Category Archives: THE CHRISTIAN WALK

So little has changed.

This week I had a conversation with some teenagers that upset me.

One of them shared how in their school, the girls must pull their socks up and under their skirts all day so that no part of their legs is visible. Apparently, the sight of their legs can cause their male teachers to be distracted. Really?

Why was I so upset?

If you cannot see it, let me explain. Why are we making fourteen-year-olds responsible for the behaviour of adult men? Why is it their responsibility, yet it is the men who should know by now how to control their urges? This story upset me because I heard the same thing as a teenager. At the same time, the boys around weren’t taught anything about managing their appetites until they were older.

Why do we make men’s behaviour the responsibility of women?

I understand that men are visual but are we saying they cannot control their appetites? To say that they cannot control the attraction and subsequent action is to say they are wild animals; that is not true. My experience has been that as we tell girls to be decent and control themselves, we are not telling the boys anything.

It is sad to hear boys put girls down or misunderstand their actions. As a result of this misinformation, when a girl says no, many assume she means yes. When she is assaulted and raped, it is her fault. If she wears a short skirt or form-fitting dress, she asks for something sexual. When attacked, the first question is about what she wore that day. Why?

This narrative must change!

We must teach our sons to be responsible for their thoughts and resultant actions. Man is created as the priest, protector, provider and leader so that the women are under his care. How can he demand that the one he should protect is responsible for his protection? How does he turn around, assault her and make it her fault? How can he say that she is the reason he did something so nasty to her?

Let us teach our sons their role; to stand up for their sisters and not gaslight them into shame and fear. Let us train the men to stand up and defend the women and girls before they are preyed on by others. It is time to make the men responsible for their actions and those of their brothers. They must hold one another to account for their appetites and the outcome of their actions.

Today I am just sad because, on this matter, very little has changed.

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Love is a CHOICE

I have listened to many people talk about love over the years. Only recently has love begun making sense. As we grew up, we bought into the notion that love is a feeling of warmth in the heart and a perfect mutual relationship with equal input from both parties. We thought that with love for one another, we would never disagree or be at odds with people we loved. We assumed that love magically removed discord, hurt and pain by inputting softness and sweetness. So imagine our surprise when we fought the most with people we loved. How could that be? 

Through my journey, I have listened and talked about love. Now I clearly see that I have missed many things. I discovered depths of truth I did not expect and great sadness in myself and others. I found many broken hearts like mine that needed healing hidden behind thick walls for protection. I realised that: 

I cannot force someone to love me; people have a choice to reciprocate or not. 

Love is not a feeling because feelings fade over time.

Love has to be modelled and taught because it is so complex.

Love is not limited; there is room for many people: family, friends, and community.

Love is different things to different people

Love never keeps silent 

Today I can confidently say that love is a choice because everything about love is a CHOICE.

A choice to stay

A choice to leave

A choice to give

A choice to receive

A choice to share 

A choice to care

A choice to rest 

A choice to awaken

A choice to rise

A choice to sit

A choice to learn

A choice to grow

A choice to check-in

A choice to check on

A choice to hold

A choice to let go

A choice to speak up

A choice to keep quiet

A choice to follow

A choice to lead

A choice to protect

A choice to provide

A choice to submit

A choice to obey

A choice to follow in the footsteps of Christ

I still grapple with elements of love because I see new complexities daily. There are now shadows I had refused to deal with that I must now face. There are realities of life that demand confronting so I can share real depth with my generations. There are questions I face every day that need the honesty to overcome. I now know that if we do not talk about the things that confound us about love, we leave the next generation with a false view of life that can severely hamper their lives.

I can only say one thing, And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Cor 13:13

I CHOOSE love daily, even though I don’t understand it fully.

Lip Service? No Thanks

This week’s conversations have stopped me in my tracks because of the life’s reality.

First an acquaintance shared how they have not been paid for over six months and the approved budget from head office has an allocation for the coming months but nothing for the past ones. How now? Chatting with one of my young people I learnt that their parents have been downsized or have reduced hours and the family of five is trying to live less than I spend of vegetables. The final conversation was with someone who still has regular hours but has had a thirty five percent cut in their regular pay.

Question: how do these families afford to live? I do not know!!

Our current interventions are focused more on the adults, but the youth and children are in the middle of the fight of their life. Many of our younger folk have fewer skills for this season than the adults. Many adults have had to change direction and adjust but most of the young ones have never had to. We have trained them to expect a set action produces set outcomes from life, specific responses to set actions, yet now that isn’t working.

I finally paid attention when I heard one of my young ones ask how they would get something to eat every day. He was asking about the whole family, not just himself. He also mentioned seeing many of his peers become atheists because God has ‘failed’ them.

There was young girl on BBC the other day, talking about how life has changed. They still try to study together to keep on track but it is hard without the input of teachers and access to enough books. It is also hard to study because of the amount of housework they need to do every day. Another one said the pressure to keep reading at full steam even though their exams are moved to next year is tiring.

It is harder for the young ones than we think.

Could we do better to help them deal with the current situation and life in general? Have we sat together to talk about life in true colour? Have we shared the challenges we go through daily? Have we shown them how to adjust to the unexpected or to deepen their walk using meditation and processing? Have we taught them to think deeply and find solutions or are they waiting for directions from us?

On the other hand, could it be that many adults don’t even know how to adjust for changes or even prepare for the unexpected? Maybe we are the ones who need to re-calibrate first before our children and young people can learn to re-calibrate. I challenge you to dig deep and ask questions like, What is your strategy? What is your pattern of responding to life? Do you panic and pretend to be more than you are? Are you able to honestly say what is going on? Are you driven to hide the struggle by shame? Are you confident in God to make a way or are you doing it on your own?

The starting point is provided for us in Deuteronomy 11:18-20 

18 “Therefore you shall [a]lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 19 You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 20 And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates,

This is an echo of Joshua 1:8-9…

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you[a] shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

We cannot teach something we are not.

God calls us to trust Him no matter the circumstance and to believe that everything will work out no matter what. Indeed, it was easier before, but God still remains the only hope and He will get us all through no matter how it looks.

If we haven’t learnt to lean into God, how do we teach our children to do the same? If I don’t believe He can move the mountain and walk with us, can I teach the children? How do I expect them to believe if my life is not proof of my walk with God? The proof is in the pudding, and the pudding in this case is the reality of walking with God in my life. It is in a shift in my behaviour, attitude, beliefs, responses. It is the clarity of how I deal with them and lead them into deep relationship with God as I make a difference in the marketplace where I am positioned.

Unless they see me live out the word with confidence, they won’t believe it is possible or even possible. If I do not teach and showcase meditation on the word and application, I cannot expect them to do the same. If we do not meditate and keep the word in sight, how can we be strong and of good courage? How are we unafraid or not dismayed if our hope is not grounded in God?

Lip service does not work with our children.

It is no longer enough to say you love God and follow Him. It is no longer enough to live a wishy-washy life. It is no longer possible to fake your faith as you stay with your children in close quarters. They see your reality. They see your faith or lack thereof. They understand the truth of who you are and will question it. They will see how you deal with people and follow suit. They will understand the truth of your life and work or the lack thereof.

This season is about deliberate action, deliberate connection, deliberate devotion and commitment. It is about living out our beliefs and values. It is about honest conversations and examples. Stop and have that conversation with the children and young people in your home and around you. Take time to share your life’s truth and the things that keep you on track.

It is time to be bare and brutal with the truth of life, that will allow them to thrive from today onwards.

Shalom.

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Always With Me

The sun warms me

The wind refreshes me

The stars fascinate me

The night sounds revive me

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The grass delights me

The flowers light the day

The rain renews life

The clouds travel

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The children’s laughter tickles

Their joy is infectious

Their innocence enlightens

They give new life

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They are curious

They are cheeky

They are relentless

They never tire

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You Papa are like them

You never tire of me

You never give up

You never leave me

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You hold my hand

You hold me close

You lift me up

You are always there

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You are the only faithful one

You are the only reliable one

You are the closest companion

You are the greatest support

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But For Your Grace

I am broken

But for Your grace

I am lost

But for Your grace

I am fallen

But for Your grace

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I am shaken

But for Your grace

I am destroyed

But for Your grace

I am weak

But for Your grace

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I am nothing

But for Your grace

I would be done

But for Your grace

I do not know

But for Your grace

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I do not understand

But for Your grace

I do not get it

But for Your grace

I do not have strength

But for Your grace

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I am nobody

But for Your grace

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Father You are God

You are God

You are God

You ARE God

I declare You are God

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Emmanuel God with me

Emmanuel all loving

Emmanuel all powerful

Emmanuel gracious and kind

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Emmanuel glorious deliverer

Emmanuel all wise

Emmanuel all powerful

Emmanuel, You are God

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Father your name be praised

Your plan is secure

You are my source of hope

You are my redeemer & keeper

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Shalom

I am struggling:

Coloured wave on the sea
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I see reading all around me

I see people growing

I see lives shifting

But I am struggling

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I hear the word of grace

I hear words of hope

I hear talk of growth

But I am struggling

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I see words of prophecy

I read words from God

I hear people pray

Yet I am struggling

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Father help me

Spirit strengthen me

Jesus hold me

I am struggling

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My heart breaks every day

My spirit is weak

My soul yearns for connection

I am struggling

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I can’t take another step

I can’t even get up

I can’t pray at all

I am struggling

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I am tired & worn out

I am sad

I am lonely

I am struggling

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How do I walk on?

How do I thrive?

How do I rise?

I am struggling

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How do I find hope?

How do I connect to strength?

How do I find peace?

I am struggling

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Cover me please

Hold me up please

Strengthen my walk

For I am struggling

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I cannot rise alone

I cannot believe alone

I cannot walk alone

I am struggling

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Dear God

If you don’t come through

If I can’t rise

I will keep struggling

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I don’t want to stagnate

I don’t want to die

I don’t want to get stuck

I don’t want to keep struggling

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Hidden

Here I stand in the middle of a crowd

Yet unseen

Here I am on the hill

Yet unseen

Here I stand by the water

Yet unseen

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Many ask to be hidden

Yet I am unseen

Many asked to be shielded

Yet I am unseen

Many avoid the attention

Yet I am unseen

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It feels like I am transparent

Yes unseen

It feels like my day never comes

Yes unseen

It feels dark everyday

Yes unseen

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How can I be so hidden?

How can I be so unseen?

How do I miss the light?

How do I walk so light footed?

How can I be found?

Why am I unseen?

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I wasn’t born to be unseen

I wasn’t born to be a shadow

I wasn’t born to be a tree

I wasn’t born to be a blade of grass

Yet that is how I feel

For I am unseen

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Will this ever change?

Will I one day rise?

Will the day dawn?

Will the light shine on me?

Will the darkness lift?

Will I ever be seen?

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Why do you want to so visible child?

Why is the limelight so important?

Why are so enamoured?

Why do you smell of desperation?

Why do you get so upset?

When I have made you unseen

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You are hidden under my wings

You are kept in the cleft of the rock

You are hidden in my house

You are kept in the place of safety

You are hidden to be secure

You shall be seen

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You are hidden as you grow

You are hidden as you rise

You are hidden as you become

You are hidden as you gain strength

You are hidden until you are ready

You shall be seen

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There is a plan

There is a lifeline

There is a process

There is a pattern

There is a destination

You shall be seen

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Be still

Be patient

Be diligent

Be strong

Be wise

Await your unveiling

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There is a time

There is a place

There is a day

There is a way

There is an outburst

Await your unveiling

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You will be seen

face hidden
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Haves & Have Nots

Every time I thought about the haves and have nots, I would think about extremely rich people sipping champagne in their homes overlooking pristine green lawns just beyond their swimming pool. Or people living in leafy suburbs, who ever created that phrase, with two or more expensive cars in the drive, children in high end schools with trips abroad and holidays at exotic destinations. People living lives I envied.

It had always been clear that I did not belong to the haves and I needed to aspire to become one. We were taught to pursue possession and position with the intention of getting away from our roots of struggle and make a better life. This gave rise to clusters of things that would divide us into haves and have nots including education, place of origin, residence, type of home, tribe, languages spoken, place of work, position to name a few.

So imagine my surprise when my eyes begun to see another dimension.

In reality there will always be people who have more than me and those with less. There will always be something to aspire to, something to let go of, something to dream about and something to intentionally grow into. Unless I adjust my realities and perceptions I will always feel like a have not even when I have abundance with and within me.

We were raised to pursue recognition for power and influence but what if I already have so much more than I could ever dream? What if the things that cloud my vision is my world view? What if I need a different set of eyes and ears? It is quite simple…I must look at life from a place of gratitude and appreciation of what I already have. I must adopt a focus on tracking the good in my life will shift my focus and make me a better person to live with and be around.

I never thought I was a have until I realised I was.

It became apparent that I have many blessings that others don’t. Let me explain. If I have a roof over my head and a warm bed, I am a have. If my child can go to school every term with minimal stress, I am a have. If I can smile and celebrate life with people I love and appreciate, I am a have. If I still have a guaranteed job in this season, I am have. If I have peace of mind right now, I am most definitely a have.

If I have food on the table and water in my taps, I am a have. If I have hope for tomorrow and faith it will all work, I am a have. If I have a place to keep learning and growing, I am a have. If can take a holiday every once in a while, I am a have. If I have access to higher education when I need it, I am a have. If I have money to travel to and from work and other places I am a have. If I am loved deeply and truly, I am a have.

I am a have because I can get into a vehicle and travel to another county to work of visit friends, I don’t have to worry about my child being bored and hopeless because he is still able to access school and e-learning, my family is still together and adjusting well to spending so much time around each other.

Reality check: having isn’t about possessions, money or power.

Too often we are preoccupied with what we don’t have and spend our lives complaining about it yet we are in a good place. It is all about perspective and understanding. In Genesis the children of Israel were invited to live in Goshen and escape from the great famine God had predicted through Joseph. They came to fulfil the prophesy God gave in Gen 15:13 that they would be in captivity for four hundred and thirty years.

In Exodus we find them leaving Egypt in victory but later wandering the desert. They spent so much time complaining when Moses asked for their freedom and Pharaoh became obstinate. They spent even more time complaining about food and water in the dessert yet they were loaded with jewellery and fine linen. They were led by a pillar of light and cloud, they had manna provided every day and had the greatest signs and wonders of God provided for a whole people. They were in the sweet spot with God’s plan yet they complained and whined a lot.

They didn’t realise they are true haves…the one’s in God’s heart.

I must realise that I am a have because God loves me, created me for a reason and has given me a lot. I must understand that to him who much is given much is required so God has a big plan for me that I must rise into. There are places of growth in all of us to be fullness of the plan of God and I can only attain them if I stay close to him no matter what. I am a have because I have options and not because I have famous people around me.

As I look around and realise that I am a have because I cannot walk away from the plan of God. I am a have because the patterns of my life are building to a climax that must attain the will of God. I am a have because God has richly blessed me with life and love beyond measure.

Things come to a head when I must accept that I am a have then make my life count.

To think of myself as a have not changes my balance and sense of life and leads to complaining like the Israelites and we all know where that landed them. I must choose to be different and change my life and help others do the same. There are a few things that will make a lasting change to the state of my heart:

  • Acceptance: Appreciate what I have and have had in the past
  • Joy: Choose to be content with what I have and grateful what whatever else God is about to bring my way.
  • Speak out: Notice and stand up for those who have less and need an advocate.
  • Give: Find someone to share the bounty of my life with.

Shalom

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Pace, Pace, Pace

Moving as one

Thinking as one

Walking as one

It is harder than we think

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Pacing is walking together

Pacing is working as one

Pacing is connecting deeply

Pacing is a divine connection

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How do two walk together?

How do they come into agreement?

How do they retain oneness?

They pace themselves

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Pacing is deep

It is mutual interest

It is deep trust

It is deep understanding

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Pacing is transformational

It shifts thought patterns

It resolves uncertainty

It dissolves insecurity

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Pacing is defended

It is protected in prayer

It is preserved in communion

It is all about life assignments

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When God determined units

He established patterns of life

He set the goals of their fruit

He holds the people to account

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Know your community

Know your pacers

Know your assignment

Know your connections

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Pace prayerfully

Pace diligently

Pace obediently

Pace, pace, pace

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Stripped But Stable

So many things have fallen apart for some of us and it is scary. I have had countless conversations recently and they all lead back to anger, frustration, fear, worry and doubt. There have been job losses, pay cuts, loss of business, relationship conflict and so much more. The very things we have held close and viewed as proof of God at work in us have been ‘taken’ away and most of us don’t know what to do.

For so long we have sought simple, comfortable lives as evidence that we are in the right place with God. We have been content to learn habits and ways of life that have the appearance of good but don’t get us anywhere. We judge one another against standards that do us no good because they are external but we don’t even know they aren’t adding value.

We have been stripped of our ability to plan our lives.

We have lost the ability to see beyond tomorrow because we have nothing to hold onto. Think about how you started 2020. It was full of hope and peace but as we have gotten deeper into the year, it has become more challenging by the day. Remember the fireworks? Remember the celebration? I remember it so clearly.

We usually go to Carnivore to watch fireworks and it is usually a long heart stopping drive to get in and find the right parking spot then walk to the place with a perfect view if there are trees overhead where you are parked. This time we didn’t go in rather we settled on Langata road just around the exit from the bypass. I had known as we drove into Nairobi, I knew we wouldn’t be at the usual joint but I didn’t know why.

The atmosphere was different that day but I didn’t understand that.

I remember the clarity that we do something there was something different that day and nothing would be ordinary then and would be in 2020. I didn’t know what the actual mechanics would be but I knew in my heart something was different. There was a kind of charge in the atmosphere as if we had the opportunity to connect to something much bigger than us if only we understood it.

It was also different because unlike other years, we came straight back home and settled down to sleep. What do we usually do? We go out for tea with friends and stay up all night hanging out. 2020 started with deep reflection and conversation filled with calmness.

The thing that comes to my mind today is how deliberate God is.

Even as everywhere I look, I see despair and sadness because of the uncertainty around me, I know that is not the whole story. I don’t have to understand the whole story, because I know the writer. I don’t have to know the whole path, because I know my leader. I don’t have to have the full picture because His eyes are on the end game.

I know 2020 will be the best year yet. I know the goodness of God is available to me. I know God’s love abounds and covers me. I know I can trust Him who put the world together. I know that nothing can separate me from His love so I am safe. I know my Redeemer lives and I can lean on Him. He is my strong tower, shield and buckler, the strength of my life and my eternal portion.

I am strong and secure because my Father is the One.

I will lift up my eyes to the hills – From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.

He will not allow your foot to [a]be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel Shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your [b]keeper; The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day, Nor the moon by night.

Psalms 121:1-6

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