July 31, 2014

Proverbs Blog-Along Day 15

Sooooooooo, it's time for us to pick up where we left off.

DAY 15
These are the verses that stood out to me...
15For the despondent, every day brings trouble; 
for the happy heart, life is a continual feast.
16Better to have little, with fear for the lord,
than to have great treasure and inner turmoil.
Verse 15 is so right. Your attitude determines how you see life, and what happens to you. I've been like that before, where I saw things negatively and would see the bad in every situation, thereby blowing up problems into gigantic catastrophes. If you're happy and live with that outlook, you'll always have a cause to be thankful and celebrate. Verse 16 is also a good one. Imagine having all the money you can imagine times infinity, but you don't have inner peace. There's really no point.

17A bowl of vegetables with someone you love
is better than steak with someone you hate.
I heart this verse right here. What's the point of having riches, and the best things in life, if you're sharing it with someone you hate or dislike? I hear about a lot of Nigerian women who want the good life - designer this or that, and end up marrying men they can't stand. At the end of the day, they're really miserable, if you think about it.

22Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.
31If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise.
32If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself; but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding.
Mehn, these verses pack a punch! It can be applied to all facets of life - business, education, personal development and more. How can you grow if you don't get advice or listen to constructive criticism? The only way to grow is by learning, and there'll always be one person or another that you can learn from, whether it's a mentor, pastor, parent, friend, financial adviser, etc.

Any thoughts or other verses from this chapter you like?

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E-book Review: GET U.G.L.Y

Hey y'all,

I was given the opportunity to read this e-book by Adaeze Obiako (who blogs over at Deserve Your Great Life). Her blog is a series of inspirational posts with a Christian perspective, that discuss topics to aim to help you live a Happy and Fulfilled Life.

She recently published her first e-book, which you can get on her blog for FREE! The title first strikes you - GET U.G.L.Y. She turns the word "UGLY" into an acronym that stands for Unconditionally Grateful Looking like You.

berry dakara

The introduction tells Ada's story of growing up in high school feeling less than pretty. Fast forward to college, and she became the IT Girl, which surprisingly left her feeling more insecure. (You know how that can be - you begin to feel pressured to look, dress, act a certain way to keep up pretty appearances).

The book then goes on to list ten steps, one per chapter, on how to live a life that makes you look and feel better about yourself. This is not a how-to apply makeup, what-to-wear, trends-to-follow kind of book. Rather, the steps range from Smile to Limiting Time Spent on Social Media and even Accepting Compliments Graciously (which I have a hard time with sometimes).

Apart from the title, one of the first things that struck me were the colors and illustrations. They're fun and quickly draw you in. The book was quite easy to read, and one can easily breeze through it. However, it does give you food for thought, as the theme really deals with learning to love yourself and putting your best, confident foot forward.

I would recommend that you visit Ada's blog and download Get U.G.L.Y for FREE. In fact, I would print some copies and pass around to teenage girls, who are just coming into their own. With the abundance of hypersexualized celebrities and idols out there, our young women need a resource like this book to help filter out the noise and learn to love themselves for WHO they are.

This is a great first effort from Ms. Obiako and I can't wait for more from her.

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July 30, 2014

Ebola Virus: The What, Where, How and more

This is particularly for my African readers; more specifically those in West Africa. However, just because you're in other parts of the world, this is information that may be helpful because of air travel. Most of the information listed here is from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) websites.

I'm going to make this as easy as possible to read, because I know some people just don't have the attention span to read a whole bunch. I don't even have the attention span to write out everything. If you want more info, just click on the any of the websites above.

berry dakara

Back like I never left!

Hey there pretty people!

Thanks so much for your kind words on my last post. The funeral went well, and everybody got back to their various homes safely. Cakes and I then embarked on a road trip of sorts across Southern Nigeria for rest, relaxation and friends' weddings. It literally felt like we were traveling every other day!

TUESDAY: Drove from Warri to PH
WEDNESDAY: Day trip to Owerri to visit my awesome grandparents
FRIDAY: Day trip to Uyo for my friend's traditional wedding
MONDAY: Drove back to Lagos from PH

As in, thank God for the public holiday cos we got to rest on Monday evening, and for the better part of Tuesday. I feel refreshed and ready to conquer the world!!!

July 21, 2014

Sporadic blogging for the next week

Hello everyone,

I just wanted to let you know that you may not hear from me for the next week or so. Unfortunately, Cakes lost his father in early May very suddenly (I alluded to it in this post). It was a big shock to everyone and very unexpected. The family's doing better now but the funeral was this weekend.

Kindly keep us all in your prayers. We're praying for protection, good health, grace, strength, peace, journey mercies, etc.

Thanks and God bless.

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July 16, 2014

Proverbs Blog-Along Day 14

Sawry I'm having to play catch-up again. See what had happened was... oh, you don't need to hear my excuse? How thoughtful of you. Anyways, let's jump in!

DAY 14
This chapter was chock full of nuggets about the wise versus the foolish person. But the verses below are the ones that stood out to me particularly. (I used the CEV this time)
1A woman's family is held together by her wisdom,
but it can be destroyed by her foolishness.
I can't do justice to this verse. It speaks volumes to women (wives, mothers, especially). 

2By living right, you show that you respect the Lord;
by being deceitful, you show that you despise him.
We have to constantly remind ourselves that we're not living our lives for ourselves. How we conduct our lives, what we say, do, or think is all a reflection of our relationship with God. If we truly respect and love Him, it will show in our actions, speech and thoughts. It's as simple as that. 

7Stay away from fools, or you won't learn a thing.
This is a no-brainer. 

10No one else can really know how sad or happy you are.
10The person who shuns the bitter moments of friends will be an outsider at their celebrations. [MSG]
The first version is from CEV. I thought it was really insightful because anyone can put up a front of being happy, but be sad in reality (I've been there myself, as recently as a few weeks ago even). I wanted to see the same verse in a different version, and while the Message version is quite different, I think it also has a valuable lesson. To be a good friend means being there ALL THE TIME. You can't pick and choose when you want to be a friend. There will be difficult times in everyone's lives, and a good friend should stand by in those times. If you don't, how will you even show your face when the good times have rolled back in? 

28The mark of a good leader is loyal followers; leadership is nothing without a following.
Dear leaders and future leaders, please take note. Also pay attention to the word, LOYAL.

God bless.

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July 15, 2014

Proverbs Blog-Along Day 13

DAY 13
Some of the verses that stood out to me were
7Some who are poor pretend to be rich;
others who are rich pretend to be poor.
LOL, come to Lagos and see the number of guys pretending to be CEOs and MDs, driving big cars that double as their homes, because they can't afford rent.

8The rich can pay a ransom for their lives,
but the poor won’t even get threatened.
In a normal society, this is true. The wealthy people are the ones who attract thieves or kidnappers. However, Nigeria is not a normal society. 

What I did this Weekend

Soooooo my weekend was jam packed with errands and running around. I really didn't do much in the way of fun, apart from a lovely lunch hosted by my girl, Chee and her mum. Conversation was stimulating, the food was yummy, but Lin's baby was the highlight of the day!!! I just love babies, and Cakes would almost not let go of her. I almost feel sorry for our children, cos mummy and daddy will be fighting over them!

July 14, 2014

Berry and Cakes' Foot Massage Conversations

Hola amigos!

Every now and then I like to let you in our conversations as husband and wife (or newlyweds). You've seen our Kitchen Conversations, and Car Conversations. This is the Foot Massage edition :)


*Cakes walks into the house*
Cakes: Baby, please can you give me a foot massage?
Berry: Sure thing!


Berry: *enters room, feeling very tired with tingles in her feet*
Cakes: Babe, what's wrong?
Berry: Nothing.
Cakes: Are you sure? You've gone quiet and keeping to yourself.
Berry: I said "Nothing."
Cakes: Hmm, fine. I don't know what the attitude is for. I'll just leave you.
Berry: *rolls eyes*

Fifteen minutes later...

Berry: *walks to the living room*
Cakes: Hey babe.
Berry: *bursts into tears*
Cakes: Ah ah, what's wrong?
Berry: *sob sob*
Cakes: Talk to me.
Berry: *wail wail*
Cakes: Stop nowwww, what's the matter?
Berry: *in between heaving crying* I'M SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO..... STRESSED OUT!!!!
Cakes: Okay, come, let me hold you. What's stressing you out?
Berry: *coughs* EVERYTHING! This country is too stressful. I'm tired of driving, I'm tired of traffic, I can't go to the spa until all the bills are paid. And even if I go, I'll come out to the stress again. I'M TIRED! *sniffs*
Cakes: But who said you can't go to the spa? We have enough money to do things.
Berry: NO! We have to pay rent in December.
Cakes: *walks off, comes back with his laptop* Do I need to show you the bank statements? We have enough. We just have big items we need to take care of now, and there'll be money for rent in December.
Berry: But we have to save the money now *waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaail*
Cakes: You know what, you need to have more faith in God. He provides for us now and He'll provide for us later.
Berry: *walks off to the bedroom and slams the door* SOBBBBBBBBBBBBBING
Cakes: *comes in and before he can say anything*
Berry: *tears streaming down face* I didn't say I wanted a lecture on my faith. ALL I WANTED WAS FOR YOU TO GIVE ME A FOOT MASSAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *dramatically flops on bed coughing, sniffing, bawling*
Cakes: :-S Why didn't you just say that in the first place?


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Proverbs Blog-Along Day 12

So of course, we were busy throughout the weekend, and I wasn't able to update with Days 12 and 13 like I hoped I would. Well, here goes :)

DAY 12
Again, this chapter has the usual comparative sayings. Right off the bat, I very quickly saw verses that resonated with me...
1To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction.
At first I read this with a different context in mind, seeing discipline as defined by regular study or practice of something. In that context, I still think the first part of the verse is apt. You can't learn if you're not disciplined. How many people actually imbibe any knowledge, if they don't discipline themselves to regularly read, study or practice something often? Using the "correct" context though, looking at discipline as reprimand or correction for doing something wrong, it still holds true. You have to be willing to take correction and learn from your mistakes.
4A worthy wife is a crown for her husband, but a disgraceful woman is like cancer in his bones. 

4A helpful wife is a jewel for her husband, but a shameless wife will make his bones rot. [CEV]
I'm nowhere near perfect (as my dramatics confirm) but I really hope Cakes feels I'm a worthy wife to him. [Ahem, sorry for picking fights with you this weekend. It was the PMS]

9Better to be an ordinary person with a servant than to be self-important but have no food.
This might be just me, but I don't know how anyone can feel pompous and self-important, when they have nothing to speak of.

16A fool is quick-tempered, but a wise person stays calm when insulted.
:( God is really dealing with my conscience here. I get irritated very quickly... wait, maybe it was the PMSing this weekend? Okay, no... sometimes I get irritated very quickly and start sulking when I should just calm down and chill out.

25Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.
Cakes and my mum are always telling me to calm down and stop worrying. I literally feel sometimes like the weight of the world (okay Nigeria) is on my head and I can't do anything about it. I should learn to always cast my burdens and worries on Jesus...

I was going to put Day/Chapter 13 in this post as well, but this one is long enough already. I quoted using the NLT versions.

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July 11, 2014

Proverbs Blog-Along: Day 11

Now that I've finally caught up, hopefully, these should come with 1 chapter every single day :)

This chapter is full of comparisons between godly and ungodly people, wise and foolish people, honest and dishonest people, etc.

The very first verse that caught my eye today though was
14Without wise leadership, a nation falls;


Another couple of verses that made me go "hmmm" were
24Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything.
25The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.
I think Cakes is a good example of someone who gives freely and it's been apparent that he's been doing better in life. I wonder though, if 'becoming more wealthy' is strictly related to just finances. I doubt it, because you hear of people who don't have much monetarily, but they're big givers and they're full of love, full of joy, and that's a kind of wealth, isn't it?

Verse 28 talks about trusting money...
28Trust in your money and down you go! But the godly flourish like leaves in spring.
For me, I struggle a little bit with this. It's not that I put money above God, but I feel safer and more secure when there's money in my bank account. Cakes and I differ in this aspect a lot. I worry about saving, saving, saving and he's more relaxed because he knows that God will provide, no matter what. I didn't actually think I would be like this, because when I was younger (and my mum will attest to this), I always said, "Money's important, but it's not THAT important. As long as I'm comfortable, everything's alright." And now, my perspective has changed a little bit. I'm not pursuing money or anything like that, but I begin to really panic when my bank account gets to a certain balance.

I pray that my attitude towards money changes with time, and that I learn to trust God more, so that even if I lose my job tomorrow (GOD FORBID O, I'M JUST SAYING) that I will put my faith in Him. Amen.

Have a pretty weekend, you pretty person. Yes, you too, you pretty male person. *winks*

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July 10, 2014

Proverbs Blog-Along: Days 8, 9 and 10

This chapter talks about Wisdom from beginning to end. But I just want to zero in on the following verses. First version is New Living Translation.
10Choose my instruction rather than silver, and knowledge rather than pure gold.
11For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies. Nothing you desire can compare with it.
12“I, Wisdom, live together with good judgment. I know where to discover knowledge and discernment.
Here it is in the Contemporary English Version
10Let instruction and knowledge mean more to you than silver or the finest gold.
11 Wisdom is worth much more than precious jewels or anything else you desire.”
12I am Wisdom—Common Sense is my closest friend; I possess knowledge and sound judgment.
What I get from these verses is that wisdom (knowledge, insight, understanding, discernment/good judgment) is more important than riches. You might say, "yeah right." But think about it. How many people with large amounts of money (e.g. people that win the lottery) have gone an squandered it all away because they lack the know-how on how to deal with their money??? You see it a lot of times. Some people in the entertainment industry make it big all of a sudden, and they just gather up expensive cars, clothes, houses, etc and before you know it, they're in debt (anybody remember MC Hammer?). Do you know that many celebs owe hundreds of thousands of Naira (if not even millions) to a lot of restaurants and clubs in Lagos??? You seek the money, but you don't seek the knowledge that will help you make wise decisions on how to give, save, and spend...

This chapter also talks about Wisdom, and ends with a few verses about Stupidity. Isn't it funny how both Wisdom and Stupidity call out to people? Which one will you answer?
9If you have good sense, instruction will help you to have even better sense.
And if you live right, education will help you to know even more.
10 Respect and obey the LordThis is the beginning of wisdom.
To have understanding, you must know the Holy God.

I like verse 9 particularly, as it just states the simple fact that if you pursue knowledge/wisdom (instruction and education), you will have more of it.

DAY 10
This is more like the Proverbs I know. *side note, it almost seems like I've never read Proverbs before, because it all seems so new* Anyways, there are a couple of topics here from Obedience to Discipline, but I particularly like
19You will say the wrong thing  if you talk too much—
so be sensible and watch what you say.
20The words of a good person are like pure silver..
I like this because we all need to know WHAT to say, WHEN to say it, HOW MUCH to say, etc. Remember, wisdom ultimately comes from God, so the more we seek and listen to His instructions, the easier it will be for us to discern how to use our words.

God bless!!!

YAY, I'm finally caught up!!! WOOT WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT! Shey today's the 10th and my calendar isn't playing tricks on me?
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July 9, 2014

Proverbs Blog-Along: Days 5, 6, and 7

Hmm, this chapter is a little bit of a tricky one. It talks mostly about a man staying away from an adulterous woman. Truth be told, the verses can be switched around for the married woman contemplating cheating on her husband too.
8Stay away from a bad woman!
Don't even go near the door of her house.
I know that this verse is talking to a man, talking about a bad or immoral woman, but I think it can also be likened to TEMPTATION, period. I can't count the number of times I've done or said something wrong because I simply went or stayed close to something (or even someone) that would tempt me into sin. In fact, it doesn't even have to be sin, it could simply be a bad habit. E.g. you know you have a weak spot for shopping online, and yet you subscribe to different stores for sales. Or you know you shouldn't eat more than a certain amount, but you went to the cafeteria on the 10th floor with N1000, instead of N200 and ended up overeating because you bought waaaaaaay too much food.... (oh, was that just me?)

The latter part of this chapter again deals with adultery, but let's focus on the first four verses, shall we? I'm taking stock of the fact that Solomon was the richest man in the world (I'm sure Bill Gates would have been like a pauper to him). So we have the richest man in the world writing this...
1My child, if you have put up security for a friend’s debt or agreed to guarantee the debt of a stranger—
2if you have trapped yourself by your agreement and are caught by what you said—
3follow my advice and save yourself, for you have placed yourself at your friend’s mercy.
Now swallow your pride; go and beg to have your name erased.
4Don’t put it off; do it now! Don’t rest until you do.

Solomon isn't talking about lending his friend money - that's different. I think he's saying that if you agree to sign on as a guarantor, not only are you indebted to the lender, you're also indebted to your friend. Why? Because if your friend decides that he/she isn't going to pay the debt, the onus is on YOU! If the lender decides they want their money back today, you're ultimately the person that will be responsible for paying that debt.

Adultery again!!! Yes, it is THAT serious! For King Sol to go on, over 3 chapters, continue talking about adultery, it should be a much bigger deal than it seems to be in the world. Apart from warning you against adultery, I like these beginning verses...
1My son, pay close attention and don't forget what I tell you to do.
2Obey me, and you will live! Let my instructions be your greatest treasure.
3Keep them at your fingertips and write them in your mind.
4Let wisdom be your sister and make common sense your closest friend.
In a nutshell, this passage urges us to always keep God's instructions close to our hearts.

What are YOUR favorite verses from Chapters 5 to 7? And what are your thoughts about the ones I mentioned? I've really been enjoying the comments that have been given on the previous posts. If you missed them, see Day 1 here, and Days 2-4 here.

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Why I like Lupita

So, you know how this is the year of Lupita? Well, I'm typically one of those people who doesn't go along with the in-thing simply because everyone is on a bandwagon. I watched 12 Years a Slave, and while I thought it was a very good movie, I didn't think Lupita was all that awesome. She was good o, don't get me wrong. But I was underwhelmed.

However, I must tell you that I actually do like Lupita! I like her sense of style, her personality seems nice, but most of all, this chick is VERY WELL SPOKEN!!! As in, have you ever heard her speak? She's not trying to sound American, or African, or anything. She just speaks clearly, and by jove, I LAVVEET!!!!

Oya listen... this is where she talks to Vogue about braiding.

Don't lie, you've fallen in love too. Okay, I'll beg her to read the dictionary on your behalf.

Yes, she's my new cousin.

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July 8, 2014

What I Did This Weekend: Special Food Edition

Hi errbawdy!

I trust y'all had a good weekend. We did too. We had planned a busy weekend but spent most of it ultimately indoors. Friday and Sunday were particularly quiet with nothing to report. But Saturday... a whole 'nother story that I'm about to divulge below.

It was a rainy day, preceded by a rainy night. The wind howled, the heavens poured and a married couple somewhere in Lagos, Nigeria had to wake up early and set about the day's adventures. The wife was not very happy as she detests waking up early on weekends and grumbled with a scowl on her face. Alas, she played the dutiful and submissive wife, following her husband on his sojourn of the day. They drove to the tailor to get her measured, and stopped by the bakery to finish up a cake, which they promptly delivered at an aunt's house. The wife mentioned how she'd been a little under the weather for a bit over a week, prompting the aunt to exclaim somewhat anxiously and excitedly, "Gasp! Are you pregnant?!" The wife chuckled, used to this line of questioning and shook her head. When the couple left their aunt's house, it appeared that the whole of Lagos converged on one road - the traffic situation, so much to bear. The wife slipped into a deep slumber and upon reaching the second-to-the-last destination, her husband gazed at her lovingly, tapped her awake and said, "You have been snoring... a lot." Two errands were run and the couple dashed off to their humble abode, tired from the day's activities. But first...

July 7, 2014

Proverbs Blog-Along Days 2, 3, and 4


Okay, don't laugh, but the verses that got to me in this chapter were
2Keep in tune with wisdom and think what it means to have common sense.
3Beg as loud as you can for good common sense.
This is from the Contemporary English Version. Other versions, like NLT use the words, 'Understanding' or 'Insight' in place of Common sense. I particularly like this version though because we all know that a lot of people in this world lack common sense. And here the Bible says that we should beg, cry out, or earnestly search for it. Some people need to read this word for themselves. Nuff said.

Honestly this chapter is chock full of very good verses! I suggest you read it yourself, and in different versions too. I like to read the New Living Translation, Contemporary English, and The Message versions. Sometimes one version really brings out the crux of the passage over another version. I'm using the NLT below.
5Trust in the lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
I'm very guilty of not trusting God too many times. It's not that I want to depend on my own understanding. It's that I feel like my human mind can't really grasp God's word sometimes.
9Honor the lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce.
Take note of BEST in this verse. Some versions say FIRST. I try as much as possible to pay my tithe as soon as I get paid. Like it's the first "bill" I pay. At other times, sometimes (esp. during Christmas), I determine to give an offering that's higher than the worth of any gift I may have bought for someone or myself. I still think I don't do enough but I'll try. 
12For the lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.
Hands up if you don't like being disciplined for doing something wrong!
21My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment. Hang on to them,
22for they will refresh your soul.
Haha, there goes "Common Sense" again. I'm telling you, God wants you to have common sense. Please spread the word.

23Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
Again, I'm using the NLT version. However in the CEV, it uses THOUGHTS in place of heart. What's the message here? Watch what you let into yourself, be careful of what you allow to seep into your hearts and thought life. EVERYTHING starts with a thought.

Alrighty ladies and gentlemen, we shall continue in another post today or tomorrow. God bless!

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July 4, 2014

Faith Post! Proverbs Blog-Along

Hello ladies and gentlemen,

I've been doing a poor job of keeping up with my Bible reading, so I want to make myself accountable to YOU. I'd like to read a chapter of Proverbs everyday for the month of July. Obviously I'm running 4 days late, but this will be my catch-up post.

So, it won't be enough for me to just read and carry on - I'll have to post my favorite part from each chapter and write a little bit about why I liked that verse. Anyone else game??? Follow along in the comments everyday :)


Proverbs 1:1-6 NLT

These are the proverbs of Solomon, David’s son, king of Israel. Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline, to help them understand the insights of the wise. Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives, to help them do what is right, just, and fair. These proverbs will give insight to the simple, knowledge and discernment to the young. Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser. Let those with understanding receive guidance by exploring the meaning in these proverbs and parables, the words of the wise and their riddles.

Different version below...
Proverbs 1:1-6 MSG

These are the wise sayings of Solomon, David’s son, Israel’s king— Written down so we’ll know how to live well and right, to understand what life means and where it’s going; A manual for living, for learning what’s right and just and fair; To teach the inexperienced the ropes and give our young people a grasp on reality. There’s something here also for seasoned men and women, still a thing or two for the experienced to learn— Fresh wisdom to probe and penetrate, the rhymes and reasons of wise men and women.


Funny that I've probably read Proverbs 1 a couple of times but never noticed that it starts off talking about the purpose of the whole book. About what the sayings and words are written for and what they aim to do (basically a life manual of sorts and to help its readers be successful). This just goes to show me and you that PURPOSE is very important. When I set out to do anything, what's my purpose behind it? Focus on the Family uses the word INTENTIONALITY a lot. It just asks "what are my intentions with everything I do?" Now I don't think it has to be serious all the time. I can go to the movies for fun, with the intent to relax. 

So what is my purpose of going through Proverbs through the month of July publicly?
1. To be better disciplined about reading the Bible.
2. To hopefully gain some insight and wisdom about life, and how to live in obedience to God.
3. To commit to a better relationship with God.
4. For accountability. 

Have a great weekend!

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