Tag Archive | #NoExcuses #40Reflections #NewBeginning #NewNation #Ngicabanga #LivingEpistles

What did you decide?

The daily food journal was such an exposition as I sent it to coach every day without fail. He’d comment, ask questions about quantities eaten and the most common comment was, “You have a really sweet tooth.” Every day I wanted to hide and stop but the determination to change wouldn’t let me.

The light of scrutiny was glaring and I could not get away from it neither could I stand the suspense. I expected to be castigated and put down because I enjoyed so much sugar, yet it was always a gentle response from coach. Oh yes, gentle response but the questions asked were hard.. ‘What are you going to do about? How are you going to curb all this sweetness you eat? What is the plan?’ Really? I expected stern words. Oh don’t get me wrong he was serious and if looks could kill I’d probably be dead BUT even as he pushed me to conquer this, he was resolute it had to be me to make the choice.

What could I do? How could I change things? I thought and thought and a subsequent chat with coach brought something to light…I had to make a choice. I had to decide. Decide what you ask? I had to decide that the goal i set with God earlier is more important than eating sugar every day. I had to make a choice and work towards it.

I’m like really? I thought I have made the hard decision to start and then to know what I have to do. Now I actually have to decide how to control this sugar thing. This one took me deep. I had to understand that there was no way out of here other than to decide. So I chose to deal with the love for sugar. Oh and that was hard because it was in everything. It was in juice, soda, cookies, pastries and even fruit. I had to cut back and begin to regain control so yes, I decided to tackle the sugar,

I am working on it daily, I am growing, I am overcoming, I am walking strong because I know that as I conquer my food habits I will in the end conquer myself and come out better. This process is the route to a greater expression of the inner me so I will stay the course. I  was reminded that God doesn’t throw us off  if we do not get to the finish line when we want to simply because he is realistic about how he created us and he knows that in his time we will get there.

So I press on in this walk towards health and fitness as I press into the plan God has mapped out for me.

Lesson of the day: Decide; Decide; Decide.

pexels-photo-375897.jpeg“Let us choose for ourselves what is right; Let us know among ourselves what is good.  Job 34:4



Write This Down

I set my fitness goals and started as I could which was easy, tackling my eating. Hahahaha! I chuckle because people around me know I have been a careful eater all my life. In some circles I am even said to eat leaves and twigs, in others I am the one who doesn’t drink milk, in others I am the one who eats too little. There are so many ways I look like a good eater and I used to pat myself on the back. Key words…used to!

So the plan began with a food diary. What is a food diary? Oh quite simple…a record of all you eat. Most food diaries are a written record of what one eats but mine is different. I am very visual so the option I have taken is a picture of everything I eat and share it with coach. Wololo…how do I explain it? Take a picture of everything and I mean everything I eat and share it with someone else. Mind blowing!

Oh I started it, yes I did and I took a picture diligently but my word…when I started to see what I was eating through the eyes of another…that was intense. It wasn’t easy because I had to share a part of my life that I liked to keep private. I felt stripped, exposed, showcased. Then my real habits came to the fore; the things I thought I had under control like sugar popped up everywhere.

Oh my…how did it get this bad? I have always been proud of myself for portion sizing but I wasn’t really watching the other things I was eating in between meal times. Neither was I watching how much water or coffee I was drinking or if I was getting enough exercise. I also wasn’t watching how I was responding to work pressure with food. I just wasn’t watching because I thought I had a healthy lifestyle.

In a blink, I could see where all the weight I had gained came from…my plate and my habits. It all came to a grinding halt there. Why hadn’t I seen it? I wasn’t paying attention…simple. As difficult as that was to accept I decided to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

It got me thinking about the things I didn’t know about myself. If I didn’t know how much I was eating, what else was unaware about in my life? What else was there to learn? How could I change the direction of my life with greater knowledge of myself? Could my life change significantly by the simple move of writing things down?

My eating habits indeed started changing because I was logging it. I was able to see myself with a new set of eyes and without outside interference understand where I needed to make change. I was able to see things I had agreed to do different with God that I hadn’t been honest about that were holding me back. So I determined to keep logging the truth of my meals and am finding great strength to change permanently from that.

Lesson of the day: Write this down

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd the Lord answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. Habakkuk 2:2

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21:5


Start Here

In my last post, I mentioned my fitness buff friend who said I needed to sleep over my decision to get active about my health and fitness. How hard could this really be? I mean, watch what I eat and do a few simple workouts…how hard could it be? Wah!!!!

So I said let’s start but how about we finish the holidays and start in the New Year? Hahaha!!! He’s like why not tomorrow? Wait a minute…the tomorrow he was talking about was December 26th, 2017. Who in their right minds would start a new fitness program during the holiday’s right? I know you agree with me but that is the wrong answer. Gotcha!!

Why is it the wrong answer? I realised that any day can be a new beginning so why wait another give days to change my life?  I started the fitness regime that day…26.12.2017. I know right? Of course on the outside it looked like madness but my heart knew it was the right thing to do.

The hardest part was on December 25th night. Yes! Christmas night. While everyone around me was relaxing I had to figure out things…talk about no rest for the weary. Why was I doing this? What was my current weight and target weight? What would I change in my diet? How will I keep on track? You would think that coach would help right? Woi!!! He flat out refused!

I was like…what? You are the one pushing this; why are you being difficult? I bet you want to know his answer. It was so annoying but true. It was really simple, if I was serious about it I needed to figure it all out; what I wanted, when I would start, how I propose to do it and how I would be kept accountable. Surely a little help would be nice, right?

It is true that a little help wold be nice but I needed to figure most of these things out. In the last few months of my journey God has been clear that only He can direct my steps so I needed to consult with Him first. I know I had never told coach about this part of my life but God in His wisdom and madness gave coach a stand that led me right back to my pattern. Coach’s only demand was that I figure it out quickly and tell him.

This God! Eish! He is so beyond me. How does He set me up with the perfect source of strength who wouldn’t take my excuses and give that very source a plan that would push me back to Him for direction? So the journey started with me having to figure out what I needed to do and why from the perspective of my Father in heaven.

Then I stood on the scale and we discovered where I was in weight (I almost cried at the number) and where I wanted to be. Next was to understand why I needed to do this. By many standards I am not big just curvy in all the right places. However, there is an internal standard I have with God and the scale had already told me I was above where I needed to be. See…that extra needed to be dealt with. Now I had the right perspective and reason to start the journey.

This left me wondering what else I need to look at and deal with from God’s perspective. Who does He know me as that I have not yet attained but as long as I keep walking He will keep providing the help I need?

I know, there is nothing better! Everything is working out in ways that can only be God.


The Journey to Perfection…

On the soul’s journey to perfection, there are so many things that go on. We go through different stages and grow at different rates. One of the greatest struggles we go through is temptation. There is so much so say about temptation and its different stages. There are people bring clarity about the most complex topics in simple ways…you know those people right? One of mine is Samuel Phillips, the son of my father and my brother.

The first stage is the animal stage where we are content to live in the gratification of our senses, totally unaware to the knowledge of sin or our divine inheritance. We are also altogether unaware of the spiritual possibilities within us.

IMG_20171114_182217-EFFECTS.jpgThe second stage is the dual stage where the mind is awakened to the reality of its animal and divine tendencies and continually oscillates between the two. It is a state of continual fighting, falling and rising, sinning and repenting because we still love our lives yet we aspire to a life of purity and excellence; the spiritual state. In reality we are continually mortified by this inability to choose and the divine life within us makes this stage fraught with pain, anguish and suffering.

The third stage is knowledge. In this stage, man rises above sin and temptation and enters into peace. Temptation is now a passing phase because he has new understanding and he uses this understanding to measure his level of growth. When man fully understands the source, nature, and meaning of temptation, he is able to conquer it. Temptation is simply a pointer to what a man has not conquered and nothing more. It shows where his animal desires beat his soul. For every man is tempted by the desires of his heart and these desires show the direction of that heart.

The greatest place of congregation is the dual stage where people judge themselves and others against a never ending list of do’s and don’ts. The net result is struggling to keep our feet on the ground as well as how to get up when we fall down. You know those times when you do something you don’t want to and beat yourself over and over again until there is nothing but guilt left? So many of us are stuck here judging and being judged and taking pride in pointing out people who we believe aren’t living right.

IMG_20171127_183428.jpgIt is so easy to look down one’s nose at others and talk about all the things we are seeing that could be ‘wrong’ with them. I was there a while back, so confident in myself until the day I did something so ‘big’ that it didn’t leave my mind for years. Today, that sounds so foolish to me because I know there is no ‘big or small’ sin or temptation. Temptation is temptation! Sin is sin! Wah! Just imagine being super confident in your ability to live right then you hit a bump so big that you fall apart and the real you is exposed.

Coming face to face with our mortality and fallibility is important because we understand that our walk with God is not a result of our goodness. It helps us understand that we will face temptation but have a choice to move closer to God or remain in the same place. Remember, “Temptation is simply a pointer to that which a man has not conquered and nothing more.”

 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 1 Cor 10:13

Am I living the way I do because I want to keep people happy or do I live by the word I have heard from God Himself through His word and confirmed by His servants.

He Tested ME

IMG_20171118_180845.jpgNo man can be tested outside of what he has learnt, and no one can be tempted outside of his own fleshy desires. That you are tested shows you are ripe for promotion and that you are tempted shows you are growing and maturing. For example, a prostitute cannot be tempted with sex, neither can a drunk be tempted with alcohol. It is just a natural state of such base existence so temptation can’t come into it. Therefore, this means that whatever you are tempted by is what you are growing out of. So are you tempted, don’t kill yourself over it. Just take a look at your heart and see clearly the beauty of the seed of Christ in you that shows you are growing.

Do all to pass the test of the things you’ve learnt and do all to rise above your desires, for in doing these two, you rise into conformity to Christ.

Samuel Phillips


I came across this post recently and it resonated very deeply. A few days later, I was chatting with a group young people on the subject. Talk about advance provision of notes. This God!

In our discussions, it became apparent that we all have things we struggle with in our hearts and minds, that others neither see nor know about. This is because the real us, is hidden behind whatever ‘masks’ we wear. Those hidden places are the spots God is dealing with in us and we know what we should be working towards; what God has told us about who we are and where we are going.

However the conversations with the young people brought to light how being less than we know we should be really affects us. Many of them were feeling low because they were totally stuck in struggles they needed ways out of and they wanted to be much further along in their life journey. This situation left them feeling like failures because they hadn’t conquered everything in life.

Why would they feel like they have failed yet they were making progress? Why would this load be so heavy? In their opinion, all the older believers they knew weren’t struggling with anything. There was an outer presentation of ‘perfection’ and ‘having arrived’ that the older believers had which put pressure on the younger ones to achieve. The net result was they were hiding their struggles to look good yet they were distressed within.

A certain conversation with my father came to mind and the lessons I had recently learnt from him.

Not one to keep facades, I set out to burst that bubble with a series of questions.

  • How many times have older people hidden fear behind smiles?IMG_20171118_181827.jpg
  • How often have parents hidden their fear behind strict rules, regulations, anger or threats?
  • How many times have we kept our phones with secret locks and always on our person because of things on them?
  • How many times have we failed to share how we made our wealth because we did a deal many years ago that got us the right footing but we paid someone something?
  • How many times have we changed our story because the truth wasn’t how we wanted to be known?

I didn’t have real answers to these questions but they created points of comparison to their own behaviour and that of others around them. You should have seen their eyes when they realised that we all struggle with different things. We could almost touch the relief and a load was lifted from their backs.

It also led me to track people in scripture who sinned but God extended grace. Think of David, who seemed like a perpetual sinner but God had mercy on him every time because his heart was in the right place. However, at the end of the day, David committed to walk with God always and he was called a friend of God. Ananias and Sapphire lied but twice they were given the opportunity to redeem themselves by telling the truth but they were more concerned about looking good so they lied and as a result died.

I have found courage in my brother’s words, “whatever you are tempted by is what you are growing out of.”

This means that the place God is focusing on to help me grown in and become all He sees me as is the place testing starts. Testing is the stepping stone to my next reality and revelation. It is the area He needs dealt with out of the way so that I may walk in the fullness of how He sees me.

He will not let me remain lost forever rather He will press and prod until I become all He sees me as. He will not give up on me the same way He didn’t allow Hosea to give up on Gomer. However, His eternal desire for me to reach fullness doesn’t give me the license to live in wanton sinfulness otherwise He will hand me over to my fleshly desires and raise another to be and do all that is established for me.

I choose to say; Not on my watch Lord! Not on my watch!

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 1 Cor 10:13 NKJV


Meeting the Proof of Grace

In 1999, I was in university and at a bad place that year because choices I had made to save my life and future but the fall out was so major I left the circles I used to run with…the ‘Christian’ circles. Most people were certain that I did the wrong thing but thank God life has proven that I was right. However, this was all part of God’s plan. The people who stood by me were seemingly usual people and this made most of the Christians in my circle think I had walked away from the faith. To be honest, I almost did…but grace…

grace 2During this time, I met a guy; tall, goofy and totally off the charts. He could laugh at anything and make fun of anything but my God, he could drink. In fact, if you could drink more than him you were an off the charts drunk. It was different to knew someone so real as all my life these were the people I avoided because, ‘bad company corrupts good morals,’ and I wanted to remain ‘pure.’ He was a good friend and I needed to laugh and be happy in life so he became one of the guys I hang with.

I never know how he got into our college and how he lasted as long as he did. I didn’t even realise how far he was behind me as he was in so many of our outings when I was in fourth year I assumed he was a third year student. He was one of those people you just love to be around because they are real, are unashamed of their baggage or their weaknesses, and are totally content to be their real selves. The carefree and joyful way he lived his life was a direct contrast to how I lived mine yet Christ had come to give me freedom.

Fast forward to 2015; I walk into fellowship and there is a familiar guy standing by the tree but I don’t know from where. I go by two more times and it is comical. He says hi and identifies himself and I screamed (*hides*). Just imagine the sedate me, jumping around and screaming. Was this for real? I kept looking at him and looking away just to make sure I hadn’t lost my mind.

Over the months, he shared a story of God’s grace and intervention. He drank, his mother prayed, he drank and got in trouble, she prayed harder and he drank again. His friends panicked and he drank more, he lost work and he drank more, he flourished at work he drank, he woke up in strange places he still went back and drank. His mother prayed harder and he drank more. It was as if he had a death wish as big as his mother’s desire to see her son come to salvation.

IMG_20170908_150336.jpgOne day, tired and desperate his mother asked God what was wrong with her son. The response was mind blowing. This was the fight of his life and destiny! The fight for his destiny you ask? Yes! There was something about this man. What was so important about this life that darkness would do everything in its power to stop it? Who is this man and what is he capable of once connected to God? Despite days when she wanted to give up, his mother now knew that had to keep on praying for her son as his life depended on it and she shared this info with him hoping that the knowledge would help him want change in his life.

The short version is that after several near misses including cooling time in a police cell, God got a lasting hold of him and his life changed. Oh the change was on different scales. Some areas were instant but other weren’t. Some changes were lasting while others were full of battle and falling. Some were instant others were hard fought for.

timothy rebornThere were many challenges but it was clear that once God had a hold on him, He didn’t let go and once Reborn understood this he kept fighting to stand on the promises of God. He held on for dear life even as many times he fell flat on his face in the effort. This paid off and he remains a refreshing personality who listens intently, laughs easily, speaks from the heart and cares deeply. At the same time, he’s diametrically different in the ways that matter because the foundation, direction, driving force and purpose of his life have changed. Oh he is such a joy to watch. He is Timothy Reborn formally known as Stima.

timothy rebornHe is far from perfect but the very fact that he is in process is exciting. He is walking with God daily, sharing life with others, giving strength to others, defending those he is assigned to and opening opportunities for others to meet God and see what a full transformation looks like. His life is a reminder of several things:

  • God has a plan for each of us and it will not be thwarted no matter what.
  • God is determined that the plan with work and He will use us for He will.
  • No one is a write off where God is concerned He will move to ensure our salvation
  • Grace…oh grace…unmerited favour is real
  • No one is too far gone for God to reach
  • The plans of God can never be thwarted by darkness

I have better understanding that we are all here for a reason and the aggregate of our life experiences are to bring us to the place that we can produce a true expression of who God created us to be. We must not give up just because there are big challenges in and around our lives, rather we must determine to hold onto to the word of God over our lives. Let us hold on because there is proof of grace all around and in us.

Never give up on the grace of God…He is present for all around us.

Goliath Must Die

IMG_20170910_082514.jpgOften the story of David and Goliath ends when the giant is dead. That’s Goliath’s end but David’s beginning of more responsibility, more challenges and opportunity to grow into the man God Himself defined as a man after His own heart.

I can no longer just ask God to deal with the giants I face. I must ask Him to prepare me for the growth that’s coming because trouble is training and battles are blessings. After all, sonship requires responsibility!!!

#RedefineMe #KingsVision

By Tibaga Talitwala Gacheru


The end of Goliath was the beginning of more for David…Wow!

I had never really thought about it that way. We read the story and skip on to the victories never once thinking deeply about some things. (Dear Lord, I really need to see as you see.) In this season when we are talking about change coming and taking our position to be of an influence it is so easy to focus on the change and be unprepared for the responsibility that comes with that change. It is easier to desire the victory and ask for God to speed up the ‘trouble’ and ‘battle’ yet that is the heart of the preparation ground for the next level.

One scenario I can imagine of David in the fields is looking after the sheep and loving the freedom it gives him to be away from his older brothers. This was time out from being sent all over the place and peace of mind from being alone. In time I see him wondering about the future and where he would end up. In time he would think of his brothers who were able to go and fight for the nation because he was there to take care of the sheep.

I can imagine him unsure if his father would allow him to get out of the fields one day and if he did when would that happen. How would it happen? Would a servant be appointed to replace him? If a servant was appointed would he take as good care of the sheep as he (David) did? Would the servant be content? So many questions…no answers

IMG_20170910_082431.jpgThe second scenario that comes to mind is; was he antsy about being in the background? Did he have a sense in that he was created for more than taking care of sheep? Was he bored of being out in the fields alone with animals? Did he want so desperately that he was actively looking for people to take over?

I guess we will never know.

The thing I see more clearly is that God had a plan and was at work in David. He knew the skills David would need for the next phase. He knew the grace, patience and resilience he needed. God knew that the main thing that could keep David grounded was a deep relationship with Him so He created an opportunity for David to do just that. He honed David’s love for Him and the gift of song as a place of deep communion and strength. He taught him love and compassion, honesty and dedication as well as precision skills. He honed skills in the desert, built his faith, and built depth of relationship with God.

David wasn’t lost out there rather; he was in a protected place and on a divine path. In the fields he learnt to deal with creatures larger than him so that Goliath wouldn’t be a challenge rather Goliath’s words would trigger his memory of God. He learnt obedience to authority. He knew what he could wear to be agile and what weapons he could use with ease. He discovered his reason for living…to honour God. he met and loved God, who gave him insight and success.

In short, David discovered all the skills he needed for his next level of assignment and laid a solid foundation for leadership in the hidden place.

  • What does God know about my path that he has allowed me to take a certain path?
  • What skills did I need that could only be birthed in the times of seclusion and on hard paths?
  • What level of faith and trust had to become an unshakable part of me so that the giants ahead would not shift me?
  • Have I cooperated or contended with God about the process? Am I cooperating or contending now?

Dear father, help me! Prepare me for the next leg of this journey. I have sought you for many things but not as deeply as I should for preparation for the next level. I choose today to connect and align with you that I may bring glory to your name. After all, it is all about, for and with you that I live my life. Amen.