FELLOWSHIP

FELLOWS ON A SHIP

I had originally thought of doing this for my church magazine and it probably will find its way there, but its WICWA for now.

At our area fellowship meeting in May we talked about fellowship among believers. Now on the surface, we may appear to be a fellowship but our discussion that day put me in my place and rightfully so. Our group looked at Acts 2:42-47 which basically outlines the basic tenets of a fellowship should be, the ideal. There should be prayer- check, teaching-check, breaking of bread-double check and FELLOWSHIP???.

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer”

We can look at fellowship in two ways; the fellowship as a structure or institution like a couple’s fellowship or a youth fellowship. Then there is the other side to fellowship, the kind I believe Paul was driving at where he basically treats it as an action or activity which should be seen within the fellowship as a body.

Paul wasn’t a poet, he wasn’t driving at some insightful hidden meaning in the use of fellowship and no, it definitely wasn’t a tautology. He meant fellowship in the plainest sense; a sense of oneness, companionship and a close association between people. Simply put, Christians in the church being good friends to each other.

Friendship, for the most part, should come naturally to individuals. It’s easy for me to make friends in the neighborhood, at class and wherever but at church it kind of becomes a problem. HI’s are said after service, calls are only made when it concerns a particular meeting and that’s that. There is no quality time spent with members of our “fellowship”.

This shouldn’t be so. At this level we are at best acquainted with each other and there environment seems all corporate with everyone performing their roles but for us to call ourselves a fellowship that just does not cut it.

It’s essential that there is effective fellowship for there to be effective prayer and spot on teaching. If we don’t know what is going on each other’s life how then canny we support each other in prayer. It’s all good and well praying for Ghana or some other issue but some individuals would like some prayers too, I certainly would. Simply put, to be effective intercessors for each other we need to know the 411 of each other’s lives.

Devotion as always is key. I know I won’t become best friends with people at church overnight but I could at least try, same for everyone else. A call once a week, a text every now and then and then maybe some quality time with other church or fellowship members. Picnics and stuff are organized to help foster that sense of oneness but really it’s just touch and go and after a while they even become a burden. I for one don’t remember when I last went for a picnic at church, plain lack of effort on my part.

This is a part confession from me and others may relate to it but my take on it is simple, the bible demands that we as a church act as a close knit group or a family not a well-oiled machine. I haven’t been the poster boy for good relations in a fellowship but God willing that will change.

#endofanera AND A PIECE ON JOLIE

 

Been ages or well a few weeks since my last post and now WICWA makes a return and I know, I know you couldn’t be bothered. Anyway I was tied up exams as society says my worth is measured by how many A’s I get and by that standard I guess I’m not worth much but hell, all shall pass.

A lot has happened in the last month or so across board with the ever present court proceeding and no, there are no Tom Cruise –Jack Nicholas exchanges. A friend was expecting as he put it “a good exhibition of oratory skills”, whatever that is, and needless to say he was disappointed but then again its real life not Suits. At least for all the Kumawood fans out the, the proceedings have spawned some numerous pink sheet movies with our very own Marlon Brando at the forefront, Liwin (or however it’s spelt) so not all bad and also General Mosquito was getting his azonto on after one of the proceedings_ good for him, like he needs to do more to be taken seriously by me.

 

err??? Ok

Then there was the footy and anyone and everyone has decided hang up their boots and hair driers. Fergie, Scholes, Owen, Carra and the golden balls himself, Beckham but whose he kidding he retired the moment he left for LA and in any case he’s been half-dead to me since he left Old Trafford. I still love becks though_ no homo. Oh, and Zanetti may even follow with his long term injury although I think the much more reasonable bet is that he has mechanical innards and will probably come back from his lay off and play on forever. Speaking of forever, here’s a guy who’s been there for that long; Giggsy, Giggsy, Giggsy. His chest hair is probably, nay, definitely grey now. Now we all love him and wish he could go on forever but come on Giggs; all your mates are gone, you’ve won more trophies than most football clubs and your grand kids are older than Tom Cleverly. Give it a rest.

On Fegurson all that has to be said has been said. The songs have been sung, words said, tears shed and hair dryers unplugged but really why do the good ones have to retire, Bosingwa is probably going to go on till 42 and Redkapp I believe is secretly 80 and he possibly wants to go on for twenty more years. All in all my advice to guys and maybe (but most unlikely) girls is; don’t throw away your FIFA 13. It’s the last time you get to use Scholes, Giggs and Beckham together #endofanera #overusedhashtag.

The Angelina Jolie effect. This phrase or term means relatively nothing now but maybe in a few years we may be talking about how the AJ effect (much cooler) has saved millions of women from breast cancer. I’m sure you’ve heard about her preventive mastectomy decision and how it has inspired some women to take that step to prevent cancer but it wasn’t too long ago that she was this intense sexual presence making out with her brother and the perceived home wrecking and husband snatching. Okay it’s been a long while since all that but the point I’m making is in the past 5 – 8 years, her image has been undergoing a steady transformation. She is no longer Jolie the sex icon but Jolie the humanitarian and now potentially women’s health advocate. Someone tell Charlie sheen it’s not too late for him to start pastoring a church and becoming the poster boy for AA. This story and others about her humanitarian work show how relevant she is making herself so big ups to her and her massive PR turn around. She has been making big strides with her activism and humanitarian work and I hope she continues to make a difference where it really matters. It has been ages though since I saw her in something and I think she’s starring in one next year so I’m looking forward to it.

Speaking of movies, I saw, in my opinion, the first real solid movie of the 2013 in The Place Beyond the Pines with Bradley Cooper, Ryan Gosling but Ray Liotta and yes he plays a corrupt Italian cop, same as every other film he doesn’t play a gangster. That’s a wrap for today though, more on that in my next post…good day or night night or whatever.

*this is the last of my posts from my previous blog so, the big GUY up there granting, there will be a new piece sometime next week*

SEX ED IN GH

Today WICWA talks sex *queue Sugar and Spice*. Well more like sex education in Ghana. Sex education basically entails issues relating to human sexuality, the human sexual anatomy, reproduction, intercourse, reproductive health, emotional relations, reproductive rights and responsibilities, abstinence, and birth control. Yeah a lot of stuff so whose job is it to actually talk to us about sex? Teachers, parents, church, Hollywood, Big bird? And when does sex ed actually start?

I have been taking a populations studies elective in sociology this semester and there’s been a fair amount of sex talk. Not that I have a problem with this but I just found it surprising. We are brought up to think discussion of sex is some sort of Pandora’s Box, but our professor, who seems old school by the way, talks quite freely about it. She even plans to bring a model penis to demonstrate condom use. My question then is why sex education, from parents and in schools, doesn’t actively happen. The obvious answer is the culture of silence backed by our traditions and religious beliefs.

So when should sex education start? I’m thinking the junior high school level thereabout where the kids are about 12-15 years and preferably by the parents. My parents never had the “Talk” with me and most of my questions were answered by movies, surprise, surprise. I’m sure some parents actively try to conceal the knowledge of sex like it was some national secret but then there’s that magic device called Google and pretty much all the kids know about it.

Movies contained some things about sex but the internet is a gold mine. The web is the ultimate repository of information and you could practically teach yourself law on it…and sex. Documents, videos, pictures, diagrams it has it all and then some. There are 10 year olds with access to the internet and what happens if/when they Google sex, if they haven’t already. There is a lot of stuff on the internet concerning sex and most of it, depending on age, can be very corrupting.

It’s imperative that parents beat the internet when it comes to divulging info about sex. Not that they should divulge everything at a go but at least lay the ground work. The “Talk” isn’t a onetime thing. It should continue as child develops I reckon. As for when parents should actually start discussing the forbidden subject, I leave it to their discretion but it should certainly be before the ever popular reproduction class in junior high. You find that around this time, they and their inexperienced peers end up having their own mini sex ed forums and not a lot of good comes out from that. Bad advice is given and further bad decisions are likely to occur.

In Ghana there is some controversy over the appropriateness of sex education in schools. There isn’t a period or class for giving students such information save biology. I’m sure life skills class had a part to play in this but I remember it being more like a cooking class.  In Finland, sex education is incorporated into some courses, mainly biology, in lower grades and, later, in courses related to general health issues. The Population and Family Welfare Federation provides all 15 year olds with an introductory sexual package that includes information brochures and a condom. Ghanaian schools can take up modules similar to that of Finland’s and incorporate it into our schools curriculum. It is key they supplement what parents have to offer about sex since they may have access to accurate know how and relevant resource persons.

Taking a some cues from their module would be a step in the right direction however talk of condoms is what gets our religious folk jumping. Some believe actually talking about sex may actually push kids to engage in it early on however we don’t do much sex ed but kids in class six are still sexually active and there are still high teenage pregnancy rates in schools so the counter argument is; the youth are still having sex anyway so why not protect them with condoms and information_ touché. 

 My take on this is simple, young people shouldn’t be kept away from sex education, it should no longer be a taboo topic. It’s about much more than just sex, there’s the health and family planning aspect too. Discussions should be held be between parents and kids, it should be taught in schools and the churches should also chip in as they have a part to play in a moral sense since we don’t want a bunch of promiscuous kids running around. We should also appreciate that our society is rapidly evolving and the presence of internet means our kids are going to be bombarded by information about sex and it’s up to us as a society to make sure they are not corrupted and receive the right information at the right time.

So again in the words of Sugar and Spice “Let’s talk about sex”

TWO THUMBS UP MR. EBERT

Today, WICWA remembers film critic Roger Ebert. Roger Ebert passed away on April 4, 2013 and to me and numerous other movie lovers, he was very influential and relevant. I never watched a movie without seeing what he thought of it first. His Iconic “Two Thumbs Up” for a movie could make or break its prospects with viewers.

I’ve always considered myself a movie enthusiast, my dad made sure of that. Fact is my movie education was never complete until running into Roger Ebert. This was about three years ago when my movie viewing habits started maturing; what I call my “Scorsese” phase. I had seen Scorsese’s more recent works (the departed & shutter island) and in my efforts to find more of his directing credits online and further seeing what they were about, as they stretched back to the 70s, Ebert’s review of Goodfellas caught my eye where he says “No finer film has ever been made about organized crime – not even The Godfather.” Of course that was a big statement seeing as the Godfather is one the greatest films of the crime genre and even I knew that then but somehow that played on my mind and as time went on (this being in a matter of months) I sought for his opinion on every movie I watched not because I necessarily thought he was the best film critic but also because he took a very prudent approach to reviewing films.

“When you ask a friend if Hellboy is any good, you’re not asking if it’s any good compared to Mystic River, you’re asking if it’s any good compared to The Punisher. And my answer would be, on a scale of one to four, if Superman is four, then Hellboy is three and The Punisher is two. In the same way, if American Beauty gets four stars, then The United States of Leland clocks in at about two”.

His approach to reviewing movies always seemed reasonable to me because it’s always difficult to compare movies of varying contexts and genres say like the example he uses above in Hellboy and Mystic River which are completely different kinds of movies geared towards different effects.

If there is one thing I learned from him, it’s that we are all entitled to our opinions, however biased or dissenting they may be. He didn’t think too highly of movies like Full metal Jacket which I consider a classic or even Die Hard (and I half agree with him there) despite their near unanimous recognition and there are numerous “questionable” movies that he has given good reviews to but his opinion was his opinion.

Ebert’s battle with thyroid cancer led to some number of operations and as a result, him losing his Jaw and subsequently his ability to speak in 2006 after complications during surgery. The loss of his voice did not slow him down and his blogging and internet reviews brought him closer especially for those of us who did not have the luxury of watching him during his time on television. The internet continued to give him a voice that was heard by fans across the globe, more than his tv shows did. His further adoption of twitter allowed him to broadcast his thoughts and have further conversations with other critics and fans alike. His ease with the Internet age was more than impressive for a man who appeared to be an old school print journo.

With him gone I would have to find a new ace movie critic. I followed him and Simon & Mayo of the BBC but there was some balance there as Simon & Mayo sometimes are a tad too critical and appear too eager to give movies bad reviews and this was in stark contrast to Ebert’s warm and receiving nature towards movies. He has handpicked some critics to work on his site so it is still running but the fact is, there may never be another critic like Ebert. One who was so open hearted and actually understanding of movies and willing to give them a chance.

Two thumbs up to you Mr. Ebert, Two Thumbs up.

HERE’S DELA!!!


* this is a post from a previous blog of mine earlier in the year and maybe the next four five will be too. i messed up my previous site during some tinkering with the html and I’m opting for a fresh star here at wordpress. I only just started blogging so a few months ago so its not really a big deal, that being said have a good read*

This is my first crack at blog and yes, I do wish all I could do, nay, all I had to do was write about football and movies but for some reason that cannot be, why? Take guess. Maybe it’s because there’s so much more to life than just footy and movies or maybe it would be more “mature” of me to deal with more “important” stuff like say politics and religion. Then again, there is so much going on in my beautiful country Ghana that concerns me_ okay maybe not outright concern but there are a lot of things I find interesting or just plain funny and like most people, I have an opinion about some of the happenings and sharing it with the world or the two men or women or transvestites or incredibly smart monkeys that happen to stumble across my humble blog.

As all things should, I would like to start this blog in the name of my lord *does the sign of the cross* and talk about Easter. I saw The Passion of the Christ on for the first time on Friday and well, the movie was violent, very violent. I saw it with my mom and she seemed stunned, a far cry from all the Jesus films she had seen. Mel Gibson did a good job with directing and I would certainly like to see him in the directors chair again but that’s a piece for another day. Basically to me it seems like the Pharisees wanted him dead to cover the truth, makings of great conspiracy,  unfortunately the loose end of him actually rising again wasn’t one they anticipated.  Okay, okay it might be unfair to say they knew he was the son of God and were trying to hide that fact although it seemed that way in Mel Gibson’s interpretation of events but the point is he did suffer and more importantly die for us. The question as always is why? L_O_V_E. and again why love people who despise you? Because of Gods desire to see us get to the good old days when life was simple and man walked and talked with him in the Garden of Eden before  she we messed things up. He took on our sin and shame and was crucified on the cross so we would get the chance to get back to God start a walk with him. My favorite line from Passion of the Christ was “remember I am an innocent man forced to carry the cross of a condemned man” .These words were uttered by Simon of Cyrene when he was forced

 No Simon, you’re the condemned one.

to carry help Jesus carry his cross and it was funny he thought he was the innocent Jesus guilty when in actuality it was the other way round only Jesus wasn’t forced, he cared for us and desired to see us free from sin so the closed between us and God will be closed. There is also the small matter of the fact that we were all condemned and heading for hell and get this, he is the only way and I don’t know about you but I don’t fancy spending eternity in hell fire.His resurrection gives us hope for eternity in that upon us believing in the power of his death and resurrection we WILL be saved. This is not just a message for Easter but one we should think about every day of the week. The blood he shed for us is available 24\7.

In the words of a Steve Harvey “now that we got that outta the way” I’ll be doing a piece on my beloved Hearts of Oak, yeah right, MAN UTD/RED DEVILS/MANCHESTER UNITED/MOST AWESOME TEAM EVER. It’ll probably be lost in the sea of build ups to the Manchester derby on Monday night. Until then, I wish I could write about footy and movies_ and God willing I’ll get to do footy next week.

FILM THIS WEEK

Finally Something With Some Ambition

In typical Ghanaian fashion, I considered bitching about A Good Day To Die Hard which is basically a good day to see something else but I decided focus on something worthwhile.
Step forward director Cianfrance’s The Place Beyond the Pines which I first saw last week and it’s the first movie of the year I have truly enjoyed. It stars Ryan Gosling, Eva Mendes and the now top notch Bradley Cooper coming of his Oscar nom last year and they all give solid performances. This movie is about a motorcycle stunt rider played by Gosling, who turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for the baby boy he has with Mendes’ character. All this points towards a clash with Cooper’s law man character who also has his own problems dealing with a corrupt police force (enter Ray Liotta). 
“If you ride like lightning, you’re going to crash like thunder”

The movie is in three parts and kind of plays like a novel although the script isn’t adapted. It has an Oedipus Rex/Gods Are Not to Blame thingy going on with all the main characters intertwined across three main parts.

The first two parts deal with Gosling and Cooper as their paths cross with mixed results for both. The final part which presents some negatives focuses on their kids, two boys of the same age and eventually the same high school. This part seems a little boring and I wasn’t as engaged in it as the first two parts but it does pick up and end well and at the very end provides one of my favorite scenes from the movie. 

The movie is not without its flaws but all in all another feather in the cap for director Derek Cianfrance and I’m tipping his next project, whatever it is, to do well with the Academy.Check out the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G07pSbHLXgg

Some Joy in a She-Monster

I’ve never really been charmed by female performances on the big screen. They may stand out as impressive but I can’t honestly say I loved it or call one of my favs. I can genuinely site Renee Zeleweger in Cold Mountain, the young but brilliant Hailee Steinfeld in True Grit and Whoopi Goldberg’s Oda Mae Brown in Ghost. Maybe I’ll throw in marge Gunderson played by Frances Mcdormand in Fargo but the lists ends there.

However 2003’s monster provides a gift of a performance from Charlize Theron who in my humble opinion gives one of the best female performances of all time, certainly the best I have come across. Theron is barely recognizable here with some extra weight and prosthetics making her commitment to the role evident.
She portrays real life prostitute and later serial killer Aileen Wuornos who you can say generally hates people. She’s been dealt a bad hand by life since her childhood with abuse molestation and the first time we see her, she’s holding a big-ass magnum contemplating suicide. She later in that day runs into her eventual lesbian lover (Selby in the movie) played by Christina Ricci.

Her relationship with Ricci brings another dimension to the character with her showing she has some ability to love and care about another person. She appears willing to do anything for her one may be even led to believe it is devotion to her that pushes her to go on that mini killing spree although I’m pretty sure her hatred for men played a greater part. 

There is one sequence where she spares a man who appears to be a virgin and is looking for his first time but any doubts about her cold blooded nature are dispelled where she murders a man offering help after he sees her gun. She was quite paranoid at that point. She kind of redeems herself in my eyes with her final act of love and charity at the end towards Ricci’s character.
spot the difference, anyone?

As far as performances go it still ranks up there for me. She embodies an angry, depressed, sometimes loving and later violent individual and her actions in the movie are somewhat understandable given her circumstances but not excusable. The crude manner with which she interacts with most people is so amusing to watch and her relationship with Ricci shows us a softer side to her character.

The story line may be a bit off but Theron here is a definite highlight and an absolute must-watch. 

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