THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life

It’s Inevitable…Adapt


I saw this devotional this morning and it blew me away and I needed to share it
**************************************************************

SMALL STRAWS IN A SOFT WIND by MARSHA BURNS: 11.02.2014

Accept and embrace change as you do the seasons. The changes you face are inevitable whether you receive them with joy and expectation or with resistance and dread. Make it easy on yourself and be willing to move with My Spirit in freedom and fluidity. You can trust Me to cause everything to work together for your good. Let My glory be known in all you do, 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

**************************************************************

This was the devotional today and indeed it struck a raw nerve. There has been so much adjustments going on this year that at times it feels like it is June yet is only the 42nd day of the year. When we think of adjustments we often feel that because they are needed they are at times easy to achieve. The adjustments I have faced this year have all been good in the long run yet very hard to do. The thing I never really thought about or realised is that good adjustment can be painful.

When I was 3 years old I was swinging on the climbing frame (I hear these days it is called monkey bars in some places) and fell head first to the ground 3 feet away. In our kindergarten, the ground was tarmacked for ease of keeping the kids clean I think, you can now guess what side of Nairobi I grew up in :-). Anyway, the only visible injury was a cut on my third left finger.

Fast forward 9 years later and I was in all sorts of seemingly inexplicable back pain. I could hardly sit, stand, run or walk for long periods yet just a year before that I was an upcoming athlete. About the same time my mum injured her back and went to see a chiropractor for rehab. One day after I had had a particularly bad week, she spoke to her doctor and explained what I was going through. Bless her heart, the doctor asked to see me and see how she could be of assistance.

Lo and behold, when I was examined I had an unnatural curve in my spine just under my shoulder blades. This seemed to have been there for a while and we couldn’t immediately figure out the cause. About two weeks later I remembered the fall when I was 3 years old and mentioned it to mum who spoke immediately with the doctor. After much consultation it was determined that indeed the fall was the cause of this injury. Remember on the outside there was no visible sign of injury but on the inside it was different. My doctor explained that I was a child when I feel, my spine was flexible and it absorbed impact by curving. Had I been older, the fall would have resulted in spinal injury.

I was immediately started on treatment and it took 4 years of regular chiropractic treatment to get my back restored into normal alignment. Yes, four years of excruciating pain, pain killers, hot water bottles, high density foam mattresses, strange pillows or cushions, flat shoes, doctor’s appointments, limited travel, etc. I even had to figure how to reduce the load of books I carried. Anyone who went through the 8-4-4 system of education then understands how hard this was because we carried loads of books from a very broad syllabus.

The adjustment though painful was good for me in the end as I was able to lead a more normal life after that. I quickly learnt what would aggravate the situation and what would reduce the pain. I adapted my life and make the best of it and later all was well. The main source of the pain and discomfort was that the orientation of muscles had to be changed. The curve in my spine meant that some muscles were in over extended positions while others where in shortened positions. As the adjustments were made, the shorter ones had to stretch to their right position and boy wasn’t it painful. Whole muscle groups had to adjust and then be eased into permanent position by exercise and rest.

Yet despite all the pain there were significant benefits. I could now attend to my studies without much pain or discomfort, I was no longer flat footed, buying shoes was easier, my posture was fantastic so my vocal range improved, oh and the pain was gone. It was amazing when finally after four years of treatment my doctor said I was good only needed to come in once a year for review. I haven’t had to have a review in over 10 years now.

Today I realise that this isn’t very different from life. In this season God will call us to move up, out and over into places that are good for us and out of places that are detrimental to us. The movement will mean leaving things that were previously important behind and moving into new levels of understanding and importance. In order to be in the right place we must:
1. Accept and embrace change: be at peace with it.
2. Realise that the changes are inevitable: it will happen whether we like it or not
3. Relax and be easy on ourselves: allow the Holy Spirit to make us fluid
4. Trust God: HE has our best interests at heart

This is indeed a walk of faith for me because there are necessary changes going on that I must make and I have indeed been struggling with some of them. I am now more determined to stand aside and allow Papa to do His thing and make all things work together for my good.

Have a wonderful, logic defying season with Papa.

The Simple Life

Redefining our thoughts – 2


  • Proverbs 32:7 “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” KJV.
  • Matthew 12:34 “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”
  • 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.

These are all the scriptures I mentioned in the past that actually provide the basis for our discussion. You see, when we move along with these verses, it becomes clear that we are the one  and only thing that stands between us and our destiny. We determine where we go and what we achieve. Even if God has great plans for us he cannot force us to reach the fulfilment of the same because He gives us free will and a mind to process and align with him.

So often we life around us has standards expectations and these are based on what has happened in the past and what others have determined is the truth and is reliable. Think about it, when we were young weren’t we told that if we did not do well in school we would not be able to get good jobs and hence be unable to become anything in life. REALLY? Have you ever stopped to wonder if that is the whole truth? What of Albert Einstein, Richard Branson, Winston Churchill? How many people who have made it in life have done different things? Think of your locality and find people who reached great heights even when they had very little…they had to do something different to make the change and difference.

On the other hand there are people who we believed would the best in life because they were at the top of the class yet today they are in their graves too early or wallowing in a lost way. There has to be more to life than just where I was born, my education, my connections and past experience.

The ability to move away from the normal and into the realm of different must have another trigger and I would put it forward here that it is a matter of “my thought process.” I become my thoughts and I am bound by my thoughts. I had never thought of it this way but my thoughts are either wings or chains. They can make me fly or tie me to the ground. Think about it again…you become what you think or better still, “What you focus on expands.” I’ll say that again, “What you focus on expands.” That last statement was said by Dr. Cindy Trimm this last weekend and it has not left me since…”What you focus on expands.”

I have always given this a lot less weight than I really needed to give it. It also bears witness in my heart that focus is conscious and subconscious. Even when I am not actively pondering things, they are brewing and brooding in the back of my mind or in the depths of my heart. This means that the day I meet that one person who hurt me deeply once in my life, I feel my guard going up and I brace for the fight or the barb I am expecting from them. How can I react this way unless I am somehow and sometime thinking about it? Isn’t there a place deep inside me that is processing, brooding and holding onto the pain and hurt? Why can’t I let it go?

I realised that there are things I need to stop focusing on to ensure that I stay on the right track and keep moving from one level to another. It means that I must reassess my life, feelings and how my mind works. I must desire to find out how my mind works and processes data. I must then recognise the road I am destined to follow and measure progress against the revelation I receive daily. When I find that I am not on the right track I must take myself to lie at the foot of the cross and ask Papa to “Transform me by the renewing of my mind…” Rom 12:2.

Renewing my mind is really not rocket science. It is shifting focus from the things that have held me captive to something new. The new focus must be something that is bigger, greater and more powerful than me. The best way to find this place is found in Philippians 4:8Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Remember that what we focus on expands so we must be sure that we are focusing on the right things and growing in strength and grace every step.

Dear Papa, help me to find you and walk in your ways always. Renew my mind and allow me to be all you desire for me and then some. For when you created me you said I was good. Today I decree and declare that I am good, I am blessed, I am able to be transformed in my mind, I am child of the Most High God, I will become all Papa set out for me to become.

In Christ’s name I pray AMEN.

THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life

Expectancy


Wasn’t it a shock for me when I sat back and realised that my experience were pegged on the wrong things and I had been setup for failure from the beginning. Let me explain.

 

We are all raised to expect certain standards from ourselves and others to enable strong and lasting relationships. We believed that there are things each of us should do that will help the relationship succeed. When the said things are not fulfilled, one would feel that the relationship is skewed unfair.

 

Recently, I read “The Shack” by Paul Young and my thought process was challenged and changed. He talks about God looking at us with expectancy not expectation. How absolutely radical! You see, expectations are standards and make us judge our relationships with others based on what either one of us are supposed to do and achieve. When the ‘requirements’ are not met we get disappointed and hurt.

 

God on the other hand looks at us very differently. He looks at us with expectancy. What is that? Well, He created us and knows our humanity. He knows that we may not get it right the first time yet He still has hope that one day we will get there. When we don’t get there He smiles, forgives and says maybe tomorrow. He looks at us in love and with the knowledge that one day we will get it and we will be all He desires of us to be.

 

In view of that, how then do we need to treat one another? I think the way to go is expectancy…meaning that we need to develop a never ending belief that it will be well and all will work out fine. I am learning every day that when I don’t put my expectations on others I am better able to have peace and joy all the time. However, I desire to move from expectation to expectancy, I must deal with myself and what I don’t like about me. I am forced to look at myself and deal with the issues that arise from the waiting and the attitudes I have inadvertently created in my heart, for I cannot give what I don’t have.

 

It is often easier said than done but I know that with God all things are possible and I will be in the space one day that  will not load expectations on people rather I will live with an open, warm and expectant heart that allows everyone to be themselves and free me to be happy and loving life.

 

Papa how I desire a heart like yours and love that is deep and wide as mine has failed me time and time again. I know it is part of a process and the process at times scares me to follow yet I want to believe that you are all I need and will ever need. 

THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life

A new kind of love


“I had waited so long to see him and then the day came…it felt like hundreds of years since the last meeting and yet it was just a couple of days…ok hours. We had talked and expressed the need to touch base and it heightened the anticipation.

When I woke up in the morning my heart was pounding with anticipation that I would see him. This is the man I truly love and long to be with all the time. Every time I think of him my heart races and my senses are ignited. Every time I am in the vicinity of his presence I know he is there whether or not I know which way he has come. My heart and mind are so tuned to him it is not funny. When do I ever get over this? Then again, do I want to be away from this warmth and love?

Today I woke up charged because we had a date and I could not wait…my heart raced and my spirit longed for the time of connection. Every step closer to him made my heart race a little harder and louder till it was pounding in my ears. Every moment was like being in a pressure cooker waiting to blow and release the steam on the inside. Then I saw him; my eyes lit up; my heart nearly exploded then he looked up; saw me and smiled. My heart melted. Could I ever feel more whole than this? Could this be what love is all about?

The rest was in slow motion. He stood and walked toward me and I was mesmerised, glued to the spot, awestruck, stranded. I could only watch and wait for him where I was…rooted and stuck and lost in my own world. He was the most wonderful person to look at, love shining in his eyes, a smile on his face, his arms outstretched. Suddenly I snapped out of it and run into his arms and it all unravelled. My heart raced, my spirit soared my day was made. It was a beautiful and wonderful day and I cannot remember ever being so complete.”

An excerpt from the journal of a girl in love.

This is also the desire from the heart of Papa. He desires to be the one who makes our hearts race, whose face we desire to see, whose embrace we long to feel, whose presence we long to experience. He loves us, plain and simple. He longs for us. He yearns for moments with us as we walk in his way. Do you feel the calling to be in His presence? Do you long for Him? Do you desire Him more than anything else?

Papa, I desire to know you in this way and desire you more than anyone else. Draw me closer Papa that I may know you more. Blow my mind. Touch my heart daily. Make me more like you. Teach me to trust you regardless. Teach me to know your voice. All I want is to know you more and more.