THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life

Holding on Loosely


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Kenya, Courtesy of @Kyesubire

Remember the comment earlier that as long as one of us has we all have?

Yes…

Do you agree with that?

It’s a new concept I’m still adjusting to it but yes I kinda agree.

So you buy a car and then he asked you to give it to Jessica, would you?

And why would I do that?

Because God said.

Did He write it one the wall?

No, He told you in your heart

Well, my head thinks it is madness so it’s unlikely I’d give it

Why?

How do I get around? What would people think of me? What do I do when it rains? I can’t even go for the networking meetings I go for…

Is that really what God is concerned about?

Me looking good? Of course

Could that car be a hindrance to you hearing His voice and following His instruction?

How and it is a gift that He gave me?

A gift can become a curse if it is not used properly or if it turns our eyes from Him. Another question for you…

Shoot…

What if He allows you to keep the car but asks you to use it for His missions in remote places?

Who is going to pay for the maintenance? If the mission team can cover those needs they can have it

Can you see what you are doing?

What?

You are holding on to the very things God has blessed you with and refusing to be a blessing

Not really…I’m being a good steward of the things He has given me

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Kenya, Courtesy of @Kyesubire

Matt 6:33…seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you…

What does that have to do with anything?

You are holding so tightly on the all these things and focusing on maintaining them when they were a gift in the first place.

So, what should I be doing?

Seeking first….

Which means?

Asking Him where you need to go, whose life needs His comfort, how you can be of assistance to others, then following the instructions to the letter and being all you can be in Him.

Explain!

Remember when God stopped Saul on the road to Damascus?

Sure

What did he, Paul do after the encounter with God?

He spent time in prayer and fasting

And….

God sent Ananias to touch him and teach him the faith

Then…

He became a travelling preacher

He was already a traveller…going from city to city looking for Christians and getting them locked up but he became an evangelist to the Gentiles and that is how we got to hear the gospel of Jesus. Imagine with me for a moment of Paul had chosen to build a tent business and become rich…would we know Christ today?

Of course, God would have raised someone else.

Precisely, God would have raised someone else and Paul would have been passed over and left to just live a life of little consequence

But you can serve God with wealth can’t you?

Absolutely but God has to be the one in the driving seat directing what goes where, when, how much, not you.

But it is mine….

Really?

Of course…He gave it to me.

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Kenya, Courtesy of @Kyesubire

Why does the word say that the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, all the world and they that dwell in it, if what you have is yours

Uuurrrrgghhh…you’re making my life hard…too hard

You’re the one who asked the question and clearly you don’t like the answers

Surely there is an easier way?

God doesn’t do easier way…He does the best way

So the best way is to surrender it all and allow Him to direct how I use it?

Yup

That’s a hard one

Only if you are still holding onto things too tight

Oh my, now I have a headache…Why do you make things so hard?

I don’t, I just want to share what God has been teaching me

Which is?

The reality that when I hold on to things loosely I get further with Him and reach more people for Him?

Hold on loosely? Now that is a real paradox. How does it work?

Well, He is the giver of all things good and bad and if I just listen to His instruction and follow them to the letter there is less drama and frustration.

So if He wants us to hold on loosely why does He give us good things?

He is a loving father and He knows what His children need and what they will enjoy, so He gives these things to them. Think about your younger cousins or nieces and nephews…don’t you correct them and give them things because you love them and you want them to understand the process of getting this but also understand the pleasures of life?

Absolutely!

So what do you do?

I give good measures of both so they grow up balanced

So why do you want God to deal differently with you?

What do you mean?

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Kenya, Courtesy of @Kyesubire

Why do you want God to give you only the things you want and not have to take them to help others when that is exactly what you do for the little ones around you?

Oh my!

Yes, oh my! It took me a while to understand that He deals with me as HE created me so the things He gives to me or holds back from me are unique to me. Some of the things that trigger you have no effect on me so He won’t give those to me. Some of the things that you are holding on to He has already denied me or taken them away so He won’t use those on me anymore. Yet there are still things that I have to deal with because they are now the things that affect me and direct my focus and those are the ones He is giving, withholding or removing.

Do you ever get mad with Him when He takes them away?

Not anymore because I understand there is a lesson but I used to get so mad I would throw tantrums.

And then…

Nothing…God doesn’t respond to tantrums, nagging and sulking from me so I had to grow up

What does growing up look like?

TRUST

What do you mean?

Growing up means that I believe that nothing God puts in my path will harm me so I accept and ask Him how to deal with it and keep walking.

What if it is life threatening?

I haven’t been there yet but I am trusting God that in case one of those ones happens I will be able to honestly let go and walk with Him in faith that He knows and will do it all for my good and that alone.

Does it always come easy?

These days yes but not in the beginning.

What changed?

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Kenya, Courtesy of @Kyesubire

I discovered that I could indeed trust God to stand on His word and be true to His name. He is not a man that He should lie or the son of man that HE should change His mind

I wish I could get there

All in good time

What do I need to get there?

Faith, trust, obedience and commitment to Him only

Eish…this is too hard

Do you want to take a break and order lunch?

Definitely…why did God send you to give me a headache?

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What is it about this walk that bothers you or you don’t understand? Ask God to clarify the answer for you and it will amaze you

THE CHRISTIAN WALK

Unexpected Places


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Photo taken in Anahein CA, Courtesy of Roskyn Pryor

Hello,

Hi Jean, do you have a moment?

Who is this?

Jessica

Sorry, Jessica who?

We met at Kingsley’s farewell

Oh, yes….how are you?

I am well thanks.

How can I help, I’m in a bit of a meeting here

I won’t take long. I just wanted to let you know that he rests in the Lord

What? When?

Day before yesterday

Was he unwell?

Not that we know so far.

What happened?

Well, he went to bed and slipped into glory at a point in the night

Was he alone at home?

No he has a housemate but there was nothing anyone could have done.

Ok thanks….

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D is staring at me as if I have just lost my mind and I actually feel like I have. I am shocked to my toes and I don’t know where to start or end. Kingsley was a guy I met through a mutual friend. He was always the life of the party and made us all laugh. I loved hanging out with him though we didn’t do it often enough. Don’t get me wrong…he was so much fun but true to form we are always so busy there’s little to no time to look for each other.

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Roslyn Pryor 7
Photo taken in Anahein CA, Courtesy of Roskyn Pryor

Hey…Earth to Jean…D tapped my hand

Oh my…sorry

Where did you go?

Why?

You spaced out for a bit

Sorry….

No need to apologise…who died?

How tactless of you?

Come on…who rested

A guy I know called Kingsley

Good friend

Not really but a really sweet guy.

Define sweet

Kind, warm, cool, laid back, funny

I’m all those things and you don’t call me sweet.

Maybe I do just not to your face

Aha…what happened?

He went to sleep and never woke up

Oh…how old was he?

Mid to late twenties

Wow…

Yeah…wow…makes you wonder right?

Wonder what?

How long you really have here

Why?

Look at him…young healthy…here today gone tomorrow.

There are people who are over ninety and still very active.

That’s just it…how does God decide who goes and who stays?

I don’t know

How does He decide who gets sick, what illness, how ravaging, how mild? Does he even have a written criteria? Can I know when my turn is coming and how I will go? Think of the guy who leaves home in the morning and dies in a hit and run accident…uuurrrggghhh….

Ok….

D…all you have to say is ok? Really?

Well, first yes that is all I have to say momentarily. Second, I’m not God so I wouldn’t know the answer.

Third?

I don’t have a third right now.

Ok…but don’t you ever wonder?

I do…

And?

I leave it all to Him.

Really? How do you plan your life if you just leave and let live?

I didn’t say that…I said, I leave it to God.

What does that mean to you?

It means, I ask Him daily for direction and don’t assume that I’ll be here always.

Ok….explain

We are human right?

Right.

Meaning we will all leave here for eternity right?

Right.

What is the gateway to eternity?

Death…

So we will surely die?

Yes…and you think about this stuff?

Sure.

Why?

Because it is life.

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Photo taken in Anahein CA, Courtesy of Roskyn Pryor

How?

How what?

How do you just sit in your chair and think about it?

Well…My mum taught me to understand the realities of life and face them.

The realities?

Yes…the realities. Anger, love, death, life, sickness, health, loss, finding….the list is endless

And how does this help you?

Well, I know they are a part of life so at one point or another I will encounter one or the other so I must be prepared for all eventualities.

How do you prepare for death?

By building your faith in God that you don’t fear it but welcome it as the entrance to His presence.

How?

Walking with Him daily

How?

Seriously?

Yes…seriously…how do you prepare for it?

There’s no easy way to do it but first get your faith in God sorted

Done

Spend time in the word and learn about this great God and His promises

On going

Spend time with His children and enjoy community

On going

Give back to the community as He tells you; both alone and in communion with others

On going

As you do this, you will get closer to Him and as you allow Him He will teach you all about His heart till the day you can say Paul….for me to live is Christ and to die is gain

I never understood that verse…how is it gain to die?

It is gain because He was Paul’s absolute desire…

Absolute desire?

Yes, in my humble opinion…

When people say that often they are opinionated… but go ahead

I think Paul meant that he had finally learnt that nothing in this world would satisfy him more than to love, serve and see God and since heaven is where God is why not look forward to getting there?

Can we look forward to getting to heaven?

Sure. And when we do it affects how we live our lives

How?

Well, we will focus less on accumulating and more on influencing

What is wrong with having things?

Nothing essentially, the question is whether we are so focused on getting the things that we forget the actual giver. Do you know that everything you have is a gift and blessing for you from God?

Yes…but I have worked hard for everything I have…I have given time, energy and big value to get it

That could be true but what if God hadn’t given you health and strength, wisdom and ability to achieve it all, surely you wouldn’t have any of it.

Ok…I concede that…but surely he wants me to enjoy the things I have

Sure, but He also wants you to share them with the world around you.

Not that gain…

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THE CHRISTIAN WALK

One in Him Without a Shadow of a Doubt


moses Rusinga 2Hi Jean.

Hey D, how are you

Great, you?

I’m really good

Can we do lunch?

Do I get to pick where we eat?

Sure, but it is my treat.

Why?

Why not?

Surely there is a reason you want to but me lunch.

Not really…I just want to touch base

Why?

Jean, when did you become suspicious?

When people started calling me out of the blue after five years to buy me lunch.

Hahahhaha…you are funny. I want to celebrate some key milestones with you that’s why.

Why me? Don’t you have family to do it with?

I do and I have but I sense I need to celebrate with you

That sounds so spooky.

Ok, pray about it and when you are ready and comfortable to have a meal with me, I will be waiting

You know it could take a year or more right?

I know but I will still be waiting.

Oh you are one patient brother.

Yes I am…catch you later mrembo (beautiful)

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Mwanza Tanzania Courtesy of Moses Nderitu

Hey D?

Jean…what a surprise, how are you?

I’m good.

What’s going on?

Well, I wanted to take you up on your lunch offer

Eight months later?

Yup, you said whenever I am ready you will be waiting and now I am

Ok, when?

Today?

You push a hard bargain

Well, I figured if I gave you short notice it will be easier for you to say no

Sorry, but I am actually on leave…thirty minutes at Al Italia

Can we do it this side of my hood?

Unfortunately that will mean I will not make it

Ok…can we push it?

You’re not getting out of this one girl…what is the problem?

I don’t have enough fuel for a round trip

Do you have enough to get here?

Yes I do.

Then come and the rest will sort itself out. Now you have twenty minutes to go

Who is counting?

Me! Can I ask a question?

Sure.

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Photo taken in Anahein CA, Courtesy of Roskyn Pryor

Why did you run for so long?

Personal reasons!

That doesn’t count

Why?

You have never been shy and we have been friends too long for that to be a valid answer

Well, life has been really hard and I needed to figure things out.

Hard? Why?

Well, the finances have been slow coming and I haven’t known what to do about it so I kept a low profile

Really? Did you ask for help?

From who?

Family, friends, acquaintances…the list is endless

Well not for me it is very short…in fact non-existent

Why?

How do I start asking people for help? I will look like a basket case with all my education

Are you working?

Yes…all the more reason to be able to support myself.

So why are you struggling?

Because my job doesn’t pay as well as I would need it to

How lavish is your lifestyle?

Not at all actually…very simple maybe even bare bones.

So why wouldn’t you ask for help?

Why would I ask for help? Is the more appropriate question. If I remember right, God has promised to supply all my needs according to His riches in glory.

He has!

So He knows what I need and He will supply it. if he hasn’t supplied it yet he has a reason and a plan or I need to do without…it is simple.

I disagree.

Why?

If one of us has…all of us have.

Now that sounds like the kind of rhetoric I hear from my village and there are many people who will do nothing just because their brother, father or uncle has made it in life. Sorry, I don’t believe in that.

It is a biblical principle!

Yeah, yeah!

And yes it has been taken out of context before but it is still real.

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Mwanza Tanzania Courtesy of Moses Nderitu

Are you telling me that we should live like the church in Acts? Buying and selling, giving to each other as needed & instructed by God?

How else would the world that we are believers? Scripture says that they will know we are followers of Christ by our love. Our love should propel us to seek God on who is who to us, what are their needs and how do we meet their needs?

So to put your statement in context, you asked God who I am to you, what I need and how you should meet my needs?

Hahahaaha…when you say it like that it sounds strange. However, yes, something like that

What did he tell you?

That you need to know that He loves you.

Now you are being funny.

Not at all…how far are you?

In the parking at Al Italia.

How long have you been here?

Just arrived and waiting for a parking

I have just walked out of the building can you see me?

Yes I can

He gestures to the guard and immediately a parking sign is moved and I have a parking.

Boy oh boy, you have influence like no other.

You can say I am blessed can’t you?

She gets out of the car as he comes to meet her

I am fine how are you? D pulls Jean into a hug…Girl I have missed you

Me too…I have missed me

You never stop do you?

Stop what?

Goofing around.

It makes life interesting…so you were saying that God told you I need love

Yes…you need to understand that His love is supreme and eternal and you don’t have to earn it

I don’t?

Of course not. For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. Scripture also says that, He gives sleep to those he loves. The same scripture says, Ask and you will receive, seek and you shall find, know and the door shall be opened to you.

The same bible says that he will give me the desires of my heart and he hasn’t done that for me

The first part of that verse says that we must abide in him and then he will give us the desire of our hearts…there is a way to the desires

What is the way?

When we abide in him, his desires become our desires and there is no way He can deny Himself so our desires are met.

Uhu…tell me about it!

When we abide in Him like Abraham did, He provides solutions in the strangest ways like He did with lamb at the sacrifice on Mt. Moreh. When Samson had sinned and had his eyes gouged out, God gave him strength one more time to wipe out the enemy and in the day he killed more men that day than ever before. Was it a bloodbath? Yes. was it justifiable? To God it was because they had oppressed His people for long enough. The same God in love allowed the Israelites to go into captivity in Egypt and later in Babylon because they had sinned yet at the appointed time He sent rescue and the people left captivity rich.

There are so many contradictions right there.

I know yet He is and always will be a God of love

So back to today…

Ok…

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Photo taken in Anahein CA, Courtesy of Roskyn Pryor

What does, “If one of us has, we all have” mean and look like?

It means that I hold onto all that I have loosely so that if God says I give it to someone I will simply hand it over and expect God to do a new thing and provide somehow.

Doesn’t that seem a little dense for educated people?

It takes even greater faith for educated people because we have been taught cause and effect, every action has an equal and opposite reaction…it takes a lot more to open your hand and allow God to make the choice He need to make in us.

Is it really possible to live that way?

Sure! Ask you dad.

My dad?

Yes…you dad. He lives by this very principle and has never lacked what he needs for life.

So why are we here?

So that God can remind you that He loves you and hasn’t forgotten you even as the road in your life has been tremendously hard.

He loves me?

Yes he does.

How does He show His love on a daily basis yet I lack so much?

It is different for everyone and today is just a reminder that you need to remember how He speaks to you and find out that these aren’t the only ways he speaks.

He loves me totally and completely

Yes He does and He uses His children to share this love around in the most unexpected ways…look to Him and He will let you know what He is up to

 

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He loves you totally and completely…do you know that? Do you believe it without a shadow of a doubt despite, in spite of and regardless of the current situation in your life?