THE CHRISTIAN WALK

Simple Keys to Life


These verses have come up over and over the last few weeks I have to share them as we close off April and start May

Philippians 4:4-9

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Rejoice in union with the Lord always! I will say it again: rejoice!

Let everyone see how reasonable and gentle you are. The Lord is near!

Don’t worry about anything; on the contrary, make your requests known to God by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving.

Then God’s shalom, passing all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with the Messiah Yeshua.

In conclusion, brothers, focus your thoughts on what is true, noble, righteous, pure, lovable or admirable, on some virtue or on something praiseworthy.

Keep doing what you have learned and received from me, what you have heard and seen me doing; then the God who gives shalom will be with you.

Photo courtesy of @fascinating pictures on Twitter

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THE CHRISTIAN WALK

#Created on #Purpose


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Photo courtesy of @Judy Niemeyer

Psalm 139
Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

(1) Adonai, you have probed me, and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I stand up, you discern my inclinations from afar,
3 you scrutinize my daily activities. You are so familiar with all my ways
4 that before I speak even a word, Adonai, you know all about it already.
5 You have hemmed me in both behind and in front and laid your hand on me.
6 Such wonderful knowledge is beyond me, far too high for me to reach.
7 Where can I go to escape your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I climb up to heaven, you are there; if I lie down in Sh’ol, you are there.
9 If I fly away with the wings of the dawn and land beyond the sea,
10 even there your hand would lead me, your right hand would hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Let darkness surround me, let the light around me be night,”
12 even darkness like this is not too dark for you; rather, night is as clear as day, darkness and light are the same.
13 For you fashioned my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I thank you because I am awesomely made, wonderfully; your works are wonders —
I know this very well.
15 My bones were not hidden from you when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes could see me as an embryo, but in your book all my days were already written;
my days had been shaped before any of them existed.
17 God, how I prize your thoughts! How many of them there are!
18 If I count them, there are more than grains of sand; if I finish the count, I am still with you.

THE CHRISTIAN WALK

#Purpose Unveiled


There is a question I have asked myself many times this year and it has come up again… it is relatively simple yet not at all simple. The question is…Why Am I Here? I have been asking myself afresh because I have collided head on with some major shifts in life and they have shaken all the answers I had and was comfortable with. It is so easy to go through the paces in life on the regular road doing the regular things and yet never finding true meaning. I  have indeed found that it is hard to get up and walk a different road or take a turn in the road that leads down an unknown path.

I was born and raised in Nairobi but my grandparents lived in the rural areas. My maternal grandparents lived 45 minutes away while my paternal grandparents lived 12 hours away. Yes…I actually said 12 hours. My parents made sure that we spent time with both sides of the family as we grew up as well as with our other relatives. Of course you can tell by the distance that we went to see my maternal grandparents more often than we did the paternal ones. It was simply a function of time, cost and distance. However, despite this we had great relationships with both sets of grandparents and to date I miss all of them dearly.

One holiday we spent the day in the village with our maternal grandparents and our older cousins. In the family we have 3 generations of cousins based on the ages of the siblings. The gap between the first born and last born is over 25 years so you can imagine that each generation of cousins’ baby sat the subsequent generation so we always had someone older to lead the way. Anyway, grandma had a farm by the river where she grew my favourite foods of arrow roots and sugarcane among others. On this occasion we went to the river farm on the back of the cart drawn by the bulls to fetch water.

On the trip back we decided to take a ‘short cut’ through the farms as the bulls slowly took the road home under the weight of the water. There were clear paths through the farms of course but one wrong turn would have you going for a long distance in the wrong direction. Indeed this happened to us but since we were still walking up hill we did not realise we had taken a wrong turn. You can imagine our surprise when we reached the road and could not figure out where we were. Indeed we were on the right road but we were further from the homestead than we should have been. We spoke to the villagers to ascertain where we were and indeed we had come out almost a kilometre off course. Oh the despair when we realised that we still had more than 30 minutes’ walk to reach the homestead yet we had already walked 30 minutes. A step on the wrong direction can be extremely costly.

This got me thinking…isn’t this what many of us do? We have accepted life and acclimatised to the life that we found others living when we were born. We did not realise that we may be a different kind of peg. Life around us was going in a certain way with certain expectations and we simply joined the band wagon and went with everyone. We did not even realise that we could be different from the pack. We did not stop and ask where the cart was going let alone consider whether this was the road we should actually be walking on.

#Purpose is that one thing each of us was put on earth to do for the honour and glory of God. As I was thinking about that messed up walk from the farm to the homestead I realised that the thing that got us caught was the fact that we saw a road and took it assuming it was going in the direction we wanted to go. No one asked for directions as we passed through the farms because we assumed we were headed in the right direction. We felt we knew where we were going. But Alas, it was not so.

  • Am I living my life like that?
  • Am I walking in a maze without a clear direction?
  • Am I aware of where I am in my walk and where I need to go?
  • Do I have a map for where I am headed?
  • Am I equipped for the journey or at least preparing for the next phase?
  • Am I planted where I need to be to thrive?
  • Do I know what I should be doing to fulfil my mission on earth?

And the list can be endless…

These are some of the questions that I have been asking myself every day as I live life because my deepest desire is to get to heaven and hear my Father say, “Well done good and faithful daughter.” I would like to be able to say with Paul,

For as for me, I am already being poured out on the altar; yes, the time for my departure has arrived. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  All that awaits me now is the crown of righteousness which the Lord, “the Righteous Judge,” will award to me on that Day — and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for him to appear.” 2 Timothy 4:5-8 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

This is only possible when I find that which I was sent here to do and do it well. It may mean that I have to walk on the road less travelled or even walk though places that none has ever been to leave a trail for others. I am willing to do so. I have realised that when I understand that my core purpose will never change I am stable. However my new reality is that the way my purpose is expressed may change along the way and I must be ready to adapt the form of expression on short notice and keep going to fulfil the reason I am here.

What do you need to identify or do to keep walking in #Purpose? Let’s talk and share and walk together.

Shalom

THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life

Joy Not Happiness #Reflections


I have always prided myself for being reflective and introspective but my dearest friends @esthairu, posted something on Facebook today that I will share because it made me stop and think again for a long time.

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Something borrowed…..via Kijala Shako

“Some people appear to be happy, but they simply don’t give the matter much thought.

Others make plans: I’m going to have a husband, a home, two children, a house in the country.

As long as they’re busy doing that, they’re like bulls looking for the bullfighter:

They react instinctively, they blunder on, with no idea where the target is.

They get their car, sometimes they even get a Ferrari,

They think that’s the meaning of life, and they never question it.

Yet their eyes betray the sadness that even they don’t know they carry in their soul.

Are you happy?”
― Paulo Coelho, The Zahir

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The question I am writing about today is not…Are you happy? The questions is; Are you fulfilled with your life. The easiest thing to say is Yes…but is that the honest answer? Let’s be brutal and real with the questions we are asking today.

Let me put some context to this discussion, and share from my ongoing lessons:

In November 2011 under the unction of good friend I enrolled in a class at the Strathmore Business School in Nairobi. The class I signed up for was the most expensive class I had ever paid for to further myself up to then. However, once I was done I realised it was the best investment I had ever made. It no longer holds that record because the value I gained pushed me to go back and do another more valuable class.

Anyway, back to the story. The class was called WILLS – Women in Leadership & Learning Series. Now if you are like most of us who were in the room, we wanted to know how to deal with the people under us and make out statement in our areas of influence. Many of us assumed that was the content of the course and so were prepared to get tips on how to make people hear and listen to us. You can imagine our shock when we heard the content and were asked to answer just a few simple questions. The questions are:

  1. Why should anyone be led by you?
  2. Why do you do what you do?

They sound simple enough but just stop and think seriously about them. Let me add some dimensions to the two questions. What about you gives you the moral authority to be a leader? As you think about it, please remove all your academic qualifications and your roles at work. The real issues here revolve around what about you the person makes you a person of influence and impact? Why should someone listen to you or take instruction from you? Ok, if that is hard, think about the next one…Why do you do what you do. What is your driving force? What gives you fire in your bones? Let me put it differently for you…

  1. Why did you go to college or university and take the course you took?
  2. Why did you do pursue high education?
  3. Why did you get married?
  4. Why did you have children?
  5. Why did you take the job you took first?
  6. Why are you working where you are working now?
  7. Why did you start your business?
  8. Why did you sell your business?
  9. Why do you live where you live?
  10. Why do you believe what you believe?
  11. Why do you go to the church you go to?
  12. Why do you dress the way you do?
  13. Why did you choose the car you have or desire to have?

…the list of possible questions is endless of all the questions but with the list i figure you are beginning to get my drift. Spanner in the works…Do these things make you happy?

One thing I can guarantee you is that the things that make me happy are unlikely to be the things that will make you happy. Answering the above questions made me realise that up to then I had done things because it was expected of me. Think about it, it is hard to get far in life without education…however little. When you are done with that the next logical course of action is to get a job and move on with life. Then at a certain age comes marriage and children and family. hot on the heels of that or alongside that is the accumulation of wealth to leave an inheritance for the children and have impact in life. I am aware that many of us have found happiness in the process and if you have you can stop reading right here. 🙂

It was different for me however, as a result of these two questions, I begun an intense pursuit to find meaning and I finally realised that it was not Happiness I thought but JOY in my life. The move to the pursuit of joy happened when I finally realised that happiness was fleeting and hard to hold onto but Joy was richer and deeper and longer lasting. I do not hold the record for this discovery…there are others who have come to this realisation before me…the thing that caught me was that I had found a place of growth for me…real growth.

I am still on the journey to live in my place of joy. I have however nailed the most important source of JOY for me…my relationship with God. This is critical for me because of His unchanging nature and his deep, unshakable love for me that cannot be replaced by anyone or anything. That said, I daily seek to find the things that add value to my life and bring enjoyment and joy that I may be balanced and share the same with the world around me. My pivotal moment was the reality that I had sought satisfaction in things that will never stack up. There is then an ongoing process of unlearning the things that are of no value and learn the things that add great value to me and hence the world around me.

I just want to ask you one question…What is your greatest source of Joy that you harness so the rest of your life will be the greatest time of your life?

Shalom.