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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

I'm Excited!

I woke up with music in my heart this morning as I do pretty regularly. Today was different though. Today my songs of praise really had no specific words, rather they just sort of swirled around my heart in a fullness of thanksgiving to an amazing God Who has seen fit to keep me and mine unto the very end of 2014. I slid straight off from my bed and unto my knees. This is a practice I started about two years ago when I heard my sista Ini speak about how doing this helps her get her God-connection up and running from the instant she is conscious of her wakefulness. It has worked wonders for me so far, I tell you. There’s nothing like giving God the very first precious moments of your day – on your knees in full acknowledgment of the fact that He is the source of the very breath you breathe; your heart, mind, soul and spirit open, yielded, and fully submissive to His will for you for that day. On my knees this morning, the reality of every negative thing that could have been but which God did not allow hit me. I was humbled afresh by the reality of His hand having surely been with me in 2014, the reality of His grace having truly been more than sufficient, the enormity of His divine provision, favor and protection over me and over all that are connected to me. Ah yes, sis….the Lord has been good and He surely continues to deserve all glory.

Slowly sipping my absolutely delightful cup of steaming hot coffee this morning (slurrp), I thought about how on the 31st of December each year millions of people worldwide will unfortunately allow themselves dwell on and be overcome with sadness and trepidation, focusing all their energy, emotion and attention on the many things that did not work in their lives in the preceding 12 months; viewing each unfolding New Year with bleakness and a sense of hopelessness at the prospect of another 12 months of assumed stagnancy and near nothingness ahead. I thought about how millions will choose to look at the year ending and that which is to come with the eye of negativity, and I thought how very sad this is. Its sad because truth be told, once we wrap our perspectives around the wrong things, we give the devil a large playing field to distort our reality and future hope through his weapons of fear, hopelessness, doubt, uncertainty, discouragement, disbelief, etc.

Sis, I personally refuse to play willing captive to the enemy of my soul. No, I won’t build estates and invite the enemy to occupy each building as well as manage the property. I refuse to enter covenant with him, and I refuse to hand him the title deeds to my mind. I refuse daily to get into agreement with him. Today, as with every other day of my life, I have again intentionally and willingly covenanted myself afresh to God, yielding my all to Him, and so I’m excited today, sis! Oh, but I am! 2014 has been a very eventful year in ways that are too varied to describe effectively within the confines of this post. It has been a busy year, a challenging year, an exciting year, a year of ebbs and flows – emotionally, financially, physically, spiritually, and mentally. That said, anyhow you cut it… 2014 has been a great year for me, and I don’t doubt that if you approach your review from the right perspectives, it has been a great year for you also. This is my take and I’m standing on this foundation unequivocally, with…as my people will say ‘No shaking!’

Sis, more than anything else, 2014 has been a great year because…. hey! You and I are still alive! I mean, how much better can your year have been than that you are still standing at the end of it all? Thank You Jesus! In a whatsapp group I belong to the entire chat history for hours yesterday was centered on a young lady who died the day before – 5 days to her wedding. Heart-wrenching post after post about deaths of children, siblings, etc poured in thereafter. It would all have been pretty depressing but for the fact that I held on to the perspective that I was reading those messages because I AM ALIVE…and well! In this season as always, everywhere we turn there is bad news, and then some more bad news. But here's the thing, our many conversations and analysis are irrelevant to those who are dead. We hear, we read, we empathize….because we are still here! Can somebody shout ‘Halleluyah!’?  Oh, yeah! I've got my praise on for sure, and you need to be sure you do too, my friend.

I’m still here sis, and I am so excited about the winding up of this year. I am staring 2015 in the face and intentionally choosing to see it as an opportunity to start afresh. December 31st is for me a breath of fresh air, an affirmation of the fact that everything the enemy planned to harm me, God re-purposed for my good. December 31st is a gift from God and a reminder that He is still faithful to accomplish the things that He has spoken to me concerning my life and His specific assignments for me. I’m excited because I am able to look at everything I ‘failed’ to achieve in 2014 and come to terms once again with the reality of the fact that those failings were building blocks on my journey to becoming who God has called me to be. I’m excited because I see clearly that my disappointments simply indicate that God’s intent and timing for those things I desired didn't align with mine, and I am so glad He had His way – the best way, the only way! I'm excited because for everything that 'failed' around me, I have grown... and my growth has come with testimonies, and with a ministry of encouragement to others who are also struggling. 

I’m excited because God is does not work according to the cycles of our January to December human calendars, but He is on His own schedule and timing, and 2015 brings with it the prospect of His closing out some of those things I have been trusting Him for in times past, some of which I can be confident that He has purposed to, and will manifest in the year ahead. I don’t know what those things are or may be, but I firmly believe He is working all things out for my good, and I can’t wait to see what good He has in store for me in the year ahead. I’m excited about the prospect of seeing how His ‘blessings are new every morning’ will unfold in my life in 2015; and I’m excited about the ‘all grace’ that He will cause to abound in my life in 2015. I’m excited because I can’t chronicle enough His many faithfulness in and over my life and the lives of my family and loved ones in the past 12 months. Remember the song ‘Count your blessing’? My list is pretty long sis, how about yours? I’m excited because I know our 2015 will end with an even longer blessing chronicle, in Jesus name. Amen!

More than anything else, I’m excited because I choose to be, sis! I choose to frame my life from the perspective of everything that is good, and pleasant, and true, and lovely, and of a good report. Be they few or many, these are the things that I choose to focus on as the fragrance of and for my life. In the midst of the plethora of evil reports we receive every day, I choose to stand on God’s word and His promises and assurances for my life. I choose to see and know deep within, that my having a relationship with Him in the first place is everything, and before all things. I choose my relationship with God, the assurance of my salvation, and my confident expectation of spending eternity with Him in heaven, as being the true color of my success in life generally; and for each year that passes in which - by His grace, the vicissitudes of life have not taken me away from this truth, I’m even more excited.

Sis, I ask that you walk this walk of gratitude with me again today. It has been a successful year because you are alive, and you remain anchored in Christ. That is the true color of your success sis, and I celebrate this with you today. It is this same perspective and confidence with which I speak into your 2015 and declare that it will be a marvelous year for you, in Jesus mighty name. As you purpose today to go deeper, to draw closer, to walk more in His love, and in obedience to the things that He will speak to you in 2015; then I decree in Jesus name, that by this time next year your confession will also be that you are still standing, that you are still standing strong in Him, and that your life is good and blessed - regardless of what your experiences or situations otherwise tried to tell you. There is an amazing year up ahead of you sis. As we bless God together for the one that ends in a few hours, let’s give Him incredible praise for a glorious year ahead in Jesus name.

Hey, are you outside of the fold? Can I invite you in today? Without Jesus as an anchor, life is hopeless. Will you submit to Him today? Will you give Him your heart and your life? Maybe you don’t understand it completely. Maybe certain things you see, religious extremes and the like confuse you. Maybe you have never truly given a thought to the reality of God, or Who Jesus is. Can I tell you today that the void inside of you is a space only He can fill? Can I assure you that money, popularity, position, drinking, sex, partying, etc will always leave you empty in the midst of it, and in the morning after? Can I assure you that the only place where you are ever truly filled and at peace is in Christ? If you would be willing to at least try, will you draw closer to Him today? Will you come to Jesus and see Him color your life by the only true measure of success that has eternal value? Can you allow Him fill you with His Holy Spirit so that you can live in the excitement and fulfillment of today, and live with an even greater excitement and confidence for when you depart from this earth?

Perhaps you don’t believe there is more to life than our time here on this earth. Will you allow yourself consider that if this is true then you have nothing to lose by walking with God while you are here? You have everything to gain though, truly you do! You see my friend, if there is no God and no heaven and hell, you will lose nothing by following Him while you are here will you? But if you choose not to believe, if you ignore His invitation and you find out at death that He truly is…. it will be way too late, and you would have lost everything. Can you purpose today to believe? All our worldly hustling, aspirations and achievements will count for nothing if we are lost for eternity, my friend. This is truth! Pure and unadulterated!

Can I invite you sis to try Jesus? Please pray this prayer along with me if you will: 
"Lord Jesus, I come before you today. I do not know enough, neither do I fully understand. But today, I choose to believe. Today, I choose You Jesus as my Lord and my Savior. Lord Jesus, I give You my life. I choose to believe that You gave Your life for me, that You bled on the cross and died for me. I choose today to declare that You are Lord over my life. I choose You Lord. Father, today, I repent of my sins. I ask You to come into my heart and wash away every darkness. Flood me with Your light, Lord. Fill me afresh with Your Holy Spirit and make me whole again. Father, fill every void within me. Complete me, Lord. I give You my all.  Lord Jesus, teach me Your Word, Your will and Your way. Help me understand, help me grow in You. Walk with me daily Lord, that on my last day, I might come to you in heaven for eternity. Today, I break every covenant of evil in my life, I break every tie with the enemy and the forces of darkness. I declare that I am born-again and that I am made new, in Jesus name, Amen”

God bless you for your confession sis. Now watch the Lord turn your life around and give you true colors of grandeur in your life and a deep overwhelming peace in your soul. Allow Him lead you and guide you and you will know and understand this love and salvation that I am so excited about. Sis, I’m excited afresh because you just prayed this prayer. I am standing with you in prayer, and I have a confident expectation that I will be a part of your amazing testimony in the year ahead and for the rest of your life, in Jesus name, Amen.


Did I tell you already that I’m excited sis? I did? One time too many? Lol... Bear with me darling, bear with me. I really am super excited! I’m excited for me and I’m excited for you. I’m excited because I'm so blessed sis…I surely am! And as 2014 comes to a close, I speak over you and declare to you once again my precious sister and friend... precious daughter of the most high King...

Be blessed sis... for surely you are!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Exhale!

A few days ago, I had the privilege to partner with my sista and accountability partner Bidemi Mark-Mordi (www.bidemimarkmordi.com) on the first of a series of quarterly meetings titled ‘Sista Power Collaborations’. Essentially, this is a forum for women to come together to grow spiritually, find and fulfill purpose, serving as midwives and collaborators in each other’s lives; the understanding being that ‘together we are more’. This is a series of gatherings that are a fall-out and continuation of the conversations and interactions from the annual Return of The Helper (ROTH) conference www.returnofthehelper.com.ng which BMM convenes annually by the grace and power of the Holy Spirit.

This first collaboration was themed ‘Exhale & Recalibrate’ and I recall that as we met to review and pray towards the event, I had said to BMM that from the things that were on our hearts to speak, it sounded to me like I had the ‘Exhale 2014’ mandate while she had the ‘Recalibrate for 2015’ mandate. We had laughed, but truly that is the way things played out. Saturday came and was a powerful move of God and it is on my heart to share a few things from there with you.

I honestly can’t replay the entirety of both sessions on this platform, but there are some key things that I thought it would be important for you and I to pay attention to, sis. We are fast approaching the end of 2014 and so I had started by asking each person to take a few minutes to do a hard and honest reflections and assessment of their year, using specific words to describe how 2014 has been for them as individuals, spiritually; emotionally; physically; in their relationships as wives, as mothers; professionally also as business owners, colleagues or employees. I asked everyone to describe the economy of the nation in 2014 as they have experienced and understood it; and then I asked if they could see connections between any of their responses and the state of the economy as they saw it in 2014. The last question was one of how their description of the economy today is framing their expectations for 2015.  

The essence of these questions was for each of us to do an honest assessment of ourselves to understand where we are and what role we have played in getting to where we are. It was for us to face truth, be real about our strengths and weaknesses; and assess those mindsets and perspectives we have held or are holding on to that are not in alignment with God’s word, will and way. We took time to share the responses we had each written down and as expected, every one of us had our fair share of struggles in the course of the year. Each person had a few things they could say had been good or not so bad, but more people than not had something or the other they were beating down on themselves about. All in all though, when we each looked at 2014 from an overall perspective, a general agreement across the room was that challenges notwithstanding, 2014 has been a good year.

Without understanding, this conclusion would have presented quite the paradox. I mean, looking at all the negative words I had penned on the flip chart as people spoke, it wouldn’t ordinarily have made sense to still then come back and declare that it had been a good year. With the right understanding however, why wouldn’t our ultimate confession be that 2014 has been a good year sis? We are daughters of the King and God cannot contradict Himself. If He says His plans for us are good, they are! If He says all things work together for our good, they do! Sometimes it takes us coming to the end of a season or cycle to realize that the fact that we are still standing is a victory and a testimony in itself. And this was exactly where we first anchored sis, that it had been a good year because we are still alive and well enough to have been at Exhale & Recalibrate 2014; even as it has been a good year if you are still alive and well enough to be reading this article now.

EXHALE, sis! You are still here! You’ve made it! We have a few days to go yet, but you have made it thus far and you will make it to the end, in Jesus mighty name. God has been and will continue to be faithful sis, so count your blessings! All said, your blessings are still way more than whatever storms came with 2014. Do you recall His word that when you pass through the waters, He will be with you, and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you? That when you walk through the fire, you will not be burned or scorched, and neither would the flame kindle upon you (Isaiah 43 v 2)? He saw you through, sis. He did! Did He not say that though the storms and floods have lifted up their voice; and the floods lifted up the roaring of their waves; that He is on high and more glorious than the noise of many waters, yes, than the mighty breakers and waves of the sea (Psalm 93 v 3-4)? Has He not been the sure refuge we could run into and be confident until calamities and destructive storms passed (Psalm 57 v 1)? And didn’t the storms always eventually pass sis? You were at various times bent, near broken, beaten, discouraged, confused, afraid… but ultimately you were not defeated sis! You are still here and you are still able to lift your head, exhale and move forward right? Bless this awesome God with me sis! Thank You Jesus!

Exhale sis! He is the One Who assures us that He performs that which HE has planned for us, and of many such matters, He is mindful (Job 23 v 14). Can you not see that this has been your testimony? As surely as He declared it sis, no matter what we went through in 2014, you and I can see that God was faithful in His assurance that He would crown the year with His goodness and bounty (Psalm 65 v 11). Exhale, sis! Take a deep breath and let it out in praise and thanksgiving to the One Who has kept you thus far. 

I remember that I had talked about how when we look at 2015 through the lens of the flesh and in the understanding of man, it would be too easy to confess along with the majority that 2015 is positioning to be a difficult year. I shared however that the word the Lord has given me for 2015 is that where others are saying there is a casting down, I will be saying there is a lifting up (Job 22 v 29). This is my confidence first and foremost because it is the word of God, and it is a word from God. I shared a quote I heard recently that the man with experience is never at the mercy of the man with an argument, and I declared that for the simple fact that I have seen the Lord come through for me and mine time and time again - even in the midst of seemingly impossible situations; I would not be a slave to the arguments and logic of men in 2015. I will stand on the experience of my many indisputable testimonies, and I will experience ‘lifting’ regardless of the going’s on in the economy - because God says so; because I believe it; because with my mouth I decree it, and so shall it be established unto me and mine, in Jesus name, amen.

As you exhale 2014, what is your word for 2015 sis? By all means, ride on the one the Lord has given me because it’s an awesome confession and spiritual decree which heaven has already backed; but can I also ask that you make time to be still in the Lord’s presence and let Him give you that word which will be meat for you throughout 2015?   If there is one thing I have clarity on, it is that 2015 is not a year to be disconnected from the Holy Spirit, and it is not a year to allow distractions take you away from the worship of God. As you exhale today sis, make a resolve to press in, and ask the Lord to help you stay plugged in. Sis, as you exhale, settle in your mind that you have to operate more deeply in the Spirit from today so that you can operate in the rest of God throughout 2015. As you exhale, settle in your mind that according to Psalm 54 v 4:  God is your Helper and Ally; He is your Upholder and is with them who uphold your life. He has always been sis, and He will always be. As this year winds down, allow this to be one truth that nothing can take away from you. 

Exhale sis! Let go of all the struggles and disappointments, and seeming failures. Let go of the targets you set for yourself which God did not assign to you. Allow the Lord give you a fresh breath today sis. Allow Him re-energize you to continue,  and to continue purposefully under His leading. You might not see it, but as long as you stay connected to God Who is your source, all things have worked and are working together for your good, sis. Breathe sis! Breathe!  It really is all good!

Be blessed sis… 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.