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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Be mindful to be a blessing

‘Lord I am not fully where I need to be with You, but I am so thankful that I am not where I used to be. Lord I wish I had known You so much earlier, but I am thankful that I know You at all. Lord I wish I had known You better, but I’m so grateful that I know You this well. Thank You Lord!’

These are words that I penned in on a blank page of my Bible several years ago and which I have meticulously copied into every Bible I have owned over the years. These words are deep and true to my heart year in and year out. Why have I used these words as my intro on this blog? No reason other than that it was impressed on me to share them with you. I have learnt that when certain things weigh heavily on your spirit, God is speaking and you need to be attentive and to obey quickly. Perhaps there is that one person out there who is struggling in their walk with God and needs to know they are not alone. If this is you, then be rest assured that God is speaking to you. He is asking that you look away from how far you yet have to go from a spiritual growth perspective, and focus on how far you have come. Don’t lose sight of God. Don’t lose your passion to grow in Him. Never mind that you seem to take two tiny steps forward and then a full step back. Never mind that others around you seem so ‘deep’; so ‘super-spiritual’; never mind those around you that hear from God, pray for hours on end, etc. Walk your own walk! Your baby steps matter to God. The Lord will help you. He will guide you! You will make it IJMN, Amen.

I have been studying the book of Galatians recently. As I turned to chapter 6, a couple of things came to me pretty strongly. First came the admonition from verses 1-6 that we should be mindful not to hold ourselves as being superior to anyone else. I thought how despite the intentionality of living by this principle, we are all prone to failing in this regard. Sigh! In the littlest of ways that we may have been conditioned to react or reason, this is one injunction that we need the Holy Spirit to help us with.

The next few verses enjoin us not to be deceived because we will reap whatever we sow – either of the flesh or of the Spirit.  As I read this, a question arose within me: ‘What am I sowing in the lives of those around me?’ Hmmm! I found myself re-examining some of my relationships and asking myself whether I have been giving of myself into these relationships from a flesh perspective (with a defined, even if unstated, end benefit that is more to myself) or if I am truly sowing spiritual things into the lives that I have been opportune to be a part of. I remembered my Coach and Mentor Anna McCoy speaking recently on the need to constantly examine and ask ourselves if our motives for doing  .....well just about anything really, are pure. This is a question to ask ourselves daily regarding our relationships within our families - with our spouses, children, siblings, friends; in church; in our work environment, etc.

The question regarding the purity of my motives in my daily interactions has set me in an ever-evaluating frame and I tell you what.... sometimes I don’t like the responses I have to give myself. Truth hurts! And this is true whether its truth you hear from someone else, or if its truth you need to tell yourself. As I progress in my walk with God, as I yield myself more to the voice and leadings of the Holy Spirit, I have gotten to a place where despite the hurt, I truly appreciate every spiritual chastisement. This tells me that I am growing and in so far as I am conscious of and being intentional about overcoming my daily flesh battles, then the Lord is clearly still mindful of me. I like that! The knowing that shortcomings and all, HE has got my back and we are in this thing called life together. Thank you Lord!

In the middle of Galatians 6 verse 10, these words literally jump out: ‘Be mindful to be a blessing’.  Be mindful....... again a call for intentionality; for a deliberate consciousness to live the call of God to love all His children, and to do good to all people. I found myself thinking about my life and asking myself how intentional I had and have been about blessing those around me. Hmmm! It suddenly strikes me that this era of ‘Questions-to-Self’ that I have been living in since Coach Anna introduced me to the principle of living life as a Zero may be responsible for the multitude of gray hairs that have covered my head, rofl. Intentional living does call for constant thinking through of your words, thoughts and actions to bring them under subjection to the will of God for your life under the leading of the Holy Spirit. It’s not an easy place to be, Zero. But, I sure love the journey and I love where I trust that it is taking me.

As I thought through whether I have really been a blessing in the lives of those who have been or who are in my space, I also asked myself whether I have been a blessing to the fullness of the potential which God has put in me to bless with – whether by way of material things, my time, my counsel, my care, my words, my actions, my prayers.  The Scripture in Psalm 62 v 12 comes to mind – that God renders to every man according to his work. Clearly then, if God has asked that I should be mindful to be a blessing,  it appears to me that His reason for doing this is so that He can render blessings to me in return. I tell you sis, it is a great position to be where the Lord Himself chooses to be mindful to bless you because you choose to be obedient. I want to always be in that place. Don’t you?

Methinks you and I need to re-examine our relationships with those who are in our lives. We need to adopt and hold on to an intentional frame of mind and begin to bless them in every way we can, even if all we do is to hold them in the esteem that the Lord clearly expects us to - and regardless of how in the flesh, they many not appear to deserve our regard. We are designed to be channels of God’s overflow and abundant love. But clearly, unless we pour out of ourselves unto others freely and without murmuring or complaining, the Lord can only pour so much of Himself into us and into our lives. Let’s not, you and I, inadvertently limit the flow of God in our lives, okay. Today, make a mindful, deliberate, conscious and intentional decision to be a blessing to the fullest, sis. It’s really all about you at the end of the day. The Lord will help you, and He will help me.

Be blessed sis......for you surely are!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Your voice counts!


This would be the fourth article I have started writing over the past two days. Somehow, something new would come to mind as being the most important thing that I need to share with you but halfway through, I would become somewhat restless in my writing and then stop altogether. During my quiet time this morning however, I was reminded of two experiences I have had this year and what ministered to me was ‘You have a Voice’. I wrote this down and honestly didn’t think about it for the rest of the day. A little while ago, I again abandoned the third attempted article halfway through, because I knew deep inside that what I was writing was not the God-ordained message for the day. As I sat looking at my computer screen and trying to figure what it is the Lord wanted me to pen, my phone beeped. Reading through the email that just came in, I knew this was a definite confirmation that what God spoke to my spirit this morning was a Word that is meant for someone out there. It is meant for you...... or for you to share with someone in your space.  My message to you is that ‘You have a voice! And, it counts!

Let me start at the beginning. A few weeks ago, I attended a Girlfriends Night Out organized by TW Magazine (a Christian women’s lifestyle publication that I write for). I really wasn’t in the mood that day, but I had promised the editor who is a friend that I would be there. I was more reluctant because my ‘girls’ were not available to attend with me. But, I just had a sense that I needed to be there - albeit briefly, and so with Hubby’s blessing off I went. I walked in and sat at the first available seat I came across (right by the doors and convenient for my planned quick exit, lol). I smiled, said hello and introduced myself to the ladies seated with me on the couch. I don’t quite recall how it came about, but the lovely lady beside me who I had been chatting rather amiably with, suddenly asked if I was the one who wrote my column in TW Mag. I smiled and said yes, I was. Over the course of the next few minutes, she shared with me how her sister loved to read my column and was blessed by my articles. She told how her sister often said that it was like I lived in her house and my articles often spoke right to the heart of a situation she was dealing with or had faced in her own life. Wow! Because I know she is reading this blog, I want to say ‘Thank You Ndidi. You will never truly appreciate how much it means to me that you chose to share this testimonial with me’. We had a few good laughs as she insisted on taking my picture to send to her sister to convince her that she was actually seated right beside me. Yep! This sister truly honoured me and I so love her for that. The message to me was unambiguous – that my certainly voice mattered to someone somewhere.

Earlier in the year and during my time in South Africa, I met a wonderful set of women many of whom just stood out for me in their own rights. I recall that one evening, my sista Bidemi and I were sharing about our blogs, and one of my South African sisters in particular had said that she always wanted to write but she was not sure she really had anything to say, or if she really had what it takes, or if what she would write would be of any relevance. I had encouraged her to just go with it and trust God (who put the desire in her heart in the first place) to guide and direct the words and counsel that would flow through from her. She was emboldened enough to commit to writing something and sending to me to review, and I in turn committed to helping her make her dream a reality. Girl, I was so proud of the article this sister sent. Turns out she is a natural writer and she is clearly Spirit-led. As the email of her most recent post came in this evening and as I again marvelled at her penmanship, my mandate for this particular blog became clear. Bongiwe has found her voice and she has given it expression in her writing. What are you waiting for sis?

I think about the parable of the talents. It is interesting to me that the master gave responsibilities to each of his servants. I believe this is representative of the fact that God has given each of us particular gifts and abilities. We – you and I, each received an impartation of His Spirit. His Word tells us clearly that in Christ Jesus we can do all things and indeed, we are able to do greater works than He did in His time here on earth. God created man to have dominion on the earth and being a perfecter of all things, no doubt He imparted unto each of us what it is that we need to have dominion that here on earth. The challenge as I see it is that all too often, because we tend to put God in a box, we put ourselves in an even smaller box. We have no idea of our power, or we are too afraid to find out. We are running scared so much of the time of the rejection of men, when we already have the assurance of acceptance in Christ.

The same God Who spoke all of creation into being, has also given us the ability to speak into our purpose and into the manifestation of purpose in the lives of all His other children here on earth. If this is the case, why are you hesitant about using your voice sis? Or why are you not giving your voice full expression? Truth is that you never know who your words will minister to; whose life you will improve or radically change; whose destiny you will release just by letting them ‘hear’ you. Yes, there are some great writers and public speakers out there whose depth and expertise will, if you allow, cowl you into thinking you won’t be good enough. Pls don’t buy into the lie of the devil and don’t allow any one near you to do so either.


Today, I am sent to encourage you to go to God in prayer and ask Him to help you. In the simplest of words that the Holy Spirit will minister to you, your voice will count and you will surely make a difference. Pick up that pen; that voice recorder; set out to typing on that laptop; accept that opportunity to speak to a group. Commit in one way or the other to speaking up and speaking out. Someone in the world needs to ‘hear’ you..... even if you never get to know that they did. Whatsoever is just, whatsoever is true, whatsoever is loving, whatsoever is of good report, whatsoever adds value, whatsoever builds up and edifies, whatsoever propagates the gospel, whatsoever gives all glory to God....... think on these things and then speak! You have an awesome voice sis. And it does count. Use it!   The Lord will help you. He it is that will direct your voice to the point of its impact. Please don’t limit His call upon your life today. Speak sis! The World is waiting to hear YOU!

Be blessed............. for you surely are!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Daily Crucifixion


Seated around the table as our meal came to an end, we engaged in the usual ‘Hi-point, Low-point’ experience sharing session (Must Read: Devi Levine’s ‘The Table Experience’. Thanks Devi). As it came to the turn of one of the little children we had over for dinner, she said her high point was when they had the Easter tale re-enacted in school. I asked her to share the story with the rest of us from her perspective. Her response had us doubled over in fits of laughter as she stated that Easter represented the day Jesus was ‘sucrified’! Barely able to contain his laughter, my son said to her that she didn’t pronounce the word right. Before he could correct her, she bounced on her seat excitedly and cried ‘I know, I know. Easter was when Jesus was ‘cruxtified’. Now we all literally fell off the table. I laughed so hard that my sides hurt. And don’t you just love children, she laughed merrily along with the rest of us. Eventually, we got her to pronounce the word aright, but several times over the next hour, one of us would repeat the word ‘sucrified’ and gales of laughter would once again ensue. That was certainly my high point of the day; those laughs did me a world of good I assure you!

In my more quiet moments since then, I have found myself reflecting on the word crucifixion; really trying to get a sense of what this word should mean to me in the daily realities of my walk with God.  The Scripture that kept coming to me was ‘I am crucified with Christ, yet I live. Yet not I, but Christ Who lives in me. And the life I now have I live through the Son of God, Who loved me and Who gave His life for me’.

I continue to be amazed at how the same piece of Scripture can speak different things to you that are ‘beautiful for every situation’. So in this case, I thought about how by confessing and truly believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God; that He came to earth, went to the cross for my sake and rose on the 3rd day; then I am truly crucified with Him. It was me that He took to the cross. It was my sin-nature that He needed to have nailed to that cross. It was on my past that He needed to nail the coffin lid shut. It was my future and eternal salvation that He needed to secure by His Blood. Jesus took me with Him to the cross......so, yet I live!  I live because it is Him who lives in me......   Do you get this sis? I mean, do you really and truly get this? He gave His life.... for you and I. Wow! Thank you Lord! 

The Easter festivities are gone now and we are back to the day-to-day grind of living. This is the space where our view of Jesus and what His crucifixion on the cross of Calvary really means, beyond the pages of the Bible and beyond our memorizations of Scripture. So, I live..... Yet I still have to contend with my flesh, with my will, with my emotions. I live, yet I still have to deal with storms, with mountains, with thoughts and feelings that continually strive to try and make the crucifixion of non-effect in my life. I live, yet I still struggle daily to deal with rather complex life issues – family relationships, business, health, finances, even my sense of identity........        Why would this be? Why, when Christ lives in me?

One of the tenets we hold fast to within Woman Act Now (www.womanactnow.com) is that for us to succeed in life and to achieve the dreams and purpose that God has lain in our hearts; we must learn to be fully-yielded to the leading of the Holy Spirit, fully surrendered to Him in every area of our lives. At a meeting yesterday something spoken by my sisters hit home hard. First, one said how she had come to realise even more clearly that she had a choice in every situation to either swim with the tide (surrender to what is acceptable to the world) which is the easier option; or to stand firm and swim against the tide (in accordance to the leaning of the Holy Spirit). In essence for her, her responses in the face of her challenges are one of her markers for how surrendered she is to the Holy Spirit. Deep!  

Yes, it strikes me that challenges bring with them opportunities for us to once again choose to crucify our flesh, our wills, our emotions, our intelligences, our pride, our self-confidence, our abilities, etc and once again allow the Christ that lives in us to shine through. It strikes me that we need to maintain a constant mental frame, backed by a commitment to our spiritual growth; that reminds us of the crucifixion all the time and not just at Easter. Christ went to the cross and shed His Blood for us once and for all. We, on the other hand need to daily crucify our fleshly selves, so as to make room for the Spirit within us to truly live, grow, guide and direct us into our divine destinies.

In today’s high pressure, intense distraction world, the realities of our being in the constant place of crucifixion of our flesh can appear quite daunting. With the best of intentions, we keep failing and falling. Have you noticed how you react first (ignoring the check in your spirit) and then regret later? Have you noticed how you decide and take action first, and only come back to the place of prayer when the outcome is not as expected? Have you noticed how you mentally reserve ‘going to God in prayer’ for major decision points in your life, yet don’t consider asking Him what to get your spouse for his birthday or what to wear to that all-important interview tomorrow? Hmmm! This Christina walk isn’t easy is it? But oh, how so worth it at the very end!

Nothing we can ever go through will compare with the trauma Jesus went through, just knowing what lay ahead of Him; so much so, that He sweated drops of Blood. Yet His Word also says to us that we have not yet strived unto death for anything in our lives (Thank You Lord!). Indeed, He does not even want us to have to strive. What He wants is for us to be fully present, fully yielded, fully obedient. In this place, He wants us to consciously crucify everything – thought, word, or deed; that does not align with His plans and purpose for our lives. In this place, resurrection power is able to flow through from the Most High and into our situations, challenges, dead or dying dreams and aspirations. In this place, He is able to resurrect the fullness of the glory that He imparted unto us once we made Him Lord and Saviour. Sounds like a glorious place to be to me!  

So sis, as you get back into the grind of life/work/family/et al today, I pray that these words minister to you. I pray that the Holy Spirit will impart a fresh anointing to do upon you. I pray that His presence will enshroud you. I pray that all your days, He will give you the ability to crucify anything that does not glorify Him, and that you will be a living testimony of the true meaning of resurrection power, IJMN.

Be blessed ..... for you surely are.
















About Me

Entrepreneur, Mentor, Wife, Mother, Sister, Friend. A firm believer in God. Walking in faith everyday that by His grace, I will achieve harmony in all areas of my life, and make measurable impact in the lives of other women of the world

WORD FOR THE WEEK

LUKE 1:

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

JEREMIAH 2:

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.

6 Then said I, Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am only a youth. 7 But the Lord said to me, Say not, I am only a youth; for you shall go to all to whom I shall send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak.

8 Be not afraid of them [their faces], for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord. 9 Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me, Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. 10 See, I have this day appointed you to the oversight of the nations and of the kingdoms to root out and pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.

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,

Colossians 1:

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).

29 For this I labor [[z]unto weariness], striving with all the superhuman energy which He so mightily enkindles and works within me.