Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Africans Are Still Afflicting Widows.

In the book of Exodus, God gives this edict to the Israelites “Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child.” While this was a direct prohibition given to Israelites, the concept is still valid to every society and culture with any modicum of morality. Hellas, as you travel around Africa, you see that widows are still being maltreated. One would think that with traveling overseas, Africans will be wiser, but they seem to carry the same old backward and wicked treatment of widows abroad. I will lay the foundation of this lesson with an anecdote. A young man just died in Georgia. During his wake, friends and families gathered and were raising money. The coordinators insisted that the mother of the defunct should be the one to stand in the middle to receive the “farotage” (braggadocio-donations). One of them even said this is “because we believe the mother is the better person to take care of the kids.” All of this with the young wife sitting right there. I cringe in my spirit and flashbacks cinematographically reminded me of the past.

That statement is not only educationally ignorant in itself, legally out of place but also socially inconsiderate. It is ignorant because every mother has strong ties and feelings for their child. We know there are exceptions, but in general, every mother will feel for their child. And this young woman is no different! Secondly, they lived together up to having kids. That qualifies her for Common Law Marriage although not in Georgia since Georgia stopped recognizing it in 1997. However, the community knew him as having a wife or concubine. While she may not have borne his last name, or they might not have filed taxes, one thing is clear that everyone in the community knew and knows that she was the wife. That alone should qualify her the Putative Spouse Status because surely she knew she was in a marriage in all Uberrima fides even if the paperwork is not there to show. For those of us with sisters, who will want their sister to sit there during the wake keeping for the late husband, and people are making comments that she will be unfit to keep the kids? It is wrong to stand up in a podium to make disparaging remarks to someone’s daughter or sister who has lost the husband.

Why is it that each time someone dies, the family must come in for possessions when the man has kids? Many at times those who are bequeathed with the dead man’s wealth end up abandoning the kids who at times become pariahs. In some tribes in the Northwest Province of Cameroon, the cousins inherit the property of the man. They will inherit the property and if the man had houses, they will even chase out the widow and her kids to fend in wonderland. If you do not have mercy, at least you should be afraid of God.

Consequently, I will take you to the Bible to see how widows need to be treated. The Bible says the society should not afflict widows and orphans. Disappropriating them is afflicting them. When you call into question their motherhood for no just cause, is another form of affliction. When you seize their ability to speak, that is afflicting them. A widow is a widow. no matter her age. That young woman is a widow and should be treated with the status of a widow.

In James 1:27, the Apostle Paul tells James this, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” Treating whoever badly whether in public or private is no true religion and that is not what God wants. God is not asking for sacrifices for obedience is better than sacrifice (I Sam 15:22), but He is asking for justice, mercy and humility (Micah 6:6-8).

Therefore, when a husband dies, leave the woman alone with what the husband or man left with her. Whether she has kids or not, she has the right to his property! I am conscious there are “Happy Widows” (those who kill their husbands to inherit property), but not in a clear case as that of the husband dying without the hand of the woman. When someone dies, uncles and aunts or at times parents who did not even care for the child show up to fight for property. That must have an end. Protect these women rather than denigrate them. Do unto others what you want them do unto you. If you have a sister or a mother, treat other people’s sisters and mothers badly and the same measure will be meted to you one day. If you escape the judgment of humans, it is certain you will face God to give an account of your acts on earth.

Until then, Africans must learn to protect the widows.

St Arrey of Ntenako.

“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

Monday, December 12, 2011

Are You Borrowing To Offer Gifts To People?

Engineer James Tangumonkem (my invible partner) offering me a gift in 1996.

 In 2010, a friend of mine asked me to carry her sister in-law from Atlanta to DC, Maryland. When we reached town, she told me that she wanted me to drop her in her boyfriend’s house. He gave her the wrong address, so we kept driving and driving in circles. I saw a police officer and wanted to ask, but she discouraged the idea. So we kept driving and driving for an hour as she argued with her boyfriend on the phone. A a certain time, he hung up and will no more pick up the phone. I got a bit angry and parked by the road side. I finally flaged the police who told us that the address was a wrong address. I told her that I was not going to be driving for more than one hour looking for her boyfriend’s house. She said “I don’t know why he is not picking up the phone.” I felt sorry for her. Furthermore, I had sold her some jeans for more than $200, so I felt like, if we do not see the guy, she may give back my goods. So it was in my vested interest to find that boyfriend of hers wherever he was hidding. So I said “leave him a message and tell him some of the things you have bought for him, and he will call you back.” She did and immediately he called us back and gave us the right address. Hers was at least better, for she had the money. What about you?

Some people indebt themselves to offer gifts to people who do not even care about them. Some take their families and friends to eat out on credit. Today I want to examine the morality behind indebting one’s self to offer gifts during holidays. Sometimes it hurts me to pick up a phone call and a Christian tells me that she has a list of 22 people she wants to offer gifts to and would like to know how many I want to sponsor. Another one said that he wants to offer gifts to his nephew and niece but does not have money. I asked him if the kids have kidnapped him? He said no. So I said, "bro keep your flesh checked, for you will be ok without the gifts." I have made it as a principle in my life not to buy if I don't have money. If I don't have money, I don't eat out. I was called to mediate between two friends for unpaid debts. One of them said, "pastor, when I took the money, I even bought him a gift for his birthday. Did I do anything bad brother?" He asked me.

It is unchristian to have Christians as criminal debtors; those debtors who know they are unable to pay a debt, yet they still get into it. If someone owes a student loan or some car note, one will understand, but this credit card thing, I just don't get it, especially unpaid. Many people have bad credit because of unpaid debts. Talk less of those who owe every relative and friend, dead and alive. I have never used a credit card, but I am still alive and well. If people are not comfortable with you because you do not give them gifts, so be it; let them disown you. The day you suffocate, they will know that those who are rejected suffocate.

Why do people eat out when they have not paid their light bills? Why should anyone be giving gifts to others when he/she owes rents? Why are you buying gifts for people when you have a huge student loan. Many Christians have bad credit because of unpaid debts. Why does a Christian eat out when the/she has not paid his/her light bill? Why should anyone be giving gifts to others when they are indebting themselves? Some owe almost all their friends and even enemies. Others have fallen out with best friends and relatives because of unpaid debts which they actually took to offer them gifts.

I was a teenager in Douala in quartier Nkoulouloun where I grew up. A Bangante man died, people came to the wake, but there was one particular guy who was crying more than even the widow. So he quickly gained sympathy and attention. The more people looked at him, the more he cried. So one naughty teenager said,
"toi aussi, tu pleures même plus que la famille et la femme.” He turned and looked at the young man, then suddenly turned his face towards the corpse on the bier, and he cried again “Alphonse, pourquoi est-tu parti avec mon l’argent?” Then another person too just shrieked. Two others on the far end screeched. It was then that we realized Alphonse was in a Tontin -Njangi , and he had already eaten. All of a sudden, the family had to remove the widow from the place for fear the creditors harassed the widow to pay the debts. The many who cried him hard, did not cry because they loved him, but because he owed them money. Since there was no contract signed that he owed them, it is unlikely that his family will cover such debts, and these friends could not just sit and see him leave with their money.  

My friends, irresponsibility is in various forms, and borrowing money to offer gifts during Christmas and New Year is one of them. I do not see why people make themselves criminal debtors just because of pride. There are many people that when they will die, people will not cry them because of the love they had for them but because they have gone with their money.

If you do not have money and must use credit card, get the food and cook at home and entertain your family. It will be much more cheaper and responsible. As if some are possessed, they will take the little money they have to buy gifts for people and three months after Christmas and New year, they will be living in darkness.

A gift is from what you have. If you do not have, do not give. I don’t mean the other extreme of never ever having.

Until then, do not give gifts if you have to indebt yourself.

Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk.
“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

He Committed Suicide Because His Girlfriend Rejected Him.

This article is in response to the young Ghanaian rapper from Tema called Gabe Small who committed suicide because his girlfriend dumped him. Through this article, I want to encourage the young people, especially the young boys who are rejected everyday by women they like. Are there flops in your menu that make you want to miss out some courses? Rosalind Russell once said "Flops are a part of life's menu and I've never been a girl to miss out on any of the courses." Many people go out to witness, but when their intended target rejects them, they get angry or stick around because they cannot fathom being rejected. Many men get rejected in life by women before they die. The men who are never rejected are those who never actually speak or spoke to women. If they did, one or two will reject them.

Women are seldom rejected, but each time they have been rejected, there was nothing like their fury. Two classic examples are Lady Potiphar who was rejected by Joseph, and Tamar who was rejected by Judah. Nonetheless, everyone is rejected at some point in life, but the difference is at the level of reception and reaction. How should you react when rejected by a love interest.

For some, I will say smack the dust off you feet and go you way, for they do not even merit your love. If a woman wants you, she will give you no reason. If you live in a hole, she will follow you into that hole and if you live in the sky, she will fly with you; however, if she does not want you, she will give you 101 reasons and will tell you how you speak like like Mickey Mouse. For others, you give a little bit of patience, knowing that it takes some people time to make up their minds.

However, if someone does not show you interest, leave them alone. Don’t kill yourself because someone rejected you, for you have only one life; meanwhile, you can find their replacement in life. Everyone in life will be rejected at some point in time. Not everyone is married to the person they truly love and though they did not marry the person they truly loved, they are still very happy. Stay patient because some day their replacement will come. If you die, you will never live to see their replacement and prove to them that they made a bad choice. You need to stay alive to show them that despite them, you are happy and perhaps they are not. I say stay alive and not die.

Writers are aware of how publishers rejected them. E.E Cummings’ manuscript was rejected 15 times before it was published by his mother. If I close this exordium without alluding to the master of rejection: Jesus Christ, then I have failed in my purpose. The prophet Isaiah in chapter 53:3 wrote “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”

Therefore, stay alive for in life in general, it is not everyone who will like you or accept you. It is not everyone who will believe in you, and it is not everyone who will follow you in what you do. Why keep any love that is like a dove in the cage when it is future heartbreak? No matter what you do to it, it will fly away if you open the cage. True love should be like the flesh of your flesh and bone of you bones; it is going no where, no matter how much flesh and how many other ribs are out there. Once more, I encourage you to rise above your rejection and stay alive. If you are running after the person you love for five miles and he/she does not seem to wait for you , give up, for you may be chasing the wind. Do not run after a woman as if she does not see you because if she wanted you, she will run after you too even if you were in a hole. Ask God for the key of life, and you will live in abundant life.

Until then, may God bring your true love.

Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk.

“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

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