Follow by Email

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Just do 'YOU'


Without a doubt, the last few months have been a real trial for me in terms of time and responsibilities. One too many projects have slowly stolen away at my ability to share with you on this forum weekly. My commitment to you sis, is that I’m right here, regardless. Thank you for your regular feedback and for letting me know this blog is speaking to you one way or the other, as we walk this walk of me being uniquely me, and you being uniquely you.

A comment was posted last week from a reader who on one hand said a kind word about the post, and then made an odd (sarcastic?) remark about how the posts were ‘a bit too brief for beginners’ and could I ‘please prolong them next time?’ I will admit for a second I was taken aback for a second, and then I had a hearty chuckle as I thought how happy I would be to oblige, lol. Please forgive me “Anonymous’, but I have said in a few of my earlier posts, that I don’t do ‘brief’. This blog is not designed to do cute and conventional! I write from the heart as the Holy Spirit leads. Truth is that for as many that like to read the small books, there are many more who like the huge 1000-page books that run into volumes 1, 2 and 3. I do however appreciate the feedback and indeed this comment has inspired this particular post. Thank you and thank you again.

Just last week, I found myself in the middle of one of those rather engaging discussions regarding life and living. As we discussed the many pressures we face from family, the work place, etc, many  diverse opinions and perspectives were played out.  Things really took an interesting turn when the point about the kinds of pressures we impress, unsolicited, upon ourselves was raised. The question was, ‘Why do we inadvertently try to conform to the expectations/conventions of others?’ It is almost amusing how the immediate reaction of most people is to deny conformity, but the realities belie the fact. Any deep and honest period of introspection will bring the very best of us to the realization that we have been conditioned from birth to conform to certain environmental, familial or societal expectations, the most basic of which are now so ingrained that they have since become our very own norms. Anything wrong with this? Not necessarily, no!  

I had wondered out loud however, why as mature adults we unwittingly, and sometimes willingly, put ourselves under the pressure of trying to conform to the conventions of 'people'. Why do we find it so hard to defy convention? From the big things to the small seemingly unimportant things, we find it more comfortable to swim with the tide. Why, pray tell, do we get so hung up on what 'people' will say or think? Yet, we all want to make a difference? Hmmm!  I wonder, why for instance,  I should limit my posts to 600 words each because someone/group somewhere have ‘established’ that that is the number of words that holds the attention of ‘most’ people (never mind that they polled only 100,000 out of the hundreds of millions who can and do read)? Why should I not be true to myself because the conventions of man demand otherwise? Why shouldn't I do 'Me', and why can’t you just do 'You', sis?

You and I are created uniquely by the Master craftsman Himself. Our Lord God omnipotent thought you through from your end and back to your beginning. He breathed His glorious life into you and put some amazing gifts in you that He longs to see you use to the fullest. You are called forth to show His glory, to work His plans and purpose, to bless the earth and to be a blessing to unborn generations. I promise you this, sis: you cannot live to the fullness of your God-given potential.... you cannot live a fulfilled life, if you allow yourself be pressured into conforming. The one sure thing that you and I need to do, is to take our eyes off from the apparent acceptance of man, keep our eyes steadfastly fixed on Him, keep our ears fully attentive to His instructions, so that in our being and doing, we will conform to His expectations of each of us. You have to do ‘YOU’, sis! You must! And I have to do ‘ME’. Nothing else would truly give God all the glory.

Can I ask you to quietly and honestly answer these questions to yourself if you will. Do you have a constant yearning in your heart to do more and be more? Do you envy (err… sorry sis, no sugar coating on this one. It’s envy! Let’s call it as it is, and the Lord will help us) someone else who has achieved some milestone(s) that you know/believe you could have/should have achieved? Do you find yourself - glad for your friend/sister/colleague, yes; but also quietly asking God when your own recognition/promotion/financial breakthrough/etc will come? Do you ever find yourself inwardly resentful (even if ever so slightly) because you feel so much more deserving of something than someone else? Ouch! Oh boy!

Let’s be honest sis. We have - each and every one of us, been in one or more of these places… and sometimes in all of them at the same time, at one point or the other in our lives. A question to self would be how much more we could have achieved if we had been more willing to defy conventions and be true to the innermost desires of our hearts? How different would our lives have been if we were bold enough to stand alone in the crowd? How much more fulfilled would you be sis, if you had given full expression to your gifts and aspirations, regardless of what may have been the more conventional way of doing things? Are you stifling that something within you that desperately desires to break forth and shine through, because convention says it ought not be done? Because convention make an odd remark about it, or doesn't even have an idea what it would look like?

All through the Bible, the Lord asks various people to work what they have already in their hands, and each time great exploits came out of their obedience. Interestingly enough, our Lord moved and continues to move in rather creative ways….  a la talking donkeys, water out of rocks, parting of seas, spit and mud, et al. We serve a God that is innovation and creativity in Himself. One thing is clear to me, as long as we are filled with His Spirit and offer ourselves willingly to be led by Him, we cannot be at peace until we come to the place of being our unique Spirit-led selves exclusively.

God has a sure calling for you, sis. He has a sure calling for me. I can assure you though, that you and I are not called to the entire world. No! He has called you to some and called the next person to yet others. Don’t worry about what your sister/brother/friend/colleague is doing, being or achieving. Don’t focus on what everyone else expects you to be, do, or achieve. Just hold on to God… the One Who created YOU; the One Who can fill YOU, and the only One Who can fulfill YOU. In this place of submission, the Lord will direct your path; He will order your steps. He will make your assignment clear; He will give you the boldness to express yourself, and by the power of His Spirit, you will make purposeful impact in the lives of those to whom He has assigned YOU.

Ask God today to help you to always do ‘YOU’, sis. I mean, just look at you….. You are a masterpiece! A divinely crafted original! Don’t allow the conventions of men steal away from your destiny! Just do YOU, sis. Just be ‘Uniquely You!
 In the eyes of our Father, that's the most awesome that you can be.
The Lord will help you, sis. He will help me. 


Be blessed sis… for you surely are!




Saturday, November 10, 2012

Marry Me!


The first of my brothers just got married. Woo hoo! I’ve waited on this wedding for quite a while. I had said to my brothers several times over the years, that it wouldn’t matter to me if I liked their wives or not, as long as they made my brothers happy. But you know what? He found himself a cute young woman who loves him for him. What more could any big sis ask? God is faithful! He truly is! 

Theirs was a pretty big wedding, and the usual craziness  that goes with every big event surely played out that day. With over a thousand guests, both the church and reception overflowed in a cacophony of activities. Ever heard of 'organized chaos'? Lol. Everyone needed special attention it seemed, and each person was intent on getting it. I’m so glad I can laugh about that now, as it certainly was nowhere near amusing on that day. I was totally worn out at the end of it all, but……. the strong, silent embrace from my brother at the end of the day was more than worth it! He was happy! He was fulfilled! And my newest of sister’s? She just positively glowed! She was a truly beautiful bride, I must say. It is my prayer upon them both that theirs shall be a unique story; that they shall grow in love and unity; that they shall be fruitful in all things; and that the Lord will set them up as examples of His favor, in Jesus mighty name, Amen.

As always, events around me lead me to reflection mode and and as I looked over some of the pictures of the wedding, a few things struck me quite strongly in my spirit. I could quite clearly see the correlation between the wedding to our salvation experience. Think about it! There you were trying to deal with life as you think you know it, then slowly but surely He comes into your life and things are never quite the same. Sometimes its love at first sight, but more often than not, He has to woo you. You hear His Word from just about everywhere, it seems. You keep thinking about Him. He shows up very strongly when your heart is weak; and you eventually realize that without Him, your life will never be complete. You know that in Him is your fullness, and you willingly come to the place of 'I do". 

Just like a new bride also, your wedding day is full of uncertainties. You love and are in love with The Lord, but you really just don't know how it will all play out. What you do know is that you are on a journey of faith, a journey of trust, and a journey of positive expectation. A new bride looks unto her husband with a heart that is full of hope and conviction that he will honor her, he will protect her, he will love her, he will provide for her, he will help her to reach her full potentials as a woman. A new bride knows in her heart that she is leaving a whole other life behind, but she trusts that that which is ahead is greater than that which she is familiar with. She has faith that with him she will be fruitful and fulfilled......the same set of convictions as when we come to the place of knowing The Lord. 

Beyond the wedding day and honeymoon period however comes the realities of married life. Over the months and years, day-to-day life begins to play out. If we are not careful, the love is still there yes, but there is a 'getting-used-to', a certain 'normalcy' that begins to become the order of the day. Our imperfections begin to play up - selfishness (the 'Me' factor), impatience, unforgiveness, anger, inadequacies and insecurities, busyness and lack of prioritization, careless words, emotional unfaithfulness..... Dare I go on? 
The hard truth is that in the middle of being the 'who' that we came into the marriage as, there is also a struggle to determine the 'who' that we need to be now that we are married. As with every process, there will be the smooth times and the rough times.... the extent of each being determined by the intentionality by which both parties to a marriage work at it. The end result of a focused effort with God in the middle of it, is a 'marriage made in heaven'. The end result of trying to go it in your own strength or wisdom is confusion, frustrations, hurt, bitterness. 

But here is what ministered most strongly to me and I leave you with this today.   All the above stem from an analysis of the physical marriage on earth, where the husband is a man..... as imperfect, as fallible, as insecure, as gullible, as weak as any other human - male or female. Our salvation involves saying 'I do' to the King of  Kings and The Lord of Lords. Our marriage walk is with the ultimate Being.... The I AM! He is perfection itself, sis. No better husband than Him, that I assure you!

In coming into a personal relationship with God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit our helper, counsellor, intercessor; we can rest assured that our faith and hopes and expectations in Him will never be cut short. He it is that loves us most thoroughly and unconditionally. He is not unmindful of our imperfections, but He is able to separate His love for us as His brides from His love for the lives that we live. When we are at our weakest, He is our strength. When we fall, He gently lifts us up. When we need it, He lovingly chastises us and sets us back into right thinking, doing and being. He never speaks evil against us. He will never forsake us. He always provides for us. He continually protects us. He does not need us to validate him..... He is 'all that' just by Himself; rather, He validates us when we are insecure. When we pull away, He stands fast; and when we come back, He does not consider our past errors. 

God is husband extraordinaire! He puts His ring not just around our fingers, but around our hearts, our lives, all that concern us. He never keeps malice with us, not even when we have done something to hurt Him. No, He is constantly speaking.... lovingly leading us into the right path by His counsel, always working to shape us into the image of His glory. He is a trusted partner and friend. He is jealous not of us, but for us. `In this jealousy, He hovers over all that is ours - our earthly husband's, our children, the works of our hands, our peace, our finances, our health. He is never too tired to listen, rather wishing we would talk to Him even more. He is unselfish to the core, always pandering to our deepest of desires...... in His wisdom, loving us enough to refuse us those things that He knows will not be good for us. His sole agenda is to help us grow, to ensure we will be with Him unto the very end. He is God! He is love! He is all! 

Knowing this, seeing this even more clearly sis, I ask that you do some deep thinking if you do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Today, The Lord is before you on bended knee. He is pouring out of His abundance of love and saying to you: 'Marry Me!'.  His arms are open wide, sis. His ready embrace is the only wedding ring that you truly need. He is waiting in hope and in expectation that you will finally give up on trying to be made whole and complete in your fellow man, and come to the true place of fulfillment.....  Come to Him now, open your heart to Him and say 'I do, Lord! I do!'

If you have already come to Christ, then this is a call to examine your relationship with The Lord and ask yourself if you are living fully as His bride. He says again to you and I,  'Marry Me. Marry Me afresh! Marry Me in total commitment once again. I am still your husband, I still want to be all here for you. Come away once again from the place of trying to do things on your strength. Come back fully with your heart, body, soul and spirit. Say 'I do' once again and lets walk this beautiful walk unto the end.'

The Lord Loves you sis. He loves Me! How totally awesome is that? By His grace, I am reaching down once again to say 'I do, Lord'. Once again, I receive Your love and I walk into Your open arms. Father, thank You for loving me enough to call me into this love walk with You. Marry me totally and completely Lord. Thank You for the privilege of being Your bride'. 

What will be YOUR response to His call today sis? I pray that the Spirit   will draw you out, and that not only will your response be 'I do" but you will truly mean it with every fibre of your being. 

The Lord will help you sis! He will help me. 

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

The Lord Loves you sis. He loves Me! How totally awesome is that. By His grace, I am reaching down once again to say 'I do, Lord'. Once again, I receive Your love and I walk into Your open arms. Father, thank You for loving me enough to call me into this love walk with You. Marry me totally and completely Lord. Thank You for the privilege of being Your bride'. 

What will be your response to His call today sis? I pray that the Spirit   will draw you out, and that not only will your response be 'I do" but you will truly mean it with every fibre of your being. 

The Lord will help you sis! He will help me. 

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.