The Simple Life, Walking with God

Ever Ready


Who would have known that a shaking was around the corner?

Last Sunday 26.4.2020 started on a high. It was dull outside but my heart was light and joyful in me. I woke up later than usual but was still the first in the house to get up and about so I focused on breakfast. It was odd that I was cooking so early because my people and I eat after ten but I did it all the same. The young king called to say I had a missed call but I decided to finish before I dealt with the call.

Returning that call changed my life for good…

My other brother Paul, gone…

There are few people I know who are full of love and concern with such purity of heart and he is one of them.

There are few people who the world knows to be steadfast and committed to their faith in every sphere of life…he is one of them

There are few people; whose arrival or presence changed the atmosphere in the room…he is one of them

His dedication to the call of God in his life was undeniable

His commitment to showcase and be all God called him to be was evident

His love for his family, friends and the world, was clear

He was one of those special ones

Don’t think for a minute he was an angel ha!!

He was all man, with successes, failings and faults

He made mistakes in life and crossed paths

Yet the softness of his heart and the depth of his wisdom made him stand out

Very few men (here I mean male gender) are like this brother

Unafraid to try and fail, unbeaten in tenacity, setting out to accomplish every task assigned

Unafraid to walk paths uncharted, unmoved that he is alone on the way as long as God has sent him

He was an anchor in stormy seas, a great captain with eyes fixed on God

He kept his word and spoke his truth, keeping his destination in sight

He led teams through stormy seas, thick forests, dry deserts, calm seas, lush gardens and stillness

He understood that each one has a set assignment, destination, connection and output for God and he kept his eyes on his prize

He spoke of things with certainty because he knew his God and his path was set in Him

He navigated life at work in the banking sector, on ministry assignment, in his fitness pursuits, with friends and family with a cheeky smile, laughing eyes, warm heart, firm tone, steadfast belief that God has a plan that can be trusted

He raised the standards of every team he worked with and taught many to seek God and walk with Him in faith, life, work and passion

Image by The Real Photogenic

This week has changed me because once again I have been reminded that Jehovah my maker, gave me X number of days to become a certain person and complete and set task, reach a certain set of people and bring Him honour and glory

It reminded me that only the Maker knows the actual number of days He set, how many I have lived and how many are left.

It reminded me that no matter how hard I try, if I leave the path He has set for me, I will fail

So I set my gaze again as flint, on He who hovered over the waters of the deep, who created a pleasant place for me to live, who moulded me as the soil and breathed into me the breath of life, who set me on this earth in a community and allowed life and its challenges to shape and shift me.

I set my gaze on Him who knows the end from the beginning and is determined that I become that His word may be revealed and lived out. I set my gaze as flint on He who begun the good work in me and will be faithful to complete it in me.

I choose trust that though I miss my big brother Paul, he has run and finished his race therefore he has rested. I know that since I am still here I have a ways to go, more to become and still more to accomplish with and in God. So I raise my eyes to the heavens even as I allow the tears to fall and say,

“Indeed my Father, You know what is best for us. You know the times and seasons. You know how long we each have. You know that we can become if we decide to hold onto you.

I ask for grace to stand on your WORD every moment of every day. I pray for your healing in our inner man. I pray for your peace that passes all understanding to guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

I pray that Your kingdom come and Your will be done on earth, in my life, in this nation and the world at large as it is in heaven.

Papa, you are the balm that heals our hearts; the love that casts out all fear; the joy that strengthens; the peace that passes all understanding; the all sufficient grace; the everlasting covenant keeper; the one true God, the friend who sticks closer than a brother; the healer; the redeemer; the ever present help in times of plenty and trouble. I choose to be ever ready, waiting for your WORD.”

The Simple Life

Growing


I really want to hold your hand

I want to hide you in my arms

I want to protect you from the hardship

Yet I know I can’t.

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I want to shield you from the struggle

I want to close you in my heart

I want to closet you safely

Yet I know I can’t

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The struggle will build you

The process will change you

The tears will clarify you

You will grow

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The questions will add depth

The fear will be overcome

The drama will strengthen you

You will grow

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The conversations will push you

The honesty will blow things up

The depth will shock you

You will grow

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Do not fear the process

Do not give up on the way

Do not doubt the outcome

You will grow

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I can’t shield you

But I will walk wit you

I can’t hide you

But I will pray for you

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Even when I am far

Even when you don’t see me

Even when I am silent

Papa is there

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Even when it feels dark

Even when you feel alone

Even when nothing seems cool

Papa is there

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He is our HOPE

He is our STRENGTH

He is our ANCHOR

He is our ALL

THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life, Walking with God

Deal & Stand Strong


Do you know that the heaviness & sadness you are feeling could be grief?

We often don’t associate grief with anything other than the loss of life but there is a lot of grief related to other things. We grieve the loss of a job, work, lifestyle, faith, hope, love, friends, networks, communities, weather etc. in different ways. Many times it isn’t large or noticeable enough for us to name it as grief, but it is just that.

Let me clarify. The deep longing for that joint in your old neighbourhood that stops you from settling in well in your new hood…that is grief. The inability to move on from the broken relationship or friendship that makes you compare, judge harshly or remain frozen with fear…that is grief. The terror that everyone who comes your way will leave you like your parents did when they died…that is grief. The anger at anyone doing better than you since you didn’t get that promotion or lost that job…that is grief. The laughter and bravado even when everything is falling apart…that is grief. There are so many causes of grief but the current containment measures have brought a rare kind of grief to light.

Many are grieving the loss of Choice.

There is a new set of rules in place. The chips won’t fall in the places we know. The cards are all down and we cannot see a way out. Nothing is the same as before and there is no road map to the future. There is fear at every turn, uncertainty at all other stops, hopelessness under ever cover and tight smiles behind every door. The truth is…many have just realised how limited their choices are and have always been.

Was it always this way? Likely! Did we ever see it as so? Never! Why? There was an illusion of a thousand choices but in reality there were very few. Think about it; educated or uneducated, employed or unemployed, unliked or liked, unfair or fair, safe or insecure, sweet or sour, bad or nice, dark or light and the list goes on. We rarely looked at those doing different as really having an option to succeed.

Did you ever think that you would be at home but someone with a lower income than you would be out and about? Did you ever think your weren’t an essential worker in your company, now you are home and the cleaner is there? Did you ever realise that you would be put into jail for being outside after 7 pm yet the nurse next door can come and go at will?

Life as we knew it has changed and so must we.

People in the credit arms of many banks are stranded because their work meant they were on the road meeting clients but unless they innovate quickly they will be out of jobs. There are no clients to visit, no loans to give, no payments to collect and no growth for their departments. Small businesses selling imported goods from China have no stock, dead stock or no sales because people are saving for food and other essentials. Cab drivers have fewer customers at lower fares and work shorter periods but must still make ends meet. Yet some of the young people around are tired and bored because they cannot party.

When will they realise that life has changed? When will they understand that they cannot go on the same way? Who will tell them no? Who will stop their extravagance? When will they understand that we get exactly what we put into life back so unless they focus on good inputs their outcomes will be a big mess? Will they ever understand the correlation between their mindset, their current station and the future possibilities? They must if they are to survive.

Things must change if we are to find hope.

When the Israelites went into captivity in Daniel 1, the king ordered that the educated and teachable young men of noble birth to be raised as the leaders for the next generation. Many qualified but only four have stories told about them, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, later called Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego.

The thing that stood out for me is Daniel 1:8, But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself…’ He made a conscious decision to remain true to who he knew he was no matter what. He went to pray even when he knew people were plotting against him to catch him at it so they could get him killed. He kept to his pattern regardless of which king was in place or whichever edict was declared.

He lost his ability to choose where to live, how to be educated, when to rise. He lost his freedom of movement. He lost his connection to the homeland. He lost access to his spiritual leaders, the scripture and community to fellowship with. He lost family and friends. He lost more than he ever thought possible but he never lost hope.

His hope for stability was in knowing whose he is and where he is going.

The hope for all of us is in knowing the things that anchor us. Am I harping on the need to know why you are here and what season it is? Absolutely! Why? There is no other way forward. If a man is only here to make money and be able to travel, he has nothing to lean on now. If a pastor only has tithe and offering as his support, he is baseless right now. If a mother has only her children and they are separated right now, she is restless and fearful. If a child only had the coming transition to the next level of education, he or she is lost for sure.

It is ok to feel the sense of loss and there’s no need to pretend all is well when there’s grief. Just don’t get stuck there. Rail, scream, cry and let it out. Lean on a friend and pour it out. Call on your Father in heaven and have it out with him. Then get back up and walk on dealing step by step. Take a step every day to deal with it, take a bite of the grief and digest it bit by bit. Make a pact with yourself to process the realities and feelings leaving nothing to chance therefore growing into true faith.

You can deal and stand strong through any season.

You don’t need the whole world on your side when you have a clear word from and stand in God. He will lead and guide you to the right people at the right time in the right combination to help you stand. He will also make you the right person, at the right time, in the right place and combination to help another stand. Like Daniel, when you have faced the challenge and connected to the reality of God, nothing will ever be impossible again.

You are assigned to this season to become an example of walking with God and changing your corner of the world. Make the choice to acknowledge where you are, deal with the situation and remain standing on His word for it sanctifies and strengthens because it is truth.

Shalom.

Photo by Simon Migaj on Pexels.com
The Simple Life, Walking with God

The WORD


Know the Word God gave you; 
BELIEVE; 
Speak that word every day; 
Pray the word; 
Depend on the word; 
Defend the word. 
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To contend for the word, 
Be the one who stands their ground 
STAND until the word comes to pass. 
Do not be deceived it will not be easy 
Yet it is simple; 
Just STAND. 
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Stand and don’t cede ground.
Stand in faith 
BELIEVE He is true
KNOW His Word never fails 
I t is simple;
Just STAND
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Know the Word God gave you;
BELIEVE it thoroughly;
Speak it every day;
Pray the Word;
Depend on the Word;
Defend the Word.
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The WORD produces 
The WORD performs 
The WORD changes 
The WORD fortifies
The WORD fertilises
Depend on the Word
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The WORD is reliable
The WORD is living 
The WORD is active
The WORD is a sword
The WORD is a divider 
Depend on the Word

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THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life, Walking with God

The Unveiling


You know the saying that we give birth to ourselves? I encountered its fullness yesterday.

The young king is a master planner like me and boy oh boy, he is better than I was at his age. He is so good and has been quietly scheming about my birthday for two weeks. On Tuesday he says, ‘Don’t worry about dinner today and I will also take care of the kitchen tomorrow.’ Now who wouldn’t want a break from the kitchen?

We got up for an early morning class that didn’t work, so I went back to sleep. I now know he was glad I slept because he had time to put the rest of his plan to work. Aki, these young ones watch and learn more from that than conversations. I had a call at noon so I got up after 11, caught up with my sister and prepped for the call. That call…wow…it was absolutely brilliant, maybe one day I will tell the full story.

After the call was done, the king says, ‘Your lunch is in the sitting room,’ and I find my favourite meal ready and waiting…for those who have never tasted matoke and groundnut sauce; I have no words. As I settle down, and take the first bite, a birthday message begins to play on the TV. This young man sent a request to specific people asking them to send me a birthday video and he even gave them a timeline of submission.

Honestly, I thought something was afoot but decided not to think about it.

The seamless nature of the day including sending his grandmother to do his shopping for my gift ahead of time, the right beverages at the right time, participating in a call with family, the arrival of a chocolate fudge cake and dinner, got me thinking. If a soon to be thirteen year old can do things with such precision, what of my Father in heaven?

Before He knit me in my mother’s womb He knew that in 2020, there would be a time of sheltering and containment during my birthday season and I would need a creative young king around to pull off some serious magic. He knew that I would be so consumed with seeking direction for the year to come that there would be enough space and covering for the young king to manoeuvre and accomplish his assignment. He knew what would be needed and ensured I’d trained the young king with firmness and diligence, refusing to back down when things got hard.

Surely God has a plan for everything.

The current situation of containment was carefully planned by God and he’d been preparing me. The story my life has to tell is tied to me being at peace in God no matter the situation. The course of my life and all the challenges therein has begun to make sense yet I know there is still more to understand. So I have to be in school with God for the rest of my days.

I sit on this side of the New Year certain of a few things:

  1. The only thing that will get me through this phase of life and every phase to come is the WORD of God. The written word of scripture and the spoken word from revelation and meditation.
  2. There are people destined to walk with and hold me to account therefore I must, yes must, seek to know them by The Spirit, connect with them and walk in truth and honesty. FAMILY.
  3. There is no room for double mindedness only discipline, devotion and commitment. I must set my heart and mind to accomplish all that God has set out for me regardless of the things that will come. FOCUS and FIDELITY.
  4. There is path that only I can follow to attain and become. There is a way my life will to become that is guided, girded and founded in God. PROCESS
  5. Nothing is random, nothing is a mistake, it is all carefully planned and orchestrated by the Master of all things, Adonai. I must depend on him in totality because all things are working together for my good. TRUST.
  6. There are things I haven’t done before and places I haven’t been that now must be conquered for Him. Therefore I must step out on every instruction no matter who or what in the knowledge that though it is a new path, it is ordained by God to bring Him glory. BOLDNESS

I am sure where you are in your walk or if you are encouraged or discouraged. All I know is that there is a way our lives have changed and there is no normal to go back to. Find time in this season of sheltering and containment to clarify who you are and how you must be from now onward, then walk in it.

Shalom

Sunrise over Lake Nakuru by Samuel Phillips

The Simple Life, Walking with God

Stand


The word of God is our roots,

The word of God is our anchor,

The word of God is our strong tower.

The word of God stands

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Child of God, take a deep breath and be still.

Hear the voice of God.

Turn your ear to Him

Listen to hear, really hear

Take the time to understand.

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Understand the word,

Understand the call,

Understand the assignment,

Understand the position,

Understand the posture,

Understand the process.

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The word of God must be heard;

The word of God must be taken to heart

The word of God must lived out.

The word of God is transformational

The word of God changes our minds,

The word of God shifts our hearts,

The word of God gives us strength to go on

The word of God should never be taken lightly.

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KNOW the Word God gave you;

BELIEVE the word God gave you;

SPEAK that word every day;

PRAY the word every day;

DEPEND on the word God gave you;

 DEFEND the word.

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CONTEND for the word,

Stand your ground until it is established.

Do not be deceived it will be easy

Know that it is simple;

Simply STAND.

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STAND and don’t cede ground.

STAND don’t give in

STAND don’t lose hope

STAND in faith

STAND because He will prevail

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The Simple Life, Walking with God

Listening & Shifting


Earlier this year I wrote a post called ‘Unsettled’ that has come back to me so heavily today that I went back to read it. The crux of the post is that God messed with my life and took out everything I had allowed to take greater importance than Him.

I now know it was highlighted today because my heart is once again unsettled. In the midst of the current state of affairs, it is easy to be shifted into panic mode or extreme busyness or deep stillness and each on must choose. Up until today, I thought my choices were balanced but now it is clear they were slowly getting out of whack.

I needed to rethink it all

My work has increased since life changed because my people have time to write and think and develop and I am a supporting piece to their growth. It has also increased because doors that were slightly ajar have swung open and the foundations of these collaborations need to be laid and laid well. I have also been grappling with the fact that I need to hear before I move but the pressure to keep running has been steadily rising until today when like a police man at the traffic lights, Papa said, ‘STOP!’

This afternoon, after a marathon morning of meetings, webinars, online posts and pending work, I asked myself, ‘Will any of these things die or self-destruct if I put them down for a bit?’ The answer was no, so I put it all away. I placed my phone down, put my work on hold and took a two hour timeout. Yes, two hours. I just needed to recalibrate urgently because internally I was churning and unsettled.

You see, every time I am unsettled it means several things:

Papa needs to say something or clarify something

A change is afoot

I am off track and running the race on my own.

The one that scares me the most is the last one because I never want to be caught running the race myself. Why? I have done it before and it is never pretty. So I needed to grind life to a stop for a bit. I stretched out on my bed in the middle of the afternoon listening to music and trying to be still but my mind wouldn’t stop racing for a while. It took a little time, but eventually it all slowed to a stop.

All the things I was doing and working on were adding value to others and meeting my assigned role but the intensity they generated was throwing me off guard and balance. If I had been paying more careful attention, I would have noticed earlier how things were being reassigned and realigned because a change needed to be made. My mind needed to shift.

Those moments of stillness changed something in me.

These are the days of shifting and the adjustments will keep being made until I am running efficiently by God’s plan and standard not mine. I rest assured that I am not yet at peak and so I must recalibrate more often. So I have settled it in my heart that adjustment is part of my new normal. Moments to stop, breathe deeply, listen and change direction will be many more. I must keep on this track and run this race well.

What is making your mind race at this time? What is making your anxious? Do you realise nothing is ever going to be like it was before? Nothing will ever be the same so we must discover our new normal and hold onto that. Yet even though that discovery is harder than most of us thought possible it is possible and must be pursued.

So off I go to keep listening and shifting. You are free to join me.

Shalom

Photo by Paula on Pexels.com