Monday, 10 May 2010
So much has been going on in my life, I’ve hardly had time to blog! I’ve been so busy preparing to head to school in Boston. I’ve talked about this before but it hadn’t really hit me…
Until the other day. I woke up thinking: what have I done? And myriads of negative thoughts started running through my mind, like: it would have been easier if you’d just studied literature; the music business is tough and your look is just not conducive to pop culture success; doing this means you’ve limited yourself to music; didn’t anybody ever tell you never to lay your eggs in one basket? And it went on and on, as negative thoughts do.
And if I said all those fears have now been alleviated, I’d be lying, but I have come this far and there can be no turning back. This is it. I just have to keep reminding myself that music the thing I am most passionate about. Truth be told, my entire life does not revolve around music. I love to write- fiction, poetry, and articles on just about anything! I also love to help people; I love to cook. In short, when it comes to my interests, I am a diversified individual. I want to do so much with this life of mine, like…
1. Be a successful producer/songwriter + recording/performing artist
2. Build a small orphanage. I love kids, and I hate to see kids suffer. There are some good orphanages here in Uganda, where I’m from, but I want to do something a little bit more small-scale. I want to actually give these kids a chance to live the life that they would have otherwise been deprived of.
3. Help young, single, pregnant women. I know, it sounds strange. But it just makes me sad that abortion is considered an option, by some, because they are alone, and do not have any financial, familial and mental/emotional support.
4. Start a college fund for kids in Uganda- not only for kids that want to be doctors and lawyers, that’s great, but also for those that want to seriously invest in their god-given talents/dreams…the many writers, artists, footballers, pilots, chefs, astronauts, and musicians out there. I really feel as if this is important, because for a country to move forward we must have useful citizens and useful citizens are fulfilled citizens, or those working toward achieving their dreams. But they cannot work toward achieving their dream if opportunities are not created for them.
5. Start a cupcake shop with my best friend back home (this might sound like a pocket-sized dream to some, but we don’t have that many, oh excuse me, ANY cupcake shops back home…and I think I could make this one a whopping success).
6. Be a successful writer. (I want to help people who have struggled with the same things I have struggled with and felt, at a young age, I could not even mention. I want to show them that there, really, is only one way to be free and that is through the Christ.)
So yes, I have a vision. I’ve had this vision since the age of 17.
I know maybe some of it looks disconnected. Like, how on earth can I be in the music industry and be, at the same time, a writer, and still manage to bring these plans to fruition. I don’t know the answer to that question. But I feel like music is the avenue that will open up the opportunity to do all these things. It is my gut feeling. I’m not saying that studying music is the prerequisite to achieving all these things, but I do feel like they are connected, in some odd way. I don’t even know whether I’m making much sense right now, but there you go…
A lot of people (including myself, might I add) may ask: where will the money to do all this come from? I don’t know, but I shall follow Solomon’s advice and commit my plans to the Lord…because according to Solomon, this is the window to success. And I know it’s a lot to hope for; I know it is a colossal dream but my God is a colossal God…why shouldn’t I dream big?
Speaking of God, I hope I don’t sound like God is my genie. I exist for Him, not the other way round. And my first priority in life is to serve him and to bring glory to his name. And if some of my desires and plans don’t fit into His plan then I pray that he would close those doors. Period.
In his heart a man plans his course, but the lord determines his steps. Proverbs 16.9
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the lord that will stand. Proverbs 19.21
Oh and welcome new followers! I appreciate you! God bless! : -)
Thursday, 22 April 2010
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about forgiveness. I’ve faced a couple of situations, of late, that’ve required me to forgive, to show mercy. And I think it’s pretty easy to say the words “I forgive you”; those words are thrown around these days. But forgiveness is difficult…and it’s been proving difficult for me. Yes me, the one who preached about mercy just the other day. The double standards we have, as mortals are amazing aren’t they? But what can I say? I’m imperfect.
I’m pretty darn sure that it’s Tyler Perry that has popularized the idea that forgiveness is for you :-) But lately I’ve been wondering if this is really true? Because to me, this sounds like a concept that we have created because it is more comfortable than the idea of being merciful because It is the Christian thing to do?
Don’t get me wrong…I am not saying that to think forgiveness is for the one that has been wronged is an un-biblical concept. Not at all! Even God himself says that he forgives us for his sake (Isaiah 43:25). And besides we all know that unforgiveness is not conducive to our well being and health. But what I’ve doubted lately…is whether it is right to make this idea (that forgiveness if for you, the victim) our primary reason to forgive. Because here lies my dilemma:
Every time I wrestle with feelings of resentment and anger…I never hear a voice telling me to forgive because otherwise I will be eaten up by bitterness…the only thing that resounds in my spirit is a reminder of how much mercy has been shown unto me. And it this resounding voice that fits perfectly with what the Word teaches on forgiveness. In a letter to the Colossian Christians, Paul tells them to forgive “even as Christ forgave you.”
And then there’s this one guy from long ago; I’m sure you know of him cos the dude is pretty famous but to cut a long story short he was about to be executed for crimes he had not committed. He was innocent and righteous…as innocent as a lamb. And I am convicted by those famous words he speaks:
Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.
“Forgive them father”- he clearly knew that they had done wrong, there was no trying to hide this fact in order to look super spiritual. Nor was he going to brush it off pretentiously as we do sometimes when we say, “Oh, it was nothing.” He was straight up, kept it one hundred…they had done him wrong. Period.
And yet still…even with this knowledge, he is merciful. But what does it mean, to be merciful? I mean…biblically merciful? And this is where I’m struggling. Because my English dictionary tells me that mercy is showing sympathy, compassion, pity, forbearance. But Jesus’ words create a whole other dimension…
“For they know not what they do”- I’ve really been thinking about this. And maybe I’m wrong…but it would seem to me that Jesus is actually putting himself in the shoes of his wrongdoers. He is seeing through their eyes; trying to discern what they are feeling without any bias; trying to think how they are thinking. Because, otherwise, there is no other way he would have arrived to the conclusion that they “know not what they do.” And this reminds me of God and Jonah. Jonah was so angry with God for being merciful to the ninevites (great enemies of Israel) and he actually reproves God for being compassionate but God says to him: Jonah…these people do not know their right hand from their left. The one who is completely spotless and perfect speaks those words…he puts himself in the shoes of those that have wronged him. Think about it!
I don’t know about you…but there’s something that tells me this forgiveness thing…is so much bigger than the whole forgiveness is for you concept. But hey I’m not trying to sound like I know everything…so please feel free to discuss in the comments section below, I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this! I know maybe sometimes I can come across as a know-it-all but most of my “knowledge” is just guesswork (whether accurate or otherwise). This one is actually a penny for your thoughts kind of post. So go ahead…tell me what you think! Please!!
Saturday, 17 April 2010
By the time August 2009 rolled by, to me, it only meant one thing- there was two months left to start school. I was excited, I was going to be living my dream, and I would be studying music at a “most prestigious” music school in London. Even the difficulties I faced with finding appropriate accommodation could not dampen my mood. And yet…it is true that in his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps (Proverbs 16:9). Because as much as I was ready for London Music School, I didn’t realize it but I was making a decision that was completely outside of God’s plan for my life. And many a time, from what I have seen in my own life and the lives of those around me, He allows us to make stupid decisions; He allows us to go through things that were not a part of his plan anyway but this time, for whatever reasons, he would not permit me to walk away from this particular path that he had already laid out.
And very quickly my plans to attend London Music School fell apart. The fault was mine. I hadn’t prayed about ANY part of this decision; I hadn’t really thought any of it through…I had just rushed into something because I was excited; I had based a big decision on emotions. So it was quite frightening when I realized that the school I had picked to go study music at was a bit of a sham; it wasn’t as “prestigious” as it was said to be, and there was hardly any external information on the school. I am not saying that it wasn’t as “ivy league” as I wanted; but it was not whatever it had presented itself to be.
Naturally, I felt stupid, because I looked completely naïve to my parents and relatives. For some of them, it was a sure sign that music wasn’t a part of my destiny. But of course I would never buy into that.
There are only a few times that the Holy Spirit has spoken to me. And when he does speak, it’s not like with the disciples or with Moses or Elijah. Most of the time, when he does speak, it’s more like a sure reminder of some appropriate truth that I, by my own power, could not have plucked out of my cacophony of thoughts. This time, he reminded me “the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.” And immediately I knew what to do. Ah! If only God would speak to us/reassure us more often, more like every minute of every day…but then I suppose we would not need as much faith.
I will try to cut a long story short: I prayed fervently for about a week. I didn’t want to make the same mistake. I knew music was what I wanted, music or literature. And I let God direct my every step: when I was discussing my options with my parents; when I began short listing schools; even when I finally settled on two schools; traveled to America to tour each one; and eventually decided to apply to only one because that was the only one I wanted…God was in every single step. And everyone asked me why I had only applied to one school. Wasn’t it foolish…to lay all my eggs in one basket? They would ask. To some I lied to, that I had actually applied to two schools…simply because I didn’t want all the questions to continue…I am not a very patient person (smile). But to those like my father who I couldn’t lie to I would simply say, “Well, this is where God led me…” and though he would frown and worry at what he saw as extremism and absurdity, I would simply remain silent. I didn’t want any arguments.
And sure enough when I was offered a place at Berklee he was relieved (and happy for me too!). Me, I cried tears of joy…but not relief. I was simply, in that moment astounded at the goodness of God. But the entire time…whilst I was waiting, I refused to doubt God…not out of desperation because I had no other choice…but because I knew that the journey I had taken from September 2009 onwards was one that had been propelled by the Divine from the get go.
Did I have my doubts sometimes? Sure I did! But ultimately I knew that if He was in it; it was not going to fail. And He was in it.
Thursday, 15 April 2010
Remember how I told you that this blog is my semi-journal? That I won’t be getting too personal with you because that’s just not me, but I will share some things to document my faith journey? Well, today is one of those days. I woke up early morning. And my mind decided it was in the mood to be cynical. So, naturally, I’ve been having negative thoughts infiltrate my head and infuse my spirit. And it’s starting to piss me off. Big time.
Have you ever thought you were delivered from something? Only to find…
And you whisper fervent words to God: “take this from me, Lord…I know it’s not of you.” and you lament; you get angry; you kick the ground because you think this equals kicking your demons away; you beg and plead; you groan…until you feel like even God is tired of hearing you say: “take this from me, Lord…I know it’s not of you.” And maybe you even scream that muffled/muted scream of frustration because you feel like ripping your hair apart.
This is what today decided to bring me.
I know there are overwhelming burdens and nasty, dysfunctional habits that only God can rid us of. Infact I know that there is nothing we struggle with that we can rid ourselves of…this is the job of Him that is sovereign over all. But I thought I was through…I thought I was moving to the next level. Maybe I was getting self righteous, I don’t know. And maybe I’m being too hard on myself…expecting every single thought and action of mine to be pure. And yes…no one can ever be perfect, and even in our quest to be holy as He is holy there will be times when we stumble. So maybe, yes, I’m being hard on myself…but the truth is…as humans we love excuses. And I cannot allow “won’t be perfect till we get to heaven” to be an excuse of mine. I threw that one out of the window a long time ago…and it’s not coming back.
Last Sunday, our pastor spoke of the rapture. He asked us: “Are you ready? Are you sure you wouldn’t be left behind?” And I am not being self-righteous but in that moment I felt right with God. Not because of my works or anything like that. But I just did. And today…I feel rather different. I don’t feel as confident. Three days ago, I was feeling like the Holy Spirit and I were really becoming one. And It’s not that I felt new or completely different; but I just felt as if the newness that I was infused with when I accepted Christ was finally taking over. It was always there…I had just suppressed it.
But then as much as I feel this way…I also know that I am not supposed to have confidence even in feeling confident. I know this. I suppose I’m stuck…I don’t know what caused these things I thought I had been delivered of to resurface…I’m trying to figure it out. Was it something I did? Did something I heard someone say, or a song I listened to, or a film I watched…did any of those things trigger these things to reemerge? Because often this is what would happen before: a few words spoken or a couple of chords played out could prompt that downward spiral. But I have searched my mind and my heart, and I know that this is not the case.
So I am left to conclude one thing (though I may be wrong): that in my case…I had become so hooked on junk, that it’s actually a part of me. It’s not that I have to have some kind of trigger. And it makes me sad; honestly, that I chose the paths that I did…because here is where they have led me. Of course I shouldn’t be surprised…that is what happens when you draw waters from stagnant wells…there are consequences: you get sick and sometimes, sadly, the ramifications will stay with you forever.
I don’t say any of this out of self-pity at all. I know God will complete the great work he began in me through Christ…I know that I will be a masterpiece at the end of it all.
I guess I wrote this because I needed to sort through some of my thoughts. But it’s not just about me…I wrote this for you too- so that you may choose your paths wisely. I used to think, a lot of the time, when I was going through whatever it is I was going through (smile) that it wouldn’t harm me in the long run. But I was very wrong. The devil is a liar. Please don’t let him lie to you. Whether it be through TV, your ipod, your friends, what the majority say…even what looks right and fair and just and logical in the natural...I don’t care what anybody tells you…if it contradicts the Word…then it is completely false.
I know this all sounds so melancholy but I'm not (smile), I have made bad choices but there is a truth that is more powerful than even my recklessness: that whomsoever the son has set free is free indeed (John 8:36).
Tuesday, 13 April 2010
Maybe I think too much; but then maybe I’m just frighteningly discerning. Perhaps I construct far too many grandiose illusions…or maybe it’s just that I think slightly ahead and replace reality with possibility. These are the thoughts I have pondered the last few days. I know that if I bothered to take this up with most that know me, they would say I think too much; I dream inconceivable dreams.
But the truth of the matter is…I know me best. I dream outside of reality, that’s for sure...but is reality truth? Is reality what truly is? Or is reality what we perceive it to be based on what we can see physically? Let me put it this way: If in "reality" John and Jane do not show any overtly outward signs of amorous affection, does that mean these affections do not exist? Ah…do you now see what I mean?
So sometimes I sense things that others might not, call it a woman’s intuition or whatever you like; and sometimes the things I sense excite me, even though they might not be obvious in reality. And sometimes…I allow my words and actions to be guided by these senses…only to find myself disappointed. Or even worse…I find that others are, perhaps, conscious of the fact certain things have aroused my radar and so draw away or deflect the natural course of things- naturally, I would assume, because of fear.
And the ramifications of this? I look a bit silly, as if I had miscalculated. As if I were wrong in the first place; as if I had wanted something so bad that I forced it to be reality even if it weren’t. I know that sometimes this has been the case. I simply misunderstood something. But other times, much of the time? I don’t think so. And maybe that sounds arrogant…that I could think I discern things correctly most of the time even when reality (simply what we can actually see) contradicts everything I think. But I’ve come to find that as we grow we become less filter-less and much of what comes through in reality is the revised version of what truly is.
So yeah, that’s kind of what’s been going on in my head lately.
Other than this…I’ve been learning a lot. A lot about worship and trusting God; but also a lot about holiness and what it means to be “Holy”. And holiness is such a complex concept for most people. But I’m not ready to talk about that yet.
This is random…but I am obsessed with Crystal Renn. I just want to look like her. I know that sounds somewhat shallow…but it’s the truth. She’s different, I suppose…refreshing. Normal yet striking; thick but not unhealthy looking. Everything I aspire to be (or rather look like) is found in this plus-sized model.
(she's the thick one on the right)...
and speaking of plus-size models. I LOVE these next few pictures...from V magazine, last year, I think....you can check the rest out here at Huff Post
Ciao 4 now,
Monday, 29 March 2010
The Story of Zac Smith from NewSpring Media on Vimeo.
This attitude to most outside of the church would probably be disconcerting. But this is the thing about God…our circumstances may change; our convictions may be shaken; our loyalty might waver; our opinion of him might differ as we adapt to the various seasons of life; friends may abuse him; others mock and deride him; there are those that are even convinced that He does not live YET…
He still sits on his throne…unchangeable, unshakeable and unstoppable. That is the way He was before the first second began to tick and that is the way He will remain. Moses said it like this: “Before the mountains were born, or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God."
Tuesday, 16 March 2010
Titanic sealed the deal for me when it came to Kate Winslet. She has been my favorite actress ever since. Not only is she a raw actress…but she has a rare grace about her; a grace that few women have these days. To me she’s not beautiful in the same way as Angelina Jolie might be beautiful…she has a unique kind of beauty. Not the quirky kind either. Her face is just so expressive, her skin charmingly pale and flawless and her eyes look like they hold the secrets of the earth.
She looks like something ethereal here. An ancient witch, maybe…
...or a gypsy from the 17th century
A true English Rose.