The Simple Life

When Will You Arise & Become?


There are conversations going on around that have puzzled me. I am aware that there are challenges in the world, on my continent and in my nation. I am aware that greed, selfishness, self-absorption and many other behaviours are at an all time high. I am also aware that there are people starving and dying of hunger in nations that can feed themselves if they decide to do so. I look abroad and see how things function and then I look around Africa and listen to the conversations and get so tired of hearing lame excuses being used as reasons for these challenges that begin with or include statements like:

  • ‘You know how things are around here…you have to need to facilitate the process.’
  •  ‘We are just like that…(tunakuwanga hivo)’
  •  ‘What makes you think it will be different for you? Everybody does it this way.’
  • ‘What can I do I am only one person.’
  • ‘Sisi ni waafrika…(We are Africans)’
  • ‘This is just the way it is, we have always done it like this.’

The last few are the worst of all in my books.

Every time I hear them I want to throttle the person speaking or box them between their ears. These are allegedly ‘reasons’ why people are stuck in the place they are in but when you think about them in-depth, they are simply excuses for sloppy, careless behaviour and laziness. Just because your ancestors did something a certain way doesn’t mean it is still the best way to do things. Just because your mother told you something doesn’t make it gospel truth today or even the way you need to go. Just because no one else has done something about a situation doesn’t mean that no one ever should. If we are honest that we want to leave a better life for our children and enable them to be successful we can no longer remain the same just because our ancestors did or didn’t do something one way or the other.

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One of my ancestors was a long distance trader and herbalist. He travelled for months on end from the inlands to the coast and back trading different items and learning from the people he travelled through how to treat different ailments using different herbal concoctions. He wasn’t always welcome in the village because of his eclectic life but for those whose needs he met he was an answer.

Another was a teacher, chief and community mobiliser who shifted the community by educating as many as possible and creating opportunities for the people to earn more from their coffee through the cooperatives movement. From the trader came a third and then a fourth generation of well-educated professions many with multiple degrees and professional careers taught to think and ask questions and though many accepted the ways of the past it was after interrogation.

However, not everyone in the lineage turned out the same. To each one opportunity was given but the outcome was as varied as there were people. Some say it was luck that one line turned out well and another didn’t and others say it had nothing to do with luck but hard work and commitment. I dare say that each set of people chose a few deliberate steps that produced specific results because every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

For a long time, I was just like everyone but it stopped making sense to me so I set my own questions and sought answers to them. I challenged everything I was taught, I found things I didn’t need and even if they are long held traditions I walked away. It cost me a lot to look intently at everything I had believed and become independent minded and it still costs me. I refuse to be anything or just accept a position because many think it is right; it has to be right for me and align to who I am or it isn’t useful. In the end, I have unapologetically developed my personal belief system.

Comfort, convenience and complacency don’t lead anywhere.

What makes you think that the complacent heart and lazy mind that cannot see around the next task will ever create the needed room you need to get to the next level with God? What makes you think you can sit pretty and wait for God to drop that miracle into your lap? When will you develop your faith based on your personal interactions with God that are beyond what your pastor taught you? When will you become like the Bereans* who listened to the apostles and went back to God and scripture to confirm that the teaching was accurate? When will your life tell the story of God and His goodness without you having to speak?

It takes deliberate focus to know and remain close to God. It takes choices and commitment to remain faithful to the calling no matter what so what makes you think that saying that is how I am will cut it? It takes a determined effort to rise to the top of your game or industry. It takes the choice to be different and be yourself to become ALL God said about you.

Arise and be counted as one who BECAME. Arise because the world is depending on the sons of God.

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*Acts 17:11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. NIV

The Simple Life

Why don’t you tell me?


You say you are my Father but

But You don’t tell me all

You say You love me

But I don’t feel it

You say You have a plan for me

Yet I can’t see or hear anything

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Your daughter says You have a plan

Why don’t You tell me?

She says it is all good

Why don’t You tell me?

She says I am growing

Why don’t You tell me?

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Have I done something to you?

Is there something I need to do?

Who do you need me to become so You can speak?

What is the plan God?

Why don’t You tell me?

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How am I supposed to walk with You if you are silent?

How do I become who You say I am if I don’t know?

How do I know my people if You don’t say?

When will this all pass or work?

Why don’t You tell me?

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I want to grow and become better

I want to know You like others do

I want to understand why I am here

I want to make You happy God

Why don’t You tell me how?

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She says it’s not about jumping through hoops

She says You speak often and clearly

She says You can be trusted

She says You are the best friend

Why don’t You show me how?

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Have I done something wrong?

Have I failed to hear?

Have I ignored Your prompts?

Have I missed Your word?

Why didn’t You show me how?

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The Simple Life

Marriage: God’s Realities are His


In a series of seemingly unrelated conversations over a period of a few years, I noticed an interesting fact in marriages and long term relationships around me. It was all exciting at the start but the longer people stayed together the more boring the relationships are and the greater the distance between them. Many are together but are not on the same page or are together and on the same page but not willingly. Now this is not a blanket prescription but many are parked here.

It was particularly interesting that those who had children had the greatest disconnect from each other.

Once the children were born and she is focused on their upbringing, the guy feels neglected. She is too tired to have sex but is up in a blink when the baby cries. She is too tired to make him a cup of tea or warm his food but will do anything in her power to make sure the little one eats well. When he asks about it, she is aghast…how could he even think like that? Doesn’t he understand that the children were too small to fend for themselves? Can’t he see how much she is doing just to keep the family afloat? His response would be something like, you pay more attention to them than you do me, what is the point of the effort? I also do a lot; I go out and work to pay bills so I am away so much. A little recognition would be nice.

These responses go back to our socialisation. Many get married because the time is right, the person looks cool, this one makes me happy, I want to spend the rest of my life with them, license to have sex, the desire for children, pressure from family etc. The preparation process includes classes, conversations and counselling sessions that give the tools to live together and navigate common pitfalls but I dare say they don’t deal with the biggest issue.

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What’s the big issue: Why did you get married in the first place?

Presumably there is nothing wrong with the reasons above but they aren’t producing lasting relationships. They are producing exacting standards and matrices for comparison that breed discontent, discomfort and conflict more often than communication, commitment or compassion. I was on that path until I met a few interesting people whose relationships were totally different because their commitments were different. Here’s what I learnt:

  1. Marriage is a God agenda: Don’t roll your eyes and say you knew that. Stop and think. When you sit with God and He outlines what your life must produce for Him, it should include if you will have a partner and how that relationship will produce all that He has determined for your life to do. Now don’t find the person and then fit them into the plan you have for life; find God and His plan for your life and allow Him to lead you to reason you will get married, the fruit your union will produce and the person He has chosen for you. This person will have sought God on the above matters, heard his voice about their life and been told you are the one who fits the bill and the very specific way you will produce for Him. That my friends, is divine purpose…a clear word from HIS mouth.
  2. Purpose makes marriage fulfilling: When you know what the relationship is to bring forth and that you cannot do it without this particular person and the right state of your heart, every step brings God joy and gives you balance. Every step off track is caught early because it produces a counter expression of God. Every challenge is embraced because it will produce Him. Every joy and sorrow is celebrated because it is a tool in the hands of the Master to produce a masterpiece. Knowing your lives are achieving God’s plan enables a deeper walk and more committed work.
  3. Children are indeed a blessing: We will all nod because children are a woman’s greatest identity and the evidence of male virility and vitality; that isn’t what I am saying. Children test everything we are and prove our words.  As they grow, they prove or disprove that we really believe and live out the things we say. Our children learn from our actions and not our words and our lives are the first classrooms they go to. If our children are led into the arms of our Saviour not sent in the opposite direction then the reality is our lives have indeed produced God. They are the blessed sieve and proof of our calling and walking as designed.

Let’s put down the drama and demands for satisfaction and pursue the voice of God with diligence. If you aren’t in the union yet, stop, reflect, ask, seek, knock and do not make a move either way before you hear God’s word about the path. If you are in the union and it is or isn’t working do the same thing; stop, reflect, ask, seek, knock and do not make a move either way before you hear God’s word. You may not like the truth you find about yourself but there is room in God to rededicate, re-calibrate and redefine life on His terms.

I’d rather know that I am on the path to change than think I am walking aright and get to the end of my life and have produced a counter expression of what God had in mind for me all along.

Think about these things…

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The Simple Life

Thus Began a Journey


I was going about life minding my own business when she stepped in and disrupted everything. You know how you have settled into a routine because of where you have found yourself and your life is going on but you have never realised just how stuck you are? That was me. I didn’t realise how unhappy I was with my life until I met this girl who was living her best life without many of the trappings I was chasing.

Her calmness in this hectic world was annoying because she seemed unmoved that she didn’t have loads of cash or a fancy job. She didn’t mind that she didn’t know how she would make ends meet. It was insane to me to say the least but she wore it with grace and joy that I had to sit with her and understand. However, she had everything she needed at the time she needed it.

In fact, one day she told how all she does is ask God for what she needs and He sends it to her. I was like what???? I ask Him and more often than not He doesn’t respond and here is someone saying HE always responds? That is just so unfair, I said to myself. Anyway…we would crack this madness.

I am a busy guy but I decided I would make time to hang out and watch her life because I wanted to understand it. I had many questions I needed answered and maybe shadowing her would produce them. For instance, how could we be raised in similar circumstances yet turn out so different? What did she connect to that makes her so close to God? Did I miss a step or go off the rails or is her connection to God a crutch and she’s denying it?

I just don’t understand.

Adapted from a story told to me

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I can empathise with my friend because I too have walked that road in living colour. The first time I was told there was greatness within me I couldn’t even wrap my mind around it. I kept hearing that we are created to build for God, bring His will to life and be a full representation of who He saw from before time but I didn’t know how to translate it.

It took me awhile to really take off because I had to unlearn all my existing patterns, beliefs and behaviour and learn this new pattern. Why? I was totally set in my way. There is a way I was raised that was my holy grail and anything that didn’t conform to that pattern was eliminated. This included ideology, learned behaviour, traditions, beliefs and judgments that made up how I lived, loved, communicated and socialised with people. I realised that though I was raised well, there were things I had imbibed from those patterns that I needed to let go of.

I needed to get away from the things people needed to do get approval from me. I needed to let people be themselves. I needed to stop letting people’s behaviour to upset me or make me happy. I needed to know the voice of God so clearly that when He spoke I moved quickly and confidently. I needed to re-write the script of my life from my belief system, values, desires, dreams and networks.

The shift from everything I knew to a new pattern was the hardest move.

Think for a minute about Abraham who was safely in a city, had a solid family and secure future then he comes face to face with an unknown, invisible God who says, ‘Come with me to a land I will show you’ and he goes. Picture Noah, a misfit in his generation talking about rain and floods then building a huge boat to be safe from it yet they had never seen water from above.

‘I get it! I sound strange and so do many others but don’t let that get to you,’ I said to my friend. ‘We have to continue to press into God because He is the only one who can explain all these things and make sense out of our path. I don’t have all the answers, I just know that walking with Him daily has changed my life and the same offer is available to all who would dare to let go of all their traditions and meet Him on His terms.’

He loves us all. He is available. Let’s make contact and grow into the fullness HE sees in us.

The Simple Life

Sometimes I have struggled with His leading


The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not [a]want.
He makes me to lie down in [b]green pastures;
He leads me beside the [c]still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my Head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will [d]dwell in the house of the Lord
[e]Forever.

Psalm 23

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Sometimes I have struggled with His leading

It doesn’t always make sense to my mind

It demands total trust and fidelity

It seems to take away my control

It feels like walking in the dark

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Then I ask what else I could hold on to?

Who else would be with me to the end?

Where else could I go that would heal my soul?

How else would I get through every day?

And there is none

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He isn’t my shepherd because He demands it

He is because He invited me

He is because He healed my Heart

He is because I have experienced His love

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He is my Shepherd because He is my God

He designed me in His Heart ahead of time

He dreamt of me in His to meet a need

He moulded me to look like Him

He breathed into me to give me life

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He keeps me in sight as the apple of His eye

He has written my name on the palm of His hand

He has hidden me in His Heart

Under His wings do I find refuge

At His right hand I am protected

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So even if it is all falling apart around me

Even when I don’t understand

Even when I am all alone in the dark

Even when I cannot understand the season

He is my Shepherd, My God, My love

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The Simple Life

I Am Incomplete


If I said I am an introvert you are unlikely not believe me

If I said I recharge in the shadows you might not believe me

If I said I like to be alone, I can see you laugh out loud

If I said I am shy some of you would laugh until you cry

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I am incomplete; a work in progress

I am wounded; healing by the day

I am lost; found once again

I am confused; gaining clarity

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I am a classic example of a shifter

Who I was a few years ago doesn’t exist

Oh certain things remain but most…

Poof…gone for good

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I cannot and will not remain like I was

I would have killed many of you with harsh words by now if I did

I would have left so many casualties in my wake

Ha!! And some wonder how it could have been worse

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I am a work in progress

I am growing; I am becoming

I am a cracked; I am whole

I am because HE is.

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I am a new creature, I am a new person

I am a different gal, I am a changed one

You may not think so but I know so

I look in the mirror every day

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#NoExcuses #NoLimitations

The Simple Life

Agreeing Is Such A Different Thing


How can two walk together unless they agree – Amos 3:3

I have always thought walking in agreement was about ‘being of identical mind purpose and commitment’ but alas, it is not so.

I am thinking of my people, the ones I walk live and interact with. Over the years we have had fights because they didn’t tick the boxes on my list and vice versa. HA! I even spouted the word about two having to fully agree on ALL points to be able to walk together. We can tell countless stories about people we have had disagreements with because they are not walking as we are or as we think they  need to and they don’t agree on the things that are important to us or understand it like we do. We know of others judged and thrown out of fellowship because of having seemingly contrary opinions. I can see some of you nodding your heads; but take a deep breath and read on.

The last few weeks and months have been proof to me that the agreement God is most keen on is that we are have agreed that we are dedicated to walking with Him. Agreement is to about God, based on the things He has said, the direction He is leading us and the end result we must produce for Him. However, the exact model of living out won’t be the same because we are not clones.

There are places that based on my person, purpose and process I will have to go to and roads I will have to walk will not be so for my sister or brother. Yes, we will still come to the full expression of who God is, how He works in us but the path to there or the exact steps to take will never, yes never, be identical for any two of us.

We have spent years judging and condemning one another because we lived by a strict code or set of rules said to have been given to us by God. We have applied the same code to others in blanket rigidity without reference to how God would have our lives lived out.

Remember David, the mighty king and man of God? Remember when he came back from war celebrating victory and he was danced with the people until his robe fell off? Remember how his wife despised him for this because her pattern was decorum and holding herself together and this madness he was doing in the streets was shameful to her? She didn’t even take time to consider or ask him why before she judged him and therefore suffered barrenness. Why did she suffer? She judged David’s expression as unbecoming and unworthy for the king yet it was the perfect expression that God needed at that exact time.

The thing that got her in trouble and will get us in trouble, was the judgment of an expression of God as something different.

I can see how it could be embarrassing for her to see her husband doing this but what if she stopped and asked God what this was about and how she should respond to it? Suppose she remembered how he was raised and who he was in God would she have made the same judgment? There was a great disconnect.

David had been prepared very carefully for this day. He had spent time in fields with God being honed carefully for this day. I can imagine him in the fields singing and dancing like there was no one watching, deep in conversation and worship of God. His dancing that day, was the outward expression of him and his relationship with God.

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No more with me!! I choose this day to ask Him about everyone I am to walk with and be aware of how each one must live and how I integrate to the process and live like that only. There is nothing that will get me off this path this time because it is the best way to His rest and His glory. Walking together is being so deeply steeped in God, His word and His plan that we know how to lend strength to one another.