The Simple Life

In Him I Rise


60 Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.
For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you.
The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.

Isaiah 60:1-3 (NKJV)

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The glory of the Lord only rests on one who is fully devoted to Him and makes time for Him on a consistent basis. He is looking for people who will take time even in the middle of daily tasks and assignments to seek His face and consult Him how to deliver things above and beyond the abilities of man.

Moses in Ex 33, pleaded for the people, pitched his tent outside the camp where he could spend time with God uninterrupted. In response, anyone who needed to meet with God went outside the camp to that tent…the one Moses set up. Additionally, whenever Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud moved to rest on the tent and God would descend then the people would all stand at the doors of their tents and watch. They didn’t participate much just watched as God met with Moses.

So I wondered to myself, what would my life need to become for and to God, not man, that would attract His presence in such a way that it would change me within so radically that I would ooze him to the rest of creation? I had done all the usual things over the years and had all the lingo right and all the words on point but alas after a while it would all stall!

You see, only a continual radical shift to total reliance on and devotion to God attracts Him to reside. I did not want just a visit. I didn’t want to go to fellowship and feel the goose bumps and then walk out and become the same old girl I was before I went in. I needed Him to come and take up residence within me and meddle with everything until it was the way He wanted it to be and keep meddling so I would be continually growing. So I asked one big, question:

What would attract my Father in heaven in such a way that my life would be permanently changed?

He said one word…Process. Yeah, you can roll your eyes at that word but it is the heart of walking with God because there are things to unlearn, things to deepen, things to walk away from and others to just become. There is a process:

  1. Arise: Hear and respond to this voice; the call from God to salvation and a walk with Him: Get up, acknowledge Him as Lord, get to know Him; understand His voice, heart, mind and way then begin the walk and remain devoted to the walk no matter what.
  2. Shine: Shift so totally that it is evident to others even without opening my mouth that I am different; to be so devoted to His word that my life speaks better and greater than I could ever plan to because HE is at work in me consistently.
  3. The light has come: Have a source of illumination and understanding that is only possible in and with God; know the seasons and times and respond aright; know the mind and heart of God and understand how to bring His realities to life on earth.
  4. The glory comes: As a vessel growing and learning to live only for the King, the Spirit enables me to make room for and broadcast only Him; the simplicity of my walk in Him and the depth of relationship with His word becomes the proof and portal for His visible, tangible presence.
  5. Kings come to the rising: The move of God is complete and now others can see Him and be drawn to the expression of Him in me and not me.

This rising isn’t about me showing earthly influence and power. It is premised on full fidelity to the plan of God as HE has revealed to me in His word to my spirit before the foundations of the earth. It is about a transformation of heart, mind and spirit by His hand and my obedience. It is all about bringing Him glory and praise.

How I pray my life becomes this expression every day in every way.

The Simple Life

Nothing Like Your Presence


There’s nothing like Your presence, Lord
All I want is to be with You
There’s nothing like Your presence, Lord
All I want is to be with You

There’s nothing like Your presence, Lord
All I want is to be with You
There’s nothing like Your presence, Lord
All I want is to be with You

To be with You
To be with You

There’s nothing like Your presence, Lord
All I want is to be with You
There’s nothing like Your presence, Lord
All I want is to be with You

There’s nothing like Your presence, Lord
All I want is to be with You
There’s nothing like Your presence, Lord
All I want is to worship You

You are God and we worship You
You are God and we worship You

By William McDowell
Spontaneous worship recording 2019

Photo by Shelagh Murphy on Pexels.com
The Simple Life

Rising


60 Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.
For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you.
The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.

Isaiah 60:1-3 (NKJV)

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We have all read Isaiah 60 and been excited by it, me included but it stopped me in my tracks this week.

I first really heard it about ten years ago and then I heard the song ‘I’m blessed’ by Sinach and latched onto it. Now the funny thing is that even when I held onto it with a death grip, decreed and declared it, all that came out of it was a small fragment of the possibilities available. The part I really wanted to come to pass is v3… The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising. But alas! Something was missing.

I wanted the proof of my salvation to be visible to all; that men would see me and be astounded by the places I had reached in a short period of time. I wanted to snap my fingers and become this astounding person of repute, wealth and influence. I wanted to be known in every sphere and be the go to person for the globe. I wanted, I wanted, I wanted, I cried, decreed, declared, stood on…but alas. It didn’t come to pass the way I wanted…something was missing.

Then He broke it down for me…

Rising into my fullness isn’t automatic because I am born again. It isn’t a light switch the will be flicked and viola, I am rising. Shocking right? You had better believe it. Are there things destined for me from before the foundations of the earth? Yes! Are there things designated to me because of salvation? Yes. Will I get them automatic? Some but not all!

The reality is it wasn’t a real delay. The thing stalling movement was my motivation for rising. Yes, my motivation…I couldn’t even peg this one on God. I wanted to rise to show people I could do it. I wanted to rise so I would be recognised. I wanted it for me yet I had convinced myself it was about God and kept saying I want to honour God with my life. Ha!!!!

My rising and shining could only be about people being drawn to God; nothing more or less.

It could not be about me and the accolades I would get or else my walk would make God useless and he is not. It would not be automatic but through a process because then He could really teach me and embed the lessons in me. It would take me on a journey so that I could encourage others behind me and prove the lives of those ahead of me. My timeline would be different because I am unique so if my sister or brother rose in a matter of hours and I took years only Papa God could explain why and how.

My reality had to be that until I had built my relationship with God and understood my ordination, path and the desired outcome and I loved Him totally and even to my own detriment, it was a waste of time to pray about my rising. If I rose and gained the recognition I wanted, it would be a false position and it would bring Him dishonour and kill me in the end.

In that moment, I decided that wouldn’t be the case and we began a new walk. The more time we spent together the clearer it became I must decrease that He may increase.  A decrease in me was certain because as He showed me the truth of who I was I could only ask Him to deliver me, change me, cleanse me, lead me guide me. Seeing the real me and knowing He loved me enough to change me allowed a deeper understanding of Him and a clearer expression of Him. As this happened, I changed, loved Him more and became the mad one.

Photo by Alexandro David on Pexels.com
The Simple Life

Psalms 91


He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will remain secure and rest in the shadow of the Almighty [whose power no enemy can withstand].

I will say of the Lord , “He is my refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust [with great confidence, and on whom I rely]!”

For He will save you from the trap of the fowler, And from the deadly pestilence.

He will cover you and completely protect you with His pinions, And under His wings you will find refuge;

His faithfulness is a shield and a wall.

You will not be afraid of the terror of night,

Nor of the arrow that flies by day,

Nor of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,

Nor of the destruction (sudden death) that lays waste at noon.

A thousand may fall at your side And ten thousand at your right hand,

But danger will not come near you. You will only [be a spectator as you] look on with your eyes And witness the [divine] repayment of the wicked [as you watch safely from the shelter of the Most High].

Because you have made the Lord , [who is] my refuge,

Even the Most High, your dwelling place, No evil will befall you, Nor will any plague come near your tent.

For He will command His angels in regard to you, To protect and defend and guard you in all your ways [of obedience and service].

They will lift you up in their hands, So that you do not [even] strike your foot against a stone.

You will tread upon the lion and cobra;

The young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.

“Because he set his love on Me, therefore I will save him;

I will set him [securely] on high, because he knows My name [he confidently trusts and relies on Me, knowing I will never abandon him, no, never].

He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;

I will be with him in trouble;

I will rescue him and honor him.

With a long life I will satisfy him And I will let him see My salvation.”

PSALMS 91:1‭-‬16 AMP

The Simple Life

Who Is Raising Our Sons?


Who is raising our sons?

I am a mother of sons, one from my womb and many by assigment and my heart breaks almost every day about them. Remember sons of God refers to both male and female but in this piece I will clarify what I mean each time.

In this piece my focus is largely on the male son. As I said, I’m a mother of sons but I am also a sister, a friend, a companion of many men and by the grace of God who sets up safe spaces with us, we have many difficult conversations all the time and they break my heart every time.

I see how we have taken time to raise the girl, teach the girl, coach and mentor the girl but done very little for the boys. I am a direct beneficiary of the girl empowerment movement and I am glad for the pressure that was put and how it made me grow. I also thank God my brother was a beneficiary of going through the same wringer but it’s not so for many others.

I always said, we are doing our part with the girls and men need to rise up and do their with the boys until I was recently stopped in my tracks by 2 Timothy 1:5 NLT which says,

I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you.

Then I met afresh with 2 Timothy 3:14‭-‬15 NLT

But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus.

I don’t know what happened to Timothy’s father but his upbringing brought him into a space where his life spoke to many yet he didn’t seem to have a strong male influence until he met Paul (I could be wrong but that’s how I see it from my reading).

If this is so, what was he taught? How was it taught and what can I learn?

Timothy was known to be steadfast and sure. He was known to be devoted to God and a committed worker. He was known as a true disciple whose walk was solidified by his interactions with Paul, yet he had a solid foundation from before.

Don’t get me wrong, fathers, uncles and other strong male role models are important but what happens in the absence of that? Was God unaware of the lack? No. Has He planted women around? Yes. Could it them be that we have a role to play? Definitely.

We need to understand that the female is the womb, the place of incubation & growth, the source of nourishment and strength, the mother, teacher and guide of the community and if she gets it wrong the community gets it wrong.

There is a place for us as the female expression of God, to seek His face and understand ourselves, our children, our charges, our nations and the world from His perspective and learn from Him how to raise each one to His glory. However, we can only understand that if we are already devoted to and plugged into Him as our rudder and guide.

Who is raising our sons – male and female? Right now it is culture, tradition, media, unrealistic expectations and so much more and it needs to change.

Since we cannot teach what we don’t know we must learn. How do we learn what we need? We must tune back into God and understand the times and raise them right and strong because no man or woman can lead, follow, support or conquer life unless their lives are properly grounded.

Arise, become, then raise the next generation right.

The Simple Life

Psalms 23


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 (NKJV)

The Simple Life

Saying Thank You


I have been working on a project that has just ended and it was a great success. It was a social event needing lots of coordination and many community touch points but the most critical one was the police. We had a great time and they did a good job to the extent that the OCS was on the road manning traffic for us (well, manning his team). Afterwards I went back to the station to say thank you. First to him and then to the office team.

Now, many wondered why I bothered going back to say thanks for something that the officers are paid to do. Well, it is simple. I am learning to be grateful for things and to express my gratitude openly and to the right people. I could sit in home, in the review meeting and other fora and talk about the great help the police gave me and they never hear it; or I could drive back there and say thank you and allow them for one moment to feel appreciated before they did back into their hard work.

In my visits to the police station, they were several, I realised just how human they are and how hard their work is. It isn’t easy being stone faced with a parent begging you to release their child who you have found with contraband and need to take to court. It isn’t easy watching a mother hear how her child died by hit and run. It isn’t easy to watch a father’s hope die as he listens to the vile words cursing him from the mouth of a child. It is even scarier to see the realities of the criminal nature of your locality and still raise your child in that locality. There is also another hard work they do. Their shifts are extensively long especially when they are short staffed.

I realised there are many people I need to consciously say thank you to more often whether others do or not. Housekeepers, bus conductors, matatu drivers, motorbike riders, cleaners, security guards, county council parking attendants, ticketing agents, servers in hotels, and maybe a few more I don’t remember right now. Many may disagree with me but I have come to understand that no matter ones profession, we are all people and we would all appreciate some gratitude for the work we do.

If I thank you for a job done warms my heart even if I am paid to do the task, won’t it also the warm the heart of another. It is in the simple things that the world will go around.

12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

Matthew 7:12 (NKJV)

31 And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.

Luke 6:31 (NKJV)