid, driver, chef, etc.) as they are relatively cheaper.

In the Western culture, however, help is scarce or non-existence. Tons of families are therefore torn between fulfilling a rewarding career and or balancing their homes soon after childbirth or during the growing years of their children. I was. With a husband who, at the time was more of a traveling salesman than working his real profession, it was hard to keep both smoothly. I remembered the budget period and crunch times were the times when one or both my kids tended to be ill and their dad was not around or he couldn’t take off.

I couldn’t tell if it was because they missed their dad or just nature (or nurture) telling me that I had to choose. Why couldn’t I have it all?

Summertime was also a challenge. Most summer events or schools ran short for a week or two at a time and drop offs and pick ups ran contrary to corporate hours. I eventually chose and made the decision to be a stay-at-home parent. No more “begging” others to pick my kids up for me or having them stay after-school 3-4 hours till they were picked up or paying the $1/minute charges when they weren’t picked up on time. (Sigh). And being involved in sports, though great for their well-being and a relief to occupy their growing minds, often came with its own challenges.

I’m glad those years are behind us now. Though my career took a dip and turn, I did not regret the decision at all.

If you’re a career mother or parent, how did you cope pre-covid?

Who stays home when the kids are sick?

For us at the time, it was unwritten and assumed that the mother/wife should be the one to take off. One of the cultural pass-downs. I knew a lot of households where the mothers were the chosen ones to take off. But should it really be?

Other things being considered, such as who has more flexibility at work, whose work/career is more accommodating and can work from home, who is the higher-paid parent, tenure on-the-job, etc., must be addressed.

Either way, whoever takes off more will impact his/her career notwithstanding the paid time off (family, personal, or sick) benefits that the work provides.

Opportunity Cost

Yes, we paid for day care. At the time, having a nanny was unpopular and too expensive for us – one of us might as well stay home to do the job.

However, if the benefits of going to work and pursuing a career is greater for you than the cost of employing a nanny, by all means go for it. I’m a believer in benefits and costs. The benefits must always outweigh its costs to be worth pursuing.

. . .

What coping mechanisms did you impose on yourself or home in order to balance your career, especially as a mother, while raising your children?

Thanks for reading and sharing your coping mechanisms.

Results are in for the NBA All Stars and Reserves

Credits: NBA.com / The Starters
Credits: NBA.com / The Reserves

Well, well, well. The results are here and they’re final. LeBron James (LBJ) of LA Lakers and Kevin Durant (KD) of Brooklyn Nets lead the starter votes and head the West and East Teams respectively. The votes poured in from the fans and, according to NBA, “current NBA players and a media panel.” There was a tie that had to be decided by fan votes. This was specifically noted for votes between Damian Lillard of the Portland Blazers and Luka Dončić of the Dallas Mavericks.

The Reserves were “selected by the NBA’s head coaches.” The two captains, LBJ and KD, will select their teams prior to the NBA All Star Game scheduled for March 7, 2021. Due to covid, it will be a one-day event starting that will also include a Dunk contest.

Per NBA, “Philadelphia head coach Doc Rivers and his staff have earned the spot to coach Team Durant. Utah head coach Quin Snyder and his staff have earned the spot to coach Team LeBron.”

Click on the link to read all about the starters and reserves

Also found the below links that show details of the votes breakdown. It helps understand the player selection in a tie.

Eastern Conference Frontcourt

Eastern Conference Guards

Western Conference Frontcourt

Western Conference Guards

As you can see from the above links, using the guards as an example, Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors topped the overall votes for guards. However, the selection had to include two guards each from both the Western and Eastern Conferences. It also explains why Bradley Beal, Kyrie Irving, and Luka Doncic made the starter list guards over Damian Lillard. This however was not the case with the frontcourts as the top three players were selected from both Conferences.

Anyways, unfortunately, “there will be no fan activities, ticketed events or hospitality functions as part of All-Star.” But we can watch at home and try to be on the virtual cheering teams. Hope you’ll be there.

Being Reasonable

“In everyday life, we ask each other to be reasonable, and we fault unreasonable behavior in ourselves and others. Moreover, the Anglo-American legal system makes extensive use of the “reasonable person standard” in everything from negligence to administrative law. What is it to be a reasonable person? What do we mean by “reasonable”?”

. . .

The above is a brief course description of the class, “Being Reasonable.” I have always wanted to take classes in Philosophy to satisfy my learning curiosity/developments. I came across the course description while researching colleges. It’s being taught at one of America’s top colleges. I would love to take the class at the college, but I thought to share the course title and description which I think are interesting.

Philosophy is deep and involves lots of independence of the mind. Just look at the list of philosophical schools of thoughts. I do not need a degree in Philosophy so I will not avail myself of all the schools of thoughts. However, I think it interesting to know that tons of our rationales and beliefs are philosophically-based.

What does “Reasonable” Mean?

We start with the Dictionary’s definition:

Next, according to Vocabulary.com, “If you’re reasonable, you have good sense and judgment. A reasonable decision is rational and thought out, like your mom’s reasonable rule about not eating crumbly foods in her car. When you describe a store’s prices as reasonable, you mean they’re fair — not too high. And if you are given a reasonable amount of time to do a project for school, you have no excuse for it being late.”

As the course description stated, there’s the “reasonable person standard,” in law. According to Cornell University’s Department of Law, it means:

“Just, rational, appropriate, ordinary, or usual in the circumstances. It may refer to care, cause, compensation, doubt (in a criminal trial), and a host of other actions or activities. In the law of negligence, for example, the reasonable person standard is the standard of care that a reasonably prudent person would observe under a given set of circumstances. An individual who subscribes to such standards can avoid liability for negligence.”

I have provided two links for your reading pleasure; one from a philosophical view and the other from an actuarial view.

Conclusion

There is actually no conclusion to reasonability or being reasonable. As you can see, being reasonable depends on the hat one is wearing at the point the statement is made. Since each industry views “reasonable” from its own perspective, is it safe to say that we all will have varied thoughts and views for what we consider as Being Reasonable?

What are your thoughts on this? Please comment below. Thanks.

Financial Monday Nuggets: How would you spend a windfall of $1.5 million

Credits: Eric Prouzet / Unsplash

How would you spend a windfall of $1.5 million if it fell in your hands today?

Let’s talk.

The time to think about $1.5 million is when you don’t have it because you’ll have the time to allocate and fine-tune its use before it shows up in your hands.

If you had $1.5 million today, how will you utilize it?

We’ve all heard of various people such as athletes and lottery winners who have had windfalls of money literarily. Some by a dint of big and multi-year contracts and or hard work, while others by sheer “luck” falling in their laps only to be “begging” and/or homeless and back to square one within a short period of time; sometimes in as short as a year. I hope that no one reading this post will have such an experience.

So, let’s talk family. If you won $1.5 million, were gifted or “luckily” sign a multi-year contract to its tune or more, how would you spend it?

This post is to steer our hearts, minds, and heads to think and effect a sustainable outcome. How many years will you stretch the $1.5 million to work for you, and your family if you have children?

. . .

Technically, most of us would have made over $1 million in the course of our working lifetime. For example, a college grad starting work right out of college, earning $25,000 per year, and working straight till retirement – p.s. college grads earn much more in the USA, except it’s a sales job base salary which of course has bonuses attached. Others making much more would make the $1 million in lesser number of years. But few, or none, of us have $1 million in total assets. 😓

A paradigm is required to be able to effectively manage money. Your attitude towards (or with) money will often determine whether money flows to and stays with you.

Let’s think on the post’s question today, through the week, and hope that the question stays with us and propels us to fruitful financial action. 😊

Jesus Ministry: Dreams

Credits: Sharon McCutcheon / Unsplash

Do you dream? I mean the real dream (the noun). Not the act of you thinking and imagining what could be. Those are good too as was Disney was built on the foundations of imagination and fantasy were.

But today, I want to talk about the Dreams in which you lay down, shut your eyes, and within an hour or so, involuntarily start seeing people and things, while sleeping. Yes, that one. Do you experience that? Let’s talk about it.

What are Dreams?

Biblically, God has been known to speak to His people in and through dreams. (Numbers 12:6, Job 33:14-30). Christians are too familiar with Joseph and his dreams (Genesis 37), King Nebuchadnezzar and the three Hebrew boys (Daniel 2), including Pharaoh and his butler and baker (Genesis 40). In fact, the warning (or advice) to protect baby Jesus came through a dream to Joseph (Matthew 2:19-21). Dreams is also one of the signs of God pouring out His Spirit on earth (Acts 2:17). All these, in my opinion, demonstrate the importance of Dreams.

Scientifically, dreams have been acknowledged as occurring during sleep and are often referred to as REM (rapid eye movements.). However, a research admits that “the initial equation of REM sleep with dreaming has been shown to be inaccurate.” And though I disagree with the research’s conclusion that “dreaming may be closely related to imagination, where brain activity presumably flows in a “top-down” manner,” I somewhat agree that in the scientific world “disconnection from the external environment when dreaming poses a central unsolved paradox, the answer to which may be instrumental for understanding dreams.”

Nonetheless, dreams are so important that the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes (NINDS) wrote about it. Not to state that it is a disorder, but to draw your attention to the importance of sleep which is where and when dreams occur. Click here to read more.

So, what are Dreams? I’m glad you asked. The dictionary has various definitions.

Contrary to the dictionary’s definition, however, research has confirmed that dreams are involuntary.

“Dreams show that our brain, disconnected from the environment, can generate by itself an entire world of conscious experiences.”

My interpretation of this is that we do have conscious experiences though unconscious while sleeping. Is this your interpretation as well? If not, please comment.

Could dreams therefore be paranormal? 🤔

Here’s my definition of Dreams:

An involuntary visualization of succession of events or objects that reveal either God or others’ planned actions, whether good or bad, for you for the present or future. These visualization can also reveal past events that can help with underlying issues in one’s life. They can also be in form of a warning or direction.

. . .

I propose that we all would have dreamed at least once in our lifetime. Also, that dreams are not restricted to any particular one – everyone is capable of dreaming; Christians, Moslems, even non-believers, old and young, male and female.

Some people remember their dreams even years after, while several others do not or barely remember but will often have de ja vu moments later in real life. Some people have multiple dreams during the night. Some of those dreams might be a series of short continuous or different dreams. Others dream occasionally. Some dream in color (God/divine), others dream in black and white, yet some have both types of dreams. I propose to you that the more you remember your dreams, the more God will send them your way. However, if you’re one who says “I don’t dream.” It is either that you do not remember them or you are not interested in what God is trying to show or tell you. God speaks and is still speaking but your antenna might be dull or not tuned to His. You can change that. If you are one who doesn’t remember his or her dreams, a first starting point is drawing nearer to God; start reading your Bible, and by asking God to talk to you.

I believe that Dreams are significant especially to one’s spiritual life. I also believe that they reveal tangible clues.

I hope this blesses you. Feel free to comment. Thanks for reading.

How do you like your Beans? 😍

The above pictures show cooked Beans in its whole form, cooked with corn, mashed, ground and steamed, and ground and fried.

. . .

Beans come in a variety of types. It has been stated that, globally, there are 40,000 types of beans. The most common ones in the U.S. include:

  • Red (Kidney) beans
  • Black-eyed beans
  • Black beans
  • Orange beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Lentils.

Black-eyed peas was used to cook the above. Orange beans can also be used.

. . .

Beans is a staple in some countries around the world. It is rich in nutrients such as protein, iron, folic acid, thiamin, and calcium. It is also highly recommended as dietary additions for its health benefits in controlling diabetes, heart, cancer, and in weight management.

How do you like your Beans?

Put Your Rice Cooker To More Use

I am so grateful for my rice cooker. My old faithful. It’s only 4-quarts in size, but it cooks everything I want it to. It also saves me time. I still use it today.

I have used it to cook

  • potatoes,
  • yam,
  • spaghetti / pasta,
  • beans, and
  • eggs.

Other items I can cook in a regular pot, but beans is a lot easier and faster to cook in a rice cooker. I also once used the rice cooker to cook curried chicken, on a trip, when I got tied of eating out. 😊 I am sure that it can cook more if we try it. Why don’t you try it.

. . .

I remember the years that I had to cook rice and constantly had to watch it so that it doesn’t steam to overflowing and or burn? Some days it seemed that I just cannot cook simple steamed rice because the consistency is off – sometimes too hard (sort of undone), other times too soft (overcooked.) The rice cooker has saved all that for, when the right amount of water is added, it helps balance the texture and can prevent the rice from burning as it automatically shuts itself off.

I love the rice cooker for other reasons. Chief among this is that I use it to cook other foods, besides rice. My small rice cooker is dedicated to “traveling.” I take it all around with me especially when on long trips “just in case.” Please note that this is not a recommendation for you to try it in hotels; always check with your hotel if it is permissible.

. . .

Do you have and use a rice cooker? If yes, do you use it to cook other foods besides rice? If so, what else do you use your rice cooker for? Please share your tips in the comments.
Thanks. 😍


It’s Sharing Thursday: #140 – Times of Testing

In the moments of turmoil are where you will find the most sincere peace. Discovering faith in the chaos makes it all worthwhile and these times of …

#140 – Times of Testing

Sharing #Brian Keith’s blog and site, #ImightbeaProphet. Brian’s posts have always been a God moment for me.

. . .

We all need God. I know that I need God everyday and every second of the day. I hope you do, too. God still speaks (a blog for another day). God is talking every day. His voice is both audible and soft. You can sense God via all your five senses. I just hope that our antenna is always connected and tuned to receive what He’s saying all the time. God also talks to us through people and sometimes animals and things. Reading Brian Keith’s daily blog is always like God speaking to me. One God Word can mean different things to different people simultaneously.

The past year has been undoubtedly challenging for everyone. The turmoil and chaos need not be re-emphasized. But as #ImightbeaProphet’s post states, it is in the midst that we have the most sincere peace. I hope you do.

“You are not a victim of circumstances, but are a preselected victor. The obstacles before you are no longer seen as predicaments of punishment, but are the processes of promotion asked for in prayer.

Visit #imightbeaprophet.com to read more of this blog as well as others, and support him. I hope that God speaks to you through Brian’s posts knowing that one God Word can mean different things to different people simultaneously. Blessings 😍

So the former President was acquitted but who was really responsible?

Credits: John Cameron / Unsplash

I’m sure that you’ve heard the news and I’m curious to hear your thoughts on it. I was musing on the news that the 45th President of USA, Mr. Donald Trump, was acquitted from impeachment because of a lack of two-thirds majority required to convict him. Were you happy for him or, like the majority of people, angry with the constitutional process?

The 45th President

There were three quarters regarding the 45th President: one quarter believed that Donald Trump is evil, racist, homophobic, and the (WOATs) worst-of-all-times President; another believed that he was bold, one who could stand up to anyone and one President who was needed for America; yet another quarter were clueless and could care less. Which quarter did you reside in?

We all knew that Donald Trump was impeached twice; once in 2019 while in office for “abuse of power and obstruction of justice”, and recently on January 13, 2021 for insurrection. This was after leaving the office of the President of the USA. This second impeachment was right in the middle of two critical events in the US; that is, exactly a week both before the swearing-in of new President, Joe Biden and after the insurrection. The second impeachment was strategically time-slated and makes Donald Trump the first US President ever to be impeached twice.

Again, like you know, the impeachment proceedings commenced on February 9th and ended with Donald Trump’s acquittal on February 13, 2021.

Did you move quarters after the acquittal or did you love your quarters more? Why?

Personally, I think both impeachments were merely political maneuverings that were unnecessary. I would have been both surprised and disappointed if the outcome of the second impeachment had passed. Why? I’m glad you asked.

  1. I watched both sessions pre-impeachment (to decide if it was constitutional to proceed) and the impeachment hearing itself. Both sides made compelling arguments for and against; some more emotional and convincing than others, that could move the easily-swayed to either side.
  2. It would have contradicted the new President’s call for unity.
  3. It would have lifted the Congress higher and as the optimal seating of the US power rather than the constitutionally-shared power among the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial.

. . .

Undoubtedly , there are consequences when a President is convicted of an impeachment. One of such is that he would have been barred from the GOP from ever running for office again. Another is that he would have been stripped of all benefits and privileges accorded to former Presidents. Read more here.

It is the latter that irks me.

It is a tremendous service of the highest order to be the President of the USA of which there are equally prestigious perks, honors, and most times sleepless nights as well as reliving the saying “uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.” Not all countries can boast of these perks. To have those perks removed as a result of the actions of some folks, in my opinion, would have been extremely unfair.

Now let’s talk about the real people who committed the insurrection.

Who was really responsible for the Insurrection?

One question we were often asked as children was “if someone asked you to put your hands in a blazing fire, would you?” Another was “if someone asked you to jump from the rooftop of a skyscraper, would you?” It didn’t mean that anyone would indeed say such things, but it was a learning statement for kids to think before they commit any act. By the time you’ve heard those statements repeatedly for years, you wise up knowing that if you erred, you cannot be exonerated telling your parents or teachers or any elder that someone made you do it. Smart kids would normally reply that you show them first what you were asking them to do aka learning by example!

My people, let’s not blame Donald Trump. It’s a free country where the Constitution upholds freedom of speech. The President, oh excuse me, the former President was free to open his mouth and freely utter anything he wants. The people we saw on the television, aired globally, were indeed adults and not children. Several could have been parents too. They chose to act without thinking. So I hope that Congress rightly goes after and prosecute the culprits we all saw breaking in, vandalizing government properties, and putting government officials’ lives in jeopardy, including any insiders who connived or collaborated with them.

I didn’t really believe that the former President’s legal team did a great job, but I am glad that Donald Trump was acquitted.

I hope that we all learned some lessons from it all. That we need to:

  1. Think before we vote going forward
  2. Think before we act foolishly based on someone else’s words or actions to us
  3. That Congress would think before wasting government funds conducting a wild goose chase.
  4. That Donald Trump would also now realize that no one is above the law and hopefully, should he choose to run in 2024 , if allowed, will dignifiedly act as a man of honor worthy to represent the USA, including would have learned to be a unifying leader and not a divisive one.

I ask again, were you angry or glad that Donald Trump was acquitted – please no partisan sentiments. Feel free to share your thoughts.

Thanks for reading.

Attitude towards Yourself

Credits: Valentina Conde / Unsplash

Attitude. Attitude. Attitude. We’ve all heard the saying that attitude is everything. It is your attitude that will determine your altitude. Attitude is the equalizer; it’s what makes one or breaks one.

“The greatest discovery of any generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes.”

William James, Harvard University

What is Attitude?

The best definition of Attitude that I found is from Myers’ Social Psychology where Attitude is defined as “a favorable or unfavorable evaluative reaction toward something or someone, exhibited in ones beliefs, feelings, or intended behavior. It is a social orientation – an underlying inclination to respond to something either favorably or unfavorably.”

Attitude towards Yourself

Attitude towards others is one thing, but I believe that our attitude towards ourselves are more important than those towards others. I also believe that there is a direct correlation in one’s attitude towards others and self. If you treat yourself better, you will undoubtedly treat others like you do yourself.

Attitude towards yourself:

  1. can be positive, negative, and/or neutral towards an “attitude object” (a person, behaviour or event).”
  2. is intangible, but the effects are tangible.
  3. is directly inferred and observable. So is the effects of attitude be it positive, negative, or neutral.
  4. is both implicit and explicit.

Attitude towards ourselves determine our attitude toward the world. If you believe that you can, guess what, you will. On the contrary, if you believe that you can’t, guess what, you will not. We shape our own lives and the shapes of them will be determined by our attitudes. For example, a person with a poor attitude towards learning, isn’t going to learn much until he or she changes his or her attitude.

. . .

We’re so familiar with ourselves we tend to take ourselves for granted and we tend to minimize the things we can accomplish, or the goals we can reach, and for some equally strange reason believe that others can accomplish things in our field which we cannot. There are literally millions of human beings living narrow, darkened, frustrated, and defensive lives simply because they take offensive and doubtful attitude towards themselves and as a result towards life in general.

Attitude is a reflection; a result of a person’s will. It is incalculably powerful. It can bring about marvelous results for us but we need to train it patiently day-by-day.

Let’s talk about the attitudes of successful people. The top 5% of people go sailing through life from one success to another and, even when they fail at something, shrug it off and head right out again. No matter who the person is or what he/she does, wherever you find a person doing an outstanding job and getting outstanding results, you will find a person with the right kind of attitude. These people take the attitude towards themselves that they can accomplish what they set out to accomplish. There’s no good reason on earth why they can’t be competent or successful. They have a healthy attitude towards themselves and, as a result, towards life and the things they want to accomplish. And because of this they achieve some remarkable things and they come to be successful, outstanding, brilliant, lucky, and a lot of other things. They’re quite frequently no more brilliant or outstanding than the majority of the people by whom they are surrounded but they did develop the right attitude and they found their accomplishments not too difficult and, many times, surprisingly easy simply because it seems that so few are really trying and really believing in themselves.

Successful people come in all shapes and sizes and in widely varying degrees of intelligence background and so on. But they all have one thing in common:

  1. they expect more good out of life than bad;
  2. they expect to succeed more than they fail;
  3. they radiate confidence assurance;
  4. they have about them the attitude of success in their walk, talk, and even dressing.

. . .

If you think you have a bad or negative attitude, you’re probably right. But choose to change it today. The distance between the negative attitude and positive is the amount it took you to read this sentence. Your intentional decision to change. Start today. Start now so you can reap the benefits of the best positive attitude towards yourself tomorrow.

Monday Financial Nuggets: Why You Need Money to Live a Full Life

The problem for my poor dad was that his attitude towards money kept him poor.
— Read on www.richdad.com/why-you-need-money

Sharing Robert Kiyosaki’s blog on “Why you need Money.”

. . .

I need money to live the abundant life. I hope you do too. Being wealthy is good, except of course, you’ve dedicated your life otherwise. To this, I normally say “if you don’t need the money, it’s okay for you to make it and give it to those who need it; be a philanthropist.” I hope you agree.

Money of itself is not evil. It is the love of money that is the root of all evil. Instances of roots of evil include when a person kills another or sidesteps others in contracts/deals, when spouses murder for insurance or hide assets from each other, when businesses arbitrarily raise prices (I can see some saying that that’s “profit” but profiteering is greed in my opinion), etc. The list is endless. I’m sure you can add to the list, too.

Kiyosaki’s foundational education focused on comparing his friend’s Dad (Rich Dad) to his biological Dad (Poor Dad) and concluding that our attitude (a blog for another day), with and towards money, makes all the difference. In one of his trainings, I remembered him saying that even though he’s wealthy, he has no problem buying a Porche but that when it comes to groceries, he has a hard time buying a higher-priced bottled water, he compares, wasting time before picking a cheaper one! I must confess that I do this too but I hope that I don’t waste as much time as he does. 😊

Anyhow, having money not only to do, pay, and buy the comforts of life, but also being able to help others especially those who can’t repay you, is the greatest benefit of being wealthy. Other benefits include:

  1. Donating to worthy causes
  1. Ensuring that your family is well taken care of during and after your lifetime
  1. Helping to build private infrastructures, such as schools, transportation, communication, hospitals, to name a few, that will help more people
  1. Vacationing to various places which is educative, and
  1. Random acts of kindness.

. . .

Is’t possible to financially help everyone? I guess not, but each one touching (helping) one will go a long way.

I pray that money will answer to you and that you will send it on divine errands; that is a tool to take care of your lifestyle and others.

Be blessed.

Love and Loving Yourself

Credits: Annie Spratt / Unsplash

Valentines Day

I believe that Valentines Day is a global celebration. Its origin, though still unknown, has been alluded to the Romans. Read here for a brief history.

Valentines Day, like several other holidays, have been grossly abused. Why wait till February 14th to show love? And why show love to just your spouse or significant other? Please show love everyday to everyone. And please love unconditionally. Thank you!

Love Your Children

Please shower your children daily with love and not only when they please you, obey you, and/or excel in school. The best time to really love your children is the time they mess up and recognize it themselves. Surprise them with the best of unconditional love that you can and have a heart-to-heart talk with them on another day.

If, as a parent, the only time your children feel loved is when they’re good, obey you, or get As, you’ve done a poor job, your love has become conditional, and your children will grow up trying to please everyone in order to be loved. The outcome unfortunately will be that they feel used and never find true unconditional love. Should they find true love, they can easily mess it up with the faulty-thinking that they have been conditioned to. Please don’t put your kids through that as either they won’t understand, never will understand, or will understand much later, why they are trying so hard to please but end up being rejected.

Love Yourself

Also, learn to love yourself. Loving oneself is not selfish. Date yourself while waiting to be dated. So, when the date shows up, he or she arrives to compliment you and not complement you. You were whole and complete before s/he showed up. I hope that you will be; if not start working towards being complete before showtime.

Yes, it’s great to be loved. Everyone loves to be loved, but unfortunately most people are dying waiting for Prince Charming and Princess Tantalizing. Yet we wonder why he or she hasn’t shown up. It’s because no one wants a dead mate! No one goes to the morgue or mortuary (pardon my acuteness) to look for a life mate. It’s never done!

“Loving yourself isn’t vanity. It’s sanity.”

Andre Gide

This is something I lived. I dated and loved myself (still do). Went to movies, concerts, dinners, games, and more places alone – it was my Me-time. Bought myself roses lots of times; sometimes one stem some days a bunch. When my daughters were in middle school, and their friends’ parents would tell them (or tell their children who would now pass it on!) that they saw their Mom, my younger daughter especially would say “Mom, stop doing this, they’d think that you have no friends.” My response was that “well, you let them know that I do but chose to do this alone.” I used to wonder why it bothered them so and then, one day I realized that their school’s buddy system might have been responsible. The school’s buddy system was that the kids couldn’t go anywhere, including bathrooms, alone – they have to go with a friend. Of course, the short trip to the bathroom, with a friend, was an extra recess for them. The kids loved this and enjoyed multiple trips on other errands. So they thought it was unsociable to go or do anything by oneself. But, they now know and understand better.

To me, it means being comfortable in my own skin.

Anyhow, do love yourself and love others unconditionally.

5 Benefits of Loving Yourself

Benefits of Loving Oneself according to UCSC Counseling and Psychological Services (UCSC CAPS) include:

  1. You validate yourself
  2. You give yourself unconditional respect, appreciation and evaluation of being great
  3. You consider yourself as worthy, valuable, and deserving of happiness.
  4. You’ll be able to take care of others because you’ve taken care of yourself first.
  5. You’ll have greater resilience to withstand any challenging life event or personal adversity.

Put Your Mask on First

We’ve heard this repeatedly onboard commercial aircrafts that, in case of an emergency, we need to put our mask on before trying to put the mask on any child flying with us or trying to help another passenger, right? I hope that you have; if not, you heard it here first 😊. It’s the same analogy with loving oneself. “It’s important to love yourself because of the simple truth that you cannot take care of others until you take care of yourself first.” Said another way, “you cannot give what you don’t have,” right?

Tons of people in relationships don’t know how to love the other person simply because they don’t have it in them. We all know (or have heard) of the resultant effects of loveless relationships. So, please do yourself and others a favor by starting to love yourself if you haven’t already been doing so.

Love God First

Finally, the first true love comes from God, our Creator. Without His love we are incapable of loving any other let alone ourselves. So, let us love Him indeed and allow His love to flow through us to ourselves and one another.

❤️✌🏾

Cooking with Unmis: Stewing Chicken Stew

Credits: Unmis

Ingredients:

  1. 1 whole Stewing chicken (or chicken parts from your grocery store)
  2. My Sauce
  3. Tomato Paste
  4. 1 large Onion
  5. Spices (Italian Seasoning, Thyme, Salt, Knorr Chicken cubes)

Boiling the Stewing Chicken

  1. Cut the chicken. (p.s. There’s an art to cutting this bird such that the parts are artistically distinguishable.)
  2. Put all parts in the cooking pot.
  3. Slice a quarter of the onion into the chicken
  4. Add a tablespoon of Italian seasoning, salt, and 2 cubes of Knorr Chicken Stock
  5. Add 3-4 cups of water
  6. Cover pot with lid
  7. Place on medium to high
  8. Boil for 20-30 minutes or till tender.

Making the Stew

  1. Pour 2-1/2 – 3 cups of My Sauce in a pot
  2. Slice a 1/4-1/8 onion
  3. Add spices (curry, thyme, white pepper, & paprika) as desired
  4. Add a cup of oil
  5. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the raw smell of pepper (from My Sauce) is gone.

Your Chicken Stew is ready. Eat over Steamed or Jollof Rice and/or add over Egusi or Ewedu when eating the Solids (such as Fufu, Eba, Farina, Amala, etc.)

Cooking with Unmis: Assorted Meat Stew

Credits: Unmis

Ingredients:

  • Beef (different parts of the cow or goat; including tripe, heart, legs, hides, etc.)
  • Oil (your choice)
  • Onions
  • Beef bouillons
  • Garlic
  • Garlic Salt or Iodized Salt
  • Italian Seasonings, Bay leaves, (optional)
  • Thyme, Curry, White Pepper, Paprika

Cooking Instructions:

Boiling the Meats

  1. Cut the beef parts into chunks (small to large chunks as desired)
  2. Place in cooking pot
  3. Slice in the onions
  4. Add garlic, garlic salt, salt, Italian seasoning, and the 2 beef bouillons
  5. Add 2-3 cups of water depending on the quantity of the beef
  6. Cover pot with lid
  7. Place on medium to high
  8. Boil for 20-30 minutes or till tender.

Making the Stew

  1. Pour 2-1/2 – 3 cups of My Sauce in a pot
  2. Slice a 1/4-1/8 onion
  3. Add spices (curry, thyme, white pepper, & paprika) as desired
  4. Add a cup of oil
  5. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the raw smell of pepper (from My Sauce) is gone.

Your Assorted Meat Stew is ready. Eat over rice and/or add over Egusi or Ewedu when eating the Solids (such as Fufu, Eba, Farina, Amala, etc.)

Friendly Friday – On The Way

On the way
to DESTINY
I sprinted as fast as I could go
Cos I gotta reach my DESTINATION;
But, dear oh dear, I was often slowed down
By Obstacles
But, tried as they often ferociously did
Obstacles never could hold me down.

On the way
to DESTINY
I passed several lampposts and billboards
Several seas and oceans too
And oh, I almost forgot, the mountains and valleys!

Those Obstacles sometimes called Frenemies were all too present
On the sidelines cheering me to sprint even faster
Many even sprinted with me
Some sprinted faster to outrun and challenged me.

There was a Voice all along the way
Whispering my name …

Those Obstacles sometimes called ReFocus
Were often present and they came to detour me
Sometimes ReFocus, and its entourage DeFocus,
Smiled and laughed with me
Brought Tea and Scones with them
And we’d party
And invited me to parties that I often wouldn’t have attended.
After it’s all over
I’d need a rest to recoup.

And I had to rest

The rest was much needed
Looking back, I realized that if Obstacles , Frenemies, ReFocus, DeFocus, Tea, and Scones hadn’t shown up
I’d have sprinted myself into a steel wall
And crashed into pieces.
And it will be the end of my DESTINATION
Yet DESTINY is still calling.

Oh there were few crashes
Accidents of sorts as well
On the way to DESTINY
One or two were my fault
The rest, though I was sternly focused,
Occurred from blind-sides.
Blind-sides of Life
by those closest to me
On the way to DESTINY.

So I had to rest.

After the rest
I regained some strength
To continue
On the way to DESTINY

This time, though,
All I could do was walk;
a much slower pace than I knew how to
I walked, and walked, and walked, and walked, and walked, and
The Destination seemed never ending nor arriving, but still I walked and walked and walked and walked and Suddenly I felt a gush of wind on my legs.

And I began to sprint again!

Woohoo I’m alive again!

But, dear oh dear, that lone Voice
Ever whispering into my ears
Slow down,” “Slow down,” “Slow down.”
With a wave of my right hand
I swapped many times my left ear
Not to listen to that Voice.

I’d picked up race again
Thinking “you trying to make me lose this race, unh? I’ve been slowed down enough!”
But that Voice never relented.

Then I said out loud “I’m on the way to DESTINY and I gotta get to my Destination fast.”

And, dear oh dear, That Voice replied “No, my dear, you got it all wrong!
It is not a sprint. Don’t run the race of a lifetime in a short distance my child. For the race does not belong to the Swift.
Some days, I want you to run; not sprint,
Other days, I need you to just rest
For it is in resting that you can hear My next instructions to you
Yet other days, you must walk
All these help you arrive at your Destination the way I planned it
.”

I got this and I got you
On your way to DESTINY.
All will be well just as
I planned and orchestrated it.
Trust me
On your way to DESTINY.
All things will work out
For your Good;
Check-in with Me regularly
I got you
On your way
to DESTINY
.”

On the way
to DESTINY.

I thank you:
Obstacles, Frenemies, ReFocus, DeFocus, Tea, and Scones.
I thank you Accidents and Blindsides
For having shown up
On the way
to my DESTINY
For though you meant it
For my harm
It is all turning around
For my Good.
I’m still on track
And have overpassed
The horse and the chariots
On the way
to DESTINY
And better yet, I am still on time!

On the way to DESTINY.

Loving Basketball: NBA All Star Voting

Credits: NBA / West Conference
Credits: NBA / East Conference

Are you aware that the NBA All Star Voting is ongoing? If you are, I hope that you’ve voted for the player you consider to be the BEST Guard and Forward for both the West and East Conferences. If not, please jump on at https://nba.com/vote and start voting before the end of the day and till February 16th.

The above images are the count/votes for both West and East for the past two weeks. Voting started on January 28th.

Sorry, I wished that I had remembered to share sooner. Now let’s help these guys (our favorites) to double their counts/votes by the deadline.

Let’s go!

. . .

The NBA All Star has been scheduled for March 5-10, 2021.

Sex and Soul Ties

Preamble

Soul ties, and its causal relationship with sex, has been togging at my heart for a couple of weeks now. I finally succumb to its togging to post. I hope that it helps someone.

. . .

Sex is meant to be enjoyed by both partners. It was originally created for enjoyment at marriage (could be a post for another day.), and not pre-marriage. But in a society, where everything is sexual, sex-base and oriented, I acknowledge that this statement might not be welcomed or could be largely contended.

Sex is a tri-dimensional experience involving the spirit, soul, and body of those participating in it. Anytime you have sex with anyone, you bond with them. Whenever a person is sexually involved with another person, neuro-chemical changes occur in both their brains that encourages limbic emotional bonding (LEB).

Limbic bonding is “an emotional and biological connection you form with your partner.” It is the reason that casual sex doesn’t really work for most people on a whole mind and body level.

Casual Sex

Soul ties occur primarily from sexual intimacy.

Two people may decide to have sex “just for the fun of it,” or because they thought that “they’d be together forever,” yet something is occurring on another level that they may not have decided on at all.

Sex is enhancing an emotional bond between them whether they want it or not. One person, often the woman, is bound to form an attachment and will be hurt when a casual affair ends. (this is not to say that men do not hurt when casual sex ends.) One reason it is usually the woman who is hurt most is that the female limbic system is larger than the male’s.

Sex is like gluing two pieces of wood together. Ending (casual) sex is akin to ripping the pieces of wood apart the next day! Of course, the wood from the opposite board (wood) remains on each board. A piece of your sex partner (the good, bad, and ugly) stays with you and vice versa for the rest of your life. You can only imagine what it looks like when you bond with multiple partners. Unhealthy soul ties are often the ramifications of having partners that you create a lifelong bond with through a sexual encounter but with whom you only have a short-term relationship with. What we don’t know is that the bond remains long after the relationship is over, leaving both sexual partners longing for wholeness.

People are misinformed and, therefore, convinced that sex is strictly dimensional, physical act with no emotional or spiritual connections. Yet after sex, they find themselves mysteriously longing for the person they may not even like. A person (usually the woman) gives herself sexually to someone, expecting that the intense intimate act of intercourse would create a bond that would lead to deeper levels of commitment in the relationship. But soon she discovers that her sexual partner was taking advantage of her (or his) need for intimacy and used her/his vulnerability to have sex. Of course, this leads to a person being emotionally and spiritually bonded to somebody they deeply resent!

Also, when two people commit to marriage, they surmise that the covenant vows are only a formality. So they live together and enjoy a sexual relationship outside of a lifelong commitment. But later they decide, for whatever reason, that they don’t want to live in a covenant relationship and eventually break up. They usually don’t realize how deeply they have wounded each other as their souls are ripped apart, tearing the very fabric of their beings in the separation.

. . .

Whether you’re a religious person or not, soul ties is a theory that can be explained and understood by anyone. It is the idea that certain actions can connect you to a person and cause you to bond in a way that is not easily broken. Typically, soul ties are said to come from sex (but are also known to have come from other sources; for example, blood covenants, frats or sororities, or other soulish organizations, etc.). It is the physical act of giving yourself to another person that makes you vulnerable to such a connection.

In a healthy relationship, sexual intercourse is used to unify two people in a way that is nurturing and empowering. It is the manner in which couple shows their love and commitment to one another.

However, in a volatile, hostile or unhealthy relationship, sex causes you to tie your soul to someone who is disempowering and damaged. While it is very easy to recognize healthy and emotionally rich soul ties, it is not as easy to identify the unhealthy ones.

Engaging in intercourse with your partner is something that would be enjoyable. It intertwines your energies and should leave you both feeling loved, adored, appreciated and gratified. If you are engaging in intercourse with your partner, but you’re left feeling hollow, unappreciated, used, or dirty, or you’re experiencing a negative emotional reaction to your mate; this should be addressed. If there’s no resolution or if the reason for your experience is based on the state of the relationship, it’s time to separate. (But please, do not separate mainly on this post or the videos shared. These are shared to enlighten you. I therefore urge you to seek counseling and/or your own resolutions as to understanding your negative feelings in your relationship.)

If you want to know whether you’re connected to a person in a destructive way, monitor how you feel on a daily basis while in each other’s company. If you’re living in a constant state of sadness, hopelessness, confinement, and depression, you’re bonded to your partner in several unhealthy ways. A negative soul tie drains you.

3 Signs that you may have a Soul Tie

  1. You’re in a physically, emotionally, (mentally) or spiritually abusive relationship, but you feel so attached to the person that you refuse to cut off the connection and set boundaries;
  2. You have left a relationship (maybe long ago), but you still think about the other person obsessively. You can’t get them out of your mind. It seems like you’re on withdrawal and your mind is on steroids and you just can’t get him/her out of your mind; for every time you close your eyes, it’s like you see this person; like you’ve developed an unhealthy attachment;
  3. Whenever you do anything, make a decision, have a conversation with someone, you “feel” like this person is with you or watching you. It’s like that neural or mental link is still there. It is not a healthy place to be;
  4. Imagining or hearing a person’s voice in your head; and,
  5. Dreaming about the person or waking up thinking about them regularly.

. . .

Soul ties are outside the will of God for there is an unusual desire to spend all their money on the person and try to please that person. A soul tie outside of marriage echoes statements such as “I can’t live without you,” “I can’t be happy without you,” “I will die without you,” or if I may add, “I’ll die if you leave me.” The negative statements go on and on.

These relationships are not based on the (Holy) Spirit’s love, peace, and joy, and can lead to body ties resulting in physical relationship, and health issues; sometimes afflicting their own bodies or starving themselves and/or losing sleep; often leading to an addiction.

Breaking Soul Ties

If you’re in an unhealthy relationship that reflects any of this post (or the videos shared), know that it can be broken and you can become whole.

The first step is to please seek help today – go for counseling.

  • One way to break it is by renouncing every illicit word you’ve ever said: for example, I renounce ever saying that “I cannot live without you.” I declare that I was uniquely created and can live by myself.
  • Two, ask God for forgiveness for having gotten yourself into the relationship.
  • Ask God for His Grace to move on and to seek His divine relationship.
  • Three, forgive the person, and forgive yourself as well.
  • Four, remove any item belonging to the person still in your possession.

. . .

Also, next time you “feel” like having a quick fling (aka casual sex), please think before you act.

References:

This YouTube video was largely used in this post.

  1. https://youtu.be/gUZMPMyZboI
  2. https://www.brisbanecounsellingcentre.com.au/what-happens-in-your-brain-and-body-when-a-relationship-ends/
  3. https://goals.com/the-science-behind-break-ups-and-how-to-move-on

Do you know who you are?

I’m not asking about your credentials, or your name, who your parents are, or where you’re from.

Real sons and daughters of God know who they are by what God says about them and no circumstance can make them believe otherwise. For example, God says:

God’s Promises

Here are a few of God’s promises and who He says you are:

  • “Do not fear nor be dismayed” (Isaiah 41:10)
  • “I am the righteousness of God” (Romans 3:22a)
  • “I shall not want (Psalms 1:1b)
  • “I will fear no evil” (Psalms 23:4b)
  • “I will keep you in perfect peace” (Isaiah 26:3)
  • “… if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36)
  • “… make you the head and not the tail and be above and not beneath …” (Deuteronomy 28:13)
  • “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:27-29)

Lies, Lies, Lies

Despite God’s Promises, are you one who still believes the lies thrown at you?

  • Constantly living in fear and turmoil, both inwards and outwards, and/or
  • Living way under and your circumstances seem to be contrary to His Word
  • Could it be because your eyes are on other things than God?
  • Or you’re still exhausted and wearied rather than approaching Him for answers?
  • Or are you still entwined in your mind and soul; though a Christian, you are still dealing with your family’s curses (a big one and one for another blog!)?

. . .

The best way to learn more about your identity is by reading the Bible. Here’s a list of God’s Promises for starters; hopefully it will draw you nearer to wanting to know more and read what I term, The Most Precious Book; the Holy Bible.

Knowing what God says about you will empower you to scream back (I don’t mean that literarily) at those negative thoughts that bombard your mind and the lies that satan sends your way. Believe you me, satan sends those lies to everyone. He did with Lord Jesus; therefore you and I are not immuned from him. The difference is found in not embracing those lies but responding with the Word of God. It is written …

Satan loves those who don’t know who they are. He loves to come to you at your crossroads; e.g. on the eve of your 29th birthday, crossing over to your 30th birthday taunting you about having missed the road since you’re not married yet; or when you’re having problems in your marriage about what a knucklehead spouse you ended up with!

Satan, the Father of Lies

Satan uses various tactics against us all. Two of such are broken focus and emotional entanglements. He entices one to take one’s eyes off God because he needs you to follow him instead. Please don’t be deceived. Remember that satan (the devil) is also known as the liar, the deceiver, the serpent, etc. All his words are lies and half-truths. Just because you feel it, does not mean you should follow it. Instead, follow what God reveals to you.

This is merely a snippet of “He is a Liar” from Dr. Matthew Stevenson. Of course, I added a few of my words. Click here to watch Dr. Stevenson’s full video. p.s. gotta watch till the end to get an understanding of the full message. Enjoy.

. . .

I hope that you truly know who you are or are beginning to understand your identity afterwards.

Peace!

Cooking with Unmis: Chicken Corn Soup

Ingredients:

  • Chicken parts (cut in small chunks)
  • Frozen (Sweet) Corn
  • Salt
  • Chicken bouillon
  • 2 Eggs
  • Tofu (optional)

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Place the cut small chunks of chicken in a pot
  2. Cube 1/2 onion
  3. Add salt
  4. Add couple of Chicken Bouillon
  5. Add 2-3 cups of water
  6. Cover and bring to boil; cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.
  7. Add 1 cup of corn
  8. Cook for another 3-5 minutes (or till corn is tender)
  9. Reduce heat to low
  10. Crack the eggs into soup
  11. Stir
  12. Remove after a minute.

Enjoy your Chicken Corn Soup alone or with fresh slice of bread or rolls.

Note: the chicken can be substituted with turkey or shrimp.

Cooking with Unmis: Fish (Tilapia) Stew

Credits: Unmis

Ingredients:

  • My Sauce
  • Tilapia (Steak-cut)
  • Oil (your choice)
  • Onion
  • Salt
  • Maggi Shrimp Cubes
  • Spices

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Clean fish, season (salt, thyme, & curry), and set aside.
  2. Pour 1-1/2 My Sauce in a pot
  3. Slice a 1/4-1/8 onion
  4. Add spices (curry, thyme, white pepper, & paprika) as desired
  5. Add a cup of oil
  6. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the raw smell of pepper is gone.
  7. Place seasoned fish one-by-one in pot
  8. Use your cooking spoon to cover the fish with the sauce. *** Do not stir else the fish will crumble to pieces ***
  9. Cook for another 3-5 minutes; occasionally lifting pot up to swirl round.

Is A Parent’s Job Ever Done?

Dear Parents,

  1. How do you know if you’ve done a great job at parenting, home training, and/or raising your adult children?
  2. What yardsticks do you use to measure their success?
  3. Is’t by your adult children having successfully completed high school, college, professional studies, or being married?
  4. If they’re not married, does being unmarried equate unsuccessful?
  5. And if they are married, does being happily married or otherwise, with or without children, count as success?
  6. Are you culpable for the choices that your adult children make after the age of 18 (or 21 in some countries) which coincidentally are the years that they are in college and, technically, you have no control over them – what they do, whether or not they’re going to class, or are busy partying away, or the friends (or relationships) they choose to cultivate?

As a parent of two young adults, these, and many more, questions run amok in my head most days. One of my adult children once said, “Mom, you never tell us these things.” Referring to not sharing enough of our culture with them. Which brings me to the next question:

  1. How do you know what to share and when to share?
  2. Is it possible to share everything that you know with your children or adult children?

Let’s talk. Let’s dialogue.

Answer all the above questions in the Comments, or pick any question to answer and/or elaborate on. Sharing your opinion will help us all.

The goal is to help each other.

Thanks for sharing your knowledge, experience, and two-cents. 😍

The 3 Kinds of Wisdom

What is Wisdom

We can summarize Dictionary.com’s definition of Wisdom as equating wise saying and knowledge (which includes self- and/or scholarly knowledge) of true, right, just judgment, and action.

But, what is wise, true, or right in one’s opinion (or home, mind, environment, etc.) , could be foolishness, fallacy, or wrong in another’s. Yes, one can argue that these are subjectivism or relativism and could be right. However, Godly (divine) Wisdom is such that none can argue against. It leaves one pondering and the bearer (or sayer) appearing smarter than s/he really is.

. . .

There are many views that constitute what Wisdom is and is not. Wisdom is much more than smarts or knowledge or even logic. If you will agree with me, the wisest people one knows often do not have a plethora of degrees under their belts; most of them are uneducated.

. . .

Do you know the three types of Wisdom?

The 3 Types of Wisdom

  1. Man’s Wisdom is the kind of “intelligence” that people exhibit among each other often stemming from one’s acclaimed superiority as a result of knowledge, wealth, academic degrees, or “big” house, car, or what-have-you that’s mistaken for wisdom.
  2. Devilish Wisdom. This is the kind of craftiness that is sensual and earthly (according to the Bible) where one person tries to outsmart another in various ways, resulting in mischief, wickedness, and sometimes violence.
  3. Godly Wisdom is “first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” (James 3:17 KJV). Godly Wisdom is unsurpassable by any human intelligence.

. . .

Now that you know, in your quest for Wisdom, be mindful of the type that you are noted for.

Is’t possible to have Wisdom?

Absolutely. I believe that God is the giver of all gifts. Wisdom is a gift from God. Feel free to ask Him for it. I need and pray for wisdom daily and have been addressed as “one with wisdom.” I share this only to testify that if and when you ask God, He’ll give it to you.

Know a Man (or Woman) of Wisdom?

In the Bible, King Solomon, King David’s son, was noted for wisdom. But, sadly, he who was noted for immense godly Wisdom, ended up acting foolishly with the myriad of women in his life. I propose that Solomon did not consult with God nor ask for wisdom in this regard as “the gifts and callings of God are irrevocable.” (Romans 11:29)

Philosophers Socrates and Thomas Aquinas were also considered fathers of wisdom.

. . .

May you be known for godly wisdom.

What is Philosophy? |

What is Philosophy? | Department of Philosophy
— Read on philosophy.fsu.edu/undergraduate-study/why-philosophy/What-is-Philosophy

. . .

According to the above from the Florida State University, Philosophy is the “love of wisdom.” However, do you know that there are three types of Wisdom?

The 3 Types of Wisdom

  1. Man’s Wisdom is the kind of “intelligence” that people exhibit among each other often stemming from one’s acclaimed superiority as a result of knowledge, wealth, academic degrees, or “big” house, car, or what-have-you that’s mistaken for wisdom.
  2. Devilish Wisdom. This is the kind of craftiness that is sensual and earthly (according to the Bible) where one person tries to outsmart another in various ways, resulting in mischief, wickedness, and sometimes violence.
  3. Godly Wisdom is “first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” (James 3:17 KJV). Godly Wisdom is unsurpassable by any human intelligence.

. . .

Now that you know, in your search for Wisdom, be mindful of the type that you are noted for.

Monday Financial Nuggets: 10 Tips for Success

youtube.com/watch

Financial Words of Wisdom from Dr. Myles Munroe. I hope the video blesses you.

. . .

  1. Everything is subject to change (To everything there’s a season and a purpose under heaven Ecclesiastics 3:1-2). Never make a permanent decision in a temporary problem.
  2. Do not pursue success or money or things. Pursue purpose, vision, ideas. There are three types of people; (1) poor, (2) rich, and (3) wealthy people. Poor people talk about money all the time; rich people talk about things, while wealthy people talk about ideas. Ideas, not money, control the world.
  3. Look for deployment; not employment. Your job is what you’re trained to do; your work is what you’re born to do. Job:Compensation:Retirement vs. Work:Fulfillment:Never Retire.
  4. Change. There are again four types of people: (1) Those who watch things happen (2) Those who wonder what happened; (3) Those who don’t know that anything is happening; and (4) Those who make things happen. Be the proactive people who effect change. Not all change is positive, but without change there can be no improvement. You have to decide what kind of change you want.
  5. Become a person of value; develop yourself and focus on self-improvement and self-expansion. Intellectual capital.
  6. Pursue God. Follow your passion.
  7. To be a genius, just do a little extra. “When experience is your best teacher, progress is imprisoned.”
  8. Use your adversity for your benefit.
  9. Discover your purpose.
  10. Learn from every experience; good or bad.

Have a great and productive week. 😊

Repentance

Have you ever wondered why God “boasted” about King David as being “a man after His own heart” despite David’s flaws and the atrocities he committed?

“I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will” (Act  13:22).

I propose to you that the secret is found in the manner in which David sought God and repented after every atrocity.

. . .

What is Repentance?

Repentance is the quick and timely asking of forgiveness from a contrite heart. Put another way, it’s saying “I’m sorry” quickly after you mess up. It means not being puffed up to admit that you were wrong. It also means not repeating the act.

If you’ll agree with me, we can say “sorry” or “forgive me” without really meaning it or can even say it with an attitude. Saying it with an attitude neutralizes the act of forgiveness.

Does that mean that I can intentionally sin (commit atrocities) and then go to God to ask for forgiveness and that it will be all right? No, God forbid. It is always better not to err than to ask for forgiveness.

. . .

God is looking for people who will chase after Him. Will you be the one?

The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14, NKJV)

Want God to put his mark of “a man (or woman) after My heart” on you, like Kind David, chase after Him and be swift to repent.

Peace and Blessings.

Cooking with Unmis: Green Sauce

Ingredients

  • Fresh Parsley (1 bunch)
  • Fresh Basil (2 stems)
  • Fresh Thyme (1 stem)
  • Fresh Green Spinach (1 bunch)
  • Green Bell Pepper (1)
  • Anaheim, Chile, or Jalapeño Pepper (optional)
  • Onion (1 medium sized)
  • Salt
  • Maggi cube
  • Oil ( your choice)

Cooking Instructions

  1. Rinse the fresh greens with cold water
  2. Pour in your blender
  3. Cut half of the onion
  4. Add oil
  5. Slice or cube a fourth-sixth of remaining onion
  6. Add one (1) teaspoon of salt
  7. Add two (2) Maggi cubes
  8. Cook over medium heat for about ten (10) minutes. (Overcooking will change the fresh green to a dark green.)

. . .

Sauce is rich in iron, calcium, vitamins A, C, E, and K, to name a few. “Green bell peppers are low in calories, and high in dietary fiber and vitamins C and K.” Can be mixed with fish, chicken, or beef over rice, pasta, or potatoes.

Cooking with Unmis: Ewedu (aka Jute Leaves)

Corchorus is the genus for Jute leaves, known as Ewedu by Yorubas (one of the main Nigerian tribes). Corchorus has about 40-100 species “with jute applying to the fiber produced from the plant, and jute mallow leaves for the leaves used as a vegetable.”

Jute leaves is common amongst Asians and Africans. The Philippines call it Saluyot. You can buy them fresh or frozen from local ethnic grocery stores. The fresh leaves need to be removed off the stems and thoroughly rinsed before cooking. The frozen ones are ready to cook.

Cooking Instructions

  1. Rinse the frozen Jute Leaves with cold water
  2. Pour in a blender (use Pulse or Chop options if your blender has it).
  3. Swiftly blend (prolonged blending will smoothen the leaves)
  4. Pour in a small pot (1-1.75 qt)
  5. Add salt
  6. Add a cup of water
  7. Using low heat, cook for about 5 minutes. (medium to high heat will let the Jute Leaves overflow.)
  8. Stir occasionally still to avoid overspilling.

When cooked, it has a texture similar to okra and it’s rich in minerals and nutrients such as beta carotene, iron, vitamin A, C, and E. You can cook it plain or garnish with dried fish or dried crayfish 😊

Though different ethnicities cook it differently, Nigerians eat it best with any of the Nigerian solids such as Eba, Amala, Semolina, or Pounded Yam. A few have been known to eat it with cooked Rice.

Strong Women of Australia / Oceania: Australia – A Curation

Introduction

There are only 14 countries in the Australia/Oceania. Australia, which is the only continent that is also a country, has three countries; namely, Australia, Papua New Guinea, and part of Indonesia.

Australia also has more female government leaders than any of the Continents that I have curated so far.

. . .

Historic Strong Women

  1. Wilhelmina (Mina) Wylie (1891-1984)
  2. Sarah (Fanny) Durack (1889-1956)

“These two Australian friends rewrote history for female swimmers in New South Wales, Australia. When they began, females were banned from any competition where males were competing, meaning all major sporting events were out of bounds.” Their collective skills became so profound that the public kicked back against these regulations, pushing them to be part of the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm.

  1. Edith Cowan (1861-1932). The first woman to be elected to parliament in Australia, co-founded the Karrakatta Club, which lobbied for the right for women to vote, and also co-founded Western Australia’s National Council of Women. The continent’s $50 note displays her face.
  2. Evelyn Scott (1935-2017). An activist, Evelyn Scott, was a key game changer for indigenous rights throughout her life. She played a crucial role campaigning during the 1967 Constitutional Referendum for the inclusion of indigenous people in the national census.
  3. Maude Bonney (1897-1994). Bonney holds the record as the first female aviator to circumnavigate Australia, the first woman to fly from Australia to England, and also the first woman to fly from Australia to South Africa.
  4. Jane Foss Barff (1863-1937). An educationist, a leader and fighter for a woman’s right to an education in Australia. Was notably a founding member of the Sydney University Women’s Society which promoted higher education of women, as well as the first woman to achieve a Master of Arts in Sydney.
  5. Faith Thomas. Has a few firsts – she was the first indigenous woman to play international cricket professionally in Australia, the first woman to be selected for any professional sport on the continent, one of the first aboriginal nurses to graduate from the Royal Adelaide Hospital, and the first to run a hospital.
  6. Louise Mack (1870-1935). Louise Mack was the first female war correspondent, reporting for the Evening News and London’s Daily Mail from the front lines during World War I.
  1. Pearl (Gambanyi) Gibbs (1901-1983) was an Aboriginal rights activist, largely involved in the Australian Aborigines’ League in the 1930s. Her face adorns the continent’s old $5 bill.
  1. Dr Evelyn Scott. Previously honored on the continent’s $10, Dr. Scott was the first general secretary of the Indigenous-controlled Federal Council for the Advancement for Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders (FCAATSI), an organisation pushing for Indigenous self-determination.
  1. Dame Mary Gilmore (1865–1962) was a poet, as well as an author, journalist and keen campaigner against inequality and deprivation. Her face adorns the continent’s $10 bill.
  1. Emily Kame Kngwarreye (1910-1996) is one of Australia’s most prominent and successful contemporary artists, whose work redefined Indigenous Art. Emily was the first Aboriginal artist to exceed a public sale of more than one million dollars. Her face previously adorned Australia’s $20 bill.
  1. Mary Reibey (1777–1855) actually arrived in Australia in 1792 as a convict, but this tenacious achiever then went on to become a successful shipping magnate and philanthropist. The Australian $20 note contains her image.
  1. Cathy Freeman. one of Australia’s most famous athletes, a beacon of Indigenous excellence and championed equal access and opportunities, anti-racism and simply, defiantly celebrated Black Australia. She is the founder of the Cathy Freeman Foundation, an organisation aiming to close the education gap and help Indigenous children succeed in school. Her face previously graced the continent’s $50.
  1. Dr Lowitja O’Donoghue. The first Aboriginal woman to be awarded an Order of Australia (OA) and the first-ever Aboriginal trainee nurse in South Australia. She made a name for herself for her outstanding contribution and involvement to health, community development, social justice and the Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement. Her face previously adorned the continent’s $100 bill.
  1. Dame Nellie Melba. The new $100 note features the legendary soprano.
  1. Nova Peris. The first Aboriginal Australian to win an Olympic gold medal for the women’s hockey team in 1996. the first indigenous woman to be elected into parliament in 2012, advocating for egalitarianism and the end of racism in Australia and around the world.
  2. Ita Buttrose. Ira has authored 9 books, appeared on the panel of numerous TV talk shows, was given the honourable title of an Officer of the Order of Australia, and also recognized for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement at the Kennedy Awards for Excellence in Journalism
  3. Poh Ling Yeow, one of Australia’s most-loved TV personalities with her own series, Poh’s Kitchen and Poh& Co, has authored 5 books. Poh is also an accomplished painter, making her a true inspiration for women with multiple passions in life.
  4. Julie Bishop was once Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and deputy leader of the Liberal. A champion for important causes, including public health, education, advancements in science and technology.
  5. Lisa Wilkinson, the youngest ever Australian magazine editor at the age of 21, was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2016, to honor her remarkable contribution to media, as well as to youth and women’s health issues.

. . .

Australia’s Strong Women can be found in all spheres of life. But as I’ve always stated, it’s impossible to include every notable lady/woman. The goal of the Series is to highlight a sample of contributors in each continent.

I hope that I have achieved this goal. Feel free to comment. Thanks a lot for reading.

References

11 Inspiring Australian Women Who Changed History

https://www.newidea.com.au/international-womens-day-20-inspiring-australian-women

https://www.tourstogo.com.au/things-to-do/australian-currency/?amp

https://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/article/2018/06/18/notable-women-aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander-women-reimagined-banknotes

https://www.australia.com/en-us/things-to-do/aboriginal-australia.html

Insatiable Hunger

This was my very first blog posted with the title “We Yearn and Thirst for …”. I repost it today with minor edits. Thanks for reading

. . .

Everyone is searching for something yet not all know what it is that they are searching for. Few believe that they know what they want and are looking for, but do you?

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

We work round-the-clock searching for more money. We are glad when a raise is given; we earned it, right, and muse that “the boss finally recognizes all of my efforts.” But, a year later, we’re asking for another raise and more money. Whoever said that one never has enough money did not lie. More money is only an example. The search could be for power, success, love, food, friendship, more degrees than the thermometer (credit to Bishop T.D. Jakes!), cars, shoes, etc. I am not advocating idleness. I’m just stating that no-one ought to work like a dog before making enough to sustain self and family.

Many folks work two or three jobs just to make ends meet. There might be other reason(s) why some folks have to work more than one job: for example, having a side hustle, working a business in order to quit a 9-to-5 job or a hobby. These are normal occurrences. The ones I’m referring to are the “I-don’t-have-a-choice-than-to-do-these-two-jobs” type. A two-job earner barely rests because s/he moves from one job to the next and repeats the cycle the every day. As a result, attention span and cognition diminishes. The lack of rest also causes stress and one is easily agitated. Above all, one who lacks rest will not work at their maximum capacity.

Higher is calling

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

There is a higher calling us all yet we all do not pause to ask “Who?” or “Why?” or “Where?” We are just too busy! It is a fast-paced world. Otherwise, one will be left behind. But no, it is not. It is just a fast-paced world in our part of the continents, America. Because the last time, I checked, Italy takes summer breaks for a whole month. Europeans are known to take national naps and their women are given six-months’ maternity leave with pay. Africans enjoy their rests, too, justifying that “I can’t kill myself!” Even the Creator of the Universe rested. Why not you and I? One thing I know for sure (credit to Oprah) is that the Creator of the Universe has a way of keeping one still. I ask the one who cannot take a break, and God forbid this: “what happens when you’re involved in an accident and become bedridden for weeks?” Or the inevitable stroke and/or paralysis occur? Unfortunately, sometimes it is necessary to paint this ugly picture for one to get it.

Why allow the taskmaster to drive you endlessly?!

Photo by Daniel B on Pexels.com

Is California really different?

Visitors to California echo that it is a highly-paced State; that the culture is different from other States. The visitors wonder why we are too time-conscious and cannot relax for a second. I have not lived in other states to experience the difference but I’m curious to find out. Please share your experiences in the comments below if you agree that California (and probably, New York) is highly fast-paced compared to other American States.

There’s always a silver lining

The one good thing that COVID-19 has done for us all is to take a critical look at ourselves; our businesses, and to put our lives into a perspective. We all have been forced to sit still. If we could sit still and survive the last year, we can accept this new norm going forward.

Credits: Pexels

Rest is essential

Rest is essential to the body and, in resting, we can be calm and pay attention to each other, our neighbors, our environments, and our nation. We can communicate (as in listening) and value one another more. But most importantly, in rest, you meditate, communicate with your inner self, and a higher being. You are calmer, peaceful, and notice a lot of things and details that others would miss.

. . .

While writing this blog, I stumbled upon a new word “sehnsucht,” which sums up the kind of yearning that this blog is about. 

I propose to you that whenever there’s an insatiable hunger (or thirst) for something, there’s always an underlying issue that needs to be addressed. Often, that issue is internal, deeper, and the solution can only be found in drawing nearer to the Creator for He’s the only One who can satisfy. The next time you yearn for more, take time to sit still and ask the Creator for help, to speak to you, and reveal to you what your void is.

Thanks for reading.

While you are busy chatting online, people are making millions: see how👇👇

While you are busy chatting online, people are making millions from social media. See how;

While you are busy chatting online, people are making millions: see how👇👇

. . .

I just found this blogger, #Unlocking Adulthood. Check her out and inspire her with your comments and follow. As a young adult, she’s got life tips for her generation as well as all of us.

We’ve all seen, heard, and even shared tons of tips on social media and making money. I love each of the social media links she shared on her topic. I hope that you find them useful.

Totally in love 😍

5 Dumb blogging mistakes I have made

Blogging mistakes. Ugh! Many people, including myself, come into the blogging space ready to conquer the world. The recipe for a successful blog …

5 Dumb blogging mistakes I have made

. . .

It’s Sharing Thursday.

Sharing #Shelley DS, #Blogging with Spawn’s blog. Her lifestyle blogs always have nuggets that we can glean from; like this one.

We all make mistakes, right? Being able to retrospect and grow from it is why I love this post.

Read the post and check and follow her, if you don’t already do.

Thanks … totally in love. 😍

6 Timeless Virtues for Life and Work – Dr. Stephen R. Graves

6 Timeless Virtues for Life and Work – Dr. Stephen R. Graves
— Read on stephenrgraves.com/articles/read/6-timeless-virtues-for-life-and-work-2/

Sounds like a Philosophical Tuesday with my images, right? 😊 Yep, we’re going there today!

. . .

Do you have virtues that you live by or are known for?

. . .

Sharing Dr. Steve Graves’ (SG) Six Timeless Virtues. He is a strategic leadership consultant that I stumbled upon. Check out his website for proven faith-led strategies.

Here are SG‘s six virtues:

  • Endurance
  • Focus
  • Discipline
  • Ambition
  • Hard work
  • Patience

. . .

We acknowledge that there are tons of virtues available to each of us. Your list might differ from Dr. Graves’s as the list below shows.

Only three of the nine (9) virtues listed are also on Dr. Graves’s list. Yet there are more virtues available. Which one(s) are your favorite(s)?

. . .

While some have said that Patience is the mother of all virtues, others believe that it is Courage/Fortitude; yet some argue that it is Gratitude.

Whether you agree on any of these as the greatest, the mother or father, or parent of all virtues, I believe that what is most important is asking yourself “what virtue(s) am I living by or would like to be known for?” Make your list today, cultivate those virtues, and make the decision to live by them.

Thanks for reading.

Legally Speaking, is Digital Money Really Money? – IMF Blog

Legally Speaking, is Digital Money Really Money? – IMF Blog
— Read on blogs.imf.org/2021/01/14/legally-speaking-is-digital-money-really-money/

. . .

Digital currencies came into existence about five years ago. I was first approached about it by a guy whom I thought was blindly passionate about a fallacious investment. Nothing I said could dissuade the guy. I flatly refused his invitation to join as I shook my head and watched him walked away disappointed. That was five years ago. Today, I’m still skeptical about the quasi-investment. When I received this blog, I thought it was a topic worth sharing.

. . .

“Cryptocurrencies are not legal tender in any jurisdiction; they, unlike the conventional currencies issued by a monetary authority, are not controlled or regulated and their price is determined by the supply and demand of their market.” – The Law Library of Congress

Click here for the Law Library of Congress’s full report on regulation of cryptocurrency.


  • What is the origin of digital currency?
  • Who started or created them?
  • If they are not legal tenders, fully acceptable in the general markets, why do people put so much into them?
  • They have no intrinsic value; neither are they backed!

According to Corporate Finance Institute, “The value of a virtual currency is mainly driven by the sentiment of traders.”

Per Scott-Briggs, there are ten (10) digital currencies:

  1. Ethereum
  2. Ripple
  3. Litecoin
  4. Dash
  5. Peercoin
  6. Dogecoin
  7. Primecoin
  8. Chinacoin
  9. Ven
  10. Bitcoin

However on further research, and much to my surprise, I found that there were much more. I stopped loading more after I got to 600!

I also could not find any government/country that has accepted digital currency as its legal tender. Click here to see various countries’ regulations on digital currency.

Finally, Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate in Economics in 2001 and former Chief Economist of the World Bank, has this to say about digital currencies; “The real reason why people want an alternative currency is to participate in vile activities.” “What we really should do,” he said, “is to demand the same transparency in financial transactions with bitcoins that we have with banks.” If this were to be done, he believes, the bitcoin market “would simply collapse.”

. . .

Folks, what are your stand on digital currencies? Are you trading in them and do you think that they are the currency of the future?

Thanks for reading.

Jesus Ministry: Holy Spirit

Do you know Him?

Let me introduce you to my friend, my comforter, my guard and guide, my gift from God. His name is Holy Spirit; also goes by Holy Ghost. If you don’t already know Him, I need you to – He’s truly a friend in need and indeed.

I met Holy Spirit when I got born again. Now don’t be like Nicodemus who asked Lord Jesus “How can a man be born again when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?”
‭‭(John‬ ‭3:4‬ ‭KJV‬‬)

Jesus’s answer explains how Holy Spirit works; that is, how He moves in our lives. Hear Jesus’s response:

“Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
‭‭(John‬ ‭3:5-8‬ ‭KJV‬‬)

Because of my friendship with Holy Spirit, I now have His spirit. He’s also given me power and has blessed me with His fruits of “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance ….” I have more; an abundance, of some of His fruits, while some though have left the infancy stages are still lacking His abundance. Holy Spirit nonetheless does not give up on me. He loves me just the same and nudges me every now and then. We’re working on those fruits together.
‭‭
His spirit is in me, but at times He takes over, and falls on me, for special assignments. I only have to yield and get out of His way for such times.

6 Benefits of my friend, Holy Spirit:

  1. He teaches me all things; what to say, do, how to, and what to eat sometimes!
  2. He brings things to my remembrance
  3. He guides me into all truths
  4. He shows me things to come
  5. He quickens me
  6. He leads me.

. . .

I invite you into our friendship, too, to enjoy all the benefits that comes with knowing Him. Will you accept the invite? If yes, just tell Him that you desire His friendship.

I love my friend, Holy Spirit. I know He loves me, too, and unconditionally.

Thanks for reading.

Biblical References:

  • Acts 2:38; Galatians‬ ‭5:22‬-23
  • John 14:26; John 16:7, 13-15
  • Romans 8:11; Luke 11:13
  • 1 Corinthians 2:14-15; 1 John 2:27

Recipe: Gumbo

Ingredients

  • Crab (King or Snow) 2.5 lbs
  • Fresh Shrimp (1.5 lbs)
  • Lobster 1.5 lbs (optional)
  • Andouille sausages (1 pack)
  • Gumbo base (1 packet)
  • Chicken broth (Optional)
  • Maggi Prawns Cubes

Cooking Instructions:

If adding Lobster:

  1. Add lobster into saucepan, add water, teaspoon of salt and bring to boil.
  1. Once boiled, remove from hot water and set aside to cool down
  2. Once cooled down, de-shell, cut into bits, and set aside.

. . .

  1. Get a frying pan; slice the Andouille sausages into it and sauté. Set aside.
  1. De-shell and devein shrimps; set aside
  1. Rinse the crabs and set aside

. . .

  1. Get your pot (a big pot is preferred; 16-24 qt is better)
  2. Add 8 cus of water and 4 cups of chicken broth (if using); ratio of 2:1, into the pot. (If not using chicken broth, add more water (10 – 12 cups).)
  3. Add a spoonful of salt
  4. Add 2-4 prawns stock cubes
  5. Let boil for about five minutes

While boiling, get the gumbo base ready.

  1. Pour it in a small saucepan, add 2 cups of water, and gently stir till smooth.

. . .

  1. Add the seafood (lobster, crab, shrimps, and sausages) into the boiled water
  2. Add the gumbo base “sauce” unto pot; stirring occasionally
  3. Allow to boil together for about 5 – 8 minutes.

Gumbo is ready. Gumbo is an American Southern / Creole soup. Best alone or over cooked rice. (p.s. this was made for 2020 Christmas. I forgot to take the photograph of the finished product; only remembered when it was almost devoured hence the featured image of the served portion! 😊 😞)

Aata Din-din (Fried Sauce)

Credits: UNMIS

As the name implies, this sauce is fried with little or no water added. Any water added is allowed to dry out while cooking to maintain its potency.

Ingredients

  • My Sauce
  • Oil (your choice of palm, olive, vegetable, corn, etc.)
  • Maggi (or any bouillon) cube
  • Tomato Paste
  • Onion
  • Salt

Cooking Instructions

  1. Pour My Sauce into a small pot
  2. Slice (or cube) 1/3 of a small onion
  3. Add a teaspoon of tomato paste
  4. Add salt and/or 1 Maggi (or Knorr) cube to desired taste
  5. Cook over low heat till sauce thickens and there’s no longer any water
  6. Add the a 1/2 – 1 cup of oil
  7. Let simmer for about 3 minutes.

Sauce is ready.

The sauce lasts you for a while because a little of it goes a long way. Use as a dip with bread/rolls, great especially over beans and or fried plantain. Or mix with your desired choice of meat over rice.

Recipe: Egusi Stew

Courtesy of (C) UNMIS

I’ve been cooking people but haven’t posted any recipe lately! Today I’m sharing a few 😍 Enjoy!

. . .

Egusi Stew on Tik Tok!

There has been a rave, on Tik Tok, of folks eating and/or trying Egusi Stew for the first time; thus popularizing the West African/Nigerian, delicacy. These foodies’ actions, videotaping and sharing on the Tik Tok app, are commendable as Egusi Stew has now gained more recognition within the past month than it ever did since its invention! Here are couple of the videos:

🤣🤣🤣 Folks ain’t no need “smacking” the fufu! Chewing or swallowing is also a choice. Some swallow when eating the solids with Okra or the Ogbono that the guy got because it’s slimy, it slides down your throat easily; else, it’s always better to chew.

Is’t a Stew or Soup?

You drink soup in its liquid form, but stew is not drinkable. Stew has to be eaten with a complementary food.

Egusi, is a Stew (I wonder why some still refer to it as a soup) and one of my “specials” to make. I share it with you today.

. . .

Ingredients

  • Ground Egusi (watermelon seeds)
  • My Sauce
  • Your choice of meat, chicken, or seafood (optional)
  • Garnishment; your choice of leaf vegetables such as green or red spinach or bitter leaf (optional)
  • Your choice of oil (recommended are palm, olive, vegetable)
  • Ground crayfish or dried cured fish (optional)
  • Onion
  • Knorr or you Maggi cubes
  • Salt

General information

Egusi stew is nutritious and highly rich in protein and iron.

There are a variety of ways to cook Egusi. It can be cooked minimally or richly with variety of ingredients as you want. It can also be a vegan or vegetarian meal – that’s why most of the ingredients are optional. It can also be cooked in a watery or waterless (or using minimal water) form.

Cooking Instructions

  1. Over medium heat, pour My Sauce into a small-medium saucepan
  2. Add your choice of oil
  3. Slice (or cube) 1/6th of the onion into it
  4. Add a teaspoon of salt and a cube of the Knorr or Maggi (add another cube later if necessary or desired for taste)
  5. Add 1-1 1/2 cups of water
  6. Add the ground egusi (1-1/2 cups)
  7. If using, add the optional items except the leaf vegetable
  8. Prep the leaf vegetable; cut (optional), rinse, place in a bowl, add salt, and hot water. Place aside. [If using the green spinach, leave in the hot water for only couple of minutes. Other greens require much longer time.]
  9. Allow to cook for about 10 minutes.
  10. Reduce heat
  11. Strain the leaf vegetable and add to the pot
  12. Let cook for another minute uncovered (this allows the leaf veggie to retain its green color 😊).
  13. Turn off heat.

Your delicious sumptuous Egusi Stew is now ready. Enjoy it over cooked rice or any of the various African “solids” such as Fufu, Eba, Amala or Lafun (the white variation), Iyan (Pounded Yam), Farina, or Semolina.

Appreciation

I appreciate the resources from Wikipedia. I couldn’t have explained the ingredients any better. Please support the website with a donation or by contributing to their wiki. Thanks.

Social Networking and Apps

How many social networking apps (SNA) are you familiar with?

An article popped up on my phone, the other day, that caught my attention. I was surprised to learn about a new “anti-Facebook social networking app” called MeWe. MeWe is presently #10 on the SNA ranking.

I am not a techie nor social networker in the real sense so I was surprised to have received it. I’m satisfied with whatever app I presently use and not one to scout around for the new and trending app. The few social networking apps that I am familiar with were required during grad school; else, I would not have known about them let alone use them. I deleted my Facebook account, which I opened in 2013, over a year ago for various reasons. I barely use it. I do have Twitter accounts that I also barely use. That gives you an idea of my love (or abhorrence) of social networking apps and use.

However, blogging is changing my aversion, but I still use the SNAs cautiously.

For the article to have popped up on my phone surprised me. It could have been part of a marketing strategy of sorts. Well, I think the strategy worked because it got my response, picked my curious mind to click on it, which in turn led me to research and write this blog.

I was shocked to find out about WeMe and the numerous SNAs (over 200!) that are presently available. They ranged from dating, social networking, to blogging and more. There are also apps for kids! Parents should know these apps too just in case kids have any on their phones.

I was familiar with probably less than a tenth of the Apps on the list. Click on the following links (or copy-and-paste into your browser) to read about the current SNAs.

How many do you use or are familiar with?

Thanks for reading.

An Educational Plan and/or Whole Life Insurance for your Child/ren or Grand Child/ren

Credits: Pexels

Plan. Plan. Plan. I’d rather plan than not to. Planning affords me the opportunity to focus on specifics rather than generalizations. So it is, in my opinion, with planning for our children’s (or grandchildren’s – I don’t have any yet) education.

“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.”

Alan Lakein

Yesterday, I blogged about buying whole life insurance for kids that can be used towards their college.
Today’s post is about savings plans that can equally be used for your kids/grandkids’ education. There are a few savings plans available.

. . .

Have you heard of Coverdell or Plan 529 or UGMA and UTMA?

Though I am familiar with these, I used known sources to support my blog. Notwithstanding, always do your research/due diligence. When researching and comparing, note differences in the following:

  • tax advantages,
  • annual allowable contribution limits, if any;
  • does it transfer to child or not,
  • effect on financial aid at college time,
  • fees, and, of course,
  • withdrawal restrictions or penalties, etc.

Coverdell or Plan 529?

According to Investopedia, A Coverdell education savings account (ESA) is a tax-deferred trust account created by the U.S. government to assist families in funding educational expenses for beneficiaries who must be 18 years old or younger when the account is established; while a 529 savings plan is a tax-advantaged savings plan designed to encourage saving for future education costs. 529s are sponsored by states, state agencies, or educational institutions and are authorized by Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code (hence its name).

There’s no annual limit for the amount that may be deposited into a 529 plan. For the Coverdell ESA, however, “while more than one ESA can be set up for a single beneficiary, the total maximum contribution per year for any single beneficiary is $2,000.” The amount might seem small considering college expenses these days, but if a parent starts saving $2,000 from birth till the child is 18 years of age and ready for college, a total of $36,000 would have been saved. The $36,000 will accrue interest and not just sit idly in the account. This means a lot more than $36K with the interest compounded over 18 years! That’s cool money for starters for a really good college, isn’t it?

Credits: Pexels

Various investment companies offer the plans. Ask you bank/investment company.

UGMA or UTMA?

There are also Custodial UGMA and UTMA accounts that can also be set up and used for your grand/children’s educational purposes. However, these accounts can also be used for purposes other than education.

UGMA (Universal Gifts to Minors Act) and UTMA (Uniform Transfers to Minors Act) accounts are both custodial accounts, held in the name of the minor, but controlled by a parent or other relative until the child reaches the age of majority in your state. UGMA is limited to purely financial products such as cash, stocks, mutual funds, bonds, other securitized instruments and insurance policies; whereas UTMA can hold any form of property, including real property and real estate.

Parents Beware!

Some plans/accounts are redeemable at your child/ren’s 18 years of age; depending on how it’s set up. Once your grand/children attain age 18 and the money legally transfers to them, there’s no telling what they might use it for. As such, set it up wisely such that you, the grand/parent have control over the funds and/or stipulate the conditions (i.e., educational use only).

Final Note

Once any of these accounts/plans are set up for your kids, encourage families and friends to donate to the fund rather than buying/sending them more material gifts such as clothings, shoes, gadgets, more of the intangibles during their birthdays or holidays.

Disclaimer

As I always say, this blog is merely informational. ThinkTalk is not an investment advisor nor insurance agent. The information contained herein is merely to stir grand/parents up to research, if they’re not already familiar with these plans/accounts. If interested in any, please do your due diligence.

Thanks for reading.

References

It is now official!

Joe Biden Jr. and Kamala Harris officially becomes the 46th President and Vice President of the United States of America 🇺🇸!

Drum 🪘 🥁 rolls please!!!

Moving heartfelt Presidential speech from President Biden. Still on …

Garth Crook sang a chilling Amazing Grace ✌🏾

Beautiful and uplifting Amanda Gorman, first-ever African-American Youth Poet Laureate.

Former Vice President Mike Pence was graceful and dignified in appearance. Of course, with his wife by his side.

Unfortunately President Biden doesn’t get to partake of this tradition due to the absence of outgoing President Trump. 😞

All-in-all, it was short but magnificent, peaceful, and moving. May the peace rule during their tenure iJN.

Welcome and God’s blessings!!!

Watch The USA 🇺🇸 Presidential Inauguration of Joe Biden Jr and VP Kamala Harris

youtube.com/watch

Beautiful despite covid-19 and all that happened on January 6th. Yes, it’s missing all the people, but I think I prefer the Inauguration this way – inside the Rotunda! Just me!

(Photos courtesy of CBS News – taken from my TV 😍)

. . .

Vice-President-elect, Kamala Harris, makes history in three ways; first American woman VP ever, first Black woman and first Asian-Pacific woman to hold the office.

President-elect Joe Biden Jr. will be the oldest US President to be sworn-in. People, don’t ever give up – everything is possible and nothing is impossible!!! God give us Your Hope to persevere till our change and time comes!

Lady Gaga, as you know, sang the national anthem. Love J Lo’s rendition of America, The Beautiful; of course, beautifully (no pun) done!

I hope you enjoy the pictures 😍

Swearing-In is at 11:30 EST.

Wishing both and America the best; peace, unity, and great health. 🙏🏾

Whole Life Insurance and/or an Educational Plan for your Child/ren or Grand Child/ren

Buying a whole life insurance for your child/ren can be used to send them to college.

Alan Lakein said that

Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now

Alan Lakein

Despite this maxim, most of us still fail to plan. Planning is a good-intent strategy that pays huge dividends when truly executed. However, humans most naturally wait for events and time to act! This is particularly true when we talk about life insurance.

I don’t need life insurance!
Why would you take a life insurance for your child/ren?

But when death, which is inevitable, happens, loved ones are often left with unplanned expenses to deal with on top of the loss suffered. Or, when it’s time for your son or daughter to go to college, then parents finally realize that they had failed to plan or had minimally planned.

Many believe that life insurance is only for adults. But did you know that you can buy Whole Life Insurance for your child/children (or grandchildren) now which can be used towards college?

Unlike the adults whose life insurance is used to take care of their funeral expenses, the children’s whole life insurance will actually serve the children in their lifetime.

. . .

I remembered when my children were born, we received all sorts of mails. One of such was the Gerber Life Plan. I believe every parent received a Gerber mail or flyer after the birth of a child. Most will disregard it or trash it as junk. I recently received another flyer in the mail and thought to share with all and especially with young parents and doting grand parents. 😊 I did not buy the Gerber Plan for my children. I did the Plan 529 instead. Will post on that next.

Gerber and Benefits

Gerber has been in business for decades and are noted for manufacturing baby foods and products. According to their Whole Life Grow-Up Plan (GWLGUP), the benefits include:

  1. coverage doubles automatically during the 18 years with no increase in cost,
  2. It helps provide for your child’s future, and
  3. It builds cash value.

For more information:

To find out more about GWLGUP, visit Gerber’s website at http://www.gerberlife.com/kids or call 1-877-496-4094 to ask for a brochure to be mailed to you.

Cost

An example of cost is $4 – $16 per month premium for children 0-4 years of age could get you a $10K – $50K coverage. (This information was obtained from Choice Mutual.)

. . .

Gerber is not the only company that sells children’s insurance. Here’s a list of ten best insurance companies for minors.

Disclaimer

This is merely informational. ThinkTalk is not an insurance agent. If interested, please do your due diligence.

Thanks for reading.

It’s all because of You🌹⭐️ 🌷

We did it! We’re on our way!! Slowly but surely!!!

Grateful for your current and continued support; reading, commenting, re-blogging, and always sharing. Thank you

Timeline:

January 17, 2021 – 200 followers

October 9, 2020 – 100 followers

July 17, 2020 – 50 followers

April 18, 2020 – 0 followers

Love you! 😍🥰

My Dental Experience

Credits: Jonathan Borba / Unsplash

I need to share this with you all. I forgot about it until I read #K. E. Garland’s post yesterday and it came flashing back!!

. . .

I read one of the WordPress posts from the Reader Discover titled “How to Reverse Tooth Decay – Operation X” in November. The title caught my attention and, lo and behold, it happened to be just what I needed. Please read on. 😊

. . .

Back in November, while having dinner, I felt like I bit on something that was painful. I was eating rice with chicken and broccoli, 😃 but I remembered spitting out a small piece of bone and I thought that must be it. But the following day, I realized that every time I bite down, I felt uncomfortable pain. The pain got worse by the next day. One family member said that it was probably my wisdom tooth and that it needed to be pulled out. Another said that it’s probably a root canal. The thought of either made me cringed. I made an urgent appointment to have it checked.

. . .

The prior year, I was told by my former dentist that I had cavity and should have it filled asap but I didn’t.

Having just relocated, I needed a new dentist. I found one and greatly appreciated that I was given an appointment immediately.

. . .

At the dentist’s office, my teeth were x-rayed. I was expecting to be told that I had a cavity that had deteriorated and needs to be filled. But, no. The dentist started explaining what he thought was going on and how it could be corrected. Though he didn’t use any technical terms, his explanations flew over my head. I did not understand what he was saying! So I enquired again,

Me: “are you saying that I have no cavity; my last dentist said that I did?!”

Dentist: “no you don’t.”

Me: “What?! Really? Not even one?! Did you thoroughly check the x-rays?”

I was perplexed. Now who do I believe? Ain’t dental examinations supposed to be the same across board? And cavities are cavities and cannot be missed? Several thoughts and questions were running in my head.

Dentist: “Mam, you do not have any cavity. Do you want to go ahead with it?”

Me: “does my insurance cover it 100%? If not, let me know how much I have to pay out-of-pocket.”

Dentist: “I’ll get the Office Manager over to check that for you.”

The Office Manager came over and explained what my insurance covered and my co-pay. According to the dentist, eleven teeth (almost half my whole mouth!) were involved and each tooth would cost $200 each! They even offered me the opportunity to split the works in two – have six teeth done now and return in 3 – 6 months to complete the rest.

Me: “if I do these, are there any guarantees?”

Dentist: “no; nothing is guaranteed.”

Me: “okay, thanks. Can I just have my teeth cleaned and let me think about it.”

Office Manager: “will you like an appointment for Wednesday?”

This incident happened on a Monday.

Me: “no; I’ll call you once I decide to have it done. Thank you.”

Office Manager: “how about your 6-month appointment?”

Me: “okay please schedule it. Thanks again.”

I have to share the above details for better understanding of what happened next.

I read the WP post about a week or so after my appointment. The post was a long read. I saved it to read and digest later. On reading it, I mused to myself, “I think this is what my dentist was trying to explain to me.” In the post, the blogger talked about “mineralization,” “demineralization,” “remineralization,” and oral hygiene among other things. The blogger also shared that he uses a few drops of tea tree oil mixed with water as his preferred mouthwash product. So I decided to try out his preferred mouthwash product. Tea tree oil has a variety of uses and I have used it in the past for other purposes. I know that it is a very strong product that needs to be used cautiously. But I was willing to try it out so just maybe it will relieve my toothache.

I bought the tea tree oil. Took a Q-tip and dipped it in the tea tree oil and dabbed it on the aching tooth and over my gum. I repeated it on the other side of my mouth. With the saliva formation, I gargled for about 5 minutes. I repeated this at night.

When I spit out in the bathroom sink, at night, I heard a sound. “What’s that?” I picked it up, felt it and tossed it round about trying to figure out what it was.

Ladies and gentlemen, it was a small piece of chicken bone – about half the size of a tooth! 😱 I can’t tell if the tea tree oil did it or the Q-tip I used pushed it out or a combination of both. But, I was so glad and relieved that it fell out.

. . .

Well, the tea tree oil is now also my preferred mouthwash product; thanks to #Operation X #Dyami Millarson. Can you all imagine that I saved over $2,000 by using a $7 tea tree oil. This is the power of us all. Our blogs are helping one another. I sincerely hope that my blog is helping someone too.

My teeth and the particular one hasn’t hurt me since then!

. . .

After this experience, I was turned between what to do. Should I report the dentist/dental office to my insurance for charging for x-ray but couldn’t detect a chicken bone stuck in my tooth and could have “defrauded” them and me of more?

What would you have done under the circumstances?

Thank you for reading.

Monday Financial Nuggets: Munroe’s Kingdom Solution to Financial Problems

Credits: Unseen Histories / Unsplash

It’s a Martin Luther King Day in the USA 🇺🇸. Happy MLK Day to all. If you don’t know who MLK is, please seize the day to research, read and learn about the significance and contributions of the man and civil rights leader. Thank you.

. . .

I’m sharing one of Myles Munroe’s plethora of financial principles. I hope it blesses you as it had blessed, and continues to bless, me. Watch the animated video here and the full version here.

One of the keys to living financially free … one of the secrets God talks about when He says that “I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven …”. One of the principles/keys is The Principle of Management.

Principles of Management is the most absent component in churches … that’s why most churches are suffering, broke, or attracting broke people. And that is why most of the people in churches in the city are financially embarrassed – they quote scriptures but don’t experience those scriptures.

In the above scripture, we read that

  • God created
  • God withdrew rain
  • He withdrew rain and nothing grew
  • He refused anything to grow

Why did God withdrew rain?

  • Because He had no manager
  • He withdrew rain because there was no man to till the ground; to add value to what He was about to create.

What is Management?

Management is defined as the
effective, efficient, and correct and timely use of another person’s property and resources for the purpose for which they were delegated with a view to producing the expected added value back to the person. (That’s a mouthful!)

Management automatically implies that you don’t own the material.

Management also implies that when you bring it back, it’s supposed to be better; that is, have more value.

God is upset at lazy people. (Father, forgive me/us and revive us again!)

Management and Prayer

God will never give you what you pray for 🤔; only what you can manage. For example,

  1. you’re praying for a $1,000 but couldn’t pay $10 tithe on the $100 He gave you yesterday
  2. you’re praying for a big house and you cannot manage the apartment that you’re presently renting – you keep it dirty
  3. you pray for a bigger church and God says that you cannot manage the church you’re renting
  4. you pray for souls but can’t manage the people you got now – God protects them (the souls/people) from you!

If you get the million dollars you’re praying for, it will kill you! 🤕

You cannot manage $500; you spend $200 on a dress, $150 on your hair and put $20 (or nothing) in the offering; and ask God for a million dollars?! Is God stupid or what?!! (God forbid!)

God wants you to be an economist. To economize means to get the maximum out of the minimum.

We need to know (or appreciate) the value of what we already have. You have the audacity to tell God that you are broke and unemployed, yet in your house, there’s an oven that’s only used twice a week – that’s abuse and bad management. You have an oven that you only used one day a week. You can at least get some flour, water, and raisins; bake some cookies, put them in a plastic bag and make yourself a factory out of your own kitchen. That’s Management – get the most out of the least.

p.s. please check with your City and State, especially in the U.S., before using your residential oven for commercial purposes. Most have regulations governing this.

Again, you got clothes in your closet that you don’t wear and they’ve been there for ten years and you’ve put on too much weight, they’ll never fit you again; and you’re saying that you ain’t got money?!

To economize means to add value to your gift.

Put another way, answered prayer is regulated by your capacity to manage. God will never give you what you pray for 🤔. He regulates His answer by what you could manage …. money is easy to get; money is supposed to come to you, but it it keeps moving away from you, it’s telling you something – YOU CAN’T MANAGE.

Father God please teach me/us how to do better by managing the resources that You’ve given us.

Spiritual Gifts Part 2

Credits: Sydney Heron / Unsplash.com

From Part 1: The Spiritual Gifts are:

  1. Word Of Wisdom
  2. Word Of Knowledge
  3. Faith. I earlier blogged on this gift. Click here to read it.
  4. Gifts of Healing
  5. Working Of Miracles
  6. Prophecy
  7. Discerning of spirits
  8. Divers kinds of tongues
  9. Interpretation of tongues.

The above gifts are also often categorized as:

The Revelatory Gifts are:
1. Word of Knowledge
2. Word of Wisdom, and
3. Discerning of Spirits

The Power Gifts are:
1. Faith
2. Healing, and
3. Working of Miracles

The Communication Gifts are:
1. Prophecy
2. Divers kind of tongues, and
3. Interpretation of tongues.

What does each gift do?

THE REVELATORY GIFTS

1. Word of Wisdom

Word of wisdom (WOW) are words given by inspiration of the Holy Spirit to individuals (or even the Church) that surpasses the natural ability. It is the divine strength or ability to understand and to bring clarity to situations and circumstances often through applying the truths of Scripture in a practical way. (Supporting Scriptures: Acts 6:3,10; 1 Corinthians 2:6-13, 12:8)

2. Word of Knowledge

The gift of knowledge is the divine strength or ability to bring truth to a situation by supernatural revelation. This is often accompanied by a word from God. (Supporting Scriptures: Acts 5:1-11; 1 Corinthians 12:8; Colossians 2:2-3)

3. Discerning of Spirits

The gift of discernment is the divine strength or ability to spiritually identify falsehood, to distinguish between right and wrong motives and the spiritual forces at work in situations. Through this gift, we can determine if something is divine, devilish, or of human origin. Through this gift we not only have the ability to identify evil spirits, but we can also expose their assignments. The Spirit of discernment is our safeguard against deception.(Supporting scriptures: Matthew 16:21-23; Acts 5:1-11, 16:16-18; 1 Corinthians 12:10; 1 John 4:1-6)

THE POWER GIFTS

4. Gift of Faith

The gift of faith is the divine strength or ability to believe in God for unseen supernatural results in every arena of life. The gift of faith is in a category of its own. For instance, it is different from the shield of faith which we can, as we mature, trust in to shield us from the enemy. It is different still from the measure of faith that is given to each of us to work in the gifts, and yes, different even from our faith in God's sovereignty and His Word. These are all manifestations of faith that come forth from a heart of conviction that knows the Word and its author. Jesus is our example in Matthew 21:21-22.

The gift of faith is not ours, it is a gift that causes us to perform the impossible and produces a miracle. When God enables us with spontaneous ability to subdue or conquer physical forces, it is the gift of faith that causes us to step out in the incredible and without even thinking, bringing about a feat mortal man cannot accomplish him/herself. We can say it this way, when the gift of faith is operating in you, it is as if you are not connected to the physical so the supernatural seems natural and you just move out in it. (Supported Scriptures: Acts 11:22-24; Romans 4:18-21; 1 Corinthians 12:9; Hebrews 11; Matthew 14:28-31; Ephesians 6:16)

5. Gift of Healing

The gift of healing is the divine strength or ability to act as an intermediary in faith, prayer, and by the laying-on of hands for the healing of physical, mental and spiritual sickness. There are even divinely assisted situations where a person is healed by God through doctors and medical treatments.

Apostle Luke was a physician in the early church, and there are those that God will use today as human instruments, but guess what, this is still not the gift of healing. The gift of healing is not intellectually based, nor is it the result of spiritual insight. In fact, it is a supernatural phenomenon that can happen without any human intervention at all. It can of course also manifest through a human vessel, if God so chooses. He can release a supernatural ability or a divine power for man to exercise authority over impossible situations like broken bones, fatal sicknesses, even death. People have been given hearts, feet, all sorts of new body parts that only the Creator can supply. This is the true gift of healing. It is not an ability performed through faith, nor is even there time for doubt or unbelief. It simply manifests itself according to God's will, and the vessel being used moves out in the gift without question. (Supporting scriptures: Acts 3:1-10, 9:32-35, 28:7-10; 1 Corinthians 12:9, 28)

6. Working of Miracles

The gift of miracles is the divine strength or ability to alter the natural outcomes of life in a supernatural way through prayer, faith, and divine direction. When we work in the miraculous, we are walking in the power of God and exercising authority over the natural forces of this realm. The power gift of miracles enables us to perform feats way beyond what is even comprehensible to our human minds. (Supported Scriptures: Acts 9:36-42, 19:11-12, 20:7-12; Romans 15:18-19; 1 Corinthians 12:10, 28)

THE COMMUNICATION GIFTS

7. Gift of Prophecy

The gift of prophecy is the divine strength or ability to communicate God's truth and heart in a way that calls people to a right relationship with God.

There are five different methods of prophecy that God uses to talk to His church; namely,

  1. Office of the Prophet;
  2. Prophetic preaching;
  3. Prophetic presbytery;
  4. Gift of prophecy;
  5. Spirit of prophecy.

The gift of prophecy is just that, a gift of the Holy Spirit. It is not an office appointed by Jesus as in the office of prophet. The gifting is activated and easier to manifest in the company of prophets. Anyone filled with the Holy Spirit can work in this gift. It is for edification, exhortation and comfort, not rebuke or chastening. The prophetic word of correction comes from the office of prophet only. Prophecy will never contradict the Bible. If you are given a word that contradicts the Word of God, disregard it. It is important to stress that, depending on our walk, we can hear from either the kingdom of darkness, or the Kingdom of Light. Walk in repentance, separate from those that are of the world except to minister to them. God says, "be holy as I am holy"!(Supported Scriptures: Acts 2:37-40, 7:51-53, 26:24-29; 1 Corinthians 14:1-4; 1 Thessalonians 1:5)

8. Divers kind of Tongues

The gift of tongues is the divine strength or ability to pray in a heavenly language to encourage your spirit and to commune with God.

There are three different kinds of tongues:

  1. tongues along with the interpretation of tongues; this gifting is usually exercised during a service or public setting. Any time this form of tongues is manifested, someone will also be given the gifting to interpret the message.
  2. different kinds of tongues, or diverse tongues; this gift was experienced in the upper room in Acts 2:4-8. One with the gift speaks in his/her native language and suddenly (divinely) starts speaking in tongues. For example, a British man/woman speaking at a church in Ukraine; he starts preaching in English and suddenly starts tongue-speaking in Ukrainian or Russian even though he/she never speaks the language. It’s God’s way of helping the locals to hear and understand His message to them.
  3. the prayer language of those filled with the Spirit; this form of tongues is the voice of our spirit. It talks directly to God. We don't understand what is being said, but I do know that the gifts will flow much easier as our spirit communicates directly with the Father. Also, when we don't know what to pray through our natural mind, our spirit man can pray for us, as it is tapped into the mind of Christ. The Word also tells us that as we pray in the spirit, we are edified, it lifts us up and rejuvenates us. When you look at all that is accomplished through speaking in tongues, you can see why the enemy tries to snuff it out of the church! (Supporting Scriptures: Acts 2:1-13; 1 Corinthians 12:10, 14:1-14)

9. Interpretation of Tongues

This gift is the divine ability to interpret any heavenly language for the benefit of the people/Church.

Click here to take the Spiritual Gifts Test.

References:

Spiritual Gifts: Part 1

Credits: Sydney Heron / Unsplash.com

Preamble

God gave talents (Matthew 25:15-30) to His sons and daughters. Unfortunately, most of us never discover those talents let alone use them for the benefit of humanity. As such, majority of us have either buried our talents, are living way below God’s capacity for us, or are busy chasing after other people’s.

God also gave gifts to everyone. The gifts are innate, but could also be desired by asking God directly for it. The spiritual gifts are freely given (by grace) to us by God, our Creator. They are therefore supposed to be used freely for the purposes and the benefits of mankind. The gifts are also given in proportion, and according to ability, of our life purposes or mandates.

Per Ephesians 4:11-12 above , the offices listed are often termed “The Five-Fold Ministry.” They are the church roles given as “a framework to grow, build and mature the Body of Christ to continue the workings of Jesus through the lives of the saints.” Click the link if you’re inclined to learn more on the five-fold roles. If you’d like to take a test to see if you’ve been chosen for one of the roles, click here.

Biblically, there are nine spiritual gifts. These gifts are called “spiritual” for a reason mainly, per Dave Ramsey because they “are supernatural abilities God gives each Christ-follower.” They are separate and different from our talents, knowledge, skills, and abilities (TKSA) such as academic gifts (e.g. geniuses), social gifts (such as having charisma and being an influencer). But the spiritual gifts can compliment and complement our TSKAs.

The spiritual gifts are not “magic” or “magical.” Please click on these words to understand their means which, hopefully, will lead to a better understanding of the spiritual gifts.

Dave Ramsey also has the following to say:

“God wants you to use your unique role in the body of Christ to glorify Him. So, if God made you an amazing singer, sing for Him. If your talent is a little less conventional—maybe you’re good with numbers or with writing code—then find a way to translate that into a job or volunteer work for a God-honoring company or ministry. Use your God-given abilities to reach those who don’t know Him—and give Him the credit for your talents.” (Supporting Scripture: Colossians 3:23-24)

. . .

The Spiritual Gifts

The spiritual gifts, according to the Bible, are:

  1. Word Of Wisdom
  2. Word Of Knowledge
  3. Faith. I earlier blogged on this gift. Click here to read it.
  4. Gifts of Healing
  5. Working Of Miracles
  6. Prophecy
  7. Discerning of spirits
  8. Divers kinds of tongues
  9. Interpretation of tongues.

The above gifts are also often categorized as:

The Revelatory Gifts are:
1. Word of Knowledge
2. Word of Wisdom, and
3. Discerning of Spirits

The Power Gifts are:
1. Healing
2. Working of Miracles, and
3. Faith

The Communication Gifts are:
1. Prophecy
2. Divers kind of tongues
3. Interpretation of tongues, and

Having stated that, however, we acknowledge that there are:

  • diversities of gifts, meaning that there are a variety of the particular gift; e.g. one might have a gift of faith for healing, another to believe for anything they desire, an another for provision; also, one can have multiple spiritual gifts – one will however be dominant;
  • differences of administrations, equates the different ways in which the gifts function; e.g. one can believe by reading and meditating on a particular scripture and see it manifest, another might believe that once s/he reads the scripture, s/he has to lay hands for it to manifest, while another might believe that “I’ll just send the Word” and believe for manifestation;
  • diversities of operations, mean that there are equally various processes by which the gifts work; e.g. seeking employment and using the gift of faith; I might believe that in faith I will go out to job search and that I believe that the first company that I knock on will hire me; on another day, I might simply hear a word that says “call ABC Company,” calling the company might lead to a job offer; yet another day it might simply be that after I have prayed, I just simply say that “I believe that someone will call me today for a job offer.” Each scenario is different but I am the one and same person exercising the gift. I hope this helps. Let me know if you have questions or additions.

How do you know your spiritual gift(s)?

  • By asking God
  • By paying attention
  • By other folks (family, friends, colleagues, associates, pastors and church, etc.) telling you
  • By the laying on of the hands (of an apostle or prophet) (1 Timothy 4:14).

Click here to take a test to find out what your spiritual gift(s) is/are. Does your result confirm what you’ve been told or know? Feel free to share in the comments. Thanks and await Part 2.

Disclaimer

The topic of Spiritual Gifts is exhaustive and this post (nor the Part 2) does not do enough justice to cover it. But I hope that it does help to stir your curiosity, if you are not already aware, of having a spiritual gift and leads you on a search to know what it is so that you can start using them to benefit humanity. The simplest way is to ask God “what gifts have you blessed me with?”

Thanks for reading.

Strong Women of Asia

Source: Ballmemes.com

The Strong Women Series has been an eye-opener for me as the blogger. I sincerely hope that those who have taken the time to read the Series thus far have learned something; not only about the various women highlighted, but also about each continent, and are hopefully spurred to learn more.

The Series is about the Strong Women of the Continents; in essence, of the World. I have blogged about my favorite Strong Women of the Bible, and curated the Strong Women of the five hemispheres of Africa and the Americas (the North- (USA & Canada) and the South which comprises twelve (12) countries).

. . .

Women, and people, across the globe are generally the same everywhere; each fighting for one cause or the other. The Strong Women worldwide have, and continue to fight to liberate themselves against one form of injustice/violence or the other; which includes but are not limited to physical, sexual assault, financial, emotional, and mental. Women have fought to have a voice on matters concerning them and they continue to speak up against any form of discrimination.

“Representation matters, not just in Hollywood, but in our curricula and cultural consciousness.”

Teen Forbes

This post is about the Strong Women of Asia and it is an equally impressive list. For a continent that still struggles to liberate women, the list is inspiring. Please read on …

The Teen Vogue states that there were 11 Asian, Pacific Islander, or South Asian-American women in the 115th Congress. The 116th Congress had 10 Asian women, while the count for the 117th Congress, which convened on January 3rd is still unknown, but according to The LA Focus it includes 3 Korean women.

The continent of Asia comprises of 48 countries; with China (1,439,323,776) and India (1,380,004,385) being the most populous. There’s Eastern Asia, Southern, South-Eastern, Western, and Central Asia. Click here to see the countries (and populations) of Asia.

The above screenshot list was a big challenge to my geography! I’m probably not alone!! I was surprised to learn of a few countries myself 😊 As a matter of fact, writing the blog was equally challenging – my first draft consisted of only women from China and India! Since Asia consists of 48 countries, I had to do better and more research. The intent was to come up with at least two per country. Unfortunately that wasn’t totally possible. So pardon me that a few countries had more highlights.

Segue: Quiz: Test your knowledge

  1. How many of the Asian countries can you put in the right bucket?
  2. How many of the countries have you heard of?

p.s. if the screenshot is ineligible, click here for a clearer list which is equally interactive and can be sorted various ways. Put your answers in the comments. Thanks.

. . .

Asian Women, like their African counterparts, were (intentional use of the verb) one of the extremely submissive groups. To find a Strong Woman in the two continents, to highlight, is therefore commendable.

“Asian-Americans, especially Asian-American women, are often pigeonholed as meek or unassertive, rather than depicted as leaders.”

Teen Vogue

There were 11 Asian women in the 115th Congress (see pg. 11 of the link).

Eastern Asia

Xiang Jingyu. the first director of the Chinese Communist Women’s Bureau and one of the foremost revolutionaries of her time, advocating for women’s education rights and organizing mass labor strikes.

Anna May Wong is considered the first Chinese American Hollywood star … starred in a TV series — The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong — as the first Asian-American to top such a show.

Soong Mei-ling. was pivotal to gathering support for China’s war against Japan and in 1943 she became the first Chinese national and only the second woman to address both houses of the U.S. Congress.

Chien-Shiung Wu, Wu was born in China in a town north of Shanghai in 1912, to parents who not only believed in educating girls but also founded a school that took care to include them. Wu emigrated to the U.S. in 1936, where she ultimately taught physics at Princeton University, and where she made two key contributions to building the bombs that ended the war. A PhD UC Berkeley graduate, was credited with solving a problem that had bedeviled Enrico Fermi, and as Time notes, “she helped develop the method for separating nonfissionable uranium 238 from fissionable U-235—the bomb’s key fuel.”

Choe Son Hui is a vice minister of foreign affairs in North Korea and is the most senior female diplomat in the country.

Kim Song Hye is another leading female diplomat in the DPRK, who has primarily worked in dealing with relations with the South. Little is known about her personal background and but she’s one not related to the ruling Kim family.

Yuriko Koike, 65, Tokyo’s first female governor and Japan’s political star of the moment.

Yayoi Kusama, 90, is a contemporary artist, who’s still active in painting, film, performance, poetry, fashion and other arts. Her work has been recognised as one of the most important living artists in Japan.

Sadako Ogata. the only Japanese and first woman to lead the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Maki Akaida became the CEO of Uniqlo Japan and will soon be succeeding the richest man in Japan, Tadashi Yanai, as the CEO of Fast Retailing at a later stage.

p.s. most of the Strong Women of North Korea/DORK found were related to the ruling party and therefore unclear whether their positions were meritorious or nepotistical.

Southern Asia

Indira Gandhi. India’s to-date only female prime minister

Roshni Nadar is the chairwoman of HCL technologies in India. Her popularity stems from the fact that she is the first woman in India to head an IT firm. She was also listed as the 57th powerful woman in the world, as of 2019.

Amrit Kaur. India’s first Health Minister in 1947.

Divya Gokulnath is the Co-Founder of Byju’s Learning in India, that is now helping students learn different subjects with required tests and course materials.

Ameera Shah is the Managing Director of Metropolis Healthcare, the leading pathology lab in India that has developed a great fanbase in India, South Asia and even Africa.

Malala Yousafzai. On January 3, 2009, 11-year-old Malala’s first blog was published. She later became the face of women’s empowerment not only in Pakistan but around the world.

Queen Soraya Tarzi. was the face of change in Afghanistan — she was King Amanullah Khan’s only wife, breaking a tradition of polygamy; she went unveiled in public and encouraged the education of girls

South-Eastern Asia

The 11 countries of Southeast Asia include over 550 million people. The region is characterized by the relatively favorable position of women in comparison with neighboring East or South Asia. According to a Forbes’ list, Asian women, particularly those from Southeast Asia, are still a minority force in the powerful women community.

Corazon Aquino. the 11th president (and first female president) of the Philippines.

Maria Ressa. A Filipino journalist whose publication, Rappler, had been started as a Facebook page in 2011. The publication evolved into one of the Philippines’ most dynamic news outlets to expose dozens of fake and spam-heavy accounts Duterte supporters used to manipulate the online discourse that many now mistake for reality.

Aung San Suu Kyi, is ranked the highest among her Southeast Asian counterparts. Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 and, in 2015, was at the helm of the first civilian government that took power (albeit in a de facto capacity). She has been elected to the Burmese parliament and has become the leader of the biggest opposition party in Myanmar this year. Her significant contribution to the democratization and development of Myanmar and beyond makes Suu Kyi a well deserving figure in South-Eastern Asia.

Caroline Russell is single-handedly spearheading the BOH Plantations, in Malaysia, which was founded by her grandfather. The plantation has several units that account for almost 70% of Malaysia.

Preeyanart Soontornwata. became the CEO of B.Grimm Power, in 2017, and has helped the conglomerate in Thailand generate billions in revenue. The company is spread across 47 powerplants covering Vietnam, Laos and Thailand.

Yingluck Shinwatra, Thai Prime Minister. once the director of the biggest telecom company in Thailand before she entered politics in 2011. She has demonstrated her courage and the qualities as a leader particularly during and following the historical 2011 Thailand floods as she initiated various flood prevention and control measures in response to Thailand’s worst flood in 50 years.

Sri Mulyani Indrawati. Once Indonesian Minister of Finance from 2005 to 2010, Indrawati has been the managing director of the World Bank since 2010, overseeing operations and loans in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.

Nurhayati Subakat, Co-founder and CEO of Paragon Technology & Innovation with 8,300 employees, and held 30% of the beauty products market in Indonesia. A trained chemical engineer, Subakat’s began her journey when she founded a company known as Pusaka Tradisi Ibu with her husband in 1985. The company makes hair-care products, before stepping into affordable make up line commonly known as Putri in 1993. As a devout Muslim, she understood the rising demand of halal make up and skincare products. In 1995, Wardah, rose in Arabic, was born.

Lily Kong is the president of the Singapore Management University and the first woman in Singapore to have a university; appreciated for her contribution to geography.

p.s. though, in business, almost 50% of the small and medium enterprises in Brunei are owned and/or run by women, there is not a single woman appointed in the Council of Cabinet Ministers.

Chea Serey, Director General of Cambodia National Bank

Western Asia

Lubna Olayan, CEO, Olayan Financing Company; one of the Kingdom’s most successful conglomerates with operations across the Middle East. In 2004, she became the first woman to join the board of a Saudi publicly listed company after being elected to the board of Alawwal Bank, and she currently serves as the board’s Vice Chairman.

Nabilah Al-Tunisi, chief engineer, Saudi Aramco. She began her career with Saudi Aramco in 1982. Besides working on the Aramco-Dow joint venture, she has developed software to monitor oil assets, implemented automation systems to speed up the transport of oil and gas, led engineers on alternative energy solutions, and managed oil and gas projects worth $40 billion.

Sumaya Al-Nasser, founder, Sumaya 369. She is Saudi Arabia’s first internationally certified female life and career coach. Al-Nasser holds a PhD in theology.

Reem Al Hashimi is UAE’s Minister of State for International Cooperation.

p.s. I have received scam emails bogusly using Reem Al Hashimi’s name. Now I know who she is and why her name is being used! Would never have, had not for this Series!!!

Lubna Al Qasimi is the UAE’s Minister for Tolerance and one of the region’s most prominent female leaders. She held the title of the most powerful woman in the Middle East in 2015 and in 2017, the most powerful Arab woman in government. She is the first woman to be appointed a ministerial position in the UAE and the first Emirati to receive the Clinton Global Citizen Award.

Mariam Al-Mansouri, the first female fighter pilot in UAE. Mariam, who has led UAE mission airstrikes against ISIS over Syria, is a true inspiration for women across the globe.

Mary Nazzal-Batayneh; the chairman of Landmark Amman Hotel – one of the most luxurious hotels in Amman.

Central Asia

Roza Otunbaeva, President of Kyrgyzstan. The Moscow-educated former diplomat is Central Asia’s first and only female president.

Raushan Sarsembayeva, is one of Kazakhstan‘s wealthiest and most powerful women. She founded the Kazakh Businesswomen’s Association

Dr. Ademi Zhidebayeva, was awarded the Khalyk Agysy (People’s Gratitude) award for her work during the pandemic – she delivered 20 babies a day in Kazakhstan.

Svetlana Ortikova, Chairwoman of Uzbek Senate’s Committee for Legislative and Judiciary Issues. A lawyer by profession, Scetlana formerly served as a senior prosecutor and headed the information and communication division of the Uzbekistan Prosecutor-General’s Office.

Mutabar Tojiboeva, Uzbek’s human rights activist. She has been honored with the prestigious Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders in Geneva and the International Women of Courage Award in Washington.

Akja Nurberdyeva: speaker of Turkmenistan‘s parliament

Patsy Takemoto Mink. the first woman of color and first Asian-American elected to the U.S. House to Representatives. She served as Hawaii’s representative for 12 terms. The crowning glory of her government service was her co-authorship of the Title IX Amendment of the Higher Education Act.

Tu Youyou was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine, in 2013, for her discovery for the treatment of malaria.

Aung San Suu Kyi. awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 and, in 2015, was at the helm of the first civilian government that took power (albeit in a de facto capacity).

p.s. The few women who have attained the highest political offices in some Asian countries have done so because they are the daughters or wives of the country’s President or a famous man. It is therefore difficult to gauge their passions as truly advocates of women’s issues.

Asian Strong Women in Business

  1. Zhao Yan is the founder of Bloomage, a growth-driven property funding firm.
  2. Samantha Du leads the pharmaceutical agency Zai Lab, that has $6 billion market capitalization in the industry. The company was founded in 2014 and has very easily become the largest in China.
  3. Divya Gokulnath is the Co-Founder of Byju’s Learning in India, that is now helping students learn different subjects with required tests and course materials.
  4. Ameera Shah is the Managing Director of Metropolis Healthcare, the leading pathology lab in India that has developed a great fanbase in India, South Asia and even Africa.
  5. Nguyễn Thị Phương Thảo, President and CEO of VietJet Air.
  6. Akiko Naka. Found and CEO of Wantedly.
  7. Anna Fang, Partner and CEO of ZhenFund.
  8. Estina Ang, Founder, Executive Chairman and CEO of Ghim Li Group
  9. Lorraine Belo-Cincochan, CEO of Wilcon Depot Inc.
  10. Teresa Wibowo, CEO of ruparupa.com
  11. Han Seong-sook, CEO of Naver.
  12. Joanne Kua, Executive Director, Managing Director, and CEO of KSK Group & KSK Land.
  13. Kim So-hee, CEO of Nanda.
  14. Cindy Mi, Founder and CEO of VIPKID, an online platform that pairs students with tutors located in North America. Started in 2013, VIPKID is now the world’s largest K-12 English-language online educator, with 30,000 native-English speakers providing lessons to 200,000 students scattered in 35 countries.
  15. Zhang Xin, CEO of SOHO China, became an owner-companies responsible for dozens of real estate developments located in Beijing and Shanghai. She’s listed by Forbes as the 62nd Most Powerful Woman in the World.
  16. Nurhayati Subakat, Co-founder and CEO of Paragon Technology & Innovation with 8,300 employees, and held 30% of the beauty products market in Indonesia. A trained chemical engineer, Subakat’s began her journey when she founded a company known as Pusaka Tradisi Ibu with her husband in 1985. The company makes hair-care products, before stepping into affordable make up line commonly known as Putri in 1993. As a devout Muslim, she understood the rising demand of halal make up and skincare products. In 1995, Wardah, rose in Arabic, was born.
  17. Jane Jie Sun, CEO of Ctrip.com International, the largest travel agency in China since 2016.
  18. Joey Wat, CEO of Yum China; previously served as the CEO of KFC China, and managing director of A.S. Watson Group UK. was ranked as one of the Top 50 Most Influential Business Leader in China 2018 and Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Business in China 2017 by Fortune Chinese Edition. As of 2019, she is the only 33 female CEOs on the Fortune 500.
  19. Supamas Trivisvavet, President and CEO of CH. Karnchang, Thailand’s second-largest construction company.
  20. Mercy Wu, Chairman and CEO of Eslite Spectrum, the island’s largest retail bookstore and lifestyle chain, with 44 outlets across Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China. These outlets combined bookstores, art galleries, restaurants, and department stores. Additionally, it also has a boutique hotel in Taipei and residential property in Suzhou, China.
  21. Wei Sun Christianson, CEO of Morgan Stanley China.
  22. Somruedee Chaimongkol, CEO of Banpu whose asset is coal, has gained the nickname, “Asia’s First Lady of Coal”.
  23. Aireen Omar, Deputy Group CEO of AirAsia.

. . .

As we’ve always stated, our list is merely a sample and by no means exhaustive of the beautiful and commendable Strong Women. I believe that there is a Strong Woman in every home. More Strong Women of any of the Asian countries can be found by clicking on the various reference links.

If you read this far, I sincerely appreciate your time. This is a long read; my longest so far. Thank you.

References

Thanks for reading and following the Series. 😍✌🏾

Part 2: Following/Unfollowing on Social Media

Following/Unfollowing on Social Media

https://think-talk.org/2021/01/13/following-unfollowing-on-social-media/
— Read on think-talk.org/2021/01/13/following-unfollowing-on-social-media/

My blogging family!

I have questions for you. Please help by answering the following. Thank you!


  1. True or False: Following/Unfollowing is a part of social media terrain.
  2. Is blogging a part of social media?
  3. Do you think Following/Unfollowing belongs in the blogging community?
  4. Why do you think bloggers Follow/Unfollow?
  5. What advice/suggestion do you have for those who Follow/Unfollow blogs/bloggers?
  6. Any advice for those saddened by Follow/Unfollow?

I believe that we all are learning and can glean from each other. Your answers, in the comments, will help us all.

Also share any experience regarding the topic that you might have had.

I appreciate your time and participation. 😍✌🏾

Following/Unfollowing on Social Media

Following/Unfollowing on Social Media

https://think-talk.org/2020/05/18/following-un-following-on-social-media/
— Read on think-talk.org/2020/05/18/following-un-following-on-social-media/

I first posted the above almost eight (8) months ago. The topic is very relevant today. I edited a bit of the initial post. Thanks for reading.

. . .

The essence of any community is to support one another. In supporting one another, it is okay to agree to disagree respectfully.

In any community, and especially the blogging community, we recognize that there will be differences in style, niche, tonality, etc. To that degree, maturity, wisdom, and mutual respect are needed and essential to stick with one another despite our apparent differences that goes beyond gendering.

Is it right for anyone to un-follow another?

Who am I to force anyone to follow me; not even my family members will I insist to do so, let alone my internet friend. Don’t misunderstand me – internet friends are essential and we all need some for social media purposes as the lack thereof sends a contrary message. What with covid making physical socializing impossible, right?

I googled [https://bit.ly/2AGyrrD] “why do people unfollow on social media” and got “About 118,000,000 results (0.50 seconds).” This is serious and shows that it is an act that is frequently committed by all. The truth is that I had, once ever, un-followed some folks in the past and I do not regret doing it. The sad thing was that it was while being involved in a “Christian” organization. I later realized that though the organization was tagged as a Christian-based, not everyone involved were Christians; as such, there were things said and done that I felt were contrary to my Christian doctrines. Rather than the leaders taking a biblical stand to address the issues, they resorted instead to “preach” about it and against those of us who were exposing the mixed messages. I felt this was hypocritical and I left the organization. I also deleted my FB profile because it was used as our meeting platform. In addition, I realized that most of the members followed me not because they “liked/loved” me, but to “monitor” me, and others. Sadly, this is not uncommon with, and unbecoming of, Christians or Christian organizations. It’s the little foxes that spoil the vine. Anyways …

Why un-follow?

Following personalities and brands on social media signifies various things to various people. It is often because the other party likes/loves the person, brand or content published. It could also be because the person is a family member, an alum or frat or sorority, or simply a fan. Most do not even know the person they are following.

The advent of technology/social media has made everyone a friend so near. Whatever the reason one chooses to follow another, there is equally a reason to un-follow. It’s all good when we follow. But let’s talk about unfollowing.

The first Google result states that “41.50% of Social Media Users Unfollow a Brand That Posts Too Much.” This contradicts the blogging principle that states the more you blog, the more people know you and that blogging a lot helps drive traffic to your site! Another reason was that people unfollow when one doesn’t blog enough. Hello somebody?! What then is considered enough or reasonable blogging?

Some unfollow as a form of rejection. I disagree with this thought. How can someone I don’t even know reject me? If it happens, I won’t take it personally. I either merely ignore the person or statement or post an extra-nice comment to the person. And if I do know the person, it is a free world that allows people to change whenever they feel like it. Unfollowing me does not a hair remove from my head. And I hope that the folks whom I unfollowed feel likewise. I might see the person the next day and still be cordial. I said all that to say don’t take it personally if someone unfollows you. It has become part of the social media un-etiquette.

Other reasons, according to Sprout Social, include as listed in the chart below:

Source: SproutSocial.com

Un-Netiquette

I have read about bloggers following another in order to garner a follow-back only to unfollow once the said blogger follows them. It probably had happened to me unawares. Why go about follower-ship in this manner? It is nothing short of deception. People know your immature tactics and eventually, it will catch up with those who are doing so, and they will be exposed and eventually suffer follower-ship. The act violates simple courtesies but since there still isn’t a valid social media law, who am I to state that a law had been violated?! If there’s no law, none can be violated! Be that as it may, people are entitled to follow or un-follow. Notwithstanding, the un-following, those who like your content will continue to follow you.

. . .

Final Note

Please let’s continue to support one another the best possible way that we can. There’s a lot of “bad” already in the nation/world. Let us be the light that shines in darkness.

Stay graceful.

House votes to impeach President Trump

www.aol.com/news/10-house-republicans-voted-impeach-214351289.html

Most are unsurprised by the above topic. With exactly only a week left of President Donald Trump, he has again been impeached.

I am torn between both sides; that is, those in favor to impeach and those against. On one hand, to have watched (or lived to witness) the mob’s attack on the Capitol was not only disturbingly disappointing on democracy, but also on the security and intelligence of the United States of America 🇺🇸. As such, a message ought to be sent that such incitement was not to be tolerated. However, on the other hand, (as I watched the proceedings) hearing the members of the House’s statement before voting, I tend to sway towards witch-hunting the President which had started as early as when he became President and had continued throughout. As such, I might be tempted to say to DemocraticParty to “drop it!”

Notwithstanding, there’s a Yoruba (Nigerian) proverb that states:

You just speedy up the roasting process! Think about it. Someone (merely, figuratively-speaking-human-being) who is being hunted to be roasted should not be messing with gasoline that will help burn him /her up faster!

That’s the case of Mr. Donald Trump!

Anyways, the deeds on both sides have been done. We now await the aftermaths.

What are your thoughts on this impeachment? Feel free to comment. Thanks.

God help America 🇺🇸 !

Monday Financial Nuggets: Earl Nightingale’s Checklists

youtube.com/watch

The above Earl Nightingale’s video has been popping up for a while. I finally watched it and what a goldmine! Please watch till the end as I believe that the platinum nuggets lie within the 5-7 final minutes of the video.

Haves and have nots. The have nots always begrudge the haves! (p.s. Tyler Perry has a series with this title. The only series that I have watched religiously in the last ten years! Love it. Check it out on OWN. You can also find various streams on YouTube.)

Why do few manage to be financially well-off in a country where success is available?


Statistics

  • 10% of men 65 years and older have income of $6,000 a year; >80% of all men >65 have income of $4,000 a year
  • Starting a career in your 20s, would mean you would have worked >40 years at retirement. Using a meagre $25,000 per year salary, (a paltry in this tech age), means you would have made >$1 million. How much of this was saved or invested?
  • Only about 10% will be financially secure when the age of 65 rolls around.

Questions to ask yourself

  • What are you doing at the present time to increase your income now?
  • How much do you want to earn?
  • How much money are you planning to be worth at age 65?

Constructive thinking on the above questions is necessary for change in how much you earn.

Big income earners made the decision to earn more. Have you? Will and when would you?

Analogies:

  • A woman who does not think about baking an apple pie for dinner tonight will not think of looking up a recipe for apple pie. Without the decision for pie, there’s no motivation for checking out the recipe. Likewise,
  • A man who does not think about driving his car to St Louis MI or Nacogdoches TX will never make the decision to get roadmaps that will help him get there. Therefore,
  • A man who never decides to earn more money will never think of learning how or looking up the rules for making more money.

Lifestyle Quotes

It’s a free country; anyone has the inalienable right to be just as wrong as they want to be!

We must view with profound respect the infinite capacity of the human mind to resist the inroads of useful knowledge. – Thomas Lounsbury

Knowledge is available to everyone. We can either listen to those qualified to teach us or we can go along with those ancient stumbling blocks we get from people who don’t know any more than we do.

. . .

A jet pilot goes over his checklist item-by-item before a takeoff from the airport and before he lands at his destination. Living successfully is just as important as flying an airplane.

. . .

Checklist

  1. Our rewards in life will always be an exact proportion to our contribution our service. (Similarly regarding JOB: The money you’re paid by the company you work for will always be in direct ratio to the need for what you do, your ability to do it, and the degree of difficulty involved in replacing you.)
  1. The gold mine. “The only thing about a man that is a man is his mind; everything else you can find in a pig or a horse.” – Archibald MacLeish. The key to any man’s success is his mind!
  • How many good ideas have you come up with in the past year?
  • Are you being a copycat or following the follower?
  • Whose drum are you marching to?
  • Do you want to be a contributor or a beneficiary?

3. Attitude. Alter your life by altering your attitudes of mind. (We become what we think about!) – Williams James

Think. Start getting up one hour earlier than you’re accustomed to. One hour earlier a day gives you 6 1/2 40-hour week a year. Take a refreshing shower, dress, have a hot cup of coffee (or tea) and then sit down with a clean sheet of paper. At the top of the paper, write your financial goal which is the amount of money per year you intend to earn soon. Then start to think; think about your goal and see how many ideas you can come up with to help you reach that goal; ideas to improve what you now do for a living, ways of increasing your contribution to match your income goal . . .

Cheers to a strategically financially you in 2021!

Jesus Ministry: Disturbing Prophetic Words

I don’t know about you, but I have been terribly disturbed by the multitude of “prophetic words“ given pre-the-Presidential election by several men and women of God categorically stating that God told (or showed) them that Donald Trump will serve a second term as President of the USA. But now this is not so. What happened? Let’s reason together.

Who is a Prophet / Prophetess?

Briefly, a Prophet/Prophetess is a man/woman chosen by God to speak on His behalf to His people and He, God, uses several ways to communicate through the chosen people. It is also the second office in the hierarchy of church governance. Another blog will be necessary to expatiate on the Prophet/Prophetess. Selected scripture references of the Prophet are:

  • Hosea 12:10,
  • Amos 3:7,
  • 1 Corinthians 14:32-33,
  • Jeremiah 28:8-9,
  • Matthew 10-41, 24:10-13,
  • Ezekiel 13:4-10,
  • Ephesians 2:20, 4:11-16,
  • Deuteronomy 17:15, 34:12,
  • Luke 1:70,
  • Hebrews 1:1, etc.).

The Presidential Prophetic Words

There were tons of prophetic words from “reputable” American Christian leaders all-round. Do a Google and/or a YouTube Search to view them. But now that Joe Biden’s win has been ratified, and will be sworn-in in ten days, the questions raging in my head are:

  • what happened?!”
  • were the leaders “calling those things that be not as though they were?” (Romans 4:17c) Or
  • did Trump’s attitudes and behavior canceled him out of the prophetic words?” (Jeremiah 18:7-11)

If God said it …

Any of the above is possible. But, God is not a man that He should lie …, right? If God said it, it must surely come to pass. (Numbers 23:19) Or that if God indeed said it, it might be a timing issue and probably Trump could run again (if not impeached) and win?! (Habakkuk 2:3). Or still, God probably said it, but the people negated it which is equally more disturbing as I am reminded of King Saul and King David! Lord have mercy!!

If God never said it …

However, if God didn’t say it, why did the prophets and prophetesses deliver their own words as God’s? (Jeremiah 23:26; Deuteronomy 18:20-22). Deuteronomy 18:20 states that the “prophet shall die.” It is scary. I do not wish any dead but it is so scary that one who reads his/her Bible should fear giving a false word. Please note that this does not necessarily mean a physical death. It could mean a spiritual death as in no more revelations flowing to and from the prophet. God is the ultimate decider. I sincerely hope that those prophets/prophetesses, if they indeed gave a personal word as God’s word, are already repenting. God is still a merciful God and I pray that He has mercy on them.

Where’s the fear of God?

I don’t know about you but it bothers me that the “reputable” men and women of God could have jeopardized their characters for allegedly delivering a word not from God. How do we now continue to believe them or their prophetic words?! Why would they do so?

This is the main reason why we all should endeavor not to be lazy and to hear God for ourselves by reading, studying, and meditating on the Word of God daily and allowing the Spirit of God to minister to our spirit.

Is’t possible for one to be canceled out of a prophetic word?

According to Jeremiah 18:10, it is possible. Please read the scripture. Better yet, read the before and after verses for better understanding. Though the verse refers to a nation, I propose to you that it is equally applicable to individuals and/or families. We should therefore be careful, mindful, and watchful to not veer off the right/righteous paths once a prophetic word is given. It is also important to “war” for the divine timing and manifestation of any prophetic word.

Does giving a wrong word make one a false prophet?

No according to Romans 11:29. I propose, that the lure of personal and presidential favors and/or desire to be in the limelight might have propelled the men/women of God to give their personal word. But still I do not know. Only God and them can tell us. However, I do know that going forward, I will continue to be cautious receiving prophetic words. How about you?

May God forgive and have mercy.

Jesus Ministry: Fasting and Understanding its Power

youtube.com/watch

Understanding the Power of Fasting video

. . .

I have wanted to blog on Fasting and, again, the beginning of the New Year is a good time to post the topic. Not that fasting is only done at the beginning of a New Year. Far from it! Fasting can be done anytime and for various reasons/causes.

There is nothing I could post or share however that will surpass the above video by late Dr. Myles Munroe. Please watch and form your own conclusion.

. . .


What is Fasting?


According to Dr. Myles Munroe, Fasting is

  • the willful abstinence from natural pleasures for a spiritual purpose;
  • it is a personal commitment to renounce the natural to invoke the spiritual;
  • it is the dedication to a period of time to devote oneself to spiritual priority of prayer without food.

Fasting is like a plunger. Food is a clog in a pipe – the more you eat, the smaller the hole in the pipe. Fasting unclogs the pipe.

Fasting puts your body where it ought to be; that is, under your spirit.

Effects of Fasting

  1. It changes you
  2. It does not move God
  3. It increases your spiritual capacity
  4. It breaks habits and spiritual bondage
  5. It quiets the heart to hear God’s voice/mind and calms your spirit
  6. It brings godly intimacy
  7. It speeds up healing.

Fasting Scriptures

  • Esther 4:16
  • Psalm 109:24-25,
  • Jeremiah 18:7-11, 36:9,
  • Daniel 9:2-3,
  • Joel 2:12-13

Fasting is not dieting

*** Disclaimer ***

Please consult your physician before embarking on a fast.

Insurrection in United States 🇺🇸 of America?!

“Where do we go from here: Continued Chaos or Community?”

Martin Luther King’s book title above seems an appropriate question to ask as the world watched, in utter dismay and disbelief, the incredible attacks on Congress yesterday.

Insurrection?! Insurrection?!! Insurrection?!!! 🤦🏾‍♀️

Power and/or Abuse of Power? Machiavellian? Continued Resistance or Democracy? Continued Alter Ego (or is’t Egotistical) Police Actions against Blacks and Whites? The list of questions continue. Answers not yet found.

Where do we go from here: Chaos or Community?” is, I believe, one of the last books that MLK wrote. The title is so apropos today.

Impeach or Not?

The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse.

Edmund Burke

With two weeks left, is’t worth impeaching the President? But, by the same token, is’t right to allow the President to continue to instigate unrest and division? This is one act too many and gone too far such that some of the President’s supporters have condemned the act and distanced themselves from continued support.

National Security?

The White House and Congress are not only representative of USA’s seats of power, but also the edifices that (and people who) the world looks up to as leading power. To have had Congress unabashedly broken into, without resistance, is a slap on security and intelligence of our nation. In essence might just mean that none is secure anywhere.

Where do we go from here?!

Forward! Despite yesterday’s confusion, Congress resumed and have now confirmed and certified Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the 46th President and Vice President respectively of the USA 🇺🇸. They will be sworn in on January 20th, 2021. Wishing both a peaceful and fruitful tenure and hoping that there will not be any planned disruption to the Swearing in Ceremony.

Add your thoughts in the Comments. Thank you.

Update – Apple and Tesla in the News: Stock-Split: Think Investing in Stock for 2021.

Apple and Tesla in the News: Stock-Split
— Read on think-talk.org/2020/08/31/apple-and-tesla-in-the-news-stock-split/

Where would your stock (or finances) be if you had invested in the above stocks in August of 2020?! 🤔

Choose 2021 to be money-smart and consider investing in stocks rather than stashing your monies in a savings account.

Update

Apple and Tesla were trading at slightly higher than $500 and $2,000 respectively before the split. Apple’s stock split was a 4-for-1, while Tesla’s was a 5-for-1. With the split, both became a $125- and $400-stock respectively.

Both stocks instantaneously yo-yo’ed as a result of the announcement and investors’ rush to buy. Both stocks now trade at $127-128 (Apple) and $722-726 (Tesla).

Apple’s meagre increase is still better that what your money could have gotten from your bank in a year. And I hope that Tesla’s impressive increase was vivid to you.

Disclaimer

Please note that I am not a financial advisor and recommend that you seek professional advice.

If you decide to invest in stock, please consider your risk tolerance which is your “ability to psychologically endure the potential of losing money on an investment.” Of course, your “risk tolerance can change throughout your life and determines what type of investments you are likely to make.”

While older folks (baby boomers and Gen Xers) are generally risk averse, youngsters (Gen Yers & Zers) tend to have higher risk tolerances; especially those who have jobs and no family responsibilities yet. Specifically, there are a few exceptions to this.

Nonetheless, do your research and seek professional advice.

Personal Experience

This post is based on personal experience. I invested in various stocks in my twenties. All stocks are paying huge dividends to-date. When I migrated, I also invested but cashed out sooner and for a long time didn’t bother. I have since gotten back to investing and the yields are better than bank savings. The key is to invest regularly and hold for the long haul so that you can benefit from the dollar cost averaging.

. . .

There are several investment boutiques now available that you can even purchase a fraction of any stock. Read my previous article above to get a few of the list.

Designate an amount that you’re comfortable with and be consistent. Better to have it on automatic withdrawal so you don’t have to worry about it and relax and watch it grow. p.s. Refrain from watching it hourly or daily; simply invest and forget it.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you have any suggestions/advice that others can benefit from, please add them in the comments.

Tea-juice-and-water Cheers to a New Financially-Smart you in 2021.

I want it all this New Year

It’s a New Year
It’s a new me

I want a new house
should I build or buy;

And a new car
lease for 3 or buy for 5;

And a new wardrobe
cashed or charged;

A new me from head to toe
at whatever cost possible

I want it all
All new in the New Year.

* * *

This New Year. I wanna be trim, fit, and healthy
Off to the gym I go

But wait a minute
Covid won’t let me

Maybe I’ll get on the street
or the park
And walk or jog
or jump rope
It will achieve the same result.

* * *

I want a boat and a yacht
this New Year
So I can rob shoulders
with the Jones and the Jacksons
down the alley;

But wait
how do I get it all
this New Year 2021;

I better sit still
and count the cost
If I have enough
to cover all my wants (Luke 14:28-30)
This New Year.

Can People Really Change?

Do you think people can really change? Like really make an effort to change who they are, wipe clean the mistakes they made and become a better …

Can People Really Change?

. . .

Happy New Year 2021 once again my people. I pray the very best of the year, that will compensate for the prior year, for you and all that concerns you.

Join this interesting and eye-opening conversation started by #Olivia Lucie Blake. She publishes awesome posts, like this one, and can be found at #olivialucieblake.com. If you don’t already know or follow her, please do so today. 😍 Thanks.

Don’t forget to also read the equally thought-provoking comments on this post on her site.

Change is inevitable, but Change is a Choice!

When we enter a New Year, we enter with all great intents of becoming a new person. It starts with the intent to change. Some make the New Year resolutions proposing to be healthier, fitter, friendlier, save more, etc.; the list of proposed changes is endless. The question is: how long does the resolution last? This leads us to the topic of Change.

Change is good! Change is inevitable! Change is a choice! We’ve all heard these statements at one time or the other. Some changes are forced on us by circumstances. Some are shoved at us by our environments or workplace structuring or restructuring. However the change comes to/at us, we often have to willingly embrace it because resisting it brings more heartaches and/or frustrations. A great example is the covid-19 (a post for another day).

Some changes are self-imposed. I believe that these are the best and lasting ones.

Here’s my Comment on Olivia’s Post

I believe that lasting change is possible. The motivation for lasting change comes from within. The external pressures however makes it difficult to sustain. Internal (Intrinsic) vs. External (Extrinsic). We need to know the root cause of the action. One of my favorite things is to use the analogy of a tree. If you plant a tree and the tree grows but becomes a “nuisance,” such that it encroaches the neighbors’ fences … what do you do? You cut it, right? (p.s. better to know the law of your city and seek professional help in doing this). But, if you choose to cut the branches that are overextending to the neighbors, they will regrow sooner or later. The solution, in my opinion, and in order to avoid constant bickering that might lead to a potential lawsuit, is to uproot or cut the tree at its trunk and deaden the stump. This analogy applies to both change and cheating, and more. Bottomline: Permanent change is possible willingly or forcibly. It’s a choice to make!

Couple of my Lasting Changes

I used to be both a social smoker and drinker. When I became a lover of Jesus Christ several years ago 😊, the first thing God took away from me was the drinking. To His Glory, I haven’t tasted any kind of alcohol since.

However, the choice to stop smoking came from within as I grew in my relationship with the Holy Spirit. I remembered that I had the desire to be both holy and smoking, but felt somewhat uncomfortable with both simultaneously. The desire to stop smoking kept retracting. I would have the urge, go out to buy a pack, smoke two or three sticks, throw the remainder in the trash (as in crushing each remaining sticks), and then repeat it the next day! One day I got tired of the cycle and cried out to God to help me stop it. I realized three days after that I hadn’t smoked nor had the urge to. The rest, as we always say, is now herstory; a part of my testimony, and a proof that lasting change is indeed possible.

On the question of cheating

The statement that “once a cheater (or a liar or fill-in-the-blanks), always a cheater (or a liar or fill-in-the-blanks)” was included in #Olivia’s post. Personally, this is debatable. There are both truth and fallacy to the statement. I can understand why anyone who has experienced a cheating spouse or partner would be reluctant to give the “cheater” a second chance, but can we forgive? God’s Word (Matthew 18:21-22) says that we should forgive four hundred and ninety times (490)! It just means that we should cut each other some slacks!!!

Also, there are often underlying issues when cheating and abuses are present in relationships. Knowing what is causing it, and finding the solution, will help both the “cheater” and the “cheated.” May God help us all.

I can however categorically state that I have never cheated anyone in relationships; pre- or post-marriage. Post-marriage is somewhat mute as we are not supposed to in marriage, but, friends, you’d be surprised to know that some folks do. It is mostly common with men, but few women have been known to indulge in it as well. Adultery is bad!!!

A “cheater” will continue to cheat if the partner or spouse enables them. Enabling can stem from fear that the “cheater” might leave them and/or withdraw “some benefits” from them. This is not a good place to be and both need help.

. . .

We all wear many hats. As such, cheating (as well as several issues) can be viewed from several perspectives. Environmentally, culturally, familial, religiously, all can be root causes; including as one commenter (#Ellen Carey) stated, experiences. I however still believe that we can change each of these root cause if we choose to. It’s a Choice! It might not be easy, but with determination and commitment (#Ellen Carey) , we can and will prevail.

. . .

Your Turn

What are your thoughts on the topic: Can People Really Change? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments and remember to visit #Olivia Lucie Blake’s site.

Thanks for reading, sharing, and commenting. 😍✌🏾

Let’s Talk About BUDGET and Budgeting

Benjamin Franklin once said that

“If you fail to plan, you will plan to fail.”

What are your thoughts on the above quote?

. . .

I am a big proponent on planning and I believe that planning is essential in one’s personal, professional, and/or business lives. There’s no better place to plan than one’s finances. Personal finance is a big topic and the beginning of a New Year is a good time to talk about it, as well as Budget and Budgeting.

What is Personal Finance?

Personal finance is the management of your money and knowing how to make financial decisions that impact you (and your family). It starts with knowing how to budget, balance a checkbook, obtain funds for major purchases, knowing the difference between good and bad debts, saving for retirement, planning for taxes, purchasing insurance and making investments.

I am not a financial advisor. But I was a Sr. Financial/Budget Analyst for a few years during my professional life including having being a Budget Manager for a couple of social organizations. I also enjoy budgeting and analysis.

What is a Budget?

A Budget is one part of personal finance. In fact, I would say that it is the first step in personal finance. Budgeting is necessary to plan your cash inflows and outflows. However, a lot of people don’t budget, or like my younger daughter used to say in mid school, “it’s in my head.” The problem is that the head can only retain so much on any daily, weekly, or monthly basis; let alone annually. I also didn’t use a budget for years, but now I will gladly say out loud, “that’s not in my budget!”

On a personal basis, a budget is a plan of your income/all monies received by you less your total expenses, including monies set aside for savings, investments, and loan repayment if any..

Budget is for a specific period of time that can be a calendar or fiscal year. Personal budgets are usually done for the 12-month calendar year, but it could also be set for any rolling 12-months.

A Budget is a plan. It is not etched in stone. You can move money around from one bucket to the other especially for unforeseen expenses. But make sure that the bucket being used will not have any expenses for the year.

Benefits of Budgeting

  1. Avoid financial stress
  2. Know your financial state at any particular time
  3. Control and track your spending/expenses
  4. Help avoid unnecessary spending
  5. Helps prepare for financial emergencies.

The primary disadvantage of Budgeting is that it takes time to set up and to do the monthly forecasts. But once set you don’t have to redo it from scratch every month or year. Budget also helps you forecast your spending.

Most people are a paycheck away from (fill-in-the-blanks). This is partly due to living paycheck-to-paycheck and lack of budget and/or (financial) planning.

Start the New Year right with a Budget; a plan for your money; you will be glad you did. Reach out if you need help creating your Budget for the year.

Do you have a budget or feel that it is unnecessary to have/create one? Answer in the comments. Thank you!

Happy New Year 2021!

Credits: Moritz Knoringer

It’s Happy New Year 2021 in California! ThinkTalk wishes everyone a very blessed and peace-filled New Year.

. . .

According to the United Nations, there are 195 countries in the world. Most celebrate New Year on January 1st with the exception of a few countries. The countries that do not celebrate New Year on January 1st include:

  1. China (celebrates its New Year the first week of February),
  2. India (celebrates on April 13th),
  3. Sri Lanka (celebrates on April 14th),
  4. Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) (unknown, but probably August 9th because most holidays are dynamic as they flow with the lunar calendar), and
  5. Korea (celebrates on June 5th)
  6. Vietnam (celebrates on February 12)
  7. Israel (celebrates on September 7th)
  8. Ethiopia (celebrates on September 11th).

While California is just celebrating its New Year 2021, some countries have earlier ushered in the New Year. For example, Nigeria, United Kingdom, and other European countries ushered in the New Year at 3:00 P.M. California time. Nine hours later, California celebrates its New Year.

The rest of the United States of America celebrates New Year at various times which are three, two, or one hour before or after California time.

“New Year 2021 is first celebrated on the small Pacific island nations of Tonga, Samoa, and Kiribati. New Zealand follows next in celebrating the New Year, followed by Australia, Japan, and South Korea, while the last place to celebrate New Year is Bakers Island which lies in central Pacific Ocean.”

The last place to welcome the New Year are the uninhabited Howland and Baker Islands, near the United States, while. American Samoa is the second last to celebrate the New Year.

Well, well, well. I celebrate the diversities of the world.

Peace, goodwill, and abundance to all in 2021!

Are you a People Pleaser?

Credits: Vanessa Van Edwards

Are you a people pleaser and would rather please everyone rather than yourself or God? Are you afraid to say ‘NO?’ Are you “too nice or too agreeable?” Do you allow everyone to walk all over you? “Are you desperate to gain other people’s approval while neglecting your own needs?” If you answer ‘Yes’ to any or all, you are a people pleaser. See also Amy Morin s ten (10) signs of a people pleaser.

Morin described a people pleaser as “someone who tries hard to make others happy. They will often go out of their way to please someone, even if it means taking their own valuable time or resources away from them. People pleasers often act the way they do because of their insecurities and lack of self-esteem.” Also, there are underlying issues (such as feelings of unworthiness, molestation, rape, to name a few) that are being suppressed that enables a person to become a people pleaser.

. . .

God’s Word says that

“If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:18‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Living peaceably with all however does not equate turning oneself into a doormat for every Tom and Harry or Jane and Sally to wipe their feet all over you; does it?

It’s all right to be agreeable with all and to be perceived as a peacemaker/keeper, but wanting to be so to your own detriment is not okay. “Some people don’t know how to say ‘NO’”. Is that really true? Maybe they just don’t know how to say ‘NO’ to some people. I have noticed that these kind of people end up taking their anger or aggression out on the wrong people in their lives such as a spouse or their children. They have said ‘YES’ to everyone else and don’t have any left for the very special people in their lives. They end up hurting the ones they ought not to hurt! I call it misplaced priority.

Amy Morin states that “You’ll never reach your goals if you’re trying to be all things to all people … often than not, people-pleasing wasn’t really their problem; their desire to make others happy was merely a symptom of a deeper issue.

For many, the eagerness to please stems from self-worth issues. They hope that saying yes to everything asked of them will help them feel accepted and liked. Other people-pleasers have a history of maltreatment, and somewhere along the way, they decided that their best hope for better treatment was to try to please the people who mistreated them. Over time, for them, people-pleasing became a way of life.”

Are you a people pleaser? Take the test here to find out!

. . .

We all will, at some point in our lives, please people. But I hope that the times we do/did were only as a choice not an obligation.

In the New Year, I implore you to choose whom you will please – yourself, other people, or God. Pleasing people often hurts us, but pleasing God categorizes you/us as His favorite. Choose wisely this New Year whom you’ll please.

If you are a people pleaser and need help stopping , click here to read Vanessa Van Edwards’ eleven (11) helpful tips.

Year 2020 is ending soon!

Credits: Unsplash

In a few hours, the Year 2020 will be all over! Most of us can’t wait for it to be done with. The remaining hours left of 2020 will be a good time to praise and thank God for having kept you/us throughout the year. Pause to acknowledge that despite everything that 2020 offered us, it was still because of God that

  1. it was not much worse,
  2. we survived it, and
  3. are still alive waiting to crossover.

Each one of us probably knew someone who departed this earth, in 2020, due to covid-19 or some other ailment. We empathize and sympathize with those who tested positive for covid-19 or lost loved ones. The fact that we are still breathing is still a testament to the goodness of God.

. . .

If there were no restrictions due to covid-19, churches would be getting ready for the night vigil/crossover service. There was a time when I used to wonder why the December 31st church services were called Crossover Night/Service. The services were, so called, to “present ourselves as a living sacrifice,” unto God for keeping us throughout the year, rather than being at a New Year’s party of sorts, while also petitioning Him to count us among those who would cross over into the New Year. It’s a great way to begin the year; don’t you agree?

For non-Christians, I hope there are similar services for the end of the year/New Year. If so, feel free to share in the comments.

For everyone, we all know how to appreciate and show gratitude. Seize the remaining hours of 2020 to do just that; that is, show God that you are grateful despite covid-19.

Debbie McDaniel offers seven things a grateful heart can do. See them here.

A heart of gratitude leaves no room for complaining. For it is impossible to be truly thankful and filled with negativity and ungratefulness at the same time.

Debbie McDaniel

I earnestly pray that we all crossover into the New Year 2021. I’m praising and thanking God for you. Please be safe out there.
🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾

Sugar Detox Plan Part 1

A proven sugar detox plan could mean the difference between you having an easier time losing weight, eating well, and feeling great or continuing to …

Sugar Detox Plan Part 1

Click on the above link to read the rest of the post. Also check out GS’s site, Be Inspired …! /empress2inspire.blog, for more helpful and inspirational posts. I find the site informative.

Strong Women of The South Americas

South America is a continent south of North America, between the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. There are 12 countries in the continent namely,

  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • Guyana
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Suriname
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela

Strong Women cut across cultures and continents. They are the women who fight for causes that liberate and supports women. They also defy stereotypical gender roles. Strong Women have innate inner strength; they are exceptionally wired so, and suffer much frustrations trying to minimize their strength to conform to societal gender norms.

Strong Women are trailblazers. They do not compete with men; they complement their men. And their men cherish them because they recognize both their inner strength and beauty.

According to CultureTrip, Latin America has produced no shortage of inspirational women, from bold politicians and bestselling authors to superstar feminist activists. As we’ve stated during the Series, it’s impossible to highlight every single one of Latin America’s Strong Women, but here’s a curated list “from the hundreds of inspiring women Latin America has to offer.”

  1. Rigoberta Menchú. Guatemalan human rights activist. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992 for her fight to defend indigenous and human rights in her country during and after the Guatemalan Civil War. She’s now a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and even ran for Guatemalan president in 2007 and 2011, a move which cemented her status as one of the country’s most influential people.
  2. Dandara of Palmares. A Brazilian warrior who knew capoeira and fought many battles to defend Palmares (present-day Alagoas, Brazil), a place where slaves who managed to escape, would settle. She had a big role in the fight against slavery in colonial Brazil. She was also the wife of Zumbi, one of Brazil’s of anti-slavery pioneers.
  3. Policarpa Salavarrieta, also known as La Pola, was a spy for the pro-independence Colombian forces. She is considered a symbol of courage and freedom.
  4. Manuela Saenz was an important figure in South America’s fight for independence and Simon Bolivar’s lover. She was known as the “Libertadora del libertador” (the liberator’s liberator) after saving Bolivar from an assassination attempt.
  5. Elvia Carrillo Puerto. Also known as “Monja Roja del Mayab,” she was a feminist activist who fought for women’s rights. She founded various feminist leagues which helped women with family planning programs, prenatal, and postnatal care. In 1923 she was elected as a member of Yucatan’s congress, making her the first Mexican woman to hold a position of this nature.
  6. Eva Duarte de Perón is one of Argentina’s most beloved, yet controversial figures. She was first lady of Argentina and played an important role in granting Argentine women the right to vote in 1947, and getting more women involved in politics.
  7. Juana Azurduy was the heroine of the independence of Upper Peru (present day Bolivia). After her husband’s death, she took control of the troops and achieved significant military victories.
  8. Evangelina Rodriguez became the first Dominican woman physician in1909. She treated poor people for free or for very little money, and handed out medicine for free. She was family planning advocate, and risked her life multiple times by clashing with dictator Rafael Trujillo.
  9. Teresa Carreño made an impact in the world as being a talented pianist. She was only nine years old when she performed her first concert in New York. She would later play at the White House for President Abraham Lincoln.
  10. Hermila Galindo was a pioneer in the feminist movement in Mexico, and made defending women’s rights the basis of her political career. She founded the feminist seminar The Modern Woman, which promoted the development of women and defended their position in the social structure. She fought for secular education, sex education and women’s right to exercise their sexuality.
  11. Eulalia Guzmán was the first female Mexican archaeologist. Guzmán was responsible for collecting a large amount of information on pre-Hispanic Mexico that determined historical details about the country.
  12. The Mirabal Sisters
    The Mirabal sisters (Patria, Minerva, and Maria Teresa) courageously opposed the dictatorship of Rafael Leónidas Trujillo in the Dominican Republic. They never gave up the fight dictatorship until the day they were assassinated by orders of Trujillo. Trujillo thought getting rid of the sisters would benefit him, but things didn’t go as he planned. Their assassination angered Dominicans and it is believed it contributed to the assassination of Trujillo one year later.
  13. Anabel Hernandez is a Mexican journalist and author of the book, “Los señores del narco”, which details the complicity between organized crime and the Mexican government, the police, the army, and different businesses. Hernandez has received numerous death threats since her book was published.
  14. Laureana Wright. A writer, journalist and important figure in Mexico’s feminist movement. She became interested in the social position of women from a young age. Wright expressed her ideas in a range of publications of the time, and founded the first feminist magazine in Mexico, Violetas del Anáhuac.
  15. Isabel Allende is a Chilean writer, who is famous for her novels. Allende has sold more than 57 million copies, and her work has been translated into 35 languages. In 2014, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama.
  16. Leona Vicario was one of Mexico’s first female journalists and a key player in the fight for independence from Spain. Leona was part of a correspondence network called “Los Guadalupes,” and the newspaper El Ilustrador Americano to write secret codes for revolutionaries. She was discovered and threatened with a life sentence in prison if she didn’t give up who she was working with. Leona chose to go to prison, but was quickly rescued by her colleagues and disguised as a beggar in order to escape.
  17. Gabriela Mistral. One of the most important figures in Chilean literature. Mistral was the first Latin American women to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1945.
  18. Chavela Vargas. An iconic ranchera singer with a unique, raspy, melancholic voice. A rebel from a young age, she was one of Pedro Almodovar’s favorite singers, and muses.
  19. Frida Kahlo. A Mexican artist who used art as a way to express her suffering and the physical struggles she endured after surviving a bus accident when she was 18 years old. In 1939 she exhibited her paintings in France after being invited by André Breton. One of her works became the first painting by a Mexican artist to be acquired by the Louvre Museum.
  20. Mariana Costa Checa. The brains behind Laboratoria, a business directed towards getting low-income women into the tech industry by providing them with web design classes, she’s been praised by both Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg. She was also recently recognized by MIT as one of the most innovative minds under 35 and named as one of just nine Latin American women in the BBC’s 2016 Women of the Year rankings.
  21. Comandanta Ramona. An iconic, indigenous, women’s rights activist and revolutionary. She led the 1994 San Cristóbal de las Casas uprising, in response to Mexico’s involvement in NAFTA and also participated in some of the first peace talks with the Mexican government.
  22. Berta Cáceres. Honduran environmental and indigenous land rights activist.
  23. Argelia Laya. A revolutionary Afro-Latina, Venezuelan political activist who fought for decades to eradicate ethnic, gender and able-bodied discrimination in her country, advocating peacefully for gender equality in the education system and women’s rights surrounding pregnancy and abortion along the way.
  24. María Teresa Ferrari. Argentinian doctor, educator and advocate for women’s rights María Teresa Ferrari was a pioneer during her lifetime and an icon after death, due to the revolutionary strides she took in the female healthcare sector. Ferrari brought gynaecological services to Argentina in 1925 and founded the first maternity ward, before becoming the first female Latin American university professor in 1927 and conducting research surrounding possible treatments for uterine tumours. She also founded the Argentina Federation of University Women.
  25. Eloísa Díaz. The Chilean pioneer who became South America’s first female doctor in 1887, a move which solidified Chile’s status as the first country to employ professional women. After qualifying and practising as a doctor, she became a physician and teacher, ultimately ascending to the position of Director of the School Medical Service of Chile. She also founded several nurseries and clinics for the poor, introduced school breakfasts and vaccinations, as well as anti-alcoholism, rickets and TB campaigns.

. . .

Ten Most Powerful Latin American Women in the Business World

  1. Geisha Williams. CEO and President, PG & E
  2. Grace Puma. Executive Vice-Pesident of Global Operations, PepsiCo
  3. Maria Castanon Moats. Vice-President PwC. Leader of insurance for United States and Mexico
  4. Sonia Dula. Vice-President of Bank of America for Latin America
  5. Gisel Ruiz. Executive Vice-President and Director of Operations of Sam’s Club, a Walmart division
  6. Maria Martinez. President, Salesforce Customer Success Group and Success Cloud. Manager of Salesforce for Latin America.
  7. Michele Docharty. Co-Director of Global Synthetics Products Distribution / General Head of Corporative Access, Values Division of Goldman Sachs
  8. Yasmine Winkler. CEO, Central Region, of UnitedHealthcare Community and State
  9. Adriana Cisneros. CEO, Cisneros
  10. Jessica Alba. Founder of The Honest Company

Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements, and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.
Thomas Carlyle

Honorary mentions also go to:

  1. Nicaraguan poet Claribel Alegría,
  2. Mexico’s first indigenous female presidential candidate María de Jesús ‘Marichuy’ Patricio,
  3. The Brazilian Tina Turner Elza Soares,
  4. former Argentine First Lady Eva Perón,
  5. Nicaraguan activist Bianca Jagger,
  6. Chilean Prime Minister Michelle Bachelet
  7. Ecuadorian activist Dolores Cacuango.

. . .

For The Best Hispanic & Latina Actresses

For Quotes from Strong South American Women

Jesus Ministry: 7 Primary Ways that God Speaks

I hope that you are aware that today is the last Sunday of 2020! Despite the frustrations of Covid-19, the social unrests and injustices, the restrictions on physical movements, and whatever else plagued you/us in 2020, I hope that you are glad the year is almost over. I am.

As 2020 comes to an end, let’s get ready to align ourselves with what God has for us in 2021. God is speaking all the time and moreso at the end/onset of a new year. In getting ready, it is necessary to know the ways God speaks so that we can align ourselves to what He’s saying.

The 7 Primary Ways God Speaks

We know that God spoke the world into existence (Genesis 1) and He is still speaking. But do you know the voice of God or the specific ways that He speaks to you? God speaks to all His people and not not just to Christians. He has been known to speak to non-Christians, and especially Moslems. Because He is Almighty The Creator, God is not restricted to one mode of speaking but, by experience, I recognize seven primary ways that God speaks to His people and have spoken to me over the years. They are:

  1. The primary way God speaks is through His Word contained in His Book, The Holy Bible. Every other way must align with His Word;
  2. God speaks through men and women of God;
  3. God speaks through dreams and visions;
  1. God speaks through putting ideas into your heart. Some might call this form “instinct,” “intuition,” or a “feeling;”
  2. God speaks through people - even babies and children;
  1. God speaks allegorically and symbolically. Some examples are using the clock, numbers, animals (symbolically). In The Bible, God used the dew to speak to Gideon (Judges 6:36-40);
  2. God speaks through His still small voice. (Matthew 17:5-8). He also speaks clearly as if you heard an audible word from your parent, spouse, or a friend.

It is important that you know the way God speaks to you. But I can tell you that God can switch that way. The key is to pay attention and you’ll be able to grasp it when the change happens. Of course, God does not change once and expect you to grasp it immediately- Because He is a loving Father, He “works” with you till you grasp it.

It is also equally important to know how God speaks to you and judge it with the Words of The Bible which also contains the voice of man and of satan; please know the difference.

Finally, it is not enough to hear God speak. What is highly more important is to act on what you heard.

Faith without works is dead!  
- James 2:26

ThinkTalk prays for a smooth ending to the Year 2020 for each and all of us. Thanks for reading and stay blessed!

Enjoy Christmas Day with your Family watching these NBA Games!

Source: NBA

Schedule

12:00 P.M. Miami Heat and New Orleans Pelicans

2:30 P.M. Golden State Warriors and Milwaukee Bucks

5:00 P.M. Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets

8:00 P.M. Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers

10:30 P.M. Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Clippers

Credits: NBA

I am sooooo excited and will be lazing in front of the screen with my family aaaalllllllll Day!

Games are airing on ESPN and ABC today. Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Hark The Herald Angels Sing … Merry Christmas!

Credits: Yulian Karadzhov

youtube.com/watch

Thank you for visiting on this very special day. Christmas Blessings to you, and especially to my awesome followers, like’rs, and commenters. May His Joy, Peace, and Goodwill be yours today and always … It’s still a great day to be alive and breathing!

. . .

Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King! 
Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled.”
Joyful, all ye nations rise,
Join the triumph of the skies, With th’angelic host proclaim: “Christ is born in Bethlehem.” Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!”

Christ by highest heav'n adored, Christ the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come, Offspring of a Virgin's womb. Veiled in flesh the Godhead see, Hail the incarnate Deity,
Pleased as man with man to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel.
Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!”

Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!Light and life to all He brings, Ris'n with healing in His wings. Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die, Born to raise the sons of earth, Born to give them second birth. Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!”

⁃ Charles Wesley & Felix Mendelssohn

Merry Christmas!🎄 😍✌🏾

Loving Basketball: Can’t believe this is happening …!

Check out this game in the NBA app!
Celtics VS Bucks
https://watch.nba.com/game/20201223/MILBOS-1

Tell me that there’s no fear because it’s just the beginning of the Season! Again, an indicator of what the season holds.

Enjoy the remainder of the game on second opening night😍

Here are the results of other games played tonight, courtesy of NBA; couple or so still in progress.

Stop Press!

Though Milwaukee Bucks closed the lead, they lost the game to Boston Celtics by one point – 121:122!

Loving Basketball: Opening Night was unsurprisingly entertaining!

It was a double-header – Golden State Warriors (GSW) at Brooklyn Nets (BN) and Los Angeles Clippers (LAC) at Los Angeles Lakers (LAL) – opening night to start the 2020-21 NBA Season. With my fave Team, fave player, and the Lakers’ Ring celebration; all were exciting from beginning till end and an indicator of what the Season beholds..

There are great players in the NBA; while all are athletically fit, only some have great speed, some are vibrantly feisty and spur the Team on, some are sleek, some are sharp three-point shooters and some can do the free-throws with their eyes close. I don’t think the last one is allowed in the NBA. 😊 But I hope you get the point. In my opinion, I don’t suppose any possesses all combination skills like Kevin Durant (KD) who is now with the Brooklyn Nets! The boy has style and is just darn good; look at his record above. It was exciting to see him and watch his debut comeback game after about a year-and-a-half hiatus due to Achilles suffered during the 2018-19 Championship game while still with the Dub Nations. KD did not disappoint playing the first NBA Game of the 2020-21 Season. Of course he didn’t do it all alone. He and his duo, Kyrie Irving, combined for 48 points.

Unfortunately, they played Golden State Warriors (GSW). Steph Curry tried his best rallying his new and younger players. But without his tenured duo teammates Draymond Green and Klay Thompson who are out due to injuries, it was an upheaval battle matching KD and his Team.

Brooklyn Nets’ win was not unexpected. The reverse would have been grossly disappointing because the team has more seasoned players than GSW.

The second game of the night started with the Lakers’ Ring Celebration. It was beautiful with each player’s family virtually presenting the player with the Championship Celebration Ring. See the NBA video here.

The Lakers however got a rude awakening from the Clippers. It was fun watching the Clippers finally fight the Lakers back tonight.

All-in-all, both games offered a taste of what the Season would be like. It’s going to be hella exciting. I hope you watch some of the games too, especially those lined up for the Christmas Day. 😊

Strong Women of The Americas – North II – Canada

Source: CanadasHistory.ca

Preamble

Successful women everywhere have been known to defy several odds in their pursuit of success. But those odds are immensely more for the Strong Women. In addition to all the challenges that women already face, the Strong Woman has more to contend with mentally.

Mentally Strong Women though caring and nurturing, are equally enterprising, they do not spend time idly chatting, but use their time wisely and constructively, they exude confidence and character. They are also extremely independent and may often be misconstrued as not needing anyone’s help. They do need help, but send a message that they are not helpless. They value honesty in relationships. Majority of Strong Women embrace professions/careers historically reserved for men.

Unfortunately, regarding careers, women still deal with inequalities in earnings; aka gender pay gaps.

Last year, several celebrities came out to share their experiences.

But celebrities are not the only ones experiencing gender pay gaps. Ordinary people like you and I (if a lady/woman or even a minority) also experience it.

According to Payscale, “In 2020, women make only $0.81 for every dollar a man makes. … This figure represents a 2 percent improvement from 2019 and a 7 percent improvement from 2015, when the median salary for men was roughly 26 percent higher than the median salary for women.”

Canada’s Strong Women

I learned some new things writing this piece about Canada and both its historic and modern Women. One thing that stood out was that the historic women were also activists who fought for one cause or the other. The modern women everywhere are standing on the backs of the historic women; making the historic ceilings their own modern foundations. Unfortunately, lately, being an activist has connoted negativity which ought not to be.

. . .

Whether we publicly acknowledge it or not, each one of us is standing up (or fighting for) something. What are you standing up for (or against) that you will love to be remembered for?

. . .

Historic

  • Doris Anderson (1921–2007); Magazine editor and women’s movement champion.
  • Kenojuak Ashevak (1927–2013); An inspiring Inuit artist.
  • Emily Carr (1871–1945); A West Coast artist who has been described as “Canada’s Van Gogh.”
  • Mary Shadd Cary (1823–1893); First black woman newspaper editor in North America; a tireless advocate for universal education, black emancipation, and women’s rights.
  • Thérèse Casgrain (1896–1981); Activist, radio host, and politial leader; founded the Provincial Franchise Committee for Women’s Suffrage in 1921 and later hosted a prominent radio program, called Fémina, for Radio-Canada; the first female leader of a political party in Canada — the left-leaning Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) — in the 1940s.
  • Ga’axstal’as, Jane Constance Cook (1870–1951); Kwakwaka’wakw leader, cultural mediator, and activist.
  • Viola Desmond (1914–1965); Challenged segregation practices in Nova Scotia. Long before the modern civil rights movement in the United States, a black woman from Halifax took a stand for racial equality in a rural Nova Scotia movie theatre.
  • Mary Two–Axe Earley (1911–1996); Challenged law discriminating against First Nations women.
  • Marcelle Ferron (1924–2001); Quebec painter and stained glass artist.
  • Hannah (Annie) Gale (1876–1970); First alderwoman in the British Empire.
  • Anne Hébert (1916–2000); A writer whose work was universally recognized in all francophone countries.
  • Adelaide Hoodless (1857–1910); Educational reformer and founder of the Women’s Institute.
  • Pauline Johnson (1861–1913); Poet and public speaker.
  • Marie Lacoste Gérin-Lajoie (1867–1945); Feminist, social reformer, lecturer, educator, and author.
  • Margaret Laurence (1926–1987);One of the giants of Canadian literature.

https://www.refinery29.com/en-ca/2018/12/218578/29-powerhouses-canadian-women-influence

https://www.cbc.ca/strombo/videos/womens-executive-network-names-canadas-100-most-powerful-women

Modern

The below 100 Canadian Modern Women were “the recipients of the 2011 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Awards.” Undoubtedly, the Award may have generated a new set of the Too 100 List. We however acknowledge the contributions of these women and all those coming after them

  • COMMUNICATIONS
  • Clara Angotti, President, Next Pathway Inc.
  • Monica Channa, Executive Director, Operations, Akran Marketing
  • Eveline Charles, Founder, Eveline Charles Salons, Spas and Beauty
  • Lynne Fafard, President and Chief Executive Officer, Riverbend Group of Companies
  • Samantha Kennedy, Creator and Chief Executive Officer, Booty Camp Fitness
  • Margot Micallef, Founder and President, Oliver Capital Partners Inc.
  • Gloria Rajkumar, President and Chief Executive Officer, SIMAC Canada Inc.
  • PUBLIC SECTOR LEADERS
  • Rear Admiral Jennifer Bennett, Commander of the Naval Reserve, Canadian Navy
  • Karen Branscombe, Superintendent, School District 2, New Brunswick
  • Janice Charette, Associate Secretary to the Cabinet and Deputy Minister Intergovernmental Affairs, Privy Council Office of Canada
  • Moya Greene, Chief Executive, Royal Mail
  • Dana Hayden, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation, Government of British Columbia
  • The Honourable Marjory LeBreton, Leader of the Government in the Senate
  • Dr. Lesley Lovett-Doust, President and Vice Chancellor, Nipissing University
  • Marilyn McLaren, President and Chief Executive Officer, Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation
  • Twyla Meredith, President and Chief Executive Officer, Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation
  • Heather Munroe-Blum, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, McGill University
  • Gail Stephens, City Manager, City of Victoria
  • Jennifer Stoddart, Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
  • Marian Zerr, Deputy Minister, Saskatchewan Ministry of Social Services
  • FUTURE LEADERS
  • Shelby Austin, Founder, ATD Legal Services PC
  • Ashley Hilkewich, Director, Partner Relations and International Operations, Free the Children
  • Lesley Scorgie, Author, Rich by Thirty and Rich By Forty; Owner, Rich By Inc.
  • Rumeet Toor, President, Jobs in Education; Founder, The Toor Centre for Teacher Education; and PhD Candidate, The University of Toronto
  • TRAILBLAZERS AND TRENDSETTERS
  • Dr. Catherine Aczel Boivie, Senior Vice President, Information and Technology Management, Vancity; Chief Executive Officer, Inventure Solutions, Vancity Credit Union
  • Col. Jennie Carignan, Acting Brigade Commander-5th Canadian Brigade- Group, Department of National Defense
  • Eva Carissimi, Sudbury Smelter Director, Xstrata Nickel
  • Dr. Fiona Costello, Associate Professor, Departments of Clinical Neurosciences and Surgery, Clinician Scientist, Hotchkiss Brain Institute
  • Susan Doniz, Former Director and Chief Information Officer Research and Development, Product Supply and Sales, Global Beauty and Grooming, Procter and Gamble; Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Aimia
  • Leslie Gales, President, Midland Group of Companies Inc.
  • Dr. Anne-Claude Gingras, Principal Investigator, Scientist, Mount Sinai Hospital
  • Frieda Granot, Senior Associate Dean, Strategic Development and External Relations, Sauder School Of Business, UBC
  • Dr. Roberta Jamieson, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation
  • Connie Linder, Founder and President, Green Pages Directory Inc.; Co-Founder and Vice President Communications, Polymer Research Technologies
  • Patricia O’Malley, Chair, Accounting Standards Board
  • Dr. Arlene Ponting, Chief Executive Officer, Science Alberta Foundation
  • Vivian Prokop, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director, Canadian Youth Business Foundation
  • Poonam Puri, Associate Professor of Law and Co-Director, Hennick Centre for Business and Law, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University
  • Dr. Jacqueline Shan, Chief Scientific Officer, Afexa Life Sciences
  • Victoria Sopik, President, Kids & Company Ltd
  • Constance Sugiyama, Partner, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Fraser Milner Casgrain Law
  • Ilse Treurnicht, Chief Executive Officer, MaRS Discovery District
  • Brig. Gen. Christine Whitecross, Deputy for the Communication Directorate, International Security Assistance Force Headquarters, NATO
  • Dr. Wanda Wuttunee, Professor, Native Studies and Director, Aboriginal Business Education Partners, University of Manitoba
  • FOUNDATION CHAMPIONS
  • Kay Blair, Executive Director, Community MicroSkills Development Centre
  • Iris Almeida-Côté, President and CEO, Canada World Youth
  • Fiona Macfarlane, Chief Inclusiveness Officer and Managing Partner, Western Canada, Ernst and Young LLP
  • Cybele Negris, Co-Founder and President, WebNames.ca
  • ARTS AND COMMUNICATIONS
  • Nancy Chapelle, Managing Director, Content and Programming, TVO
  • Margaret Atwood, Author
  • Christina Jennings, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Shaftesbury Films Inc.
  • Michèle Maheux, Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, Toronto International Film Festival
  • Deepa Mehta, Director, Producer and Screenwriter
  • Mia Pearson, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, North Strategic
  • Heather Shaw, Executive Chair, Corus Entertainment Inc.
  • PROFESSIONALS
  • Nora Anne Aufreiter, Director, McKinsey & Company Canada
  • Cindy Forbes, Executive Vice President and Chief Actuary, Manulife Financial
  • Anne-Marie Hubert, Managing Partner, Advisory Services, Ernst and Young LLP
  • Valerie Mann, Partner, Lawson Lundell LLP
  • Rosemary McCarney, President and Chief Executive Officer, Plan Canada
  • Dale Ponder, Managing Partner and Chief Executive, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
  • Margaret Ross, Partner, Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP
  • Godyne N.L. Sibay, Partner and member of the McCarthy Board of Partners, McCarthy Tétrault LLP
  • Beth Wilson, Managing Partner, Toronto Office; Canadian Managing Partner, Community Leadership, KPMG
  • Ava Yaskiel, Partner, Norton Rose OR LLP
  • CORPORATE EXECUTIVES
  • Elyse Allan, President and Chief Executive Officer, GE Canada
  • Joey Berdugo- Adler, Chief Executive Officer, Diesel Canada and Founder, ONEXONE
  • Bonnie Brooks, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hudson’s Bay Company
  • Marie-Claude Boisvert, Chief Operating Officer, Desjardins Venture Capital, Desjardins Group
  • Lisa Colnett, Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Corporate Services, Kinross Gold Corporation
  • Sarah Davis, Chief Financial Officer, Loblaw Companies Limited
  • Betty DeVita, President, MasterCard Canada
  • Debra Hewson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Odlum Brown Limited
  • Zabeen Hirji, Chief Human Resources Officer, Royal Bank of Canada
  • Janet Holder, President, Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc.
  • Lynn Jeanniot, Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Corporate Affairs, National Bank
  • Debra Kelly-Ennis, President and Chief Executive Officer, Diageo Canada Inc.
  • Cheryl Longo, Executive Vice President, Card Products and National Collections, CIBC
  • Christine Magee, President, Sleep Country Canada
  • Micheline Martin, Regional President, Quebec Headquarters, RBC
  • Ellen Moore, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chubb Insurance Company of Canada
  • Stacey Mowbray, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Second Cup ltd
  • Janice Odegaard, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Suncor Energy Inc.
  • Leslie O’Donoghue, Executive Vice President, Operations, Agrium Inc.
  • Susan Paish, Chief Executive Officer, Pharmasave Drugs Ltd.
  • Nathalie Pilon, President, Thomas and Betts
  • Susan Riddell Rose, President and Chief Executive Officer, Perpetual Energy
  • Mandy Shapansky, President and Chief Executive Officer, Xerox Canada
  • Launi Skinner, Chief Executive Officer, First West Credit Union
  • Connie Stefankiewicz, President and Chief Executive Officer, BMO InvestorLine
  • Kathleen Taylor, President and Chief Executive Officer, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
  • Nancy Tower, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Emera Incorporated
  • Janet Wood, Executive Vice President, Maintenance Go-To-Market, SAP
  • CORPORATE DIRECTORS
  • Dr. Gail Cook-Bennett, Chair of the Board, Manulife Financial
  • Carol Hansell, Senior Partner, Davies Ward Phillips and Vineberg LLP
  • Catherine McLeod-Seltzer, Chair, Bear Creek Mining and Pacific Rim Mining and Corporate Director, Kinross Gold Corp, Major Drilling, Troon Resources
  • Mary Mogford, Corporate Director, PotashCorp
  • Guylaine Saucier, Corporate Director, Bank of Montreal, Areva, Danone and Wendel
  • Dr. Carol Stephenson, Dean, Richard Ivey School of Business

. . .

ThinkTalk applauds the contributions of all the historic and Strong Women everywhere and, at a later time, would like to compile a list of all the StrongWomen highlighted in our Series as a collective memoir.

Thanks for reading and folloing tge Series.

Loving Basketball: 2020-21 NBA Season Starts Tomorrow!

For lovers of NBA Basketball, the 2020-21 Season starts tomorrow!!! I’m so excited but too bad Covid-19 has barred fans from being live on-the-ground to watch their favorite Teams. Well, we’ll be glued to our televisions.

It’s going to be different. What with Teams’ almost all new players and the ten (10) players who, missed almost all of the previous season or more, now returning, and all the BIG deals and trades! Giannis Antetokounmpo having the BIGGEST BADDEST DEAL! The trades are on till March, so still more trades to expect and James Harden is still looking for a new home. I wonder where he’ll land.

The Championship race this season will sure be different. Personally, it’s hard to tell who’s going to lead each conference, but I know it’s gonna be darn wild and exciting!! Yours truly will be watching and I hope you will too.

Here’s the Season’s Broadcast Schedule. Watch your locals for appropriate showing times.

Christmas: The Reason for The Season

Christmas is this Friday; less than a week from today. As we approach the day, we need to pause and ask ourselves – what really is the reason for Christmas?

It’s not about the food or the presents we exchange with one another; though those are great. Neither is it about building the snowman, riding on the sleigh, nor the Christmas trees and lights; though those are fun.

The real reason for Christmas is to celebrate the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ; just as we each celebrate our birthdays every year. I hope you know or are aware of that.
Lord Jesus is worthy of celebration. As such all the festivities during the season cannot really be criticized. He is worthy of it all. The beloved Son of God who gave His life for each one of us whether you know Him or not; His life paid forward for yours. Amen!

He is Emmanuel, God with you, me, and us. He’s the one with the government upon his shoulder. His name is Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭9:6‬ ‭KJV‬‬

The disturbing piece is that most celebrate Christmas without acknowledging or celebrating the Birthday Man – Jesus!

Many have lost the focus of what December 25th symbolizes and have allowed themselves to be entangled with gifts instead of celebrating the Gift which is Christ Jesus. This is particularly so in the U.S.A. and the Europes. Other continents, like Africa, choose the season to appreciate customers and business personnels who have been helpful to them during the year. They also indulge in the fresh turkeys that have been specifically saved for the day. Other continents/countries around the world celebrate in various other ways and traditions. Click here how to see how countries around the world celebrate Christmas:

The above map is interactive. Click on the map of any country, or the link above it, to read more on the country’s traditions.

On Friday, December 25th, I implore you to start a tradition in your family, if you don’t already have one, that shares a story or something, anything, about Jesus; who He was and still is, what He stood for, talk about His birth, death, and resurrection. When you learn or share stories about Jesus, then the reason for celebrating the season is fulfilled.

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas 2020😍

Good Governance and A Nation that Cares

Credits: Bible.com / (C) ThinkTalk

Charity begins at home.

Sir Thomas Browne

So goes the popular saying. It’s hypocritical to be concerned about everyone else, while ignoring the ones closest to you such as a spouse, children, and/or immediate family.

Same is true for a nation. A nation (represented by its President and leaders in government) that cares for others but ignores its citizens or treat them as insignificant, deserves no respect. So also is a nation that is quick and first to render aids/assistance to other nations, but does or can not first render those aid/assistance at home and within its own borders.

It’s the season for caring

Not that the Christmas season ought to be the only time that we care about one another, or express love by gifting each other, but we acknowledge that it is the biggest time of year when it becomes particularly obvious to those who are without a family, or loved ones, how lonely life really is.

We acknowledge that caring should be an innate and daily part of our lives, but again, the season seems an appropriate time to remind us about caring whether as an individual or as a nation.

ThinkTalk published 10 tips on how we can care for one another. Today’s post is about nations caring (for its citizens).

Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community.

Anthony J. D’Angelo

A caring nation

A caring nation begins with its public officials; those who were either elected, appointed, or employed into a public office or position.

Being a public officer is about service; that is, the officer is in the office to be of service to all the citizens of the locality, state, or federal and includes police officers, firefighters, public health officials, librarians, teachers, etc. Public Officer is interchangeably used with “public servants?” Any wonder why? Because they are in office to SERVE the Public!

Effective public servants must have an enduring sense of duty that compels them to go the extra mile and to behave with integrity” and ethically.

. . .

The utmosts of anyone holding a public office, from the President or Prime Minister to the clerks in the government departments, should be the welfare of, and helping, the citizens. And any public officer not caring about its citizens should not be allowed to continue to remain in office! The uncaring demonstrates a lack of governance; let alone good governance.

What is Governance and Good Governance?

Governance

Governance should be first and foremost about the people.

The United Nations defines governance as “the structures and processes whereby a social organisation – from a family to corporate business to international institution – steers itself, ranging from centralised control to self-regulation.”

Governance refers to the way in which those with power exercise that power, formally and informally, and it describes how institutions work and how States relate to societies more broadly, rather than just through standard government bodies (Grindle, 2017).

Governance generally relates to institutions, power, order, justice and equity. In the public sector, governance also refers to the process of wielding power – in this case entailing the enactment and promulgation of effective public policies, procedures that are legitimate and accountable to the citizenry, and laws which directly affect human and institutional interaction, and economic and social development (Rose-Ackerman, 2016).

. . .

Governance is “often used interchangeably with the term “government“. Yet, while government is broadly defined as a set of institutions established by constitutions and laws, governance broadly refers to a behavioral relationship between governors and the governed.“ The two terms are closely knit.

Good Governance

In 1996, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) declared that “promoting good governance in all its aspects, including by ensuring the rule of law, improving the efficiency and accountability of the public sector and tackling corruption, [are] essential elements of a framework within which economies can prosper.”

Johnston (2002, p. 1-2) defines good governance as “legitimate, accountable, and effective ways of obtaining and using public power and resources in the pursuit of widely accepted social goals”. This definition links good governance with the rule of law, transparency and accountability, and embodies partnerships between state and society, and among citizens.

Similarly, Rose-Ackerman (2016, p. 1) suggests that good governance refers to “all kinds of institutional structures that promote both good substantive outcomes and public legitimacy.”

Good government is also associated with impartiality (Rothstein and Varraich, 2017), ethical universalism (Mungiu-Pippidi, 2015) and open-access orders (North, Wallis and Weingast, 2009).

The World Bank defines good governance in terms of the traditions and institutions by which authority in a country is exercised. This includes

  1. the process by which governments are selected, monitored and replaced;
  2. the capacity of the government to effectively formulate and implement sound policies; and
  3. the respect of citizens and the state for the institutions that govern economic and social interactions among them (Kaufmann, Kraay and Zoido-Lobatón, 1999).

Good governance is generally associated with political, economic and social goals that are deemed necessary for achieving development. Hence, good governance is the process whereby public institutions conduct public affairs and manage public resources in a manner that promotes the rule of law and the realization of human rights (civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights)”

Good governance is tightly linked to the fight against corruption.

Accordingly, some of the core principles of good governance are also principles of anti-corruption. The UNO’s (United Nations Organization) literature identifies good governance with political systems that are:

  • participatory;
  • consistent with the rule of law;
  • transparent;
  • responsive;
  • consensus-oriented;
  • equitable and inclusive;
  • effective and efficient; and
  • accountable (Rothstein and Teorell, 2008; UN, 2009).

According to the United Nations, “gradual global recognition of the need for good governance emerged only from the 1990s onwards,” almost twenty-five years later, many nations still lack good governance.

The term ‘Governance’ is broad and ‘good’ is subjective and debatable. Try as we can, it is impossible to exhaust both terms. The point however is to indicate what a caring nation is and does. We also provide below, courtesy of the Public Service Organization and the Harvard Business Review, a model for public service leadership.

Public Service Leadership Model

https://ourpublicservice.org/our-work/public-service-leadership-model

To learn more, click on the urls and it will direct you to the websites.

https://hbr.org/2020/04/a-nonpartisan-model-for-developing-public-service-leadership

“Rather than wait for the system and the culture to change, leaders can begin to apply the model by focusing on applying these simple, yet powerful practices associated with each competency.”

How can a nation show that it cares about its citizens? By …

  1. Knowing the state of its citizens everywhere
  2. The President or Prime Minister empowering each State leaders to act in the best interests of its citizens
  3. Being responsive to the needs of your citizens everywhere; actively listening and responding
  4. Going beyond providing the basic amenities; health, roads, education, power and energy, food, etc
  5. Demonstrating accountability, integrity, and ethical dealings
  6. Being accessible to your citizens; open door policy where the citizens can voice concerns and/or suggestions. This could be via responsive social media

Please feel free to add to the list in the comments section.

. . .

True charity beginneth first at home,
Heere in your bosomes dwell your deere-lov’d hearts,
Feed them with joy; first crowne their appetites,
And then cast water on the care-scroch’d face,
Let your own longings first be satisfied,
All other pitty is but foolish pryde. – John Marston

Thanks for reading … please share your thoughts in the Comments.

Holiday Gift Giving for the less fortunate

Credits: Bible.com / (C) ThinkTalk

Can you believe that Christmas is a week from today?

If you are in a position to help others, are looking for fertile soils to till, it’s not too late; please consider these organizations to support and put a smile on someone’s face this Christmas.

I acknowledge that there are tons of organizations out there to choose from, but I chose the below which are top on my list. Kindly select from one of the links for invaluable gift-giving. May God bountifully reward you.

You may share the links too.

Thank you.

Excellent Customer Service

What is Customer Service?

Customer service means a variety of things depending on the industry. According to Zendesk, the noun, customer service, is “the assistance and advice provided by a company to those people who buy or use its products or services.”Zendesk states that:

  • “customer service can make or break a business;”
  • the human elements of customer service are what really defines good customer service;
  • Winning customer experiences are about how a customer feels they are being treated;
  • Excellent customer service is when a company exceeds a customer’s expectations.

Tara Ramroop, Zendesk’s Senior Content Marketing Manager, gave the following examples of good and excellent customer services respectively:

  1. if a customer has to repeat themselves while being bounced between different departments or waiting on hold, they aren’t going to feel heard or that their time was respected.
  2. delivering proactive support and anticipating customers’ needs or getting ahead of a problem before it happens. It can also mean going the extra mile to build deep customer connections.

Zendesk should know since the company is an industry leader in customer service.

. . .

When I hear excellent customer service, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and Ritz Carlton jumps to mind. These companies were case studies reviewed during college years and to-date the companies continue to exemplify their standards. The stores’ and Ritz Carlton hotels’ exceptional services, relationships branding, and staff empowerment makes them stellar examples among their peers. Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus both have superior no-question-asked return policies. The store empowers its staff to accept each return no matter what or when the purchase was made, worn or damaged, and with or without the receipt.

Did I hear you say, “these are high-end stores that, with their items’ price tags, cannot afford to do otherwise?” True, but customer service should be utmost irrespective of whether a store is high-, medium-, or low-end; stores cannot actually afford not to provide stellar customer services. It is what ensures brand loyalty and repeat sales!

Credits: Bible.com / (C) ThinkTalk

It irks me therefore when I experience a sub-par service anywhere. I tend not to return as a matter of principle. But if I do return a second time, it is often to try to erase the negative initial experience. If that happens, I return again, but if not, twice below-par customer service is enough.

. . .

In your business or profession, do you provide excellent customer services to your internal and external customers and/or autograph your work with excellence? If not, make this day, the beginning of going beyond and wowing your customers so they can not only return, but can attest to your superior qualities.

I leave you with the following customer service quotes to ponder on:

“Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.”

Walt Disney

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Maya Angelou

“The customer is king.”

Philip Kotler

“The customer is always right.” –

Harry Gordon Selfridge, John Wanamaker & Marshall Field

It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages.”

Henry Ford

“It takes months to find a customer… seconds to lose one.”

Vince Lombardi

“Great customer service doesn’t mean that the customer is always right, it means that the customer is always honored.”

Chris LoCurto

Body language and tone of voice – not words – are our most powerful assessment tools.”

Christopher Voss

Catfish and Nigerians

Nigerians love to eat freshwater catfishes but this post is however not about that. Today’s post is about a Dr. Phil’s Show, on the title, that I was opportune to watch about three weeks ago.

Source: Dictionary.com

Catfish, as shown above, is a false identity used on the internet to swindle unsuspecting gullible people.

Dr Phil’s Shows

https://www.drphil.com/shows/dr-phil-international-investigation-where-is-sammie-lee-strong/

I was glad but simultaneously infuriated to have watched the above episode, which is a tri-part, of Dr. Phil’s TV Show! Not one to sit endlessly to watch TV, this one caught my attention while the TV was rolling at home. I increased the volune and was engrossed with it.

https://www.drphil.com/shows/dr-phil-international-investigation-where-is-sammie-lee-strong/

https://www.drphil.com/shows/dr-phil-international-investigation-what-will-anna-decide/

I missed the second and third episodes (links above) and had been looking for the full shows since. I finally found them and wish to share with you and hear your thoughts on them. Please watch the shows and share your thoughts in the comments. Thank you.

. . .

I am glad that folks like #DrPhil use their platforms for good; investigating and helping the helpless. Anna, the woman involved, in the catfish is elderly and I am baffled that anyone would indulge in defrauding her or anyone for that matter. It shows the greed, callousness, and desperation of the perpetrator(s). How can such person sleep at night? How can their hearts not convict them while spending the ill-gotten money? In this instance, the man, “Sammie Lee Strong,” is supposedly married with children, and I believe lives in Lebanon! Yet he defrauds an elderly woman to feed himself and family! Call me naive, but that’s a heart that’s cold and seared!

Credits: Bible.com / (C) ThinkTalk

Check God’s Word above on this. I sincerely hope that Dr. Phil’s investigation involves turning the alleged “Sammie Lee Strong” to the FBI and CIA and demanding that he returns all monies collected. The guy stated that he works for #Chevron and #Shell! Really, right?! Don’t they pay him enough? Well, I hope those corporations read this and watch the videos too.

A Case for Nigeria/Nigerians

Nigerians have gotten a bad rap globally; while some were warranted, several are totally unfounded. The bad raps have also gone unchallenged by the Nigerian government showing a government that is hardly interested in the wellbeing of its citizens. (a post for another day …)

Nigerians, like their global citizens, are imperfect and live in an imperfect world. But Nigerians are intellectuals as well as industrious beings. Unfortunately, like some nations, Nigeria has suffered brain drain; some of its citizens have left their motherland for supposedly greener pastures and would work any job in a foreign land to survive rather than tolerate the corruption and lackadaisical attitudes of its government. Some Nigerians at home often rebut the statement by countering that “they are fine at home and nothing has happened to them yet.” Well … That will be a conversation/post for another day too. But not all Nigerians abroad work menial jobs. Those who do, do so temporarily and as a matter of convenience. By the same token, Nigerian professionals and entrepreneurs abound globally.

Anyhow … a Nigerian can be found in almost every nook and cranny of the world and every global profession can boast of having at least one Nigerian! This might not be unconnected with the country being the most populous nation in Africa. Above all, Nigerians are hardworking!

A few good Nigerian men and women globally

Nigerians globally have excelled in various industries. Lately, the Afrobeats is topping the American pop charts with artists like Davido, Whiz Kid, Burma Boy, Tiwa Savage, Jidenna, Teni, to name a few. To list every notable Nigerian globally will be almost impossible. But I mentioned this to reiterate that there are notable and notorious human beings worldwide and they transcend both culture and race; Nigeria and Nigerians inclusive. My appeal is that

“a few rotten citizens anywhere should not mess it up for the rest of the citizens everywhere”

(C) ThinkTalk

Nigeria/Nigerians should not be an exception such that other governments focus on the bad and notorious but none cares to acknowledge the good and great ones. If the Nigerian government won’t defend or care about its citizens, let the citizens start speaking up and out for themselves.

“ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

John F. Kennedy

Conclusion

Dr. Phil’s catfish episode involving “Sammie Lee Strong” is a pointer to everyone that unscrupulous individuals are taking unnecessary advantage of the bad report/image that Nigerians have been given or are noted for on the global scene. Everyone should beware and be forewarned.

Now we know that every crime / criminal case tagged Nigerians are really not committed by Nigerians. This is however not to minimize the real criminal cases committed by Nigerians. I still stand to state that Nigerians are not the worst criminals everywhere. I am not justifying crime. God forbid! I am justifying the fact that the scale has been tilted unfavorably and unjustifiably against Nigerians when it comes to crimes and criminal activities.

My two cents. Thanks for reading.

References:

Click to access Appendix-D_0.pdf

Click to access International_Statistics_on_Crime_and_Justice.pdf

What the data says (and doesn’t say) about crime in the United States

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/justice-department/non-citizens-account-64-percent-all-federal-arrests-justice-department-n1045286

Electoral College certifies Biden

It is now official – Joe Biden has been certified as the winner of the U.S.A. Presidential election. Together with the Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, they will both be sworn in on January 20th, 2021. Prior to January, however, according to CBS News, there are still two major dates to hurdle:

  1. December 23: All copies of the electors' votes must be delivered to the recipients.
  2. January 6: Congress will count the votes of the electors. Procedure calls for Pence to open each state's "certificate of ascertainment" — documents prepared by the state after it has completed its vote count and ascertained the official results. He will then present the certificate to four "tellers" who announce result tallies. Once a candidate reaches 270 electoral college votes, Pence will declare the winner.

Joe Biden won 306, of the total of 538, electoral votes; 270 is needed to affirm the winner.

Kamala Harris’s affirmation as Vice President is a win for women as she will be the first African- and Native-American woman to hold the office.

ThinkTalk wishes both a peaceful reign in The White House.

What does this mean for all of us?

Definitely it means an atmospheric change, changes in laws and policies, probably some reforms and hopefully, the beginning of the end of overt racism and social injustices; including cures for the covid-19; first rollout of the vaccine is already being given. Most importantly, I hope that it signifies the return of peace, joy, and hope to the United States of America and all.

Meanwhile, incumbent President Donald Trump’s legal crew still insists that the votes were stolen in some states though their legal maneuverings have been dismissed by the Courts.

The more serious issue

Affirming the presidential election is serious and necessary for the moving forward of America/Americans in various aspects.

However, what is much more serious, personally, is a critical review of all the prophetic words that was given prior and during the elections that God had ordained Donald Trump for a second term. I know that God is not a man that He should lie. Were the prophets/prophetesses saying what God had not instructed them to say? Or did Donald Trump’s behavior and attitude cancel him out of the prophetic words?

Credits: Bible.com / (C) ThinkTalk

I do not know. But I do hope, in order to restore the dignity of the Prophets and the Office, both spiritual and physical, that all the prophets/prophetesses must repent if they’ve spoken presumptuous words concerning Donald Trump and the election. And if they did indeed, I pray that God forgives them all.

Recipe: Lobster Bisque

** Sharing my daughter’s recipe for her Lobster Bisque which she made and was nice to bring us some. Forgot to take a picture of the whole pot but paused, from enjoying it, to snap the below photo real quick 😍**

Ingredients

Lobster (2-4 pieces). Fresh thyme. Shrimps (1/2 – 1 lb). Celery. Onion, white (1 medium). Garlic. Shallot

Bay leave. Salt. Olive Oil. Tomato paste. Rice (1 cup). Heavy cream

Cooking Instructions

– salt water with regular salt and garlic salt, taste it (to ensure desired saltiness)
⁃ boil thyme, celery, onion, carrot, chopped garlic clove, chopped shallot, bay leaf
⁃ boil lobsters in water for 5 mins, take them out
⁃ add the lobster shells back in, shrimp shells too if you have them; this is the seafood stock
⁃ let that all simmer down for 30 mins
⁃ strain and cool
⁃ add a few tablespoons of olive oil back into the pot
⁃ add 1/4-1/2 of sliced white onion, 6-8 smashed garlic cloves, and tomato paste to the hot oil, stir it all up
⁃ add the stock back in, let it simmer for 20 mins
⁃ add 1 cup rice , boil for another 30, check flavor, add salt as needed
⁃ take lobster meat outta the fridge add 1/4 to broth
⁃ remove bay leaf
⁃ use blender to blend everything together
⁃ see if you need to blend it again. if nawt, add heavy cream to taste.

Enjoy as an entree with succulent warm bread rolls or a la carte.

Strong Women of The Americas – North: I

Thank you for reading the Strong Women Series. I hope that you found it informative. It has been a learning process as I have enjoyed writing and researching about these incredible women across the continents.

So far, I have posted the Strong Women of The Bible in three-parts:

  1. https://think-talk.org/2020/11/15/strong-women-a-series-strong-women-in-the-bible/;
  2. https://think-talk.org/2020/11/17/strong-women-a-series-strong-women-in-the-bible-ii/; and
  3. https://think-talk.org/2020/11/22/strong-women-a-series-strong-women-in-the-bible-i-iii/

and the Strong Women of Africa.

. . .

We continue today with the Strong Women of The Americas. For the benefit of those who don’t know, The North and South America make up the Americas. The North American Strong Women, particularly those of the arts and entertainment in the United States of America, are globally known but little or nothing might be known of the South American Strong Women. But together they do exist and have also scaled numerous hurdles to earn the badge.

The Strong Women of North America, have defied the odds and continue to do so, from arts and entertainment to heading various businesses, finance, and technology corporations, to include recently being voted as (and soon to be) Vice President. There’s absolutely no way that we could list every Strong Woman in this part of the continent. My hope is that those who are highlighted will represent all. The following are links to specific industry’s Strong Women. Please click on, and open, the link to appreciate each woman.

. . .

It takes a real and stronger man to be in a relationship with a Strong Woman because he recognizes that his woman’s strength does not threaten his masculinity but only makes them both stronger; not weaker! In this context, I’m not writing about physical strength, but of a strong confident character. I therefore salute stronger men, in North America, like Bill Clinton (Hilary Clinton), Barak Obama (Michelle Obama) and Stedman Graham (Oprah Winfrey) and other men like them globally.

A woman is like a tea bag – only in hot water do you realize how strong she is.

Eleanor Roosevelt/Nancy Reagan

More Strong Women Quotes

I leave you with these beautiful quotes in honor of Strong Women worldwide:

Credits: wisesayings.com

It is not alone the fact that women have generally had to spend most of their strength in caring for others that has handicapped them in individual effort; but also that they have almost universally had to care wholly for themselves.

Anna Garlin

Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements, and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.

Thomas Carlyle

Sometimes, being strong is to forgive in the name of love, to make someone smile when our own heart is broken, to comfort a friend when we ourselves needed help and to keep faith when we have lost hope.

Brigitte Nicole

Recipe: Dad’s Potato-Plantain Breakfast Special

This is one of our late Dad’s favorite breakfast dish. It has now become a favorite in my household hence we named it after him. The Special is filling and healthy; aside from the corned beef which is extremely high in sodium. If you’d like to try the recipe and would like to omit or substitute the corned beef, please go ahead. “Lite sodium” corned beefs are also available in the markets and can be used instead.

Ingredients

  • Russet Potato (1/2 of the piece in the picture was used)
  • Yellow Plantain
  • Eggs (6)
  • Corned beef
  • Oil (your choice; I use Olive or Corn Oil)
  • Salt (optional)

Cooking Instructions

  1. Pour half a cup of oil in the frying pan and heat up
  2. Peel and dice the potato
  3. Pour into the oil in frying pan
  4. Peel and dice the plantain and add to potato
  1. Let fry till desired brownness
  1. Crack the eggs in a mixing bowl
  2. Add a 1/6 – 1/4 of the corned beef
  3. Mix together and pour over other ingredients in the frying pan
  1. Reduce stove fire to low medium
  2. Allow mixture to slow fry without burning (or browning) too quickly. Gently turn over till eggs are fully fried.

(Reducing the fire allows mixture to gel together. Properly done, meal turns over like “quiche.”

Dad’s Special is ready to eat.

Serve in triangular slice portions.

Enjoy with your favorite beverage – tea, hot chocolate, or juice for breakfast.

Jesus Ministry: Spiritual Fitness

Spiritual fitness is to your soul and spirit what physical fitness is to your body.

. . .

All truths are parallel. It is therefore imperative that immense attention should be paid to the parallelism of the spiritual and physical.

“Man lives in two worlds: He lives in the natural world … and, he lives in the spiritual world. What is manifested in the natural world is a reflection of what is happening in the spirit world.”

Morris Cerrulo

What does it mean?

Being physically fit might mean different things to each one of us. For Nicky Gumbel, “physical fitness is a balance of strength, flexibility, aerobic and anaerobic fitness. Some people are exceptionally strong but cannot even run to catch a bus. Others are aerobically very fit (they could run a marathon), but are not very strong.”

Likewise, spiritual fitness would mean different things to different people depending on the form of spirituality being practiced. Most people practice one form of spirituality; some practice multiple forms of spirituality. Even the military, to my surprise, inculcate spirituality in their rigors:

According to The Air Force, spiritual fitness is the ability to adhere to beliefs, principles, or values needed to persevere and prevail in accomplishing missions. As this definition implies, spiritual fitness does not require any degree of religiosity or belief in the supernatural. Atheists who hold a secular philosophy of meaning and purpose can be spiritually fit as well. Spiritual fitness may include any of the following: belief in transcendent meaning and purpose, self-transcendence, a sense of morality, engagement with a community with similar values, altruism, religiosity, religious or spiritual practices or behaviors, or exceptional experiences, such as visions … An article in a special issue of the journal Military Medicine on the Total Force Fitness model (Jonas et al., 2010) defined the spiritual fitness domain as “fitness of the spirit or soul, especially from a religious aspect” (Hufford, Fritts, and Rhodes, 2010).

. . .

“Within particular religious and spiritual traditions one finds very different definitions of spiritual fitness, such as being saved (evangelical Christian), being in a state of grace (Catholic), and being able to stay “in the moment” and maintain a self-transcendent view during stressful situations (Buddhism). To assert that some meaning of these concepts is correct, that it is true spirituality, would endorse some spiritual viewpoints while dismissing others. That would be inappropriate to scientific inquiry as well as to the U.S. military”

Both physical and spiritual fitness requires us “to be fit and resilient warriors who are ready in every way for war.”

Religion versus Spirituality

“Religion refers to spiritual institutions (e.g., Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc.). … Spirituality depends on diverse beliefs about the soul, theological debates, and so forth.” The key word is diverse. One’s form of spirituality could believe in the worship of trees, animals, ocean, iron, etc. Worshiping self or nothing could be another form of spirituality.

Credits: Bible.com / (C) ThinkTalk

A parallel might be where some folks who are pescatarian, vegan, or vegetarian deride meat lovers for their indulgences. The meat lovers might also feel that they are the real deal gobbling down their protein intakes. To each their own. Who is to say whose is better or healthier? Undoubtedly, those who practice a particular religion or maintain specific dietary forms often swear by them and are aware of the benefits.

Gumbel believes that spiritual fitness is far more important than physical fitness.

Balance

All fitnesses, whether spiritual, physical, or natural, require balancing in a number of areas of one’s life.

I agree with Gumbel. But whether you fully agree with him or not, I hope that you will agree that a balance is necessary not only in spiritual fitness, but generally in our lives. Here are a few areas where Gunbel advises balance:

Humility vs Confidence. “The key to keeping this balance is to avoid self-confidence and to practise humble God-confidence, ensuring that your confidence comes not from your own abilities or successes, but from trusting in the Lord.”

Truth and Love. “Love becomes soft if it is not strengthened by truth. Truth becomes hard if it is not softened by love … truth and love complement one another.”

Divine and Human. Like Jesus being fully divine and being fully human, we, also, though human possess divine attributes; we have a spirit and a soul in a body (tripartite beings). As lovers and followers of Christ, we have the capacity to be all that he was/is.

Vision and Action. Visions don’t work unless you do … ‘no chief executive was ever fired for lack of vision’. But many are unable to put their vision into action.

How to ensure spiritual fitness

“... let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,”
‭‭(Hebrews‬ ‭12:1‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

From a disciple of Jesus Christ’s perspective, one can ensure spiritual fitness by praying, fasting, praising and worshiping, reading/studying and meditating on God’s Word, being obedient to God and His Word, loving all, and being a good ambassador of the Kingdom of God. This list is inexhaustible, but merely serves as a starting point. The most important thing is to ask and listen to the Holy Spirit for the areas that you need to develop.

May God help us all to be fit; spiritually, physically, and naturally, and maintain the necessary equilibrium.

Peace!

Additional References

Caring for one another: 10 things you can do to show you care

Credits: Bible.com / (C) ThinkTalk

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

Leo Buscaglia

In a world where everyone is in a rush, where everything needed to have been done and completed yesterday, and where microwaving is preferred to stoving, it takes a real human to pause and care for another.

Most of us don’t pause to know who our neighbor is. I once lived in a neighborhood where it took damage to my neighbor’s fence for her to acknowledge that she had someone living next door. We had been neighbors for six years and never saw each other though I attempted to introduce myself a few times to no avail! I know it sounds ridiculous … I could have ignored her when she finally came knocking, but I seized the opportunity to express my feelings. Happens that she’s a registered nurse (RN) and works the night shift; so our days/times were anti.

Still no excuses – six years is a long time. We can either justify or be intentional about caring. When we justify why we can’t, guess what, we will never. But, it is greatly appreciated when one steps out to care despite one’s busy schedule,

. . .

It really doesn’t take much to check on one another. It’s both humane and a great safety measure. For example, I will not be able to differentiate between an intruder and a true guest if I did not know who my neighbor is. We’ve heard incidents happen that otherwise could have been averted had folks stopped to care.

Yes, you have projects that need to be completed;
Yes, you need to fulfill that mega-dollar contract; and,
Yes, you’re on the go for the next (fill-in-the-blank),
But, before you set off, let someone know that you care and love them. You might just put a smile on their face and hope in their heart.

This is particularly essential for children. A hug, caring eyes, a smile, look that shows that they are the most important to you, is paramount for their development, helps build up their self esteem, and grounds them securely in the knowledge of who they are.

There are tons of ways that we can care, but here are my top Ten (10).

  1. A hug. My daughter told me that a 22-second hug releases endorphins 😊 This was confirmed by Healthline (https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-increase-endorphins) “When released, endorphins can help relieve pain, reduce stress, and may cause a euphoric feeling. In short, they can make you feel pretty darn good.”
  2. A smile costs the giver nothing but is everything to the receiver.
  3. Saying “I love you” should never be rationed nor justified. Because you said it in the morning doesn’t mean that you must withhold it at night, or yesterday and withhold tomorrow. Neither should love ever be justified. Love just because!
  4. Listen with intent to understand. Everyone likes to talk, but it takes the special few to actively listen. Be one of those special fews.
  5. Affirm - your love, loyalty, support, etc. daily.
  6. A phone call. Pick up your phone and make the call instead of texting. Hearing the voice gladdens the heart that no texting can replicate.
  7. A note - slip one into your children’s bag or a book (or Bible) that you know they’ll read on that day or in your significant other’s jacket or wallet.
  8. Send occasional flowers or plants without waiting for a special occasion such as anniversary or birthdays.
  9. Order a meal or two for delivery to your loved one(s). This gives them a break and is appreciated more during Covid-19.
  10. Do random acts of kindness; for example, offer to run an errand for them, walk with them or walk their dog, help take their children out to the park or to watch a movie.

Many display love and caring only after a person is gone (as in dead!). Let’s display the affections now, in the present. Who knows – it might just extend the lives of our loved ones.

I’ll end with

Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.

Og Mandino

Love & Peace!

Loving Basketball: Preseason starts this Saturday!

t.email.warriors.com/r/

Woohoo!!!

Check your local Teams for respective stations’ airing times. You know (C)ThinkTalk will be glued to the television.

Quiz:

Which Team will win this season’s Championship?

1 Golden State Warriors

2 Golden State Warriors

3 Golden State Warriors

4 Golden State Warriors

😆 Okay, I just displayed my bias!

Let’s take two:

Which Team will win the 2020-21 NBA Championship?

1 Golden State Warriors

2 Los Angeles Lakers

3 Miliwaukee Bucks

4 Brooklyn Nets

You can also write it in the comments.

Hope you’ll be watching too!