Locomoting The Lɔgɔligi – Cover Design

The cover of my book Lɔgɔligi Locomotion is a forced selfie employing lɔgɔligi methods to capture my emotions with my sons train set.

But how did I arrive at Lɔgɔligi Locomotion as a book title?

Unlike fiction and non fiction books, poetry can be a confusing realm when it comes to titles. Many poems have been constructed without titles due to creativity deciding to close early from work. Leaving poets to live with the old faithful “Untitled” as a title.

You can therefore imagine my struggle in finding a name for the book. I liken it to naming a child. This however, is a child you want everyone to talk about and be attracted to. A child with qualities true to the poetry within.

With the poems within being … scattered. Scattered thoughts of Ghana, woman, love and Christianity. Poems with a medley of emotions.

I have been moving with these poems since 2005. Moving them from phone to phone in my notes and finally settling them in a book.

As an artist who loves to showcase Ghana and it’s beauty, lɔgɔligi was the best adjective to describe the movement of these poems.

It is an apt term describing the book and life.

But What Does Lɔgɔligi Mean?

In a Clubhouse event this week I described lɔgɔligi as having multiple meanings. Wriggly is one of the definitions of this interesting Ghanaian term. A term richly linked to how a worm moves.

In Ghana, seldom is the straight path taken. There are always turns, corners and shortcuts employed to get ahead. We also laugh at everything. We laugh at our predicaments and joys as if life is tickling or doing us lɔgɔligi.

Yes, tickle is the other definition of lɔgɔligi.

This is how we move as Ghanaians. This is how life moves. This is how MY poetry moves.

So I arranged my poems in one logologo line and turned it into the book, Lɔgɔligi Locomotion.

After this eureka moment, the next hurdle was to depict this title as a book cover.

Designing The Book Cover

The idea was to design the book cover using a train as a theme for locomotion. But how do we show that the train is moving lɔgɔligi?

With the help of software one could create a wriggly train or wriggly train track. But that felt cliche.

I thus took my kids train set, setup a tripod and started taking selfies. The idea was to take a picture of me looking confused trying to figure out how to setup the train and it’s tracks. This after all is what life looks like. Man trying to figure stuff out.

The many shots taken to get my cover design

After a number of shots, I found one I was comfortable with. It wasn’t the clearest picture. I had to use the front facing camera but it did the job.

I felt pretty accomplished at this point and nothing I believed could hold me back from achieving my dream of being a published poet.

That’s when Amazon started to test my nerves.

Lɔgɔligi or Lorgorligi?

The Chosen Shot

Locally I did not have an issue with my cover design. Internationally however, there were issues.

To enable my book to be available outside of Ghana I utilized Amazon KDP to enable the book be available on Amazon.

The Amazon KDP is a very AI led experience. It’s an experience that can be very frustrating. The AI sets it’s requirements and rejects books that do not adhere. I would be ecstatic if this rejection was instant but unfortunately 24 hours are usually needed to get feedback after submission.

Amazon KDP AI and I went through this dance because of my cover design. I would have loved my design to be consistent with the locally printed book. Alas, that would not be the case. If I was going to tow the line of a perfectionist I may not have my book up on Amazon.

So the cover design of my book on Amazon is different from the local copies. I wish that were all. Unfortunately my desire to have lɔgɔligi retain its authentic spelling became problematic.

I realized whilst previewing my new design on Amazon KDP Cover Creator that Cover Creator does not recognize the “ɔ” character. The character just vanished in the preview screen. To be sure that wasn’t an error, I sent an email to the KDP team to verify if the “ɔ” character appearing was possible.

After a couple of days they confirmed my fears. The Cover Creator doesn’t recognize the character. As such, I had to change the spelling of the lɔgɔligi to lorgorligi. This saddened me but made me realize that a whole lot needs to be done regarding our Ghanaian languages.

Amazon Cover Design

It’s sad to admit it but internationally, it’s best to keep the book title as, Lorgorligi Locomotion. It enables the book to be easily searched within search engines. Can you imagine folk typing “ɔ” on their keyboards?

So my plan was to make these changes on the cover only. Keeping the content and spelling the same internally. Unfortunately, this caused the book to be rejected. The cover title had to match the header and title within the first pages. Until I made these changes, my book couldn’t be live on Amazon.

Conclusion

So this is the lɔgɔligi road I traveled on to get my cover design locally and also internationally. I pray this helps someone on their book journey. Be creative m, never give up and ALWAYS keep it One Hondred!

P.S The book is now available for preorder locally. Those outside of Africa can order online. I encourage you to do so and give me a review.

Locomoting the Lɔgɔligi – Editing

Writing a book ain’t easy. I liken it to pressing out the last bits of creativity from a toothpaste container.

Writing Lɔgɔligi Locomotion, my first poetry book, presented numerous challenges. Though I am done with the writing process the publishing process is still something I am struggling with.

I want to use this platform as a way to talk about my experiences on the various issues I encountered to help others who are writing poetry books or thinking of getting into it.

Today I want to talk about the editing process and some of the things I used and did to help me during editing

Choose Your Weapon

As a poet I am always writing. In my early years my only option was a book but my creative process with a book is not the best as I am always changing things. A laptop or computer is not mobile to fish out my thoughts when they appear in the wild. My weapon of choice for writing poetry is a smartphone.

My first piece of arsenal for poetry was the Blackberry Curve. The qwerty keyboard device lended itself to my love relationship with words and I have all my notes till date. Though I now use an iPhone the process is pretty much the same and I prefer the iPhone because of the cloud features available for notes. Regardless of hardware loss my notes are always with me.

Choose Your Apps

Notes

Notes unfortunately is not the best place to edit ones words. As a spoken word artist the format of the words and your cadence lies within. The notes just provide the words but the pauses, punctuation and emphasis are layered in the performance and not on paper.

So while I had content, my content wasn’t formatted in a manner that read in the form it was intended.

Unfortunately poetry is not like writing fiction or non fiction. An editor may suggest a change in phrase or sentence with fiction or non fiction that works. With poetry that change may be well intended but will take away character, flow or emotion that the poet is trying to convey. The creativity is with the interior decor of the words in the room called the page. This was a process I had to be involved in. Despite the challenges it presented, it made me a better poet.

Microsoft Office 365 – Word

Microsoft Office 365 became a valuable tool on this journey. Me being able to edit on phone and computer was a blessing. (I however preferred editing on a larger screen)

Reading each poem using the Read Aloud feature helped in my re-education of punctuations. I however wish I had a Ghanaian voice.

You eventually realize that despite your best intentions as a human being, you will make errors. Reading a 100 poems back to back fishing for inconsistencies is no easy feat. I was continually amazed at the errors I had committed and worked for weeks on getting the pieces to a state that I was content with.

Dictionary.com & Rhymezone

Other apps or websites that helped with the editing process were the app Dictionary.com and the website Rhymezone.

I use Dictionary.com for spellings and synonyms. Rhymezone is for when I am looking for rhyming words. Though often I find that my knowledge on rhymes is at par with them. Rhymezone actually has an app but I have never bothered downloading it. It’s something you can however check out.

Sleep

Sleep should not be underestimated in the editing process. Sometimes you are just too tired to spew out any sense. Challenging nature at this point will only puke out gibberish. When tired just rest. Creativity is like the sea. At the right moment the wave will pour out the words and phrases you seek to complete your puzzle. Without sleep however you will be unable to catch it.

Read Your Poetry to Others

Feedback should never be estimated. Continually seek people and spaces where you can share your work and receive honest thoughts on your work. The keyword is honest. Friends help but make sure the friends you share your material with get the angle you are aiming for.

I often use my wife as a litmus test as she is not an artsy person. If I read out a poem and she likes it, I know I am onto something.

Virtual open mic sessions on Clubhouse, Zoom or Facebook are great outlets to share and get discovered. I used Clubhouse a lot during the pandemic to test out my edits to see if they worked.

Conclusion

So these are a few of the things that helped me in the process of editing. Honesty and humility are internal battles you need to settle during this time in your writing journey.

It’s a tiring process but a rewarding one. A process that humbles you and pushes you towards the truth about your process.

Locomoting through this process definitely took me on a lɔgɔligi path. I have shared some of my experience editing. Next time I will share my cover design journey.

Keep it One Hondred!

Lɔgɔligi is a Ga term used to describe a wriggly nature, behavior or attribute

Pimpinaa MiCheck Review

PimpinaaStories by the Fireside is a modern, pidgin, spoken-word, love story, wrapped in conversations between poets embodying different characters.

It is a poetry duet, sung by voices from Ghana and North America exploring the different stages in the love cycle to explore the unfamiliar and familiar, in a different light to reveal another side of the sentiment known as love.

Pimpinaa Album Cover

Ghana-based poet S.Losina and American born spoken word artist ShaiYaa, embark on a journey that ShaiYaa says would not have been possible, had she not gone abroad.

ShaiYaa studied in Ghana for four months in 2018 and underwent an experience that reshaped her creative trajectory.

Mutual love for Ghana and pidgin connected S.Losina and ShaiYaa. Their collaboration resulted in a documentary-style album of love showcasing its different sides.

The scenarios in each track of Pimpinaa, are familiar, and like parables, hold a moral. The artists use rhyme, pidgin, accent, and culture to strike a contrast, creating a unique viewpoint of the various issues discussed.

Aside from a unique viewpoint, the project explores relationships between western and African cultures.

The spoken word style by each artist, characterized by language and accent, reflects the cracks and beauty within the relationship of love and cultures.

Ignorance is one of these cracks explored in this river of words. The artists do well to showcase it and the different scenarios and cultures.

To some degree, the album mirrors the stereotypical nature of people to other cultures and reveals that often in love, assumption is at play.

The content is solid and well written; featuring themes ranging from puppy love, abuse, hope, family, and ignorance.

S.Losina’s emotion is felt in each character he plays. His rhyme scheme and humor are well placed; articulating the typical Ghanaian attitude to the scenarios cast in the project.

ShaiYaa’s voice is beautiful but lacks the emotion which we see in S.Losina. We, therefore, hear rather than feel the emotions of her characters. ShaiYaa must however be praised for embracing and falling in love with pidgin. Her pronunciation of certain pidgin words is honorable but sounds lackluster in my ears. It however doesn’t take away from the beauty in her work and the project as a whole.

The interludes in the project must also be recognized. They are brief but important transitions keeping the album together.

As the name of the album goes, Pimpinaa is a call declaring that a new voice of poetry is here. Not only for the west or the diaspora but for the Ghanaian as well.

From the cover art to the interesting conclusion in the final track, Pimpinaa is a different brew of the poetry I am used to.

I hope say this no be the last we go hear” from ShaiYaa and S. Losina.

Listen to Pimpinaa here

Written by Hondred Percent


About the poets

ShaiYaa

ShaiYaa is a 22-year-old Black creative who was born and raised in Connecticut, USA but relocated to North Carolina in 2013; she earned a BA in English and TESOL certificate from East Carolina University in 2019. While moving to the south played a major role in who she is today, four months spent studying abroad in Ghana in 2018 completely transformed the trajectory of her life as a fiction and nonfiction writer, poet, and spoken word artist. ShaiYaa uses her pen and voice to uplift, heal, and bring light to a world desperately in need of it.

Follow her work here

Follow Shaiyaa on Instagram @piercingsandpineapples

S.Losina

S.Losina is a Ghanaian born creative hailing from Nima.

His love for art from a young age forged his creativity and during a stage performance after high school, was discovered by one of Ghana’s renowned movie directors, Abu Idi.

The director helped him gain a scholarship at Ghallywood Academy of film acting where he studied acting, writing, and voice training, to master his craft.

As a poet, he draws inspiration from his surroundings and utilizes pidgin often in his works.

Not limiting his talent to only poetry, he has also starred in movies with well-known Ghanaian Actors such as Umar Krupp just to name a few.

Follow him on Instagram @s.losina

4 Shege Reasons: Eye Red – MiCheck review

 

4 Shege Reasons: Eye Red Album Art, Front

The image I am starting at screams of “Akira” at a distance. It seems the 1988 Neo-Tokyo, cyberpunk anime served as inspiration for the latest project by Ghanaian spoken word artist, WhoIsDeydzi.

I see no drawings of motorcycles and biker gangs in the artwork so I may be wrong about the anime connection but the artwork screams of concepts foreign to what one is used to in the realm of Ghanaian poetry.

4 Shege Reasons: Eye Red Album Art, Back

The cover art continues to the back section which details the tracklist and reveals a Morpheus look-alike holding a red and blue pill in both palms.

This looks like the missing or bonus material in the “Animatrix” collection. I guess the Wachowski brothers movie, “The Matrix”, is rather the inspiration and not “Akira”.

(The Matrix is however said to be inspired by Akira so I guess there is some connection)

Eye Red, is an ambitious artistic project about politics, religion, and finding oneself. WhoIsDeydzi is heavily vulnerable in the body of work and truly uses his art to express his questions, frustrations, and will to persevere with pidgin, poetry, and real-life conversations.

From the prelude, listeners are offered a glimpse into the mind of the young poet. The journey starts off hopeful, gradually turns dark, and finally, into a scream for help to understand oneself.

The album shines with creativity, features, classic hip-hop beats, and rap that get you bumping and nodding internally.

The content is relevant and colorful. Pidgin, punchlines, and bluntness are sprinkled with swear words to paint the reality in which the artist views the world and country in which he resides.

If you love wordplay, there is enough imagery to consume your senses. There is also a nice balance of skits, poetry, and music to complete the scenery of WhoIsDeydzi’s version of the matrix.

The album however is nineteen tracks long and can be summarized as an amalgamation of about three EP’s.

The track arrangement could easily be split three ways into themes of struggle, religion & politics. Identity is the common denominator amongst the three.

The tracks are unique, though, in certain instances, it feels one is listening to a remix or alternate version of certain tracks.

There is a clear repetition of ideas and themes which tend to drag the project towards the end. Thus one listens waiting for something new to be said and is left slightly disappointed.

Disappointed not because the track is unfulfilling but because the track order has exposed the listener to the artist’s greatness and ingenuity; leaving one expectant of something fresh.

Despite these negatives, the project clearly has the makings of a classic. The concept is crisp and truthful; addressing and incorporating the current social climate and everyday questions and struggles that Ghanaians face.

The features on this project are awesome compliments to the poetry by the main artist.

KariJay on the track “Hometeam” breaks the monotony of the project and injects a youthful vibrance to the album. Her lyrics of hope despite the pullbacks of life create an anthem that anyone riding on a mantra of ‘by all means necessary’ will jubilate to.

(This is my favorite track due to the optimistic sentiments by Karijay in the chorus.)

Blaqad on “Pray for Me” lends his voice to the chorus like an essential color of thread in a kente fabric being woven. His presence is a layer of truth and a reminder of the songs that life sings to us every day.

4 Shege Reasons, is a bold submission in the creative space. I believe it will have a good reception and provide lessons to the artist in his upcoming projects.

WhoIsDeydzi is just getting started and I can’t wait to see how the world receives this epic, and hunger for what is next.

Welcome to the Ghanaian Pidgin Matrix.

4 Shege Reasons: Eye Red, comes out on Monday 6th July, 2020.

Click to listen to stream or buy the album.

Written by Hondred Percent


Dodzi Korsi Aveh, known in creative circles as WhoIsDeydzi, is a Ghanaian creative who tells stories through, spoken word poetry, hip-hop, theatre, film, and paint.

He also works as an educator and advocate for Pan Africanism, mental health, and the environment.

He is regarded as an eccentric performer that has captivated audiences through numerous thrilling performances across the genres he expresses himself in.

Dodzi uses his art to speak out on things he is passionate about as his own way of campaigning for social change.

Follow WhoIsDeydzi

Facebook: @whoisdeydzi

Twitter: @whoisdeydzi

Instagram: @whoisdeydzi

YouTube: @whoisdeydzi

Why Am I A Christian ?

I love comics, manga, anime, video games and basically anything that has to do with animation and superheroes (This includes Star Wars)

As a man living in Ghana one would think this would have been left behind in high school or university. Rather I patronize these things with a passion and love that my sons are learning about my super hero characters and Dragon Ball Z.

I am proud of that.

I am not phased when anyone sees my passion as childish. I love the memorabilia and if I can get any, I do.

This is similar to my passion as a Christian. I am a proud Christian and not ashamed of it one bit. Unlike my comics and video games. Christianity requires me to share the good news about Christ and His love for us.

The world we live in however is filled with a lot of people twisting the words in the bible to make Christianity seem as a space where once you get in suffering ceases.

This is not entirely true.

“However, if you suffer because you are a Christian, don’t be ashamed of it, but thank God that you bear Christ’s name.”

1 Peter 4:16 GNT

First off I want to point out that suffering is a constant in our lives as humans. Everybody goes through some kind of suffering. For some it’s physical and for others it’s emotional. The bottom line is that we all go through it.

In becoming a Christian we start the process of not feeling guilty. That’s a suffering I personally went through before I became a Christian. Even after I became born again, this suffering did not immediately go as I continued to live a life of sin.

“For “ WHOEVER CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD [in prayer] WILL BE SAVED.””

Romans 10:13 AMP

It was until I truly let Jesus in that the suffering went away. I had to realize the hard way that I could not solve my problems and had to let my Maker do it for me.

“because if you acknowledge and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord [recognizing His power, authority, and majesty as God], and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Romans 10:9 AMP

The simple gesture of letting someone into your personal space is difficult. Difficult because you have to accept that you are weak, not capable, inefficient and most importantly need help. As a male, that is tough.

Until you come to that realization you won’t begin to benefit truly from a relationship with Christ because that relationship will be fake (on your part).

All that is a suffering you must go through. Once that is over it doesn’t mean that you are suddenly out of the woods. There is usually a sense that you will have everything going for you MATERIALLY. I stress on the material because usually that’s what people think the relationship is all about. I need to be rich so God is going to give me money now. I need a man/woman so God is going to get me that now.

Sorry to burst your bubble again but that isn’t what Christianity is all about.

What you need to understand about being a true Christian is that you have to prepare your self to accept both good and bad news and believe they are working for the good of you and everyone. Once you accept this, you’ll begin to appreciate and trust the role of God in your life.

“And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.”

Romans 8:28 AMP

Pain is a constant in life. So is suffering. The only difference here is this; you can suffer in gain or you can suffer in vain either way there is going to be pain.

Just because you became a Christian doesn’t mean life or success is now on autopilot. You have to come to the party and play your part. God will do his bit but you have to do yours as well. If you don’t, well He is not going to be able to heal or transform you into what you are supposed to be.

In the book of 2 Kings there is a story about a soldier named Naaman who had leprousy and was looking to be healed. He was asked by the Prophet Elisha to bathe in the Jordan seven times. Naaman found the instructions insulting and almost ignored until his servant encouraged him to do as Elisha has instructed. By following the instructions given he was healed.

This is similar to the saying:

“ You can take a horse to the river but you can’t force it to drink”

The same goes for Christians. If we listen and follow the word in the Bible and what our Lord ministers to us personally we will see the growth in our lives.

If you looking at achieving something without putting in work and thinking because you are Christian and go to church and pray, that things are going to work out, you’ve got the wrong idea of God’s purpose.

“Indeed, we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined and inappropriate life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies [meddling in other people’s business]. Now such people we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and work quietly and earn their own food and other necessities [supporting themselves instead of depending on the hospitality of others]. And as for [the rest of] you, believers, do not grow tired or lose heart in doing good [but continue doing what is right without weakening].”

2 Thessalonians 3:11-13 AMP

“If anyone fails to provide for his own, and especially for those of his own family, he has denied the faith [by disregarding its precepts] and is worse than an unbeliever [who fulfills his obligation in these matters].”

1 Timothy 5:8 AMP

This is why some people who don’t believe in God but work hard reap the benefits of their work. God is not going to deny them the fruits of their labor because they don’t subscribe to Christianity. Remember, we are all God’s children and He is working hard for us all to come to Him.

So why be a Christian?

It’s the best way of living life and having peace of mind. Think of Christianity as having a friend who is going to help you make better decisions. One that will guide you into becoming the best version of yourself. One that will help you find your true self and live fulfilled. A friend who forgives you if you make mistakes and helps you back on your feet.

Let’s face it. There is only so much that each of us individually can do. It’s only God that can achieve the impossible. As a Christian it gives me a sense of peace because I know and trust that He is in control and all that is happening is happening for a reason.

I just have to do my part and listen to Him as He directs me towards happiness and love. Sometimes that will mean me going through some storms or being uncomfortable but in the end it will be worth it. Sometimes I may do my own thing and fail. He will be there to pick me up. Discipline me if needed but all to put me on track and teach me a lesson.

It’s all about faith in Him and accepting that we know no better. This however can only be achieved if one is broken and comes to Him in sincerity to change, depend on Him and love.

If this message has touched you and you want to give your life to Christ, pray this simple prayer in honesty.

Father, I am a sinner before you looking for peace. My past and lifestyle are underserving of your mercy. I am at a place where I am not proud of myself and feel worthless.

Deep down though I know that’s not the plan you have for me.

So I come to you accepting my flaws and accepting that I need to change.

I recognize your authority and the life of you Son Jesus Christ who died for us.

I believe in His sacrifice and want Him to be my Lord and personal savior.

I know I am not perfect but seek perfection through Jesus. Let Him live in me as I accept Him and Let Him change my life and make me the person you destined me to be.

Amen!

Let me know if you need to talk about this and any other thing regarding being a Christian. I am always ready to help.

Keep it One Hondred!

Are you Salt or Sugar?

“Be the salt of the earth”

Its funny how when one speaks of salt, sugar comes to mind. Maybe it’s because they share similar physical attributes such as their colour and the fact that both dissolve in water. Taste is where the two differ and thus the need for distinction between the two in the kitchen or table setting, to prevent disturbing facial expressions.

(A great April Fools prank though)

More disturbing recently, has been a popular statement by Jesus, “You are the salt of the earth“, found in Matthew 5:13:

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has lost its taste (purpose), how can it be made salty? It is no longer good for anything, but to be thrown out and walked on by people [when the walkways are wet and slippery].”

‭‭MATTHEW‬ ‭5:13‬ ‭AMP‬‬

As a Christian I have always wondered why Jesus refers to believers as the salt of the earth and not sugar.

I mean, salt is good but if given a preference I would go with sugar. So why did Jesus say otherwise?

To be fair Jesus refers to believers as light, fishers of men and other terms in his sermons and discussions with his disciples.

I just find it interesting that water, salt and fish, all have a connection with salvation. (I don’t think it’s a coincidence either)

I however want us to realize that as Christians we sometimes tend to be sugar and not salt. We lean towards an assumption that the life of a Christian is easy going and stress free and no challenges; just smiles and laughter everyday.

How could it be?

Look at the problems in the world. Christians are challenged to take a stand, be merciful and forgiving, kind towards strangers, comfort the broken hearted and many more.

God through Jesus and the Holy Spirit provides peace, grace and strength to those who believe to do all these things with a smile but it’s not easy.

It’s kind of similar to raising children. It’s a blessing but has its moments that test you. Children getting sick, disciplining them, helping them with homework and teaching them life lessons cannot be compared to sharing an ice cream with them. It is challenging but parents love their job.

The same goes for believers. We have to be careful to not go the route of being sugar. Sugar makes things sweet but doesn’t have antiseptic properties. It’s like raising kids and not disciplining them.

In Matthew 5, Jesus didn’t use salt to describe us in connection to taste alone. If that were the case I am sure he would have made reference to sugar. (No one after all wants to be called a salty Christian, you feel me?)

I believe Jesus used salt because of the many uses of salt in our lives including that of adding flavor or taste to food.

It is also worth noting that there is salt in all food and that Jesus’s statement didn’t ask us to BECOME salt but rather REVEALED that we ARE salt.

Salt has antiseptic abilities and is also used to preserve food. Quite a versatile spice if you ask me.

So let’s ask ourselves, what does it mean to be salt?

With the little that has been shared, I believe we are being called to preserve morality and keep the peace. As salt we also help clean up situations by allowing God to take out the trouble and bring in the calm. This is done by sharing the good news and living with Christ. The two are inseparable.

Sharing the good news means that you believe in the ways of God. It means one having interaction with Him through prayer and reading of the bible to understand Him better.

It means distinguishing right and wrong and being able to identify sin. It does not mean judging. It means living a life that others wish to emulate. People should be around you and know that you stand for Good, Peace and Truth.

In case my discussion of salt has not been helpful or one requires clarity on the subject, here is a link that helped me answer why God calls us salt and not sugar. I hope it helps you see the truth.

https://www.wisdomonline.org/devotionals/devotion_detail.html?id=811

Keep it One Hondred!

My Son Is A Stuntman

One thing about having children is figuring out what their interests are and dreaming about their future careers.

As a Ghanaian, certain careers SHOULD be on top of my list. Doctor, Lawyer…….., Mad Scientist. (Just kidding. However, Ghana having a mad scientist could solve a lot of our problems)

As an artist however my career choices for my sons steer in the direction of unconventional and have caused my wife to give me the raised eyebrow and eyes popping out look that you see in Total Recall with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Professional Video Gamer and stuntman is what I usually see when I visualize my first son’s future career.

I have to be honest though, the Professional Video Gamer is something I wish for him and not one that his life currently has revealed any evidence of being fulfilled.

The stuntman on the other hand……..

Let’s just say I am not that enthusiastic about it because of the thought of medical bills.

Now stuntman is not something I wish for my son but this kid does some cliff hanging moves that will make Tom Cruise proud.

This is not some of the time this is ALL the time. Our living room is like an action movie set with him jumping from chairs and balancing on head rests.

He had a toy car he used to drift with and I just bought him a motorcycle of which he is pulling moves that will have Mother’s wondering whether I am being a good parent by not getting him of the bike.

I however believe in encouraging and allowing kids to explore their interests. While I am not thrilled about stunts, I do acknowledge that it maybe his destiny.

It’s hard to believe me if you have not seen my son do the things he does. So here is a link to the video of his latest stunt. Remember he is a 3 year old.

Bobo stuntman video

A Valuable Cracked TV Lesson

“There is a crack on the TV”

This is how my Monday morning begun. Have the little TV people who live inside our TV gotten tired of entertaining us and want to break free?

Maybe

“There is sound but no picture”

Ok so the little TV people are still working but maybe there is “dumsor”*, load shedding or lights out in TV land.

“I think Bobo cracked the TV”

Bobo is the nickname I gave my first son. One thing I can say about having kids is that everyone dreads them destroying a TV.

I sometimes wonder whether our parents ever had that concern. It’s like they come down with a TV and smartphone screen mess up configuration, operation “crack the screen”.

I didn’t want to believe this news so I asked for my wife to let me on the details of what actually happened.

According to her she was in the kitchen when my son came through screaming “TV” repeatedly. She came into the living room to inquire, only to hear sound and no picture from the TV. She then went closer to see a crack on the screen which lead to the wail, “OH BOBO!”

Not to put my wife on the spot but judgement had already been passed down on the boy. I also concluded after assessing the screen that he was guilty.

His track record didn’t help either. He had already messed up one TV and there was his telephone set that he liked to bang on the wall by the TV.

This son of mine is in need of lawyer and his phone call.

Needless to say I was pissed. I was only glad that over the weekend wifey and I watched Game of Thrones Season 8 finally on the big screen. Watching via laptop wouldn’t have been epic.

I had not budgeted to buy a TV this month so I was thinking that maybe the screen could be fixed. It was when I was doing my research on fixing the screen that I actually found out that my son was innocent.

Our TV is a Samsung Plasma TV. A 2011/2012 model I believe. Apparently there were a number of similar stories to mine of TV’s having a crack from one of the units within the TV blowing up internally.

Upon careful inspection I even realized that the crack was internal and not external. Meaning my son was innocent.

I guess the guys from TV land were pissed.

I was happy however that it was not my son who spoilt the TV. I learned a valuable lesson as a parent and Christian that day.

Our past does not define our future. My sons actions in the past were not sufficient to make him guilty. I should have reserved playing the blame game till I had all the facts.

Though rough in his play, I have never seen my son throw stuff at the TV or tried to hit it with something. He loves his TV and cartoons.

The first TV that got messed up wasn’t hanging on a wall. It was on a cabinet and he pushed it over accidentally.

I don’t think we did well as parents in our perception of our son. I guess God used this to show us a valuable lesson about judging.

Thankfully we did not scold him or beat him. I would have felt pretty guilty if I had.

That however, is the life of a parent. We learn along the way and through our mistakes. Let’s see the lessons life presents us and share our experiences to help make the world a better place.

Now on to figuring out how to get Teletubbies back into my sons lives.

Keep it One Hondred!

*dumsor – Ghanaian slang for lights out

Getting Out Of The Rabbit Hole

Easter for Christians is a time to reflect on the death of Christ, our sins and the salvation that resulted. For others it’s a time where the Easter Bunny comes out and plays a game with chicken eggs or chocolate eggs.

Whilst I don’t subscribe to the Easter Bunny, it reminds me of the rabbit hole that Alice in the story, Alice in Wonderland went through. Though she followed the rabbit out of curiosity, just like Alice, we find ourselves in our own rabbit holes. Places we don’t want to be but due to some error on our part or someone.

I sort of liken this to where people are before they find Christ. However, not everyone is a Christian. It is usually the story of Christ’s death and resurrection that gets one into becoming a Christian.

Romans 3 tells us that we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God. That our righteousness or good deeds are like filthy rags to the Almighty. Not everyone connects with this line of thought nor the concept of Heaven and Hell. However, regarding the concept of being broken, I believe we all can connect.

There is a point in life where you are going to do something, right or wrong, that will either embarrass, bring pain, loss, or result in you being broken in spirit, in need of encouragement or hope.

Sometimes we are lost. We think we know why we on a certain path only to realize that it doesn’t quite lead to where we thought it would. Unfortunately this lost feeling can lead us further down the rabbit hole, leave us stuck in the hole or find us climbing out.

One can only climb out with hope of a better tomorrow. Unfortunately, not all find hope easy to come by. Those stuck in the rabbit hole choose to stay there or plunge further below because it sounds like an easier way to deal with the humiliation. No one after all likes mockery or an “I told you so” moment.

No one in my opinion has suffered the shame and humiliation that Jesus faced in his journey down the rabbit hole. A man who rode into Jerusalem a week ago to praises and celebration as a king to be arrested on false charges and mocked for being a king a week after. Beaten and traded for a criminal with the people, some of who said praise him now shouting “crucify him”.

All this occurred to show us that we should not fret when similar situations befall us.

Jesus performed powerful miracles, raised many from the dead and made powerful declarations. At the cross however, it seemed the man who had all this power and authority could do nothing to save himself. Even one of the men He was crucified with mocked Him.

It sort of reminds me of Hulk in the Avengers Infinity War movie. Bruce throughout the movie struggled to bring Hulk out and it was perceived that was because of fear or wounded pride on the part of Hulk due to his defeat during the fight he had with Thanos in the opening scene. It was rather because Hulk was tired of only being called out when Bruce needed saving or needed to be a hero.

Jesus could save Himself but chose not to because in His death, He gave us the greatest gift of all, Salvation. Jesus went down the rabbit hole to get us out. After all the pain, mockery and suffering he took on, he was raised on the third day. He achieved more than waking up from the dead. He conquered death, made it possible for us to connect with God more directly, freed us from the clutches of sin and gave us power to become better people to make the world a better place.

It was only once these things were achieved that He came out of the rabbit hole and showed us how we too can get out.

People may be seeing you the wrong way. Deep down you are person who wants to live right. Circumstances find you living a life you don’t want to live but don’t know how to change.

We have the hope through Jesus that we can change. No matter how many times we fall or plunge into the hole of shame we have in us the capacity to rise up and rise up victoriously. This hope is available to ALL.

As a Christian, I invite you today to share in this hope. I am not inviting you to be religious. I am inviting you to have peace. You are not a failure and can rise like Jesus out of whatever situation you find yourself in. No situation you are in is exempt from the hope that Jesus provides.

People use stories and movies as inspiration. Today I am offering something similar, only true and with a precious promise should you be willing to believe and accept.

Jesus went through all that suffering for you and I. He rose to prove to us that he is the way, the truth and the life. If you are in need of hope look no further. Keep it One Hondred and come to Jesus. He and the Easter Bunny May be the same after all.

Wink wink