Monday, February 25, 2013

Thoughts on Goldie's Passing...



I have taken a short break from my other ‘pieces’ to quickly explore my thoughts on Goldie’s passing.

I have chosen the word ‘passing’ carefully.

I did not know Goldie. I did not watch videos of her ‘famous’ BBA foray. In fact, I saw my first video of one of her songs, Skibobo, after her death was announced. However, even at that – I was touched by her death and I was incredibly saddened when I saw pictures from her funeral earlier today.

If there is anything that came to me strongly when I saw the picture of her corpse, it was the knowing that death to this life is only a beginning. Denrele Edun wrote her a moving eulogy, and I quote: “and just at that moment, when someone at my side says she's gone, there are others who are watching her coming over their horizon and other voices take up a glad shout - there she comes! That is what dying is - an (sic) horizon and just the limit of our sight…

Surely, death to this life is only a beginning of sorts – an awakening to another realm.

Goldie Harvey was a star. In many ways, she embodied the dreams and aspirations of many young Nigerians. While many may say they were not in alignment with her manner of dressing and other facets of her lifestyle – not many would turn down the fame, influence, and material resources that Goldie commanded at 31.

But in the end, how many of these things really matter?

The story is told of a certain man, Pahom, who chanced on a commune where a man could possess all the land he could cirumnavigate in one day. Crazed by insatiable greed, Pahom proceeded to wear himself out by walking all day: marking out a very large area of land, but killing himself in the process. In the end, all the land Pahom needed was a six feet plot – to be buried in.

When it's all been said and done
there is just one thing that matters
did I do my best to live for truth?
Did I live my life for you?

When it's all been said and done
all my treasures will mean nothing
only what I have done for love's rewards
will stand the test of time

Lord, your mercy is so great
that you look beyond our weakness
that you found purest gold in miry clay
turning sinners into saints

I will always sing your praise
here on earth and in heaven after
for you've joined me at my true home
when it's all been said and done
you're my life when life is gone

Death is only a beginning.

Koye.

PS:
  1. Please find here a piece from last year exploring my thoughts from another funeral.
  2. Go here to download ‘When It’s All Been Said and Done’, by Don Moen.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

How can you follow God's plan about Sex? (4/4) - by Ola Joseph Kolawole



(Ed. Note) Please accept my apologies for not uploading this piece yesterday. I spent 3-4 productive hours watching TV (with Joseph Fayese) at the office of an extortionist arm of the Lagos State Government. Please see below the concluding part of our Sex Chronicles. Read and be blessed.

HOW DO I STAY PURE?
Guys, we need to be honest. Staying sexually ‘pure’ in today’s society is difficult – very difficult. Nearly everything in popular media bombards us with the idea that sex is just a physical act; that it can, and should be enjoyed by everyone – as often as possible, with as many partners as possible. So far as the ‘world’ is concerned, there is no reason to reserve sexual relations for your spouse. In spite of all this pressure, if there’s one thing you’re going to take away from this series of notes, let it be the following:

Although it is difficult to stay pure in our present society, IT IS POSSIBLE. [Matthew 5:8, 1 Corinthians 10:13].

How?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Why should you follow God's plan about Sex? (3/4) - by Ola Joseph Kolawole



(Ed. Note) If you haven't already, it would be a good idea to start by reading through the previous posts. In this, we build on the foundation established previously - and talk about why we should follow God’s plan about sex. We provide a brief scriptural background, and links to further reading – including secular research. Please feel free to tag friends, discuss, raise questions, and share.

B.      WHY SHOULD YOU FOLLOW GOD’S PLAN ABOUT SEX?

Answer: Because His plan for sex is designed for our benefit.

God loves us and wants us to experience abundant life. He is not out to keep us from the ‘good stuff’. Ultimately, His ‘laws’ and ‘commandments’ – including the ‘vehement’ ones about sex – are for our own good. John 10:10 conveys this best - “The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full.”

God is fully aware of the destructive power of sexual relationships when they occur outside the commitment of a loving marriage. It is further interesting that while Bible-believing Christians have always understood this, secular research also shows that sex outside of marriage carries with it a large amount of baggage.

For instance, a study once examined the correlation between teenage sexual activity and emotional health – and arrived at the following findings:
·         Teenagers who are sexually active are significantly less likely to be happy and more likely to feel depressed – compared to teenagers who are not. (25% to 7% for girls and 8% to 3% for boys).
·         60% of girls who were not sexually active (at the time of the study) said they were never or rarely depressed, compared to 37% of those who were sexually active.
·         Teenagers who are sexually active are significantly more likely to attempt suicide (14% to 5% for girls and 6% to 1% for boys).

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

What does the Bible teach about Sex? (2/4) - by Ola Joseph Kolawole



(Ed. note) I would like to start by suggesting that you read through the previous post here, if you haven't done so already. In this post, we build on the foundation we have established here - and delve into what the bible teaches about sex...

A.     WHAT DOES THE BIBLE TEACH ABOUT SEX?

#1: What is sex?
Forget what the dictionary says. Sex is an ACT OF WORSHIP created by God to bring physical pleasure, ‘soulish’ oneness, spiritual adoration, and for reproduction and continuity of human life. Three major purposes:
1. It is a physical connection for pleasure.
2. It is a seal upon the covenant of marriage.
3. It is a means for reproduction.
Sex involves the three parts of the human being, the spirit, soul, and body – all at the same time!

#2: God created sex—pure and true!
In my experience as a believer and through fellowship with the Holy Spirit, I have come to discover that TRUE SEX is perhaps the highest expression of worship you can give to God. You probably want to read that again. I found that as difficult to type as you might be finding it to ingest.

Sex: The Original Plan (1/4) - by Ola Joseph Kolawole



Dears,

Today I will upload the first two posts in our series on Sex. The introduction now, and the second post by 7pm. In case you are not familiar with this ‘trend’, first a little background… Last Friday, as I pondered on a conversation with a bewildered young lady – I started to write a post on Virginity. Nearly seven hundred words and four days later, I am amazed at what God has done with that piece. A good number of people – nearly all ladies – have reached me to say they read it “just in time”.

When I started to write that post, I was led to ask Ola Joseph Kolawole to do a guest-post on SEX. Now, I must mention that I am very careful about guest-posts – as you implicitly endorse the content by the very act of uploading them. However, no such fears exist with Kolawole Ola. Ola is a gifted Christian brother, and his power of expression is simply amazing!

I am compelled to mention that I have edited the style and flow of this piece to make it easier to read, given the wide variety of the intended readership. All changes have been pre-aligned with Ola, and I would be very happy to provide you relevant sections of the original manuscripts if you so desire.

The truth of His kingdom reigns through us.

Koye.

*****

Once upon a time, mainstream culture supported the idea that sex was reserved for marriage. Outright pornography and other sexually explicit material were taboos, restricted to the doldrums of back-alleys and dreary theatres. Couples courting with an intention to marry were carefully supervised by relatives and intending brides were monitored to ensure fidelity. The ‘production’ of a bloodied cloth on the wedding night was a thing of pride; failure to produce such often having unfavorable consequences for the bride – and her mother.

The opposite is the case today. The world has ‘moved’. “This is 2013, not 1930!” they say, “be gone with your ancient views!”

Friday, February 08, 2013

Who said there were no more Virgins?


A young lady asked to speak with me yesterday. She had met me in 2011, when I was Secretary of OAU’s University Joint Christian Mission. She had an issue, and had sought me out for two reasons: I did not know her well enough to have a pre-conceived opinion about her, and I did not seem like the type to ‘judge’ her for what she needed to say.

Her issue was simple – and not so simple: her boyfriend was pestering her for sex. By the time we spoke yesterday, she had been with him for three years – and the request was not new. She had held out this long in the hope that he would stop asking, and was dismayed that he was upping the pressure. She was starting to feel uncomfortable, unnatural even. His tactics had changed with time; he had gone from withholding favors in the early days to requesting sex as proof of her love. Now, he had a new one: “there are no virgins (your age) anymore. Something is wrong with you.”

I was shocked – but not so shocked. I have heard so many variants of the statement “there are no virgins anymore” that I would have thousands if someone gave me a Naira for every time I have heard it said. I was also somewhat surprised to learn that she had expected him to suddenly come to an epiphany and stop requesting coitus.

*****

First things first, we don’t stop asking! Except something happens to re-orient a guy’s value system – like a NDE, or becoming born again – he’s never going to stop asking once he gets started! Hold out as long as you want, and you’ll be lucky if he doesn’t blackmail you into giving in – or get it from someone else.

Among other things, one really important thing to pre-align with a guy (or girl) before entering a ‘relationship’ is where the boundaries are. In words clich├ęd by members of my undergrad fellowship: “how far is too far?

An alignment of value systems is critical. It is not uncommon for guys to promise that they won’t ask for sex and then turn it into a big deal later on. In this case, you aligned ‘speech’, not values.

*****

Sometimes in 2010, a beautiful young lady offered to “help me get it on”. Said young lady, all of 18 years old at the time, was aghast at the possibility that I might remain a virgin for much longer if I left OAU as one. She was absolutely convinced something was ‘wrong’ with me, after all - “there were no virgins anymore”. When I repeatedly insisted I did not need her help, she concluded I had a problem “getting it on”.

Wait. Who said there were no virgins anymore?

Of course, there are no visible markers – like a big ‘V’ on people’s foreheads that fades away after they have coitus for the first time – but yes, there are virgins out there! They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Some decided early – before any coitus at all, others decided later on – after a number of sexual experiences (secondary virgins). Key to note is: they exist! Young men and women – who have decided to guard the sacredness of sexual intimacy between wife and husband (Hebrews 13:4 - MSG).

*****

Some female friends of mine maintain that I remain a virgin only because of a lack of ‘opportunity’. At various times, some have taken it upon themselves to provide me with ‘opportunity’. I laugh. In a world that is constantly shifting, my worldview in this regard derives from the anchor that holds – which I quote above.

This is for the girls and guys out there who are considering ‘giving in’ because they are being made to feel alone. No. You are not alone.

My name is Koye, and I chose to save sex for marriage!

========
Update: Some readers have misconstrued this piece as a denigration of sexually active people. That is not the case, and could not be farther from the truth. I have NO issues with people that are sexually active before marriage - and many of my friends are. I made a choice to abstain, which I have shared, but I am not trying to impose my choice on others.

I rate Secondary virginity as high as Primary virginity. While I am not insistent on marrying a virgin, I definitely don't plan on marrying someone who is getting off with everyone else just for the fun of it.

If you still have questions - let me know in the comments.

Comments: Who said there were no more Virgins?

Note: Time of post has been updated (backwards) so that this can appear AFTER the article it references.

A couple of comments on my virginity piece, unedited... We'll take a few negative ones first :D. Read the other publicly available comments at the bottom of the post here.

It is a thing of the mind. You should not force your opinion on anyone else. - (name withheld - comment received in mail)

Nice use of English. Sadly, that is the only thin (sic) I see fit to commend about your blog post. The content is immature and childish. How else will you be sure a man can perform if you do not try him out? I put it to you that the girls that provided you with opportunities were not attractive enough, or maybe you have a problem getting it on - like your friend thinks. Nice day. - (name withheld - comment received as facebook message).

Thursday, February 07, 2013

On Critics, Art, and There Was A Country (Chinua Achebe)


Having spoken to a good number of people about my ongoing romance with Achebe's latest book, There Was A Country, I am struck by the realization that many of those with the strongest opinions about it are yet to actually read it.

I think it is absurd to base your opinion about a work of art on other people's descriptions of it. Art must be experienced; books must be read to get a full taste for their flavor.

Given the wide abundance of reviews of this book, I have no intention to write yet another one. However, I will share thoughts that come to mind as I read through the book. This I will do in order to share my thoughts - as always, and hopefully to challenge someone out there into actually buying the book.

I'll be right back.