The Simple Life

Amazing read I thought I would Share it…

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I recently saw this post on a friends Facebook wall; “January please end. There’s only so much of a month a man and his wallet can take!” and it made my day! This one sentence captured what many of us have gone through in this month of January as we recover from the Holidays and New Year cash-flow excesses

Beyond the jokes about the crunch that comes with the beginning of the yearI have asked myself why this has to be the case! There must be a way to manage ones finances that has been tried and tested that can be applied by people at whatever economic bracket they find themselves in! Towards this I am looking at a fresh start to studying and applying principles from three sources that I have determined will work for me. The Bible, ‘The Richest Man in Babylon’ by George S. Clason and Cash-Flow Game…

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THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life

My Thoughts – Taking them captive


Have you ever struggled with your thoughts? Do you know what it means to be conflicted and wonder why you think about one thing or another? Do you understand what 2 Corinthians 10:4-6 means? …”We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” How do we take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ? An errant thought can be as simple as a craving for ice cream when you are on a diet or it could be lust. The thing I learnt is that the active decision to deal with the thought is more important than the thought.

 

In history we have seen many wars where the winner of the war took prisoners a.k.a captives. In these wars, captives were taken for different reasons namely:

  • To provide labour
  • As proof of domination
  • Trophies

Upon capture, the captives were vetted and the strong were kept while the weak were eliminated. Further to that, the ones who were kept were exposed to the local culture and religion in many different ways to ensure they would be able to fit into that society. The desired end was to have committed, dedicated, new members of the community. The enculturation in some communities like the Native American Indians included torture that would signify death to their previous life and the ‘saving grace’ of their captors or adopters.

 

The Bible even has stories where God allowed the children of Israel to be taken into captivity repeatedly to teach them a lesson and humble them.

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So let’s apply these ideas to our thoughts. My interpretation of taking our thoughts captive borrows a leaf from the stories of the captives or prisoners of war. This may sound a bit drastic but I think it is a great parallel.

 

Some thought patters just need to be axed and killed. These are thoughts that are negative and of no value to anyone. They just need to face the fire burn them ashes and never rise again. I actually recommend ‘pouring kerosene’ on them before lighting them up. J In this life these are the thoughts that we bring to the foot of the Cross and in deep repentance distance ourselves from asking Papa to surgically remove them from our minds.

 

Other thought patterns maybe worth saving and will need to be retrained, re-cultured, re-worked to fit into the new mould as I am now a new creation. Take Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah (aka Shadrack, Meshack & Abednego) in Dan 1:3-5, “Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring into the king’s service some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility – 4 young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well-informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians.[b] 5 The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service.

 

Do you realise that it took three years to training of the young Israelite men? This is important to note as renewing our minds and thoughts isn’t a one day activity. It is a process with constant practice and accountability. It demands putting our thoughts under a microscope and containing them with a whip if need be.

 

I humbly put it to you that to renew our minds we need to:

  • Change our thoughts through the exposure to a different pattern by reading, meditating on and memorising the Word of God
  • Praying constantly
  • Changing our close associations to a group of like-minded people
  • Making a commitment to be open to others who can evaluate us for progress and give honest and open support or challenge new thought patterns.

 

These ideas seem so simple right? Yes they are. The challenging part is keeping up the action and dealing with the errant thoughts when they come. Errant thoughts? Yes. You see, there will be days when your thoughts will not align with where you are going. What will you do? This is the place for practice and reinforcement. It is here that you stop, restate the thoughts you are pursuing and start walking again.

 

Recently I had a ‘relapse’ to thoughts and desires I had given up. First, I was horrified. Yes, horrified that something like that could even happen. I wanted to run and hide under the bed away. I had somehow believed I was past the phase of relapse. Then I felt totally stuck…how would I deal with this situation? What did I need to do to make it to the other side? Suddenly I realised that my mind was wondering, the heart was following but thank God my soul was steadfast. That is the anchor that got me back on track.

 

As you walk in this life, keep watch over your thoughts and desires. When something is out of line:

  • Stop and pray about it with full faith that Papa will give you the grace to make it through.
  • Ask someone to come alongside you that you may be open and accountable for your growth.
  • Remember that we grow in our faith one step at a time and Papa is with us every step of the way.

 

Dear Lord,

Teach us to walk closely with you that we may become more like you.

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THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life

My Thoughts – The seat of life


Looking down on the earth

In evaluating 2012 I have come to a stark realisation….there is so much more that could have come to pass if there was no misalignment. On one hand so much happened but now I realise more could have been achieved. Let me explain.

Say I am praying for greater opportunities for work and life. I will take a stand and tell those around me that I am trusting God for great things. I have said it out loud and someone has heard me. However, the greater question is…What am I saying to myself in my inner most parts or in the privacy of my closet? Am I actively thanking God for the upcoming work even when there has been no work for a couple of months or am I talking with people about how hard it is to get work the right way and all? Am I in conversations and agreeing that business is hard to get? Am I silently wondering how I will get work and reminding myself that I don’t have a God father? The reality is that some of the most doubtful thoughts are hidden so deep in my subconscious mind I am not even aware of them.

It is all good that I am saying positive and constructive things on the outside. However, the truth is that if my thoughts (the inner most part of me and the manifestation of my heart) are not truly aligned with what I am saying there will be no fruit at the end of the year. In other words, unless I totally, truly and unshakably  believe that this is a great year and great things will happen, nothing will happen in the physical world no matter how hard I work.

Six years ago I sat in class at the Kingdom Business Network and our teacher Mr. Wahome always said, ”Your picture is your future.” At the time, the things I was believing for came to pass but once out of class and in the ‘real world’ things didn’t work as well. However, God wasn’t through with me and in His mercy and gentle teaching style, repeated the same words to me regularly in different forms like:

    • For as a man thinketh he is – Ps 23:7 – King David

 

  • Your feet cannot take you where your mind hasn’t already been – Dr Cindy Trimm
  • All that a man achieves of fails to achieve is a direct result of his thoughts – James Allen
  • It shall be done for you as you have believed – Christ to the Roman Soldier – Matt 8:13 AMP
  • All this are possible to him who believes – Jesus Christ – Mark 9:23 NASB

 

As time has unfolded I realised that there are so many other aspects I had to unravel for myself before this could become a daily truth and manifestation. I have always known my thoughts affect my life but did I really know how much? Dr. Trimm posed the following question “Could it be that you are where you are because of who you are?” I was stunned by the question’s simplicity. I realised that I am where I am because of who I think and believe I am. No one can make things happen for me. Not even God. I must latch onto His word and believe and live like I believe it and then He does the rest.

_MG_0211    There can be prophesies made over my life, I can decree and declare things, I can call things to life, I can be accountable to the whole world…it is all in vain if I do not unshakably believe what God has said about me. Confession, accountability, positivity, law of attraction…whatever is out there…is of no real use to my life if I don’t believe.

I am not talking about head knowledge. I am talking about a deep-seated conviction and certainty in the depths of my soul. The kind that will make me plant potatoes like Angus Buchan on the back of a drought and after 3 months go back and look for a harvest even when nothing sprouted above the ground. For Angus, the deep-seated belief in his soul that God had spoken was enough to tide him through immense difficulty and come out victorious.

My challenge this year is for all of us to take charge of our thoughts and bring them into alignment with God and His word over our lives…join me for this journey of exploration into how our thoughts are the core of our live and how we can find ways to tap into this great God-given reservoir of life.

 

THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life

Premature????


The year started so well that we forgot all about our power bill. I know it sounds totally unbelievable but it actually happened. So on Friday I leave the house and I am gone for about an hour and when I come back I decide to warm lunch…alas…the microwave is not working. I try the lights and figure that power is out. I call the neighbour’s to see how large the area in black out is but alas, they have power. MMMhhhhh, one look at the meter and …… Yup!!!! We’ve been disconnected us.

So I rally my hubby who is in town to sort it out but alas, the most important office for re-connection closes at 3.30pm on Friday and he got there close to 4pm. This simply means no power for the night. Oh my…well, I comfort myself and say it can’t be that bad and truly it wasn’t.  On Saturday I go out but when I get back home at 2.00pm there is still no power. My heart sinks and I start planning to take stuff to the neighbour’s house when I hear Papa say, “Don’t you think that is a bit premature?”

I stop and wonder for a moment, “Premature? No way, look at the facts. It’s 2pm on Saturday. The last time I checked the power guys work till noon on Saturday.” Papa says, “That is fatalist thinking.” So I pause to consider the statement and suddenly I see what He means. The lesson this week has been learning to believe that despite the situation everything will work out according to His plan and His will. So I figure that I must learn to allow Him to do His thing in His way. I accept that my thought was premature, and ask Papa to do His thing. Believe it or not, in  under 30min power was restored. Beat that!

Were my thoughts premature? Yes. Did God have an answer? Yes. Was he going to sort me out? Yes. Was my faith low? Yes. All I had to do was be patient and believe that in His time He would make all things beautiful. It made me realise that Papa allows things to happen that are not what I want, to get my attention and reinforce the lessons He is teaching me. He is in the business of confirming His word to me and making certain that I know and believe He is serious about all that He has said. It got me thinking….what has God said about me in the past and present? Who has He said I will become? What has He set for me as the plans for my life? Do I really believe Him or do I lose hope at the first sign of testing or trouble?

You see, God never promised me that there will be no trouble or challenges along the way. Rather, He promised that He would walk with me all the time and we will make it through together. Will there be days when the circumstances will look overwhelming? Yes. However, I must learn to stand up to the doubts and questions restating the word spoken over me and making an affirmation that no matter what lies ahead I will trust the word of God over all the circumstances surrounding me.

He reminded me of one of the greatest scriptures of all time Psalm 23 Amplified Bible (AMP)

  1. The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack.
  2. He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; He leads me beside the still and restful waters.
  3. He refreshes and restores my life (my self); He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him—not for my earning it, but] for His name’s sake.
  4. Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort me.
  5. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with [a] oil; my [brimming] cup runs over.
  6. Surely or only goodness, mercy, and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, and through the length of my days the house of the Lord [and His presence] shall be my dwelling place.

This year, choose to trust in Papa and stand firm in His word no matter what comes your way. You will learn as I am that He is ever present and will provide comfort and assurance all the days of our lives.

This is the year of Jubilee.