THE CHRISTIAN WALK

#Renewed by Nature


I am continually struck by the beauty of creation and the glory of the fullness of God. As I sit at my desk and I need inspiration, I find myself looking at beautiful pictures, lively colours, simple things and quotes. I have begun to find deep peace and inspiration in the simple things that God created and the lovely people that He has given us to live with. I am astounded every day at how small things can inspire. There are scriptures that inspire me too and below is one of the greatest ones.

Picture courtesy of Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura
Picture courtesy of Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura

Psalm 24 (KJV)

1 The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.

For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.

Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?

He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.

He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.

Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, theLord mighty in battle.

Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

10 Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory.

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I walk more these days and the experience of the outdoors has opened up doors and ideas of things that I may never have found. In the outdoors I have experienced greater peace and calmness yet at the same time, the serenity has opened my heart and mind to face some deeply hidden parts of me. The parts and levels that I may never have reached because of the pressures of my life. In this place I came to realise that there is order and sense we need to make about this life that cannot be done if we are not truthful to ourselves and find places of stillness and peace.

“The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and they that dwell therein.” V1

Picture courtesy of Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura
Picture courtesy of Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura

This resonates with me because I realise that I am here on a very set and established timeline and for a set and established purpose. The purpose question stayed with me a lot. I realised that I could be looking for my purpose in big things and deep connections yet it was in small and seemingly insignificant things. Simple things came to me in different and amazing places. I realised that walking along the roadside and driving along in a car provides very different perspectives. Travelling in a public transport vehicle and riding on the back of a public service motorbike also gives astoundingly different perspectives.

The bigger question is how these perspectives affect how I live out my God given purpose.

I decided to let go of my previous perceptions and learn to seek new explanations and opportunities where I am. That is when I realised that I have met amazing people as I have walked some really long distances. The biting cold wind on the back of a motorbike gave me incredibly fresh thoughts (no pun intended). I discovered many things about me as I was sitting in the traffic listening to a radio station I naturally wouldn’t pick just because I was in a public vehicle. I have had personal and social conversations with travellers are we drove together in personal vehicles from A to B. I have walked along newly paved and lit roads at night that in the past were no go zones. The variety of these experiences has inspired me and created valuable and life changing experiences. I discovered things I didn’t know about myself that I now love.

Recently I took a motor bike to get to a meeting and I found myself leaning into the direction of the turn as the driver took corners and sitting upright behind the driver to avoid excess wind. I was suddenly aware that I had become comfortable with bikes (as long as they aren’t being driven at high speeds). My heart was no longer in my throat as we drove along. A few weeks before the motor bike experience, I was walking from one side of a suburb to another and the pace I was keeping caught the attention of a fellow walker. He was an older gentleman and we walked together for a long distance. He shared lots of insights and laughs that made the distance much shorter than it would have been if I was alone. I learnt so much from him and my spirits lifted. As we parted, a friend I needed to speak with called me and he was across the road from where I was and was headed in the direction I was heading. You can imagine my excitement when the day ended and I sat to think it through.

The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness there of… This fullness means that my life has meaning and purpose and every day has a purpose that must be fulfilled. I must therefore live in an ever present state of awareness that there are things to do, words to say, prayers to make and places to visit that will help me fulfil my purpose as well as help others fulfil theirs. In the book, Divine Inspiration; the key to extraordinary living; Dr. Albert Odulele says something I find totally profound…he says:

“There is ‘substantial creativity’ in you and many await it for the alleviation of their sufferings. When the things locked in you are

Picture courtesy of Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura
Picture courtesy of Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura

unveiled, joy, peace and an improved quality of life will be the direct by-product for all those who benefit from it.”

So the questions I ask myself every night…

  • Am I living the life I was sent here to live?
  • Am I having the impact that was designed for me?
  • Am I concerned about the insignificant or significant?
  • Has my day lived up to its full potential and impact?

Wow…let’s keep walking this faith walk

 

 

THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life

Abounding Love


 

IMG_20130428_102554 Deuteronomy 7:9

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.
Joshua 22:5

But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you: to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to keep his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.

IMG_20130428_102510Psalm 42:8
By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life.

Psalm 45:7
You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.

Psalm 51:1
Psalm 51 ] [ For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba. ] Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.

Psalm 52:8
But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.

Psalm 69:13
But I pray to you, Lord, in the time of your favor; in your great love, O God, answer me with your sure salvation. IMG_20130428_130813

Psalm 98:3

He has remembered his love and his faithfulness to Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
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Jesus Loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so, Little ones to Him belong, They are weak but He is Strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes, Jesus loves me, The Bible Tells me so

 

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Revelation


 

SMALL STRAWS IN A SOFT WIND by MARSHA BURNS: 20.08.12

If you will seek My face and purpose to obey My leading, I will bring you to a new level of clarity that will establish you in the flow of My Spirit and peace.  I want you to know the difference between having peace by way of fulfilling the desires of your soul and the peace that comes from true relationship with Me, says the Lord.

Philippians 4:6-7  

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and  supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

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Revelation is the only way to live. When we seek God and stand with what he has said. Clarity comes when we hear and remain locked and loaded with the word. Revelation unlocks the way to the next success and the ability to keep going.

  •  Do you walk in revelation?
  • Are you connected to the source and power point?
  • Where do you need to plug in?

May revelation come to you and stay with you all the days of your life.

 

The Simple Life

No negativity


SMALL STRAWS IN A SOFT WIND by MARSHA BURNS:

Take a stand, and refuse to be controlled by the negativity of others.  The enemy will use bitterness to defile you and everything it touches.  You must set a watch and not allow disagreement and opposition to hinder My purposes in and around you.  It is serious business for those who insist on defiling the atmosphere and quenching My Spirit, says the Lord.

Hebrews 12:15  Looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.

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Often when we hear about negative energy we call it a new age thing. This reading today confirmed things for me that I have been thinking about for a while. Who I spend time with by choice or by default affects the atmosphere around me.

In the midst of my daily life I interact with people and bump into strangers who have opinions and attitudes. These could be positive or negative and I need to be on watch for the same.

 

Recently I was in the bank and heard an elderly foreign man telling off one of the customer service attendants. The bottom line of what he said was that we will never move forward as a nation because there is a critical flaw in us as a Kenyan people. He somehow believes that we will never really amount to much and we cannot see change through. I stood there thinking WHAT????

Okay some of the things he put forward made sense like the fact that we have got so much money as ‘aid’ that will need to be repaid yet most of us don’t think about that. Partly true but don’t we currently fund a bigger portion of our budget locally these days? Aren’t more of us working hard to build local businesses that are pushing the envelope and making greater economic progress? Aren’t we receiving more investment from Kenyans in the diaspora? They why did he feel that there was no hope for the nation? It must be based on the people he interacts with regularly.

 

So I got thinking…how much of the future of my life and this nation am I allowing to be affected and changed by the choices of others. How seriously am I thinking about what people are saying about me and the life around me? Do I know where I am headed? Do I declare success of my life and those around me? Do I focus on the good and achievable and not the bad? Do I care enough for the future to be conscious of what I say?

Let us choose today to remain focused on the things that are above and conscious of our impact with our thoughts, words and deeds. Let us be aware of the impact common thought has on our surrounds and be united in the same. Let us work with those around us especially the young people to teach the power of the spoken word. Let us commit our tongues to God that he may teach us to speak with care.

THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life

Faith


SMALL STRAWS IN A SOFT WIND by MARSHA BURNS:

Refuse to allow discouragement to kill your faith.  Stay strong, and bolster your faith through reading, hearing, understanding and agreeing with My Word, says the Lord.  Keep close tabs on your thoughts and make adjustments where necessary to maintain a strong and undeniable faith.  Faith is your greatest asset, and must be protected at all cost.

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
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This says it all for me…even when life seems to be overwhelming, I have must believe that it will be well and it is all in the hands of God. I believe…I believe…I believe.

THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life

Reflect and Arise


SMALL STRAWS IN A SOFT WIND by MARSHA BURNS: 6/4/12

Take time to evaluate where you’ve been and to remember the things that you learned through your experiences.  Do not give in to the temptations that come for you to be a victim of the difficulties you have endured, but rather use those lessons as a platform and a launching pad into greater wisdom and spiritual effectiveness. Those things have made you stronger and have the potential to increase your faith if you maintain a proper perspective, says the Lord.

Romans 8:28 – And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

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This morning I was thinking about where I was exactly one year ago and I realised that there is a lot to be grateful for. I have made friends and lost friends, made contact and lost touch, loved and lost, smiled and cried. I have stretched and grown and I have become stronger than I ever thought I could be. The greatest of all is that my faith has grown.

Yet in the same breath, I must admit that several times I have sat on the floor of my life and had a big old pity party because I felt alone and depressed. There were days I felt so alone I could barely get out of bed and go on with the day. Then I would simply decide to pull myself up by my boot straps and regardless of how I feel, get out there and do something productive with my life. Clearly this is a part of the process of growth and development.

So I must choose every day to remember where I have come from not to pity myself or to make a fuss about it but rather to remind myself of all the great things God has done in my life and enabled me to do. I also realise that there is still so much more He has to change. I am in a continual change process and I must remember that the day I become perfect I will be in heaven.

Where are you today? Do you realise that no matter where you are God is there with you and He will guide and encourage you if you let Him? Walk with me as we discover God in a deeper and richer way this year.

THE CHRISTIAN WALK

Choices


Here is the thought of my day…I am certain that there is something we all do.

Was playing a game recently and I was losing pathetically. I even got penalised to sit out a couple of rounds. The thing that really got me thinking as I sat out waiting for my turn to re-enter, was the realisation that I had checked out mentally from the game a while back. For some strange reason my mind was elsewhere working through other things. The short of the long is that as I became more distracted and begun thinking about other things, there was a direct impact to the activities I was currently engaged in. Around me all the others were excited and forging ahead and I had just resigned myself to whatever comes.

Suddenly it flashed through my mind that this probably wasn’t the only place this was happening. I did a quick personal evaluation and realised that my attitude to certain areas of my life was in the same disorganised state. As I looked at the issues I realised that the results were also the same. I was surely astounded how easily things can come together. The stark reminder here was that my thoughts will direct the path of my life. This is exemplified in Proverbs 32:7 that says, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” KJV.

It was totally startling that in that moment of temporary mental dissociation I had connected to and projected the internal state of my heart into reality. In a split second I remembered that everything I do makes a differences in the way my life pans out. I realised that in the midst of life I can at times lose track of the real and meaningful connections and connectors in life with devastating effects. Further to this, Matthew 12:34 jumped out to remind me that “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” So here is the clincher, I lose focus on the way and everything falls out of plan and purpose because there is nothing to hold it together. So I could be waltzing through the day with my mind jumping from here to there accomplishing nothing and then at the end of the ask what happened.

There are things I need to do that I don’t and things I shouldn’t do that I do. These then become sources of greatness or loss. What do I need to stop doing? What do I need to start doing? What are the repercussions of the choices I am making? My choices will make or break my life. I therefore chose to take charge of my thoughts as 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “…We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

What do you need to daily, moment by moment take captive and redirect your thoughts about that will change the entire course of your life from your terms to God’s terms? What do you need to give up? What do you need to start doing?

Dear Lord, help me daily connect with you and to the realities that you have for me. Amen

THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life

God’s Way


Proverbs 20:24

24 A person’s steps are directed by the LORD.  How then can anyone understand their own way?

Proverbs 16:9

9 In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.

 

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It is interesting that we all seem to think that we are in charge of our lives when in actual fact we are not. Oh, I thought you knew that. Anyway, I discovered this truth in greater depth this week so I don’t blame you. I was reading the Proverbs this week and it is amazing how this fact is repeated periodically and in different ways all through the book. I learned from one of my teachers that repetition is for emphasis and emphasis alone; it is not a stammer.

 

So it got me thinking of Jonah. He was sent to warn a city of impending destruction and he opted to go his own way. He was in a boat going the opposite direction when a storm brewed and almost overcame the boat till they threw him overboard at his own request. He did not drown even in the deepest part of the sea rather he was swallowed by a big fish and spat out on the beach near his original destination. I must say it must have been icky to be in the belly of a large fish will all the bodily fluids and all. Anyway, he eventually arrived at the spot he was sent to and spoke the word of God. When the people came to repentance and he was stark raving mad. What he didn’t realise was that God is not bent on destruction rather he wants all men to come to him and love him and make his name known.

 

The thing I find most interesting is that even in his deliberate and great efforts to elude God he was brought back again and again to the place he had to be and the path that had been set up for him to walk and accomplish. I find this utterly remarkable. Even more awesome is the fact that God was so patient and gentle with him in an effort to bring him to the light. I realised that even today, He is as patient and gentle with me and will move to ensure that I accomplish the reason he has put me on this earth. I like Proverbs 19:21 which says, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.”

 

I need to align with the PURPOSE that God intended me to achieve or else my life be of lesser value than He intended. The thing that remains with me daily is that the purpose of the Lord prevails. Regardless of how much I resist it and try to walk in my own ways His plan for me will not change to suit me and what I want to do. It is therefore in my best interests to be still before Him and listen and meditate on Him all the time then I can be all He wants me to be and more. When I am all He wants me to be I am effective and a blessing to all.

 

Are you like me? Does it overwhelm you sometimes to keep on the path He has selected for you? Do you wonder why things are not going the way you want them to? I urge you to find your peace and rest in Him and discover His purpose for you then you will thrive. When you are sure He is the one who has said you will stand regardless of the circumstances surrounding you. I know without a doubt that being comfortable and content in Him is worth every moment and I seek to be found there daily.

 

Connect to Jehovah and walk with Him no matter what and the rest of your life will make sense. I did not say be easy, I said, will make sense…sense because you will be assured of the hand of God in all you do and that will ensure success by His standards that is better than success by our standards. Walk in His purpose for you. You are blessed.

 

THE CHRISTIAN WALK

Impact as Designed


When I least expected it my view was changed. Last Friday a colleague and I went venue searching and we ended up in a venue in one of the local forests. The thing I really was left with was the need to conserve the environment. We met the GM there and he is looking to better the place and it was amazing. He had an interesting thought process.

 

First he believes in empowering the local people to do the work and then train them to improve productivity. Second, he doesn’t think anyone should sit in one place and get comfortable at their job. One should look for comfort in their lives as well as look for opportunities to improve themselves and move on. The intention here is to make room for others at the lower rungs in life. Isn’t that amazing?

 

Isn’t that a new thought? Isn’t that the way to build an organisation? Create a place that can bring people in and improve them then let them out and on their way? Concentrate on improving lives and the ability to make impact. We all want to get people and keep them and there is a place for that in the top levels for purposes of consistency however, how many of us ever create systems that can work without us and still be as efficient to the client as if we were there? Systems that will enable us to be effective and have the kind of impact God intend us to have.

 

The local reality is different. Usually as a business owner, I am the centre of my business and as long as I am alive, well and able to work it will flourish. What happens to the design of leaving a legacy and inheritance for my children? Prov 13:22 is very clear, “A good man leaves an inheritance for his children and his children’s children but a sinners wealth is stored up for the righteous.”  I will concentrate on the first part; “A good man leaves an inheritance for his children and his children’s children…” anything else is for another day. It is God’s intention that I leave a legacy for the next two generations but how can I do that if I am not even able to take care of the current generation?

 

That thought takes me back to my thoughts on work. I am building a firm with a mandate to create great impact and wealth. You see, there is so much that needs to be done in the expansion of the kingdom yet there isn’t enough money. Think of how many people are still hungry, how many missionaries are ineffective because they do not have the right funding, there are people without bibles, clothes, homes, education….there is so much need and there are not enough resources to go around. How about the lack of schools and the need to train more teachers? There is so much to do out there and I cannot sit here and be complacent.

 

I must rise up and do what God is telling me to do whether or not you agree with me. I must get to the place where His instructions are more important to me than my personal opinions. I must connect to His voice and understand that the plans He has for all of us are good and not for evil to give us a future and a hope. I cannot but follow my destiny and work to walk in His ways and make the kind of impact I need to make.

 

Recently a man of God said that many of us are not being exposed to our destiny and to people of higher impact because we are not ready and able to withstand the onslaught of challenges that come with that kind of exposure. So, if I am destined to be so great and create such greatness for the glory of God then why have been so low financially for so long? Why have I struggled? What lessons do I still have to learn? What is it that I am not yet ready for? One thing I know is that I am filled with a deep desire to just get to know God and understand Him and His purpose for my life. I am beginning to understand what Christ meant when He said, “Seek first the Kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you.” Matt 6:33. Wow…the answer is in being in the place He desires me to be and in the line with His will all the while listening to His directions and walking in obedience.

 

Ok, so what does it take to be where we need to be in life? Obedience! When God says move we move. When HE says stay we stay. When He says wait we wait. I know that I am in the midst of something great and the only way I can latch on to it is to obey. I know I have written a lot about obedience in the last few months but it is a message that is refusing to let go of my heart and each time I put a hand to the keyboard it jumps out at me. This is the key I see for the way things will unfold to the honour and glory of the God the Father. I don’t know about you but at this time when all is said and done I want to be so sure of my calling, destiny and impact on this earth that it is worth aligning to the plans and focus of God.

 

THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life

What my heart wants


A couple of weeks back I was sitting with some girlfriends and we were talking about life and what we had always hoped to get out of it. I know we were all somewhat disappointed in the way had things turned out and we reminisce to what we always wanted to happen and make life what we always dreamed it to be. The most common ones were I want:

  • My spouse to help me with the work in the house
  • My spouse to take care of the devotional times and not be the one to initiate always
  • My spouse to take the kids to church
  • My spouse to understand me
  • Us to be free of the struggle to make ends meet
  • To be debt free
  • My boss this and that
  • My folks this and that

And on and on the list went and down the spiral of despair we went. At the end of the day we were not in good shape but we felt better because we had vented and got it off our chests. Misery loves company and at that point I did not realise I had just been in the midst of misery and had a strange feeling about that at the end of the day.

Much later I realised we were on the way to self-destruction if we remained on that road. The thought occurred to me that my life should be about more than what I want before God will come through and make changes. What do I mean? I never wanted it to be that I am the initiator of prayers in the home and I believe that it is the role of my husband the priest of the home. That’s cool but the real question is…what does God want me to do at this point? Now wait a minute: Where do the things I desire and want come into play? Doesn’t He say he will give me the desires of my heart? What will make life worth the living?

That is a foreign concept to most of us and I really struggled with that one. Then heard the man of God speak and many things clicked in and out. He said that the purpose of marriage is to depict the relationship between the Godhead. They are three, with distinct roles and yet they do not overstep each other’s bounds or fight. How many of us are like that. Then there is the purpose of the family and that is to raise a divine expression. This means that we need to raise the next generation of people who love God by choice and deeply to bring the kingdom closer to earth. In all this where is what I want? Where are all those things I have planned on all my life? NO WHERE!!!!! Isn’t that funny? I should really be asking “Lord what is your plan and purpose? What do you want me to do and become?” Not easy but that is the reality of my life. Wow!!!!

I realised that I am called to be more than just a regular believer but a change maker and earth mover. To be that, I must be clued into the will of God and choose to make his desires the desires of my heart. Yes, there are things that I desire and I make them known to him BUT when that is done I leave it ALL to him. Yes he gives me the desires of my heart but it is the renewed desires that he fulfils. When I am fully committed to him he will change the things I want to the things he wants.

John 6:56…As the living Father sent Me and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This got me on a new page just now…wow talk about revelation on the spot…If I live because of Him then I desire what he desires and he works actively in me. I am in the midst of a place that makes it easy for me to be connected and wanting what he wants and daily making the changes that I need to make. This is because I have finally got to the end of me and realised that there is nothing I can do that will work. I found that I must plug into him and find the way through obedience. It is an interesting walk because some of the things he wants me to do are different and humanly outrageous but yet not impossible. However, as I walk with him I am in the midst of making better choices in life. I still have things to change and I am changing everyday but I am also learning new things.

I am learning to concentrate on what God would have for me and not push for what I want. However the closer I get to him the more intertwined my desires for the same things he desires. This means that the life I live is full and happy despite the surrounding situation and I am above all things. I am above because nothing can hold me down when I am in his hands. I now want the things God wants for me and the level of my frustration in life is now non-existent. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I that lives but Christ that lives in me. The life I live in the body I live by faith in him who saved me…this is becoming my daily desire. I am learning to love life and live it to the fullest…