On the last night of BSF we typically have a sharing night where class members share with each other lessons and thoughts of the study. It is a very encouraging and motivating part of the lesson as the Holy Spirit continues to affirm that He is the one who reveals knowledge to each of us.
Below see some of my thoughts and I pray that you will be deeply encouraged/challenged as I was.
- The Father and the Son act in one accord always. Jesus acted in total obedience and submission to His father and was obedient to death, even death on the Cross (Philippians 2:8).
- God is Sovereign – He ordains all things so that scripture will be fulfilled. This was confirmed for me particularly at the trial, crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord – He was in charge at all points, even when He gave His spirit on the cross.
- Through looking at the relationship between Father and Son, I was able to reevaluate my identity as a Child of God (John 1:12 -13) and to critically evaluate those relationships that were providing a pseudo identity. It particularly helped to read that believers are a gift from the Father to the Son (John 17:2) and we are securely held in the Father and the Son’s hand (John 10:28).
- Believers bear fruit as they abide in Christ. This forced me to look at the Fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) again and ask those around me to help me identify where I am not bearing fruit. It was challenging to hear but definitely true and it gave me another reason to trust and ask God to help me overcome this area of growth.
- The character that most reminded me of myself is definitely Peter. Oh how I wish I could say I was like John but I saw repeatedly how self confident I am as opposed to being God-confident.
- I was struck at how unbelief in Christ existed throughout the gospel. I had previously thought that it only grow during that Holy Week but it was only present among the Pharisees and the other Jewish leaders throughout His life on earth. However as John explicitly says that he wrote this book that we would believe and by believing we would have eternal life (John 20:31), this is what I learnt about belief:
- Jesus confronts unbelief to expose the heart. I was particularly challenged at how praying small prayers ultimately demonstrated that I did not fully believe that God is able to achieve significantly above all I can think or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).
- A believers’ sole identity is in Christ and nothing (or no one) else.
- God provides evidence for each step of belief.
- I also learnt that obedience is the lens that allows us to see the purpose that we were created for. Also, through the depth of my obedience am I able to show my love for Jesus Christ.
Having learnt all of this, I can also say that my discomfort at the number of the unreached (unsaved) also grew. It is appointed for man to die once and after that to face judgment (Hebrew 9:27). My responsibility is purely to share God’s word and leave it to Him as he awakens faith in us and causes us to believe. While scary, failure to believe means meeting Jesus as Judge as opposed to as Saviour and Great High Priest. So I pray that we may continue to share the reason for our Hope when asked (1 Peter 3:15).
His talk was titled “Decolonising the Mind, Securing the Base”.
- We exchanged our accents for European accents and in exchange for access to African resources.
- If you know all the languages of the world except your mother tongue, you are enslaved. If you speak your mother tongue in addition to other languages, you are empowered.
- Names and language is the imperialist’s last battle for the war that begun with the sword.
His talk was disrupted, I think wrongfully but here are a couple of other views you could check out.
I had a few books that I needed to get through and here are my thoughts on some of them.
Coconut by Kopano Matlwa
- The story talks about identify, self expression and family as well as issues of class and wealth and post-colonial African societies.
- Made me ask myself what makes me African. Is it my dreadlocks, my clothing style, the language I speak or not speak. My race perhaps? Africans come in many moulds and it is fine because we build up each other and our environment.
- It’s critically acclaimed and I agree that it’s definitely an important piece of literature for our time.
- The writing style is not great and it was very confusing to know when it was a thought or the actual storyline and a good editor would have helped with this. But its a few pages so you could quickly get past that.
Spilt Milk – Kopano Matlwa
- I quite liked this book, slightly better written but it definitely had more promise than it finally delivered because it just ended abruptly. To be honest, it also started just as abruptly so maybe this is a stylistic feature?
- Can’t really say much about the other themes but the theme of education and a School that influences young African minds and philosophy personally appealed to me.
- I also loved that she paid homage to all the (black) African greats and it was very encouraging to see this greatness that has gone before us. Led me to ask myself, who is writing the African story? My story, your story?
- Loved the story and would definitely recommend it.
Under the Udala Trees – Chinelo Okparanta
- I love, love, love this book. Love the author and her previous collection of short stories. So before you ask, I will recommend this book.
- Themes: love, marriage/ relationships, family, homosexuality, loss, identity.
- I love here writing style and the language she uses also how she develops her characters. You get to really understand them and start to root for them.
- The novel is extremely complex and multi-layered and is not something you read casually.
- I have shared before my thoughts on homosexuality and fully stand by the fact that the action is sinful but the individuals are beloved of God and so I read the story more for the literature but not because I stand by or believe in it.
- Nigeria has the Biafran War that has been included in a lot of literature. This made me think of what contemporary Kenyan or Ugandan writers talk about as that definining moment of our history.
Dust – Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor
- This book is a historical account of Kenya as a novel. It takes us through the history of a nation through the story of a house and a family from 1963 to 2007/8 when the post-election violence happened.
- If I had to give any criticism, its that the book has two very distinct parts and only the very patient will see it to the end and enjoy it. It starts slow and seems patchy and disjointed in certain places then it picks momentum and takes off. Beautiful work!!
- There are a lot of characters, yes, but they are all interconnected so its quite easy to lace through them.
- The books themes include: nationalism/ identity, love, passion, corruption, leadership, art/ creativity.
- Must read to anyone wishing to understand Kenya or planning a visit there.
Have you read anything interesting recently?
Posted in books
Tagged Africa, Biafran War, books, Books reading, Chinelo Okparanta, coconut, Dust - Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, identity, Kenya, Kopano Matlwa, reading, Spilt Milk
Tonnes of baby/mama related reads because a close pal is having a baby!!
- Boosting post-partum care.
- Article captures how you reconcile a shift in your nationality or what you define yourself as.
- Presentation tips that apply to all of us.
- Being rich means living longer and therefore positive gains on your pension. (NY Times)
- I would still choose to be a kid in the ’90s.
- How do you keep up the creativity?
- Stylish senior citizens. Yaaaassss!!!
- Anyone that knows me knows I have been singing about wanting a four month maternity without a kid. Turns out its called “meternity”.
- Some people have very meaningful jobs …
- Talent, passion or obsession? (YouTube)
- I recently got a juicer so i am glad for the different recipes.
- Mushrooms and chickpeas on toast.
- The many places that salt hides in food we eat.
I am at present reading this book and as usual I have read all the reviews about it and I have that warm and fuzzy feeling coz it seems to have been a good choice you know… I have found that I am reading a lot of books about identity as a central theme as it is an issue of particular interest to me. I would also like to own or read one of these books:
On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta