Do you love Me?

This poem is beautifully worded and put together, its expressions wonderfully crafted. Its message is so clear and so strong. I just had to re-blog it.

Enjoy.

Nuella's Words

the heart behind this poem has weighed me down for some time, but nneka’s “do you love me now” unlocked the flow of words. listen to the song before or while reading it, if you’d like. 

____________________________

***

blood is talking
it whispers as
The Lord sits watching
on His throne of grace
grieving
at the art of His hands-
flesh of His words,
beings of His heart
made for fellowship
yet breaking apart
becoming hate when
He formed them for love they
dig wounds, leave scars
on backs in wombs
on skin in minds they
receive darkness
with open arms
while some exist
playing jingles
on a heavy-hearted
fiddle and they dance
with two numb feet
on broken glass
yes,
God grieves, God grieves
and He asks,
do you love Me?
do you even love Me?

 

© Emmanuela Onyilofor 2014

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LORD, help me shh…

Lord, help me…

Show Your mercy

Shine Your light

Shoulder the cross

Shout out the Good News

Shower Your love

Shrug off the negativity

Shield my heart from evil

Share your grace and kindness

Lord, help me shh…

Church Crawl!!!

One of the ‘welcome week’ events for postgraduates students in my school was a pub crawl. I missed some of the programmes, including that one. As I had never heard of it before, I asked a friend what it was about; and he told me they basically went from pub to pub in town having at least a drink in each. So, when I moved to Le Paris, I went online, and searched for English-speaking churches in Paris, and came up with four. One was a bit far away, so I struck that out. Interestingly, the rest were all at different times! This gave me the bright idea of attempting to attend all in one Sunday. And voila, the church crawl was born!!!

Ready for the crawl!

Ready for the crawl!

Armed with the RATP (Paris Metro) app, Google Maps, and of course, the Holy Spirit, I kicked off the day with:

HILLSONG CHURCH PARIS http://www.moneglisehillsong.fr/en/

One of my lifelong dreams has been to attend something Hillsong, anything Hillsong (you know I love my music ;-))! In fact, I almost applied to schools in Australia just so I could hear Hillsong live. Yup, true talk. So you can imagine my delight discovering there was a Hillsong church I town, and it was the closest to me. They had two services. I attended the first at 10 am. I was about 5 minutes late as I woke up behind schedule :’). now, it wasn’t clear from the website whether the services were in English or not (you could choose to view the website in either English or French). I just hoped that at least one of the services would be in English, and that that one would be the 10 am! As it turned out, the service was in English and French simultaneously. [I have since revisited their website and it is stated that the services are both in English and French]

Singing time- Hilsong style! Felt a bit weird taking pictures during service tbh and only did it in Hillsong (probably because of dim lights)

Singing time- Hilsong style! Felt a bit weird taking pictures during service tbh and only did it in Hillsong (probably because of dim lights)

While singing, songs were taken in both French and English (and translations were always put up on the screen no matter which language which was very helpful). While speaking was going, there were two people on stage one speaking in English and the other in French, not simultaneously, but one after the other. The pastor would speak, pause and let her translate, then speak again, and so on, Sometimes he would say a phrase in French, and she would speak in English. 20140119_113738 The service lasted about an hour and fifty minutes; and was quite energetic. As, I headed out, I handed the newcomers’ card I had filled in to one of the hosts. I got an email later on, and I think I received a call from a member of the church (the person just said she was calling from ‘the’ church, not specifying, how could she have known I attended three churches that day? 😀 ). 20140119_110443 I had a bit of time to spare before the service at the American church (at 1:30) was to start. It was only about noon at this point. But I headed there anyway. It turns out the American church is just by the River Seine. So, that was fun! I walked across, took some pictures, enjoyed the views. Here are some pictures: 20140119_124223 20140119_124220 20140119_124442 20140119_124614 It was all very pretty.

THE AMERICAN CHURCH IN PARIS http://www.acparis.org/

They seemed to be doing some work on the building

They seemed to be doing some work on the building

20140119_125302 At about 1, I went into the church and took some pictures as well (I wanted to avoid taking pictures while service was on. It is quite an orthodox-ish church (although I attended the contemporary service). So, there were some things that were new to me. There was a baptism during the service which was great. The lady’s story was especially inspirational. She was born into a Muslim home, but has made a decision to follow Christ. Great news! The pastor spoke on Hiding in a Quiver and a Dwelling with readings from Isaiah 49:!-7 and John 1:29-42. I’ll be honest, I could not quite follow the message. I didn’t understand it. After the service, I couldn’t find anyone to collect my newcomers’ card. I was eventually directed to the reception which was closed, but I slipped it unto the desk. I haven’t heard from them though; so I must have put it in the wrong place. 20140119_125730 20140119_130957 The service lasted about an hour and thirty minutes. Which gave me just enough time to make it for the service in Trinity at 3:30 pm. Unfortunately, because of my loitering around trying to hand in the newcomers’ card, I stepped out to see the bus leaving the stop. So, I had to wait another 10 minutes more.

TRINITY INTERNATIONAL CHURCH, PARIS http://trinityparis.com/

Outside the church, I could hear French singing, and for a few moments, I thought I had come to the wrong place. I hung around looking at the sign and notice boards, and everything was in French! So I was even more convinced I was in the wrong place. But coincidentally, I saw a man I had seen in the American Church walk in. He must have been church crawling too! So, I followed and realised the service was in another hall inside. I guess the building they use is actually the building for a French-speaking church. I got into the church, and they were just about to start singing. And I knew the first two songs! I must say, I was really happy about that, and sang my heart out. It was very nice, as those were the first songs I had recognised all day. Anyway, the atmosphere was one of a family church. 20140119_170539 20140119_170547 The message was A House of Prayer for All (Mark 11:11-24). I was told to hand the newcomers’ card to the pastor directly; but my fellow church-crawler was hogging all his attention. So, I gave one of the hosts to hand it in for me. I have since received an email from the pastor. Trinity church is just a few metres from the Jardin du Luxembourg – one of the more beautiful parks in Paris in the 6th arrondisement. You should definitely check it out.20140119_170610 20140119_170605 20140119_170600 So, I headed back home. It was a great experience! All of the churches had a diverse international congregation. It is wonderful to know that wherever you may find yourself in the world you will always have a family- the church of Jesus, the Christ.

ST MICHAEL’S PARIS

http://www.saintmichaelsparis.org/

This is an update! I later found out about this church, and attended this and Trinity for the rest of my stay in Paris. It’s an Anglican church that runs 3 services on Sundays (at least while I was there – Jan-Apr 2014). I usually attended the 6 pm contemporary service. I also attended Alpha once and a Mardi Gras get-together.

I really liked the ambiance of this church. I loved the pastor, a wonderful woman whose name I can’t quite remember at the moment 😀 . It was a welcoming, warm place – lovely music (one of the first things I noticed 😀 ), reverent worship.

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It’s located in the Concorde,Madeleine area, where there a lot of fashion retailers, and embassies. It’s definitely an area you’d like to see while you’re in Paris. The church is definitely a big addition to the area.

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I hope this is helpful to anyone looking for a place to worship and fellowship in English in Paris – while you improve on your French, of course. 😉

Xoxo

What is Your God?

This post is about a video I came across two days ago. A blogger I follow mentioned one of her videos was posted on another site, So, I decided to have a look. The subject of the video is “What is Your God?” If you’re Christian, this should be a familiar message to you; but I believe it is also a timeless one. It particularly hit home with me because I watched it after I had just spent a whole day putting up posts on this blog.

What I’d just like to say is that never feel like you have attained, never begin to coast or plateau, never get too comfortable. The enemy doesn’t get tired of trying to bring you down. So, you shouldn’t get tired of pressing on, of growing, of digging deeper, of getting stronger. The most important thing in life is pleasing God.

Let’s consider these verses:
” Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, 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, LOOKING unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

I place emphasis on the “looking” because it in continuous tense, an indication that we always have work to do.

Watch and be encouraged:

This is the website I watched the video on, they also have some other great videos. I especially recommend the “Evolution Vs, God” one.

http://dsaved.com/

http://dsaved.com/there-are-two-things-atheists-and-christains-agree-on-faith/

And the blogger’s post:

http://africanismcosmopolitan.wordpress.com/2014/01/22/featured-dsaved-com/

Before You Go Natural 3

The final part in the series!

Enjoy!

Helpful links:

The veterans:
http://www.naturallycurly.com/

http://www.curlynikki.com/

The hair commandments blog post I spoke about:
http://africanismcosmopolitan.wordpress.com/2012/12/28/natural-commandments/

What Do I see? The Eiffel Tower?

A glimpse. What else could it be?

A glimpse. What else could it be?

So, I’m walking down the road. I’m on my way to a library where I’m supposed to get registered. As I come up to a junction, I look to my left and… Is that the Eiffel tower? Did I just randomly stumble unto one of the most visited sites on the planet? Oh my goodness, is that the Eiffel Tower? But what else could a tall metal structure shaped like the Eiffel Tower in the middle of Paris be?

Yes, it does seem like I ran into the Eiffel Tower on the way to the American University Library. And yes, I know the number of times I have mentioned Eiffel Tower in the post is enough to make you believe you saw it too. 😉

I am yet to consult a map to check if it really was. Because it does seem a bit surreal. It seemed smaller than I would have expected, and it was just there. Is that how someone just sees (yes I will say it again) the Eiffel Tower? Hian! It was great sha…

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Enjoy this great cover of Happy (Pharrell):

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La Poste

Enter at your own risk

Enter at your own risk

The minute I walked into the post office, I knew it was going to be a dee-zas-tah. And it was. All the signs were in French! Sometimes you get lucky, and some signs have English translations, especially in public transport stations. They even sometimes have German and Chinese translations as well. I guess they only expect tourists to board the bus, not post letters.

So after standing around for about five minutes, sneaking peeks at other people, and trying to decode some of the instructions. I called a friend and asked what to say. She gave me two words – lettre prioritaire. Armed with those, I braved the information/cashier desk. Thank God ‘envelope’ is the same in French as in English. I was able to get the envelope.

Unfortunately, I didn’t know what to do with the letter after I had enveloped it. I waved the letter in one of the assistants’ faces, and muttered lettre prioritaire a couple of times. He got the message, and helped me use some touchscreen machine. He left when it got to the payment stage. I paid, but still didn’t know what to do with the letter! I glanced surreptitiously (I hope I succeeded in being surreptitious) at the man to my left and saw him stick something that the machine had spat out unto his letter. So, I did the same. But… Yes, you got it! I still did not know what to do with my enveloped, stickered letter.

As I looked around in confusion, (that man to my left was doing something else to his letter, but I could tell I wasn’t supposed to do the same) the assistant suddenly came to my rescue. He was on to me. He could tell I didn’t have a clue. He took the letter from my hand, put it in a pile and said “Au revoir.” His smile was laughing at me.

I really need to work on my French…

A Croque Monsieur et Moi

Croque Monsieur et Grand Chcocolat

Croque Monsieur et Grand Chcocolat

On my first day in Le Paris… I decide to eat. I pop into this cute corner café. It had both French and English written on its menu; so, I thought, “It’s all good.” Beckoned the waiter after I had decided. Of course! He speaks only French! I don’t even try out my meagre French vocab. I just humbly point at croque monsieur on the menu, and call out grand chocolat in my best French accent (hoping that means a big cup of hot chocolate). A few minutes later, he brings my order; and it is a big cup of hot chocolate! Yay me! The croque monsieur was good as well; my first time having it. It’s basically, white toast with cheese and ham. There’s a croque madame as well, I think that one just has egg as an extra.

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So, I’m feeling pretty good. So far it’s been going well. I feel like a dessert. I decide I’m going to order me one. On their menu they’ve got patisserie (pastry); but it doesn’t specify what kind. I beckon the waiter again. I point at and, feeling confident, call out patisserie. Now, the game really begins. He proceeds to rattle off a long string of unrecognisable French words at a speed that would put Twista to shame (considering Twista once held the Guinness World Records title of fastest rapper, you should get what I mean). The only words I pick out are pomme = apple and gateau = cake. I stare at him for a couple of seconds after he’s stopped, then I say “Repeter, s’il vous plait“. And I didn’t just make that up, that’s what my French teacher used to say when he wanted us to repeat something (at least, to the best of my memory). He just stares at me blankly. So, my brain goes into overdrive. I didn’t really feel like having an apple pie, if that’s what he meant. A cake sounds good, but what kind did he mean? That all happened in like 2 seconds in my mind. I blurt out, “gateau“. He nods and goes away. I hope for the best. The cake wasn’t too bad. But my bubble had burst. I really need to work on my French…

View from the Cafe

View from the Cafe

Gay Marriage is the Least of Nigeria’s Problems

President Goodluck Jonathan speaking at the United Nations in 2013 (AFP Photo/Stan Honda)

President Goodluck Jonathan speaking at the United Nations in 2013 (AFP Photo/Stan Honda)

So, this may not go down well with everyone, it may upset some people, and may make me some enemies; but that’s fine because I believe gay marriage and laws relating to it are the very least of Nigeria’s problems right now. I’ll say now that I am a Christian and do not believe that same-sex marriage is right, but that is not the point I am trying to make here. I came across an article on Yahoo! News saying there is international concern over the new law passed criminalising gay relationships.

Nigeria, today faces a myriad of problems: the education system is in tatters, politics in disarray, health care well below mediocre, transport in a state of “dismal bismal”, poverty consumes most of the population. There is way too much on the Nigerian list of things to do; this is not the time to begin a great debate on whether or not gay marriage should be approved. Anyway, parliament has passed the bill, and the president has signed off on it according to the news article. You can read it: http://news.yahoo.com/nigeria-outlaws-same-sex-marriage-civil-unions-151936577.html

US Secretary of State, John Kerry, is apparently “deeply concerned” over the law. Sir, please be deeply concerned that majority of Nigerians live below the poverty line on less than $1 a day; be concerned that in a nation as rich as ours many homes do not have electricity and running water for days (and not in the villages! in the so-called cities); be concerned that a secondary school graduate has to write the same exams for 6 years before getting admission into higher education; be concerned that the Nigerian police force is almost useless, threatening the safety of millions; be concerned that some of our Muslim brothers in the north are becoming radicalised, and killing thousands, be concerned that a civilian, democratic government has achieved little in the past 15 years. To put it simply, Nigeria has bigger fish to fry.

Now, I am not for sentencing people who have chosen the homosexual lifestyle to jail. What is that supposed to achieve? I don’t see it. Furthermore, as long as you’re an adult, I believe you can choose to do what you want with your life (you will still answer for it anyway). I just do not feel the discourse on homosexuality is what the spotlight of Nigerian debate should be shifted unto.