September 30, 2007

A BEAUTIFUL PRAYER

A BEAUTIFUL PRAYER

I asked God to take away my habit. God said, No. It is not for me to take away, but for you to give it up.


I asked God to make my handicapped child whole. God said, No.
His spirit is whole, his body is only temporary

I asked God to grant me patience. God said, No. Patience is a byproduct of tribulations; it isn't granted, it is learned.

I asked God to give me happiness. God said, No. I give you blessings; Happiness is up to you.

I asked God to spare me pain. God said, No. Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to me.

I asked God to make my spirit grow. God said, No. You must grow on your own! , but I will prune you to make you fruitful.

I asked God for all things that I might enjoy life. God said, No.
I will give you life, so that you may enjoy all things.

I asked God to help me LOVE others, as much as He loves me. God said...Ahhhh, finally you have the idea.

May God Bless You, "To the world you might be one person, but to one person you just might be the world"

"Even the word 'IMPOSSIBLE' says 'I M POSSIBLE' "

Submitted by Satya Mehta

September 28, 2007

Meet Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

Meet Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson By Crystal Martin

The man known as “The Rock” has mastered the role
of action-flick hunk.
But his new movie, The Game Plan, proves he also has a
family-friendly side
(which makes him even sexier, in our
book).


What made you get all soft on us with your latest movie?
I have a little 5-year-old girl, and when I first heard the pitch, I was in Prague shooting a movie and I hadn’t seen her in about three months. It was the longest I’d ever gone without seeing her, and I missed her terribly. So the role of a man who has it all and yet is very lonely until he meets a little girl who calls him Daddy—it just really resonated with me.
Does your daughter understand her dad’s a big movie star?
It took Simone a long time to understand why people want Daddy’s autograph. I’d tell her and my wife would tell her, too, “People see Daddy in the movies and they are excited to meet him.” But she couldn’t really grasp it. Finally, with this movie, I think she understands what it means. And there’s the cool factor because it’s a Disney movie. She loves all things Disney. Plus, I just did an episode of Hannah Montana, so any amount of success I might have had in the past pales in comparison. Now Daddy’s cool!
You and your wife separated recently. Do you have any relationship lessons to share?
I can tell you the number one regret I have is not communicating. You never want to get to a place where there’s the metaphorical big, fat elephant and no one’s talking about it. You have to dive in headfirst. Also, if you’re going to love, then love. If I love you, I show you I love you every day. Little things, big things. As we get older, it all comes back to the power of love.
What attracts you to a woman?
Intelligence and a self-deprecating sense of humor are very important. It’s refreshing to meet a woman who isn’t afraid to laugh at herself. And, well, an endlessly gorgeous booty. So humor, intelligence, and backside.
In short: We heart Duane Johnson. He’s a real charmer — smart, funny, and
great to chat with. During our telephone interview, our Duane-obsessed interns
were smiling, giggling, and trying to follow the conversation from the tidbits
they heard on our end. We told Duane about his intern fan base, and he paused to
give them a cheerful hello. The question then became: Which intern gets to
transcribe the tape?
What fascinates you about women?
I grew up in a houseful of women. My mom cleaned toilets for a long time, and she’d seen a lot of terrible things, but she was still the strength of our family. And there are women like that all across the country — all around the world — who show that type of fortitude.
What’s the sexiest thing a woman can wear or do?
We’re going to keep it clean [laughs]. The sexiest thing that a woman can do, wear, and say all fall under one word to me: subtlety. To be subtle in the things that she does, and the things she says, and the things she wears — I appreciate the details.
Examples, please?
I appreciate the subtlety of a kiss on the forehead. I appreciate the subtlety of wearing a simple yet gorgeous summer dress. And I appreciate the subtlety of a woman saying “I’m proud of you.” To say and do the obvious is easy. And that’s why I appreciate an out-of-the-blue call to say “I love you.”
The smoothest thing you’ve ever done to get a woman’s attention?
Well, I’m not one to hem and haw around. I’m very direct, and back in the day before I understood what it meant to be a classy gentleman, I would walk up and say, “Hi, I’m the tongue-wrestling champion of the world. Would you like a shot at the title?” After I realized that stupidity is never prosperous in anyone’s life, I decided the smoothest approach was the most direct — I just walk up and say, “I’m Dwayne, what’s your name?”
You always look handsome on the red carpet — what do you do to get ready?
I need the right music. It’s usually Sam Cooke or some blues. Then, it’s a fairly easy process. I have to moisturize, and I’ve got a big head so it requires a lot of product.
Wow. I can’t just agree and say, “Yes, you have a huge head.”
Yeah, you can. I do! I once hosted Saturday Night Live and had to wear a wig. They told me I had the biggest head they’d ever measured in their 25-year history. I can only assume no one has beaten that record.

September 27, 2007

A Dishonorable Affair

By KATHERINE ZOEPF
Published: September 23, 2007

Fawaz later recalled that his wife, Zahra, was sleeping soundly on her side and curled slightly against the pillow when he rose at dawn and readied himself for work at his construction job on the outskirts of Damascus. It was a rainy Sunday morning in January and very cold; as he left, Fawaz turned back one last time to tuck the blanket more snugly around his 16-year-old wife. Zahra slept on without stirring, and her husband locked the door of their tiny apartment carefully behind him.

Zahra was most likely still sleeping when her older brother, Fayyez, entered the apartment a short time later, using a stolen key and carrying a dagger. His sister lay on the carpeted floor, on the thin, foam mattress she shared with her husband, so Fayyez must have had to kneel next to Zahra as he raised the dagger and stabbed her five times in the head and back: brutal, tearing thrusts that shattered the base of her skull and nearly severed her spinal column. Leaving the door open, Fayyez walked downstairs and out to the local police station. There, he reportedly turned himself in, telling the officers on duty that he had killed his sister in order to remove the dishonor she had brought on the family by losing her virginity out of wedlock nearly 10 months earlier.

“Fayyez told the police, ‘It is my right to correct this error,’ ” Maha Ali, a Syrian lawyer who knew Zahra and now works pro bono for her husband, told me not long ago. “He said, ‘It’s true that my sister is married now, but we never washed away the shame.’ ”

By now, almost anyone in Syria who follows the news can supply certain basic details about Zahra al-Azzo’s life and death: how the girl, then only 15, was kidnapped in the spring of 2006 near her home in northern Syria, taken to Damascus by her abductor and raped; how the police who discovered her feared that her family, as commonly happens in Syria, would blame Zahra for the rape and kill her; how these authorities then placed Zahra in a prison for girls, believing it the only way to protect her from her relatives. And then in December, how a cousin of
Zahra’s, 27-year-old Fawaz, agreed to marry her in order to secure her release and also, he hoped, restore her reputation in the eyes of her family; how, just a month after her wedding to Fawaz, Zahra’s 25-year-old brother, Fayyez, stabbed her as she slept.

Zahra died from her wounds at the hospital the following morning, one of about 300 girls and women who die each year in Syria in so-called honor killings, according to estimates by women’s rights advocates there. In Syria and other Arab countries, many men are brought up to believe in an idea of personal honor that regards defending the chastity of their sisters, their daughters and other women in the family as a primary social obligation. Honor crimes tend to occur, activists say, when men feel pressed by their communities to demonstrate that they are sufficiently protective of their female relatives’ virtue. Pairs of lovers are sometimes killed together, but most frequently only the women are singled out for punishment. Sometimes women are killed for the mere suspicion of an affair, or on account of a false accusation, or because they were sexually abused, or because, like Zahra, they were raped.

In speaking with the police, Zahra’s brother used a colloquial expression, ghasalat al arr (washing away the shame), which means the killing of a woman or girl whose very life has come to be seen as an unbearable stain on the honor of her male relatives. Once this kind of familial sexual shame has been “washed,” the killing is traditionally forgotten as quickly as possible. Under Syrian law, an honor killing is not murder, and the man who commits it is not a murderer. As in many other Arab countries, even if the killer is convicted on the lesser charge of a “crime of honor,” he is usually set free within months. Mentioning the killing — or even the name of the victim — generally becomes taboo.

That this has not happened with Zahra’s story — that her case, far from being ignored, has become something of a cause célèbre, a rallying point for lawyers, Islamic scholars and Syrian officials hoping to change the laws that protect the perpetrators of honor crimes — is a result of a peculiar confluence of circumstances. It is due in part to the efforts of a group of women’s rights activists and in part to the specifics of her story, which has galvanized public sympathy in a way previously unseen in Syria. But at heart it is because of Zahra’s young widower, Fawaz, who had spoken to his bride only once before they became engaged. Now, defying his tribe and their traditions, he has brought a civil lawsuit against Zahra’s killer and is refusing to let her case be forgotten.


Source...

September 25, 2007

DC Fashionistas: "Fashion Freedom" Rally

It has finally come and gone. All the preparations these past weeks culminated into a success earlier this evening.

Over 10 designers from DC and environs were there to represent and lend a voice to making DC a Fashion Corridor!

This history-making event will go down the annals of history! As the day very talented and creative young men and women who are fashion designers and not artists took over the FREEDOM PLAZA on Pennsylvania Ave in Washington DC to make their voices heard!

The event was marked by speeches, fashion shows, speaking with constituency heads, councilors of the District of Columbia govt. On a lighter note, there were dances, music, food and generally an atmosphere of togetherness and unity. And I wont forget to mention the large presence of models!! beautiful and splendid all over the square. if that did not stop traffic, then, I dont know what else can!

Amongst the speakers was yours truly, - EC Fashions. And my slot was at 4:00 PM. The models came out in some of my selected ethnic, very exotic designs (to show the Unity in Diversity we have in the fashion industry). And our African prints sure added color to the hot afternoon.

Now, LA, New York and Miami will have a run for their money when DC becomes a Fashion Capital as well!!!



ssooooooooooooo looking forward to it! And so glad I was part of this history making event!

Pictures would be posted later.............

I thought one gets over the ovations and admirations.....but the feeling is new everyday!

We really need to see how Americans appreciate our fabrics! That we all take for granted and dont appreciate! A lady wanted to buy the outfit I was wearing off my back!! lol (would have meant walking to the car park [3 blocks away] naked!! ehhhh!!!) because the clothes I took to the event were for almost 6foot tall, size 0-2 models!! Who dash me!! Me and my size 8!!

But I know say these Ijebu NR people for just wear bra and pant waka go home! She offer berra price sha O! Hmmmm......I dey call her first thing in the morrrring! Shuo!

And we are believing DC is made a Fashion Corridor so that designers can also get grants, get govt sponsored events, and host lots more of shows and events here in the area, which ultimately would bring more revenue to the Metro. Not to talk of the tourism and International opportunities that abound for us all.

DC is already a great tourist attraction, and with a Fashion District, the sky is all our limits!

I will post pictures of the event and post a video of my speech too when they are made available!

God is faithful! You know, I entered this business not even knowing how far and where to take it or direct it, I just knew I had to take a leap of faith, abandon my job and business and become an 'Obioma the Tailor', and God keeps making my turns for me! Some turns HE made, I whined about, others I cried tears of joy for, and up to this moment, HE is really the captain of EC boat! If not, how else can you imagine me, little me, speaking at a Washington DC Fashion Rally (bringing out the political part of me ), and having very fantastic, best of the best models walk in my designs on Freedom Plaza, in the heart of DC, and taking pictures with the Capitol as our backdrop? And you tell me say God aint got ma back?! Hmmmmmm.........think again!



MEDIA ADVISORY

MEDIA ADVISORY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Christine Brooks-Cropper
Press Coordinator

“Fashion Freedom”

Keep Washington, DC Fashion Friendly
Washington, DC; September 18, 2007- On September 24, the Washington, DC Fashion Council, Artist Lounge.com and the DC Fashionista Group presents, “Fashion Freedom,” the First ever Fashion Rally demonstration to be held on Freedom Plaza, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW between 13th and 14th Streets in Washington, DC. The Rally will be held from 11:00am until 5:00 pm.

The demonstration will showcase the original work of Washington, DC’s own fashion designers- Abigail DeCasanova, Lenny Yorke, Shaka King, Tsyndyma, Andrew Nowell, L-Shandi, Luciana Tiktin, Estella Couture, and CG Originals; and will feature upcoming trends from prominent Washington, DC based Hair Stylists, Make-Up Artists, Wardrobe Stylists, Runway Models along with fashion and beauty business owners to include Margoux, My Signature Look, PR at Partners, and REDgemini PR.

Fashion Freedom celebrates the achievements of WDC’s fashion design community while simultaneously galvanizing support for City Council Bill No. 17-173 to Create A Commission on Fashion Arts and Events. (view bill at www.dccouncil.us; search by Council Member Marion Barry).
The goals of the Commission on Fashion Arts and Events include:
(1) branding WDC as a fashion destination;
(2) creating a fashion retail corridor in WDC and
(3) enhancing the economic development of the WDC fashion industry through targeted fashion marketing, workforce development, training and business development

WDC fashion industry leaders, fashion designers, retailers, fashion schools and beauty industry representatives will join Council Members Harry Thomas Jr., Marion Barry, Yvette Alexander and Carol Schwartz in speaking in support of the Creation of a Commission on Fashion Arts and Events at the September 24, 2007 demonstration.

Corporate sponsors of this demonstration include: Vicar Transportation, Capital Segway, GALAN, SmartWater and Washington Life.
###
Note: Press registration begins at 11:30 am on September 24th @ Freedom Plaza

_______________________________________________________________

THE BILL

some portion....
A BILL
12
13 ______
14
15 IN THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

22 To establish a Commission on Fashion Arts and Events.
23
24 BE IT ENACTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA,
25 That this act may be cited as the “Commission on Fashion Arts and Events Establishment
26 Act of 2007”.
27
28 Sec. 2. Establishment of the Commission on Fashion Arts and Events
29 There is established a Commission on Fashion Arts and Events (“Commission”)
30 to advise the Mayor, the Council and the public on the views and needs of the fashion arts
31 communities in the District; and is created for the purposes of implementing the
32 following programs and initiatives:
33 (1) Promoting the District as a location for holding fashion events, which
34 will enhance the District's economic development through, among other things,
35 tourism, job opportunities, entertainment, business development, and national and
36 international exposure;
2
(2) Providing community initiatives to benefit 1 school aged children living
2 in the District, including encouraging the pursuit of career technical skills and
3 higher education by implementing a school based program in the field of fashion
4 design and merchandising and offering scholarships and internships to students
5 pursuing careers in beauty/fashion industries to help students in transitioning from
6 school to career;
7 (3) Researching and making recommendations for the development,
8 construction, and implementation of a Fashion Retail Corridor that will serve as a
9 centralized shopping destination featuring local, national and international fashion
10 designers and boutiques in the District of Columbia;
11 (4) Promoting and marketing the District’s unique retailers and fashion
12 designing talent through coordinated citywide events; and
13 (5) Creating partnerships between the fashion and business communities
14 that will stimulate economic activity and reposition the District as a fashion
15 destination.
16 Sec. 3. Commission Members Qualifications: Terms of Office: Removal
17 (a) The Fashion Arts and Entertainment Commission shall consist of 15 members,
18 8 of whom shall be nominated by the Mayor subject to the advice and consent of the
19 Council, in accordance with DC Official Code § 1-523.01.
20 (b) Ex-officio members of the Commission shall have full privileges of
21 Commission membership. There shall be seven ex-officio nonvoting members, including
22 the following Directors or their designees:
23 (1) Washington Convention and Tourism Corporation


__________________

September 17, 2007

Every unmarried chick is now 30??!!!

What's with the recent trend that babes are all 'claiming' to be 30 years old!!?? No matter how wrinkled and old they actually look!!!?
In the past week alone, about 5 babes told me they were 30! One just managed to say she 'turned 30 in January' which puts her way pass the 30 and half and nearing the door of 31! And one other actually looked like she is 50!!!! I dont get it for real!!! is it that they are paranoid of the age 30?! I thought they say 40 is the new 30?

So, why are babes that I know and they know that I know they are 36, 37 claiming 30?!C'mon, if you were 30 three years ago, that DOES NOT make you 30 today!! And who knows how many years prior you have been claiming the '30'?!I weak O!

Instead of heifers to try and make themselves look younger, they are busy doing Mathematics that would make their Arithemetics teacher have a heart attack!How does someone that was 30 four years ago still be 30 today!!??? Which reverse calculator she dey use keh!!??

I go blame guys here for this one! Una don make am like say over 30 na crime that has now turned our sistahs into liars! Even so-called born-agains!!

I cant even remember when I turned 30! I was not scared, I guess because I have always been and very comfortable with my age! But seriously, babes got to let up small!!if you are 36, let us hear it abeg!! Aint nothing to be afraid of!! its only a number!

My conclusion is that babes that hide their ages or lie about them are not confident! They are not happy where they are and thus feel that their true age does not match their present station in life! because if you are confident wherever or however you are, you will be happy about your age that you lived up to even the 30 (true and fake!) Imagine those people that died at child birth!! Imagine those that died in teen-age etc!! And you lived to 30+++ and keep lying about it!!

Abeg, just say your true age or just shut up!! At least DONT lie about it!! And for crying out loud, go get some vaseline and cocoa butter and put on a happy smile/face, look young and see the age reduce from your body so that when you dare to tell people your real age, they will tell you "You are lying! You dont look it! Wow"That's the best compliment to get!

Be 31, be 32, be 33, be 34, b3 35, be 36, be 37, be 38, be 39 and BE PROUD OF IT! AND LIVE IT AND TAKE CARE OF YOU!!When you get to 40, LOVE IT TOO!!! Unless you are single, no relationship, no child (having menopause signs), broke, no career, been divorced, then you can .................................................. ..






NOT PANIC! Cos God is in control of your life and has a reason for keeping you that way!Check out most millionaires in USA, they made it after the more dreadful age 30!! Example, Mary Kay, she did not make it at 25!! Duh!!Oprah WInfrey did not make it at 26!!!

I beg you ladies, we dont need wrinkles on our faces, let your age be one more thing NOT to worry about!

By the way, I am 35 years, 59 days old!!! And Proud of it!! I was 35 on July 21st!!! (http://couturestelle.blogspot.com/2007/07/35-on-21st-of-july.html)

So, lady, how old are you really?!! No pluses, no minuses!!!!!!!

September 13, 2007

ESTELLA'S BABY......

Got U there! Didn't I?

She is cute? Ain't she?

I really sometimes wish I have a little girl......If I have a daughter, I am sure I wouldn't even bother to enter that institution called 'marriage'!

Ok, RELAX! I am not blabbering, the title of this post should have been, "ESTELLA AS A BABY" I just typed 'Estella's baby' to get y'all attention. Warraheck! All my mates have 3 0r 4 kids in tow now! (Warreva! Na dem sabi!)

I should have had a baby long ago but for the fear of my very strict parental upbringing! And the catechism and religious teaching etc.... I am glad I didn't in a way though, because a child should grow up under a roof with two parents. Honestly, I thought of being a single mum when I was even as young as 19 years! Don't blame me please! It was all those EBONY, COSMO, JET, SEVENTEEN etc magazines I used to cram my head up with growing up! They sorta made being a single parent a cool thing! As per, one didn't have to take 'orders' from any man (husband), one could travel the whole world, be answerable to no one, etc be an executive in a big multi-million company (I am getting there, Insha Allah) and I was an impressionable kid!

My friends called me the 'Oyibo' in Kano because looking back now, I turned a feminist quiet early in life! Due to the magazines and books and TV shows I indulged in! And I lived in Kano State!! Who says Media does not influence kids? Think again! It influenced me a lot! I kinda think I got my 'stubborn' streak from all the western world infos back then. And you know that was in the eighties when there were so many movements and causes in America! Everyone claiming their 'rights' and standing up for their rights etc! The day I tried to stand up for my own right in my house, as per I was 18, an adult, blah blah blah! My dad showed me he is truly an Igbo man!! Nobody told me to shut, so that my school fees would be paid! Seeing we didnt have to work and school at the same time then. Unlike in the US where kids start working from age 16! In Nigeria, you stayed in your parents house through University for a guy, and for a babe, you were expected to live with your parents till you got married!

I was so influenced by the Media! Dammit! While all my mates in teen-age were sneaking around with freakum little boyfriends stealing kisses and even going all the way sometimes! (YES, I MEAN SEX! Helllooooo!) , me, I was busy watching Elsa Klensch on CNN ('STYLE). Watching Naomi Campbell and being so soooooo tripped by her! I still love Naomi till date and dont care what they say about her! People must always talk! Naomi inspired and impressed me to be what I am today!

The media gave me my love for TV, being why I entered into the TV sector in Nigeria as a TV Presenter and Producer! I had my own TV show in Yobe State Television called "YTV Special" Ha ha ha gud ol' days! It was the only Program where Western Music could be played while requests and greetings were sent out to the viewers. I was the 'local champion' in the state and environs then. I loved it! Channel O and MTV helped out with the music selections. Someday, I will get an old episode and Youtube it for laughs! And I was part of the "NiteShift" Crew of DBN-Television in Lagos. Working with Israel Edjeren, Evelyn, Goddy Omalaiye, Lanre...Those were fun days too! And I am sure that is where I got this habit of working all night! because DBN was a 24-hour TV, one of the first TV stations in Nigeria to go 24-hrs transmission.

I turned into a model at 14 because of Naomi! Some of my friends in Kano State then can remember me strutting my stuff down the runways during our social events, (which I happened to be the Social Prefect of the school, 3 years in a row! I ROCKED!! Lol). Anyhoo, this thing has been in my blood for so long, and I never even knew, I just kept on going to school, pursuing academics, and collecting degrees and and diplomas like they were going out of fashion! If I had not gotten too enthralled with 'ESTELLA COUTURE", I was so ready to finish my Masters in Public Administration (MPA) program at DeVry University in Arlington, Virginia! And even go further to get a PhD! Check is it out. Dr. Estella ******! That would have been cool! Dont ya think? But, I dropped out of school!!! Ehhhhhhh! Yeah, I am a drop out! Infact, I think I am allergic to Master's Degree! I dropped out from my MBA program from the University of Maiduguri with just 2 semesters to go!!! Dammit!!! I tried to continue with the Long-Distance classes from Lagos, but it was so not easy! Because to be flying from Lagos to Maiduguri for tests and exams was so messed up! (The two extremes of Nigeria!) (Those were the days of No Internet in Nigeria! maybe I can finish it from a distance now.....who knows.....if dem designs and styles would give me a break!)

And I don't regret dropping out of my MBA then, I had to choose life or degree, and I chose life! The Islamic riots against Christians were so much those days, and I almost lost my life during one of the classes in Maiduguri then, just because the schools board wanted to introduce the study of CRK (Christian Religious Knowledge) into their Secondary School Curriculum! And they went ballistic! Killing any and every Christian they saw on the street that black Friday!!! I still thank God for the woman who signaled us into her restaurant to hide for safety! Because we were wearing skirts and jeans trousers, so, we stood out as target for execution! We hid in her restaurant for 3 days while the Mobile Police subdued the riotous killers! Imagine me hiding in a restaurant with over 40 other Southern girls with no sleeping room! Just because we were Christians! In our own country!!! After the 3 days, she opened her box of wrappers and gave each one of us a set to wrap around us and cover our heads (in the Islamic style) so as to blend in. Need I say that when I got back to my base in Yobe, (a 2 hours journey, with my heart in my mouth)! I quickly packed my stuff, dressed up as a Muslim in the complete covered attire returned back to Maiduguri, gave the lady her wrappers, thanked her, and took the night bus out of Nothern Nigeria! And that was it! Education abandoned, friends left behind, but to the waiting hands of my family who had been pleading with me for the 3 years I stayed there after my youth service to return back to the South! Hmmmmm...........Religion!

So, I didnt drop out of my MBA because of anything else but to save my life! I lived in Kano state for so many years looking over my shoulder wondering when a religious riot would start and be ready to run, that I was at that point tired and chucked the whole thing and went home to the south! Heck!Ok, I am not a dunce! Common, I was always the first or second positions in my Nursery, elementary, secondary schools and I gave them tough time in University as well! Only girl that gave me a run in University of Jos was Doris Weledji! (Where are you Doris?!!!!)....She is from Cameroun and very very intelligent! Not like those other Igbo girls in class who were more into 'who said'...'she said'......that boy, this girl etc....and forgot why they were on campus!! (Duh!! To study!!) {Yes, if any of them reads this, dont be offended, but truth is bitter! Hee hee hee} I hear they are all married now with kids etc... good for them! Seems I am the only girl in my UNIJOS Psychology Dept (Class of '95) who is still single! Oh blast! I have been engaged couple of times and SIMPLY REFUSED TO MARRY when I had my doubts and saw signs that things would be messed up! Am I picky? Yes!!!!

And I am majorly scared of divorce!!! I believe Marriage should be a lifetime thingy! Which is why I am pissed off that most of the girls in my past are either divorced already, or complain 24/7 about their husbands etc!!!! Who told them marriage would be easy!!!! Eh?! Why dont they sit their big butts in there and make their marriages work? What is with the stupid low-tolerance in marriages these days?! But they tolerated all crap while dating because they wanted to bear "Mrs"!! If your boyfriend or fiance is a playa while you were dating him, what made you think he would change when you marry him!? Pluuuuze! Shine your eyes! like they say in Nigerian pidgin English! And I am shining my eyes very well! So? I am 35! And?............age is passing me by?! Huh? Biological clock is ticking? Shoot! I removed the battery long ago from my biological clock, so I dont hear nothing ticking!! When I eventually get married, the Good Lord will give me a child! Biology and clock et al, not mattering!(sic)

Alright, I got to get to work now! Enuff ramblings from me for one day!!

But, check out the cute baby! That is me at 2 months old! Check out my posing! Yay! I was a model from infancy! ha ha ha....

To me, at 2 months! And to the people that brought me into this world, my daddy
(The yardstick I subconsciously use to measure men!) , the best daddy in the world! - His Royal Highness, Eze J.A. Ogbonna, and my lovely mummy, Lolo C. C. Ogbonna. Someday soon, I will post their pictures!

That was just little me.....looking out into the world....

September 12, 2007

Mid-life crisis...

When I was married 25 years, I took a look at my wife one day and said, "Honey, 25 years ago we had a cheap apartment, a cheap car, slept on a sofa bed and watched a 10-inch black & white TV, but I got to sleep every night with a hot 25-year old blond.

Now we have a $500,000.00 home, A $45,000.00 car, a nice big bed and plasma screen TV, but I'm sleeping with a 50 year-old woman. It seems to me that you are not holding up your side of things."

My wife is a very reasonable woman. She told me to go out and find a hot 25 year-old blonde, and she would make sure that I would once again be living in a cheap apartment, driving a cheap car, sleeping on a sofa Bed and watching a 10-inch black & white TV.

Aren't older women great? They really know how to solve your mid-life crisis

September 11, 2007

INSPIRATIONAL NUGGETS....

Without God, our week is:
Mournday
Tearsday
Wasted-day
Thirstday
Fightday
Shatter-day &
Sinday.
So, allow Him to be with u every day!

___________________________________________________________

THE FOUR BLESSED LOOKS:
Look back & Thank God.
Look forward & Trust God.
Look around & Serve God.
Look within & Find God!

___________________________________________________________

I asked God: How do I get the best out of life?
God said:
Face ur past without regrets.
Handle ur present with confidence.
Prepare for d future without fear!

___________________________________________________________

Life is short
So forgive quickly
Believe slowly
Love truly
Laugh always.

September 8, 2007

MUST READ for Single Ladies over 30!!!

I saw this on another web forum and I must say, sadly there are some truths in the write up! Hey, fellow ladies over 30 and still single, what do you think? You know I got my radical views, but would rather hear yours before I start venting!

__________________________________________________ ________________
Quote:
Default MY PEOPLE YOU HAVE TO READ THIS ESPECIALLY LADIES OVER 30!!
Life they say is a journey but it appears that for single African women over the age of 30, life is a marathon. Like many married women, I have often watched with shock at how my single friends over
30 (with strong intentions to marry), fail to see the abundant ‘diamond in the rough’ type of men at family parties, weddings etc. In order to help our single sisters figure out the game of love, we
gathered advice on what they should do from African women who are married and often see what the single sisters don’t. Here is what the married women had to say:

1) Don’t focus on the Exterior-------LOOK INSIDE......DEEP INSIDE.....If he is short....they have shoes to fix that problem. If he does not dress well....don’t worry you can fix that with time. If he
says, ‘shicken’ instead of chicken......you can teach him the correct pronunciation or change yours to ‘shicken’ as well. Focus on his character, his ambitions and his principles. These will be good
indicators of his suitability as a mate.

2) Broaden your horizon -------- Ladies let’s be realistic, you are now living in the Western world. There are a ton of good men that are not necessarily from your tribe, village, country or race. Be
open to the possibilities.

3) Step out of the Box ------------ Have a social life beyond your job. You cannot be found if you constantly work or stay home.

4) Drop the Defensive Attitude ------You are the Woman and He is THE MAN.

5) Don’t look for Mr Ready Made--------------Be willing to start from scratch together.

6) LEAVE OUR MEN ALONE -------- Appreciate from far what hard work and time we have spent to get our men to where they are now.....and aim to do the same with your own man....not ours.

7) COOK - Men have not changed much since creation. The basics still work quite well for them. That being said....COOK....and make sure its what he likes to eat.

8) Know your Competition - Ladies, past 30 eh, there is no need for ‘shakara’ also known as pretending. If you want to talk to him, pick up the phone and call. At this age your competition are women
between 21 to 25 and trust us....they are go getters.

7) Know when to UNLEASH the Nookie - Should you sleep with him on day one or should you sleep with him after 9 months? Our panel of married women all had different stories with different outcomes.
Only you can determine when the time is right but it is extremely important that the nookie be part of the TOTAL package you offer (cooking, strong listening skills, good manners etc....) and not a
side dish.

8) Establish Yourself as a Unique Brand - What is your story? Who has influenced your life? What is important to you? What inspires you? Why should he pick you? Knowledge of self will increase self
confidence thereby making you more attractive.

9) Forget the night clubs----------- You will not meet him there. So don’t bother.

10) Know when to say.... ‘to the left, to the left’ - - - - - You cannot date a man forever. If you have been seriously dating or living with a man for two years and no mention of marriage has come
up.....stop wasting your time with him. End the relationship. Move on.

11) Diversify Your Social Life ---- Keep yourself busy. Get active in the community, expand your horizon. If you are Nigerian, don’t just attend Nigerian events or events held by your village
association in America. Make friends with other Africans as well and attend their events.

12) Mail Order Groom ---- Sometimes taking a vacation and visiting home might just be the best way to find your spouse. Your nagging relatives may have found the perfect mate for you, so do give this
option a try.

13) Be Patient - Don’t get desperate and don’t ask questions like, ‘so where is this going’ on the second date. Take your time.

14) Set Goals for yourself and accomplish them while you wait.

HAVE A WONDERFUL SEPTEMBER

Angela Ogbolu
Editor
Kitu Kizuri

MY COMMENTS:

@ #10, I will vent and vent real good!! let me start from that one before I pick any other number! But seriously! What's with babes hanging unto a man for over 2 years and counting and still no marriage plans and still 'hoping'?!! Abegi!!!! To the left O jare!!!!!! After I don see ma babe wey date guy from age 29 up to age 38 and bobo still fashy her!!!!! With no reason!! And babe been don even change her last name to his own as per his people too palmwine and kola to her family (traditional marriage)!! Dat's why me say, if E no be court or church wedding, all my villagers can drink your Hennessey and Schnapps Gin, I no be ya wife!! Shuo!!!

But men, why do you have to be milking a cow for all these years, have babe tell the whole world how 'husband' you are, she shines your house as well as your manhood and yet, to commit hard una?!!!

Yes, I am not a believer in long-term dating!! I will just lose interest along the way O jare, especially not when other bobos are toasting me and you no wan 'Keep me'? TO THE LEFT, TO THE LEFT!.........
@ #9: I have a gf that storms nite clubs every weekend, all of them like between 34-37, and they are looking for husbands!!! even an odeh would know that dem no dey see husbands for nite club O! Club guy come look for booty, kapish! You come look for husband, see where interest begin to clash?! And now when bobo tell babe wetin she wan hear just to shine her congo, na her go begin run around dey hala how men be beasts!! But she no go talk true where she meet the bobo and also why hin gbencsh her first night under the influence of the klieg lights and neon lights and of course, alcohol........women!!

But na where be the best place to find Mr. Almost Right? {Abeg, Mr. Right exist in the same era that the Unicorn and Dinosaurs existed!) anyhoo, where is the best place ti find them?

The Church?! Hmmmm.....Dont even get me started there!!! Church? Hah!! God-fearing man? Hah!! I reserve my comment!

No, I shall voice my comment! Funny thing here is that the good guys in church who truly serve God and are the REAL God-fearing men look 'boring and nerdy' on the outside! And may not appeal to a 'social babe', while the flashy ones that "claim" to be holy would be the ones that would tell you how "God understands fornication"!

So, this runs into the Number One point above......

Ok, to Point # 13......

my opinion, while its not good to date too long, also doesnt mean babe got to want to jump the broom fast fast! Nah!! U got to test the waters....make sure the person flows with ya....abi?

I sure hope there are not many ladies over 30 who lives in regrets sha.....I have seen a couple of babes who wished a past relationship had ended in marriage and blame all their woes on the guy! To that I call "Escapist method of facing reality!" Except the bobo was just plain wicked and hurt you, which I doubt, (because women ALWAYS see the signs of a dying relationship and still hope its turns out good). EVERY woman should be able to look behind her past relationships with no sad feelings!!

If a woman looks behind her and still feels bad about Mr A or Mr B, she HAS NOT moved on! And if she marries in that state, she would be committing Bigamy! Legally married to Mr Present, while sleeping in the same bed with Mr present and Mr Past at the same time!

Personally, I know I have always said Thank God for past relationships! Did some hurt? YES! At that moment, but time showed the break ups were just a GIFT OF GOODBYE! Gift of Good bye is when someone leaving your life is actually a blessing, a gift, a way for you to move forward, especially if their presence in your life is not part of your destiny!

Enuff rambling from me for now, will be back with more ramblings on some other points the writer outlined above...,

September 6, 2007

GOD'S GRACE FOR OUR LIVES....

God’s Grace for our Trials
Preached on Sunday, July 08, 2007,
By Pastor Agu Irukwu







Today, we have missed the whole point in our Christian race; we spent more time working for a car, more time working for larger house, more time working for a better life not knowing that all these are lies of satan. The principle of God’s kingdom is ...

This message is an experience of Pastor Agu Irukwu and his family during the 16 months his late wife battles with Cancer before she went to be with the Lord after about thirteen and a half years of fantastic marriage.

The true natures of the relationships we have are revealed in our times of trials and difficulties. Superficial relationships (with inherent defects) and deep, solid, stable and strong relationships with no inherent defects are revealed in times of pressure. How are you when you go through trials and loose a loved one? Can you look into the future with hope after you loose a loved one? You can be so well after you loose a loved one if you refuse to the stereotypic way the unbelievers mourn the death of their loved ones. The following are the things that could keep you well in your times of trials:

1. God’s Amazing Grace

In your trials and grief, you can give a real laugh, give genuine smile, and encourage others without grieving hopelessly like the unbelievers if you have the amazing grace of God. There is a dimension of God’s grace that is absolutely heavenly. This grace can make you so well no matter what you go through in life.

You might be misunderstood when you operate in the grace of God instead of grieving because it is difficult to understand God’s genuine grace. The grace of God is so unnatural. An example of God’s unmerited favor is in the story of the two criminals that were crucified with Jesus:

One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!" But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:39-43, NIV)

One of the criminals, in his ignorance, heralded insults on grace because did not recognize that grace was available to him (in Jesus). The other criminal sensed that grace is in the Lord Jesus, reached out of his hopeless situation and asks Jesus for grace, though he knew that he’s getting what his deeds deserve. Jesus showers grace on this criminal and he became a testimony of amazing grace. Like this criminal that receives grace, we all deserve what we are getting but there is a dimension where Christ steps in where it does not matter what you are getting when heaven has chose to just pour grace out on you.

God’s grace is available to you no matter what you are going through because God makes clear by His grace that He is still God in the midst of your adversity

2. We are Different

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, [God's] own purchased, special people, that you may set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9, AMP)

As Christians, we should be different in the way we respond to trials. It is a travesty of the gospel when Christians mourn like unbelievers in the face of trials. Christians should model how people go through trials because there is a certain grace and dignity a Christian must have in times of trials and it comes from knowing something that other people don’t know. We should not wear trials on our faces.

The worst thing that could happen to us during our times of trials is death, and for a Christian, it is not such a bad option, it is a transition to glory. Paul said to live is Christ and to die is gain. Christians should not assume that death is the worst satan can do because death for a Christian is to sleep here on earth and wake up in the bosom of God – this cannot be such a bad idea. The threat of death is a lie of satan to hold-bound the church. The apostles of old understood that to live is Christ and they live with the sense that they have an assignment. They were beaten, crucified, and ostracized because they understood the mystery that to live is Christ. Their life means more than materials to them and they are aware that dying is not a bad option. As Christians, we cannot be conformed to this world (Romans 12:2), we ought not to mourn like people without hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13, 14) and we should be full of hope when a loved one goes to be with the Lord

Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him (1 Thessalonians 4:13, 14, NIV).

If we are sad for loosing a loved one, it should be a sadness anchored on hope, not a hopeless sadness.

3. Our Circumstances Cannot Change God

God is moved purely by His purpose, not by our sentiments or emotions. Your circumstances and cry cannot move God. An example is found in John the Baptist’s life in jail. John was special, the forerunner of Jesus, anointed, and he was the man of his day. He had a church in the wilderness and has a lot of crowd. He was jailed by Herod and his attitude in jail was very instructive.

After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee. When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples 3to ask him, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?" Jesus replied, "Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy[b]are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me." (Matthew 11:1-6)

While in prison, John looked at his circumstances, he thought about everything he’s done for the kingdom, and he began to develop an attitude towards God. He was hearing about the success of Jesus’ ministry and he was irritated. He sent two of his disciples to ask Jesus if He is the messiah. Like John, we today tell God we pay our tithes and we are not prospering, we attend all prayer meetings but our requests are not met, we’ve been faithful but we are childless and therefore develop an attitude against God. Some give God an ultimatum. These sentiments do not move or change God. Heaven’s agenda will go on irrespective of you, you cannot hold heaven to ransom, your bad attitude cannot stop the work of God, and heaven is matching on. Don’t get an offense in your heart because of your trials because heaven’s agenda is not affected by your life.

4. Understand the Sovereignty of God

We can ask God questions but we must never question God. Sometimes, you think you are asking God questions but what you’re really doing is questioning the person of God. There are dimensions of God’s sovereignty we might not understand on earth. There are prayers God might decide not to answer and there is nothing you can do about it.

The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law (Deuteronomy 29:29).

There are things that will remain secret in the mind of God and we would only understand them after we cross over to eternity. Paul complements this fact in 1 Corinthians 13:9 when he states that

…our knowledge is fragmentary (incomplete and imperfect), and our prophecy (our teaching) is fragmentary (incomplete and imperfect). But when the complete and perfect (total) comes, the incomplete and imperfect will vanish away (become antiquated, void, and superseded). (1 Corinthians 13:9, 10, AMP)

We must be humble enough to acknowledge that there are levels and dimensions of God’s sovereignty that we don’t understand. The record of Prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 55:8 will make us understand that there are dimensions of God’s ways that our mind will never comprehend on this side of eternity. It is therefore foolish arrogance to imagine that we can figure God out completely.

For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord (Isaiah 55: 8).

We must understand that God is the Creator and we are the creatures, He is the Porter and we are the clay and the porter can do whatever he wants with the clay. We must be mortal enough to acknowledge that God’s immortality and be humble enough to acknowledge that He is God and God alone and that He rules and He reigns in the affair of a man.

a. Elisha

Elisha demonstrated God’s power in his lifetime. God wrought thirty-two dynamic miracles through Elisha. Elisha fell sick and died of his sickness despite all his miracles and anointing. However, Elisha’s dead bones revived a dead man.

Now Elisha [previously] had become ill of the illness of which he died….Elisha died, and they buried him. Bands of the Moabites invaded the land in the spring of the next year. As a man was being buried [on an open bier], such a band was seen coming; and the man was cast into Elisha's grave. And when the man being let down touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood on his feet. (2 Kings 13:14, 21-22)

This story shows how difficult it is to figure God out. There was enough anointing in Elisha’s dead bones to bring up a dead man’s body to life but the anointing could heal Elisha of his sickness.

5. God does not use His Sovereignty Arbitrarily

Since we cannot figure out God or question what He does. Does this mean He just uses His power on us illogically? Does He just sits in heaven and exercises His sovereignty arbitrarily on His creatures? No. Whenever we are faced with a trial or life challenges, we should first ask ourselves if God is trying to say something to us or to the people around us through the exercise of her sovereignty. God is always giving a message in the exercise of His sovereignty because His sovereignty is intertwined with His purpose and He uses the exercise of His sovereignty every time to advance His purpose. In our trials, we should ask God the part of His purpose He is seeking to advance because He is not a wicked God who sits in heaven to impose pain on His creatures.

a. Hosea

For God to show Hosea how much he loved Israel, He instructed Hosea to go and marry Gomer, a bad girl and an adulterer, and have children through her.

When the LORD began to speak through Hosea, the LORD said to him, "Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the LORD." So he married Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son (Hosea 1:2, 3).

Hosea did exactly as the Lord instructed him. After the prostitute had three sons for Hosea, she went back to her prostitution and God instructed Hosea to find her in the house of prostitution, bring her back home, accept her, love her, clean her up and never bring up her past life.

The LORD said to me, "Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the LORD loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes." So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley. Then I told her, "You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will live with you." For the Israelites will live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or idol. Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the LORD and to his blessings in the last days (Hosea 3:1-4).

God was trying to illustrate through this exercise of His sovereignty the love He has for us. In the midst of our unfaithfulness, God is still out looking for us to take us back home and forget about our past. When satan brings accusations against us after we reconcile with God and repented, God simply tell satan He cannot remember we did because He decides to forget them.

The death of a loved one is not an easy thing in God’s sight. The Psalmist (Psalm 115:16) recorded that precious in the sight of God is the death of His saints

6. Nothing can Happen without God’s Permission

Satan has no greater power than God with respect to the trials that we go through or when we loose a loved one because nothing can happen without the God’s permission

Who can command things to happen without the Lord’s permission? (Lamentations 3:37, NLT)

7. God Still Answers Prayers

Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work (John 9:1-4, NKJV).

Going through trials or loosing a loved one does not mean that God no more answer prayers. In the above passage, Jesus’ disciples ask Him who sinned in the family of the man that was born blind. As natural human beings, the disciples were looking for natural explanation for the circumstances of life. Sometimes there is no natural explanation; it might be that God chose that circumstance to manifest His power.

Jesus explained to the disciples that He must continue the work of God while it is still day because the night time is coming when no one will be able to work despite their good intentions. Everybody will die when night comes. This is the time to strengthen your work for God now that it is still day. What are you doing now for the work of God while it is still day in your life? This is the time for you to renew your zeal and commitments for you to be spend and be spent doing the work of God. Everything you have done will be tested and be judged when night comes.

Today, we have missed the whole point in our Christian race; we spent more time working for a car, more time working for larger house, more time working for a better life not knowing that all these are lies of satan. The principle of God’s kingdom is clear, “the more you work for God, the more He blesses you with all material things” What are you doing for God now that it is still day in your life? We all want God to answer our prayers but who is going to answer God’s prayers. God is praying “for a man to stand in the gap”. Will you be like Hanna who understood that God needs a prophet? For she said, give me a son and I will give him back to you as a prophet, which is fair exchange. While we love to cast our burdens upon the Lord, we should not forget that He also asks us to take up His own light yoke. This is why we have converted church into a ‘bless me club’ while people are dying outside our walls. Today, we are too busy running our business and we are proud running for big corporations, what do you do when all these crumbles?

Again, what are you doing for God now that is still day in your life?

Streaming Faith Series: SELF-CONTROL IN ALL THINGS

Self-Control in All Things
Brent Barnett

THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT: SELF-CONTROL

In ancient Greece, every year before and after the Olympic games were held, the Isthmian games took place in the city of Corinth. Those who won would receive a wreath made out of pine. No doubt those who participated in these games trained rigidly as the athletes of our day do for the Olympics. It takes strict discipline, sound eating habits, rigid training programs, a burning desire to win, and a persevering commitment to the task to prepare for an athletic event of this caliber. Those who compete at this level run to win, and in order to win, they must discipline their bodies. Self-control is a key component for victory.

In 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, Paul alludes these athletic competitions when he says,

“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.”

Paul says that it makes no sense for a boxer to punch the air. His goal is to train so that he can land his punches, knock down his opponent, and win the match. In the same way, it makes no sense for a runner to deviate from the course and go for a stroll through the country. His mission is to stay on track within the boundaries and cross the finish line before everyone else. Winning will require self-control in all things, from the training and preparation to execution and performance on race day. Spiritually it makes no sense to view life as haphazard or to approach it carelessly. God has called us all to run a race, and we are in it to win it, or at least we should be. Paul viewed his commission to share the gospel as even more intense and serious than the training of a world-class athlete. He knew that a race has only one winner, and he lived the Christian life as if he wanted to get the most rewards possible for the sake of Christ.

What helps makes an athlete successful is the same thing that contributed to Paul’s spiritual discipline- self-control. Paul speaks of disciplining his body to the point of making it his slave. The Greek word from which we translate the word self-control implies mastering fleshly passions and sensuous lusts. Just as an athlete has to discipline his mind, will, emotions, and body in order to perform at the highest level, a Christian must discipline his thoughts, behaviors, attitudes, and actions in order to bear abundant spiritual fruit. Self-control means that we don’t make any provision for the flesh and its lusts (Romans 13:14). We don’t do anything to aid and abet self. Rather, we yield to God by faith Who by His Spirit will enable us to live as new creations in Christ rather than as those who are enslaved to sin. We have been set free from being slaves to sin (Romans 6:6), and self-control is thus the process of continuing to reckon by faith that we are indeed free. This freedom will enable us to live out the fruit of self-control, which is discipline. A Christian who runs to win will thus be committed to studying God’s Word, to meditating upon it, to praying, to serving, and to doing all that Christ has commanded us.

Too many Christians, either out of ignorance or a lack of faith, continue to live as if they are slaves to self. Their lives become mired with self-gratification, self-seeking, self-absorption, and self-righteousness. They might be able to control some behaviors, but they are themselves controlled by others. The beauty of self-control is that it is the absolute opposite of selfishness. It is the ability to, no matter what the circumstances, stand firm in righteousness, remaining strong in faith.

Life will riddle us with encumbrances, and Satan will fire temptations at us more often than we like. Self-indulgence gives into a little sin here and there, and self-righteousness abstains from sin for the purpose of glorifying self. Self-control, on the other hand, makes self a non-issue and serves Christ as Master over all areas of life. When this fruit of the Spirit is manifested in the lives of believers, they will be able to resist temptation, persevere under fire, and finish the race strongly. This requires discipline by the power of the Spirit so that we don’t become disqualified in our Christian race due to sin. Sin saps the power of God working in and through us. If we want to win the crown of life, which is much greater and longer-lasting than the pine wreaths given to the Isthmian winners, we must have self-control.

We may never be professional athletes, but we can be world-class Christians if we have self-control in all things. Let us run to win, exercising the discipline characteristic of a champion.


Brenton M. Barnett is the founder of the free Bible teaching ministry, Relevant Bible Teaching, found on the web at www.relevantbibleteaching.com. He is also the author of Catch Fire: A Call to Spiritual Awakening. Brent’s greatest joys in life are his wife, Sarah, and daughter, Anneke.

Streaming Faith Series: CONFER NOT WITH FLESH AND BLOOD

September 05, 2007
Confer Not With Flesh and Blood
Bishop Keith Butler

But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood. Galatians 1:15-16 (KJV)

Paul gave no attention to what the people said. When he knew what God wanted him to do he didn't then go ask people what they thought about it. When you've heard from God you don't need to find out what your friends and family thinks about it. You just need to do it.

When you know that you know that you heard from God, you don't need a sign. You don't need to say, "Give me a sign Lord. Let a rooster cock-a-doodle-doo at midnight and I'll know it's your will." God doesn't lead you by signs; He leads you by His Spirit. When you pray daily, you will hear Him speaking to you.

Some folks don't pray until the emergency shows up. Now, I'm saying this jokingly, but I almost believe that when God hears certain voices praying, He says, "I haven't heard that voice in five years. They must be in trouble again." Since I'm on this point, there are also folks who don't go to church until things go wrong. God is not your Santa Claus. And he's not God-in-the-Box, where you wind Him up when you want to and out He jumps. God expects you to live for him with your whole life. He expects you to come before Him in prayer - all the time - daily, so that you can know that you know that you have His direction.

What you need is the Word and to follow the Holy Ghost. Paul said, I didn't confer with flesh and blood. If I had listened to people I wouldn't have a church, because people told me not to start it. You have to spend time in prayer, and let God show you what He wants you to do. Then when you know what God wants you to do, do it.

You mean God deals with me in the earth? Yes. He made you. He cares about you. Jesus died for you. Do you think He would then just leave you alone in this earth to fend for yourself until you die? No, He's involved in your life to the extent you will hear His word and obey His voice through prayer and fellowship with Him. He will show you what He wants you to do in life. And there is no need to confer with people when you have heard from God.

Scripture References: Isaiah 49:1, 5; Jeremiah 1:5; Romans 1:1


Bishop Keith A. Butler is the founder and pastor of Word of Faith International Christian Center in Southfield, MI, and Word of Faith Christian Center in San Antonio, TX. Bishop Butler ministers extensively in churches, conferences, and seminars throughout the U.S. and abroad with an emphasis on instruction and no-nonsense, practical application of God's Word

September 4, 2007

SEPTEMBER, a Month to REMEMBER! - AMEN!

Hmmmm.... what to write about? I dunno. Had an awesome weekend, albeit a very long one!
Closed the boutique on Monday! Needed to get me a rest and I did, right? Wrong!! Was still working! My friend and I were sitting in front of the editing machines to knock out an awesome video that would soon be rocking the YouTube world! Its about time!!! EstellaCouture got to package a small video to show some designs and what EC is all about! Whaddayathink?

Anyhoo.........my holiday ended up not being a holiday per se! You know, once in a while, its good to close shop and forget about the office, about work, about deadlines etc and just blank ya mind! Trust me, the sky wont fall!!

So, I am back to the hectic schedule and stealing out time to drop this line to y'all and rushing back to my deadlines and phone calls and clients et al!

Have a blessed Month of September!

May God be with you all, and may all your dreams come true.....

This is the last quarter of the year, and I wish your SEPTEMBER to be a month to REMEMBER for good and for testimonies! AMEN.


Shalom!

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Models....

Models....
Back stage just before the runway strutting!... photo by Reward