Top 10 Picture Books for Activists in Training by Mathangi Subramanian

Noel Ihebuzor:

A must read!

Originally posted on Nerdy Book Club:

Here’s the thing grownups constantly forget about childhood: sometimes, it sucks. Kids all over the world face poverty, war, bullying, discrimination, and oppression. Being young doesn’t protect you from the pressures of adulthood. It just gives you fewer ways to deal with these pressures, not to mention less control over your life.

But here’s the other thing grownups constantly forget about children: they’re smarter than us. Most of the time, they’re also stronger, more hopeful, and more creative. I’ve met kids all over the world who greet each morning joyfully despite the fact that they don’t know where their next meal is coming from, or where they’re going to sleep that night.

Although I constantly encounter diverse, fiercely optimistic children in real life, I hardly ever see them between the pages of children’s books. Too often, stories for young people feature protagonists whose sanitized adventures occur in immaculate suburban neighborhoods…

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TOP TEN WAYS TO TURN YOUR CLASSROOM INTO A HOTBED OF ENTHUSIASTIC READERS by Megan Ginther and Holly Mueller

Noel Ihebuzor:

Useful Tips for Parents as well esp 1, 2, 4, 9 and 10.

Originally posted on Nerdy Book Club:

We are intermediate grade teachers who have learned over the years that there are practices that get kids excited about reading.   We tried to rank them but decided they were all equally important.  We can’t imagine eliminating any of them, so these are not in any particular order.

1.  Know your kids.

Did Katie’s hamster die last night?  Is Michael upset because his parents are getting a divorce?  If you know your kids, you can connect readers with books.  LOVE THAT DOG may help Katie express her feelings about her beloved pet.  BIGGER THAN A BREAD BOX may help Michael see his parents as people and forgive them.  Books speak to our students.  Keep students in mind when you read books.

2.  Read aloud EVERY DAY.

We know there is not enough time in the day for all you have to do.  But don’t give up reading…

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19th Sunday Ordinary Time – Readings, Reflections and Prayers

By 

Noel A. Ihebuzor

Love, peace, truth, kindness, justice and faith, key elements in our life and journey on earth are mentioned in the readings for this Sunday. Easy to say words, but often difficult to actualise in our daily existence. Though mostly lived in society and in the company of others, life is a personal search for meaning and self actualisation fired by a vision that drives our mission and purpose on earth. In our search for meaning and for what is good, we end up searching for God, our creator and the author of all that we are. We usually search for God in the big events of life and in so doing lose the many opportunities to see Him, to meet Him and to engage with Him in the more simple events where His presence may be found – in lonely places, in the face of our neighbours, in the stranger looking for love, in the cry of a child whose parents have been killed in airstrike, in the battered wife looking for protection and in the lonely drunk dazed and lost. Yes, we miss such opportunities because we forget these unforgettable lines – whatsoever you do even to the least of these brethren of mine, that you do unto me. 

And faith too. We profess it like Peter, perhaps even more profusely. Come the least wave, the slightest suggestion of a storm, of an upheaval and we sink. And we scream our faith to the roof tops but do not match these with good works – James 2 is an inconvenient read…..but “too much talk is not good for evening mass” – So, let me end this short sharing with prayers for us all

  • May you find God in the simplicity of ordinary day to day events;
  • May you meet God in the quietness of small moments;
  • May truth and kindness meet and unite in your life;
  • May justice and peace embrace, kiss and fuse in our lives;
  • May our faith give you courage to walk on troubled waters and not sink;
  • May faith be our bridge over the troubled waters of life;
  • May your faith be revealed through and matched by your good works;
  • May love, truth, kindness, justice and peace fused as one become our operating software;
  • And may we see the kindness of God and be granted His salvation.

HAPPY SUNDAY, HAPPY WEEK and may God bless you.

Noel

 

10 + sexy Igbo phrases you can use…with sample usages

Noel Ihebuzor:

chai, chei, choi! A winner any day!

Originally posted on Anabagail:

If you are one of those following the Nigerian music scene then you would have heard about Phyno. You would also know that Phyno raps mostly in Igbo. And has become one of those who have made Igbo catch phrases not only pop but hip!

You may be one of those who wants to plug into this hip culture but you just don’t know when and how to use these phrases. Especially, if you use social media you may find these phrases added as an exclamation or an interjection and you may wonder what to do about them. Well, fret no more, cos you’ll find right here 10+ hip Igbo catch phrases and how to use them.

Odiegwu
Who hasn’t met this dear friend? “Odiegwu” is often used sarcastically when someone has said something that makes you shake your head in wonder. It means ‘wonderful’.

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Cease-Fire Takes Effect to End Gaza War

Originally posted on TIME:

(GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip) — A cease-fire between Israel and Hamas meant to last at least three days and end nearly a month of fighting went into effect in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning.

The truce came ahead of talks in Cairo aimed at brokering a deal that would prevent future cross-border violence.

The temporary truce, agreed to by both sides, started at 8 a.m. (0500 GMT) and was to last for 72 hours during which Israel and Hamas are to hold indirect talks in the Egyptian capital.

But wide gaps remain and previous international attempts to broker a temporary halt in the fighting have failed. Hamas wants Israel and Egypt to lift their seven-year-old Gaza border blockade. Israel is reluctant to open Gaza’s borders unless Hamas is disarmed.

The situation is still volatile. Just minutes ahead of the start of the truce, shelling still echoed across Gazaand Israel…

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God’s wisdom – reflecting on the scriptures 17th Sunday Ordinary time

By 

Noel A. Ihebuzor

Read the scriptures today from the catholic liturgy – they are instructive – they talk to us about true wisdom, God’s call and wonderful purpose and the beauty of the kingdom. And as you read, may God bless you according to his riches in glory.

Permit me a few quick comments on the readings. The first reading is very significant. God asks a man King Solomon to choose from the immensity of His (God’s) gifts. The dialogue is a lecture on how to engage God – Humility, self abasement, acknowledgement of God’s supremacy and a plea for a gift not for self aggrandizement but to successfully undertake a God assigned task, advance the Kingdom, to advance humanity and the request is beautiful but amazing in its stark simplicity but totality! – understanding heart and wisdom to rule and judge

Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart
to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong. 

How so badly we need wisdom in our world of today – wisdom to decide and to choose, wisdom to know the worthwhile and the futile, wisdom to know the good, the bad and the ugly, wisdom to know what truly matters! And it is so easy to think we are wise as we are surrounded by the latest gadgets and gizmos of the ICT laced 21st century. But there is wisdom and there is wisdom. And true wisdom only comes from God. So let us all, like Solomon, ask God today for that true wisdom. Once we have this wisdom that comes from on high, every other thing will fall in place. I dedicate the first reading to all my friends, to all of Nigeria, to GEJ, to the catholic Church (clergy and laity) in Nigeria as they seek to resolve the “Ahiara Crisis” and to all nations who think that might is right in their engagements with weaker neighbours. Let Wisdom prevail.

And next to the psalm.

The psalm (psalm 119), I dedicate to us all. May God’s kindness comfort us all!

May we delight in God’s commands and hate all false precepts

May we keep God’s word and love them more than every other treasure in this world

May God call you according to His wonderful purpose for your life

May the scripture, Roman 8, that everything works together for good for those God calls find expression in your life.

May you realize and appreciate the special meaning of “everything” in that scripture– as this means the lows, the highs, the disappointments, the failures, the slips, the falling down, the rising up, the challenges, the successes yes, everything, all working together in a synergy enhancement mode

May God call you, May He justify you & may He Glorify you IJMN!

Remember that line from that familiar song – “and whilst on others thou art calling, do not pass me by”! Well the problem is that He calls us always, like the good shepherd that He is, but the things of this world, our materialism, the company we keep, our obsessions etc  block our ears so that we no longer hear; they cover our eyes with translucent gauze so that we fail to see when He beckons to us. May we therefore be sensitive to His call, to His signs and to His beckoning! When He calls and you answer, you qualify for the justification. And the justification is not because of your great deeds but by and because of His grace, by His strength which are made perfect when we garb ourselves with humility, install the latest version of Obedience 7 as our operating software  and display love, justice and kindness to all of His creatures and creation.

May we be found worthy at the end of time for heaven, a place of abode for those who allowed God’s word and wisdom to install and reign in the hearts and hearth.

May heaven be our portion, our “oke”. May we sing with Obaraeze Chima Eke, “Chim awokwalam oke le! Chi gi awokwalagi oke! (Translation – My God, please do not deny me of my portion/inheritance. May your God not deny you of your portion/inheritance)!  Amen.

Happy Sunday –

Noel

The Color of Blood

By

Noel A. Ihebuzor

sometimes, some situations

make you feel

that blood is unequally weighted

unequally valued, unequally mourned

sometimes, some comments

make you believe that

some blood is more red,

more human than others

that when and where bred

color blood richer crimson,

color our views about those who shed

and those whose blood is shed

the why bleeds away

with the ugly gurgle

of once bubbling blood

that soaks, drenches the sand,

Rage is subdued by reality

silence is sage when walls

listen and even hear whispers

and skies can rain final silence

yet, does all blood

not smell the same

rusting iron mingled with sickening fresh

no matter how weighted,

or is there second hand blood,

from second class humans,

colored in oluwole crimson

in this our unequal world?


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