Honoring God in the midst of chaos in his church

Last week I got a chance to talk with one of my good friends and we discussed the way sometimes the deepest hurt can come from fellow believers and that in the spirit of being your brothers keeper you try your best to mend fences and correct them to do better as revealed and expected in scriptures by God. If the church was perfect, it would have been a simple conversation of humility on the part of the one being talked to whereas the messenger too would exercise godly patience as they deliver and have faith that the brother they talked to had heard what they had to say and God had taken that seed and was nurturing it to grow and bear fruit of repentance in that persons heart. In my opinion that’s the way a “perfect “ body of Christ operates.

What happens when the brother that you have to approach is the leader of the church and they don’t seem to see the error in their ways what then?

How do you exercise faith for a place that was supposed to help foster and grow your faith?

The first thing that popped in my mind as my friend spoke was all the prophets that God had revealed a truth to them way before the people were ready or even willing to listen. Some of these prophets didn’t live to see their vision realized or prayers answered to fruition. For example Abraham did not live to see the promise land, Joel, Jonah,Moses, Paul just to name a few prophets who had clear revelations from God but even after tirelessly warning Israelites they didn’t live to see those people’s hearts seek repentance after acknowledging the error of their ways. This servants of God still chose to continue to pray and suffer for their beliefs.

One thing am understanding as I grow in my faith is just how powerful prayer is. There is no expiration to our prayers as long as there is a need for them they will cover us. An example is when Jesus Prayed In the Garden of gethsemane it was not just for the disciples of that time but for us too thousands of years later that prayer is still being answered. The same can be said of the promises of God that he reveals in our prayer time. Thousands of years later and descendants of Abraham are still increasing, he did give his son to ensure we have the ultimate route to the Promised Land. My advice to my friend was not to let her heart be hardened by the lack of response and rejection from those that deem her “unspiritual” for having such views rather to never cease fighting for their souls through prayer and respectfully tell those who were willing to listen because she has no idea how God has it planned or who her message was supposed to impact, be it the person she thought was intended or some unknown person to her who would hear what she had to say and impact his walk with God. Our work is to spread the gospel and have faith that God will help it grow in the hearts its meant to in due time.

In 1 peter 13-16,22-23, it drew a picture of how we can in such situations guard and direct our hearts when in an environments that are hostile to spiritual growth or dealing with individuals that cut and threaten the love and beliefs we have, It mentions that we are to be sober minded i.e to reject our personal ideals, experiences, emotions about how you think it would be best to handle that situation or how those that are sinning against you and God should react rather arm yourself by abandoning the human way of dealing with such situations where you think it’s an individual instead of the way the God says we are one and that if truly this person is hurting and sinning you are too. It’s not their problem but our problem and approach them the way you do to yourself when trying to deal with a sin in your life. It also mentions to be holy because God is holy. Choose to feel the pain for their souls as God does whenever sin rules our hearts, die to yourself preservation and embrace them with love by fighting for them and when they won’t listen  pray dutifully hence making it a point not to forget them because they are a part of you. We are to be Pure because through Christ’s death we have been purified so if we are abiding by that we love everyone from a pure heart as though they had never wronged you attempting to love them as Christ loved us. Everyday is a new day to love from a fresh perspective leaving yesterday’s murk where it belongs in the past as Christ doesn’t carry our past transgressions against us.If they didn’t listen yesterday nothing is to stop it from today being the day they listen. Seek hope in tomorrow being the day they change or listen.

In 1 peter 1:24-25 reminds us that in the end everything withers but the word of God remains forever. When we choose to forget the sin of a fellow brother , we neglect we are connected and even though the pain they caused heals or goes away when they are gone the truth according to Gods word is that if that person is not walking with God their soul is lost for eternity. We lose too because they are family.

In 1 peter 2:13 talks of submission to authority, in 17 it says honor everyone not just those who deserve it and it continues to say love the brotherhood. Why did God chose to say Love the brotherhood? In 1 Peter 2:23-25 it states that Christ trusted his faith or walk and wellbeing in God and his judgements of those that wrong us. It’s not for you to issue judgement on those that do you wrong by discarding them or not loving them rather trust God to do that and if its leadership that you have a problem with let God deal with them and trust that God will protect and guide your/his people’s walk it was never up to the leaders to fully guide, they are just one of the ways Lord uses to communicate but there are many other ways God continues to work. If a part is broken he is aware and is fixing it and protecting the flock too. In the world he individually called us out of darkness and fought our battles he can surely save us from a corrupt fruit that threatens his flock. In 1 peter 3:13-14 it states that no harm can come to those that are zealous for what is good and even if we end up suffering for righteousness sake we are blessed

In 1 peter 5:5-6 it calls to us the flock to be humble toward each other so that God can grant us the grace to survive not just trials from the world, flesh but at times from each other. It’s better to be humble and experience Gods grace walk with us rather than to the prideful and God to be against us. When we exercise humility its not for those around us but its an extension of us exercising our faith in the God who is in us that will exalt us in due time

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MY TRUTH

We are all in search of the truth,
We all believe that the way we live our lives is in fact the truth,
But what we conceive in our minds is not the TRUTH but rather a version of the truth,
Nobody is capable of living the truth otherwise we would all turn to plants,
The only constant living thing that knows how not to lie or improve,
The one thing humanity is yet to corrupt with its evil of modernism.

It has been said that human beings are social beings but the reality of the matter is we are in search for love to satisfy vanity,
A love that knows no bound and one that accepts with no questions,
A love that forgives what is wrong with thy self and celebrates it as uniqueness ,
A love that braves difficult times and brands it as a growth period,
But the TRUTH is humans are selfish beings that only run for comfort so as not to be alone rather than the misconception that they run for companionship
In the name of love charities are given but the TRUTH is its all for self gratification.

I live the truth that I am bearable and no beauty queen the mirror is my witness,
I live the truth that I am weird among the fools, inquisitive among intellectuals, dreamer among normal people,
I live the truth that love only exists among those that love themselves first enough to want to share it with others,
I live the truth that God is in control of everything and if not then everything including us are but a fictions of our imagination and we in fact do not exist,
I live the truth that world peace is unachievable as long as vanity remains core reason for humanity,
I live the truth that I choose and not one laid for me.

 

AB.

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BROKEN HALLELUJAH

BROKEN HALLELUJAH

 

I had killed and tortured my soul for too long, I could no longer own it; I didn’t want it but didn’t know how to throw it away

I was yearning for the light without a cost, freedom already fought for; shamelessly greedy and unapologetic

I heard a tale of a knight that sought for my burdens, pleaded to cleanse and own me; the scent of those words were enticing to a dead and weightless stump

I came before the Lord with a dead and ashen heart pleading for life to be infused back

I laid everything before him; recognizing my defeat and his reign hallelujah

 

Like a child that had just recognized life had been infused into their body; I felt weightless as though a feathery gush of wind carried me through the day making me never yearn to walk on cursed roads

A warmth with no beginning or end surrounded and swaddled me keeping away the wintery world that threatened to devour the new essence of life

The eyes that I feared before became family that guided and protected me as though their life depended on it; I didn’t have to petition, someone already vouched for me

Hope that had long been an illusion that haunted my dreams and promised death was now but an anchor to my salvation

I was a new creation; I recognized whom he called me to be and his reign hallelujah

 

As I walked into the light my reflection became more clear and defined; the gaze that stared back was foreign and scarred

I could see the repercussions of my sin, the weight of them brought me on my knees

I was confused and angry, I felt cheated once more, my knight had not healed me or cured my sores but rather brought them back to life together with my spirit

I pondered the reason behind such cruelty at least dead I was numb to my pain

His love offered his life but for that to grow I had to die; you can’t heal invisible scars

I am a patient; I recognize and trust him as my personal physician who knows and could see me through the journey to the end hallelujah

 

My father carries me even though I walk through dark valleys that whisper my end

My father listens to me though I fumble my words and stumble through temptations

My father sees me though sin may threaten to muddy me unworthy

My father protects me though I still bruise from this world

My father delights in me though am weak and inconsistent in my obedience

My father takes pride in me as his work though I may have wandered off the path at times

I am loved; I recognize I am a daughter of Zion treasured and guarded to be reconciled with her king one day hallelujah

 

AB.

 

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BEFORE THIRTY

This past couple of months my head has been ringing with thoughts of assessing what I had done with my life for the past twenty nine years! Yes the big 3-0 is around the corner. I feel my feet dragging to cross over. I really want to be one of those exceptionally preppy women that are so eager to get to their thirties but in all honesty I have always thought it would be a death sentence to living as I know it!lol

I kept myself busy from admitting that this was really happening. I looked at myself in the mirror and didn’t see the thirty year old that is supposed to be looking back with all this volume of wisdom and experience. For some reason I always thought I would be more mature and adult like! Lol(am very humble I know I surprise myself every day!). I was brought up with numerous people telling me that I was wise beyond my age so naturally I thought when am thirty I would possess the wisdom of a sixty year old !ha so much for that theory.

This past weekend I went to a retreat and one of the speakers mentioned how if you are not being strengthened by the tough times in your life then it is a definite that your avoiding your problems. Case in point whenever I thought of my birthday I would get anxious and in response to that numb my feeling by not thinking about it. It didn’t stop or rewind time but rather made the problem that much bigger because it was something I was leaving my anxiety to feed in my subconscious mind.

In the midst of this enriching retreat my pal decided to invite me to watch a horror movie by Stephen king “it”(this are the kind of friends I have lol). Everyone knows am a movieholic and would watch anything but I draw the line with horror flicks am too chicken! For the past fifteen years I had not watched any horror flicks because I wasn’t ready to deal with the aftermath of dreams coupled with moments of complete psycho-ness as I try to run away from imaginative zombies that will eat me! Hehehehhe. I decided to brave through it because my friend seemed to be really into it(I was being a good friend, every once in a while I come through). As I watched the movie I kept wondering when will I jump out of my sit straight to the bathroom to hide. Instead I found myself actually admiring the costume make-up of the monster. I was more interested in solving the psyche of the criminal and the mystery for the victims. As I walked away from the movie not having flinched even once I realized I was no longer the fifteen year old that would probably have buckled at the thought of watching this movie. I was an adult.

Some people discover their “it” with big things i.e when they closed their first business or even got a house but for me it was as twisted and crazy like my personality, at the end of a horror movie is when I realized just how much power I had in my thoughts. All this years I cowered at the thought of watching something terrifying so like classic me I avoided it.

In one of my classes the speaker pointed out that we are a sum of our thoughts. Garbage in, garbage out. As a follower of Christ, it’s of utmost importance to take inventory of all my thoughts because every thought I have is a representation of a choice I can make. A poet once quoted that hypocrisy is not just doing what we say we are against but also its doing those things in our thoughts.

Whenever I thought of my twenties I thought of my failures independently. Now as I ponder some more I cant help but see that my life is a sum of a broken mind trying to grip reality by making naïve uninformed decisions in the name of freeing and upgrading myself. I didn’t know that I was depressed hence made erratic and emotional decisions. I probably saw things from an exaggerated perspective and like my friend is always quoting perceptions is reality! I cant go back in time but pressing forward to my thirties I walk in more knowledgeable but also experienced.

As I proceed I can only hope that Philippians 4:8 rings true to my thoughts and actions “ Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” . am no longer under the illusion that I will one day find my true self because I know am a reflection of Gods love and creation and that is enough for me. My only responsibility on this earth is to honor God with my simple acts of obedience that have eternal implications.

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MAKEUP SALVATION

MAKEUP SALVATION

Ever since I was a little girl I remember observing my older sister practice her catwalk as she aspired to be a model. I was awestruck as I watched her effortlessly apply her makeup, with every stroke I could see a new continence overtake her. The last stage would be putting on her stilettos and that would be the cherry on top. On my 13th birthday, my sister gave me her old makeup set. You would think she had issued a pot of gold by the look in my eyes.

The next day was Sunday and I could hardly wait to try out my new set. I took the brightest colors. Ocean blue and orange eye shadow which against my dark skin was like putting reflecting lights on my eyes. In my ill-advised move I layered the eye shadow so thick that it was literally coming out as I blinked. My sisters were scandalous they never said a word. Later on I learned they purposefully let me leave the house looking like a clown so that I would never make the same mistake twice.

As I grew older I got to be really good at applying makeup, experimenting with different pigmentations and texture to achieve the desired look I was going for. I loved that with a couple of strokes I could tell a story of either what my mood was, whom I adored or just because artistic moments that had no reason behind them. In gray moments I could apply color and cover the pain behind my eyes and give an allure of happiness. It protected me from people that were too shallow to want to uncover the person behind the polished look.

The last couple of months I have been looking at you-tube videos of girls contouring their faces. It’s pure magic!lol makeup no longer enhances beauty but rather creates it. As amazing as this is, it’s also very scary because I can only imagine how much that can mess with your psyche.

In my walk with God, I am learning that the Gospel is not makeup! It doesn’t cover flaws or create imaginary beauty. The past years the closer I have come to knowing God the more I have felt like he has revealed character flaws and stuff that I generally deem ugly calling me out to either rectify, revive or discard. It been an internal battle of adapting to these amazing concepts from the bible and emulating them but unlike makeup it doesn’t provide blanket coverage but rather goes deeper to seek what’s the reason behind the search for whatever am learning.

In mark 2:15-17  While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

We see that Jesus is questioned about the company that he was keeping but his response is what convicts me every time I am tempted to shy away from him because of the sin in my life or even the feeling of being unworthy. Christ made himself available to those that recognized they were unworthy and needed him in their lives.In our weakness he becomes out source of strength enabling us to not only push past the pain but evolve to the beautiful creations he meant us to be.

This past couple of weeks my friends and I took the challenge to be open with each other daily on the sins we had committed for the next thirty days. The purpose of this is not so we can counsel each other but rather to refuse to allow our transgressions to have a hold over our spiritual lives. There are those things I have discovered through this that I could easily have forgotten to address in my own prayers that when I talk with this ladies makes me very conscious of my actions the next day and more important it has immensely helped transparency in my prayer life with the “small stuff” that I didn’t recognize amount to faith attacking obstacles if left unchecked.

God’s love and word has been working in my life in a way that it has uncovered wounds which I had hidden well. Part of the healing process is allowing myself to be barefaced before him and accepting that is enough. He doesn’t need me polished or enhanced. There are things in our life that we sometimes try to modify that God purposefully placed in your life to ensure that you got to heaven. There are people who needed abundance in their lives to stay faithful and had it in them to use their abundance to serve God whereas there those whom God gave just enough and trusted them with the struggles in their lives because that would keep them close and in need of God. In the end he wants all of us to make it home. We just have to keep our eyes on him and not on another’s race. In Hebrews 11:32-38 gives you a picture of two types of believers those that had affluence in regards to the standard of living and those that had more of a struggle. We all have a unique path and unlike makeup the closer we get to God the more of that path is revealed to us. Our pastor once said that never take a short term outcome and trade that for your salvation. You miss out on what God had planned for you regardless of whether its pain or joy in your future his option for you is the best.

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MY PRECIOUS…

My precious…

In lord of the rings when go Gollum looks at the ring with pride stating over and over again creepily “my precious” he affirms his love for it. Though my love for my mother is normal I assure you all!lol it dawned on me that International women’s day is coming up and I couldn’t help but notice that I have never written a piece to honor my mother. Everyone would argue that their mother is the best, and they are right. Today I thought to introduce you to the woman/mother/father all in one that raised my sisters and me. I still cannot understand how she managed to raise five girls in a third world country with no stable job yet somehow got us through schooling. This woman as far as I could remember represented faith and strength regardless of what her present looked like.

A little bit of history, my grandmother died in child birth. My grandfather remarried my step grandmother whom like all folktales she was extremely mean to my mother and often left her hungry whenever my grandfather was away on business. As a result of having a hostile home situation she ended up being taken care off by a nun in convent (whom am named afterJ). In a nut shell she did not have a pleasant childhood. Fast forward to her adult years, she met my father, got married, had turbulent times in her marriage with domestic violence playing a major role and after one too many blows over the years she decided to run away with us with no money or job to her name.

One of my fondest memory growing up was how my mother loved to play a preaching cassette from her pastor on the title “the joy of the Lord is my strength”. She played this particular preaching so much so that I think I have bits of the sermon ingrained in my brain if I think hard enough! We knew it was a hard day when that cassette went on and she would lock herself in her bedroom and listen pray and fight it out with God and once she stepped out of that bedroom she looked as though she was refreshed. As a child I wondered what kind of madness she was up to. Now having grown in my own faith I respect and admire the examples she set for me without even knowing it. I can’t lie am still learning to master the art of running to a quiet safe place and fighting it out with God before “ranting/venting” to a friend. She did this without even a discipling/accountability partner, her faith was anchored even though most of her friends were non-believers.

I would love to take this opportunity to salute my mother because she is not only my hero in faith but also as a human being. She was not a woman of sweet words but rather action. I don’t remember hearing words of affirmation from my mother but I knew she loved me. She worked all odd jobs to ensure that there was food on the table. She never once complained about having to work as much as she did because of us but rather told us that she would never trade having us because God entrusted us to her as a result she was the wealthiest woman in the world. That is the most affirmation I heard come from her lips. She is the queen on positivity! I remember a time when she strictly forbade me from telling her jokes with the wise reason that words are life and power and whatever we uttered with our tongues we unconsciously set them as truths in our lives. As a result of that she always stayed on the positive and if she truly had nothing nice to say of a situation she always pled the 5th. As a child this annoyed me to no ends, it further fueled my theory that she must be crazy. The number of times I asked her for money to go to an event and like textbook her answer was that the money was available in the spirit but had not manifested physically! Lol

We lived in questionable neighborhoods at times depending on her financial situation but as a standard she did not allow us to behave poorly because of what we saw. We were daughters of Zion. She always told us that she married God and that he was our father hence we cannot go around acting as though no one was there for us. Despite the odd jobs that she had to work, she still made it to visit us in our boarding schools with something small to eat and enjoy. She knew what public relations handling was even though nobody taught her. She always befriended the school staff so that they would be more understanding if our school fees were delayed. In the midst of all that as much as she was scrambling to get coins to pay her bills she still would extend a hand to someone that needed help. The number of times we had “aunts” come stay with us as they were getting on their feet. Some “aunts” stole from us, others got on their feet and did well for themselves but never looked back to help my mum. This incidences never once made her want to stop helping. For a lady with only a high school diploma she sure did a lot without knowledge just pure determination and belief.

I could give you countless examples of what she did for us but one statement is true she loved God and her daughters. She pushed us and never allowed us to have a moment to wallow on the things we did not have rather let us know whom we were in Christ and to her. When I chose to walk away from God a few years ago, I expected backlash from her but all she said was she had done her best for me and it was my decision whether or not to have a relationship with him. She loved me like she always did and yes like a typical African mum always tried to stuff me with food at any opportunity she got.

I want to take this opportunity to salute and lift my mum for being an exceptional mother and woman of God. She could have taken the easy route countless times just to have a more comfortable life. She chose to leave a legacy in everyone that she encountered to have their eyes set on heaven and live their lives with that direction in mind. She stood up proud and strong in a time when being a Single mother in Kenya was shameful let alone a divorced one. She wore the tag that counted the most to her. Her God the rest were just noise. As her daughter I have derived strength from her life and love, I am whom I am because I am her daughter! (It doesn’t hurt that we share the same smile! 😛 ) happy international women’s day to all those brave lionesses in Africa that we don’t get to hear their stories told

 

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“THE VOICE”

THE VOICE

Sunday was one of those days I woke up with the intent to make sure I went to church. To be honest I was not necessarily going there with an expectant heart more like out of duty to God and to my fellow brothers and sisters. The topic of the sermon was called “the voice”. The pastor began by showing some seriously disturbing images of a lioness hunting a zebra. Ultimately the lioness won. He stated the fact that a lioness once on the move its so fast that if calculated it would take a few seconds to cover across a basketball floor! I could not take the imagery and it took God holding me down and telling me to be patient enough to see where this was leading.

He gave a slight pause and said that the lioness in the picture was Satan! The zebra lying lifeless could be one of us or we are heading towards that destination spiritually. I must say having heard that statement had me lift my head higher with panic, anger and finally accepting what had been laid before me was the truth. He went on further to explain that the difference between us and the zebra is that at least it knew when its hunter was winning and gave up whereas disciples/Christians walk in luxury in regards to their faith. They live their lives as though they have every time in the world to seek repentance and live righteous lives whereas Satan knows he is running out of time and hunts us like tomorrow is not guaranteed.

Today morning as I was going through my quiet time I am currently in the book of Exodus. I read the processes that Aaron and his sons were required to undergo before coming to the presence of God and even with them they could only go so far. It made me realize just how much I need to be grateful and honored by Christ’s death on the cross. It allowed me to have an audience with God anytime and anywhere without having to wait to hear what the chosen ones had to say! He already chose me hence I have the privilege of being able to access him and his word any time! As I thought about my morning struggle and lazy thoughts of trying to wake up I realized the enemy I was fighting with was not the red costumed Satan I was raised to believe but rather one that had a smooth silky voice to utter just the right words to lead you to his den!

Our pastor pointed out that Satan will always attack you in the times you least expect it hence he is better able to plant negative seeds of thought. He pointed out that Satan mostly attacks when you are basking in God’s love and presence, he will do this making you doubt the will of God and his plans for you. A good example of this is in Jobs life in the bible. He had the charmed life before Satan went after his life and he was stripped of everything and left with nothing but sores in his body and defending himself against his family and friends of his innocence. Jim Mcguiggan book points out that even though Satan may attempt to use God his works always fail whereas God uses the devil through the suffering we go through so that as the old faith we had is broken so that a stronger and better faith emerges.

Jim states that the version of Job before temptation was a thorn in Satan’s sight but Job after his trials drove Satan crazy! That cracked me up. It made me remember a show I used to watch years ago called the net. A specific character called Angela Bennett was responsible for taking down this invisible organization that was taking advantage of their powers. I like the fact that Angela compared to the many characters out here presently she lived a very modest life for a spy! Lol it made it seem plausible for anyone to attain the goal she had with the right motivation. I want to spiritually be in a place where suffering and joy are on the same measure in my life. Whatever chapter in my life I am I don’t want to be surprised or be in a state of anxiety of not sure when the ball will drop. God has me … finished. Psalms 23 sums up best what I hope and picture my life to be like…

Psalm 23

A psalm of David.

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.     He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,     he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths     for his name’s sake. Even though I walk     through the darkest valley,[a] I will fear no evil,     for you are with me; your rod and your staff,     they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me     in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil;     my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me     all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord     forever.

 

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