You Have Too Many Men

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We all love to socialize, get acquainted who’s who in the society, and get noticed for the right reasons. We’re quick to display our wit and intelligence at social gatherings and are mindful of how we are perceived by others. Of course, we pay special attention to our contributions in public, making sure our feelings and actions are conveyed correctly. Affirmation is an awesome thing, yo! But sometimes this backfires and we have to deal with rejection.

Let me put it another way. How many of us would love to have many friends. Just me? Common guys, be honest. Who wouldn’t love to amass a crazy following on social media, tweet his/her waking up moments and get 4000+ re-tweets? We secretly envy celebrities and wish we had their voice and media power.

One of the biggest mistakes I made as a college graduate was rely heavily on alumni connections and professors to get noticed. I was a stellar student, always talked about— that model example most of us HATE being compared to. Months after my cap and gown ceremony, I reached out to my department for help in my job search. I scoured many LinkedIn profiles, looking for anyone affiliated with my school and department. Guys, the rejection was extra cold. In fact, I was doubly served.

How painful would it be if you had lots of opportunities but kept missing them because you were in the wrong position? How heartbreaking would it be if you spent four years cooped in your room studying like a Chinese scholar only to discover that your medals of achievement are worth nothing to those you wanted to impress? The word betrayal doesn’t do justice to what you’ll feel because soon you’ll start to question your purpose.

There’s something intriguing about the story of Gideon and how he defeated the Midianites (Judges 7: 1-25). Continue reading

Dear Facebook Friend, I’ve Had Enough.

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You sent me a friend request. I added you, against all voices of reason in my head and my mother’s.

Two days ago you added the last straw that broke the camel’s back. Again, against all voices of reason, I responded to an instant message asking about my health. “I’m fine,” I answered begrudgingly. At the moment I had three computer screens in front of me, a ringing cell phone– of which I’m sure my pastor is the caller, and I heard a boisterous “MAGGI!”- a voice I’m sure belongs to my mother. Yet I replied, “I’m fine” to your message.

You called me fat and wondered what America has fed me.  This you did openly, as if the public ought to be schooled on my average weight gain over the years. I don’t remember attending primary school with you yet I see you lurking in every comment section on my photos, cradling me with honeyed words, asking if I know this person and that person. Yes, You registered your presence. Authoritatively, too.

You offered me your email address, password, and other personal details, begging me to set up a blog for you because you were busy. I advised you to start when you’re ready and we can share ideas on blogging. As if that wasn’t enough, you sent me an IM asking me to help with your math homework. Boy was I pleased to help! Two minutes later, you forwarded your username, password, and left instructions on how to complete your online quiz due in two hours.

“That’s cheating, you know!” I countered. Then you asked me how much my services were.

Every month I received reminders from you not to forget my roots. Continue reading

So, God Promises You Wealth but He Hates Riches.

UPDATE: Pastor Andy tells Christians “How to be Rich” is unrelated to the article.

Luke 16:13- No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate one and love the other; or else he will hold to one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Thanks to this post, I got a chance to correct my erroneous understanding that mammon meant Satan. No, it means that we cannot serve God and money. Mammon is the Aramaic word for riches/wealth. Read on, please.

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“When you pray to God for blessings, don’t ask for riches. You see, lots of rich men can’t have a night of peace because they’re too busy thinking about their containers at sea. They don’t have time for the things of God. Your only safe bet is to ask that the merciful Lord bless you minimally

You see, Sunday is the day that I remember to bring my prayer requests to the Lord. Wrong, I know. I am always late to church meetings and each time I walk in and give apologetic bows, my mind is constantly shifting between quick reminders to God to provide a car for me so that I can be punctual to meetings and silent prayers for grace and forgiveness. I hardly make bible studies too; the weekly nutrient label for Christians to determine our caloric intake of The Word.

Every week, I am reminded of the need to ask God for a reliable car— preferably a car that would last several winters, thunderstorms, and can subjugate any diabolical missiles that are sent from my family haters. Every Nigerian family has one of those haters and God help you if yours have an extensive satellite network. My joy would know no bounds if this car is very good on gas as well, seeing as my weekly presence at church is a prediction of a healthy spiritual life.

A self-professed overachiever, I spread myself thinly over my volunteer and paid jobs. I have the most boring social life ever BUT mama tells me that I have a calling on my life. Pastor preaches it every Sunday as well. Hence, I would love that people remember me as that girl who had a positive influence on others while she was alive.

So, imagine the horror on my face when I heard the call to ask for minimal blessings. Would a God that blessed Job with 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the East really abhor riches? Where did I go wrong? Continue reading

Are You a Blogger or a Writer?

Writing Vs. BloggingAs a young girl, I loved the English Language but I loved writing even better. I don’t know why I started writing. I just wrote. I wrote because my mind was a mess. I wrote because the story books at my Primary School ended abruptly and I was sure I could craft better endings.

I remember burning the midnight oil writing short stories, plays, and modelling the characters after my parents and siblings. I was too young to understand what writing voice meant but my characters were strong, bold, and defiant. I mean- they fended off many spiritual and physical attacks but it was mostly a fight about discovering who they were and resisting ancient cultural practices.

From Wole Soyinka to Chinua Achebe, Shakespeare to Jonathan Swift. I read them all. Voraciously too. My schoolmates called me “efiwe” (bookworm/scholar). I brought joy to my parents- they bragged about me everywhere they went. They were so supportive of me that I never doubted my “skills” as a writer. I still get occasional messages from my old classmates that read, “So, are you a writer yet?”

Few months ago, I communicated my plans to self-host this blog with y’all and my desire to be a writer/author. Curious about how I’d be received in the Nigerian literary scene, I consulted three well-meaning Nigerians. Continue reading

We Should All Be Worship Leaders

Worship LeaderVia google images

Worship Leader. Choir Master or Mistress. Choir Director. Worship Pastor. Worship Minister. Church Worker. All these are titles used to describe the one who leads a team of singers in the church. In many American churches this group is called the ‘Praise Team’. In Nigeria, we call them ‘The Choir’.’

Let’s not go into the theological debate of whether Singer ≠ Worship Leader or Worship Leader = Pastor and so on. For the sake of this post, the worship leader is the one described in the first paragraph.

Then there is the ultimate requirement of the Worship Leader: to foster an atmosphere of spiritual intimacy…by slaying everyone in the Holy Spirit with every note, clash of cymbals, and string instrument the band is equipped with.  Of course, this isn’t exactly how it happens. But the congregation is pregnant with expectation. And our worship culture? Totally unforgiving of anyone lacking the skill set to bring the house down.

“Mehn, church was sweet today. I gbadun (enjoyed) the keyboard player” says guy A with a gleeful smile. He was as stoic as the statue of liberty during service. I know because I can see everyone’s faces.

“I know, right? Did you hear the runs sister Maggie did when she was leading worship?! In fact, her voice sent me into the spirit” gushed lady B. Her? She only managed to mouth a few ‘Amens’ while pastor was preaching…her mouth was hanging open half the time!

Usually I’m unaware that these conversation take place but I can read dissatisfaction and boredom on faces. And sometimes, I’m affected. I mean, I wanna do well.

But It’s not roses and champagne for the worship leader. Continue reading

Maggielola is Vlogging!

Alas my channel is up and running. This is surreal! Muahahahaha! Behold thy next Oprah Winfrey! *insert thunder and lightning*

Few adjustments need to be made though:

1) Filming an introductory video. The one above doesn’t count, does it? I need to reveal myself; ratchet hair, baggy clothes and all!

2) Hiring a camera man and a video editor. I spent 5+ hours on the above video. I’m surprised none of you have complained of dizziness and vomiting yet. Can’t do a talk show without a producer now, can you? lol

3) Purchasing lovely equipment and video editing software in case my job applicants reject this lovely job offer.

Please do me a favor and subscribe to this lovely channel. I’m stoked, and can’t wait to start putting out creepy hilarious videos up for you.

Subscribe here –> YouTube Channel: Maggielola

What do think? I’m listening, y’all! :)

Abeg No Rush Me.

Don't rush through life...pause and enjoy itLivelytwist wrote a fabulous piece on Fire, Passion and Desire a couple of weeks ago. My dear Ese Walter got married a few days ago and was all smiles in the released photos. Save for some haters who were confident that their opinion mattered. Somewhere in Nigeria, on February 14th, engagements and proposals were announced as different pictures of ring fingers assaulted my Facebook news feed.

Oh — my brother gave and received chocolates as well. How ridiculous!

As for me, I am in no rush to get hitched.

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Last week, I sat in front of my computer with my palms glued to my cheeks. Whatever happens as the world celebrates chocolate day is none of my business, I mumbled as I buried my senses into my favorite Korean dramas. My room was a sweet mess. Good Lord, my ratchet hair was messier! My nails? They looked like jagged, squiggly lines, plotted by my 10th graders on graphing paper.

Continue reading

Things Naija Parents Say: Collect it From Your Daddy

These days my omma (Korean for mom) and I have been having throw back days- days where we reminisce about the past and our responses to different situations. Tonight, we sat in the living room enjoying the all too familiar buzz of the standing fan, while simultaneously fanning ourselves with magazines and crisp African head ties. It was around 9:30pm, and the house was awfully silent. My younger sister had retired for the night, my dad…God knows where he went, and my omma was busy doing something. As usual.

Seeing how quiet the house had become, I thought it the perfect time to cuddle up with my computer and treat myself to some Korean drama goodness. Tonight was special; one of my favorite Korean shows was going to air two episodes for the week and I was thrilled.

UEE looks captivated by somethingUEE, member of girl group After School

Unfortunately, my drama was upstaged by omma’s constant voice, asking when her hair would be braided. I mumbled something along the lines of “I’d do it later…,” trying desperately to keep up with the dialogue in the Korean show. Realizing that I would have to give some sort of explanation if I were to enjoy my drama, I turned to her: Continue reading

Weekly Supper: Separated But Not Isolated

Separated but not isolatedvia www.williedeutsch.com

“Pull up a chair and chat with me for 5 minutes, would you? I would like to talk with you about this man named Jesus and what it means to be saved.”

At the mention of Jesus, I hear grumbling and silent displeasure, see hidden disgust behind the smile on those beautiful faces, and pick up clues that rings the alarm that the conversation is over. Well, there it is again: I’ve been rejected. I wasn’t really hurt by the fact that my topic of discussion wasn’t cool enough to enthrall my audience, rather, I was dejected that I just failed to introduce the coolest, oldest, and the most powerful person that ever lived on earth!

If at the college level you can’t do a 5 –minute presentation on someone you love without losing your audience you start to worry. In addition to wanting to be perceived as cool or intelligent, the pressure to react like everyone else is real and the ability to walk away from a sinful lifestyle becomes flighty. It becomes even more challenging as a young Christian, knowing that your knowledge of the scripture is limited.

This was 6 years ago. It was a time when a throng of females swaying behind me felt cooler than having to answer biblical questions; a time when the thought of having potlucks and getting dinner invitations rang more than “Iron sharpens Iron” or “Do not be unequally yoked.”

So I ran away. I ran from verses about association and sought refuge in words of love, acceptance, and forgiveness. Yet I couldn’t run away from God’s will; I wasn’t called to walk in the counsel of the ungodly neither was I called to sit in the seat of the scornful. I soon felt out of place. Although I was happy I had company, I never felt connected with them…never felt content, always felt empty.

Continue reading