An African Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving Day. All around the world, Americans are gathering to celebrate this momentous holiday. Yes, I said all around the world. Even here, in the middle of Nowhere, Uganda, Americans are gathering.

What used to be an American holiday is now known across the globe. Although celebrated mostly by Americans, the holiday is recognized in nearly every calendar today. And so, even here in Uganda, we are wished a “Happy Independence Day” by cheerful Ugandans.

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The Identity of the Christian Blogger

I spoke on this last week. Citing something similar to a Lecrae quote, I said, “You aren’t a Christian blogger if you aren’t blogging about Christ.” This remains true.

Of course, if you are a Christian, this doesn’t immediately label you a Christian blogger. Being a Christian blogger is about stance- who you are, what you write, and what you stand for all matter in your category.

“But why have a category at all? Why can’t I just blog?” You’re probably asking. Well, here’s the problem- if you don’t have a category, it’ll be almost impossible to stand for something without your readers asking why. This is one of the reasons that WordPress has you enter your website’s category. Not only does it give your readers a sense of preparation for your posts, but it also makes you easier to find and gives you a niche.

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What Lecrae Taught Us About Sexual Abuse

In his popular song Good, Bad, Ugly, Lecrae did something unprecedented- he addressed the issue of physical abuse. He writes,

I remember back in the day

I was barely in the first grade

Got teeth mission’

Watchin’ Tom & Jerry

Tryna go outside so I can play

I was told to watch out for strangers

Keep my eyes peeled for danger

Folks workin’ late I had a baby sitter

I ain’t ’bout to sit here and name her

I was almost 8 when she came in late

Woke me up with a game to play

Did a few things that’s hard to say

And told me to keep that secret safe

Now how a young boy supposed to deal

I’m tryna act like it ain’t real

Had my innocence just stripped from me

And I still don’t know how to feel

And I wonder how to address it

Can’t tell my family too messy

So I just embrace it it’s hard to face it

I’m too ashamed to confess it

So I kept it in and ain’t speak

Didn’t think it hit me so deep

So into it I got promiscuous

And only God could help me get free

Good, Bad, Ugly by Lecrae

At a young age, Lecrae Devaughn Moore, popularly known as Lecrae, was sexually abused by a babysitter. Now, years later, he addresses this issue both in interviews, songs, and his popular book “Unashamed”. In it, he tells the story of his abuse, which later lead up to promiscuity at the age of fifteen.

This promiscuity continued into Lecrae’s college life, where he remained an unbeliever. Attempting to get a degree in the Arts, he later changed majors several times. Finally, after years of fighting God, he discovered Him.

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Africa: Expectations vs. Reality

Africa

After publishing over four posts on this subject, we have finally created an almost full collection of African misconceptions. Africa, it seems, is misunderstood. To date, we have published two posts on African Misconceptions, one on Uganda’s Technology, and another on crazy facts about Africa. These posts averaged 1,250 words apiece, showing that there truly is a lot of unknown information about Africa. However, if you’re a new follower or simply haven’t been able to read these posts, today’s your lucky day; this post contains all of the information found within the last four combined.

Don’t be worried about the size of this post. This isn’t going to be a 5,000-word post. This will contain the key elements of the last four, all presented here. Eventually, this will become a published book, so think of this as a preview. Enjoy!

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Are You on the Right Side of the Majority?

Image credit to Level Up Living

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”

Mark Twain

When I first saw this quote, I was confused. Did Mr. Twain mean to insinuate that the majority is good? Or did he mean that being on the side of the majority is something we should be careful of?

Thankfully, a simple Google search revealed an answer- be careful about siding with the majority. To put it another way: If you find yourself joining the crowd, consider the other side.

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4 Habits Every Christian Blogger Should Develop Before 2020

Blogger Image

The role of Christian Blogger is changing every day. As the culture and world changes, so do we. We adapt, changing our writing and article subjects to include newer events. So, because of this, many Christian bloggers are falling into a type of “identity crisis”. We forget what it means to be a Christian blogger and instead become bloggers. Or, even worse-irrelevant. Becoming irrelevant is probably the most difficult ditch to climb out of, especially as a teenager.

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The Politics of YouTube

I spend three hours a week on YouTube. While not even close to the amount of time others may spend on the mega site, three hours is still a lot. In fact, three hours is enough to do a very long, very nice blog post or advertise this blog. These are three hours that are almost entirely pointless, so why do I waste my time there?

Firstly, let me tell you that, while varied, my watched videos all revolve around the same topics and YouTubers. There are three YouTubers that I follow faithfully: Dude Perfect, Mr. Beast, and Jxmmy. However, the overarching topic on the videos I watch centers around one thing- sports. All other videos are either basketball, football, or soccer videos.

So, why exactly do I spend my time watching Dude Perfect or basketball highlights? Two reasons: current events and political opinions. You would honestly be surprised at the amount of political speech one can find on a basketball channel. All it takes is a small mention of Lebron James’ comments on China and BAM! You have a political statement. While the creator of the video may not believe that statement himself, he certainly is telling about it.

YouTube contains more than just American or Chinese politics. In fact, YouTube contains its own politics. Think about it. When Liza Koshy and David Dobrik broke up, there was so much public outcry, I thought that David would commit suicide. While I didn’t watch this breakup live, I heard pieces of it from friends, several of which were extremely crushed.

“How is this politics?” You may be asking. Well, think about it like this- when a Kardashian situation is brought to a regular, dinner-table conversation, it is usually treated as politics. Your family and friends have differing opinions and viewpoints, and many engage in a large argument. While not specifically politics, these are certainly political opinions.

You see, YouTube is different from Wikipedia. It’s goal isn’t to “provide unbiased fact”. The individual opinions of an individual YouTuber are almost always found. Many YouTubers publicly state their political opinions, often leading their followers down the same path. All it takes is a few minutes of videoing and editing and suddenly millions of people know that Mike Tyson, Dennis Rodman, and Terrell Owens all support Donald Trump.

YouTube is a massive tool. With 350 billion video views per month, YouTube is arguably the most influential app on the Internet. When someone influential posts a highly-viewed video, it affects people. If PewDiePie were to tell his MASSIVE fanbase of well over 100 million followers to follow Donald Trump, they would listen.

In fact, this has happened before. While not necessarily political, the “Raid Area 51” movement was massive. When Matt Roberts, a moderately popular video game streamer, began the event on a Facebook post as a joke. After three days, the event only received forty signatures. Then, the impossible happened- it went viral. Suddenly, everybody was talking about it, and within a few weeks, Roberts had received two million RSVP’s and 1.5 million “maybe” signatures. While only a few people actually showed up, the event still showed that anything could go viral- even illegal ideas.

This also shows the true power of viral content. If something politically humorous goes viral, it is almost guaranteed to impact millions. This is the only true danger of the Internet. It is so easy to get caught up in the fake world and lose touch of what’s most precious to us. While YouTube can be an absolutely fantastic platform (where else can you find videos of people jumping off cliffs and onto trampolines), we must be careful to filter what we see through the lense of Scripture. Instead of following every movement and joining every debate, let’s stay as salt and light and be above this world.

Alright, guys, that’s all for today. Thanks SO much for reading. Your support means a ton to me. If you haven’t already, be sure to click that Follow button in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen (or the right if you’re on a computer), so as to not miss out on any new posts. Thanks so much, and I hope you have a wonderful day!

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Are You Making the Most of Your Sabbath?

Sunset

As many of you have probably seen, I don’t post on Sundays. This is not a personal conviction, but more of a matter of convenience. Sunday is my one day of true rest, a day of no school. But, because this isn’t a matter of conviction, I would, under the right circumstances, post on a Sunday.

However, God’s word is pretty clear on this subject. When a new Christian begins to read the Bible, they often start in Genesis. There, while reading the Creation story, one of the first things that stands out is God’s day of rest. Genesis 2:1-3 gives the account of this story.

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.

Some people read this verse and take it too far. They claim that the Sabbath day is so holy, we shouldn’t do an ounce of work on that particular day. The Rabbis of old, for example, mistakenly believed this. So, instead of reading into this too much, we must instead think about it in a realistic way.

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John MacArthur and the Positions of the Church

John MacArthur on Beth Moore

A few weeks ago, John MacArthur told Beth Moore to “go home”. Ok, wait. Slow down. What?

Yes. It’s true. John MacArthur did actually say “go home”. While at the Truth Matters Conference, meant to honor MacArthur and his fifty years of service in the Church, a small group of men, including MacArthur, were asked to play a word association game. As a warmup, the MC asked MacArthur what words he associated with the words “Beth Moore”. MacArthur’s prompt response was, “go home”.

He then followed that up by saying, “There is no case that can be made biblically for a woman preacher – period, paragraph, end of discussion” (Koslosky 2019).

Pastor John MacArthur, world-renowned pastor and author, recipient of the Gold Medallion Book Award, says that Beth Moore needs to go home. And, just in case you were wondering, Pastor MacArthur was talking about this Beth Moore.

Beth Moore

Image credit to GetReligion

Firstly, Pastor MacArthur, there can always be an argument for anything. Atheists argue about evolution, even though we have proven them wrong. Muslims argue for the existence of Muhammed, despite the fact that his teaching is false and he actually saw a demon. Whatever the case, an argument can be made for anything. Now, with that being said, let’s move on.

Firstly, let’s make something very clear: Beth Moore is not a pastor. Never in all of her writing and speaking has she called herself a pastor. However, this is not the point that Pastor MacArthur makes. He specifically calls Mrs. Moore a “preacher”. Mrs. Moore is a preacher. That is something I cannot argue against.

1 Timothy 3:8-13 speaks about the requirements for Deacons in the church. As it describes them, it makes very clear the fact that women were included as deacons. Now, it’s obvious that there were women in the church, so we must assume that 1 Timothy 2:12, only a chapter earlier, is speaking towards women having authority over a man, instead of assuming that the author speaks towards women having positions in the church.

Now we are presented with a question. If a woman preaches, does this give her authority over a man? Absolutely not. While the position of elder is clearly defined as male, the Bible actually uses the word “they” when it describes the gift of speaking the Gospel. That particular pronoun seems to be specifically placed to show that women can, in fact, preach the word of God.

How do we define preaching? The speaker of God’s word, the Gospel, correct? However, does that speaking have to be in the pulpit? Preaching could actually happen at a women’s conference or meeting. Our association of the word “preaching” with the words “pulpit” and “pastor” are more word associations that we take for granted.

1 Corinthians 14:34 seems to deal a deathblow to this argument. However, let’s remember that I also stated above that women can preach outside of the church. While I do agree with 1 Corinthians 14:34, I also believe that the God-given ability of preaching is received by both women and men, and the men that disagree are in fact acting in an arrogant manner towards their sisters in Christ.

But what are women’s roles within the Church? Many disagree as to whether they can be Deacons, Pastors, or even Elders. Should they be meek, stay-at-home mothers that don’t say a word in church and cover their heads? Or should they be outspoken preachers and doers of the Word, speaking in front of thousands?

The Church is the body of Christ, and as such, it is also represented by the Family.Within the family, we can find the answers to this problem.

When God created Adam and Eve, He created them equal. Genesis 1 says that they were both created in the image of God, thus making them equal in the eyes of their Maker. Men and women are equal but have different roles. The man’s role is one of leadership, but that doesn’t give him a position that is higher than that of the female. Women have an equal, but different, role within the family. Obviously, in the 1800s, you would never see the woman working in the fields, nor the men cooking the meals. Neither broke into the other’s responsibilities, and yet were they any less equal? Absolutely not!

Man and women are equal children of Christ with different duties. This is where we must think about women in the church- equal, but with different responsibilities. Men have the position of leadership, as elders and pastors, while women have the position of “the helpers”. This role is a calling from God to help their husbands in ministry, not through pastoring a church, but through preaching the Gospel to other women and working in women’s ministry. Obviously, there is far more to this then what I have stated, but the picture is clear- women still have roles within the Church. This is where the “authority” piece of 1 Corinthians 14:34 comes in.

Now, one last thing. A question was recently presented to me: if you were at a conference, and a woman was asked to speak, would it be righteous to step away? Absolutely not. To the men that do so: there is only one legitimate reason that you step away, and that’s arrogance. Somewhere in our Bible studies, many of us, the Christian men, have become convinced that women are somehow inferior and are not able to teach us anything. That is wrong. There are thousands of women that are far, far more Biblically sound than I, and I have no problem admitting it. Women are just as capable of receiving wisdom from God’s word as men are.


Duin, Julia. “When it comes to John MacArthur, Beth Moore and Russell Moore, let’s ask tougher questions.” GetReligion, https://www.getreligion.org/getreligion/2019/10/22/when-it-comes-to-john-macarthur-beth-moore-and-russell-moore-lets-ask-tougher-questions.

 

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How Hollywood Got Spirituality Wrong

Hollywood and Spirituality

Uganda is home to thousands of witch-doctors. In fact, one of these used to live across the road from my ministry. Although long gone, his memory presents an important reality- witchcraft is alive and well in Uganda.

When New Hope first started, a local witchdoctor approached the leaders and claimed that the Ministry wouldn’t last long. Basically, he gave the Ugandan equivalent of “This town ain’t big enough for the two of us.”

Now, in the present-day, I live five minutes from a small town named Kiwoko. Kiwoko, according to some, is the “witchcraft center” for the entire district. This makes it a hub for witchdoctors and their patients. The hospital, Kiwoko Hospital, treats thousands of patients a week. Because of this influx of sick and needy people, witchdoctors often attempt to lure people away from the hospital and into their homes, where they can offer darker practices for a cheaper price.

Because of witchcraft’s deep hold in Uganda, we even see examples of it here, in New Hope. The first time that I, in recent memory, can remember being exposed to works of witchcraft was when I was about seven years old. It was a Friday night and, as per our tradition, my family was eating pizza and watching a movie. Coincidentally, the movie we watched was Bednobs and Broomsticks, a 1971 Fantasy/Comedy about witchcraft.

51kjdFqs9tL._SY445_.jpg

The movie, starring Angela Lansbury and David Tomlinson, was filmed by the creators of Mary Poppins and actually resembled its sister movie in many ways. However, one piece of the movie remains apart from this comparison- witchcraft. The entire plotline revolves around three children that, during the London Blitz, go to live with a witch. She is a member of a witchcraft correspondence school, capable of flying on brooms and casting spells. The movie would basically state that witchcraft was not only normal, but it was also good.

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Reddit for Christian Bloggers- Please Reblog

Africa Boy

Hey guys! Today, I get to make an exciting announcement: the popular website Reddit now has a subreddit dedicated entirely to Christian bloggers!

Now, you may be asking, “What is Reddit? How does this apply to me?” If you’re a Christian blogger, it applies to you.

For the last three months, a question has haunted me. “How could I gather a group of Christian bloggers into one place, allowing us to communicate and learn from each other?” For a while, I considered Google Hangouts or Discord. Then, I realized these were too personal. We need a place that is more….professional. Finally, I have found my answer- Reddit.

If you don’t know what Reddit is, you’ve been living under a rock for the last decade. Reddit is a website that qualifies as social media. Basically, it’s a massive discussion board, with “subreddits” for everything. A subreddit is more specific. For instance, if you wanted to read discussions about monkies, you would probably look at a /monkies subreddit. In our case, it’s the /christian_bloggers subreddit.

If you’re a Christian blogger, you need to join. You can create an account and join the subreddit for free. If you’re worried about notifications bothering you, they can be turned off under your profile. Finally, if you wish to have anonymity, you can always change your name.

The benefits of joining this subreddit are huge. You have a way to learn about blogging, bring attention to your posts, and interact with a few friends and fellow bloggers online. This community will be invaluable for your learning experience as a blogger, and I highly recommend that you join as soon as possible.

Now, because this subreddit is new, we need to get the word out. Few people are going to see the subreddit, let alone join unless we take a little action. So, if it’s not too much trouble, please click the Reblog button below this post. There are actually a few benefits to doing so. Not only will this give you content for the day (and who doesn’t like free content?), but you will, through this post, be asking others to reblog it, driving more traffic back to your site. If you can’t join Reddit for one reason or another, at least be sure to reblog this, allowing others the opportunity to join.

Guys, this is huge. You may not realize it, but there are some serious advantages to joining. Please join this movement! You can find the link by clicking here or clicking the one provided below. It only takes a few seconds to create an account and join, so don’t hesitate!

Alright, thanks for reading, and I hope you have at least considered joining the group. Your support and comments mean a ton to me! If you haven’t already, be sure to click that Follow button, so as to not miss out on any new posts. Thanks, and I hope you have a wonderful day!

Join here: https://www.reddit.com/r/christian_bloggers/

Posted originally by Africa Boy.

1 Grateful Person Tag

Praise

I was tagged for this entirely original award by Jesusluvsall. Thanks, brother! I seriously appreciate it! Guys, if you haven’t read his outstanding blog, be sure to do so, as it can be found here.

This tag is based on Luke 19, the tale of the ten lepers. In the story, Jesus heals ten men with leprosy, a terrible disease that removes your capacity for pain reception. Sadly, only one of the ten healed men came back to thank Jesus, and it is after this man that we aspire. Let’s be like the one leper, a man who’s gratefulness won over his joy.

Here are the rules.

1: Use any picture in your post that expresses gratitude

2: Pingback to the original post at 1 Grateful Person

3. Share the intro

4: Share what you are grateful to Jesus for

5: Share a passage from the bible about gratitude that means something to you.

6: Tag anybody

With that said, let’s get right to it.

I am extremely grateful to Jesus for allowing me to live in such an awesome place. His gift to me, in having me raised in Uganda, has changed my life, and I am someone entirely different from who I might have been, had God chosen to raise me in the United States.

I have relationships I would never have had. I have parents that walk deeply in the Lord. I have siblings that are very similar to me. I have an opportunity to play sports and share my testimony through basketball. All of these and many more are the results of my Jesus choosing to raise me in Uganda. He has made me the Africa Boy.

Romans 8:28 also describes the negative side of growing up in Uganda.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.

Even the disadvantages of growing up in Africa work out for my good. The relationships I have left behind, experiences I have missed out on- all working out for the Glory of God.

Because of this, I am a different creation- one shaped and molded by God. Praise Him for His mighty work!

With that said, let’s continue to my tags.

Ariana

Lydia Potter

Keziah

Those are the three that I would specifically like to see do this, but if you’re reading and you would like to do this tag, go for it! You are officially nominated!

Anyway, thanks so much for reading, guys. Your support means a ton to me. Currently, we are 20% of the way to 1,000 followers, our next major milestone. If you’d like to join this journey, be sure to click that Follow button below. Now, you’ll never miss out on a new post!

Once again, thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful day.

 

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Four Crazy Facts About Uganda That You Probably Didn’t Know

Giraffes

Uganda is an ever-changing country. In my fifteen and a half years here, I have seen so much change, it can be hard to believe. In fact, when I hear stories of Uganda’s post-war status, these changes become even more real and amazing. Tales of literal skull mountains, mines in fields, and bombed-out houses still haunt my mind at night. And now, Uganda is a thriving country, growing faster than almost any other African nation.

Because of its massive change in both growth and technology, many people remain with outdated information on Uganda and its neighbors. They believe that people still walk around with lions and hang out with monkeys. Unfortunately, as we’ve already seen, there could be nothing further from the truth. In fact, here are three crazy things that I bet you didn’t know about Uganda.

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