The Simple Life, Walking with God

Ever Ready


Who would have known that a shaking was around the corner?

Last Sunday 26.4.2020 started on a high. It was dull outside but my heart was light and joyful in me. I woke up later than usual but was still the first in the house to get up and about so I focused on breakfast. It was odd that I was cooking so early because my people and I eat after ten but I did it all the same. The young king called to say I had a missed call but I decided to finish before I dealt with the call.

Returning that call changed my life for good…

My other brother Paul, gone…

There are few people I know who are full of love and concern with such purity of heart and he is one of them.

There are few people who the world knows to be steadfast and committed to their faith in every sphere of life…he is one of them

There are few people; whose arrival or presence changed the atmosphere in the room…he is one of them

His dedication to the call of God in his life was undeniable

His commitment to showcase and be all God called him to be was evident

His love for his family, friends and the world, was clear

He was one of those special ones

Don’t think for a minute he was an angel ha!!

He was all man, with successes, failings and faults

He made mistakes in life and crossed paths

Yet the softness of his heart and the depth of his wisdom made him stand out

Very few men (here I mean male gender) are like this brother

Unafraid to try and fail, unbeaten in tenacity, setting out to accomplish every task assigned

Unafraid to walk paths uncharted, unmoved that he is alone on the way as long as God has sent him

He was an anchor in stormy seas, a great captain with eyes fixed on God

He kept his word and spoke his truth, keeping his destination in sight

He led teams through stormy seas, thick forests, dry deserts, calm seas, lush gardens and stillness

He understood that each one has a set assignment, destination, connection and output for God and he kept his eyes on his prize

He spoke of things with certainty because he knew his God and his path was set in Him

He navigated life at work in the banking sector, on ministry assignment, in his fitness pursuits, with friends and family with a cheeky smile, laughing eyes, warm heart, firm tone, steadfast belief that God has a plan that can be trusted

He raised the standards of every team he worked with and taught many to seek God and walk with Him in faith, life, work and passion

Image by The Real Photogenic

This week has changed me because once again I have been reminded that Jehovah my maker, gave me X number of days to become a certain person and complete and set task, reach a certain set of people and bring Him honour and glory

It reminded me that only the Maker knows the actual number of days He set, how many I have lived and how many are left.

It reminded me that no matter how hard I try, if I leave the path He has set for me, I will fail

So I set my gaze again as flint, on He who hovered over the waters of the deep, who created a pleasant place for me to live, who moulded me as the soil and breathed into me the breath of life, who set me on this earth in a community and allowed life and its challenges to shape and shift me.

I set my gaze on Him who knows the end from the beginning and is determined that I become that His word may be revealed and lived out. I set my gaze as flint on He who begun the good work in me and will be faithful to complete it in me.

I choose trust that though I miss my big brother Paul, he has run and finished his race therefore he has rested. I know that since I am still here I have a ways to go, more to become and still more to accomplish with and in God. So I raise my eyes to the heavens even as I allow the tears to fall and say,

“Indeed my Father, You know what is best for us. You know the times and seasons. You know how long we each have. You know that we can become if we decide to hold onto you.

I ask for grace to stand on your WORD every moment of every day. I pray for your healing in our inner man. I pray for your peace that passes all understanding to guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

I pray that Your kingdom come and Your will be done on earth, in my life, in this nation and the world at large as it is in heaven.

Papa, you are the balm that heals our hearts; the love that casts out all fear; the joy that strengthens; the peace that passes all understanding; the all sufficient grace; the everlasting covenant keeper; the one true God, the friend who sticks closer than a brother; the healer; the redeemer; the ever present help in times of plenty and trouble. I choose to be ever ready, waiting for your WORD.”

The Simple Life

Flat Footed & Unaware


The last few weeks have been critical for everyone one of us. Do you remember when you first heard about it? When did you first really pay attention to it? Did you think it would get to you? Did you ever think things would get this bad? You know what? Most of us ignored Covid19 until it was on our doorsteps. For many of us, it was just another thing out there.

This is bigger than many of us realise.

We are either in lock down, quarantine or under curfew depending on where you are in the world and your state of health. Nothing could have prepared most of us for this. When it was in a country across the world in some remote part, most of us didn’t even pay attention to it. It is only when it got to Europe  and begun spreading across the world that we paid attention. Isn’t that ironic?

When the impact was seen on the ‘first world’ nations the world took notice. When nations instituted lock downs, shut downs, quarantines, the world took notice. When the numbers of the dead blew through the roof, the world took notice. When economic stimulus programs begun being crafted in wealthy nations, the world took notice. Why is that?

The seemingly invincible have been touched and affected.

Many people still haven’t even realised the truth or gravity of the situation. On a local level the reality of the possible economic impact is now beginning to bite. We have almost sixty percent of our nation informally employed and living on a knife edge of poverty. Expand your mind beyond those in the informal settlements; there are many, many more people at stake.

Think of the Uber driver living in Umoja, the young professional in her first job, the young associate in your company, the man in an junior position in your company, the manager daily grinding to meet social expectations, the middle manager addicted to shopping and high life. The young person caught up in the glitz and glam that is the social media culture. The child accustomed to asking for anything and getting it. Now all their lives and lifestyles are at risk or crumbled.

There are still more things to think about.

Many years ago, being wealthy was defined to me as, ‘how long I can live my life at the same quality of life after I lose my ability to earn income.’ Think about it! Am I able to still feed myself and family, pay school fees, cover utilities, get to work and home daily etc? How long can I do so; a day, month, 6 months, 12 months, a few years? If I can only live a few months, I am effectively poor regardless of where I stay, how I dress, what I drive etc.

Many of us are so caught up in looking like we are successful that we don’t really interrogate our lives and set the right structures in place. I am not even going to go the economics way because there are may people talking about that and it doesn’t interest me at all. I want us to look at the personal level.

In reality, we live according to the patterns of our past.

The things we went through in the past shape our belief systems and actions in ways we don’t always think about. As a child, I always wondered about my mother’s behaviour. She worked hard and made us work too even though we didn’t really want to or like it. I loved going shopping with her because I am a curious mind and liked to see places so I was in the local market from a tender age.

I learnt to haggle, find good produce, carry heavy baskets and work among people of all walks of life. I also loved the quarterly trips to wholesale shops and supermarkets that took most of the Saturday followed by the cleaning and reorganising of the store. What I didn’t know at the time was that this was so because Mzee’s pay was sporadic but at least something came in at the end of every quarter.

Later it was easy for me to live out the pattern she set because it was well rehearsed.

As I grew older and took on more responsibility in the house, I assumed it was normal for everyone around to be taught these things but alas. By the age of 12 I was running the house because she was off sick and Mzee was working. I remember the shock on the faces of the market ladies the first day this little one went to the market alone followed by their protectiveness over me every time I went. It honed my bargain hunting skills that would server me in campus where I lived fabulously on very little. To be honest, I have carried on those habits to date.

Why is this important? The hard times we lived in taught me skills I could use later in life when things got tight. They came back to me when I got married and we had to figure things out on small incomes. They helped when my husband was retrenched and my income was low. They helped when the business was struggling and cashflow was low or non-existent. In all the challenging times, I had a point of reference, a playbook to adapt from, a set of skills I could pivot with.

The lessons taught me to keep my eyes open and never assume anything.

When Covid19 showed up in China, I was initially disinterested but it caught my attention as the numbers rose. As I watched, it became clear this wasn’t something we had known before and it was on an unprecedented scale. It was as if something other worldly was afoot and most people were looking the other way. Of particular interest was how unaware the body of believers was. Were there signs before this happened? Were there things the body of believers should have seen?  What should we have been looking at? How should we have adjusted our lives?

The reality is that, the solutions are not what we think or where we think they are. This was a call to be like Joseph and Daniel. A call to be so immersed in our relationship with God that He would whisper the truth of the days to come into our ears and we would respond and prepare as He instructed. That our sleep would be pebbled with dreams and visions and we would arise and implement them. That a way of escape would be provided.

Let us understand that there is always a way of escape with God.

To clarify, the way of escape isn’t that we will never have trouble, rather that He would give advance warning with an instruction to prepare and we would be diligent to follow the instruction. Obedience to those instructions would breed the grace to thrive and survive the days that are now here.

When Pharaoh had the dream and couldn’t find an interpreter, the cup bearer remembered the man who accurately interpreted his dream and spoke up for Joseph to his master even though it was many years later. In a matter of hours, Joseph left prison, showered, appeared before Pharaoh, interpreted the dream and begun working in preparation for its realisation. His years in the pits, fields, homes and prison had prepared him for the time and season he found himself in.

Joseph became the answer to the questions the nations were asking through God.

So I ask myself, if so many were unaware, what have they been doing? Now that things have changed, how are we preparing for life after Covid19? Please understand that this is a game changer; life has changed and nothing will ever be the same again. We will come out, yet not all of us. We will arise, yet not all of us. We will learn lessons, yet not all of us. A line has been drawn, each one must choose a path and walk in it. I have purposed to do and become whatever my Father says to me in this season because it is by obedience that the next instruction will come and I will rise into the fullness He has set out for me.

Understand that, this is business unusual and only those with a clear word, instruction or assignment will come out on top. There is a shift in the way the world functions and an even bigger shift in the way the kingdom functions. We cannot afford to be caught flat footed and unaware.

Press in, be still, listen, learn, understand and then go and ONLY what your Father says.

Shalom

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com
The Simple Life

Lord Have Mercy On Us


Today is a designated day of prayer in Kenya, from wherever we are. Take time to really reflect on the realities of this nation and lay your heart bare before the Father that He may hear from heaven and heal our land for our destiny is tied to the destiny of Afrika and we must there RISE to the fullness of God and His Word

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Let’s raise our voices in thanks and praise for He

Is good & His love endures forever

Has given us life

Has a plan for the season

Has absolute understanding and awareness

Has preserved us this far and continues to watch over us

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Let’s raise our voices in thanks and praise for He

Is the shield around us; our shield and buckler

Is our glory and He lifts our heads

Has delivered and kept us alive through the generations

Is true to His word and watches over us

Is our refuge, our strengthen, our deliverer, our life & our salvation

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Let us raise our hearts in REPENTANCE for we have

Been unfaithful in our first love

Been unjust to our brothers and sisters

Ignored the widow, orphan & fatherless

Greedily looked after ourselves

Despised those of lower station than us

Cursed those with more than us

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Let us raise our hearts in REPENTANCE for we have

Stolen from our community

Ignored His ways and statutes

Loved & served other gods before Him

Lied that we love Him yet we love money more

Been driven by greed to doubt Him

Forsaken the call to share love

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Let us raise our hearts in REPENTANCE

Father look upon us in mercy

Have mercy oh Lord, Have mercy

Father look upon us in mercy

Have mercy oh Lord, Have mercy

Father look upon us in mercy

Have mercy oh Lord, Have mercy

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Father your word says if we confess our sins

Repent from the same

And turn from our wicked ways

You will hear from heaven

And heal our land

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Father look upon us in mercy

Have mercy oh Lord, Have mercy

For we are nothing without you

We will go nowhere without you

We are destined to fail without you

Father look upon us in mercy

Have mercy oh Lord, Have mercy

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For our greed and sin

WE ARE SORRY

For our selfishness

WE ARE SORRY

For our fear and doubt

WE ARE SORRY

For walking away from You

WE ARE SORRY

For our loose tongues

WE ARE SORRY

For our slanderous words

WE ARE SORRY

For our arrogance and ignorance

WE ARE SORRY

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Create in us a clean heart that desires only you

Renew a right spirit in us that will follow you

Renew our minds to Your word that is truth

Align our desires to yours that we would honour you

Where we thought we knew; teach us your way

Where we thought we were right; realign our thoughts

Where we felt we understood; restore our focus on you

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Father, have mercy on us as your people

Raise among us your remnant who will never leave your way

Raise among us a people in your image and likeness

Raise among us a people devoted to your word

Raise among us a people committed to you

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Father, have mercy on us as your people

For we do not know what to do

We do not know how to respond

We are broken vessels uncertain of the path

We are rudderless because nothing is working

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Father, have mercy on us as your people

For if you do not, who will be our guide?

If you do not how will we live from here?

If you do not, where will we go for help?

If you do not, how do we function?

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Father, have mercy on us as your people

Father, have mercy on us as your people

Father, have mercy on us as your people

Father, have mercy on us as your people

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Father, have mercy on us as your people

FORGIVE us for being arrogant and proud

FORGIVE us for anger and hate

FORGIVE us for lust and envy

FORGIVE us for ignoring the plight of others

FORGIVE us for bloodshed and destruction

FORGIVE us oh Lord FORGIVE us

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FORGIVE us for we have ignored our brethren

FORGIVE us for destroying your land

FORGIVE us for hoarding property and supplies

FORGIVE us for exalting ourselves

FORGIVE us for corruption and lies

FORGIVE us oh Lord FORGIVE us

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Have mercy on us oh Lord

Have mercy on us oh Lord

Have mercy on us oh Lord

Have mercy on us oh Lord

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Have mercy on us oh Lord

And heal our hearts

Have mercy on us oh Lord

And heal our minds

Have mercy on us oh Lord

And restore our souls

Have mercy on us oh Lord, Have mercy

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Have mercy on us oh Lord, have mercy

For we are a sinful people

Have mercy on us oh Lord, have mercy

For we are broken and shattered

Have mercy on us oh Lord, have mercy

For we are weak and easy shaken

Have mercy on us oh Lord, have mercy

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Have mercy on us oh Lord, have mercy

For we are nothing before you

Have mercy on us oh Lord, have mercy

For we have been unfaithful

Have mercy on us oh Lord, have mercy

For we have lusted after the things of the world

Have mercy on us oh Lord, have mercy

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Have mercy on us oh Lord

That we may correct our lives

Have mercy on us oh Lord

That we may walk in your ways

Have mercy on us oh Lord

And heal our land

Have mercy on us oh Lord, have mercy

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Have mercy on us oh Lord, have mercy

For without you we are nothing

Have mercy on us oh Lord, have mercy

For without your wisdom we are foolish

Have mercy on us oh Lord, have mercy

For you are our ONLY HOPE

Have mercy on us oh Lord, have mercy

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Have mercy on us oh Lord, have mercy

Have mercy on us oh Lord, have mercy

Have mercy on us oh Lord, have mercy

Have mercy on us oh Lord, have mercy

THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life, Walking with God

The Anchor Holds


The last few months have been trying with the emergence of Coronavirus or Covid19. When it hit in December in China, most of us stood watching on the side-lines shaking our heads and saying how sad. We didn’t think it would cross the oceans let alone become a pandemic. Then it started moving and we watched it cross to Hong Kong, Iran, South Korea but still we weren’t too bothered until it reached Italy.

In our lifetimes, many of us have never seen an epidemic outside Asia and Afrika. We had HIV/AIDS in the 80’s and 90’s and Ebola more recently but the greatest impact was felt in the ‘third world’ as we are commonly called. This time it is totally different because Afrika has been spared the initial brunt of infection and death and the developed world has been ravaged in ways we cannot begin to understand.

The facts are that there are many infections and the most vulnerable ones are the elderly. The facts are that it is a viral pneumonia that the body has to fight. The facts are that the elderly and those with weakened immunity with underlying chronic illnesses are at greatest risk because what actually kills is the complications from underlying conditions. The facts are that the things all media houses are talking about is the infections and deaths but not those who recover. The facts are that the virus has no respect for persons, social position and wealth. True right?

So panic set in and hording started and it has gone south from there.

The fear and panic is what has my attention. It is tangible and palpable almost thick enough to cut with a knife. It is in every social media post and every new bulletin. It spikes when a presser is called by a health or government official and when a new patient is found. It rises when you go to the cupboard and see the packet of rice or the vegetables getting finished. It rises every few hours and it will continue to rise if we don’t find ways to deal with the fear.

Have I felt the fear? Yes. Some reading this would wonder why? Well, to be honest, as I watched the growing reach and rising numbers I couldn’t help feeling the fear for a bit wondering what was going on and why it was happening. I couldn’t understand why in this developed world such a pandemic would happen. I had watched a documentary on the Spanish flu a few weeks ago and the similarity between that and Covid19 were so insane. So yes, for a little while, I felt the fear and it almost became a crippling year.

My daily pattern is to watch international news as I work and so this fuelled the fear because it was the main story with different aspects and additions breaking all the time. Even the documentaries would be interrupted with updates and long winded conversations about the virus and its devastating nature, countries on lock down, people losing jobs and lives being forever changed. It rose to a peak very quickly and almost paralysed me before I pulled back to look at it. Yes, pulled back to look at it.

Was there another way of dealing with this fear?

Yes, there was another way. Remember the saying, feel the fear but do it anyway? I choose to analyse the fear that was building. Why was I so fearful? What did I stand to lose? As I looked within I begun to understand what was fuelling the fear. The very fact that I couldn’t determine how fast it would get here, would my nation suffer excessively in terms of people, economics and social realities. There’s also the matter of misinformation and fear mongering.

I needed to understand so I began seeking information on the situation; how many have died, how many have recovered, how many are in recovery. What are the conditions associated with rapid spread? What steps are countries taking to take charge? Who are the most vulnerable? What supplies are needed? How long are they setting quarantine? All the information I could find and a lot wasn’t being told publicly or as loudly as the scary side of the situation.

Simple things would save lives: wash hands with water and soap or use hand sanitiser, social distancing, less physical contact, get medical help if feeling unwell and isolate if you are confirmed.

The biggest thing that was scaring me was the reality that at least sixty percent of Kenyans and maybe Afrikans live on or below the poverty line and they would be the most exposed. Why does that bother me? Simple…they are our workforce. Do you have a nanny, housekeeper, gardener, security guard, driver, and caretaker? Where do you think they live?

Our people live in informal settlements with small houses without adequate ventilation, without running water and unable to afford hand sanitiser. They share bathrooms and toilets and are in such close quarters that if one gets sick, cross contamination is a given and guess whose house or workplace it is coming to?

While many are running around and hoarding, it is easy to forget those who cannot do the same. It is easy to be selfish and cater only to your needs and forget others need help. So if you have all the hand sanitiser and your gardener doesn’t have any, don’t you think it could come back to you? many of us cannot survive without our housekeepers yet we are not taking the care we need to about their lives and their health.

I asked my Father for direction, insight, contacts, sources, and true to form He came through.

There is a way God is that makes Matt 6:33 true, ‘…Ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened.’ It also brought James 4:2b-3 to mind; ‘…Yet you do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.

I hadn’t been asking let alone asking amiss. I just sat in my corner absorbing information that caused terror in my heart. So I recalibrated and focused on asking my Father the questions in my heart. I needed peace and calm and He gave it. I needed insight, He provided it. I needed perspective and He gave it.

There is a peace that we must all come to because God is sovereign and he will always provide a way out. He will direct when to shop, how much, who to shop for, how to help the community. We can no longer live with the degree of selfishness and greed that has driven the world because it has and will continue to separate us and dictate how we treat people.

We can only stand out and be confident in our Father if we truly believe that He is more than able to do everything He says he will do and make good on His promise to care for us. The anchor has to be God because He is the only one who is steadfast through any storm in life. He is a sure support no matter what.

What do you need to ask Him that you will find your peace and anchor afresh?

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The anchor holds
Though the ship is battered
The anchor holds
Though the sails are torn
I have fallen on my knees as I face the raging seas
The anchor holds in spite of the storm

Ray Boltz

THE CHRISTIAN WALK, Walking with God

Balance My Heart


Balance my heart for it desires love

 A very certain kind of love

But you just have to be enough

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I don’t want to crave human love

Until you and I are totally one

You just have to be enough

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Keep my eyes stayed on you

Keep my heart content

Keep my spirit connected

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Keep my walk dedicated

Keep my mind alert

Keep my eyes open

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Keep my ears listening

Keep my focus set

Keep my desire in check

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Teach me to test everything

Teach me to judge everything

Teach me to walk away

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Teach me your voice

Teach me your way

Teach me your truth

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Guide me all day

Lead my by your word

Draw me into your way

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Keep me calm

Gravitating to you

You and only you

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May my life shine before men

That they may see my walk

And glorify You my Father

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Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com
THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life

Purpose Worked Out


Have you ever listened to a speaker and been blown away by their understanding of scriptures that you have always know? Did you wonder where they get their depth and insight? Oh it happened to me this week. I was listening to my Daddy and the revelation and understanding he has seemed totally out of left field. Then I begun to really listen to more than the words he spoke. To listen to the sound of his heart and spirit and then…I heard it. I heard the one thing that connected him to deep insight, understanding and revelation. That thing that resonated deep in him was in the frequency of his communication with God. It was evident in his deep love and affection for God alongside a deep reverence for God. His love for God is obvious and profound.

jn64

This got me thinking. Each of us is created with a #Purpose that we are meant to accomplish here on earth. To put it another way, I am created as a certain person, connected to a certain place, in a certain way to a certain people. This means that I must be connected in the right place, in the right way without any borders, to the right people for the right reason. So let’s say that I am called to be a minister of the word…I must be aware of my call, connected to the right congregation, at the right time and with the right team. Within this setting I will have no borders because my purpose is so clearly defined and I am operating as God intended. It doesn’t mean that there will be no challenges but it means that in the midst of the challenges I have peace in the knowledge that God is in control and I am in the right place and therefore it shall be well.

I must understand the patterns that go with my ordination. #Patterns are the things that when put into practice bring forth fruit and enable me to I reach the level of impact I am intended to have. Using the above example or a minister, I must not give stale fruit. This means that everything I give to the congregation needs to be of value. It needs to be the best I can give anyone. To be able to do this, I must receive a fresh word every day that will first nourish me and then them. It’s like fresh bread. I must partake daily to be able to give life to those around me. My bread must have the right flour, leavening, flavour and cooking time. I must connect to the requirement for the moment and the day.

How often do we go out to work, spend time with people without thought of the impact of our personal relationship and communication with God? Do we prepare before we share your heart with others? Do we pray through our opinions before we share them with others? Do we prepare? Do we take time to listen to what God would have us say? Do you take time to compose our thoughts or do we just blurt out the first thing that comes to mind?

How then can we dare to go before the people God would have us minister to with little or no preparation? How do we go to work without spending time with God? How do we prepare for the day before hear from God how to deal with the upcoming challenges? How do we prepare to speak to people before we get clarity about the situation and clear words to speak? I admit that there have been many instances when I did not stop to listen to God or follow through on the path He had laid out. Does He speak to me? Yes. Does He speak daily? Yes. Do I always hear Him? No. Does that mean He isn’t speaking? No. He continues to speak even if He has to turn to speak to another to get the message across. I must admit that it seems simple enough yet, very few of us actually wait until we have clear directions before we move a step or lift an eyelid? We use common sense and culture to decide rather than the voice of God.

There is a verse that has come up repeatedly this year and I believe it will remain with me for the rest of my days.

           John 5:30 By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but

                                    Him who sent me.

Is this true of our lives? What drives us; our personal standards, culture, common sense, life, expectations, the Word of God? What? I was asked that question a few months ago and I have realised that the things I thought guided my life indeed were not the true.

I pray that John 5:30 becomes true about my everyday life. Join me in this walk and let’s encourage each other.

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