Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Password Incorrect by Nick Name

How do I even begin to express my views on this book? If anyone has read it I’m sure they will appreciate my ambivalence. My initial reaction toward the book was this, that either the author is a sheer literally genius or has very little regard if any for editorial rules and/or writing styles.

Password Incorrect is a collection of short stories which is mostly choppy, humorous and quite frankly annoying at times especially when one is really getting engrossed in what would have otherwise been a juicy read only for the story to come to an abrupt ending leaving one in a cliffhanger.

However, that the stories are mostly witty in an absurd kind of way cannot be denied. The author's name is a telltale attestation to this. The stories also mostly carry undertones of playful mischief with such silly titles are Nose Number 32, Childult, Mr. Copypaste and Micro-Hockey (which so far happens to be my favorite.)

But on the whole, for one to even blog about it shows that the book is meritorious in its own right albeit of the fun yet idiotic sort.

It’s available for free online and on android devices for anyone interested to read it.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Letter To Rachael

Dear Rachael,

My name is Michael Appiah-Duku. I’m a Ghanaian and live in Ghana in West Africa. I just finished reading your story which broke my heart, to say the least, yet didn’t find it shocking because in my country, it’s commonplace to find children of staunch Christians being wayward. In fact, people anticipate children of pastors or church elders to be bad.

I am myself the son of a pastor. I had to deal with an even stricter upbringing. But I must say it was your dad and his incredible site that really made much sense of Christianity to me while growing up and I’m ever grateful to God for that. And now that I’m old and with the benefit of hindsight, I’m grateful to God for a strict parent who obeyed God’s clear admonishing to “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Pro. 22:6

This is what I have come to learn (and I am still learning and boy is there tons I got to know. I totally agree with Paul when he says “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!” Rom.11:33) that God is the only one who is all-knowing. If humans too were all-knowing, then we too will be God. But we’re not. Therefore, it isn’t prudent to want all the answers to all of life’s questions before you decide to believe. Then where is the element of mystery? Where is the trust? After all, He has said “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” Deut.29:29. We are not to know everything. What God in his sovereignty has revealed to us should suffice!

One thing we also know as Christians is that God is good. Therefore, we can boldly assert that all that he permits to come our way must be for a good purpose though I admit it doesn’t often feel that way especially on this side of eternity. And that is fine because we’re finite. He is infinite! So it is all the more prudent to trust his judgment because he knows the end from the very beginning and he’s assured us that it’s good. Therefore we are hopeful. Jer.29:11.

And as for what you’re calling freedom, I think it’s just a chasing after the wind. You’re only allowing your natural (sinful) self to have its way. No restrictions. No self control. And I’m sure it’s must be exhilarating to be acting all happy-go-lucky but it’s just tantalizing because in the end it only leads to utter despair. If you wouldn’t even trust an African in some third world on his prognosis, I’ll encourage you to at least consider the words of someone who is touted by many as ‘the wisest man that ever lived.’ He did it all and tried and it all yet found hedonism utterly unfulfilling and pointless and in his despondence bellowed “Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity.” Eccl.1:2. I sincerely hope you’ll glean lessons from this wise man and repent. Do not wait till you suffer the same fate to grasp the lessons he learnt.

Well, as for me, I can only wish you well and pray that hat God will do for you what he did for Lydia: He opened her heart so that she gave heed to what Paul said (Acts 16:14). I do however admire your honesty and I believe it’s the first step towards repentance when you realized you truly didn’t believe.

May God be with you Rachel!

Soli Deo Gloria!!!!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Say "Amen"???

Question: If a non-Christian says to you “God bless you!”, will you respond “Amen”?

This was the was the question that popped into my head onetime when I observed that members of a group I belong to on whatsapp(social networking app for phones) seem to invariably respond “Amen” to quotes by other members regardless of the source of these quotes so much so that I had playfully tagged the group “Amen-Sayers”.

However upon brooding the matter a little further, I realized this propensity to say “God bless you” and its consequent “Amen” response seems to be engrained in our Ghanaian subconscious mindset. It appears to me that this statement seem to be a mere part of our lingo as a people because I find that Ghanaians (and I daresay all of mankind) are inherently religious and will therefore embrace any speech that invoke blessings. After all, who doesn’t want good things?

Anyway, I decided to run this by some of my friends to solicit their views. Those I asked almost unanimously said yes, that they’ll respond “Amen” to such a statement regardless of who it was coming from citing varying reasons for their stance some of which were compelling and others not. Some of the more compelling reasons they gave included the following:

- To Save Themselves the Trouble: Many people assume Ghana is a Christian state but it is not. I would however agree that we are a religious state. So to many of us, the idea that there are people who don’t believe in the existence of any deity is unbelievable. Atheism is practically non-existent in the mind of the average Ghanaian. So to save face, such people would rather just respond “Amen” to save themselves the trouble of having to explain the intricacies(if any at all) for their (non)belief.

- To Appear Respectable: It is typically considered rude to not respond to an otherwise benign invocation of blessings. After all, the person typically doesn’t deem his invocation as insulting or critical so to them it’s only natural to expect the recipient to reciprocate in a friendly and warm manner. Anything short of that is considered rude and no one wants to be tagged as such.

- To Appear Tolerant: Being a multi-religious state means coexisting with people of different faiths and therefore, people not wanting to appear fundamentalist or fanatic, will just respond “Amen”. The main idea is to appear accommodating and peace loving.

- It’s Biblical: Some stated categorically that the Bible supports responding in the affirmative. Others took a rather passive approach stating the Bible does not condemn it so why not just respond in the affirmative?

However, I personally do not respond in the affirmative to such invocation of blessing even from certain ‘Christian’ circles. I usually just smile to their kind gesture and it ends there. Here are my reasons why.

Firstly, I don’t think it’s intolerant or rude to stand by what one believes. I think it’s a matter of how one crafts his response or otherwise that can come across as rude. So to me, to cower from adhering to one’s faith when it means one will appear to be dissenting doesn’t make one intolerant but makes one insincere and also smacks of cowardice. I think that is even more dangerous.

Secondly, many Christians easily let their guards down whenever anybody at all invokes God in whatever venture (however nebulous such a venture may be). Many Christians seem to forget the biblical admonition that we’re to “Be sober-minded; be watchful…” because “Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”(1Pet.5:8). We forget that the “even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.”(2Cor.11:14) so that we shouldn’t just assent to any pronouncement of ‘blessings’ just because it’s in the name of God. We’ll be displaying gullibility if we do.

Thirdly, what or who does the non-Christian mean by ‘God’? Many Christians are unaware that not all who profess belief in ‘God’ refers to the one and the same deity Christians worship. Christians believe in the existence of one God who is the creator of all things and who is a Trinity of persons and is sovereign over all things. But not all believe like the Christians do so how and/or why will you assent to invocation by someone when you’re not even sure if they’re referring to the same deity in whom you trust?

Fourthly, some of my respondents said the Bible supports it. They quoted such verses as “I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”(Gen.12:3) This verse does indeed appear to support the idea however, upon consulting Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible he says concerning that verse that “… Not the priests only that should bless his children, the children of Israel, as the Targum of Jonathan, but all men of all nations, and of every age, that speak well of him, commend him for his faith and holiness, and tread in his steps, these are blessed with faithful Abraham…”

From the above commentary, it appears the understanding of the word ‘bless’ as used here denotes “to speak well of” or “approve of” instead of the usual “to confer prosperity or happiness upon” for how is it possible for an unbeliever to invoke blessings of a deity he does not know nor believe in on behalf of believers in that deity? It appears incongruous to me.

Given the above reasons, I wouldn’t affirm any invocation of blessings from any non-Christian source. Or will you respond ‘Amen’ to Kwaku Bonsam (a popular fetish priest in Ghana) if he says to you “God bless you?”

Let’s get talking.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Friday, April 19, 2013

To Battor And Back: Not A Safari!

Clinical referrals are often deemed ominous and such was my sentiment when I was referred to see a specialist for the treatment of a condition I was suffering. This news felt even more distasteful when the medic hinted I will require surgery to correct my condition.

Impelled by this news, I embarked on a trip to the Catholic Hospital at Battor in the Volta Region to seek health care. Though the trip wasn’t eventful, I was a bit apprehensive because it was my first time visiting that part of Ghana and so I feared I may lose my way but thankfully, that didn’t happen.

Upon arrival, I got to see the doctor after a tediously slow process of documentation and a long wait. The doctor was very friendly and after a short period of consultation, pronounced a grave diagnosis of my condition and immediately put me on admission. I knew he didn’t mean to frighten me with the diagnosis but that didn’t assuage my trepidation. Moreover, I didn’t take any extra clothes because I didn’t anticipate I will be admitted but I didn’t demur to the admission because by then I was feeling so weak and so it was only prudent I comply with the

Though the news of my diagnosis was unpleasant to take in at first, it later dawned on me that what I initially considered ominous actually turned out to be a life saver because the doctor later told me that if I hadn’t come at the time I did, it would have been a different story all together which would have most likely ended with my demise. I was really thankful!

However, I had some reservations chief among them was with the ward sanitation. Though I hadn’t seen the whole compound (or at least the male ward), I reasoned that if it be anything like Korle-Bu then it’ll surely be unsightly and decrepit. And boy was I glad to find out it wasn’t anything of the sort. Though the facilities were not state-of-the-art, they were far better than the average (that is in comparison with other public health facilities I have ever visited) hospitals/clinics. But while I was on admission I was relived to observe that almost every morning there were janitors who mobbed the wards and corridors clean.

Another commendable thing I observed was the kind treatment I received from the nurses at the ward. I had heard many horrid tales from different people who were ill treated by certain callous and unscrupulous nurses while they were on admission at certain public hospitals. To many, this stereotype of rude nurses has become an idée fix but I was glad my experience at the hospital helped shatter that notion. The nurses were so accommodating and patience.
During this period news emerged of a possible strike action by doctors in public health facilities if certain conditions were not met by government. Though I had by then had my corrective surgery, the news was nonetheless disturbing because it will mean there’ll be no doctors to monitor my recovery and also other patients too would be denied crucial health care and will result in the inevitable loss of life. Anyway, I was relieved to find that the strike does not apply to the Catholic Hospital because it’s a mission facility (correct me if I’m wrong). It made me appreciate even more the many benefits that the Christian faith (and religion in general) has brought to mankind. Anyway, it was reported in the news today that talks between the doctors and the government still remain inconclusive. I sincerely hope both parties make concessions so that doctors can resume work to save precious lives of our people.

I am glad to announce I’m recuperating well and hopefully will adjust my lifestyle to a healthier one so the condition does not recur. A word of advice though to my cherished friends: please do well to go for regular check-ups so that any hidden ailment will be diagnosed and please if you’ve been diagnosed with any ailment, do well to seek early treatment to avoid any dire consequences.

Oh the vicissitudes of life but I’m glad to be back from my unplanned hiatus!


Friday, January 11, 2013


If you live in Ghana or were monitoring the electioneering events during our recent general elections, I am sure that you couldn’t have missed out on one key message that resonated throughout the whole country among a plethora of other campaign messages and slogans.  This reverberating message was the issue of free Senior High School(SHS) education. 

Though all the political parties had policies on education, almost all carried the same promise of free SHS with the exception of the NDC who initially rejected the idea outright as being unachievable yet were compelled to quickly recant their position after a sound bite of their flag bearer making the same promise of free SHS to Ghanaians as far back as 2008 emerged.  In their attempt to save face and to mitigate their embarrassment, they grudgingly consented to the free SHS concept but with an added twist that they intend to implement it gradually over a certain time frame instead of its immediate implementation as proposed by the NPP.

Anyway, I’ll like to briefly address some of the populace objections that were leveled against the concept during the electioneering period.

Objection 1: It’s a desperate political gimmick intended to get NPP elected.
Well, it will appear so but not necessarily because, the concept is constitutionally mandated yet previous governments have failed to implement it whereas the NPP has identified our current educational need as a country as being dire and therefore has expressed a clear and urgent call to implement this policy now instead of some obscure future time! One may be suspect about their timing and even deem it opportunistic…but why not? Now is a good time as any other! It’s only that the NPP has made free SHS a matter of top priority and therefore bring it up for discussion at any given opportunity and rightly so!

Objection 2: There’s nothing free in this world. Therefore, ‘free’ SHS must be a hoax!
Well, I do agree that technically speaking, it’s not going to be free. Someone will have to bear the cost somehow in which case the NPP proposed that this cost must be borne by the government. So yes, to the government, it’ll certainly not be ‘free’ but from the perspective of the recipient, it’s certainly is free as the recipient is absolved from bearing the cost. It’s just like a student gaining a full academic scholarship. To such a student, tuition is free, but to the scholarship awarding institute, It’s certainly not free as they’re going to have to bear the cost(and the full one at that) to cater for the awardee. So here, I’ll simply summarize that it’s just a matter of perspectives!

Objection 3: It’ll cost too much so we cannot afford it.
This is the singular point which I deem as being worthy of any serious attention. The NPP were not forthcoming on how they intended to source funding for the implementation of the concept and this became their Achilles heel on which their opponents quickly cashed in to buttress their claim that the whole promise is one big gimmick. However, the NPP’s reticent attitude then didn’t seem to be much of a problem for me as I considered it a rather prudent act not divulging the nitty-gritty of how they intended to implement the concept for fear of their idea being stolen by their opponent. Moreover, I am assuming its implementation was most likely going to be on a pilot basis first in order to ascertain unforeseen challenges before it would have been implemented across the country.

Well, needless to say, the majority of Ghana’s electorate preferred the cheesy slogan “edey be kerrkerrr” of the NDC to the NPP’s “free SHS” which in my view is the more reason why we desperately need free SHS.  
Though this discussion is rather belated, the matter of quality and affordable education for all is timeless and deserve frank and constructive discourse at anytime no matter which government is in power. 

Long live Ghana!!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A New Year Begins!

So another year has begun and as it’s to be expected people have started making (or have already made) resolutions (which I find often tend to be grandiose and unrealistic) for the year. Though I find this practice ultimately vain, it still does serve some useful purpose in that, at least, one is reminded of what once used to be top priority at a certain earlier time of the year which has somehow fizzled into oblivion(Oh the cares of life!). Reading through these resolutions (i.e. if they were written down) can often spur one into action in attempt to achieve these important(once upon a time) dreams which have been shelved and have collected dust and cobwebs. 

I have however come to adopt a maxim that I find deceptively simple yet profound in its application. This maxim goes something like this: Make sure you’re better off tomorrow than you are today.  For me, everyday marks a new beginning (and not just every 1st January or the 1st day of every new moth) which offers one the opportunity for progress and so I often remind myself of this maxim with such questions as “How have I improved my life today?” or “What new thing have i learned today” in the hope of placing what I deem my life’s priorities into perspective.

So this year, I intend to risk more, read more, dream more, do more, love more and then as a result hopefully end up being more!( Read this post by John Piper for your encouragement)

I wish all a good year! Cheers!!