Tag Archive | #NoLimitations

I didn’t know my Father


I recently had a conversation with my Father. That may not seem like anything big but you have to know my Father to understand. He is the coolest guy with the deepest faith I have ever known. He is intense like a strong black Ethiopian coffee yet gentle as a dove. I love this man with all my heart.

IMG_20170804_181232Yet, I would sometimes shy away from him because I don’t want to waste his time or keep others waiting for him🙈….foolish right? It sounds so vain now that I have said it. Anyway, this day I needed to work through somethings and the best way was to speak openly with a trusted person and receive grace, that’s when Daddy came in. Sometimes help is needed to decode life and I needed to face up to some stuff in my life that wasn’t shifting. The things I had refused to deal with up to now were expanding.  I needed them to be confronted before they get sorted?

This was one of those days but I was struggling because I’m used to being the one who helps others through their issues and holds their hands yet here I was…I found myself in need of a hand holding. I won’t go into the details but it’s this was a soul unburdening moment for me.

I needed a ‘naked and unashamed’ position for once but those can be hard. Why? Well, don’t we all have things we have kept hidden? Oh yes, I had hidden many things under the carpet or in my heart and mind. I had an intimate knowledge of being ‘clothed and totally ashamed.’ I’ve lived there for a long time but I don’t really know that much about naked and unashamed. Now I just needed an open heart moment to share things that I’d never dreamed of telling a soul.

For the first time in a long time I unloaded and talked to Daddy. I talked quickly with no breaks or brakes lest I stop and never start again. 🙈 I didn’t give myself time to think things through lest I change my mind. I held my breath then remembered to breathe and waited, expecting the sky to fall down or the ground to open up and swallow me. 🙈

IMG_20171008_144951.jpgWhen I was finished and fully unloaded there was nothing left to say, only silence…deep quiet, slow breaths, calmness and a deep peace. I never thought it would be so great to let things go. Then my thoughts turned to Daddy, Would he still love me? Would he ever talk to me again? Am I still worthy to be called his daughter? What would my siblings think? Am I the only mad one? How could I live such a life for so long? So I ran and hid for a few minutes. (Hahahaha madness right?)

He simply smiled and said, ‘I’ve been having a chuckle because your challenge isn’t all the stuff you’ve enumerated….your challenge comes from not knowing your father enough and therefore developing an ability to judge yourself by and from the law.

What? Really? How did he know? All the same, he was right! I remembered my sisters sharing how he has walked them through their processes with grace not pity, love but the rod when needed, gentleness but a firm hand. You see, a solid push into the arms of God has always been his answer.

Indeed…. I never really knew him as my father and this was why I could think those thoughts about myself. So I got thinking, what don’t I know about my heavenly Father? Do I relate to Him right or have I developed the capacity to make a decision based on something other than faith.

IMG_20170910_082730.jpgAnd we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to  be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can  be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It  is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It  is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:28-39 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.

That place…


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Have you come up against obstacles and walls and don’t know how to overcome them? Have you felt stuck in dark alleys, in the sunshine, in the rain, in the mud and don’t how to get out of there? What was your default response? What were you greatest fears? What was your source of help? Where did you reach out for help?

I have been in all these places. I have been stuck on the same plateaus for a long time, wanting more not always knowing how to get to the next point. It got me thinking about Christ; fully God and fully man all in one. Yet he remained steadfast in his assignment…he never shifted no matter what. It got me wondering…

IMG_20170810_164450Let this mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant and coming to the likeness of man. And…He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him… Phillipians 2:5-11

He remained steadfast, unmoved, committed to God no matter what and in the end conquered His path. Then I wondered if there were others who were unmovable in their pursuit of God relentlessly.

Esther! Esther stands out. Life had suddenly changed from easy and comfortable with the order to put her people to death and Mordecai telling her that God could raise a saviour for his people from elsewhere if she didn’t set up. Where did the comfort go? Why the sudden change of affairs? Hadn’t she already been through too much?

I imagine her sitting in her chambers wondering what to do. How could she make a difference for her people? How could she fulfil her destiny without losing a grip on her life and the comforts she had? Would the revelation of her identity compromise her position as queen? Until that moment, very few people knew she was Hebrew but now she had a choice; to stand for God and her people or let her people die.

IMG_20170810_181036I like her response. Once she realised she couldn’t do this alone, she called three days of prayer and fasting to really hear the heart and mind of God. This happened when she realised that in her current state she couldn’t do anything; she had to go deeper; her inner place, the secret place. I believe she knew this place from before and sought the face of God before.

I see her asking God, how do I honour you? How do I showcase your life? How do I remain true to your calling for me? How do I stand for my people; your people? Please show me how to do this.

This focus on the secret place bore great fruit…it brought face to face with God, His goodness, His mind. She received clear direction on how to bring His plan to pass; she understood that only He could make it all work out and it did.

Daniel was known for seeking God regardless of the possible consequences. He faced death because he determined to walk with God as His permanent anchor. He was so set on knowing the heart and mind of God that nothing could stop him, not even the threat of death. He was the wisest, most respected man in the kingdom and in the end, his God was declared the One True God. Daniel daily, multiple times a day, spent time with God in his secret place.

The secret place is all about God; finding Him, His heart and mind, going deeper, getting closer, being changed every moment. It is about continuously calibrating one’s life to God’s plan and purpose. It is all about God and God alone. As we spend time with Him we lose the attachment to all things that fail or are perishing and want more and more of Him.

We receive instruction, confidence and strength to be all He has revealed about us then are enabled to live fully for Him. All this happens in the secret place of intimacy with Him.

  • Intimacy with God is in the secret place, the inner chamber.
  • Intimacy with God opens the door to the Impossible.
  • Intimacy with God is the only way to do this life.

I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and my judgment is righteous because I do not seek my own will but the will of the Father who sent. John 5:30

No More Distractions


In my last post ‘Different With Reason’ I shared about my left ring finger and how it was a real sore spot for me. I initially thought it was ugly until by God’s grace and mercy, I learned to love it as a sign of how special I was and still am.

Something has since come to me; had I been focusing on the wrong thing all along? Did others really think the things I thought about my finger? Should I have been so focused on this one thing? So I waited for responses to the post wondering what they would be like. Would they confirm that people thought it hideous or that no one ever noticed it? well, no one thought it was ugly (at least those who have commented) instead, most had never seen it and the one who had knew it was a result of injury.

IMG_20170819_114403As I thought about it over and over I realised there was a lesson in the responses. One response really hit the spot and opened my eyes;

…thanks for sharing dearest friend. Can you imagine in all those years I never noticed or knew? Just goes to say that who you are, your personality, your traits and your inner self struck me a lot more…NK

This is from someone I have known since primary school. Here I was sweating how this finger looked yet it didn’t matter to people; in fact, they didn’t even notice or think about it. How crazy that this really big thing in my life was nothing to the rest of the world. How much time had I lost thinking about and hiding it from people who were totally unaware of it? Where else could I have focused my energy? My! I was floored.

img_20151231_162239.jpgAnother response that caught my attention said:

I never knew the story behind the curved nail; all I knew was you must have gotten injured…it’s beautiful and a part of what makes you, you…SW

How could it be? What else have I been stuck about in my life? What else has me grounded that should have just been a part of my day and life? How do I recognise the things that are really important and deal with them and work through the rest? What could I have done with all the energy spent on worrying what people thought about my finger and all the energy spent on insecurity?

It all came back to two things FOCUS and PROCESS.

What should I focus on? To start, there is good in every situation. Second, there are lessons to learn in every challenge that comes my way. Third, there is growth in every victory and celebration.

Then there is the process. How should I proceed? I must learn to tap into God all the time and understand things from His perspective. This means I have to ask God moment by moment what things mean never deciding in my head that something is good or bad.

It is by His plan that I have walked this road and come to this point at this point in time. I must be able to stop and learn a lesson and move on.

Today I decide that no matter what I trust His plan and will walk in His direction only. I will seek to know and understand His position about today and then bring Him praise now and forever more.

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. Rom 8:28

Different With Reason.


There was once a little girl just eighteen months old the youngest of three siblings. She loved following her brother because it was fun though she could hardly keep up with him yet that didn’t stop her and she did her best to keep up.

One day, as her siblings played outside, the neighbour’s dog crossed the fence and came chasing after them. As all children do, they took off as fast as their little feet could carry them towards the house. It wasn’t really that far but for these two little ones it seemed like miles. Two sets of feet slapping the ground, hearts in their throats and screaming in terror as this big, scary dog gained ground on them.

In the nick of time, they reached the door slid in and slammed it in the face of the dog to a yelp as the slid into the door unable to fully stop. They couldn’t catch their breath before a high pitched scream came from behind them followed by gut wrenching cries of pain. The nanny turned from the fridge…oh God! Sweetie’s finger was caught between the door and the frame on the hinge side and blood was pooling on the floor at the joint.

She quickly opened the door and freed the finger to find the bone was splintered and the top part of her finger was mostly severed. Nanny ran upstairs with sweetie in her arms to administer first aid and call for help. Sweetie cried her little heart out and only exhaustion stopped her incessant wailing as they waited for help to arrive.

Her finger healed over time but she was left with one strange looking finger for life.

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IMG_20151231_162122This is the story of my life and my ring finger is totally different from the rest and I kept it hidden for a long time. Many of my classmates and acquaintances when I was younger never saw it because I kept my fingers clasped or folded my arms folded to keep the ‘offending’ finger hidden.

It took a long time for me to accept this finger. The doctor who treated me didn’t even expect me to have a nail but a curved one grew. I had a thick scab on the palm side that started softening when I turned 13 and eventually faded when I was in high school. In the end my finger is a good centimetre shorter than its counterpart on the right hand.

When I was in campus, I found a solution; I bought a silver ring. Now instead of noticing my finger people saw the ring and I gained confidence. This uncertainty changed when a dear friend saw my finger and he couldn’t get over it. I tried to hide it but he held my hand and looked at it turning my hand over again and again; even he ring could not distract him. Each time I tried to hide it, he held my hand open. He would look at my finger often and when I asked what he saw he said beauty. This attention changed my perception of my finger; it was slowly becoming beautiful, a gift, an expression of love…God’s love.

IMG_20170819_114345I have learnt to love this strange finger and understand it is indeed beautiful. When I have a manicure done I have to give precise instructions on how to put the polish so that it doesn’t peel or look uneven. I couldn’t learn typing on the manual typewriters because of the shorter length but I have since found ways around this and a few other things.

This week I’ve looked at my left hand a lot and I have been struck once again by its beauty then realised…I am different. There is no one else in this world like me; my finger is living proof of this.  Nothing can make this finger ‘regular or normal’ but who says it has to  be? Nothing needs to be like the rest. It has value just as it is and so do I.

I am different from everyone around me BECAUSE God has a plan for me premised on all the ‘odd’ things He put into me. As I spend time with him and learn to see myself as He sees me, He will unlock the truth of all He sees in me and make Himself manifest on the face of the earth.

Acceptance of all that is in me is the door to freedom and real impact for God.

1 Oh Lord, you have searched me and know me; 2b You understand my thought afar off; 3 You comprehend my path…and are acquainted with all my ways; 11 For you formed my inward parts, You covered me in my mother’s womb;  17 How precious are your thoughts to me o God! how great the sum of them Ps 139

Perfecting My Faith


My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-4

God is perfecting my faith through opportunities that come with challenges. I used to think that was strange until I realise that challenges are often the best way to learn things. I found that when I got something easily I often forgot all the lessons shortly thereafter or it took a challenge to remember and actively live out the lesson. However, when the lesson was learnt in the midst of a challenge it remained front and centre and that made me a better person at the end of things.

IMG_20170810_181319Now, my responses to these challenges define the level and strength of my trust in God and His capacity to perfect those things that concern me. The things that concern Him about me are the things He has in His heart for me; the things He created me to do from before the foundations of the earth; His hopes and dreams for me. It is one thing to say that I trust Him but the truth of this trust is shown to me by my responses to His instructions.

In the beginning it was so hard; hard to understand that the challenges around me would really produce good in me; hard to understand how the pain could be helpful; hard to understand because I had these preconceived ideas what it meant to trust God and how He should work for me to prove His love. It was as if a part of me was being cut out without anaesthesia and if I was honest with myself, that part needed to go but it was all I knew.

I had to understand that I needed to persevere and move through the process with faith and grace, to be strong and courageous. This process must be anticipated and enjoyed because it would become part of my life for life. Let me explain. Each day is spent in close communication with God and is full of instructions and insights that I must live out. this means that each day has the capacity to be challenging if I try to bargain with and beg God to give me the breakthrough the way I want it.

I realised that I need to keep going, learn to hear His voice, trust the instruction and be faithful no matter what. I learnt that the breakthroughs wouldn’t come before my faith in Him was at the right place. I also found that that outcome was according to His plan and purpose and not my preconceived ideas. This is where it all became real. For so long I had this list of things I did to get His attention and blessing and even though many of these things were good, they soon became routine and removed the element of actively seeking God and relating with Him.

IMG_20170810_181036I found that my real intention was the things He would give me for keeping the rules and living right. I came to understand that I wouldn’t get very far if I didn’t find another way. So I asked for His help to shift my focus from His works to His heart and mind. I asked that my greater desire would be to know His mind about me and walk in it with confidence no matter what. Here is where school began.

I had to understand that I could never ever expect Him to work identically or give the same instruction and the only way to get here was to learn to fully #Trust God.

  • To Trust God is to rest totally in Him as He is our shelter and reliable help.
  • To trust God is to focus on His word and live it out no matter what.

This was the most interesting part to learn. You see, I had always thought I trusted Him but as we walked this new path, I realised my trust was in His hand. He was good as long as HE gave me certain things or when things worked in my favour  but when things didn’t workout as expected I would get flustered and worked up.

  • Could it be that this process was indeed the path to trust?
  • Could it be that if I just laid hold of the truth of God’s love and presence it would be well?
  • Could it be that trust was found in the process and on the other side of the process?
  • Could it be that there was a way I needed to think and thought patterns I needed to let go of?

So I begun the pursuit of understanding, looking for examples of people who lived their lives through challenges and found depth in God.

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I Cannot Fail:


I have heard this statement so many times but only recently did it really come alive for me. Everyone great business person I have read about or listened to says failure is a great teacher, and I agree. It is the place where we test our presuppositions and figure out if they are true or not and adjust our course accordingly. However, there is a dimension of it that I never looked at before.

My father has always said that we cannot fail when our lives are premised on God. There are numerous examples of people in the bible who walked very hard paths but came out victorious in the end. So I begun looking at them; Job, Joseph, David, Esther, Mary and others. One thing stood out for me over and over again, even with difficult times and some big falls, they achieved the plan of God for their lives.

Take David for instance who plotted the murder of a man so he could have the man’s wife. When she was with child he was rebuked and when he repented God relented and he was called a man after God’s own heart.

Mary was pregnant out of wedlock and by all intents should have been stoned yet as Joseph planned to let her go quietly God stepped in and explained things to him and it was done.

Joseph had dreams of grandeur and the more he shares them the deeper the anger from his brothers who eventually toss him into a well and sell him off into slavery. He is accused at every turn of different things and in the end forgotten by those he helped before God sent out the word and he rose to number two in the land.

Daniel was faithful to God and kept his heart on the commandments yet he got thrown into the lions den. God came through and he was unharmed but the same could not said of those who had him thrown in there. The lions made a meal of them in minutes of being thrown in.

So here is what I learnt: every hardship or ‘failure’ is part of the process. The intention of the process is to get me to full dependence on God no matter what. In the eyes of man things in my life could seem like I am failing but as long as I am connected to his ultimate purpose there is nothing like failure. I must be like Zerubbabel governor of Judah and Joshua the high priest who placed full trust in God so that he said to them:

Yet now be strong Zerubbabel says the Lord, and be strong Joshua son of Jehozadak the high priest; and be strong all you people of the land says the Lord, and work for I am with you says the Lord of hosts. According to the word that I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt so my Spirit remains among you; do not fear!

Haggai 2:4-5.

The premise of the strength and the completion of the assignment is His covenanted word. This word can be relied on and depended upon for generations to come. In Isaiah 55:10 he says;

For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return here , but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, So does My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to me void but it shall accomplish what I please and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

So indeed, if my life and actions are predicated on a clear word of God that I can track then there is absolutely no possibility of failure. Everything that comes my way will produce more of Him and the end result is His version of success. However, if my life is predicated on my own feelings and understanding then you can be sure that even though I may enjoy success for a while, there will be a limit to the success.

Far be it that I spend my days on my own path. I choose to go back to God’s word and live according to it and never fail again my life. Once this is done, every challenge is simply part of the process and will no longer have the capacity to break me.

Today I choose His word over me and walk in it with confidence.

What about you?