THE CHRISTIAN WALK

7 Simple Steps to Goal Greatness


20140814_170025From 13.08.14 to 15.08.14 I was in Nakuru for a very special meeting. For those in the diaspora, Nakuru is about 2.5 to 3 hours drive from Nairobi on the floor of the Rift Valley. It is a scenic drive. My favourite part of the drive is the section along the escarpment. The view is magnificent and scary all at once. A couple of years ago we went to the very edge of the escarpment at the viewpoint to assess the drop…my oh my…it is unbelievably steep. Anyway, that is a story for another day.

I was invited to facilitate a session on goals and goal setting for the ladies and youth at the Rehoboth Church on O’lbonata Farm near Solai. This is a community church that was established about four years ago and it is amazing to experience. Their dedication and commitment to the word and each other is out of this world. Their theme this year is Transformation and the ladies have had great sessions every third Saturday of the month that tie into the theme. I am part of a community church and being in this one was totally encouraging. Several things stood out and encouraged me:

  • They are a small congregation seeking to do big things in their community
  • They are committed to doing their best with what they have
  • They have a deep hunger to learn, to do more and grow as much as possible
  • They are a community of wonderful giving people

I was invited to this community by my mother who goes there every month to teach. She has often mentioned that she has a translator when she is speaking but I never really thought about it. even as we drove up to the church from Nakuru I had not realised I would need to facilitate in any other language other than English. Then Pastor introduced me in fluent Kiswahili and suddenly it dropped in my heart…Girl, you have to do this in Kiswahili or you will need an interpreter. Can you imagine me facilitating the session in Kiswahili? For a couple of seconds I had a small panic attack…could I do it? Will they understand me? You see, I think best in English so my notes were in English not Kiswahili and I would have to translate them as I went along. Could I translate my notes into Kiswahili as I went along?

As we prayed to start the session peace settled in my heart and I knew that indeed it was possible. The only thing I had to do was be sure that God would walk with me and give me the wisdom and clarity that I needed. So I stood up and prayed that I would remember the Kiswahili I learnt in school. Well, I did and I was certain of the hand of God in that.

We were discussing goals and believe it or not there are lessons I learnt as I taught that I will share here.

20140814_170106A goal is simply something that we want enough that we are willing to put in time to achieve; it is also described as a measurable objective that we want to achieve. Please not that there is a great difference between a goal and a dream. A dream is a goal without a time line. I wondered to myself, how many times did I say I wanted to do something but because I didn’t put in the effort to make it work I never reached there. A goal has to be clearly stated and time bound for it to guide us to success.

But there is more to goals. In the goal setting process there are several key things to consider and plan into the process:

  1. Clearly state your goal: in simple language, state what you want to achieve
  2. Set a clear timeline: clearly state the end date of the goal
  3. Identify the things that will stop you from reaching your goal aka hindrances and obstacles: these are things that will keep you where you are or take you backwards. It could be habits, thoughts, challenges, current circumstances…just about anything that will keep you from getting there
  4. Identify the people you need on your team to reach your goal aka mentors, traveling buddies, tribe, team etc. This is the group of people who will walk with you and help you keep on track no matter what. They won’t let you slack or slow down even when you don’t want to go on. They are people who will keep you on point and whose opinion you respect. They are people you have given the permission to ask the hard questions and demand answers. The reality is that this group of people is a very small group of people and they are carefully selected.
  5. Identify the steps you need to take to get there: write a list of the things you need to and indicate the frequency of the said actions to reach your goal. List even those that seem insignificant so that you are able to know where you along the path of your goal. Remember no task is insignificant.
  6. Describe how you will know you have reached your goal. I know this sounds like No 1 but it is different. It states the actual feelings and physical reality when you get to your goal. If your goal was to lose 10kg, here the answer would be something like I will feel lighter, healthier, more active, more confident, I will adjust my clothes etc.
  7. Identify two things that will help you stay on track: these are the things that will motivate you to keep going.

As we talked through these simple steps, I could see light bulbs going on in the minds of the women in the meeting and I had several of

Picture courtesy of Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura
Picture courtesy of Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura

my own Aha moments. Most of them are farmers and it was amazing to realise that they didn’t know their exact expenses because they had never thought to write the costs down and total them up. Others had never known how to calculate profit or the lowest price they could take for their crop. This made me wonder about my own life…how often had I missed my goal because I had not seen the steps clearly or I did not know what to do or didn’t realise there was something standing in the way.

Many things in my life made a lot of sense as I shared these simple steps. Ever since that day, I have taken stock of things in my life and realised that there is so much to do. I found areas that need to be left altogether, others that with a little work will be fine and others that I need to start from scratch. The hardest part in this process was taking an honest look at my life and accepting the current state. It was hard because I realised how I actually was far from where I wanted to be at this particular moment. However, as I looked at my life in the face I found areas I had done very well, I could see areas I could have done things differently and I decided to become bold and take one little step a day so that soon I will be making leaps and bounds.

So as my first action to ensure I move forward consistently, I will list all my goals and celebrate every time I achieved something. From today I commit myself to:

  • Clearly expressing my goal each time I craft a new one
  • Constant evaluation of how far I am
  • Celebration and reward for all goals and steps completed
  • Continuously setting goals so that I never have nothing to work on.

Join me and let’s change our lives and our areas of influence one goal at a time

THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life

Amazing Lessons


youtube.com/watch?v=7aFIHF2row8 I Stand Amazed by Sinach

I stand amazed in your presence
There is nothing you cannot do
I stand amazed in your presence
There is joy peace and hope

There’s no one like you, Jesus
There’s no one like you, in all the earth
There’s no one like You, Jesus
There’s no one like you

You do mighty things
You do glorious things
You’re a faithful God
Awesome is your name

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Image Courtesy of Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura
Image Courtesy of Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura

This song speaks to me every time I hear it. Sometimes it has been in times of great celebration and other times in deep lows. There is such depth in this song that it resonates in all situations. This last week it has resonated through some really challenging times. There have been moments when things have weighed heavily on my heart and I have found great joy reminding myself of the greatness of the God who walks with me.

It was one of those days that started out amazing but the pressure of life stepped in to try and steal the joy of the day. I was working on an assignment that wound up being tougher than I anticipated and for a while I couldn’t wrap my mind around what I needed to do yet there was so much more course left to finish. I tried everything but it wasn’t working. For several moments my heart was heavy and down and I could not even begin to understand how I would get out of it. Then I recognised the thoughts working their way through my brain… thoughts of defeat and inability, thoughts of despair and desperation. Suddenly it hit me and I sat up straight…it was so funny because I was in a restaurant and I suddenly realised that the barrister was watching me with a shocked expression. I must have made a very strange and sudden movement.

My heart was heavy because this difficult assignment in the seemingly simple course had left me feeling inept and bordering on a failure. I was about to throw in the towel and do it later when I felt a check in my spirit. Suddenly I heard it loud and clear “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” I have a sound mind; I can do this; I will not give up. So I sat there for a couple of minutes and absorbed the clear reminder…Fear Has No Place in My Life; Now or Never. So why was my heart still beating with an uncertain rhythm? Why was I still feeling down? What must I do to deal with what I was feeling? There had to be a way out of here and a deeper connection to something new.

I picked my earphones connected them to my machine and found the above song. I listened to it on repeat a few times and slowly but surely the reality connected to the centre of my heart and I began to really hear. Yes, really hear…

I stand amazed in your presence
There is nothing you cannot do
I stand amazed in your presence
There is joy peace and hope

So even with all that is going on around me God is in control, in all, through all and above all. He cannot be discounted, changed or overcome. When things work differently from what I want it doesn’t mean that He is unaware or disinterested. The goodness of God is unfailing and unchanging and will never be the put on hold. He is there no matter what and I need to connect to Him to understand the way forward.

The reason I stand amazed is because God never fails even when life doesn’t make sense or I am not certain what lies ahead.  He is the unfailing source of hope and joy and He never changes. He doesn’t work in the way I want but in all things He works for my good and His glory. There is joy, peace and hope when I understand that His plan for me is perfect and I am secure in His arms of love. I am learning to understand He is there in the good and the hard…I can count on him no matter what.

Picture courtesy of www.frazerfamily.ca
Picture courtesy of http://www.frazerfamily.ca

There’s no one like you, Jesus
There’s no one like you, in all the earth
There’s no one like You, Jesus
There’s no one like you

I wanted to really understand and connect to the reality that God is one of a kind, I needed to know it for myself. So every day I ask God to open my eyes to really see and He does. It has been interesting since then. Every day I see things about Him that amaze me. It’s simple things…the breeze, a smile, a lively conversation between friends, a beautiful car, a motorbike ride, a song in the “matatu”, a train ride, a book…there are so many ways to see Him…yet there are deeper things in these simple things. Think of the genius behind the design of the Porsche, the strength in the steel bridge being built, the delicate weaving of cars on the highway, the beautiful meal at a restaurant…even in all this there is no one and nothing that surpasses the greatness of God.

You do mighty things
You do glorious things
You’re a faithful God
Awesome is your name

God is inexplicable, faithful, glorious, mighty, and awesome. Yet He is mighty more so because He is God and not because of what He does of gives to me. He is just mighty, awesome; glorious because He is…His Name is I AM.

THE CHRISTIAN WALK

#Renewed by Nature


I am continually struck by the beauty of creation and the glory of the fullness of God. As I sit at my desk and I need inspiration, I find myself looking at beautiful pictures, lively colours, simple things and quotes. I have begun to find deep peace and inspiration in the simple things that God created and the lovely people that He has given us to live with. I am astounded every day at how small things can inspire. There are scriptures that inspire me too and below is one of the greatest ones.

Picture courtesy of Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura
Picture courtesy of Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura

Psalm 24 (KJV)

1 The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.

For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.

Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?

He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.

He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.

Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, theLord mighty in battle.

Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

10 Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory.

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I walk more these days and the experience of the outdoors has opened up doors and ideas of things that I may never have found. In the outdoors I have experienced greater peace and calmness yet at the same time, the serenity has opened my heart and mind to face some deeply hidden parts of me. The parts and levels that I may never have reached because of the pressures of my life. In this place I came to realise that there is order and sense we need to make about this life that cannot be done if we are not truthful to ourselves and find places of stillness and peace.

“The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and they that dwell therein.” V1

Picture courtesy of Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura
Picture courtesy of Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura

This resonates with me because I realise that I am here on a very set and established timeline and for a set and established purpose. The purpose question stayed with me a lot. I realised that I could be looking for my purpose in big things and deep connections yet it was in small and seemingly insignificant things. Simple things came to me in different and amazing places. I realised that walking along the roadside and driving along in a car provides very different perspectives. Travelling in a public transport vehicle and riding on the back of a public service motorbike also gives astoundingly different perspectives.

The bigger question is how these perspectives affect how I live out my God given purpose.

I decided to let go of my previous perceptions and learn to seek new explanations and opportunities where I am. That is when I realised that I have met amazing people as I have walked some really long distances. The biting cold wind on the back of a motorbike gave me incredibly fresh thoughts (no pun intended). I discovered many things about me as I was sitting in the traffic listening to a radio station I naturally wouldn’t pick just because I was in a public vehicle. I have had personal and social conversations with travellers are we drove together in personal vehicles from A to B. I have walked along newly paved and lit roads at night that in the past were no go zones. The variety of these experiences has inspired me and created valuable and life changing experiences. I discovered things I didn’t know about myself that I now love.

Recently I took a motor bike to get to a meeting and I found myself leaning into the direction of the turn as the driver took corners and sitting upright behind the driver to avoid excess wind. I was suddenly aware that I had become comfortable with bikes (as long as they aren’t being driven at high speeds). My heart was no longer in my throat as we drove along. A few weeks before the motor bike experience, I was walking from one side of a suburb to another and the pace I was keeping caught the attention of a fellow walker. He was an older gentleman and we walked together for a long distance. He shared lots of insights and laughs that made the distance much shorter than it would have been if I was alone. I learnt so much from him and my spirits lifted. As we parted, a friend I needed to speak with called me and he was across the road from where I was and was headed in the direction I was heading. You can imagine my excitement when the day ended and I sat to think it through.

The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness there of… This fullness means that my life has meaning and purpose and every day has a purpose that must be fulfilled. I must therefore live in an ever present state of awareness that there are things to do, words to say, prayers to make and places to visit that will help me fulfil my purpose as well as help others fulfil theirs. In the book, Divine Inspiration; the key to extraordinary living; Dr. Albert Odulele says something I find totally profound…he says:

“There is ‘substantial creativity’ in you and many await it for the alleviation of their sufferings. When the things locked in you are

Picture courtesy of Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura
Picture courtesy of Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura

unveiled, joy, peace and an improved quality of life will be the direct by-product for all those who benefit from it.”

So the questions I ask myself every night…

  • Am I living the life I was sent here to live?
  • Am I having the impact that was designed for me?
  • Am I concerned about the insignificant or significant?
  • Has my day lived up to its full potential and impact?

Wow…let’s keep walking this faith walk