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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Are you ready?

It’s that time of year again so ‘Merry Christmas’ to you, sis. It is my prayer that this has been for you a time of fun, love, and laughter. More than this and the attendant food, gifts and parties though, I pray that this has been a time for you of sober reflection at the awesomeness of the love that God has for you and I, so much so that He gave us Jesus Christ Who is the reason for this season.  

Three experiences which I would like to share with you today, with a hope and a prayer that when the Holy Spirit brings the message together in the end, you will be blessed and impacted for His glory.

First is that I found myself sitting in a hospital room a couple of weeks ago, waiting on the results of my test. They had a really large and beautiful clock in the waiting room, one of those nice silent one’s that don’t grate on your nerves with their loud ticking sounds. I found myself staring in fascination as the second-hand moved continuously round the face of the clock in a smooth, seamless fashion. For some reason, it struck me very strongly that life was and is passing us by; that time really waits for no man; that we can never get back a single second that has passed; that we only have so much time to complete our earthly assignments; and that we really have no idea when our clocks will stop ticking and we will be called to face the Lord. Simple enough truths yes, but more real than ever in that hospital room for some reason which I only now understand.

Secondly, one of my Sista-Sista’s recently decided to have a praise night to mark her birthday and to honor the Lord for a great testimony of healing that He bestowed on her. It was an awesome outing to say the least! We left with hearts uplifted and spirits filled with the completeness that is only possible in that place of worship. We were still basking in the glow on Christmas Eve a couple of days later, when we got the message that her brother-in-law died rather suddenly that morning. We immediately reached out, standing as a support to our Sista and her family at this time. What did I know?  How could I have imagined that even as I stood with and tried to encourage my Sista, that I would myself be hit the very next day? It was Christmas morning and there I was, reaching out to all the members of my family. I had picked up my phone to call my eldest sister, when I saw that there was an incoming call from my younger sister whom I had spoken to earlier. My heart skipped a beat at the hushed tone with which she again said hello. Then she shared the news. My own brother-in-law, a dear man who I saw just recently, passed on this Christmas morning! I found myself making the call I was set to make a few minutes earlier, but instead of a hearty ‘Merry Christmas’, I found myself saying ‘Sorry’, ‘God is your strength’, ‘It is well with you’  and other such expressions of comfort, over and over again. Hmmm!

Third, I had a sense as I sat down to write this post this morning, that I should re-read my post in December of 2012 (“Two Sides, Same Coin’). I had shared how a young child had drowned in the pool at what was to have been a children’s Christmas party. It was quite devastating! As I struggled with the trauma I knew the child’s mother and family, and indeed countless others who experienced loss in that season would have been going through, I had shared the things the Holy Spirit had spoken to you and I out of this experience.

I found myself sitting back at my desk this morning, thinking about the things the Lord ministered to me to share with you. I must admit that I struggled with being obedient to the Spirit’s prodding to start typing, as I tried to understand if I am to become a carrier of messages of doom and gloom in a season where most people want simply to have fun and enjoy the holidays as best they can. I actually found myself trying to think up some nice sweet and fun message I could share. I thought for instance about the fact that as a family, we had agreed that our Christmas day was going to be a stay-home-and-do-absolutely-nothing day, and we did just that. We spent almost four hours at the table at lunchtime - eating way too much, yes; but more so praying, talking, laughing, sharing experiences and insights, and absolutely loving on each other as a family, for hours on end. I thought how I could have written some really entertaining stories and shared some great anecdotes from our time together at the table yesterday. Alas, the Lord has not called me to be ‘cute/smart/funny’ sis, especially not today. No sis, He has deeper things in store for us this morning, so please read and listen with the eyes and ears of your spirit.

The Lord put these three and very separate events together for you and I, in the form of a question – ‘Are you ready?’

What God spoke to my heart is that the hands of the clock are ticking fast, and that they truly can never be reversed. He said however, that for many of us, our focus on the passage of time is more on the things we wish/expect to be/do/achieve within certain defined time frames of our lives, and the Christmas season – heralding the end of another calendar year, is the period when we most miss the reality of what our time here on earth is really about. He said that most of us are too focused on the pursuit of ‘purpose’ as defined by tangible and intangible earthly attainments – the degrees, the husbands and/or children, the jobs/businesses, the recognition's, the health, the financial status, the gifts/talents/abilities that draw accolades from our fellow men, the membership of/position on the committees/boards/choirs, the number of mentions we have on Google and other social media sites that give us a sense of relevance in the scheme of things, etc.

The Lord showed me that the only true measure we are to be focused on, is that last second… that moment when - concerning our walk on this side of eternity, He says ‘It’s over child. Come!’

God has and continues to try to show us that we really have no idea when He has appointed for this time to be – it could be a Christmas eve, a Christmas day, the day after Christmas, or any of the other 362 days in our human calendar year. Sis, our focus needs to always be that the passage of time is daily bringing us closer to our Father in heaven, and if this is so, we will be fixated on living in a way that is pleasing to Him, on growing in the knowledge of His Word, on ensuring that nothing stands in the way of our having a close and loving relationship with Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. The Lord showed me how easily we ‘forget’ in the times of our festivities, and when everything seems to be going well around us. Not that we completely lose sight of God ….indeed many of us continue to ascribe glory to Him for every good thing we have or are privileged to experience. Many a time though, it is an acknowledgement that is only slightly below the surface and does not go as deep as He deserves – if truth be told.

Think about it sis – which ‘holding on to God’ period is a more intense experience for you and I? Is it our good times or our times of trouble? Truth is that at a time like this, too many of us place the greater emphasis on the ‘experience’ of Christmas, than on the Christ that is Christmas personified. Too many of us anchor our lives and times to things that are transient, only beginning to give our eternity the weight it deserves in our daily focus/thinking/being when we find ourselves pressed on one side or the other. Think on your Christmas, sis. Beyond the festivities, did you allow yourself acknowledge that it could have been your very last day here on earth? If the Lord called you as He did my brother-in-law, would you have been ready? You know already that these are questions the Holy Spirit asked of me too, right sis? Food for thought and a strong call to turn, to return, to press in ….to Jesus Christ!

It’s Christmas! It’s about Christ! Where are you in Christ, sis? if you have not yet confessed Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I urge you to get on your knees and do so immediately. No fancy words are required, sis. All you need is this prayer:

 ‘Jesus, I believe You are the Son of God. I believe that You came into the world, were crucified and died on the cross for me. Lord, I ask You to forgive me of every sin of my past. Lord Jesus come into my heart right now. I make You my Lord and Savior. Lord, I give you my life. Take away my heart of stone and give me a new heart – a heart of worship, Lord. Today, I renounce evil in every form. I break every covenant with sin and darkness. Write my name in the Book of Life, Lord. I declare that only You will I serve all the days of my life Lord Jesus. Teach me by Yourself, Lord. Help me to grow in You. Send godly helpers to guide me in my growth as a Christian Lord. Order my steps according to Your will and way for my life. Thank You Lord Jesus Christ for saving me. I am born again. Halleluyah!’

If you already have this relationship with Jesus sis, then today the Lord is calling you and I to come up higher. No more milk sis! It is time to redefine the walk that we think we have we God so far. Sis, until you and I come to that place where our every breath is a prayer for the Lord to help us, to order our steps, and to keep us steadfast until the very end, then there is spiritual work to do, and we have to take it by force. You can’t get back the time you have spent reading this post, but if you started reading with the conviction that you would receive a word in due season from the Lord, then this time has been about Christ and you are blessed for it. Sis, we have to make Christ part and parcel … no, scratch that. We have to make Jesus Christ the very foundation and complete essence of every second of our daily lives. In living for Him, with Him and in Him, we will discover and fulfill this ‘purpose’ thing that we are constantly running around for, but more than this we will always be at ‘ready’ whenever He calls – be it at Christmas or any other time of year.

Sis, set your Christmas clock today as a firm recommitment to make every day Christmas, to make every second of every day henceforth about Christ and His birth, life, crucifixion, death, and resurrection. Set your spiritual clocks on the ‘Counting-down-to-meeting-my-Lord’ mode, sis. This is what the Lord is asking of you and I today. In this place of spiritual clarity, everything we think/do/say will be a build-up to our readiness for the Lord’s call. In this place, we will live more fulfilled and uplifting lives; we will touch heaven and bring down blessings on the lives of everyone around us – not just at Christmas time, but each and every day that the Lord grants to us by His grace and in His mercies. Your clock is ticking sis… please make sure it is ticking in ‘ready’ for the Lord mode.

As I once again wish you a Merry Christmas, my true message is that Christ looks really good on you and I, sis. Let’s wear him well okay. We must be ready on our last day, sis….anything else would be too sad to contemplate The Lord will help you sis, even as He is surely helping me.

Be blessed sis…. for you surely are!

Friday, December 6, 2013

What's in your bag? ....De-clutter!

Where have I been? Big question sis! Big question! I’m not sure even I realized just how much time had passed since my last post until a couple of days ago when my daughter said something to the effect that she’d thought I wouldn’t be blogging anymore after the book Uniquely Woman was published. I can only guess that she came up with that because she hadn’t seen me at my desk for a while. I assured her the blog was still very much alive, her response being a quick kiss on my cheek and a sing-song ‘okey-dokey mama’ as she left me to work. After she’d left, I thought about how incredibly busy I have been at work over the past month, and how in my quieter moments after work, I have very truthfully reveled in doing nothing more than ‘absolutely nothing’ ….literally! Believe me when I say we all need times like that. I think that it takes a certain kind of emotional and spiritual maturity to be confident in, and comfortable enough with yourself that you are at peace even in your ‘doing absolutely nothing’ periods. We can’t go through life always on a ‘purpose high’. There must be times when we are able to slow down and simply ‘be’, intentionally silencing the many noises around us. Indeed I believe that in those quiet times, we are more open to hearing the deep and quiet things which the Lord speaks to us. It is in this quiet space that I had an experience that I would like to share with you.

Now ordinarily, I am not very big on many of the things a good percentage of women consider to be of prime importance. I just can’t bring myself to be too concerned with my hair, nails, clothes, shoes, jewelry, bags, etc. I must have slept through most of the life classes where such topics were taught, lol. And yeah, I can already hear some of you who know me from a distance thinking ‘Nah! That can’t be true’. But my closest of family and friends know for a fact that I get my make-up on in 3 minutes flat; work happily through a very limited wardrobe; have no interest in labels and certainly never follow trend; can barely tell the difference between real gold and anything else which shines; put on nail polish in the car (if I really need to); wear wigs more often than not because I hate hair salons; and only have a few pairs of shoes, of which I am very happy to wear one or two in particular just about every day, lol.

On the flip side though, I am still very much a girl-scout though I guess I take the motto ‘Be prepared’ a bit too far. You see, while some of my sisters carry entire make-up kits, hair brushes, perfumes, etc in their bags, yours truly carries everything including a sewing kit, scissors, measuring tape, nail clippers, safety pins, plasters, corrector fluid, a mini torch, screwdrivers, and my multi-function penknife in mine. Yep, as far as the contents of my bags go, I am a trip-and-a-half no doubt. That said, I can assure you that many a time I have had to bail out some seriously glammed-up sister with my needle and thread (amazing how those zippers give out on you at the strangest of times and places isn’t it?), or carry out some emergency electrical fixes using my screwdrivers, so it can’t be all bad.

I am also a woman who is ready, willing and able to carry the same handbag for months in a row. I once had a friend describe my every day bag as my ‘National Anthem’. My precious husband buys me new bags every so often, but his challenge remains getting me to actually use the bags and admittedly, for his sake, I am trying, lol. Anyhow, yesterday was one of those days when I decided of my own accord to switch bags. Mind you, my idea of switching bags is to empty everything out on the bed and then stuff everything right back into another bag in no particular order. Sometimes I’m good though and actually arrange the stuff in the bag   …..Sometimes!

I love how God ministers to us through the oddest of things. I had looked down at the jumble of things I’d emptied out of my handbag and asked myself whether I really and truly needed to carry as much as I did daily; particularly as on most days, I barely open the bag at all between getting to work and getting home again in the evening. I thought how some of the contents had since outlived their purposes – for instance, my children are way past the age when I constantly needed to have plasters handy but I still carried them. I laughed at myself a bit and then reached forward to begin stuffing…. I mean, ‘putting’ the things into my other bag, when the Lord spoke to me and said “How like the lives of My children this is”. Oh wow! I stopped and allowed the Holy Spirit minister to me. The Lord showed me that whereas He says we should cast our cares upon Him, mostly we cast our cares (empty our bag) in the place of prayer, but immediately stuff our bags with the same exact cares when we rise from His presence, not stopping to think that this is itself a manifestation of fear, core unbelief and a fundamental lack of faith in God’s ability to work all things out for our good.  

God showed me how over the course of our lives, we literally stuff our bags (our lives) with a whole lot of things we have absolutely no business carrying. Some things we use as crutches, giving ourselves a sense that we are protected because they are in our space. We hold on to some things, the purpose for which has long since passed, but which are comfortable and familiar. Some things we hold on to because we know deep inside that letting them go means we must necessarily take those new steps we are so afraid to take.  Some things we carry with us because the world, or the people around us also carry them and we have a sense that they are needed for us to be complete and acceptable in the eyes of ‘people’.  Some things we hold on to in fear really, constantly anticipating something not working out, and so holding ourselves as being prepared – not realizing that such a mind-set impinges on our ability to see and lay hold of God-given opportunities that may come our way out of the ashes of something that in our view has not ‘worked out’.

The Lord showed me that even as I was very readily about to stuff the same sets of things – many of which I realized I really didn’t need to carry, right back into a new bag; so also do we His children sometimes know very clearly those things which are no longer useful in our lives, or which we have willingly allowed hold us down, yet every day and through every new season of our lives, we continue to carry those things with us. Time and again therefore, our lives are as heavy as our handbags, and as jumbled inside as the contents of our bags are; and God said, this is not His design or plan for us.

So even as I deliberately took out some of my ‘stuff’ from my bag that evening, I have also had to do some serious reflecting about the stuff I need to get out of my life, and to deliberately take them out – painful though this has sometimes been. Sis, you and I need to decongest our lives so we can live the fullness of that which our Father has purposed for us, and so that there is room enough for Him to infill us with those things which He has purposed for every season of our lives. It’s not easy, that I assure you. Much as my handbag is much lighter, I can tell you that I am still carrying a couple of things that I know I will really not miss if I could only but let go of them. But, I am a work-in-progress so for now I can pride myself in the many things I did take out of my bag (life), and slowly work my way up to letting go of the rest with the grace, power and help of the Holy Spirit. This is what you and I need to do in our lives sis – today and constantly. We need to take those first steps to unclutter our minds, emotions, social calendars, relationships, activities, etc – very deliberately choosing to let go of our crutches, weights, and fears so there can be room enough to truly be who God designed us to be.

You know how it is said that no matter how beautiful and expensive a woman’s bag is, you really don’t want to see what’s inside of it? Well sis, let’s not allow that be the story of our lives okay? Our inner beauty must first radiate the God that is in us, and when this shines out, it will complement the outward natural beauty and other enhancements that we might then choose to adorn our physical selves with. What are you carrying in your bag sis? Empty it out now! Screen the contents with a dispassionate eye, and then, de-clutter as intentionally as you are able to. Lighten your inner load sis, so that you can truly shine for the Lord. He will help you sis… as surely as He is helping me!

Be blessed sis… for you surely are!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Purpose behind the Platform

I’m back! Whew! What an incredible few weeks I have had. I won’t go into details except to say that I have been busy and it has been amazing how one day has just rolled into the same day of the next week. One thing that has stood out for me in all this time however has been the formal release and launching of my books ‘Uniquely Woman’ and ‘Double Impact’. I tell you what sis, God showed up and showed out for me on that day, and He has begun to show me just why He did so. But then let me start at the beginning…

I had set the date for the book launch and then for some reason, went into a restless spiral and nervous spin immediately thereafter. Now those of you who know me know that I tend mostly to be calm person. I am not much given to nerves beyond the couple of minutes at most that it takes for me to come into my own on occasion. Once I set the launch date however, I simply lost it. The launch was on my mind every single second of the day. I would wake up at odd times of the night and several times in any one night, with my insides in knots and my heart beating at an incredible pace. Would it be a success? Would people come? What if only a few people showed up? What if nobody at all showed up? Would it be interesting or would people be bored stiff? What if it rained so heavily that people decided to stay in their offices? What if the traffic was so horrendous that people turned back? What is nobody launched the book? What if nobody bought a single copy? What if this… and what if that?

Did I hear you laugh sis? I don’t blame you. Save for the fact that I was the one who was right in the middle of this experience, I would have laughed myself. Except that it wasn’t funny. My fears – as unfounded as they turned out to be, were very real nonetheless. I took my concerns up to God in prayer daily, back again at night to ask Him to give His beloved daughter (me) sleep. One day, He finally spoke an assurance to me that he would ‘Showcase me for His glory’. He spoke ‘Glory unveiled, Purpose redefined’. Then He asked me to receive His peace. Well guess what sis? I received the gift of God’s peace, but yours truly didn’t unwrap the package and truly claim it as mine and so I continued to fret within myself. Ever been there?

As you know sis, eventually we all come to the end of ourselves and are forced to turn back to our Source. As the days rolled one into another, I had to go back to the assurances the Lord had given me and choose to anchor my faith right there, finally laying hold on the peace which He had long since freely given to me. I listened to the voice of truth within me that assured me that He already knew the end from the beginning, and He was more than able to bring to pass what He had spoken. Then came the gentle reminder that the ‘showcasing’ was for His glory, and His glory alone. Each time fear tried to come up again in my spirit over those last few days, I would very deliberately suppress it and declare that He Who had begun a good work in me is more than able to perfect it unto the very end. I reasoned that the date had been set anyway, so what would be would be; and that what would be, would be for God’s glory.

Then the day arrived!

I got to the hall and.…. nothing was ready. The chairs were just being covered; the frame for the stage backdrop was just being knocked together; the air-conditioning was not cooling. This was less than two hours to event start time. I was at a total loss and fretted quite a bit for the first hour thereafter. Eventually my sistas who also arrived shortly after I did, forced me to sit still while they took over trying to ensure everything was set before guests began to arrive. Even I knew that my nerves were near shot, so I obeyed. As I sat tense as could be in that little corner of the room, I sent a quiet but desperate plea for help to God. The answer was a single word ‘Peace’. Sis, I clung to that peace because it was all I knew to do at that time.

But here is the testimony sis, the book launch was spectacular - a resounding success. The attendance was remarkable – the terrible traffic situation that day regardless. The reviewers were absolutely brilliant. Book launches have a tendency to be boring, but this was very far from that. The audience was fully engaged and didn’t appear to want to leave well after the event was officially over – even with the air-conditioning still refusing to really kick-in full blast. Oh but God truly showcased me that day sis. He truly did! And because He had spoken it, and because it is the constant cry of my heart…through it all, I refused to lose sight of the fact that all the glory belonged and belongs to Him alone. I remember that as I stood at the podium to address the audience, the words ‘There is a purpose behind the platform’ dropped into my spirit and this is the meat of what I want to share with you today. I pray that this becomes a Rhema word for you today sis.

A couple of weeks before the book launch, it had ministered to my spirit that rather than make a long speech about something or the other at the launch, I should share one of my prior posts (‘Make it Happen’) with the audience. Much as I had some initial reservations about it being too long to read at a book launch I decided to go along with what I believed God wanted me to do. From that day and until today, I have received several call, texts and emails from people at the event who said that the post was a word in due season for them, and that they had shed tears as the Lord convicted them about certain assignments He had for them which they had abandoned and not carried through. For a couple of others, listening as I read led them to a reawakening and re-dedication of their lives back to God, and a recommitting to being obedient to His Word. In all this therefore, butterflies/nervousness/insecurities and all, I have – by choosing to simply trust my God, been able to minister faith, hope, purpose, determination and the love of God to a good number of His children. I see clearly that this was the real purpose behind the Lord putting me on that platform at the book launch the way He did. Nothing to do with me sis; rather more to do with you!   

I have been in a sort of daze ever since last Thursday, marveling at how well the launch went yes, but more so marveling at how the Lord has used something that gave me so much anxiety to reawaken relationships with Him, as well as the potentials for greatness in so many others that the distractions of this world have caused to be hidden. This must have been what fear was trying to hold down in me. This is what the enemy was trying to counter – that message to me of ‘Glory unveiled, Purpose redefined’. I thought those words were for me, and I guess in a sense they were; but I see that it was so far beyond me. It really was! It was all about the redefinition of purpose in the lives of some of those who attended as well as you reading this post now, and for all of whom God has a specific assignment. And it was certainly all about His glory – that which already is, and that which is surely to come.

Sis, I don’t know what it is that you may be having butterflies in your stomach about. I don’t know what may be giving rise to anxieties that are keeping you from making a move. In the name of Jesus, I rebuke whatever may be trying to keep you from destiny and purpose, and from taking the glory of God upon your life to the next level. If it’s scary enough, there is a superabundance of glory that is to be released. Receive His peace today sis. Open the gift box and truly receive it! Our God is more than able. Even the strongest and boldest of us have our weaknesses and that is actually great sis. If we could truly do it all ourselves, imagine how far we would eventually get from God! Thank God that we can boast in our weaknesses and our insecurities. This is the angle that God works best from.

What platform has the Lord made available to you sis? Please don’t shy away from it any longer. Don’t try to hide from the limelight. It’s not about you sis. The platform is for a greater purpose. One of the speakers at our recently concluded women’s conference (ARISE) kept speaking to the fact that your life is not just about you.  The platform is not about you sis. Don’t allow the enemy keep you from stepping up to the plate. I speak into your life today and declare that as you commit to laying aside your fears and insecurities and stepping up to the platform, that the Lord will help you fulfill the true purpose behind His every assignment for your life on that platform. I stand in agreement with you that your obedience will cause lives to be touched and impacted greatly for the Kingdom of God. I decree that because you choose to listen to the voice of God, you will not stray from the path and through you, God’s precious children will find and fulfill purpose, and the glory will go to your Father and Lord. The Lord will minister to you specially sis. He will help you as surely He helped and will continue to help me.

Be blessed sis …. For you surely are!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Grace to your mountain

The morning had started simply enough on that Thursday last week. Somewhere in the interval between my quiet time and morning workout however, I was suddenly assailed with very intense thoughts of death and my dying. I was set to make a trip later that day and so you can imagine that I didn't need to have those sorts of thoughts filling my mind on that morning. I pushed them aside much as I could, but it was such a strong assault that I then took it up in prayer. As I prayed, God reminded me of some things that He had very clearly spoken and confirmed to me as relate to His direction, purpose and assignments for my life. He reminded me that He is not a God of idle words, and that as He had spoken those things to me they would surely come to pass. He reminded me that He alone has the power of life and death, and that the length of my days is in His hands alone. Standing in that one spot I felt an overflow of His peace and I laughed aloud at the devil as he was once again put to shame and exposed for the liar that he truly is.

I was at work a couple of hours later when I got a text message from one of my sistas asking ‘Did you hear about the plane crash? Where are you?’ I responded to say I was fine and that my flight was slated for much later in the day. I then went online to check what had happened. There it was! Another plane crash and several other lives lost. Immediately I said to my husband, ‘I am not going on this trip’. I said the same to a couple of my sistas who called to verify that I was nowhere near the airport. I am sure you can relate with my reaction. We had a major crash last year in which I lost people I grew up with, people I knew well. My decision also seemed like common sense in view of where I had been earlier that morning. My mind tried to tell me that the reason I had those thoughts of death that morning was that if I boarded that plane later that day, it would also crash.

Yes sis, fear came back masked as common sense and reason. There had been one air incident/near–miss or the other too many this year. A couple of well-respected men of God had prophesied air crashes this year. On and on the negative thoughts donned on the garb of reason and played on my mind and emotions. Eventually I had the sense to go into prayer and God simply reminded me of His assurances earlier that morning. He also reminded me of something my husband says so often – that on the day the Lord has appointed for a person to die, if he/she was slated to die by drowning and knowing this chose not to go swimming; he/she would drown drinking a glass of water. I smiled as I thought about this and as once again a peace flooded over me, off I went to the airport. I probably don’t need to tell you that the flights to and fro were remarkably smooth. As I walked back into my home the next evening, it struck me just how easily I would have missed out on a key assignment I had to deliver on if I had allowed myself hold that fear – no matter how ''commonsensical'' it seemed at the time based on the physical, above the things God had spoken to me.

And fear is no joke is it sis? It can be quite crippling and has nothing really to do with rationality. Fear is like an octopus that has metal hooks on each of its suckers – once it hooks on it sinks deep and hangs tight. Fear is the one thing that literally makes the smallest of situations look like the most insurmountable of mountains. As we look at what appears to be before us, we are paralyzed and unable to move, run in the very opposite direction, or at best make some feeble attempt at moving. On that day my fear was about getting on a flight, but you and I know that fear presents in different ways, different situations, and on different realms – physical/ emotional/ spiritual/ financial/ psychological, etc. There is only one thing that shakes off fear – and that is trust in the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit. The challenge is that a lot of the time we cooperate more with fear than with the Holy Spirit Who is desperately trying to renew our minds, and we then allow fear to literally build mountains out of our molehills.

The morning after I returned from that trip, the Lord spoke something to me through Zechariah 4. First, He showed me in verse 7 that whereas fear makes mountains out of molehills, He is in the business of making molehills out of mountains and that as we cry ‘Grace’ to those mountains before us, He will also bring forth out of them the very foundation stones that we need for the new levels that He is has purposed to take us to. I turned this over in my mind for a while and then I got it. God is grace! God gives grace! Verses 3 & 6 of Zech 4 let us know that a ceaseless supply of grace – by the power of the Holy Spirit is available to s,; and this is where the battle is won - not in our might or power, but by the Spirit of the Lord and the grace that He continuously releases unto us. God confirmed to me in verse 9, that when He has spoken something to us and we obediently and diligently move and begin to lay the foundation thereof, He will keep us to finish the assignment. This fulfillment is however hinged on a clear understanding of the grace that is upon our lives, and our boldly speaking this same grace to the various mountains that try to pose as obstacles to our fulfilling our God-given assignments. Remember that our victory is through faith, by grace! 

Speaking grace is an expression of utmost confidence in the God that we serve for Whom nothing is impossible. I really want you to get this into your spirit sis, and so these are my questions for you today:
     ·    What has the Lord spoken to you that you have been too afraid to move on?
     ·     What dream has He put in your heart, the size of which has near paralyzed you in fear?
     ·     What are those mountains that you see that are blocking your walking in your assignment?
    ·    What is your mountain speaking to you sis? ---  I’m too young! I’m too old! I’m too fat! I’m too tall! I’m too short! I don’t have enough money! I don’t know the right people! People will laugh! It’s never been done before! It’s impossible! What if I fail? I don’t know where to start! I will probably make a mess of it! This kind of success doesn't come from/to someone like me! What sis? What?

What is your mountain speaking to you? Can I tell you today that it doesn't matter anymore? God is asking today that you shut down the voice of your mountain and flip things around by the power of the Holy Spirit. Open your mouth and speak ‘Grace’ to your mountain sis. Laugh at your mountain and declare it to be the molehill that God says it is. Don’t pretend your mountain is not there, no; for indeed sometimes it is very evidently there for the eye to see and we need to be real about this. But God is asking that you look at your mountain with the eyes of the Spirit today and not with your physical eyes. God is asking today if you can make a choice to stay in faith and to trust His immutable and irrefutable Word. He is asking you to truly trust His Word that every mountain you face will be made a plain – level ground on which you can walk comfortably into the place of purpose and fulfillment. Can you see it sis? Can you choose today to cooperate with God in faith rather than cooperating with the enemy in fear?

Choose faith today sis! Choose to believe God! In this place of faith, ask the Lord to release grace unto you sis. Ask Him for grace to see the answer, to know the next step, and for grace to re-establish a full confidence in your God Who speaks and it is done. Give your fears to God again sis. Don’t deny them. This is not the message. Indeed you need to identify very clearly what your particular fear(s) is(are) regarding anything God has called you to do. And when you have put a name to that fear, ask it to bow to the Name that is above every other name. Speak ‘Grace’ to your mountain sis. You will amazed at the awesomeness that grace has in store for those of God’s children who choose to walk in it. I’m looking forward to hearing your testimonies as you walk by grace into destiny sis. The Lord will help you sis. He will help me.

Be blessed sis…..for you surely are!


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Make it happen

Over the past couple of weeks, I have operated in a constant haze of thankfulness, marveling at the faithfulness of God in so many areas of my life and one in particular this period. What is it you ask? Hmmm!Well sis my second book 'Double Impact' is going through the final design stage prior to going to press. It is a wonder to me that I should have two books out within the space of a few months. Only God sis, only God!

More than the fact of this being my second book though, I have been on a praise high because in the course of the final reviews, my publisher kept calling me to say what a great book it is, how much she is learning from it, and how excited she is about the impact she expects the book to make on couples that work together. Double Impact is based on my almost 20year working relationship with my husband and contains principles and strategies that I believe have helped us continue to have great relationships both in the office and at home all these many years. My husband himself had traveled with a copy of the manuscript and when he came back, he pulled me into a very tight embrace, told me how proud he was of me and then began to rave about the book. When he was done, I could only but stare at him in silent awe, tears of joy and gratitude coursing down my face. I mean, how much more validation could there be, than that the other half of the story himself has been impacted so greatly by the book? Wow! Lord, I'm so grateful.

As my publisher (my very precious sista-sista Bidemi Mark-Mordi of Verbatim Communications Limited) and I reviewed the cover designs a few days ago, I found myself reflecting over the journey to the reality that is now the book 'Double Impact'. A few things ministered to me and these I will share with you today.

First is that God has put gifts talents and abilities within each and every one of us, by the very breath of life that He gave to us. The breath of life is an impartation of the Spirit and nature of God, and each of us is well able to do exploits if we would only but make a move. God puts particular passions in us for a purpose. He orchestrates our life circumstances for a purpose. The simplest of things which we see as our norm, can actually be platforms that the Lord will use to touch lives around the world if we are willing, and if we stop taking the 'ordinary' around us for granted. Working with my husband was and continues to be my 'ordinary', my 'usual', my 'norm'. It was just what we did and do. From day to day, year to year, we have simply reveled in the fact that we love each other and love being together - be it at the office or at home. As the Lord began to open up opportunities for me to teach and speak on business and entrepreneurship some years back, I started to notice that somehow, no single session would end without the issue of how I have been able to work with my spouse all these years cropping up. In my many years of simply dreaming about writing a book, I somehow never made the connection until the one morning - after a particularly intense class discussion the day before on the issue of couples working together; when the Lord woke me up and gave me clarity on what His assignment for me was.

Yes sis, the Lord showed me that there was a great big message within the 'norm' of my life. So my first question to you today is: 'What is it in your life that you have continued to see as 'no big deal', but which the Holy Spirit continues to niggle you about?' There is surely that 'something' sis, there surely is. Sometimes we don't see the assignment clearly because it looks so ordinary as compared to the many other 'exciting' or 'dynamic' things we see everyone else around us being/doing/achieving. Take time out to pray and reflect and ask the Lord to show you the greatness that is already around and within you sis. Open your heart to hear and receive from the Lord, and if He hasn't already, He will surely show you sis. If He has sis, then its time you worked your assignment to the full!

Secondly, you must make a move. No matter how long you talk about what it is that you want to do, you must make a move sis. I talked for well over a year about the fact that I was going to write a book about couples working together. I talked and talked until the day I realized I was being hypocritical unto myself, knowing full well that I hadn't put as much as a dot on a page anywhere. That day, I forced myself to sit down and write out an outline. Nothing came readily to mind so I spent some time in prayer, in praise and in worship. In the quietness that followed from there, the Lord began to drop things in my spirit and a couple of hours later, I had not just an outline of chapters, but clearly written down statements of what I expected each chapter to address. Make a move sis! Just talking or thinking about something will not birth it into existence. We are not God! It is only He that speaks and it is done. His commandment to us is to go ye and 'do' this or that. He is the One that said we should mix our faith with 'work' so that we can see the results that He has purposed. Do the work sis, make a move and watch the Lord in His faithfulness magnify your efforts.

Third, commit to keeping on, regardless of how many times you stumble or how many times you stop. Don't give up! Keep picking yourself up and moving forward. As I have said before, we are all in this marathon of life for ourselves, and not in competition with anyone else. What this means is that even if you sometimes get tired, sit on the track; whatever else you so, don't get off it. Stay on the track sis, and keep the prize in view. Even where you can’t see the finish line, move forward! When you don't have the energy to run then walk, or at least get on all fours and crawl forward. If you can though, jog for a bit. And when you feel that burst of energy, sprint! The collective result of your crawling, walking, jogging and sprinting efforts will all add up to one thing - movement in the forward direction, progress on the track. As long as you are still on the track and in this mental/psychological and emotional frame, the finish line is yet closer than before.

I can tell you that there were times when for months on end I wouldn't write a single line. I kept talking about the book though, and each time I opened up my documents folder, there it was staring at me. There were times when all I could do was go back to refine what I had already written before, and that was fine because that was a kind of progress. There were those times when I would open the manuscript, type three or four lines, then stare at it blankly, sigh and shut it down; mentally reminding myself that four extra lines was progress nonetheless, albeit minimal. There were then also those other times when I approached the writing with a tenacity that impressed even me, lol. The sum total of all this, one day I typed the final full-stop and the book was done. It has taken me five years from the day the Lord dropped the concept in my heart, but sis... my 'ordinary' is today a book that the Lord will surely use to minister to and bless countless couples around the world. Don't give up sis! That you haven't touched that project in months or years is not reason enough to let it die. Remember that it is an assignment from your Maker and He will hold you accountable to it. Don't give up! Do something! Move! Make it happen! The Lord Who is your strength and Who birthed the vision in you, is more than able to help you sis. He will strengthen and empower you, and He will help you see it to the end if you keep your eyes on Him.

Lastly, I want to encourage you today by saying that the things that the Lord put in your heart to do are usually quite big and sometimes pretty scary, especially in the space of your everyday reality and in view of what you might see as the ordinariness of your existence. But sis, that is exactly why the glory for the end result goes to God. That is why we need to look to Him alone to bring it to pass. God-sized visions require God to bring them to pass. Stop looking at what you are 'able' to do, for you are truly able to do absolutely nothing. Take the fear, the uncertainty, and the ordinary that you have and place them at His feet sis. Ask Him to work through you to bring the vision to pass. Ask Him to open your eyes to see, your ears to hear, to show you the connections and resources that He has already made available for you to make birth the dream. You can make your dream happen sis, you can! Certainly not in your strength, but in total submission and in full partnership with the God Who is your Source. Take your eyes off what the next person is doing sis. Work your stuff! It is the same God that we all serve. It is the same breath that He breathed into us all. Whether He has given you one talent or many, work it sis! Work it!

I speak over your life today and ask that The Lord will touch you even through something I have said today, and cause you to go back to the dream that He has put in you. I pray that by the power of the Holy Spirit, you will fulfill every assignment that the Lord has given unto you. I pray that the Lord Who gives us visions in the night, Who fills our minds with witty inventions, that He will speak to you mightily once again concerning your assignment(s). I pray that the One Who orders our steps and illuminates our paths, will show you the next steps to take on this journey. I pray that as you make a fresh commitment in your heart to see your assignment to the end, the Lord will also steadfastly help you stay on track. I pray that He will help you keep the prize in mind, so that regardless of the pace, you will keep moving nonetheless. I pray that as you commit to make your assignment happen sis, that the Lord will reward your efforts and walk you into the completion, for the praise and glory of His name. I am so looking forward to sharing in your testimony in the very near future. The Lord will help you sis, even as He has certainly helped and will continue to help me.

Be blessed sis...for you surely are!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Understanding His will 3

When I shared the questions asked of me regarding the will of God, I really didnt have a clear sense of how many responses would come in, but I knew without a shadow of a doubt that the Lord would speak. I shared a couple of responses that touched me last week, and today I bring you a couple more. I have not been opportuned to meet with the young lady who asked the questions in the first place, but I remain committed to sharing the things that the LOrd will speak through that interaction when it takes place. As you read the responses below, allow the Lord minister to you regarding His will.

"Most times our own will has selfish ways encompassed in it. God’s ways are to bring Him glory and usually have something to do with His people because His people are the most precious to Him. He created us from the very ground that He created. He gave us the ability to produce and create and He established that there was nothing we should do alone. He fashioned it that He selflessly gave His only son that we would have eternal life. I can't say that any father or mother for that matter would give their child to the world that they (others) may have eternal life. He always does something that is to better His people and meet them right where they are. This blog is a perfect example. That very question is asked probably daily by many when they think they are hearing their own voice instead of the Lord’s. It's very clear to me that when you whole heartedly give your life to Christ and accept Him as your personal savior that you are giving permission for God to invade your thoughts and plans. His plan will be revealed and when you do things in your own will, you know as opposed to doing them in the will of God. There is a profound difference in doing on your own and doing in the strength of Christ. His will is that we may prosper in all that we do. We are mere beings who were created for a purpose and when we go outside of that which God has purposed us to do, I believe this is when we experience defeat and failure.
Now of course it all works out for our good, but usually once we have messed it up is when we go back to God and want to do it His way. I believe it was God actually asking this question of us all to see if we have matured to a place of recognizing that once we have given our lives to Him, that He is in control and that He is leading and directing. And for one to know that they are indeed hearing God and not your own thoughts, He will bring confirmation to you in some way and that is how you will know. Before this question was asked there were probably decisions and questions that were coming forth that led you to a place you thought that you should check to be sure that the voice you hear is not your own. My question is have you accepted Christ as your personal savior? If the answer is yes then you are hearing God and if you are not sure of the inner voice you do hear, God will surly bring it forth through another to confirm that you are not just waking this out in your own being.

The only way you will know Gods plans is if you ask Him as He it is who created you and He is the one Who has purposed the exact plans for you. It's truly a daily walk and I'd say it’s ok to keep asking. One of my mentors spoke to me recently and said if you don't hear God speaking anything new it's because He is still in the place of the last thing He spoke. Perhaps He gave you something to do and you didn't finish it or you went to someone else to see what it was that you were to do or perhaps you have now gone to someone because you don't hear God speaking. That's because you left Him in the last place and may need to go back to that space and reclaim whatever it is He have you to do.
I'm convinced that no one but God can tell you His plans. He can confirm through others but you will only know the plans He has for you if you ask Him. Again I must say that if you don't have a relationship with God that's the first step before asking Him to tell you what His plans are and if you are not sure then you should ask someone to help usher you into His kingdom so that you have security in the kingdom knowing that when all is passed away you have eternal life in His kingdom. Once you have done so and know, then what you do is ask God, ‘God what are your plans for me?’ Wait patiently. He will not give you the whole picture or answer. He will speak to you and you must listen. Once He has spoken He may bring confirmation to it through someone else but know that that is not the first that spoke it to you, it was in fact the voice of God. He may not speak aloud and that is why you have to listen carefully.

This has been such a joy to have an interactive blog/devotional. I know however that there is no right or wrong answer. I prayed about my answer and wanted to answer with what I felt God would have me tell someone who asked this very question. In fact I have been asked and I recall once telling someone that "you just know" can no longer be the answer as I know that this question is in fact an opportunity to usher someone into His kingdom. I read this on Saturday during my devotional and God did not allow me to answer until Sunday night as I went to reflect on my day. Then I arose this morning and added more as I thought about it even more while I slept. God is doing a new thing and I excited in knowing that the question is still being asked and that I was given opportunity to answer. Thank you for asking and reading our responses. I see that this blog is already going into a new direction and for that I am excited. Until the next question.   Blessings - SV"

When I read the first part of this post last week, I had a spontaneous response to the questions raised but I had a check in my spirit to wait. The following day in church, my Pastor preached on "Living a life pleasing unto God." Then I knew why I had to wait. His sermon provided more answers to your question. I spent the whole week ruminating on both the questions & the answers I had whilst looking for time to write them down and send to you. Reading today's post, I knew I still have to share my thoughts with you though now late. But first, here's what I found today written by Stormie Omartian:

How do you find the will of God for your life?
- Tell God you live to do His will. (Ephesians 6:5-6)
- Ask God for wisdom to help you understand what His will is. (Ephesians 5:17)
- Ask God to enable you to do His will. (Hebrews 13:20-21)
- Listen for God’s voice speaking to your heart. (Isaiah 30:21)
- Praise God and give thanks to Him for everything. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
- Ask God to work His will in your life for His Glory. (Hebrews 12:2)

The key is, it’s His will. Go to Him.
My response to your question: Some years ago I heard a missionary in a movie say these words as he was dying: " there's no better place to be than in the center of God's will except in His presence." These words left an indelible mark on me. The ultimate goal of every Christian must be to please God in every sphere of our lives and in all our decision making. Any believer who seeks to live a life pleasing unto God must therefore be willing and ready to submit his/her will and plan to God. When our plans are in synch with God's will for us, we will have peace in our heart and not be disquieted.

Outside the will of God, we will struggle and labour much for less outcome. We therefore need to commit our plans to God and be willing to let go of them if we become agitated and have no peace in our hearts. It is God Who works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure when we live our lives to please Him.
Congratulations on the release of your book. God bless you richly.   - IO "

Sis, I was particularly touched by these two responses. I know how many times in my personal walk that I would find myself questioning whether the voice I heard inside was the voice of God. By the grace and help of the Holy Spirit and as I have grown over the years, I have truly seen that the LOrd always sends confirmation of the things that He speaks to me, or at other times, He immediately counters the voice of doubt with a reassuring 'My Sheep know my voice'  which comes to me as clear as crystal, so I totally understand what SV has spoken. And if I will leave you with anything else today, it will be exactly as the Lord has spoken to us through IO: the key is, it’s His will... go to Him. I encourage you to stay in the place of trusting that the very One Who created you for His purpose, is more than able to teach, to guide, and to direct our lives according to His will for each and every one of


May the Lord grant you and I fresh revelation of Him each and every day sis. This is my prayer for today and for always.
Be blessed.... for you surely are! 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Understanding His will 2

The past week has been pretty busy for me. It already feels like my vacation ended three months ago. But that is life isn’t it. In the real sense of it, we can never take long enough vacations from our realities. Life is always right there waiting for us, regardless of how many weeks of vacation we decide to take. I am grateful to God the assignment that He has given me on the mountain of business, for it is in the busyness of my days that I am working out my life’s purpose. The past week has also been a very exciting week for me. Not only did I finish my second book, but my first book ‘Uniquely Woman’ made its debut on Amazon( in this same week. Truthfully, I’d be doing cartwheels out of excitement if I were a bit younger (err… not to mention several pounds lighter, cough cough). I have however chosen to content myself with constant songs of praise and lots of spontaneous dancing in gratitude to God for He alone deserves the glory. Thank you to each and every one of you, for indeed you are a big part of the success story of Uniquely Woman. I’m counting on you to help me make some noise about this book okay. Big hugs as you do.  

So, last week I shared with you some questions that were thrown at me concerning the will of God. I asked for responses and promised to share them on this forum. A couple of responses have really struck me very deeply and I will share these with you over the next couple of days and then eventually round up with my own thinking as I had said I would. The questions were: What is the difference between your will and God's will? How can you trust God when it seems you're the one making plans for yourself? How do you know God's plans for you?’ The responses? Here goes:

‘Hmmm! Certainly very deep questions. My will is working and planning according to World's standards. His will is subjecting my life and plans to Bible standards and ensuring that I am constantly speaking to God and having Him speak back to me to confirm or otherwise. And I know all this can only happen if I have a close relationship with Him and I'm therefore in constant communion with Him.’  - IY

‘Hmmm, some very meaty questions there and questions that I guess all of us have asked at one time or another. And as human beings, I guess will continue to ask until the day we are reunited with Christ and see and know perfectly. As a natural go-getter/organizer type person, I struggle with the idea of not sorting things out for myself and waiting on God is often the hardest thing for me to do. However, I've discovered that waiting on Him is absolutely the right thing to do. Not waiting fatalistically, but actively- reminding myself of the times He's come through for me in the past. Remembering His Word and going back to it as often as I need to. But also, taking at least a step towards what I want to do. I think we need to let go of the picture in our head, that God is an ogre Who's just waiting for us to fail. He's not like that at all. If we're going the wrong way, He will tell us (in my experience anyway). As for knowing His will, my advice is, if it doesn't line up with His Word, then it can't be His will. His Word, His Names and His Will are all congruent. Practice listening all the time and you'll get better at discerning His voice, from the myriad we hear every day.                                                      –  FJ

‘I have been thinking of your post since I read it yesterday. I actually wanted to reply right away but God halted me and told me to wait so that He would help me send a 'much better' reply. I am simple woman and I usually like things broken down for me like I am a 2 year old and this is how I walk with God - with childlike faith cos adult sense and wisdom is just a blocker. 

SO HOW DO I KNOW GOD'S WILL? By first knowing what blocks it for me: MY OWN DESIRE and to be honest this is how you will also know the difference between your will and God's. Your will is what YOU want based on your own wisdom and understanding the situation. God's will is what HE wants for you which is always BETTER even if we don't see it that way at the time. Now, remember the garden on Eden? What made Eve eat the apple? Her desire to KNOW. When trying to get God's will for us, we have to ask for grace not to put OUR OWN desires over and above HIS, cos sometimes they won't match. We have to say, like Jesus, as he cried to God to take his cup away, ‘Lord, YOUR WILL be done, not mine!' Yes, usually very hard but always worth it in the end and when we have done this, and we meant it, then we can be sure that God will guide us into His will for us on that matter.

True, sometimes even after you have handed it all to God, 'self' still creeps in and tries to 'help'. The spirit of God immediately tells me I am 'trying' to help God. For any person in Christ, this voice is always speaking. Just that sometimes, we don't listen. You need to listen and when it speaks, you stop what you were thinking or about to do. Secondly, check the Word, what you are about to do? Does it go against anything God says you are or should not do? If it does, then it is not in God's will for you. God would never ask you to compromise your integrity; He will never ask you to 'fib or colour the story'. He will not ask  you to bribe or 'facilitate' to have His will done. God does not need your help to have His way in your life. He just needs your obedience and 1500% TRUST. 

This morning as I was praying and doing my devotional, God showed me why He wanted me to wait. Right there in my reading for today. This is what I read: 'Come in poverty of spirit to be led by the Spirit. 'Be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable and perfect will of God'. You see, God is saying to us that His Spirit will teach a person with a TRANSFORMED AND RENEWED MIND AND LIFE that WANTS only to know God's perfect will. We first of all have to BE FULLY REBORN IN CHRIST AND DAILY RENEWING OUR MINDS VIA HIS WORD and then we have TO WANT TO KNOW God's perfect will for our lives ALL THE TIME. Not just in crisis or when facing a particularly stormy time or difficult situation. ALL THE TIME! The Spirit of God in us will teach is just like I said above but His voice will be muted if our minds are not renewed enough to hear or understand what He is saying. You and I know that the un-renewed mind of man and its wisdom is incapable of understanding God or His wisdom and where there is sin the light of God cannot shine into the heart to guide......  I just hope this helps you talk to this young lady.....And I pray God will open her heart and mind to receive all you share with her in Jesus name. Amen. Bless you Sis! 

P. S. One final tip, as a child of God, truly wanting to please Him, when we begin to do things in our wisdom, we get a check in our spirits and our peace begins to seep out of us.......I know this to be true personally.....either two things happen. You listen to the check and stop it. Days later something happens and you are like 'Lord, Thank You.....Thank You for not letting me do that, now I get it. OR You don't listen, and days later, you suffer the consequences and see how God was trying to save you from your current kwata''' (problem) and then you apologize and ask for mercy to get out of it......and God being Love....He always does                         - Salt

Food for thought? No doubt! Tomorrow, we share another response that particularly moved me. I pray though that as you meditate on what you have read so far, the Lord Himself will minister something to your heart and help you in your walk, so that you will find yourself squarely in the center of His will always.

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



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.

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.


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.