DEAR FUTURE SON 2- LIFE IS SHORT

My laptop is bad… I’m so sad! Now I have to wait for people to let me use theirs and hope network would be favorable when they do… I know you’re thinking ‘why won’t she just use her phone?’but a laptop is to me what I assume a quill and paper was to Shakespeare… Anyway, I found a way through this and even though my posts may be less frequent, I promise to try to make sure there’s something per week.
For now, enjoy this one by Pastor Daniel Addo! And in case you missed part one, click here

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Dear Son,

Life is so short!

I realize that this is no cordial way to begin a letter, and I’m sure you notice that this is not my usual way of beginning my letters to you. However son, I am compelled by a deep sense of urgency that has arisen from a reminder of the brevity of life. Once again son, through the means of death, I have been reminded about the transient nature of life on earth. So I say again – Life is so short!

It happened just like a dream. I sent a text message to a dear brother, who would often come on my campus to give haircuts. I messaged him to inquire when next he would be on campus. He was never one to reply text messages promptly, and even when he did, they were usually short responses. Because of this, I was so surprised when I saw that he was calling me back almost immediately after I sent him the text. As I picked the phone, I expected to hear his voice, but to my surprise, it was a woman’s voice. She identified herself as his fiancée, and then went on to tell me in a sober tone, that my barber-friend had been in an accident the previous day, and had passed on.

As you can imagine son, I was shocked. I had seen this guy only two days before this event, and he was chatty and jolly in his usual way. Son, how could I have known that this was the last time I would ever see him? How could I have known that the last haircut he gave me was the last he will ever give me? How could I ever have known?! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – Life is short! What’s more? We have no real guarantee of how long we, and those we love, will remain on this side of eternity (James 4:13-16).

Some of my dearest Christian brothers will object to that last statement, and declare me to be “weak in faith!” They would respond by saying that if we just keep confessing long life, we will live long. I can also hear some fitness coaches objecting, and their response is that if we just exercise regularly, we will live long. While I do agree that doing these things increases our chances of long life, I do not quite agree that they guarantee it. Even as believers, our certain hope is not in long life, but in eternal life – and there is a difference between the two. To put this simply, we have no guarantee how long we will really live, but we do have guarantee where we will spend eternity. This is my deep conviction based on a long time of wrestling with the scriptures on death-related issues. The believer’s victory over death is not so much that he/she lives long, but that death serves the purpose of bringing us into deeper union with Christ.

Son, am I saying you should not exercise, or pray for long life? Am I somehow saying that you should not desire to live long, or that you should just live like a victim of fate, just waiting till you die? No! Far from it! What I am hoping to awaken in you is a consciousness of the brevity of life that will cause you to live your daily life with a deep sense of purpose and urgent mission. I want to dissuade you from the illusion that you have a lot of time, so that you can make the best use of each day that God gives you on earth. I am hoping that you can have an eternal perspective of time, realizing that time is merely a preparation and foundation for eternity (1 Tim 6:19). I am hoping that you would make the best use of every opportunity you get to build solid relationships, love people, serve your generation, and make Christ famous. I am hoping that you will live for more than the next iPhone, and not just chase toys and trinkets. I am hoping that you will not live a life of perpetual postponement; always waiting till tomorrow to do the things you can so easily do today. Son, because life is short, I want you to really live! Live as God has prescribed in His word.

I want you to join in chorus with Apostle Paul and say, “For to me, living means opportunities for Christ, and dying—well, that’s better yet!” (Phil 1:21, Living Bible) Perhaps you are more familiar with this scripture in the King James translation where it says – “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” I love the living bible translation because it makes Paul’s life mission so clear – “living means opportunities for Christ.” Paul shows us that life only makes sense if we are making Christ famous through the spreading of the gospel. Paul says in essence – “if I am alive, it is because I must make Christ known.” Son, in whatever profession you find yourself, let your life ultimately be about expanding the kingdom of God through the spreading of the gospel.

Of all the things that sadden me about my friend’s death, the one thing that struck me the most is the fact that I didn’t ferociously share the gospel with him. I do not know for sure that he was saved. I am in no place to judge any man, but he didn’t seem to bear Christian fruit. I often tried to engage him in talks about the gospel, but he didn’t seem interested. It had become my strategy that I will SEED him with the word overTIME. This was a strategy built upon the illusion of promised time. I thought that he would always be here to cut my hair and have conversations with me. However, he is gone.

When I first received the news of my friend’s death, in the midst of my shock, I began to pray for him. Right in that moment I heard God say, “there is a lot of hypocrisy in praying for a dead man, who you did not preach to when he was alive.” I got the point clearly. As much as we can, let us not postpone the preaching of the gospel, the loving of the brethren, the serving of humanity, and our living lives of purpose (Gal 6:10).

In the words of Jude, we must save some people through the gospel as though we are “snatching them as from the very flames of hell itself (Jude 1:23). That speaks of urgency and fervency with which we must preach the gospel, and pursue God’s mission.

I commission you to do this unapologetically my dear son.

Your Dad
Daniel Addo.

Letter to My Son

Today, my Big Brother celebrates the x’th anniversary of his 20th birthday… (that’s right, he just turned 20-x). In commemoration of  this great event, I’m sharing a post written by him- we’ll make a series of it… I hope you enjoy it (them) and Please say a Word of Prayer for him.

P.S- Dear Future Nephew, your daddy is My Rockstar!

Happy birthday Pastor Daniel Fred–Addo

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Dear Son,

You are merely a dream right now. You are not born, and will not be born for another five years or so. I, your father, am not even married – LOL. Heck, I’m not even dating (but don’t worry, I’m working on that). However, not a day goes by that you don’t cross my mind. I have dreams of raising you up as a passionate, driven, and loving man. I dream about dressing you up in clothes that are identical to mine, and teaching you to ride a bike. I dream often of you! To be sure son, I have other dreams, but you are already a priority for me. I reckon that whatever else I may do on earth, nothing will be more important than being a great father to you.

 

Son, if I do nothing else for you, I want to make sure you don’t repeat my mistakes. I will like to see you living your life only making new mistakes. I want so desperately to shield you from the errors of your father. While I can’t guarantee it, I can pray, and give you this note as a reminder of the life I desire for you.

 

First of all son, it’s important you know that your dad is not perfect. Well, if you’re old enough to read this message, you probably already know that – LOL. But, it’s important that I categorically tell you this: I AM A MAN. That means I’m broken, scarred by life, striving always for perfection. It also means that I have a propensity to hurt others (just ask your mum). As much as I will try not to, being a man means I will hurt you son. I wont always say the right things; I won’t always act appropriately. That’s the reality of the world we live in Son. People are broken.

 

In my short life on earth, I have manifested my brokenness by hurting many. I can give you instance after instance, of people who have been hurt on my journey to perfection. I can tell you of times when my tongue moved faster than my head and released words that scarred others. Oh son, I can tell you of times I made emotional decisions that hurt others. Son, I have hurt many women – both by moving too fast, and sometimes by not moving at all. I know you’re interested in that last bit, but I’ll tell you more in another note.

 

I’m sure you’re wondering why I’m saying all of this –

Well Son, every man’s dream is to be the object of his son’s admiration. One day, you’ll have your own son, and you’ll want him to think of you as a mentor. For the past 25 years of my life, this is all I have wanted. I’ve often hoped that you will love me, and brag about me to your friends (just like I do about grandpa).

 

However son, the more I grow, the more I want better for you. The more I live, the more mistakes I seem to make. The more I dream of you, the more I realize that you deserve a much better mentor. Son, as much as I desire your admiration, I would rather have you admiring another man. Yes son! Another man! His name is Jesus. He is the one who is perfection, and who perfects all that is imperfect.

 

Son, I lied when I said your dad is imperfect. It wasn’t necessarily a lie, it was just half-truth. Your dad is perfect in Jesus Christ. On my own, I am a wreck, but in Jesus, I have found perfection. I can imagine that this is confusing for you. When you grow a bit older, I will explain to you the concepts of instant Justification and continuous sanctification. But for now, all you need to know is, while your dad may be a mess sometimes, Jesus is steadfast in his love, mercy, and grace towards you. And he will perfect all that concerns you.

 

Son, He loves you beyond words. He died to prove how much you mean to Him. He will never leave or forsake you. Even in those difficult times when your mother and I are out on ministry, He’ll be with you. Son, He is ever gentle and loving, yet firm and bold. He is the best man that ever walked the face of the earth. He is the one I want you emulating. Not me – not frail Dad – but Jesus.

 

People say that as your father, I will be responsible for shaping your esteem in life. I want to assure you that I will not shy from this duty. However, as much as is possible, I want you to derive your sense of identity not from me, but from Jesus. Let what He says about you in the bible be more influential than anything I will ever say to you. He is your real father, I am merely a surrogate dad.

 

Son, if you lose everything else in life, don’t lose your relationship with Jesus.

 

I love you Son,

Your Dad,

Daniel Addo.

TNC 3- Dealing with the loneliness

Like I said in my first post, when I first got here, it was a bit difficult for me to adjust. And honestly, I’m not sure why because it wasn’t my first time away from home or friends. I guess it’s because I thought I was coming to a city where I knew absolutely no one and considering it wasn’t the normal 4-5 month semester anymore but an entire year… but then, these are just speculations, I still don’t know what the exact reason was but I know I felt very alone and depressed pretty much all the time. It might’ve just been devil trying to vex me.

Anyhoo, I’m not sure of the details but I believe a new set of corps members are going to camp on Monday- tomorrow (blame Nigeria for the uncertainty, so unpredictable) and I thought it might help to share some of the things that helped me deal with these feelings. And for the brother or sister struggling with depression, this might help also.

 

Enjoy!

  • Make friends- this part wasn’t fun for me. I like making friends but I think I’m done with that phase in my life where it’s easy for me. In high school most of the people you meet barely have an identity. They’re all really just going with the motions trying to figure themselves out. So a group of five girls can develop similar characters and be friends forever because they bonded over – high school musical or something else. These friends you’ve known since high school would understand your inside jokes and would likely have been with you through thick and thin!

But at the post-college phase, while I might like your sense of humor, I might not be able to stand other sides of you and then what happens? Will we now be joking every time?

Not to sound too spiritual or anything but as young people, and people generally, you need to pray about relationships before you walk into them- be it on a romantic or at the friendship level. God knew I was too lazy to start looking for friends so he sent me amazing people who’ve taken care of my emotional needs… and I’m sure you know I’m quite needy! Dear NYSC family, ya’ll are the real MVPs.

Really friendship is about synergy. You would probably not like everything I do or am! But if we work really hard at it, if you think a friendship is worth the time, go for it! Fight, Make up, be Humble, Understand that sometimes you won’t have it your way and it’s not the end of the world!

 

  • Connect with other people in a similar situation. For me, this was other corps members. I think this helped me not to feel too alone. Knowing that other people are going through and are feeling the things I’m feeling. Whenever I would feel symptoms of depression I’d call one up and suggest we hang out or go see a movie and just talk over the phone. Basically try not be alone!

 

  • Finally, and I think this contributed a great deal to my not being too sad about this NYSC thing, JOIN A DEPARTMENT IN CHURCH!! Or maybe in your case a group or something but I joined a church department and soon, they became my new family. They’ll probably never know how much they helped me because as much as I wanted to be with my new friends or other corpers, it was really becoming exhausting and there’s something about being a part of something bigger than yourself.- part of a system. I believe the best place to find the best people are in the presence of God, joining a church department made all the difference.

 

I really hope this helps someone through something today!

If you’ve been in any of those ‘alone’ situations, help a soul and share how you got through it in the comment box below!!

 

Cheers!

Freda Fred-Addo

IG + Twitter- @El_Freedah

Morning Motivation

Taking a detour off The NYSC Chronicles (TNC) for a bit even though this post still holds things that became more real to me since I began this journey….

Regardless, Enjoy!

app-art-storm

Psalms 46:10a

“Be still, and know that I am God…”

 

I have learnt that our being still should not be as a result of our knowledge! No! The simple instruction God gave was “be still… And know!”. It is no mistake that He didn’t say, “When you know, then be still”. In fact, most times, the things we think we know are jokes!

To God, faith is extremely important. Take a brief look at the Life of Abraham, a man fondly referred to as the father of Faith. His story is one that every Sunday school child knows all too well. Abraham and his wife (Sarah) had a child in their old age.

An aspect no one really looks into is what Abraham ‘did’ to deserve such an honor… We know that there is nothing we have that God wants, I mean, He is God- he has it all. So it is extremely accurate to say that there is nothing Abraham could have had that God would have wanted!

However, because of his FAITH in God, God declared him righteous (Gen 15:6). Abraham persevered to the end. Read your Bible, you’ll see in Chapter 12 of Genesis that God called Abraham out from his family and kindred and asked him to go to no specific place and immediately after giving him instructions and promises, Abraham faced a famine like no other that took him to Egypt. This is the point many of us would have packed our things and headed back to our father’s house and to be honest, no one would have judged Abraham if he did that but he remained faithful! Full of Faith! Calm in the storm!

The way I see it, ‘Be still and know” is God’s way of bragging… like ‘just sit and watch Me deal with that barrenness/solve that situation/cure that illness/heal that broken heart….’ Whatever the situation, there’s nothing you need to do! Just sit and watch your daddy handle it. BE STILL AND WATCH HIM BE GOD!

Hang in there guys! And Have A Blessed Day!

Freda Fred-Addo

IG + Twitter: El_freedah

 

TNC2- PUBLIC TRANSPORT PALAVA

Today was.. is… (this english thing sef)… I was shaa born on the 26th Day of May! And with all the festivities, I felt so blessed! The calibre of people God has blessed me with! I cannot complain! I am INDEED FAVOURED! I just want to use this medium to appreciate you all! Thank you for the calls, prayers, texts! everything! God will remember your labor of love and you shall be celebrated even more!

I have decided to give a little something back! It cannot be compared to all the love I received today, but this is what I have — Please, read, share and COMMENT!!!

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Before my service year, I never really travelled by road on my own. The longest road trip I ever really did was from Kaduna to Abuja, and that’s just two hours and it had never really been in a commercial car. It was usually with my parents/siblings or a driver or a family member/friend or someone I knew! So coming to my state of posting, a journey that would take 8 hours was really exciting for me. I love adventures and I love visiting new places.

Ever since I got to my new ‘home’, I’ve had more opportunities to use these commercial buses with about 7-12 complete strangers.

Based on my observation, I’ve found that in these buses, are different characters of people (obviously)… and just for fun, I’ve decided to classify them and give them some sort of title/label that you should look out for the next time you’re in a bus and also so you can identify yourself.

  • The DJ- aka, the driver- The guy who mans what radio station or boring cassette tape we all HAVE to listen to. This guy is usually very aggressive perhaps as a result of driving total strangers around for hours. Passengers on buses are usually rude to this guy… I don’t quite get why… I mean… why would I want to upset the man whose behind the wheels to the car I’m about to enter?… You want him happy and alert not angry and grumpy… right? If he vexes and decides to crash the car nko?… lol.
  • The Business Man/Phone Call Guy- This one is constantly on the phone trying to ensure the “containers get to Onitsha” or some other state. The gender of this person may differ but you can be certain that be it male or female, they’ll be loud! I assume the person on the other end of the call is deaf because the degree of shouting is beyond me! They’re usually really condescending. Like they are beyond being in a bus or something! I don’t get it. Get your own car na, why are you angry with the rest of us?
  • The Snorer- I entered a bus once and the driver asked this guy to move to the back of the car. Apparently, people who sleep are bad momentum for the guy driving and as such shouldn’t sit in front –just incase you’re chased from the front to the back seat. The snorer usually appears in the physical form of a man whose wife should’ve stopped him from eating years ago…. Mr. Snorer is loud and really should get his nasal cavity checked!
  • The Human Rights Activist- The guy who makes it his priority to fight for the passengers rights- ‘oga driver, you cant put 4 people there, it’s already tight’, ‘oga driver this box would break somebody’s head oh’ ‘oga driver, no too speed na’… Mr. Martin Luther King has good intentions but is usually really rude. He’s the leader of the gang that tries to annoy the driver into killing us!
  • The Hommies- Those two or more people who know each other from home and decide to gist the entire trip! Through out! Like… don’t they run out of what to say? Usually in some annoying dialect that just pinches the ear and from the intensity of the gist, you can tell they’re gossiping… needless to say, these are usually women. Because women never run out of gist!
Beautiful young people in the cafe

Aunties… please na!

  • The Waiter- That guy who is trying to be nice but really is just disturbing us with food… he’s the one that buys things on the road and tries to offer everyone on the bus… thank you sir but no thank you. Shey if I wanted I would’ve bought by myself!
  • The Toaster- This one… hmmm… he tries to hit on every girl on the bus. I mean… you just asked the girl next to me for her number brother… why are you still asking me? In such a confined space? Have some shame sir! When we drop you can try but ha,ahn!
  • The Priest- That guy who always instigates a prayer before the car really starts to move. It usually begins with “shall we just say a short prayer before the journey begins…” and ends maybe 20 minutes later (Ok.. Ok.. I joke!) I actually like this person because he gives us a sort of spiritual consciousness and feeling of safety! The feeling/knowledge that God is watching after us. I was in one bus however where the guy made me feel more scared than safe. He kept mentioning how God had saved him from 5 previous crashes where almost everyone died except him… I started to wonder… perhaps the problem is with him… I was real close to pulling a ‘Jonah’ on him! Kicking him out of the bus. Lol.
  • Finally, there’s the reader/music person- Usually with music too loud or a book that just captivates her enough that she doesn’t pay attention to any other thing happening in the bus. The snorer doesn’t matter, neither does Emeka, the business mogul or the chit-chatters. Every other person in the bus is just there. Obviously, I, my humble self, fall into this category.

music_is_my_escape____by_southcityswag55-d4gbn3j

So, not every character must be present in every bus, however, these characters are usually there.

Oya! Locate yourself and comment below!

Cheers!

Twitter + IG- El_freedah

THE NYSC CHRONICLES

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The NYSC (National Youth Service Corps) year was established in Nigeria in an attempt to bring the nation together… I’m not too sure of the story (partly because I wasn’t really listening) but I vaguely remember being taught in NYSC orientation camp that it was created as a result of the civil war that happened from 1967-1970 in Nigeria.

After the war, the government thought it would be wise and would create some sort of harmony/symphony; if for one year after school, graduates would be posted to states they know nothing about to work. I assume they must’ve thought that by so doing, we would learn other people’s traditions and grow to respect them.

For those who are unaware, I graduated last year (2015) in May so according to the natural flow of things in my country (Nigeria); the next step is my Service Year. By October 2015, I had started my service year. Fortunately/unfortunately, like most things in Nigeria, NYSC is very fixable… based on my previous intro, you can tell that the aim was to take Northerners to the East or West(and vice versa) but unfortunately, people have found a way around it… I know a guy who has lived all his life in the North, schooled in the North and still found a way to get posted to the North… to his fathers company! (LOL)

I on the other hand, though I could’ve had it arranged, decided ‘it’s just one year’… ‘I’ll gain valuable life experiences’… all my friends have argued that I’m just stupid. =)) One actually called me and asked where I was; when I told her she said “But what are you doing there?” ..bear in mind this babe is a ‘corper’ like me oh! After I explained to her what I was “doing”, she burst out laughing and said “dude, you didn’t redeploy?”…

When I first got to my state of deployment after the Christmas holiday (which I shouldn’t have had but I’m a rebel like that), it dawned on me that… mehn this thing is real. I would call my parents through out that first week and just cry… sometimes, I’d be fine… then I’ll talk to my little brother and just breakdown again! – that child just has my heart!

Like most of my life’s situations, I found that writing about it made it easier to deal with… so I decided to start a series of posts about my service year… they may not be entertaining or educative… but it’s therapy for me and there’s still a 50% chance it will help you through seemingly tough situations.

That being said… sit tight and enjoy a year long ranting/therapy session from me!

Oh! By the way…

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Sorry for the drama… but before I sign out, I have an announcement to make.

Soon, my blog would have music on it… Lol. Yeah, I’ll be putting up songs from Nigerian Based Gospel Artists! I feel it’s necessary to support #GoodMusic #GodMusic and to support #NigerianMusic. It’s all still in the planning stage right now but as soon as I figure out how all these computer things work, we’ll take it global! This has been the main reason for the long silence but I decided that while I’m working on the logistics, I’ll give y’all something to read…

I’ll also be accepting a lot of guest writers/anonymous writer… so if you’ve got something to share that’ll help someone’s life, even if you’ll prefer to remain unknown… send it over to my email address freedah.addo@gmail.com .

I might also start a column where we can ask questions… if you’re too shy to place a question in your name, you can trust me enough to keep your secret. Send all anonymous questions to the above email address and hopefully my readers and I can help you out. Trust me, I need this too! Lol.

Thank you for reading today… and see you real soon!

CHEERS!

Freda Fred-Addo

Twitter +IG- @el_freedah

ARE YOU DATING AN ONION?

It was Mummy Adejo’s birthday yesterday… anyone who knows this woman would refer to her as “Mummy” not ‘Ma’, or ‘Aunty’ or ‘a friends mum’! She has a way of mothering everyone she meets! She’s a blessing to all… but this piece isn’t an appreciative piece to her… because if I did that, there would be no space and I’d run out of words in seconds! She’s that awesome!
This piece is about the pictures Mummy Adejo took with her husband (Daddy Adejo) on her birthday.

The world says, “a picture is worth a thousand words”. If you don’t know someone and you see a picture of them, you may be able to pick up on their kind of person (depending on how perceptive you are)… you see pictures and no matter how much people smile in them, you just know things aren’t great…

Joy (Mummy Adejo’s daughter/ my big sister) sent me the pictures mum and dad took and I was awed!! For a few minutes, I kept enlarging and staring at them. Those pictures compelled me to smile! You could just see happiness in their eyes! And the way dad looked at mum? Wow! It was priceless! Now, you must understand, these people have been married for about 33 years! I know people who have been married shorter and can’t really stand each other… I didn’t know when I got on my knees and started praying… (lol)

Rev (Dr.) and Pastor Mrs Adejo

Rev (Dr.) and Pastor (Mrs) Adejo

I see love everywhere! My biological parents still hug and kiss each other in front of my brothers and I (even when we beg them to stop)… Mum would be scolding me with her voice as fierce as a lion then pick up the phone to talk to Dad and suddenly become this big baby! She will go “hello baby” or say her own version of the word “boo” (you don’t want to hear it!). These people have been together for 27 years, yet they’re still madly in love…

Bishop & Bishop (Mrs) Fred-Addo

Bishop & Bishop (Mrs) Fred-Addo

I’ve looked at these ideal, godly relationships and I’ve come to the conclusion that HAPPINESS IS POSSIBLE… and personally, I’ve refused to settle for less! I have friends who have stayed with a guy who obviously doesn’t deserve them, just because he’s there at the moment… just because after beating her… he got her a cheap wristwatch or food -_-… My dear sister… you’re worth more than that!

A brother whose girlfriend is on and off… but because she’s giving him remnants, he thinks it’s alright… making excuses for the things that matter most and saying ‘I’m sure things will change…’
I believe people are allowed a certain yardstick of faults but with the things that matter to me, I can’t compromise!

Anyone who I’ve ever counseled or talked to about life and love knows that my best line is, “Forever is too long to be unhappy”… I pray for my friends to find good spouses because you can’t be calling me to cry everyday! This may be selfish but happiness is important! Be happy independently (by yourself), don’t depend on others to make you happy. If you find a significant other or a spouse… don’t let them be a cause of pain and grief! Anyone who doesn’t add to your existing happiness doesn’t deserve you!

I leave you with the words of a wise man/woman (I’m not sure)… “if you’re crying everyday in your relationship; you’ve got to ask yourself…. ‘AM I DATING AN ONION?'”
**Peace!**

poem by Janette... ikz

poem by Janette… ikz

** link to the full video of the poem… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igCj3jsbcqs

@el_freedah