The Atonement Child | Francine Rivers

Evie was informed that her grand daughter had been raped, and that she got pregnant as a result. Evie was immediately convinced that her sin of many years ago had caught up with her.

Hannah, Evie’s daughter learnt that Dynah her daughter had been raped. Guilt swept over Hannah. She felt her daughter was being punished for the errors of her yesterdays.

Dynah was raped. She didn’t bargain for it, afterall, she lived an exemplary life of purity and obedience to God’s will. Yet, it happened. And it threw her life into absolute chaos.


 

Francine Rivers’ books have long occupied spaces on my e-bookshelf, but just like my curious case with John Grisham, hadn’t been able to bring myself to read a single one of them. Well, safe to say my unwanted streak has ended with The Atonement Child. Thanks to Ess for recommending it. I owe the reawakening of my reading career to her.

atonement

So, I think it’s hardly ever a bad idea to do a recap (some say review) of books read, for public consumption, or for personal keeps. Always nice to come back to read the summaries that contain the most important points you must have put down. Nice for sentimental reasons, or for relearning/reeducation.

 

Dynah is the main character of the story. A girl raised in a christian home, attending a christian school, engaged to Ethan (some ‘great guy’ with a perfect future ahead of him.) Things were going well until she was raped. The physical and psychological violation had a lasting effect on the turn her life took in ways more complicated than she ever could imagine. I’d go on, but as I said earlier, this is meant to be a recap of a few points (lessons) I took away from the book, so here we go:

  1. You can be all good and do all good and unfortunate things will still happen to you. Bad things and bad people happen to good people and vice versa. There’s no point living with the illusion that life is exactly fair. 
  2. Prayer isn’t necessarily something you have to pre-plan. It could and indeed should be something you do any and everytime. Francine Rivers consistently incorporated simple, original, heartfelt prayers into the lives of her characters, and from the peek I’ve had into some of her other books, that’s her style. A lifestyle of ceaseless prayer ensures that the communication channel with the father is always open.
  3. The abortion choices and circumstances that Evie, Hannah and Dynah faced were not all the same. Francine Rivers made tremendous effort in making the reader to see that while the expected decisions to be taken by a christian in situations are mostly direct, Christians should learn to see angles that could lead to particular circumstances instead of being overly judgmental. It’s not enough to see said angles alone as well. It is expedient to empathize, and then look for ways to help people get through difficult times.
  4. Very often, the people who should know better hurt even more than strangers or children of wrath.
  5. While Dynah was still trying to stay away from her parents to be able to make decisions herself, Joe (bestfriend to her ex-fiance) offered her the chance to live with him for a while to get settled. Even though it seemed a convenient proposition at the time, she refused, citing “the appearance of wrongdoing and the witness (to other people) it bears” as the reason for her refusal. The Bible talks about cutting off the things we could do that could make other people stumble. The inviting choice that Dynah had that she refused is an excellent practical example of such.
  6. Adversity sometimes makes you grow faster and stronger than you would have managed to, had things gone more smoothly for you.
  7. What seems convenient and sensible may be very different from what God will have you do.
  8. We are all ministers, some of us just have smaller congregations.‘ Joe was an unrelenting source of  help to Dynah throughout her troubles. Dynah was his ministry. He didn’t have to have so much, he didn’t have to be so much. The little he did with being who he was and being there went a long way in steadying the course of Diana’s life.
  9. Sometimes, indecision is not a fundamental flaw with you. It’s the weight of the stuff you’re dealing with.

 

There are numerous other points I put down and some others I probably couldn’t identify with at the time of reading. I encourage you to read the book yourself. Let it take you on a journey of realization and re-realization (of some things you’ve known before). Let it instruct you. Let it open your eyes to some of the major challenges people go through that you might take for granted or not even consider at all.

If you stuck with me this far, I really appreciate you.

I hope that your life be an expression of grace, and a proof of Love as you attack the week.

I love you. 🙂

 

 

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Whatever you have to say makes no sense.

doubtful

See this one

Two friends of mine secretly wish/pray for me that I come to see the light as far as paying of tithes is concerned. Their unspoken words, their ‘hmmms’ and their ‘it is well’ whenever the topic comes up tells me all I need to know. 

I imagine a thought such as “All other things about God he believes in might just be for nothing with this ridiculous idea of his” might cross their minds every now and then .

There’s a fellow I know who told me I can’t know more than the “men of God” who strongly emphasize the importance of paying of tithes. She was obviously disgusted I had such an idea from the pit of hell to say I believe in God but I don’t believe in paying of tithes. She prayed that I come to see the light someday.

That was the point I was supposed to be sober. To shed tears and ask for forgiveness for the error of my ways. But sadly, I seemed a hardened fellow, unwilling to bulge even in the face of “superior spiritual evidence” (Only that no evidence was provided except the threat of having to live with a curse. Malachi 3 being the go-to “see-for-yourself” scripture). There are 18 places in the whole Bible tithes were mentioned by the way, and…

At this point, I have to let you know that I have no problem with giving 10% of your income to God. I personally advocate for more. GIVING (not paying) more. And I tell people that care to know that I almost always strive to give more (I am not always successful at this). I mean, I would be doing myself a disservice by totally locking my hands and heart to the idea of giving and by so doing not partaking of the benefits of the universal (not even religious) law of sowing and reaping.

Wait, wait… There’s not a chance that I’m here to dish out some philosophical or exhortational stuff about tithing and whatnot, so let me get to the point.

I have faced situations in which I have supplied people with reasons/documentation as to why I believe in this or I don’t believe in that, and I have found that on several occasions, people have been totally unwilling to even examine the facts/ideas presented to them for two major reasons:

  1. People like to be ‘visibly’ right (even if they don’t believe in their hearts) many times.
  2. Preconceived notions/mindsets are very difficult to work around.
  3. People are mostly illogical when it comes to their role models/mentors. Those ones can hardly be wrong.

Damn! It’s so hard to convince a self-declared reasoning fellow of new ideas especially If he doesn’t think you could know better than he does.

I think you should be the kind of person that has a mind that is not swayed by just anything though. At the same time however, I think it is important to have a teachable spirit, and a mind that questions.

Shall we try not to always believe our ideas are superior to that of others for absolutely no reason? Shall we not call them foolish/ignorant while trying to make them see things our way? Shall we try to imagine a walk in their shoes before having definitive ideas of what/who they are? Shall we?

I hope we shall. And on that note, I wish you a productive week ahead. 🙂

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Your friends Clarus and Ephraim

Small talk could sometimes be the enemy.

Especially when it comes to talk about people.

You find yourself telling Clarus more about Ephraim than you should. 

Of course there’s nothing wrong if what you have to say is all good. The ill you say is what constitutes gossip.

Gossip is an anathema, and we distance ourselves from it. 

I see how people swiftly reject the notion they could be considered gossipers, so even though gossip flies anyway, most of us aren’t bold enough to associate with its dissemination, and rightly so. Can’t be chestedly hugging nonsense.

The thing is when you smell Ill in Clarus’ behaviour, or when you think Clarus has wronged you, there’s probably an Ephraim you feel inclined to share stuff with. 

And it’s cool if what you desire is to hear what Ephraim has to say on a neutral ground.

Also cool if you are ready to take Ephraim’s counsel/two-cents since you considered him worthy to be dialogued with. 

The challenge comes when all you desire is for him to be blindly and illogically loyal to you.

I have seen people define loyalty as people’s inclination to gravitate towards their ideas as they disclose them, rather than offer any dissenting opinion.

This is why I even put the word ‘loyalty’ in this line of thought at all.

I have been all persons in this analogy at various times in my life; You, Clarus, and Ephraim. And I probably will still be.

That said, I think getting advise for our troubles with certain people from other people is best done by being hypotethical about the instances that resulted in the said troubles. 

Well, ‘best’ is relative. I believe what I should have said is:

 ‘To avoid maligning people when we ultimately feel the urge to get third party opinions about them, we could resort to painting scenarios, removing ourselves from the equation. Then we can get mostly unbiased counsel/opinions.’


Because – truth be told –
 

our buddies sometimes don’t tell us all they need to, especially when they realize we are more interested in being supported than in being told their ideas of the truth.


See, If Clarus and Ephraim meet someday, get acquainted, and hit it off spectacularly (if they don’t already know each other), do you reckon your idle chatter with Clarus about Ephraim could put in a word for you as the good person you claim to be?

Unless of course, you aren’t even remotely interested in your overall image (which is completely okay too). 

To each his own afterall.
Bottom line is that we all need to do better and be better. 

We need to learn to present matters that hurt and affect us to others without existing entrenched bitterness.

We need to discourage people from using us as bins/channels for disposing trash about others.

Gossip will still fly anyway, but maybe like me, you prefer its propagation to be somewhere outside you as much as you can afford to. That won’t happen automatically just so you know. You’d have to take a stand.

I’m not asking you to be a better person. I’m only asking that you be a better friend to your friend(s).

Hope you found anything useful as you scanned through the lines?

I’d love to know your thoughts.

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Between the Womb and the Grave

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May 12, 2016 · 6:50 am

MUSINGS OF A TANGLED TONGUE – A Few Thoughts

I love poetry. There’s no hiding from this fact. It awakens my senses, it arouses my imagination and it connects with me on a level that prose hardly does. Of course when I say this, I am referring to a body of words well sculptured.

A huge chunk of my thoughs and scribblings are poetic in nature, and so it is unsurprising that I get excited when I lay my hands upon or feed my eyes and mind with words in ink or fine print or swipe and scroll through prosaic layers of text.

Recently, I purchased a copy of Yemi Adesanya’s poetry collection titled MUSINGS OF A TANGLED TONGUE (Prittle-prattle and pickled poems) and found it to be highly engaging and filled with gems for life, love and being.

 I thought i’d recommend this collection, but first, i’d supply a few thoughts on a number of the poems in there to arouse the interest of the potential reader.

I have no doubts in my mind that this collection will pique the interest of anyone even remotely interested in the beautiful art of poetry. It comes highly recommended by me (I hope that counts for something. Lol)

Here goes…

tangled tongue

HERE LIES LUST implores that one should beware of all-consuming affectation. For as euphoric as it may seem in full flight, it can swiftly taste like gall when the eyes clear or when something clips its wings.
“Fiery stars die fast
Then everything turns to dusty memories
That gather in stricken craters of frozen passion.”

I love the conciseness of WORDS DO THE TRICK, and the fact that it is very easy to be related with. I’ve always wanted to write short poems that drive home the point in all profundity. I secretly wish I wrote this. 😀

SLEEPLESS NIGHTS is an appropriate lamentation of an insomniac/sleep-deprived-fellow. I like it. 

MONDAY MADNESS.. Oh, how I love the part in between the Monday mornings and Monday evenings; the rhymes in there make it sound all the more beautiful. All in all, the poem accurately describes the effect of the first working day of the week; how one feels in the morning and then in the evening after the day’s work go a long way in determining how the week plays out.

I love the playfulness of LOAFDAY. Shows the steadfastness of the subject of the poem on her bed on a lazy day, completely refusing to do anything.

MIND MIRAGE portrays the masking of many a man’s true nature by outward/outer adornments. If only we could see beyond the façade, a host of people stink, are dark, and are empty underneath.

WORLD OF HYPOCRITES In four beautiful verses of genius wordplay, shows the effect so little, of words, thoughts, rules and hypocrisy in the grand scheme of things.

The lines of WAS BORN IN SIN sound very appropriate as lyrics for a beautiful song yet to be sung.

I doff my hat for BLESS THIS DAY. The verses are so unique and fitting for what the days of the week feel/look like in reality. Lines like:
“your bin so neat but your table’s full of it”, “your dawn’s still young but alarm is right to chime”, “milk this day of its moody midweek lump” get me all gooey and in awe. Beautiful artistry!

SPECIAL CHARACTERS playfully discusses the punctuation marks. The punchlines in there are pleasing to the eyes and literary mind. “Now he’s gotta live with a semicolon” is one beautiful line that comes after a line that tells us his colon has been set on fire.

I love the message of LIFE ON ITS GLIDE. The verses describe different stages in life and the activity and going-ons of the mind in those stages. Life on its back, feet, seat and knees showing how our worldview as well as battles to be fought change over time.

THE AILING SOUL aptly informs that worry or doubt hardly make anything better. It stresses in its final verse that life is what you make of it as time passes by.

DEATH LEFT YOU A NOTE leaves the reader with a sad but accepted whiff of inevitability of his sooner-or-later demise. Its lines and phrases preach that no matter what is done, no matter the attempt at pretending or refusing to come to terms with its inevitability, death still comes. All we do, all we become, all we are, are but pieces of the puzzle that are arranged to birth the picture of death in the end.

IYKE THE KITE’s conversational form is an interesting one. The message is loud and clear; that death comes in whatever form, on whatever day, and the idea of sad and happy/tragic and peaceful deaths are only for the living to ponder… In the end, death is death.

NO KIDDING is a tapering kind of poem; every succeeding line a few characters shorter than the preceeding. The consistency of the tapering of verses by no means masks the fact that parenthood is the subject of this poem.

PATHFINDER accurately points out that the path to be trodden by anyone will likely be laced with twists and turns, but still on one must wayfare. The third and final verse stresses that leveraging on the experience of one who has gone ahead can come in handy in lessening the hardships any voyager has to face on the journey of life.

LESSONS; the title says it all… The charges that those closest to us give us could go a long way in setting us on the path to future stardom.

I’m not completely certain my understanding of “MY PERFECT PAIR” is solid, but still, I’d like to say the poem to me is about how one loves all parts of another; the light and the dark parts, the smooth, and the rough edges.

Reading BY RIVER THAMES, all I could think of was adventure!

OLD NUMBER asks questions about the changes that happen to a man as he grows in years. The lines are rich with ponderings about how one would like one’s activities and ideals to be as the tick tock goes on and on.

FOREVER LIVING is an assortment of the good and the not-so-good ways that life can be lived. The rhymes of the last two lines of every verse send pleasant chimes of not only the orderliness of this poem, but the meaningfulness as well. The poem ends on an appropriate note that in the end, no one can live forever… Aging and age are facts we have to deal and live with.

THANK A BRAVE SOLDIER is a brilliant tribute to the men and women who fight day and night to restore peace to war torn areas… I love it.

A BRIEF DISTRACTION suggests to me that comfort and solace is found sometimes in writing, in weaving, in building with words.

COLD STEEL is a harsh case of unrequited love. I love how it ended. Bringing lips to her ear, I thought he was finally going to oblige and maybe nibble her earlobe, only for him to coldly condemn her to heightened misery… “Get a life…” Sad, but unpredictable.

My likeness for SO RIGHT, SO WRONG stems from the fact that I have always been a staunch believer in the idea that a lot of things in life lie in the greyzone. Poems or lyrics that bring my ideas, values or ideals to life in artful brilliance win my heart every darn time.

I WANT TO LOVE YOU feels like perfect (non-stereotypical in sickness and in health) wedding vows. The lines powerful enough to bring tears to the eyes of many an intending fierce lover.

THROUGH THE BLIZZARDS is a poem that sings of enduring bond/love even through the most daunting of tempests.

Ooh lah lah… #SealedLips hath no one helped. Taking a chance on what/who your heart beats for without wasting time is forever going to be the only right move. The input of “Shoot you shot” in this poem makes it mighty relatable and definitely a fans’ favorite… Well, those that ply the streets of twitter mostly. Lol.

GRAY VALENTINE SHADES is simply breathtaking… Even if I tried, I’d not write a befitting review that the lines cannot themselves tell.

LOVE IN VINE AND WINE sounds like a consolation for those who cupid’s arrows elude, to down the contents of goblets as a substitute for romantic love.

PLAY WITH ME is beautifully suggestive oh Lord! The imagination runs wild as one reads through the verses. Butterfly, microphone, Lollipop, bestseller… My my my. All four of them are incredibly appropriate.

BRIGHT VALENTINE SHADES is just as unique as its grey counterpart. Love is beautiful and sweet when all things go well.

LIFE BUOY aptly describes contented in-the-moment love, unperturbed about the storms that may (or may not) arise at a later date. 

Love is present in the mundane and the extraordinary… All that counts is the sincerity in the moment… That’s true magic. That’s what MAGIC LIVES HERE says to me. 🙂

I love what you did with JACK AND JILL. Mind went back to the nursery rhyme upon seeing the title. And when I read through, I couldn’t help but think of the little kids back in the day that entered toilets and secret places to play with each other’s “thing” as some called their privates then.

DEAR FRED… Needless to say, I’d revel in mon amour writing me poems like this one to tell me what my love has done to her, as well as subtly say where I might have gone wrong. Something about beautiful, articulate, witty writing calms frayed nerves and pumps the heart to dance well to the tune of love.

The imagination that went into KAHLO’S PICASSO, as well as the active imagination it stirs in me makes the poem a befitting one to end a truly satisfying journey of the musings of a tangled tongue. 

I am in awe of Yemi’s mind and its musings, and I look forward to reading even better collections than her debut one. 😉

You’ll find below, links to where you can obtain a copy (or copies) in a host of formats that suit your need/fancy.

Musings of a tangled tongue

Musings of a tangled tongue #Smashwords

Musings of a tangled tongue #Okadabooks

Musings of a tangled tongue #Lulu (ePub version)

Connect with Yemi on twitter for engagement @toyosilagos

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Maybe. Just maybe.

There’s the idea that huge chunks of time need be dedicated before anything worthy of note is accomplished.

For this cause, our reading habits somewhat diminish because we feel leafing or swiping through pages for just 15 or 30 minutes is nothing.

And fun takes the front seat because for instance, we believe seeing just an episode of our favorite show(s) is not enough for relaxation.

Maybe we need to reconsider that no matter how much we do at once, there’ll always be more.

Maybe then, we won’t beat ourselves up too much about how there’s not enough time to read or create art or do something regarded as work.

Maybe we’d also tone down our consumption of endless shows, TV and social media distractions. Afterall, no matter the volume you consume today, new and perhaps more interesting ones will spring up tomorrow.

Maybe. Just maybe.

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Before You Ask For Assistance…

In the early days of my research work at postgraduate level, it seemed to me that my supervisor was too unwilling to help my progress especially since he always referred me to the internet. He insisted I figure out useful search parameters on my own rather than he providing me with a condensed spectrum of the whole area of coverage.

You see, my supervisor didn’t believe you should desire and actively seek for assistance when you’ve made no attempt, nor put in any effort. He was right.

Subsequently, I started doing better; creating helpful PowerPoint esentation slides for me alone that made my work easier and made my little efforts amount to something. It also made him more inclined to readily be of assistance whenever I showed him what I’d been able to do so far.

I cringe when people ask me to do stuff for them without first coming up with an output I can work with, especially stuff they’d understand how to go about way better than I can dream of. I think it’s a monumentally bad habit.

It is the lazy path to follow. It is a path trod by many; laying all your own duties at the feet of others.

While sometimes they might offer the help you require, gradually, they label you as unserious and subsequent assistance you might get from them might not be quality. Heck, they’d start coming up with perfect excuses as to why they can’t help you. You wouldn’t want that, would you?

Here’s the crux of the matter; you understand best what you want to achieve in any area. Do the groundwork and then ask for assistance. Stop leveraging on people’s sympathies and become lazy in the process. Really, nobody likes a pest.

But this is only my opinion.

Have a sound week ahead. 🙂

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Bàtá Drumbeats…

At the turn of the year, a friend of mine suggested that I do a chapbook. At the time, I had no idea what a chapbook was, and even when I found out, I wondered if I really was qualified enough to do anything that daring.

Read the work of quite a number of poets, and immediately, my major challenge was that I felt my work wasn’t quite there yet as far as ‘standard‘ poetry is concerned, but then I made a commitment to go for it and “announce a release” on the 27th day of this month. I regretted that decision almost immediately because I thought of all the things producing a book however small entails.

But you see… At some point, I had to tell myself to just go with it, and do what I could, and so I decided I’d self publish and then make it available discreetly to only my closest friends.

I wished I could tell the few people excited for me that it wasn’t isn’t much of a big deal and it’s not like I’m signing a book deal with some fancy publishing outfit, but they’d have none of it, and I just had to man up and do what I had to do.

I crafted a mini advert, put it up as a display picture, there and then, I knew I couldn’t go back anymore, and it wasn’t going to be for just my closest friends alone anymore.

Thought about calling off the plan severally, but the people I had told and would let down, as well as the fact that my first major milestone for the year would have lay in shreds was enough to help me make a decision.

So… Here we are today, here’s my first publication.

Someday soon, there’ll be much better showings, brand new publications, proper book readings to go with launching perhaps, and much more. But this is today, and this is BÀTÁ DRUMBEATS AND OTHER POEMS and I’m chuffed I made good on my promise to self.

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I do hope you find my compilation any useful.

Cheers to beginnings.
Cheers to the journey every one of us embarks on; ALWAYS BECOMING, CONSTANTLY EVOLVING.

Please use any of the links below for download. 🙂

BÀTÁ DRUMBEATS AND OTHER POEMS

Bàtá Drumbeats and other poems Link 2

Your honest feedback would mean the world.

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Caution

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January 15, 2016 · 10:37 am

Check Again

Inferior lines are often penned or typed  because mostly, a good number of us want to simply get things out of the way rather than getting them done rightly.

And so you’ll find typo-ridden emails and tweets, error laden texts and comments, an overwhelming abbreviation and slang usage in what should be formal conversation, and so on.

Sometimes, it’s good to read again, detaching yourself (in your mind) as the writer, and if it requires the examination of an extra pair of eyes, don’t hesitate to request the help of who you trust to be thorough with your work.

Let’s check one more time before we hit the SEND button, shall we?

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