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Posts Tagged ‘ireland’

For those who have read THE PEBBLE travel is clearly a key theme throughout the book. So with the help of friends and readers Alex, our female flawed hero, takes to the streets of Europe’s cities and key buildings. 

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DID YOU PACK THESE BAGS YOURSELF, SIR?

So there you have it, I started a blog based on THE PEBBLE and a journey of self-discovery and ended up on my own escapade of finding out what is going on inside my head. Is there a more secure guinea pig than the author himself? I think not, and at this point I offer my humblest apologies for bunching up a group of days of the 21 day journey but that is how it is with self-discovery, sometimes things get out of the process and kind of crazy.

What did I find out about me and my inner self? Well much like you, I have worked out that some stuff is my baggage and other stuff is simply other travellers luggage that I am carrying through life and I don’t want it no more..

MEGA-CHURCHES AND THE WIZARD OF OZ!

It is no secret I am a Christian, whatever that tag means you, but to me it means I follow Jesus Christ and believe all the bible says about this man/God who raised the dead, healed the sick and died on a cross for me. Cool and kind of mind blowing stuff.

I have worked out that Christian land is very much like the land of Oz. What do I mean? Well, there is no doubt REAL magic and amazing events likely to happen at any moment but sadly the main people in power are often nothing more than normal human beings hanging onto power behind a curtain, desperately trying to keep a grip on the people through a process of manufactured atmosphere and yet the real POWER is simply out there among the munchkins. My God does not need megaphones and smoke machines He just needs open hearts and willing citizens of His new Kingdom!

Real change begins the day you see God for who He is and also see the wizards behind the curtains…Things can change, but only really change when you stop looking for the wizard and start seeing the power in the people along the yellow brick road!

Ding Dong and all that jazz

Be you, Be Blessed!

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Firstly let me wish you all, Irish and want-to-be Irish, a Happy Paddy’s Day! I have to say however that I was never a huge fan of the day, what is there to be excited about? Dancing kids, tractors with green balloons(how inventive) and marching bands clog hopping to out of tune tubas, oh and don’t forget the local football team walking in chaos behind the obligatory vintage car. Seriously do you think you would watch that assembly of mayhem on any other day? No, but for some reason it is so invitingly cute on March the 17th we all get involved. We brave the cold, wave the flag and paint pretty little shamrocks on our cheeks all in the name of Irish-ness. Then we drown the shamrock  get blind drunk, start a fight and play the fiddle…. well that is what those who perform like the monkey at the circus will do, happy to allow the world clap the happy-go-lucky Irish into their stupor. But what about the true spirit of St Patrick, the essence of what became known as the island of saints and scholars, a nation that held the beauty of scriptures and art while the rest of Europe plunged into the Dark Ages? A people who fostered great minds in monastery and monk cell across this green land. Well that essence is still alive, still holding onto the wit, the warmth and  vision to reach out as a light to a darkening Europe. We are a people with a God shaped shamrock in our heart, a people that have unshackled the burden of religion from our necks and are ready to breath the air of pure Christianity again….that may not fit into the performing monkey the world want to drown with Guinness tonight but it is a people worth celebrating……

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Recently I have started to speak and major on the ‘need for you’. The urgent need for a generation to rise up that know they carry a powerful potential inside of them, bursting to be nurtured and fed until it comes through the soil of life and into the environment of influence.

It is no secret at this stage that my novel THE PEBBLE holds within it’s fantastical plot a real message that no genetics or action can kill that potential, and during my time speaking on the book I come across many amazing young potential leaders etc but I have met one young girl  I am convinced if nurtured and encouraged will speak in front of great men one day, as a leading political voice of this nation.

Oh, what is totally amazing is that she is of African roots, Nigerian, and yet fully Irish in her speech and welcome with a smile that would burst a rainbow, everything we once thought a stereo-typed  red haired and freckled face girl would have been. The letter you will now read is a speech she wrote out for me on what she wants to change in Ireland…enjoy the voice of the next generation.

I am 12 years old and my name is Chi-Chi Enyoazu.

I live in Ireland and I am from an African background. I think there are things Ireland and it’s government need to improve. These simple changes could make Ireland a rich country but also one of the greatest nations in history.

Starting with the recession, if Ireland is able to change the way we spend money, not by just making cuts, but spending smarter we could make a huge difference. For example, the way some roads are getting resurfaced when they seemed fine before that, sometimes the resurfacing made them worse! So make sure to select the correct area to repair and know that silly choices can double or triple our spending. If the government stopped spending money on things that clearly make no sense then the economy could be booming once more.

The policing system needs to improve, not the the police themselves as they are doing a good job. However, making sure to have more police available to respond to speeding cars or theft before the slip over the border. An example is when my family needed the police to come to us but it took them over half an hour because there was not enough on duty. I would rather have a police force and a bumpy road!

A big problem that is killing people, really killing people, is bullying. Cyber bullying and racism need to be addressed urgently. We would all love to see prices decrease in the shops, but I think there are other things that could improve and make it a better country... …

So there it is , the future is bright and the future is multi coloured!

Until next week be love and be loved.

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Ireland, land of a thousand welcomes…. The home of the craic and of open arms. That is how we sell our brand, the pitch for our little emerald isle. However is that today as accurate as the pig and the cloth capped farmer picture on the postcards would lead you to believe?

Sadly it is not in my book, “the land of a thousand welcomes” but the land that stays silent and casts a suspicious look at those it deems ‘foreign’. I stood today at an ATM, a queue of people already had gathered waiting on the bank to open, and three non Irish women were struggling with the ATM. No one said a word, or muttered a comment, however the glances, the under the eyes scorn and silent nods of middle age women as they viewed these “foreigners” obviously spoke not a thousand welcomes but a thousand words that could be summed up in “Your not one of us!” An amazing thought process for a country and a generation that spawns across the globe.. and we are proud of it(cue St Paddy’s parades worldwide)

Was it not racism or indeed prejudice or bigotry but was it just history and genetics I began to wonder. You see Ireland has not had the best house guests over our last 400+ years, they seemed to arrive-make themselves at home- take over the house-then never leave. 

Do we embrace emigration and fear immigration simply because our history has seen the visitor become the master? (Our African neighbours may have more in common with you than you think—Engage them!)

We should understand the African history and the forced migration of it’s inhabitants possibly more than any European nation. In that understanding of our own recent exodus and the ‘Irish abroad’ success though, do we fear losing our own ‘homeland’? 

There will be a multi-cultural party system some day, and it will be a great day for our nation when it comes. For then we will see that the skin, the accent and the culture has not conflicted but complimented the nation and in the words (somewhat) of Padraig Pearse  Out of the graves of many nations came the soul of a new Ireland. An Ireland so vibrant, versatile and influential that no one can ever say Ireland is not free, because Ireland is freedom!

Peace and Be Wild!

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Right from the bat, straight off that is, let me throw down the division line. I am a Christian speaker ( the word minister is linked to Government in this part of the world and a dangerous link in a recession!!) who is pro life, that is I want ALL to see the fullness of themselves come into the world and impact others. I am a proper Christian, as you can see I have a beard and everything….

What I want to write about is a little piece called WHY ME?.

When I was just a newly wed, 23 years old and with a wife just gone 21 years old, we sat in a labour ward in the local hospital in Drogheda, Ireland. In the midst of the chaos, the roaring, the goo (I likened it to a scene from Black Hawk Down but let’s move on) my sweat covered wife looked at me with those two pools of pale blue eyes and begged me to answer a question as another push was needed…”Why me, what am I doing here?”.

Now my answer was simple, logical and totally male painted in a colour of black and white “Because you have to be, and you have no choice but to go through with it now. it’s circumstances!” and on my wife pushed to the birth of our first child, a cool kid called Jamie. As our country here, Ireland, is freeing itself from decades of slavery to religion, after decades of near slavery to a foreign power, people are unsure what to do with that freedom especially now the Celtic Tiger has caught a cold and died, and at the moment we are caught in the midst of a debate on legal abortion and churches are gearing themselves to form a response to Govt and trying to influence the law makers to ensure the church standard is imposed on the nation.

This current hot topic got me praying and thinking the other day as I walked and I heard the cry once more of “Why me?” in the whisper of my spirit and I began to think of those who lie in an abortion clinic, alone sometimes and scared, asking the questions to the air, “Why me?”

The answer is not what we have often wrongly tarnished at these girls of ‘Because you are loose or a sinner’ or whatever judge and jury scripture was thrown at them. The answers is the same as the answer I gave my beloved wife…..circumstances.

We, the church, have failed the girl who in the midst of circumstances made a choice and we failed to listen to her “WHY ME?” and were too eager to tell her how to live her life and not listen to the life she is living.

I believe, and I will ask Him someday, that when the woman caught in adultery was brought before Jesus, the crowd wanting to stone her, and Jesus wrote in the sand with his finger. I believe the words He would have written is M  I   N  E. The woman was His, she was in the midst of circumstances, the middle of her choices, surely thinking “WHY ME?” and when she spoke Jesus listened to the life she was living………..

We Christians can as easily stone people today with placards, demonstrations and inflammatory on line comments, but where are we thinking of a God writing the words MINE in the sand? Are we too worried about building laws and not tearing down circumstances to allow the “WHY ME?” girl to stand on the rubble of her circumstances and see the liberty of her potential………………

I do think the life on the unborn child is vital and should be protected, I often wondered have we aborted the child who was to go on and cure cancer, but I am as equally convinced the “WHY ME?” girl or woman is AS VITAL. How many times have we let her be stoned and not looked at her potential and see the writing of the King of the universe say about her  MINE!!!!!!!!

Till next time

Be Love and Be Loved!!

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The native American, a contrast of words to begin with. How could someone be native to a country they did not call ‘America’, but you know what I mean. The tribal Indians, the mix of tribes that have been collectively called the native American nation is somewhat of a mysterious case of frozen time.

The Indian wars up to 1890 were not a unique case.  The Highland clearances in Scotland, the Russian pogroms and most tellingly the Irish land issue, were periods of sustained pressure on a particular people. It is the 400 year Irish question which ironically had so much in common with that of the native American and yet, in turn, became arguably one of the greatest tools of the native American’s final defeat. I use the word defeat here cautiously, and will come back to that at the end.

Imagine a people, living off the land, isolated and self sufficient for centuries with a strong sense of spiritual beliefs that was just too small to defend themselves from the onslaught of commercial and imperialistic fervor.

Starved, banned from practicing their culture and religion, they were rounded up and herded into barren wastelands- too desolate to farm- and left to either submit or die.

The story of the Irish and the native American Indian is so similar it is crushingly heartbreaking. However, it is the next phase of response that strangely sends both peoples into an inadvertent collision. It is a response that still races through to this very day through a modern history of the 1970’s that too looked so strikingly in tandem.

In the 1800’s while the native Indian hung onto his beliefs and land with every drop of his blood, with every fresh child there was a potential new warrior to free his people from the locomotive progress of the ‘white man’, a people across the Atlantic were shipping to America in huge numbers, more intent on individual and family survival than a grouped existence.

For the Irish, community was transferable. Boston or Dublin, they were convinced they could hold together that common Irish bond under the umbrella of the catholic church. They were adapting, and felt they could still be Irish in a different land.

The native Indian felt no such thing, and here came the collision. The army and the power-halls of America became slowly filled with Irish Americans intent on grasping the golden new opportunities with both hands, even if it meant crushing a people that ‘got in the way’. The abused simply, like in any society, became the abuser.

There is no great Indian battle in the 1800’s where you will find no Irish blood. Defeat was inevitable for the Indian and as the Irish thrived, the native struggled. The Indian never assimilated into American society in the way another persecuted people had managed to do. This continued right up to the 1970’s, where the American Indian Movement took Wounded Knee and made a stand with a gun in their hand once more. Fed up with abuse, neglect, government prejudice and a clear lack of hope, the Indian took to arms. Meanwhile back in Ireland, the native Irish once again took a near identical path. Could the IRA and civil unrest really have flourished if it was not for British government prejudice, abuse and a clear lack of hope of the people. I do not think so.

The paths had come together once more.

I suppose what I am trying to say is this.

Had the native Indian migrated, assimilated like the Irish, would they be better off now? Perhaps, individually yes, though would the richness of their heritage still call out for genuine equality and justice for the ills caused to their peoples? I think not. While the 1970’s Wounded Knee stand off never came to a organised campaign, it maybe left their cause more pure. Not tainted with innocent blood like that of the Irish soil. The Indian cause must not be forgotten because it has not gone away and is as pure as it was on the plains when it chased buffalo and stood and died rather than give an inch of soil.

Some fights never die, they just change direction.

 

 

 

 

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