Monday, December 24, 2012
Monday, December 10, 2012
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Monday, October 8, 2012
Friday, September 21, 2012
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
‘The graveyard is the wealthiest place in the world’. We've all heard this often enough right? It’s full of unfulfilled dreams, un-utilised talents, untapped abilities, unapplied knowledge and information. This expression is so very cliché, yes! Nonetheless, no one can ever diminish the truth that it contains. Each of us knows several members of our families, circles of friends, professional colleagues, etc whom we can point at as not utilizing a fraction of their gifts and abilities. Too many have died without trying; too many more gave up along the way, their potentials never to be realised. Sadly, even as we point at others, many of us – yours truly included, could readily fit into this category unless we remain focused and intentional about how we live our lives. There is always that one thing (or several things, sigh!) that we know we can and should be doing, but which we so easily allow procrastination and the noises of life keep us from. The Lord once ministered to me over something I had been dilly-dallying about, ‘Do not let complacency keep you from your destiny, my child’. That was a much needed kick in the shin, I tell you.
I don’t recall where I first heard the message about dying empty .....about pouring out of yourself everything that God sent you to this earth to achieve. However, I do know that this has become a constant prayer point for me, that on the last day the Lord should not have cause to question how well I fulfilled my assignment on the earth. With each new strand of gray that appears on my head (and yes there’s one too many at this time, lol) I am reminded that life is a countdown. Like many of us, I wasted many a year doing things that didn’t count for the Kingdom (check YouTube: Gbile Akanni’s message ‘You are dead’). As the years roll by, my prayer and focus with the help of the Holy Spirit, is to use the rest of my life as effectively as I can, walking in the purposes of God for my life. Indeed, my prayer is that at the end, I will die empty; that my grave will not be fertile soil full of unrealised potential.
I had a set of experiences over the past couple of weeks that added to my perspective on the richness of the graveyard. Perspective! I find myself using that word a lot these days. It seems to me like once you become focused on Zero-living, once you become truly Kingdom-minded, that you really don’t take things as they come any more. There is a message and there is learning in just about everything. The Lord is speaking to us constantly through seemingly regular everyday events, conversations, interactions, etc. The Bible tells us to ‘seek the Lord while He might be found’. Seems to me that this seeking is not about being in church or about our quiet times; rather the seeking is to be as basic to us as our simple act of breathing; that we might find Him in everything that we think, say or do while we still have the breath of life in our mortal bodies. Yes! This is my perspective. And you know what sis? In the place of this understanding, I am amazed at the constant, otherwise overlooked manifestations of God’s favour, mercies and grace upon my every area of my life. Simply incredible!
Over the past few weeks, I have come to a deeper understanding that if we truly have the love of God in us; that if we truly believe that God is love; that if we truly wish to follow the Lord as our example; then the ‘doing’ is in our love walk with our fellow man. Our love walk is required to be a daily commitment and is not situation dependent. It is not a function of convenience. True love cannot be denied. It shines forth from within, manifested in things big and small which it is so easy to take for granted.
True love is my sister Karen staying up late, time and again, at the end of her very challenging work days, just to sort out some of the local travel logistics for her last-minute.com sister (yours truly) and her brood. True love is her taking time off work for several days in a row and playing chauffer, travel guide, food advisor, entertainment counsellor, et al – even knowing that I could readily find my way, but choosing to honour me with her time and presence.... and love! True love is my Coach Anna and her husband Richmond opening their hearts and home to my entire family, eight of us in all. True love is them extending the invite to a friend of mine – and then there were nine! True love is them making the unsolicited drive to and from the airport at odd hours to pick up my friend whom they didn’t even know. True love is Shemetris and Juanita – two special sisters, one of whom I had never met, moving into Coach Anna’s home for the period (leaving work, family and other responsibilities) and making themselves fully available to serve (literally) my family and I in any way that would ensure our time in Dallas was a great experience. True love is Ms. Harla, Ms. Margie and all the incredible ladies of Woman Act Now USA who just loved on us prior to and in the course of our time in Dallas.
I could go on sis, but I won’t. There was love ....deep and continuously flowing. It was genuine; it was an agape kind of love; and around it revolved God’s grace and favour. Yes sis, in simply day-to-day things, I could see that His banner over us truly is Love! And so this is the broader perspective that I have......
I have come to realize that beyond the richness of the graveyard in terms of unfulfilled dreams, visions, talents and abilities; the graveyard is full of love that was not freely poured out. Too many people have died without giving of themselves in service of others; they didn’t love enough and so clearly, they didn’t live enough. While it might be too late for those who have already left this earthly realm, this is a good time for you and I to reassess our love walk. Are we allowing the past pains, hurts, disappointments, negative experiences, rejection, and fears keep us from allowing ourselves to love fully and freely? To love not just those who are close to us but also those who are not? Are we yielding fully to the call to serve? Are we yielding to the call to love those who appear unlovable and or undeserving? Are we missing out on opportunities to pour out love on others because we might be inconvenienced in the process? Food for thought!
My prayer at the end of the day – for you and I sis, is that of all the many things that the Lord has put in us, we might die empty of love.... for God is love, and if we are made in His image and likeness then we must be love, we must give love and we must show love. My Coach defines love as ‘Contending for the highest possible good to be manifested in the present moment’. That is all we are guaranteed isn’t it sis? The present moment? Father, please open our hearts to truly love like you do. Help us to forgive, to overlook, to open ourselves to love others like you love us. Help us to pour out love according to your ultimate commandments, that at the end we will die empty of the love you have put in us; and that the lives of your children (not the graveyard) will be richer because we existed. The Lord will help you sis... He will help me!
Be blessed sis...... for you surely are!
Thursday, August 16, 2012
I have been away awhile I know. Sorry about that people. Yours truly has had a million activities to close out before a much-needed vacation. It looked like it was still a while away, but then one morning I woke up and it was the 3rd of August... I was to travel on the 12th. OMG! The flurry of last-minute must-attend-to’s took their toll on me both mentally and physically I can tell you. Anyhow, here I am trying to deal with the jet-lag but fully committed to my responsibility to speak what is in my heart to you as we walk this walk of life as women uniquely created to achieve the purposes of God here on the earth. If I haven’t said so before sis, please know that I so appreciate the fact that you take time to read this blog and allow it minister to you. Thank you especially for all of your feedback. Thank you for as many people as you have referred this blog to. I really am grateful for you sis.
Gratitude! An interesting word, you agree? It’s a word that speaks of thankfulness for something or someone; appreciation; expressions of value. In all of two minutes the most of us could readily come up with at least twenty things, people, circumstances, experiences, etc that we are grateful for. Between our salvation and relationship with the Father; the breath of life every morning; our families; our health; jobs/businesses; etc you and I undoubtedly have quite a few things in common for which we are eternally grateful to God. Halleluyah!
Today however, I would like to share another perspective on gratitude with you. As I read through the newest edition of TW magazine (Awesome publication by my friend Adesuwa Onyenokwe. Proud of you always girl!) a few days ago, the Editor had written about being thankful and how while it is always said that we should be thankful for the things we have, she’d once read a quote that said to ‘Be thankful for the things you don’t want that you don’t have’. That struck me quite strongly and the more I reflected on it, the more all I could think was ‘Wow!’ Profound right? Truly, in some situations, ‘Wow’ is the most profound you can get and this was one of such times.
For the vast majority of people – yours truly included, our day-to-day realities include a continuing focus on the things that we desire to have, be or achieve. Think about it! Reality is that we get so accustomed to the things we already have in our lives, that our energies, prayers, conversations, meditations, etc are focused on the things that we aspire towards; the things that we believe will improve the quality of our lives, our loved ones lives, our businesses, and so on. If we had to measure, my guess would be that roughly 25% of our daily prayers are in category of thanksgiving to God for our evident blessings and whatever is the most recent of the testimonials of His goodness we are currently experiencing. The other 75% would be in the ‘Lord bless me....’ ‘Lord, pls do this or that for me’ category. Is there anything wrong with asking? Surely not! The Lord Himself tells us to ask so that we can receive and that our joys might be full. He even goes as far as to tell us that we have not because we ask not, or because we ask amiss. So He does want us to ask of Him, giving God that He is; ever waiting to bless us with His abundance.
Methinks however, that we really should spend the greater amount of our prayer time praising God, just worshipping Him for Who He is and less time in asking ....for the Father already knows that you (and I) have need of all these things (whatever your particular ‘these things’ might be). I have learnt by experience especially over the past year and a half, that there is an overflow of His provision in the place of worship. Our Father just loves worship. That is the place where He simply smiles and opens His arms even wider so that more of His blessings can flow down to His children – you and I. Worship is the ultimate expression of gratitude. It’s the complete acknowledgement that your continued presence in the land of the living is only by His grace. It’s a complete acknowledgement of the fact that He has chosen you and called You unto Himself simply by grace.
As I thought about being grateful for the things I don’t want that I don’t have, my thanksgiving, my worship took on a different dimension. I am thankful today for the bad husband I don’t want and don’t have. I am thankful for the wayward children I don’t want and don’t have; I am grateful for the dysfunctional family I don’t want and don’t have; I am thankful for the job I don’t want and don’t have; I am grateful for the bad friends I don’t want and don’t have; I am thankful for the illnesses I don’t want and don’t have; I am grateful for the accidents I certainly don’t want and by His grace have not had. I had surgery on my spine two years ago. I can tell you that I am so grateful for the wheelchair I could have ended up in, but which by His grace I will never need. Get my drift?
Every single day, our Father in His multitude of mercies, allows all sorts of accidents, afflictions, and negative experiences to pass over us. Lord, please help us to be grateful for Your unseen mercies and provisions. Help us to recognize just how different things could have been in our marriages, our relationships, our families, our careers/businesses, our health, our finances, our everyday lives ...but for Your Love, favour and grace.
As you go forward into your tomorrows sis, let me encourage you that in every situation or circumstance that life may throw at you, flip the switch to immediately see how much more different, how much worse things could have been; and rather than wallow in whatever the challenge is that you are going through, lift your hands in praise an open your mouth in worship. Give full expression of your gratitude to the Lord for how much worse He has not allowed things to be. When He sends you a blessing or a breakthrough, thank Him for it first, and then thank Him even more for what could otherwise have been that He has not permitted to be. I have found that in this space, it’s really difficult not to be grateful for just about everything in your life really. Methinks that fits into His injunction that in all things we should give thanks ....for this is His will concerning us. Don’t you agree?
I pray the Lord will open your eyes and ears of understanding to receive this revelation and give you a new perspective on gratitude. As you yield your spirit to stay in a place of constant gratitude and worship, the Lord Himself will pour out even more of His abundance over you sis. I know He will!
Be blessed sis ......for you surely are!
Monday, July 30, 2012
It has been a joy and a privilege over the past three weeks to have my soul sisters, mentors and friends Coach Anna McCoy and Linda Wallace present with us here in Nigeria. Deeper bonds of love, deeper spiritual bonding and experiences with not just ourselves, but our entire families.... simply awesome! I love that these women both give of themselves so freely in furtherance of the gospel. These are women who clearly love the love and are deeply committed to bringing as many women (and men) with them on this journey. They continue to exemplify the love of God and to teach us the real meaning of worship; of being in the presence of the Lord; of being fully yielded to Him ...living life as a Zero – decreasing so that the greater One within, the ‘I am’, can increase in us. I simply love and appreciate you both Coach Anna and Ms. Linda. Indeed, Nigeria has been blessed simply by you being true to the assignment the Lord has placed upon your lives.
Over the course of the past ten days, the Return of The Helper (ROTH) conference [convened by my sister Bidemi Mark-Mordi in response to a clear mandate from God] held its 5th edition in two different States of the country. This is one part of the reason Coach Anna and Mama Linda have been over here. ‘Mind blowing’ is what comes readily to spirit as I reflect on these events. Fresh Word, fresh oil and fresh waters flowed freely as the Holy Spirit unfolded more and more of Himself through the Bidemi, Anna and Linda as they spoke to us in the course of those two days.
A couple of things ministered very deeply to me and these are the things I am moved to share with you today. Clearly because of time and space, I cannot develop each of these to the fullest but I trust the Spirit and He will surely minister to you as you choose to meditate on a part or all of what is to follow.
• In order to be a more excellent you, you must commit to certain levels of accountability in your life. Simply put, you can only become the best you that God designed you to be by holding yourself accountable to be excellent in every area of your life. No one can force personal accountability on you. It is a very personal decision and commitment and it is only in this space that you develop the fullness of character that has you living a life that truly always pleases God.
• Going deeper in your relationship with God will need you to ask Him what you need to adjust in your life to have more of Him. As I see it though, the bigger question would be if God turned to you and I and asked “What would you be willing to adjust for me, my daughter?” I am seriously pondering what my answer(s) will be at this time sis, and I ask that you do too for surely He will ask that question of you and I time and again as we grow from one level to the next in our relationship with Him.
• “We need to host the presence of the Holy Spirit”. Amazing how Mama Linda brought clarity to the fact that while our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit, we need to ‘host’ Him. In the physical, what does a host do to make their home welcoming to their guests? In the physical, how much effort do we make to keep our homes clean, tidy, warm and inviting so that it is always welcoming and comforting to those who live within it? How much time and effort are we giving towards being a good host to the Holy Spirit so that He never wants to leave, but rather His presence goes with us wherever we go? Hmmm!
• “God is interested in our faithfulness. He wants to know if we will stay the course.” Beyond our salvation, God is interested in our faithfulness. Wow! Questions to self and to you sis, ‘In your day-to-day living, are you staying the course and standing in faithfulness, trusting God always and completely – regardless of what comes your way or how circumstances appear? Are you walking in the constant assurance and confidence that He is with you and He is in control? Is this evident in your decisions and choices; your fears and anxieties? Hmmm!
• “Your greatest enemy is comparing yourself with something that does not align with God’s image and identity of you.” You will never walk in the fullness of who you are designed to be if you are too preoccupied with how other people perceive you. Don’t worry about how you look in the eyes of others; your entire focus should be on how you measure up in God’s eyes, and the starting point is to have a strong mental picture of how He sees you – fearfully and wonderfully made; above only and not beneath; full of potential; created in His image and likeness; endued with power to do exploits; an overcomer; an achiever; a blessing unto generations; a king and a priest; etc. See yourself in nothing less than this frame and yours will be a life of peace and fullness of joy.
• “You are intentionally crafted by God Himself for a purpose.” Visualize God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit having had a long and involved planning session where they designed you to fill a specific purpose on the earth, and then equipped you fully with every potential and resource you would need to fulfil that purpose. You are not a mistake – irrespective of your birth circumstances. You are God’s original design and intent. Everything you need to live a successful life is within you. You were (and are) intentionally designed for success. Imagine that! Awesome!
• Don’t worry if you are yet to find your purpose. Just go deeper in Christ; just listen out more intently for the Holy Spirit; just Zero-out and allow Him to lead you always. Since He created you for His purpose, He will order your steps and will surely not lead you on any path apart from the path of your purpose.
• Lionesses arise! There is a clarion call from God for His daughters to come out from among the daughters of the land. The only thing the land has to offer you is the compromise of destinies. We need to go back to God. He will add every other thing to us. We must go back to chasing God and not the things of the world! As women, we are contending for generations and whether things will remain stagnant or they will move forward is in our hands.
• "Trust yourself to deliver on God’s mandate for your life. You can do it! Enough of the complacency!" You, yes you can make a big difference just as you are and with the ‘little’ you think you have. It is God Who will make the way and the provision. You don’t need to know the process. All you need to know is that God has committed destinies into your hands and He has equipped you with all you need to deliver on this mandate if you accept the call.
• Destinies of others are hinged on your commitment to be a success; your commitment to die empty of every gift and talent the Lord has chosen to bless the world with through you. Move immediately God speaks to you. Stop calling committees to discuss the mandate God has given to you. Otherwise while your committee is discussing, your assignment might pass you by.
• Don’t just seek success when God has ‘good success’ in store for you. Why choose to be average when God has designed you intentionally to be great? The greatest success you can have – good success, is in the presence of God and in your obedience to do what He asks you to do while you are in His presence.
• The pursuit of God must be a habit and a pleasure in my life and in yours sis. The pursuit of God must be a discipline in our lives. Put a high value and a high priority on the presence of God. Your cry should be ‘Lord, I don’t want to do anything out of Your presence and Your glory’.
• We are standard-bearers for holiness. We must adjust whatever needs to be adjusted. We must shift whatever needs to be shifted in order to meet the call from God to ‘Be holy as I am Holy’. As women, holiness is not an option because we are the covering for mankind. We carry the womb. "We have to close the gap so that the enemy does not have access to the next generation."
Serious food for thought right? I so wish I could have shared the entire sets of messages with you sis, but if you think quietly through what I have been able to share, I know God will speak to you. Indeed what ministers to me is that something in here will be a confirmation of something that He has been speaking to you for a while now. My prayer is that the Lord Himself will bring clarity to you sis. May He give open the eyes of your Spirit to see; open your understanding to help you discern; and give you a heart to be fully obedient to His will.
Be blessed sis..... for surely you are!
WORD FOR THE WEEK
34“-How can this be, Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God
5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you; [and] I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.
1st CORINTHIANS 1:
25 [This is] because the foolish thing [that has its source in] God is wiser than men, and the weak thing [that springs] from God is stronger than men. 26 For [simply] consider your own call, brethren; not many [of you were considered to be] wise according to human estimates and standards, not many influential and powerful, not many of high and noble birth. 27 [No] for God selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is foolish to put the wise to shame, and what the world calls weak to put the strong to shame. 28 And God also selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is lowborn and insignificant and branded and treated with contempt, even the things that are nothing, that He might depose and bring to nothing the things that are,
28 Him we preach and proclaim, warning and admonishing everyone and instructing everyone in all wisdom (comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God), that we may present every person mature (full-grown, fully initiated, complete, and perfect) in Christ (the Anointed One).