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Monthly Archives: November 2013

December Book Review: Foundations of Christian Thought

 

Book Title: Foundations of Christian Thought

 

Author: Mark P. Cosgrove (Ph. D)

 

fctDr. Cosgrove presents and explains the answers to an ancient argument. What are the relationship between learning, (Christian) faith and other world religions specifically New Age teachings? His plain answer is ‘‘learning and faith are friends, not enemies’’. This is obvious in his statement ‘‘the direction our knowledge takes depends upon our prior beliefs’’. I simply think this book is the author’s way of saying Christianity is a lifestyle that should be reflected in our learning, experiences and adventures. It’s not just a religion.

 

I have come to understand from the writers assertions in chapter twelve that Christian worldview should be that we have a supernatural God  who cares  about what is done with the heaven(supernatural realm) and earth (the natural realm)  he has created. He stated clearly in this chapter ”And so we have arrived at the worldview that many readers here claim to be theirs…..Christian theism is a super naturalistic worldview……. This super naturalistic worldview (however) does not rule out the importance of the natural realm or what we can learn from it”. In other words, be accommodating of all people and things that are God’s creation but be the standard of goodness as individuals have different lifestyles and beliefs.

 

The author’s style of writing is simple and leisurely in its approach to the theme; this gives the reader a relaxed and open mind to a rather intensely debated issue. He virtually fondles with the various worldviews (naturalism, atheistic existentialism, pantheism, the New Age movement, and secular humanism.) testing each one based on the three tests that show its practicability and its philosophical consistencies. He also brings out seeming similarities of these worldviews with the Christian worldview. I think this was a useful technique to remove any sort of bias towards Christianity. He eventually climaxes in the brief but assertive statement of Christianity’s superiority by passing the three tests.

The author makes some salient statements which form the cornerstone upon which the book is laid and the capstone which I think finishes off the ideas presented in this book. In chapter one, he says, ‘‘a worldview provides the loom for weaving the tapestry of understanding out of the strings of experience’’1. Later in chapters three and five respectively, he asserts ‘‘faith is not close-minded but exploratory, it does not compartmentalize life but unifies it’’2 and ‘‘peace cannot be made by the superficial solution of allocating separate and autonomous rules (to faith and learning)’’3.

The book illustrates the importance of incorporating faith into our teaching, but I question the practicality of incorporating Christian faith into a multi-ethnic, multicultural learning system without causing friction among individuals. Hence, the book either leaves a hint of impracticality in its suggestions or supports the teaching of morality instead of faith.

 

 

 
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Posted by on 27/11/2013 in Uncategorized

 

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GREAT ANGELS IN SMALL PACKAGES

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A Cheering Testimony

I just heard this very early today from a friend and it moved my heart.

There’s this neighbour of ours, a friend whose father was a staff in a big Nigerian bank. They had money but rarely feared God.
One day, the man was sick and his wife was with him in Katsina (a state in Northern Nigeria) where the doctors had just handed off his case and described it as hopeless. His wife called my Dad and told him that her husband was going to die and nothing could stop it. She just wanted my family to take care of their kids before she returned from Katsina (probably with their dead fathers body).
The kids were really small. Little Children.
Then my father called them and told them their dad was sick and was going to die. He asked them if they wanted to be fatherless and they said No, as expected. Then he asked them to kneel down and pray to God for their father. They knelt down and started praying so much, they were crying. I was so touched by the sight that I also started crying.
Then the next day, their mother called to say that the man had recovered quickly and so the man is still alive till today.

My focus is not on the prayers but on the people who prayed it. I know their is a portion of the bible that says ”the angels of these little ones behold the face of God continually”. Put your child before God, pray for children, care for children, be kind to them, help them with what you know will guarantee a great future for them. You may as well be saving your self. Even the powerful cherubims before the throne of God cannot look into God’s face.

 
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Posted by on 09/11/2013 in Uncategorized

 

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The Art and Science of Perfume Making

Why spend a fortune on perfume or cologne when you can make your own for cheap. Brand name perfume/cologne can cost from $50-100, why spend that much when you can create your own fragrance with cheap vodka and essential oils. Instead of wearing a fragrance that everyone else wears you can make your own unique blend. Your own aromatic creations also makes a thoughtful gift. 

What you need

Ingredients:

     Vodka (the higher percentage alcohol the better) or Everclear if you can get it

    Essential oils*, fragrance oils**, infused oils, even flavour*** extracts (make sure it’s pure) such as vanilla extract

    distilled or spring water

    glycerine (this can be found in pharmacies)

Other stuff

   pretty glass bottles to put the finished product in, preferably coloured glass, reuse bottles (if you like use Bobo bottle, just make it airtight when you cork).

    glass jar for mixing fragrance

    measuring cup/spoons

    a dropper if you have one

    funnel

    aluminum foil or wrapping paper if you are using clear glass bottles

    a pencil and paper for jotting down your recipe

    a discerning nose is helpful

*You can also make your own perfume oil Be a Romantic Scientist: Distill your own perfume oil.

**Fragrance oils are synthetic and are less expensive than essential oils.

***Quite a few perfumes use food flavours in them, so extracts are an easy way of incorporating them into your own creations (remember those pineapple flavors mummy used to put in zobo drink).

    What Was Your Worst Holiday Gift?

    Holiday Gifts

    You Tell Us: What Was Your Worst Holiday Gift? It was probably a poor smelling perfume + a friend’s goodwill (that made it acceptable).

 Directions

Perfume is simple to make, the trick is to put the essential oils together creating a smell you like. Perfume is made up of base notes (the smell stays the longest on your skin), middle notes (smell stays second longest), and top notes (smell of oil evaporates first). Because the oils all evaporate at different rates the perfume may smell different as time goes on. Below are listed easily found essential divided into base, middle and top notes.

• Base notes-cedar wood cinnamon patchouli, sandalwood, vanilla

• Middle notes-clove, geranium, lemongrass, bottle nutmeg, neroli, ylang-ylang

• Top notes-bergamot, lavender lemon lime neroli

• Bridge-vanilla, lavender (add a few drops to join base, middle and top notes together).

To make your perfume, mix at least 25 drops total of essential oils divided evenly between base, middle and top notes. Start with the base notes, then middle, then top, smelling as you go. Add a few drops of the bridge oil. Add 2 1/2 ounces of alcohol (get a parent to help you with this), shake for a few minutes, then let it sit for 48 hours (or up to 6 weeks-the longer it sits, the stronger the smell). Add 2 tablespoons spring water, stir, then pour through a coffee filter and put it in a bottle.

You could commercialise this idea, I wouldn’t sue you and you’ll be willing to give me 10% of your profits sometime later.

 
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Posted by on 09/11/2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Doctor’s Despondency: The 9th Chapter

Also, I’m sharing a paragraph from the 9th chapter of my first novel (on shelves, in January hopefully), called Doctor’s Despondency. Just a teaser, wait for the real deal.

 

Dear Scientist,

I wonder how it was hard for you to figure it out that I will have no choice than to kidnap your family and have them silently killed one by one till I get those papers. My political opponents are all after me and very soon some snoopy journalist will want my company to substantiate my claims. I now also have the addresses of all who worked for you on that research. Just keep hiding.

The man had carefully chosen his words in the letter and he had not used his publicly recognized e-mail address.  He knew his family would be kidnapped but he didn’t know when. He was lost in his thoughts and didn’t know how to tell his wife to leave with the kids immediately; they were probably being watched now. His thoughts tormented him and told him he was a bad father and he shouldn’t have left home in the first place.  He wondered at the callousness of the former minister of health and presidential candidate whom everybody was giving their trust to and to consider that he had not even told Gbolabo of the possibility of a genetic breakdown for users of this compound in his research thereby making it rather unsafe  for indiscriminate administration on patients and also making it a possible weapon that could be used to alter an enemy’s genetic mix thereby sending generations into a living hell on earth before they were born. He still became surer that he wouldn’t be handing over the results of his research and wouldn’t publicize it until there was a specific way of knowing the right dosage to be administered to each patient. He looked up absently at the time on the digital wall clock.

 
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Posted by on 09/11/2013 in Uncategorized

 

An Inspiring Poem, The Wonders of Creativity.

And I’m also adding one of the works of poetry by a man I admire so much and whose work I consider the peak of creative thinking and inspiring writings

The Phoenix Bird

By

Hans Christian Andersen

(1850)

In the garden of Paradise,

Beneath the tree of Knowledge, bloomed a rose bush.

Here, in the first rose, a bird was born.

His flight was like the flashing of light,

His plumage was beauteous, and his song ravishing.

But when Eve plucked the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil,

When she and Adam were driven from paradise,

There fell from the flaming sword of the cherub

A spark into the nest of the bird, which blazed up forthwith.

The bird perished in the flames; but from the red egg in the nest

There fluttered aloft a new one – the one solitary Phoenix bird.

The fable tells that he dwells in Arabia and that every hundred years,

He burns himself to death in his nest; but each time a new phoenix,

The only one in the world rises up from the red egg.

The bird flutters round us, swift as light, beauteous in color, charming in song.

When a mother sits by her infant’s cradle, he stands on the pillow, and,

With his wings, forms a glory around the infant’s head.

He flies through the chamber of content, and brings sunshine into it,

And the violets on the humble table smell doubly sweet.

But the Phoenix is not the bird of Arabia alone.

He wings his way in the glimmer of the Northern Lights over the plains of Lapland,

And hops among the yellow flowers in the short Greenland summer.

Beneath the copper mountains of Fablun, and England’s coal mines, he flies, in the shape of a dusty moth,

Over the hymnbook that rests on the knees of the pious miner.

On a lotus leaf he floats down the sacred waters of the Ganges,

And the eye of the Hindoo maid gleams bright when she beholds him.

The Phoenix bird, dost thou know him?

The Bird of Paradise, the holy swan of song!

On the car of Thespis he sat in the guise of a chattering raven, and flapped his back wings,

Smeared with the lees of wine; over the sounding harp of Iceland swept the swan’s red beak;

On Shakespeare’s shoulder he sat in the guise of Odin’s raven, and whispered in the poet’s ear

‘‘Immortality!’’

And at the minstrels’ feast he fluttered through the halls of the Wartburg.

The Phoenix bird, dost thou know him? He sang to thee the Marseillaise,

And thou kissedst the pen that fell from his wing; he came in the radiance of Paradise,

And perchance thou didst turn him away from him towards the sparrow who sat with tinsel on his wings.

The Bird of Paradise – renewed each century – born in flame, ending in flame!

Thy picture, in a golden frame, hangs in the halls of the rich,

But thou thyself often fliest around, lonely and disregarded, a myth – ‘‘The Phoenix of Arabia’’.

In Paradise, when thou wert born in the first rose,

Beneath the Tree of Knowledge, thou receivedst a kiss,

And thy right name was given thee – thy name,

Poetry.

 
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Posted by on 09/11/2013 in Poems

 

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One Day, One Night

I just decided to share excerpts from ‘My soon to be published poetry book’ titled Anthologia, Enjoy!

One day

The wool-white sky spoke to the black earth

He said, you’d have been cool clear and a cheer to behold

If only you were white, wool white like me

I’m such a grace for every face

That I am, in every place

Ho, I wish that thou wert white snow white like me

I’m like Christmas all through the year.

Giving smiles to every child, never black as bile could be.

Then, one day

The sky, he said

I am just the wool white sky, giving the rays of sunlight to all

Simply when my cheeks I stretch.

With it I give life to all things.

Oh, I wish that thou black earth, could know the joys of being so white.

And, one day

The sky, the wool-white sky,

He looked down on the black earth and said

It’s such authority that puts the rain all in my eyes

To drop on thou earth just as I please

And when thou arth drenched and dripping wet

I, with the sun, the golden sun right on my cheek

Dost make thee dry and if I please that thou be dried till thou arth scorched,

I send my breath down with its rays

Till thou be barren like the desert.

Thou arth cursed to beso black, filled with filth and all things guilt

But I, the wool white sky arth blessed with all things good

And whilst I’m dressed with the coloured rain on my bow,

Thou arth doomed to be trod, looted and plundered

And such he spoke all through that day.

Till the sun, the glorious sun dropped all the way into the earth.

And when the night had come

The face of the sky, it grew so black.

Then the earth, the black earth, she said

Why is it that thou arth black, just like me or so I think

You know it’s true without the earth; the sky would fall with all its pomp.

And with all you say, still I see the beauty in me.

 
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Posted by on 09/11/2013 in Poems

 

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A History of Strife, A Future of Hope in Sub-Saharan Africa: That’s where we stand?

 

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Lord Lugard in 1912 said ”Let it be admitted at the onset that European brains and resources have not been and will never be expended in developing the countries of Africa on the basis of sheer philanthropy.”

These philosophies and ideologies have not and will not change. Technological education is presently at its lowest ebb since pre-colonial days when the natives of the Niger area had fabric weaving (adire), forging, fishing and local crafts to cater for their direct needs.

Several years after their independence from European powers, most African countries are still dependent on relief, aid and subventions from Europe and America for their economic development. The younger generation of Africans however seem to be aware that these sources of development are not real (with special reference to Lord Lugard).

A particular area of interest in African humanitarian work is food production.

”Nigeria became independent of British rule in 1960. After independence Nigeria experienced frequent coups and long periods of autocratic military rule between 1966 and 1999, when a democratic civilian government was established. While oil wealth has financed major investments in the country’s infrastructure, Nigeria remains among the world’s poorest countries in terms of per capita income. Oil revenues led the government to ignore agriculture, and Nigeria must now import farm products to feed its people.”

This statement summarizes how the western world sees Nigeria but far beyond how we are seen is the exact greeting phrase. ”How are you?” since I never ask my friend ”How are you seen?”.

In 2008, Nigeria’s estimated population was 138,283,240, yielding an average density of 152 persons per sq km (393 per sq mi). With a birth rate of 40 per 1,000 and a death rate of 16.4 per 1,000, Nigeria’s population is growing at an average of 2 percent annually—a rapid pace and little changed from the 1970s. The average Nigerian woman gives birth 5 times in her lifetime, although among more educated women the rate is somewhat lower. Nearly half of Nigerians are younger than 15 years. By 2025 the population is projected to grow to 206 million.

This post is not about demography but about what the plans of the government is for the future and the unborn, if at least the present adulterous generation must suffer. We also look briefly at possible intervention schemes that can be sponsored by private individuals and humanitarian organizations seeing the government is failing in food production. Have you heard of an aquaponic system (this is not just fish farming but fish farming with technological innovations attached). Its history is traced back to the Aztecs but is being developed by young Africans across the continent as a source of food and income. The most recognized of these series of empowerment trainings is by an American organization called Growing Power. However, humanitarian organizations like The Nigerian Red Cross can easily organize such trainings for youths at lesser cost (Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach him how to fish and you may be feeding the whole of Africa for a lifetime). You can take up the challenge, we’ve given you the basic facts, do a small research and you can come up with a good idea on helping the teeming hungry.

 

However, these questions linger:

1. With promotion of these innovations by humanitarian organizations, how long will Africa remain hungry?

2. How many more people are willing to delve into the evolving science of aquaponics to provide food for the continent?

3. How far are the home front and local groups of humanitarian organizations like the Red Cross willing to go to make this cause bring the desired results?

4. How do I fit in the plan? Remember its technology and it’s for humanitarian uses.

 

 
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Posted by on 07/11/2013 in Uncategorized

 
 
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