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Saturday, December 12, 2015

Fast your emotions

I was just winding up my quiet time with the Lord when He spoke to me and said ‘Fast your emotions this week, daughter’. That was a strange one! Fast my emotions? Hmm!

I could relate with the fasting bit. I mean, I have been on an extended study on the book of Isaiah and had been meditating on Isaiah 58 that Sunday morning. I know that fasting is not only about denying our bodies food. Indeed methinks that a food fast is the most rudimentary of fasts. With the fast-paced lives many people live today, doing without meals for most of the day has become almost a lifestyle. Millions of people are too much in a hurry to stop and have a decent breakfast, and also get so engrossed in work during the day that they forget or are unable to make time for lunch. Dinner has become widely accepted by many as the one basic meal of the day. What then would be a fast if you are one of those for whom this is your normal?

Actually and in this kind of context, a choice to simply deny oneself of any specific food can be more of a sacrifice to God than not eating all day. I once fasted my top three food delights for a month and I can tell you that giving up my one delicious early morning steaming-hot cup of coffee, rice and beef for an entire month was a major trial. It put a new twist to the words obedience, determination, resilience and commitment for me. It demanded more of me than simply going without meals until 6pm daily could otherwise have. But God placed a demand on my eating and asked that He be my primary delight that month, and so I readily yielded the three things that were my ‘I-can’t-do-without’s’ to Him for that period. And oh was it so worth it or what? Faithful God that He is, He honored my sacrifice and came through for me in the things I was believing Him for at the time.

For many people, the decision to fast television for a week is a huge sacrifice. For others, it could be a fasting of their daily treasured soda-fest. I have heard of people fasting the oddest of things, and I have also learnt not to knock any kind of fasting because I can’t relate to it. We are all different and ‘different things’ mean different things to each of our different selves (this sentence is so completely grammatically wrong but you get my drift right? Lol). Well sis, the beauty in this is that God is so gracious as to meet us where exactly where we are every time. He honors the 6am-6pm food fast as much as He honors the Coca-cola fast by a coke addict. He honors the mustard seed faith as much as He honors the great faith. He is no respecter of persons and He is not confined to the cultures and perspectives of man. He looks at the heart, at the motives and the intents. He is able to establish those who are truly fasting – irrespective of what it is they are fasting for His sake, and distinguish them from those who are going without food for the ritual of it or that they may be seen by men to be righteous (or should I say ‘religious’). I simply love this our God, don’t you sis?

All this to say that I get fasting …true spiritual fasting that is. But in my many years of being a Christian, I don’t think I have ever heard anyone talking about an emotional fast. So when God Himself said to me that I should fast my emotions, I had to sit back and think that one through. All He said to me by way of clarification was that I was not to lose my temper all through the week, and not to forget this instruction - no matter what. Now if you know me, I am a calm person by nature. Losing my temper is not who I am, rather I am the one most likely coaxing others not to lose theirs. That God was placing a demand on my emotions simply told me that it was going to be an ‘interesting’ week to say the least.

Let me be the first to tell you that most of day 1 went by okay. I had a few touchy situations at work but handled them calmly enough in my usual way. As I entered my house at the end of the day though, I had to speak with my younger sister about something I had just cautioned her about a couple of days prior. You know what? I started off calmly enough by saying I didn’t want to get upset, and then I proceeded to do just that. In all of two minutes I was yelling at her… and I mean yelling – totally unlike me. Each time she said she was sorry, I found myself yelling ‘You should be’ and then going on at her even further (shaking my head at myself). I felt like I was having an out-of-body experience, watching someone else have an emotional blow-up. When I finally forced myself to turn off the tirade, I huffed and hissed my way upstairs. I went weak immediately I walked into my bedroom. I felt completely deflated, like a weight of heavy air was expunged sharply out of my system. I slowly sank to my bedroom couch in an odd calmness cum sadness and as I did so I heard ‘I told you not to forget, no matter what. Fast your emotions, My child. Fast your emotions!’  ….Oops!

I was intentionally very quiet and calm for the rest of that evening and all week. I scribbled those words ‘Fast your emotions’ on several worksheets I had with me at work. I muttered the words over and over again under my breath. I was determined not to forget. I shared the mandate with a friend who came to get my advice on something she was going through, and that helped me minister it to myself afresh in clear terms. I prayed in the spirit regularly and asked the Lord to help me through whatever this was about. Bottom line sis was that I knew God was trying to save me from a set-up from the enemy that would have cost me something major if I succumbed to my flesh. I had figured after that incident with my sister that my emotions were in a more sensitive place than I would otherwise have realized, and rightly so. It had been a busy few weeks and I was pretty tired. I knew in that tiredness that there was an underlying touchiness that would make for an escalation of things which I otherwise would have overcome more readily. God knew this and He was preparing me to be victorious above all else when the enemy showed up like a flood.

And did I see the flood? Oh yes, sis! Oh yes! It came in a way that I cannot readily explain in one post. There were the little waves of issues that kept cropping up, but which showed that a storm was brewing (which I could tell only because I was being attentive). I responded to each with a prayer and a yielding to the peace of God….and let me tell you that it wasn’t easy. Not at all! And then in a totally unrelated way, things finally came to a head at a meeting I had to attend later in the week. But I was ready sis. I was spiritually alert and determined not to let flesh hold sway. And praise God, His glory and grace more than made room for me. It could all have otherwise gone very badly, but I held my own by the power of God and all things did work out for good and to God’s glory. As I sat back and reflected on the week and on that specific day, I could almost sense God smiling and saying to me ‘See?’

So what has this got to do with you? No clue, sis except that when certain things are on my heart to share, they are a sure word in due season for someone who will read the post. Maybe you are in a place where you need to pay attention to your emotions – the overt ones and the underlying ones. Maybe God is telling you to pay attention to the things you are allowing to play out in your mind because of some raw emotions you are dealing with. Maybe He is asking you to subdue flesh and allow Him be the voice that will guide you in something you are dealing with as relates to work, to a friend, to a relative, to your husband, your child….. or simply something you are beating yourself up about. Sis, maybe God has had me share this with you because He is trying to remind you as the year draws to a close, that some of the things you look back on with sorrow in the year past happened because you didn’t pay attention to the fine line between emotions (flesh) and the call to obedience to His voice and word (spirit) and maybe He is reminding you and I that for us to thrive in the year ahead, we cannot do life through the same filter of flesh.

Maybe God is challenging how you are dealing with a real and current challenge you are facing sis. Maybe He is asking you to let go and let Him be God in a particular situation. Maybe this is a word He would have you share with someone close to you that you know is not handling things right in some situation or the other. I have no clue, but I will be obedient and share this and allow the Lord use it in your life as He best sees fit.

What I do know is this, daily as I go and grow in Christ, my heart’s cry is for a deeper connection with my Maker; a deeper alignment of my daily walk with His will and His way; an increasing obedience to His voice – in so far as I have clarity that it is His voice, whether or not I have clarity on the specifics of His assignment. My heart’s cry is to trust Him more, to lean on Him more, to please Him more. I want to be led more by His Spirit, less of me more of Him… a going back to ‘Zero’ day in and day out. Fasting my emotions this past week was just one more exercise in Him assuring me that when I do it His way, the output is always more glorious.

I don’t know where this post meets you, sis. But wherever it is, I speak over you and declare that the Lord will help you, as surely as He always has…. And as surely as He daily helps me.


Be blessed sis….. For you surely are!

Fast your emotions

I was just winding up my quiet time with the Lord when He spoke to me and said ‘Fast your emotions this week, daughter’. That was a strange one! Fast my emotions? Hmm!

I could relate with the fasting bit. I mean, I have been on an extended study on the book of Isaiah and had been meditating on Isaiah 58 that Sunday morning. I know that fasting is not only about denying our bodies food. Indeed methinks that a food fast is the most rudimentary of fasts. With the fast-paced lives many people live today, doing without meals for most of the day has become almost a lifestyle. Millions of people are too much in a hurry to stop and have a decent breakfast, and also get so engrossed in work during the day that they forget or are unable to make time for lunch. Dinner has become widely accepted by many as the one basic meal of the day. What then would be a fast if you are one of those for whom this is your normal?

Actually and in this kind of context, a choice to simply deny oneself of any specific food can be more of a sacrifice to God than not eating all day. I once fasted my top three food delights for a month and I can tell you that giving up my one delicious early morning steaming-hot cup of coffee, rice and beef for an entire month was a major trial. It put a new twist to the words obedience, determination, resilience and commitment for me. It demanded more of me than simply going without meals until 6pm daily could otherwise have. But God placed a demand on my eating and asked that He be my primary delight that month, and so I readily yielded the three things that were my ‘I-can’t-do-without’s’ to Him for that period. And oh was it so worth it or what? Faithful God that He is, He honored my sacrifice and came through for me in the things I was believing Him for at the time.

For many people, the decision to fast television for a week is a huge sacrifice. For others, it could be a fasting of their daily treasured soda-fest. I have heard of people fasting the oddest of things, and I have also learnt not to knock any kind of fasting because I can’t relate to it. We are all different and ‘different things’ mean different things to each of our different selves (this sentence is so completely grammatically wrong but you get my drift right? Lol). Well sis, the beauty in this is that God is so gracious as to meet us where exactly where we are every time. He honors the 6am-6pm food fast as much as He honors the Coca-cola fast by a coke addict. He honors the mustard seed faith as much as He honors the great faith. He is no respecter of persons and He is not confined to the cultures and perspectives of man. He looks at the heart, at the motives and the intents. He is able to establish those who are truly fasting – irrespective of what it is they are fasting for His sake, and distinguish them from those who are going without food for the ritual of it or that they may be seen by men to be righteous (or should I say ‘religious’). I simply love this our God, don’t you sis?

All this to say that I get fasting …true spiritual fasting that is. But in my many years of being a Christian, I don’t think I have ever heard anyone talking about an emotional fast. So when God Himself said to me that I should fast my emotions, I had to sit back and think that one through. All He said to me by way of clarification was that I was not to lose my temper all through the week, and not to forget this instruction - no matter what. Now if you know me, I am a calm person by nature. Losing my temper is not who I am, rather I am the one most likely coaxing others not to lose theirs. That God was placing a demand on my emotions simply told me that it was going to be an ‘interesting’ week to say the least.

Let me be the first to tell you that most of day 1 went by okay. I had a few touchy situations at work but handled them calmly enough in my usual way. As I entered my house at the end of the day though, I had to speak with my younger sister about something I had just cautioned her about a couple of days prior. You know what? I started off calmly enough by saying I didn’t want to get upset, and then I proceeded to do just that. In all of two minutes I was yelling at her… and I mean yelling – totally unlike me. Each time she said she was sorry, I found myself yelling ‘You should be’ and then going on at her even further (shaking my head at myself). I felt like I was having an out-of-body experience, watching someone else have an emotional blow-up. When I finally forced myself to turn off the tirade, I huffed and hissed my way upstairs. I went weak immediately I walked into my bedroom. I felt completely deflated, like a weight of heavy air was expunged sharply out of my system. I slowly sank to my bedroom couch in an odd calmness cum sadness and as I did so I heard ‘I told you not to forget, no matter what. Fast your emotions, My child. Fast your emotions!’  ….Oops!

I was intentionally very quiet and calm for the rest of that evening and all week. I scribbled those words ‘Fast your emotions’ on several worksheets I had with me at work. I muttered the words over and over again under my breath. I was determined not to forget. I shared the mandate with a friend who came to get my advice on something she was going through, and that helped me minister it to myself afresh in clear terms. I prayed in the spirit regularly and asked the Lord to help me through whatever this was about. Bottom line sis was that I knew God was trying to save me from a set-up from the enemy that would have cost me something major if I succumbed to my flesh. I had figured after that incident with my sister that my emotions were in a more sensitive place than I would otherwise have realized, and rightly so. It had been a busy few weeks and I was pretty tired. I knew in that tiredness that there was an underlying touchiness that would make for an escalation of things which I otherwise would have overcome more readily. God knew this and He was preparing me to be victorious above all else when the enemy showed up like a flood.

And did I see the flood? Oh yes, sis! Oh yes! It came in a way that I cannot readily explain in one post. There were the little waves of issues that kept cropping up, but which showed that a storm was brewing (which I could tell only because I was being attentive). I responded to each with a prayer and a yielding to the peace of God….and let me tell you that it wasn’t easy. Not at all! And then in a totally unrelated way, things finally came to a head at a meeting I had to attend later in the week. But I was ready sis. I was spiritually alert and determined not to let flesh hold sway. And praise God, His glory and grace more than made room for me. It could all have otherwise gone very badly, but I held my own by the power of God and all things did work out for good and to God’s glory. As I sat back and reflected on the week and on that specific day, I could almost sense God smiling and saying to me ‘See?’

So what has this got to do with you? No clue, sis except that when certain things are on my heart to share, they are a sure word in due season for someone who will read the post. Maybe you are in a place where you need to pay attention to your emotions – the overt ones and the underlying ones. Maybe God is telling you to pay attention to the things you are allowing to play out in your mind because of some raw emotions you are dealing with. Maybe He is asking you to subdue flesh and allow Him be the voice that will guide you in something you are dealing with as relates to work, to a friend, to a relative, to your husband, your child….. or simply something you are beating yourself up about. Sis, maybe God has had me share this with you because He is trying to remind you as the year draws to a close, that some of the things you look back on with sorrow in the year past happened because you didn’t pay attention to the fine line between emotions (flesh) and the call to obedience to His voice and word (spirit) and maybe He is reminding you and I that for us to thrive in the year ahead, we cannot do life through the same filter of flesh.

Maybe God is challenging how you are dealing with a real and current challenge you are facing sis. Maybe He is asking you to let go and let Him be God in a particular situation. Maybe this is a word He would have you share with someone close to you that you know is not handling things right in some situation or the other. I have no clue, but I will be obedient and share this and allow the Lord use it in your life as He best sees fit.

What I do know is this, daily as I go and grow in Christ, my heart’s cry is for a deeper connection with my Maker; a deeper alignment of my daily walk with His will and His way; an increasing obedience to His voice – in so far as I have clarity that it is His voice, whether or not I have clarity on the specifics of His assignment. My heart’s cry is to trust Him more, to lean on Him more, to please Him more. I want to be led more by His Spirit, less of me more of Him… a going back to ‘Zero’ day in and day out. Fasting my emotions this past week was just one more exercise in Him assuring me that when I do it His way, the output is always more glorious.

I don’t know where this post meets you, sis. But wherever it is, I speak over you and declare that the Lord will help you, as surely as He always has…. And as surely as He daily helps me.


Be blessed sis….. For you surely are!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Cast Your Seed

I had a good laugh when my sister and avid reader Funmi said to me ‘Your blogs are long but we read them honey. There is always deep word in them, so I simply make myself a cup of coffee and then dig in’. Please make a cup of tea or coffee as you read sis. This is actually part of a mini-book I am working on. I am in teaching mode today because that is what is on my heart to do. Indeed the things I want to share with you today are part of a message I shared recently and I just have a sense that someone else out there needs to hear this today. And be sure to pray the prayers at the end okay? Thanks ma’am.

Happy and fortunate are you who cast your seed upon all waters; for the seed will sink into the mud and when the waters subside, the plant will spring up; you will find it after many days and reap an abundant harvest - Isaiah 32 v 20. Please walk this Scripture with me, okay.

Cast your seed upon all waters – Simply put sis, this tells me that there is no room for idleness or excuses in the life of a woman who is to fulfill godly purpose. Why? Because to ‘cast’ implies effort and clearly requires action. It needs you and I to do something beyond praying and fasting. It is a call to action and to obedience. And the Scripture tells us to cast our seed upon ALL waters, so we cannot hang on that ‘one thing’ that we have mastered, that we feel we know best, that we feel safe doing. We cannot continue to walk around unfulfilled but not wanting to take the chance on the things that God has laid in our hearts to do.

But water can be uncomfortable, overwhelming, scary… and when we are afraid we do nothing! Sometimes, we don’t want to get wet so again we do nothing! At other times though, the challenge is not so much about our getting wet; rather it’s that the water before us appears to be flowing towards a direction different from where we would otherwise want it to go and it doesn’t seem to make sense. When we look at the direction of everyone else’s flow, we struggle to understand how God can be asking us to cast our seed in waters whose flow is against the popular tides, the tides that the logic of men or economics would otherwise seem to suggest wouldn’t bear fruit. And sadly also, if we can be honest… sometimes it’s that we are fixated on what looks like someone else’s fruitful dry ground and harvest, and we don’t allow ourselves remember that the harvest they are enjoying is because at some point they got their feet, clothes, even their whole selves wet so they could cast their seeds. Hmm!

Casting your seed is not a ‘cute’ activity. It is not about staying at the edge of the river bank and daintily dropping your seed. Nope! If we are to get to that point of an abundant harvest, we will have to step into the waters and we will have to get into the place of a strong flow, to the place where our seed can sink deeply enough into the mud such as to take root. And this is a challenge for many people – the fact that they not only have to contend with water, but it is muddy water at that!

And mud is nasty isn’t it sis? Mud is not cute; it’s not elegant or sophisticated. Mud will ruin our beautiful clothes and nice shoes. Mud will dirty the feet we just manicured. Sometimes, mud is even smelly and offends our sensitive noses that only respond well to the scent of designer perfumes. Mud can be quite thick and difficult to maneuver in. And of course, there is the fact that people will disdain you for the mud that is on you. When you are in the mud, you won’t look like what they want to be associated with will you? But here is the thing sis… if we are so concerned with how we might look to others in our seasons of casting seed, we won’t be bold enough to take the necessary steps towards God’s call for greater levels of impact in our lives. Can I encourage you today to move a move towards that thing that God has called you to even though you think people will ridicule you, dissociate themselves from you? It will be just for a season sis. They will eventually come back to celebrate you. Trust me on this!

The seed will sink into the mud – Once you take this step, be ready for a season when you cannot see your seed, when your efforts do not seem to be yielding anything, when it looks wasted. It’s part of the process and if you understand this scripture, you will know that your harvest is in the making under the mud. Sis, have the confidence that there will indeed be a springing forth and that after the waiting you will celebrate and be celebrated for your harvest. I know from experience that it can be pretty discouraging when your seed is covered up, especially because you will see others whose seeds don’t seem to have been in the mud as long as yours, but it looks like they are very close to harvest or already walking in harvest.

Sis, let me encourage you to constantly remind yourself that it doesn’t matter what is going on with the next person’s seed. You really have no clue what kind of seed they were given; you don’t know the attributes of the mud in their own planting stream; you don’t know how long their plants will abide – the race is not to the swift. The only thing that needs to matter to you is that you are fruitful in the season or seasons where God has appointed you to deliver a particular kind of glory. Please don’t undermine your potential and purpose because your eyes are on someone else. Trust God with your seed and with the process okay?

When the waters subside   -  This says to me ‘When it is your time’ and that time shall surely come. But please note that it didn’t say when the waters ‘cease’. Sis, we must be paying attention to know when the waters subside. We have to remain alert, and we can’t assume perfect conditions must be in place before God calls on us to take the next step. That is not the way He works. If stand by waiting to see completely dry land before we make the next move, we will miss God’s season.

The plant will spring up -   I love this sis. The plant will (not might) spring up. It’s an assurance from our heavenly Father that His mandate to produce and be fruitful will not fail in our lives if we are faithful to His divine instructions. But you know, a spring is a tiny spurt, a small start. Will you be discouraged when after getting wet, getting in the mud, after waiting all those many days, what you see is a small spring? Perhaps you have been faithful to cast a seed into a ministry you believe God called you to start. Were you expecting that by now you would have had 200 people under your ministry and you only have 42? Can I remind you today that God does not work by numbers? Even if no one shows up, He has said He can raise stones to do what needs to be done. Can I remind you that your assignment is to get the Word out to those God has assigned to you for every season? Can I remind you that it is God that will build the church and not you? Can I remind you that the Bible tells us not to despise the days of small beginnings? Be careful not to despise your spring sis. Please!

Springing is a verb, an action word, another process indicating growth and growing. But growth involves time, and it can be slow. However, even when we cannot see the evidence of growth springing out on the surface, there is an underground acceleration to ensure deep roots are being established… deep roots that will sustain us for the assignment that is to come. Be encouraged today sis. Believe that despite what you see or can’t see, God is doing a greater work. If you will allow Him, He would like to build muscles in you – spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and even physically, that you need for your next level. Please wait on God for the full manifestation of that thing you have planted. Be patient with the process to allow God elevate you into your assignment and harvest in the fullness of His appointed time.

You will find it after many days - The fact that the Scripture tells us that we will find it after many days speaks to me of the fact that we will not see the spring of our seed if we don’t look for it, if we are not attentive. I know however that we cannot afford to look for it with the eyes of the flesh. We must be looking with the eyes of the spirit otherwise we will see things that have the appearance of, but are not the result of our planting. Remember the enemy is not sitting back waiting for you and I to enter harvest easily. His job is to present us with false evidences so that we might be distracted, misdirected, or better yet completely derailed. For this not to happen, we will need spiritual insight, clarity, divine discernment and direction. Sis, the only way to get this is to remain deeply connected to God, and plugged into His word, His presence and His voice; to learn to wait on Him and completely rely and trust in Him, to be obedient to His instructions – even when they don’t seem to make sense to us.

In this place of waiting, we will need to exercise patience, to endure, to have the spiritual fortitude to overcome the emotional ups and downs we will likely experience. And the Scripture doesn’t tell us how those ‘many days’ will be - whether they would be very stormy days; whether the days might be so incredibly hot and we continuously find ourselves in serious sweat; or whether the days could be so cold that we can barely move, almost paralyzed by cold. The Word doesn’t also give us a sense of how the terrain will be during those ‘many days’. Why is this important? Because water has the power to change a landscape, it can wash away certain areas and make them look completely unfamiliar. You and I know that in unfamiliar spaces we are sometimes too scared to think and end up making wrong choices based on fear. It is only in the place of trusting God completely that we can make it sis, no matter how unfamiliar things become around us.

Happy are you who when you cast your seed -  …..YOUR seed! Sis, what is the seed that you have been given? Do you know? Listen, God’s first commandment to us at creation was to be fruitful. Are you fruitful? I know you are busy. I know you are productive. But until you work your seed to the fullest, you will not be fruitful – not according to God’s design. This is my new Holy Spirit inspired mantra – ‘Busy, Productive, and Fruitful’. More than anything else I am grateful that I am fruitful in the things that are God’s true calling on my life. I understand that I am graced to do ‘more’ and I am committed to walking in my more. I am casting my seed on all the waters that God shows me, even when I have to do it afraid… even when all I know to do is to trust Him and allow Him resource me in His own way. Can you identify your seed sis?  If not, what are you allowing to cloud your vision? Are you allowing your ‘eyes’ to cloud your vision? Or are you allowing fear to cloud your vision?

Let’s do a little honest one on one here sis. No one else is reading this but you…..   Are you by any chance allowing the size of another’s harvest to cloud your vision? Are you allowing what you see in the life, profession, marriage, ministry of the next person intimidate you into sitting on your seed? If you are doing this, then what you are doing is disdaining the seed God Himself gave you and you need to repent of this. God does not count success and prosperity and impact in the way that the world colors it. His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways. So if He has given you a different seed, He knows exactly what He is doing. If this has been you, then today, you need to ask God again with a pure heart to help you to see and value what it is that He has already placed in your hand; what He is waiting for you to plant.

Truth sis? You and I will never be difference makers if we sit on our seeds. And many of us have been sitting on our seed. We are doing the one or two everyday things that we know to do, operating in our safe spaces….but we know we are made for so much more; we know God has been placing a demand on the ‘more’ that He put inside of us. Instead of sowing those seeds towards purpose and impact however, we have been sitting on them; we have put them in storage for one reason or the other.

Some of us have stored our seed in the land of I’m very busy.  Instead of sowing our seed, some of us have rented a flat for it on the topmost floor of Number 1, I’m afraid street. We have bought a duplex for our seed to reside at Plot 1, Procrastination Junction. Some of us have made our seed permanent tenants on the penthouse of Number 5, I don’t have what it takes plaza. This all adds up to sitting on our seed and God is placing a demand on you and I today to change the address of our seed. Sis, what is that more that God has been calling you to do – in your life and in your ministry, but which you have been too busy, too scared, too worried about the resources you don’t have, too focused on someone else’s, to do something about? God is placing a demand on your obedience today. What will you do with your seed? Will you cast it or continue to sit on it?

The Lord would have me share a word that might just be for you. You know exactly what seed you have been given and you have not sown it for one reason or the other. Worse still, you have gone past wishing things were different. As you see it now, you stored it for too long and your seed died long ago. You have convinced yourself that you have made peace with your inaction and there is no point crying over spilt milk. You have settled for that which you have at least been able to do and you are grateful for that, rightly so. But sis…. even in that place of settling, you and I know that you are not fulfilled. And can I tell you something? You can never be. You can never be at peace or fulfilled in the place of ‘less than’ because your seed…. dead as you think it is, will keep calling on you. Your life is designed to deliver glory to God sis. And as long as you have not delivered commensurate glory for each season God has you in, you will remain unfulfilled.

I have a word from God for you today sis. God said to tell you that seed is not fruit. Fruit rots and is thrown away, but seed can be stored for generations. This is as true in the natural as it is in the spiritual. Your seed cannot die! There is life in it. It can lie dormant for years, but when you choose to sow it, it will breathe again and it will bear fruit. God says to remind you of His word in Job 14 v 7 – 9: that there is yet hope for a tree that is cut down to a stump; that at the scent of water it will bear fruit and bud. If He can do it for the tree, He can do even more with your seed. God says it’s not too late. He is the One that breathed upon dry bones and they came back to life. Nothing is impossible unto Him. He did it before and He can do it again for you, His precious child.  

The Spirit of the Lord also ministered to me that there are too many of His children who are looking at their seed and thinking it is too small. Listen sis, the size of your seed has nothing to do with the size of the harvest. Trust God with it, no matter how small it looks. Do you not know about the acorn seed and the mighty oak tree that is its harvest? Do you not remember that God told us that all He needs is for us to have mustard seed sized faith for us to move mountains? 2 Corinthians 4 v 18 tells us not to look at the things which are seen but at the things which are not seen. What has the size of your seed got to do with anything, sis? Be obedient to cast it regardless of how small it seems, regardless of whether it today looks like the effort of the planting will not yield a commensurate result. You see, your seed is not about your ability. It’s about God’s power and might. Respect it! Treasure it! Sow it! And then trust Him to magnify the results. As I prepared for a message I ministered at one of our Sista Power gatherings recently, God said to me that ‘the value you place on your seed determines the harvest you will reap’.  Let this be a word in due season for you sis. Place enough value on that ‘little’ that you see, and allow God do His bit to bring you the ‘much’ harvest.

Our anchor scripture in Isaiah 32 v 20 assures us that we will reap an abundant harvest and Genesis 8 v 22 tells us that ‘While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest shall not cease’ so the abundance God has in mind for you and I is not a one-off victory. Harvest from God’s perspective is not about money or fame; it is not about a ministry of millions of people. The God kind of harvest is about fulfilling purpose according to the creation mandate to be fruitful. Harvest is in our spiritual DNA! It is our desire that we be considered by God as vessels of honor, fit for every good work, purposeful, productive, fruitful! We want our lives, our efforts, our gifts and our talents, our relationships, our businesses, etc to measure up to God’s standard as acceptable sacrifices. We want to be able to lay them before His alter and know that they come up before Him as a delightful aroma, a sweet-smelling savor. This is my heart’s desire and I am pretty sure it is yours also.

But you see sis, harvest only responds to sowing. Harvest only answers to a seed. Even the world knows that if you don’t sow your seed, you will not reap any harvest. One of my pastors, Hyacinth Aneke once said ‘Rain is useless to those who do not have a seed in the ground’ and as I think about our anchor Scripture I agree. The waters are useless to those who will not cast their seed. Harvest is the promised reward of those who cast their seed, those who are purposed to continually make a difference for God. And listen sis, harvest is important first because it provides for the many contingent destinies which cannot be fulfilled until we manifest the fullness of all God has called us to be; and secondly because the seed for our next level is always in the harvest. Think about it in the physical… the seeds for the next planting season are contained in the fruit that is harvested in this season. 

Cast your seed sis. Please do. Let go of every fear and uncertainty. Reorganize your priorities and your schedules to make room for your seed. And then wait and trust and seek and you will find. Be diligent to carry out the instructions God will give you in your season of waiting. And then trust Him with the unfolding of your harvest in the process of time. Try it sis. This is the big difference between going to just bed every night, and going to bed with a sense that the day counted for something truly worthwhile. It is the difference between just waking up every morning, and waking up with excitement and expectancy for what purpose and impact will unfold through you each day. 

You and I no longer have time to be casual about life sis. We have lost so much time already. But God is anxiously waiting for us to step up to the plate so He can accelerate time and help us redeem even that time which has been lost. Will you cast your seed today? Will you commit afresh to delivering on heavens purpose, for heavens glory, for the Kingdom to come on earth, for God’s will to be done… and for a crown that is glorious in thought, and will be truly majestic in reality? Yes? Halleluyah! The Lord will help you sis, even as surely as He is daily helping me.


Be blessed sis… for you surely are! 

Monday, November 2, 2015

My hiding Place

“You are my hiding place
You always fill my life with songs of deliverance
Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You
I will trust in You
Let the weak say I am strong, in the strength of the Lord”

I don’t recall who performed this song originally or otherwise. And it really doesn’t matter. This is however the song that has been on my lips and in my heart for most of today. I wish I could say that I don’t really know why this has been, but that wouldn’t be true so I won’t go there.  Truth is that I find myself in one of those seasons where the vicissitudes of life are doing their best to weigh me down. It’s been one of those seasons where you must necessarily intentionally determine to keep your head up, despite the daunting reality of ‘one new thing after the other’. Thankfully, I decided and declared several years ago that ‘Superwoman is dead’.

‘Superwoman is dead’? What do I mean by that? I hear you sis. I hear you and I will clarify.

Superwoman is dead because I realized years ago that she got her power from within herself and that was not sustainable. Superwoman had to die because she burnt out very quickly time and again. Superwoman had to die because she was all about herself and what she could do. Superwoman had to die because she was not connected to the right power source, and she operated in her own strength. Superwoman had to die because largely she was in a sense ‘performing’ for others in life. Superwoman had to die because daily she was losing herself in a plethora of activity… in purposeless busyness that had no eternal value.

Superwoman had to die so that the Unique Woman within her could truly live!

And what is truly living? Sis, it is the path of discovering God’s divine purpose for your life. It is growing in Him, in His Word, His will and His way. It is communing with the Holy Spirit and allowing Him order your steps. It is coming to the realization that you are spirit, and your life must revolve around spiritual things. Truly living is an understanding that your true power comes only from God Almighty, and that indeed it is in Him that you must live and move and have your being. Truly living is trusting His Word that nothing shall be impossible to you; that His plans for you are good and not of evil; that He is with you and He will forever help and uphold you.

Living ….truly living is in obedience – in moving only when He asks you to; it’s in keeping still when He demands it of you; it’s in taking steps towards an end He speaks to you, even when you cannot clearly see; it’s in that quiet calm assurance that He has gone ahead and in Him you are assured of an eternal reward. Sis, truly living is learning to abide in His presence…. to trust… to rest!

It is for these reasons that Superwoman died and Uniquely Woman began to live. Because you see, Uniquely Woman…. Uniquely Me understands that at times like these, I can ‘own’ my feelings….they are after all of my flesh; and in a worldly sense… they are my reality. But more than anything else, Uniquely Me understands even more clearly that I can anchor my spirit even more firmly on He Who assures me that He is mindful of me. Uniquely Me understands that even in my storms, He is with me, that He never leaves or forsakes me. Uniquely Me understands that I can re-purpose my pain time and time again, and out of it grow stronger and better positioned to be a blessing to someone else.

Uniquely Me understands that even at times when I feel overwhelmed, burdened, sad, discouraged, that I can look up to Calvary and wallow in a love that endured for me, that counted me worthy in spite of my mess, that still counts me worthy. Uniquely Me understands that all I have to do is run to the mercy seat and cast my cares at the feet of Jesus. She understands that I can hide behind the cross and Jesus Himself will carry me. Uniquely Me understands that even at times when I am not happy, I can be and I am full of joy! Uniquely Me knows that I am special in the eyes of my Father; that I am His beloved; that I am chosen; that I am called; that I am anointed.

Uniquely Me knows that my strength is of the Lord and not of myself. This is why even though I have my own challenges now and again, I can look to the Lord and He infill’s me with an unction that enables me to still do great things. Uniquely Me understands that I am nothing without Jesus. Uniquely Me understands that Jesus is my assignment and purpose. Uniquely Me understands that I am not under pressure to be perfect; that my weakness is absolutely acceptable. Uniquely Me might have struggles as I do in this season…. But Uniquely Me is never without a hope and an assurance. She knows of a truth that God has got my back, that even now He is turning things around for my good. Uniquely Me knows that God counts her as valuable and precious, and so she is a fulfilled woman nevertheless – challenges and all.

Sis, Uniquely Me is not lost in the multiplicity of roles that Superwoman played. She is still wife, mother, daughter, boss, etc etc yes….. but more than anything else, she is and always will be Uniquely Me! Uniquely Me is not afraid to be weak and to show weakness. She has no point to prove to anyone. All she is about is a knowing that her Father walks with her, and then carries her when she is too weak to stand. Uniquely Me knows who I am in the only way that counts – who I am in Christ! Uniquely Me is unequivocally assured that I am a daughter of the most high God! This is my hiding place!  

And you know what sis? Uniquely Me currently has a smile on her face as she sings:   

Why so downcast oh my soul?
Put your hope in God (3x)
Oh, Why so downcast oh my soul?
Put your hope in God
And bless the Lord, oh my soul

Bless the Lord
He is the lifter of my countenance
Bless the Lord
He is the lifter of my head
Bless the Lord
He is the lifter of my countenance
I will never be afraid….
Oh, Why so downcast oh my soul?
Put your hope in God
And bless the Lord oh my soul!

Yes, I’m going to bed joyful sis. I am! Tomorrow I will again look at my issues and allow God help me figure out what to do. Tomorrow I will again listen out for His voice and follow His instruction as best I can by the power of the Holy Spirit. And even if I don’t hear anything specific from Him, I will simply REST in Him. He has done too much for me in times past for me to doubt that even this one He will also sort out. Am I happy? Nah! Not really. But Uniquely Me isn’t talking about happiness. She understands that happiness is simply a matter of feelings. Nope! She’s talking about JOY…. true joy which nothing and no one can ever take from me! I choose Joy, sis! My joy is my Jesus and He is my hiding place! That is all that matters. Superwoman never quite caught this, but Uniquely Me is daily finding purposeful expression of her life in a way that counts for eternity.  How awesome is that?

I don’t know what is plaguing you now sis, but please understand that you have the choice to hold on and wallow in your feelings, or stand in the place of faith. You have the choice to stand as Superwoman and try to see how you sort your problems out in your own strength or by leaning on the strength of some other man or woman (the arm of flesh that will SURELY fail you)…. or you can choose to hide behind the cross; to give it all to Jesus in trust; and to operate in the Unique Spiritual You that is at one with the Father! Can I encourage you to come to this side? Put your hope in God, sis. No better way to ensure that rather than having life work you, you make life work for you and for God’s glory. The Lord will help you sis, as surely also as He continues to help me.

Be blessed sis….. for you surely are!


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Cherish the Investment

I’m on a spiritual high today, sis! Seriously speaking! I am dancing in my heart to some intense spiritual praise. And why not, sis? Why not? I moved in my assignment. It is such a joy to yield in obedience despite your insecurities, fears, or uncertainties and then see God work with what little faith you bring to Him. I told you last time that I had jumped in feet first right? Well, I sure landed on good ground, sis. God had clearly gone ahead. My first outing was a resounding success to His glory, and the testimonials that I have since received are both elating and deeply humbling at the same…. Crystal clear reminders that this is an assignment from God and that I must be faithful to deliver, that I must stay connected to Him so that I receive heavenly downloads that keep me moving forward in alignment with God’s will and purpose for this assignment. There is a lot of work ahead, there are a great many lives to be touched….but I know I am helped already by the Greater One Who is in me, Who sent me and Who has Qualified and Resourced me to deliver on this assignment. Keep me in your prayers, sis. Please do.

Today it is in my heart to share with you a message that the Lord asked me to share at my first outing last week. I had been doing a study of the book of Isaiah over the past couple of weeks, but that morning the Lord impressed on my heart to read Genesis 2 v 7: “then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being [an individual complete in body and spirit] - (AMP)”  It’s a simple enough portion of Scripture right? That what I thought as I first read it, trying to figure in my own senses why the Lord would have led me to read it. I asked Him to breathe on it and help me to see and hear whatever it was He had for me, and He came through. I pray I can also help you to see this. Be blessed as you read, sis.

…the Lord God formed man” Reading the first couple of chapters of the book of Genesis, it ministered to me that with everything else that God brought into existence, God had either ‘said’, ‘made’ or ‘created’. But in making man, the Bible tells us that God ‘formed’ man and that He formed him ‘from the dust of the ground’. What is the significance of this? The Lord said to me that forming was a more intentional and meticulous work than any other of His acts of creation. He said that there was a much higher investment in the creation process for man. God said to me that His hands were deep in the dirt in forming you and I, that He loved us that much ever before He made us. He said that in forming man there was effort, there was concentration, and there was a much more purposeful intent. Ever before He breathed into us, in that entire forming process, God was going somewhere with you and I! He was working to replicate His own image and likeness, and so His stake in man was (and is) much higher.

Having created the form of man, God then ‘breathed into his nostrils the breath of life’. The Lord ministered to my spirit and asked if I have ever wondered why He didn’t just say to the form He had molded ‘let there be breath in you’ or quite simply ‘live’? And as He asked this question of me sis, I really had to ponder it for a few minutes. I had never really thought about it in that sense. I mean, we are so used to and accepting of the creation story that we really don’t stop to break it down do we? I asked the Lord to explain this to me and His response was ‘It’s because My investment in you is very personal!”.

The Lord explained to me that it was imperative that the breath that was in man was His breath…  otherwise man would be no more different than the insects and animals who He had also given life through the creation process by simply speaking life to them. He reminded me again that His design for man from the beginning was to give man a likeness to His image and divine nature; and the only way that could happen was by a direct impartation of Himself. And we know this don’t we, sis? We know that the breath of God is an impartation of His spirit … of a part of His very essence into you and I right? In releasing His breath upon man, God in-filled man with His very nature and attributes; He released a measure of His power and glory upon man. Simply amazing!

The Lord explained to me that it was by His breath that man became a ‘living’ being …living in the sense that man became like God through that impartation of God’s divine abilities and attributes. ‘Living’ …not just in the sense of going through the motions of a biological life as with other life forms…. But rather ‘living’ in the sense of having power to create, to transform, the ability to be and do! And think about it sis, what good would life be if we couldn’t do the things we are able to do by the grace and power of God? What kind of ‘living’ would it be if we could only scurry through life as members of the food chain?

Everything we can do, the talents we have, the skills we have, our intelligence, the families and relationships we manage, the professions we excel in, the businesses we run, etc – everything that qualifies us as alive and living in the truest sense, all come from that breath of God that made the formed man a truly living being. God Himself is ever mindful of this and that is why He said to us in His word that ‘We are God’s’. We in turn must never forget this sis, never! We need to be ever mindful of God’s special investment in us.

Indeed, this was exactly God’s call to me that morning. As I stayed quiet before Him, He asked that I remind His children that we are each accountable to Him for that very creation breath. And nothing God does is without purpose. If he imparted His very breath into us, if He created us with ‘purposeful intent’, then we cannot but be accountable for the impartation. The Lord said to me “Tell My children that I have invested too much for them to be casual about their lives and the things I have provided to enable them deliver on their purpose in life”.  This struck me quite deeply and I prayed that the Lord may never look at my life and think ‘what a waste of my divine breath”. This was my prayer as I spoke this word over the gathering and I pray the same over your life today, sis. In Jesus name, amen.

You know, this is as much a Word in due season for me as much as I believe it is for you today. God is calling us to a higher level of accountability and obedience to Him. He is demanding that those who are His own press in more, seek His face more, do His will more, share His word more, show His love more! I believe that indeed we are in the days when the Lord is looking for true worshipers – those that will yield their lives, families, work, ministries, and everyday lives as acts of worship; those who will be ever more committed to doing His will and being vessels to deliver glory to Him in the world. God is calling us to cherish, treasure and honor His huge investment in our lives, sis. And the best part for me is that as we do so, the blessings come back to us in greater measure as the glory goes up to Him.

We cannot be casual about this heavenly investment, sis. I encourage you to take a few minutes to pray and ask God to help you increase your worship, your obedience and service to Him. Ask Him to daily position you to deliver glory to Him, sis.  Ask that the impartation He made in you might not be wasted on the altar of the world. Ask Him to establish you to deliver on His purposeful intent for your life. And as you ask, the Lord will help you sis…. as surely as He is daily helping me.

Be blessed sis…. For you surely are!



Sunday, September 27, 2015

Feet First

I was invited to a tea party very recently. Truth be told, much as I love the sister who extended the invitation to me, my first thought was to say no thanks. We were required to wear hats and I haven’t had or worn a hat in about ten years. The note she penned with the invite was so sweet and honoring though, that I said yes. This is one great lady that I respect so much, and who is is always fun to be around so I figured, why not?  The only challenge was this hat thing though. Hmm!

First thing I did was to reach out to my sistas. Anyone have a hat I could borrow? Or one of those little things women perch on their heads? Someone told me it’s not cool to let on that I was going to borrow something. My response was that I don’t do cool that way. My idea of cool is ‘authentic’. I mean, I wasn’t about to spend hard-earned money to buy a hat to wear for all of two hours and then never again. And truth be told, all of us – men and women alike borrow stuff. Why we go through the pretense of making like everything we have is ours, I have never been able to figure. When Prophet Elisha wanted to bless the widow, did he not ask her to go borrow pots in readiness for the overflow of oil that would then occur?

Anyhow, no one had a hat, and no one had a fascinator. And yeah, I never knew those ‘perchy’ hat-like things were called fascinators. You laugh? Well, they have never been relevant to my life and now knowing what they are called hasn’t moved me any closer to heaven, has it? Something for you to think about! Lol. One of my sistas was in the UK and offered to buy me one anyway. But, by the time she started to send me several pictures and ask me to choose, I shut it down completely. The bottom line is that hats are just not my thing anymore, and the effort of trying to comply with that simple phrase ‘hats appropriate’ was now taking me out of my normal space of being just who I am. I had laughed and said that unless they had dogs that would bite anyone who showed up without a hat, I would be going as my authentic hatless self. There is simply nothing as liberating as being who God has designed you to be, no pressures!

Bear with me guys. I’m going somewhere with all this.

Sorting through my jewelry as I got dressed that morning, I said to myself that I really must try to take better care of my things. Why? Because I am as carefree (careless?) as can be when it comes to hair, nails, etc. I can’t be bothered with arranging jewelry, stuffing shoes and bags, buffing them and then putting them back into their dust-bags (did I ever tell you I never knew what those were called until last year? Did you just roll your eyes? Lol). Anyway, the little jewelry that I do have is largely all dumped in a tangled mess in a big bag. Last Christmas I had received a jewelry case as a gift and surprised myself by taking time to arrange some of the few gold pieces I have into that case. But the rest… let’s not talk about how I have to untangle things each time I want to wear something different. Let’s NOT go there.

That morning though, I needed to do the untangling thing as I got ready for my work/afternoon tea day. I was getting kind of exasperated with a particular necklace I was trying to unknot, when I thought to myself that if only I had another case, I might actually again take time to arrange the rest of my stuff. I laughed out loud at the thought though cos I knew I would certainly never go looking for one to buy, so no need for the wishful thinking. Fast forward into the later part of the day and what turned out to be a rather lovely tea party. As we made to leave, the hostess surprised us with gift bags. I dropped mine on the seat of my car and didn’t think about it again until early the next morning. I can’t tell you how astounded I was when I opened the bag and pulled out the contents. There was a lovely table top calendar of inspirational quotes… and there was a jewelry case……almost exactly like the one I already had! You could have knocked me over with a feather. In awe and amazement, I immediately burst into tears at the manifest faithfulness of God. Sis, can you comprehend that He loves us enough and is mindful enough of us even in the smallest, almost ridiculous things? I mean, would you ever imagine praying and fasting for a jewelry box when you have so many greater challenges to contend with? Certainly not! Yet, He is attentive to our smallest wants and desires. He knows when even those little seemingly insignificant blessings can resolve one nagging area of your life and give you an added measure of peace, doesn’t He? He loves us like that, sis. He does!

My jewelry box testimony is nothing more than a reminder to you and I that we shouldn’t be so fixated on the big problems we have or think we have, that we miss the daily blessings the Lord unfolds in our lives. He is ever with us, ever speaking to us, ever upholding us with His everlasting arms of love. He is always in our details, always on our case. And He is always showing us….if we would open our eyes and our hearts to see, that He is working out His good and perfect plans for us. Simply an amazing God, that’s Who we serve! He is ever faithful! Ever faithful, sis!

But there’s another side to this, sis…and in my view that’s where God wants more of our focus to be today. God is always faithful, in our unfaithfulness… and even in times of our faithlessness. There is no question about His side of the equation. The question is in our response, it’s in our obedience, it’s in our intentionally moving forward to deliver on the things He has purposed to birth through us. You see dear, God has set us in the world so that each of us can deliver on our ‘such a time as this’ assignments. And make no mistake we all have specific assignments for our time here on earth. The enemy has made the world so noisy and so full of distractions that many of us cannot see our purpose, cannot discern the voice of God, or have no sense of direction. Many times we are so pressed down that we do not have the strength to move into the assignment, even where we do have clarity.

Sis, if you cannot hear, or have not been able to discern, that’s one thing. And I can promise you that it is only in the place of moving away from the crowd and from the noise, in the place of going into the presence of God – in praise, in worship and in reverential silence that you will receive specific instructions from Him regarding the things He wants you to do. But what of those of us who have heard but who have not obeyed? Is this how we should respond to a God Who is ever faithful and ever responsive to our needs? Hmm!

So before you think I am preaching at you, let me confess that it is my own delayed obedience to a mandate that has brought me into this space today. God spoke a word over me through a sister in the USA about five years ago, that He had placed a specific mantle on my head which I needed to walk into and deliver on. She didn’t have clarity on what exactly the mantle was but the word was strong and powerful and resonated strongly with what I had sensed in my spirit awhile back. I have trusted God to give me clarity since then. He delivered…. About two years ago actually! He spoke through another sista, and it was as if brilliant light bulbs went off in my brain. Talk about ‘Aha!’ moments… I had a major one.

Did I walk in it though? No sis, I didn’t. Not until very recently. Why?

Because life was happening, sis! Or rather, because I was allowing life happen to me. I have certainly been very busy over the past two years. And thankfully, I have been very productive. I have, by the grace of God, been faithful to deliver on many things God has laid on my heart to do…but this one thing….this mantle? Why did I just hang it in the land of ‘freeze’?

Sis, the assignment…it has been big; it has been scary; it was clearly going to place a lot of demand on me work and time wise; it was clearly going to put me in uncomfortable spaces; it was clearly going to demand a higher level of public and personal accountability, a demand for a greater depth of resilience from me than ever before; and it was clearly something I would never again be able to put down. Those are some of the reasons why I froze. Can you relate? Are you frozen as well in something God has called you to do?

One thing I know…God will continue to impress on you to do the work, to fulfill the mandate. Ultimately, you will have two choices – be obedient, or watch God move on! I got to where it became clear that I would have no peace until I delivered, and I was not ready to deal with the endless lifelong disappointment of seeing Him move on and place my assignment in the hands of someone else. My choice was not hard to make and I am currently doggedly working out the process to deliver the assignment.  

Did the mantle diminish? Nope, it’s still as huge as ever. Am I still scared? More than I can ever adequately describe to you, sis. Are the demands concerning uncomfortable space, accountability, work and time any less? You already know the answer. No, they are not…but I have jumped in feed first nonetheless!

So what changed? What changed was me realizing that of the many things God has had or will have me do, He has actually been preparing me for this space for a really long time, and until I deliver on this particular mandate I cannot claim to fulfill purpose. I came to the place of reminding myself that He Who called me to this mountain has also fully resourced and equipped me to deliver on the mandate. I reminded myself that the demand is for me to trust in God, His wisdom, His strength, His power, His enablement, and not my own. I reminded myself not to try to dive in with my head, because my head would reason and rationalize me out of making a move. I reminded myself that as I jumped in feet first, His arms would be beneath me and around me, that He would ensure that I do not drown, that He would lead me through as many waters as needed until He places me firmly and squarely in the place He has destined for me to be planted and flourish in the assignment. I had to remind myself that it was not about me…. It was and is about the Kingdom and about our God.  

Let me not go on, sis. Allow me simply ask you to look at the assignment(s) God has placed in your heart. It doesn’t matter how big it/they look(s), or how scary. God is asking us to do it afraid, counting on Him alone to sustain and uphold us, and to help us deliver. But we need to make that first move. You need to make that move. We don’t have time to waste, sis. Every day is a gift to be purposeful in. And no, it doesn’t matter how long you have sat on the assignment. God loves it when we intentionally decide to get up and take the step nonetheless. Please let that be your commitment today. I look forward to being a part of the testimony as you birth the mandate God has deliberately fashioned you to deliver to the world in this season. And the Lord will help you, sis. I wouldn’t be taking this step now if He hadn’t helped me. Trust Him with your assignment, sis. He will certainly come through for you too. Don’t overthink it. Logic has no place in the things of God. Once you are certain the assignment is from God… Jump!


Be blessed sis…. For you surely are! 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Guard your heart

Yes, I know it looks like the same topic covered in my last post ‘Set your heart’, but I promise you it’s not. There’s a big difference. Big difference! If the Lord didn’t show me this, I wouldn’t have really thought about it much myself. So please bear with me, sis. Bear with me! I believe God will help you see also.

In my last post I had shared how I was assailed by a litany of bad news over a very short period, right? Well, one of the things I didn’t mention was that I had received a text announcing the obituary of someone and thereafter inviting me to his funeral. The name rang no immediate bells and so I honestly didn’t give it much thought. I am constantly getting notifications of births, deaths, weddings, christenings and the like from complete strangers. I don’t understand it, but I have reasoned that many people simply use the ‘send to all’ messaging functions on their phones so as to be sure they don’t leave out notifying someone who might otherwise later be offended. The challenge though is that those random people whose numbers might have been stored after a chance or one-off meeting, or who the person might have had dealings with forever-ago, are then also recipients of these bulk sms notices. I’m used to this so I didn’t give it a second thought.

A few days later however, I suddenly remembered that I do have two friends – albeit business related, who have the same surname as was indicated in the message. Much as I couldn’t imagine anything would be amiss with any of them, I called one up. No, she hadn’t lost anyone. ‘Whew!’ I thought and then tried the other lady. She didn’t respond and I purposed to repeat my call the next day. In my busyness though, I completely forgot. A couple of days later, I was composing a message to broadcast via whatsapp and as I selected contacts, I came to her name. The first few words on her status made me stop cold. I couldn’t read it. I was too scared to think what the rest of it would be. I shut off my phone. Cowardly, I admit… but I wasn’t ready for what the reality might be. Not again… not in so short a time. No!

The next day I needed to drop my daughter off at her friend’s place. As I drove into the estate, I saw an obituary pasted by the gate. It took everything in me to drive up to a point where I could pull off the road safely. I wasn’t strong enough so I asked my daughter to please check my whatsapp contacts for her name, and then read her status to me in full. You can’t hide from reality, and clearly I was going to have to face this one. As my daughter read the message, hot tears poured down my face. Another first son… 27 years old…dead in his prime! How? Why? I don’t know how I made the drive home. But I did! God helping me, I did! When I spoke to her, it was all the more so confusing. The young man went to bed in perfect health. He was found gasping for breath the next morning… and no, he wasn’t asthmatic…. He never made it to the hospital. It made no sense! When my first son walked into my room to say welcome, it took everything in me not to hang on to him so tight as to make him wonder. I know he is sensitive like that! Also, I had determined not to fear! I was not going to fear.

If that wasn’t enough sis, just yesterday a sister of mine told me that the co-pilot of an helicopter that crashed into the lagoon a couple of days back, was the only son of a friend. She was beside herself! Another first son? This time an only son….26 years old? How does a mother deal with the death of any child? How does a mother deal with the death of an only daughter, or an only son?
Sis, what I said to my sister is what I believe God wants me to share with you today. In my last post, we talked about the Scripture that enjoins us “Set your heart to see with your eyes and hear with your ears all that I say to you….: Ezekiel 44 v 5 (AMP); but today my message to you is that you must not only set your heart, but you must also guard it. I will explain.

As I sat and cried in my car after hearing my daughter’s voice confirm what I really already knew, I was honest enough to myself to admit that fear was trying to lay a grip on my heart. I knew I had a choice to give in, or to rise up in faith. I made a deliberate choice to work my faith, to push back at my fear, and to trust that God has got my back...no matter what. I went into praise mode. I spent time in worship. I remembered something one of the ministers at ROTH 2015 conference had said. A widow herself, she was talking about how the enemy tries to come and use your grief to steal your focus on God, to twist your perspectives. She said God had said to her, ‘Be careful how you mourn. How you mourn would either draw people away from me or draw them towards me’. At one point she said, ‘Even if you lost a child, be careful how you mourn. Even the devil knows you don’t need that child to get into heaven’. Hard word, sis! Hard! But she is so right! Ultimately, even in our pain, we cannot allow ourselves get into the place where we sin against God with our mouths, with our hearts; where we abandon Him, abandon our faith. You see, the child that has gone will be with God in heaven…. And we who are left behind must guard our hearts in spite of the pain, so that we can stay anchored firmly in Christ and ensure we make it to heaven ourselves. Hmm! Hard truth! But truth nonetheless!

Sis, as I worshipped, the Holy Spirit reminded me of something. He reminded me that as I approached my 42nd birthday some years back, something happened. My birth month is March. On the 2nd of January that year, a friend died. She was the mother of my daughter’s best friend. It took the wind out of my sails. Between that date and a couple of weeks to my birthday, three other people I knew died. Each of them was 42 years old. And the enemy began to say to me that I would die on or before my birthday. And he didn’t make it threatening. Oh no! he was quite…almost compassionate sounding, and very persistent. he told me that I had had a good run anyway, that my children would never forget me, that I had put enough in them to make them successful in life, but it was time to go and go  I must, yada yada yada. It was a slow calculating chipping away at my heart. And it was almost working… but God!

Yes sis, ‘But God’ is the greatest of miracles, and the best of places…that of divine interventions. It resolves a multitude of things. But God… in His infinite love and mercy spoke and said to me very simply ‘You know my voice Audrey and the voice of another, you will not heed. You will not die until I choose to call you’. I began to laugh then. I laughed myself into worship, and then I worshiped my way into laughter. It was an awesome experience sis. I realized I had made the choice to stand on the faith in my heart, and not the ‘fate’ the enemy wanted my eyes to ‘see’. I counseled myself and I allowed the Holy Spirit minister to me. My life is in His hands. He alone knows my times and seasons and the number of my days. In this place, I set up guard around my heart, and I literally would talk to the enemy and laugh at him. I reminded the devil that several 42 year olds' across the world died every day and the fact that I happened to know four of them did not add up to me dying also. I boldly declared that I would only die when the Lord called me back to Him – just as the Lord assured me; and I said to myself that given that no man knows the day appointed to him to die, I would live my every day to the fullest and for the glory of God…not in fear. Certainly not in fear! And I won that battle sis, I did!

As the Holy Spirit brought this to my remembrance this time around, I set up guard again around my heart, and this is something we must do time and again, sis. I am convinced the power of the Holy Spirit that flowed in my heart made it too hot for the enemy to handle and he let go completely. After my sister shared with me that she’d been so frightened that she had immediately called her own son who is close in age to the co-pilot that just died, I shared this testimony with her. I counseled that we must guard our hearts so that the enemy does not set up camp and fear take root. Because you see, once fear takes root, we are paralyzed and we are easy prey. Once fear has taken root, it is really hard to set your heart to see or hear God, and in no time at all, even the word that is within you will gradually become of no effect as your faith fails completely.

So sis, today I simply want to tell you that beyond setting your heart on the things of God, you must guard that which you have attained, so that the enemy does not steal your peace and derail your destiny. Setting your heart on God is the ‘easier’ part of the journey. Guarding your heart requires you to be battle-ready… it requires serious contending against all the wiles and fiery darts the enemy will throw at you. Guarding your heart is you continually adopting a determined ‘the violent take it by force’ stance! It is a determination to stand firmly on the things you have set your heart on; to stand firmly on the word that backs those things with power; and most importantly to stand firmly …no matter what, in the God that is that Word and Power!

Do you see it sis? I pray the Lord will give you clarity in Jesus name. If there are many painful or negative occurrences around you that have been opening the door for fear to slowly tighten its demonic grip around your heart; I pray that something in what I have said here will minister life and freedom back to you sis. Trust that God has got your back. Trust Him sis! Trusting God is critical to guarding your heart. Give no room to the devil and he will flee from you. he will!  This is God’s word, and I am standing firmly on it because I have seen it to be true in my life.

Sis, I pray the Holy Spirit will help you as He has helped me. This life? We shall live it only for His glory sis! Only for His glory! Whatever God brings our way, whatever He allows to pass, He will also give us grace and strength to carry. Knowing this, we should rest in His omnipotence, sis. Fear never solved anything anyway. But keeping our eyes on Jesus, setting our hearts to see and hear Him alone, and then guarding our hearts with all diligence….this seems to me like what Heaven expects of us, sis. And this sounds to me like a truly restful and peaceful life. He is with us, even unto the end of the age. And He is the Mighty Warrior, the Lord of Hosts. He fights with us and for us sis, so we are not in this alone. As you purpose to continually guard your heart, remember also that He Who said He is a wall of fire around us, is also the glory in the midst of us. It is so well with you sis, even as it is so well with me.  

Be blessed sis…. For you surely are!


Saturday, August 1, 2015

Set your heart

Oh, but time sure flies doesn’t it! I can hardly believe it’s been a month since my last post. I can tell you that I take comfort in hearing everyone else around me asking where the month of July went – not to mention how quickly 2015 itself is going by. Before I get into sharing what is on my heart today, I would like to ask you to do something for me please. Could you read the book of Colossians? Yes sis, the entire book. Its only 4 chapters long, but if you would allow God use it to minister to you, there is so much ‘meat’ to this short book of the Bible. You will find so much comfort and validation in Colossians. When God asked me to read it this morning, I pushed back a bit, telling Him that I had studied it a little earlier this year. But God always knows best doesn’t He? In response to His insistence, I read the entire book again and I can tell you that the things He ministered afresh to me so blessed me that I have purposed to read Colossians from start to finish on the first day of every new month, God helping me. I pray that as you purpose to meditate on this portion of Scripture, that God will reveal Himself afresh to you, and that He will reveal ‘You’ to you in a new and deeper way, in Jesus name, Amen.

I stumbled across Ezekiel 44 v 5 today. I say stumbled because with certainty I can say that I have read this scripture before several times as part of my study of the book of Ezekiel. Why it hit me the way it did today was subsequently made clear and this is what I want to share with you. Ezekiel 44 v 5 (AMP) reads “Set your heart to see with your eyes and hear with your ears all that I say to you….:

The words ‘Set your heart’ kept reverberating in my spirit. I thought about the human anatomy and what the biological linkages were between the heart, the eyes and the ears. I am not a doctor so I can’t readily say I see what that connection is, save for the intricate nerves and sensors that connect every part of our body to the brain. From an absolute layman perspective – devoid of any need for scientific research lol, I can tell you that the heart has no eyes and neither does it have ears. So when God’s Word is saying to set your heart to see with your eyes and hear with your ears what He is speaking, the biological and the physical have no place in gaining the right understanding. Not really!

I realized that this Scripture is connected to Proverbs 4 v 23 which tells us to “Guard our hearts with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life”. Simply put therefore, what we see and what we hear are conditioned by the state of our hearts. And sis, God is very particular about the state of our hearts. You know this right? He more than anyone else understands that once our hearts are wrongly positioned, we are compromised spiritually and all our perspectives will be out of alignment with the workings of His Holy Spirit.

It has been a trying few days for me. I was informed a couple of days ago that one of my former staff, a wonderful young man who served so diligently with us for several years, dropped dead as he went to brush his teeth that morning. Later that same day, one of my most valued staff came to inform me that he would be relocating to another country and as such would be putting in his resignation in a couple of months. I had said to him that much as I appreciated the constraints which led to his decision to relocate, I really didn’t need to hear the news that day as I was already weighed down with sadness over the death of my staff. What did I know sis? The avalanche was just beginning to unfurl.

Just yesterday I found myself at the funeral service of the first son of parents’ who was brutally murdered a few days ago by a young man he opened his home to in an act of simple love and kindness. The grief was almost too much for me, and I couldn’t help but wonder how his parents and siblings were able to go through watching his lifeless body being laid to rest. It was such a senseless death – viewed with the physical eyes of understanding and the things the physical ears heard from the time the news of his death broke. It helped for me to focus on the fact that God was not unaware this would happen and that He had His own purpose even in what appeared senseless to us, but it was really hard to let go of the heaviness in my heart.

This morning started for me with a call from a friend whose daughter’s marriage was crumbling. It was an intense and frustrating series of conversations that I had this morning with both mother and daughter. When the calls were all done, all I could do was sit quietly on my couch in silence, trying to get some rest back into my seriously disquieted spirit. My phone rang again though and this time it was a dear friend calling to inform me that a relative had died. She didn’t have children for the first twenty years of her marriage, and then they were blessed with twin boys. What manifested as a brief episode of pain which she went to hospital to check on turned out to be cancer. In no time, she was whisked into a surgery which she then didn’t survive. Later this same morning, I found out that another friend had lost her first son and the apple of her eye. I was still trying to deal with the reality of this when about an hour later, my husband called to inform me that we had lost the mother of my sister-in-law… the same sister-in-law who herself died early last year leaving four young children – including a new born baby behind.

Sis, can I tell you that I was so shattered by the onslaught of bad news that I could barely make the drive back home. Oh, but it was almost too much for me. Almost too much… but God reminded me ‘Set your heart, Audrey’. I realized quickly that unless I set my heart to see God in the middle of all this, I would only see pain/bad/evil and I would only hear the negative and despondent noises the world makes in this space. Unless I set my heart, I would give in to negativity and to doubt, and ultimately to fear. I wouldn’t be able to ‘see’ God and I certainly wouldn’t be able to ‘hear’ God. And sis, you and I know by now that unless we are fully connected to God and allow Him minister to us always, we cannot make it through the vicissitudes of this life, right?

‘Set you heart, Audrey’…. I did sis, and I have. By the power of the Holy Spirit, I will also be able to do this daily despite the magnitude and constancy of issues that life may throw at me. I have set my heart on the fact that God is good, even where situations and things don’t appear good. I have set my heart on the fact that God works all things out for our good, and that even where I don’t understand or even where it doesn’t seem like it, I know with all certainty that this word is true. My tears, my fears, my insecurities, my anxieties… they do not invalidate the word of God. So I set my heart on the fact that while my flesh may waver, my spirit is sure and rests fully in the goodness of my God in all things and through all things.

I set my heart on the fact that God has shown me His goodness in more ways than I can readily count or recall. I set my heart on the things He has spoken to me that He will do in me, with me, for me and through me. I set my heart on the things He has blessed me to see and to hear through the eyes and ears of the spirit. I set my heart on the truth of the fact that death is a part of life. Indeed we are all born to die, and no one can tell who goes when or why. I set my heart on the confidence that death has no hold over me because I am in Christ, and death is gain for all who are in Christ, painful as the physical loss may be on this side of eternity. I set my heart on God Who asked me to cast my cares upon Him because He does care for me. I set my heart on the God Who loves me with an everlasting love, a love that I cannot begin to comprehend the magnitude of no matter how I try.

Sis, I set my heart on God….and all I see is that He is on the throne and that by His grace I am one of His own. I set my heart on Him and the ears of my spirit only hear ‘Rest in Me, daughter. I am with you always’. I set my heart on God and all is well… no matter what!

I don’t know what your struggles are, sis. Praise God if you have none. If you are in a place though where it seems you are being buffeted by storms on all sides, set your heart aright sis, so that your eyes will see only God and your ears will hear only God. Looking at the physical can be scary and disheartening and focusing on the things your physical ears hear can downright drown you. So take your eyes off all that, sis. Set your heart to God and allow Him minister to you peace, assurance, grace, rest….and there is no better place to be than in the rest of God sis. No better place!

The Lord has surely helped me today and in this season, sis. He will always help. He is the one that says ‘I hear you. I always hear you. And I will answer you’. Trust Him with your heart this season and every day sis. He will help you, as surely as He is helping me.

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.