Monday, 21 April 2014

Little Emma Sparks- Thrilled to Try

Fascinated, he was thrilled to try
His every word adoring music
There was none, but he wouldn't stop
He played, played and subtly played
His little fingers gently pushing
His pouted lips fiercely blowing
Little sparks from this little one
And his future flushed in my face
Another dream, another race

He was fascinated, thrilled to try
His every word saying yes to his truth
Little Emmanuel, supple as fruit
And his sparks, his little sparks
Shall someday fierce flames blow
Charging the earth trailing below
Enchanting her with his music
His little fingers still pushing
His pouted lips, blowing, blowing and blowing.


---Inspired by a little child I ran into at the Easter Camp
- he wouldn't let the trumpet or piano be...and never stopped inspiring me.---

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Forbidden...Frozen...Beautiful

A few hours ago, I saw the Walt Disney animation movie, Frozen. And yep, I was also blown away. This movie simply breaks all the rules. I read a few reviews on the internet and I quite agree that there is a lot more than just the cliche theatrical romance in play. Seeing the movie a lot flushed through me: Thoughts on the beauty of experience; the burden of the wrong wisdom; the self-inflicted punishment of fear...

This movie brings me a lot to thoughts of our childhood. That some of us were so bound with extremely tight strings of dualism that things that were bad, so bad we could neither touch nor know them. We were forbidden to even think or talk about them. On the other hand, the 'good' things were so good that we just had to keep doing fulfilling and feeding those ideals.

And when we grew up, three things happened: some of us got so use to our shells that nothing else was right or possible; some of us revolted so incontrollably we were lost forever; others after intense struggles broke through their marble walls reinvented and true.

This movie is a great love story, one that teaches the world priority...love is fiercer and more directed than we give it credit for. It really puts realistic reality in real perspective.

But the most mind blowing theme here is that of openness. Openness to purpose. Control of circumstance and acceptance of true identity and the responsibilty that comes with it. It brings to light that gifts, personalities, responsibilities, resources... are realities, each of them special and well within control as long as you want them to be. I learnt that I am already defined...and as long as Love keeps me on the path to purpose, I'm unstoppable.

...the things we can touch...we can change

They say that there are so many things in the world that we have to get done. Those so many things that should somewhat translate to our purpose. We oblige, whether we like it or not. We are sucked into the vortex of this heavy reality. The desire to make our beds more comfortable; to make our lovers more exciting to be with; to make our faces more admirable; to make our jobs more tolerable. The things we do...the things we do for a life, for an existence.

Then again, what of those things that we cannot do. Those things that we can not lead or alter. Those fierce forces in our lives that insist on happening- or not happening- whether we like it or not. Our big questions. Our big hurdles. Our big realities. The truth that we are not as powerful as we think we are. That we can not take as much as we think we can.

I look today at the circumstances that surround my country Nigeria. The way she is looked at from the outside, and the way she is belittled and slandered on the inside. I look at the hypocrisy, the bigotry, the wickedness. The ugliest of it is that, she is one big process, one big renewable mechanism. She feeds herself with so much unforgiveness and paranoia, accepting the reality that home will never be as good as it should.

Too bad, there are things we can not change. However, I am thankful for the things we can change. Someone once talked about providing jobs, and he said...look, we just have to get them employed first, we'll talk of passion later. Let's settle for getting schools out first then we can talk of the quality of the schools. Let's get the boys busy with something, anything, then later we can talk about reinventing them.

But even in our doing this I hope that we don't settle. Let us work today with the intentions of returning to improve on our work. Let us not settle.

Our big question is settling: Why do we have to settle?

We should not just churn out substandard products from our world and pretend that we have succeeded. No, we haven't succeeded, but we are succeeding.  We get closer with every push for a better, more phenomenal result. But we must continue.

I celebrate the Youth Corpers who are on board now and I urge them to give whatever they are doing their best. Let us begin from somewhere, from the things that we can touch, and the things that we can change. Let's realise that though we have started, starting is just the first step. What's next? Where do we go from here?


Thursday, 3 April 2014

This passion and dream of writing came alive again

What is Kingsley Andrew Obiefule’s story and where is he coming from?
I am just a young man who got saved by Jesus like Saul on his way to Damascus. I come from a family of four. (I’m actually the first). I grew up in Benue state, my primary and secondary education was in that same place. After my secondary education, I moved to Port Harcourt to live with my dad. Both my parents are from the Eastern part of Nigeria. Well, that’s all I can say for now*smiling*

What inspired your writing Triumph in the Midst of Chaos?
I have always loved writing and drawing/painting since when I was a kid. Sometimes it landed me in trouble while classes was going on.*smiling*. I wrote a novel(fiction) while in SS2. I did this together with a friend (Joy Ishegh) though the work wasn’t published due to some reason. After this, I didn’t write for a while.  But things took a different turn in 2006 October when I got born again. This passion and dream of writing came alive again. I started writing articles which I didn’t get to publish but were just edited by some good older friends with same passion and mind -some who were Public speakers. But in 2010, in my second year in the university, I received the mandate to come up with this work. This was at the time I was a student pastor in my campus fellowship.

I have read this book and seen that there were quite a number thought thrown up on so many spiritual issues. However, what exactly did you hope that your book would primarily be pegged on?
Well, firstly I must say thank you for going through the work. The major message this book brings to the readers amidst all others is that CHALLENGES ARE PART OF THE THINGS THAT PERFECTS OUR WALK WITH GOD.  I have met a lot of Christians who complain and grumble for going through one hard time or the other. These persons believe that being a Christian makes them free from trials in life. A lot of Christians have been cajoled to believe that all they need to do to escape the boisterous wind that man must come in contact with in life is by becoming a Christian or possibly going to church, but TRIUMPH IN THE MIDST OF CHAOS says no to such extra-biblical thought (extra-biblical thought in my own way means thought that are inconsistent with the truth in the word of God).

What are your thoughts on theme of Amazing Grace as it concerns Christianity?
*smiling* Mr. Nnanna Ikpo! First of all, I will start by saying that whatever any man is or we are today is by the mercies of God. God is not under any obligation to give man anything after Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden, but because of His love for us, he sent Jesus to die for us. We are saved by the grace (unmerited favour) of God through our faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus. Yes God loves us, but the truth is that a lot of us who call ourselves Christians have trampled on this grace, they have abused it a lot because they usually don’t see the immediate anger of God for their misbehaviours. I see amazing grace as the goodness of God towards all men irrespective of whether they are born again or not. Take a look at what the bible says;
Matt 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. From this scripture we can say that, grace is Gods general goodness to all persons.

On page 10, you wrote that ‘if your lifestyle does not get God’s attention, be sure you cannot get his intervention…God is not committed to watch over a man who is not committed to Him.’ I would like that you explain this in relation to the Amazing Grace and the unconditional love of God.
I will like to answer you first by showing you what the bible says.

Rom 2:3-4
And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
If you carefully look at the fourth verse of that romans 2, you would realise something amazing. Gods general goodness is only made available so that we can realize how much he loves us and turn away from our evil way. Permit me to say that this goodness has a limit. This is why paul asked, “shall we continue in sin and expect that grace will abide with us”. No! Permit me to say it in this way, grace can keep you alive with the intention of drawing you close to God (repentance), but there are some things you cannot get from God until you experience the new birth.
There are persons who go about living carelessly with the hope that grace is available, but the truth is God cannot be deceived or mocked.  So when I said you only get Gods attention through a lifestyle pleasing to Him, I meant you cannot access some level of blessing in life unless you live a worthy life.
Secondly, when we talk about the unconditional love of God, it does not in any way read the foolishness of God; rather it means the kind of love that crosses human limitations in other to save a soul.
In the third paragragh of page 57, you wrote: ‘Listen, God was not going to meet the children of Israel in Egypt, but in the wilderness. God won’t meet you in Egypt but in the wilderness. In order for you to experience God, you have got to come out of Egypt…he is not coming into that addiction to get you. God is standing outside of your confusion, patting His foot, looking at his watch, waiting to meet you because he has got good things in stock for you.’ I would love that you throw more light on this part please.
For about two years now, I have been opportune by God to meet a lot of teenagers and youths with one form of addiction or the other. And what I keep hearing most of them say is “if God actually wanted me to stop he will come and take it away”. I have seen a lot of persons comfortable in their addiction, but we have to understand that until we make a move of change, we will not see God in action. This means that God is waiting on us to make a move, even though we sometimes think we are the one waiting on God. What that place was trying to say is that until you are uncomfortable enough to introduce a move of the change you want, you will remain with that problem. Remember that even in Genesis, the children of Israel stayed in Egypt longer than the time prophesied, not because God was not true to His word, but because they didn’t initiate any move to their freedom. And the Bible records that when they got fed up and cried to God, immediately He heard their cry and Moses was brought into the picture.*i believe you understand this sir*
 I have even met a lady who once said that if God actually wanted her to stop fornication then He (God) would have to come and take the feeling away from her. But in the real sense, you are a human and those feeling are part of what makes you human so God cannot take it away, rather if you begin to discipline your thoughts and actions, God will step in to assist you go through it.
What drives you the most as a writer?
I don’t mean to sound too religious, but i must say that THE GOD IN ME IS WHAT DRIVES ME MOST.
Have you ever had one of those solo moments- when it’s just you against the rest of the world?
ANSWER: Yeah! I have gone through such times a lot of times. The most recent is getting my first book published. It was not easy at all coming out with such work. A lot of persons (friends) didn’t believe that i could actually come out with something as great as this. When I shared my views or ideas and revelations some criticised it and laughed at me but man, I just couldn’t stop on the way. Some persons even tried to make me believe that it was a waste of time because nobody reads in Nigeria, but I remember telling them that.....”The reason people don’t read is because my book is not out yet. When it comes out, people will start reading”. Even after writing, I had to go through a lot to get the finance required down for the work.......... it wasn’t that easy but it was worth it BIG TIME!
Is Kingsley seeing someone?
*laughing seriously* hmm! I’m Single though not searching.
What else takes Kingsley’s time outside his writing?
At this point in my life, outside writing, reading is another thing that takes all of me. I love reading a lot. I also enjoy basketball when am not with a pen and paper.
Who are your mentors and role models?
I draw a lot of inspiration and lesson from men like Bishop David Oyedepo, Dr. Paul Enenche, T.D Jakes, Myles Munroe, Praise George, Joshua Selman and Dr. Joe Vitale
Who do you read and what are you reading now?
I read Bishop David Oyedepo very well, Dag Heward Mills, Myles Munroe, Praise George, Dr. Paul Enenche, Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and would not forget one of my best authors T.D Jakes. Right now, Kingsley is actually reading a book titled MAXIMIZING YOUR POTENTIAL by Myles Munroe. (Permit me to advertise for him a little.. please go to the nearest bookshop and pick this book and you won’t regret it). *smiling*
Who are you listening to?
Myles Munroe, TD Jakes, Chris Delvan, Bishop David Oyedepo, Dr. Paul Enenche. In the area of music, Hill song. That’s all.
What is your advice for the youths of Africa?
Africa is a great continent with resources capable of changing the world. I am not talking about crude or limestone, but UNTAPPED POTENTIALS IN YOUNG PEOPLE. We live in a time where people are cajoled to believe that the changes we yearn for lies in the hand of our presidents, governors or law makers. But in the real sense, we are the change we are looking for. I always tell young people around me, that until our continent stop celebrating papers but visions we will not go anywhere.

Youths must also understand that we live in a groaning generation. All creation groans and awaits the unveiling of the true sons of God, men with visions. Not people who at the age of 25 still sag their pants, roaming around the streets. *smiling*. We can change our continent if only we believe hard enough in those dreams that are locked within us and pursue them till they become realities. Thank you.