Beyond The Face In The Mirror

Image result for aiyana a lewis

I looked in the mirror with concern and disappointment one last time before leaving home — one; because of breakouts and the other reason being my insecurity about how I looked and Oh without makeup. Today The Holy Spirit reminded me that “you are fearfully and wonderfully made” but a few minutes before that, I thought about where I would be seen in public over the next couple of days, and I must confess I considered staying at home —  breakouts ( for those close to me and are observant you might have noticed some tiny yellowish looking breakouts on my face). Typically I’d hide behind a pair of glasses to improve my appearance! (well that’s a story for another day).

Thankfully, I didn’t skip church ( this happened four months ago). Well our generation places great emphasis on looks, which isn’t anything new. When King Ahasuerus was looking for a new wife in ancient Persia, outward beauty was the first requirement. Before being considered by the king, a young woman aside being a virgin, completed “Beauty Camp” — a yearlong period of beauty treatments with oil, myrrh, perfumes and cosmetics. Young Esther’s outward beauty helped her gain the favor of the king, but I think Esther had a lot more going for her than smooth skin and sweetly scented hair.

Before a young woman’s turn came to go in to King Ahasuerus, she had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments prescribed for the women, six months with oil of myrrh and six with perfumes and cosmetics.” (Esther 2:12

The Bible says during the yearlong preparation, Esther gained favor from Hegai, the custodian of all the candidates for queen. Hegai gave Esther extra beauty preparations in comparison to the others, provided seven choice maidservants from the king’s palace and moved her to the nicest part of the house (Esther 2:9). I imagine all the women chosen for this royal harem were attractive. What then made Esther stand out?

We know she was respectful because she honored her cousin, Mordecai’s charge to keep her Jewish identity a secret. She shows her respect for authority and also reveals a humble spirit. After being treated lavishly during the year of preparation, it was finally her turn to appear before the king. Each young woman could bring whatever she desired to take with her from the women’s quarters to the king’s palace (Picture young women slaying in their makeup and outfits packing several bags of the finest silks, spices, cosmetics and jewelry.)

But Esther didn’t do that (modesty on display). When it was her turn, she requested nothing except what Hegai, her custodian, advised. She could have asked for anything she wanted in the Royal Harem. She didn’t insist on more makeup, jeweled necklaces or fancy fabrics. Instead, she respected Hegai’s authority and advice. As a result of this modest and humble attitude, which perhaps stood in contrast to the other candidates, Esther obtained favor in the sight of all who saw her, including the king.

Esther was not a likely choice for a queen — far from it! She was an orphan and a Jewish exile, being raised by her cousin Mordecai.

But she was exalted to an unusual authority in a kingdom which valued neither women nor Jews. She didn’t become prideful with her new power. She continued to be faithful to God and honor the advice of Mordecai. The spotlight and focus on her outward beauty did not change who she was inside, and eventually, she became the next queen.

Esther was a living example of the words of the Apostle Peter Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight” (1 Peter 3:3-4).

I am not saying you should go and sell your jewelry and hair accessories next week. This simply means we no longer think of outward appearances as our main source of beauty. I suppose there’s an upside to having breakouts or pimples and not wearing makeup. It’s been a visual reminder to me personally that lasting beauty is found in character, words and actions (beyond the face in the mirror) — not a makeup bag.

Prayer

Dear Lord, may I clothe myself with humility and gentleness today, like Esther did. You continually make beautiful things out of my life. Please keep bringing into remembrance of how fearfully and wonderfully made I am in Your image and help me get rid of the pressure to be someone that you did not create. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (Colossians 3:12)

You have the favour of Esther! 

Stay blessed!

Advertisements

WAILER? TRY PREVAILING…

Related image

…Life is not characterized by any challenges, no battles, it is totally amazing,  — I am sure this very moment you’re wondering “what could she possibly be taking about? Of course life is challenging and I am currently fighting some battles”. Well you’re right, I am not about to lie or create the impression that life is all rosy without battles. Challenges are inevitable in life,  fact established and mind you battles are a feature of a every believer’s life — meaning the very day you decided to accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour you signed on for the battles as well — it’s a full package. 

I’d like to share some lessons I learnt from a book I read a couple of months ago authored by Rev. Eastwood Anaba titled “WAILERS And PREVAILERS”

Perhaps you and I have some thing in common — you’ve been hit left right and center by so many challenges or maybe you’re still fighting some of these battles ( from the chapter one of this book, Rev. Eastwood calls these challenges and battles “The Amalekites”). The bible refers to David as “a man after God’s own heart” but in this same bible has records of the battles and wars that King David had to fight — one of these challenges times, while David and his men were at war, The Amalekites invaded his camp at Ziklag, burned it with fire and took people and wealth away…(1 Samuel 30:1-6)

 When David and his men reached Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep. David’s two wives had been captured—Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel. David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God. (1Samuel 30:3-6)

Sometimes we may be going about our normal businesses then “the Amalekites” invade our territories uninvited (sickness, sin, failure, poverty, demonic attacks, death etc). Maybe you are like David’s men who only weeps aloud until you have no strength to weep rather than being like David who found strength in the Lord. David wept with his men but after a while the prevailers among them stirred themselves up and pursued the enemy whiles the wailers continued licking their wounds. The prevailers followed David’s leadership and courageously went on to recover everything they had lost…(1 Samuel 30:6-10 17,18)

“What if we all prevailed from life’s battles instead of wailing? I’m guessing we will be surrounded by so many strong men and women. Do you watch cartoons? if yes then I’m sure you’ve seen superman, captain planet, spider man and and other super hero movies. I realized they all have one thing in common — they are prevailers, in the sense that no matter the challenge or villain they were faced with, there was a side to them that wanted to prevail rather than wail about attacks.

Here are a few tips to help you become a prevailer and not a wailer

Lets see the definition of a wailer and a prevailer.

  1. WAILER – to wail is to make a prolonged high-pitch cry of pain, grief and anger. Those who wail are wailers.
  2.  PREVAILER – to prevail is to prove more powerful than an opposing force. those who prevail are prevailers. (both definitions from Rev. Eastwood)
  •  Prevailers are strong on their knees, while wailers are loudly vocal. So weeping during a challenge isn’t wrong but the prevailer weeps differently by adding prayer where as the wailer just wails and complain about their situation . If you’ve read my previous post I’m sure you know by now that I am a cry baby but here’s what I do when a challenge overwhelms me, I weep and worship at the same time. I remember one incident back in school in a friend’s room I hid behind the curtains in my friend’s room and wept and while I did that I whispered “It hurts. Nevertheless You are my God, please help me Lord”. It takes time to pray before you act but you gain this time by prevailing over your situation quickly. Those who fail to pray, fail to prevail. Enquire from God through prayer.

 

  • Prevailers encourage themselves — Hope. They find motivation within themselves. Remember David encouraged himself in the Lord instead playing the blame game that his men enjoyed. Encouragement is not external but internal grace. Prevailers don’t leave the responsibility of recovering from a setback to others. They have a strong relationship with God and in times of affliction, He is the closest source of strength to them. (Psalm 34:19,20) You don’t need people to stand by you when God stands by you. A crowd is not always advantageous in warfare.

 

  • Prevailers are not stationary, neither do they retreat, unlike wailers who tend to be stagnant and give up after one setback. They advanced towards the opposition and demand what’s theirs. David pursued the Amalekites after inquiring  and getting direction from God. David was used to pursuing assailants and demanding what was his. He demonstrated this attribute when he pursued the lion and bear and took his sheep from them (1 Samuel 17:34-36). “The Amalekites” (enemy) will not voluntarily bring back what they steal from you — you have to pursue, attack them and take back what they have stolen from you.

 

  • Prevailers have an overtaking strength. If you don’t give up and quit like a timid wailer God will empower you to overtake your “Amalekites” just like He did for David. David started from behind but he caught up with the Amalekites. You must destroy the enemy before recovering what is yours — if not he will come back and steal again. Prevailers always recover everything they lost just like David did — Prevailers don’t consider losses to be permanent — they believe in restoration.

To bring some clarity, let’s do the math, because apparently Heaven and Earth balance their equations differently.

  • By the Rules of Earth (Human and satanic) Equation;

Weeping + Complaining + Give Up + blaming others + Suicide = Wailer (Powerless Defeated)

  • By the rules of Heaven ( Jesus and God) Equation;

Faith + Prayer + Enquire of The Lord + Press On + Hope + Recovery = Prevailer (Unlimited Power and Victory)

A prevailer is known by the outcome of His or Her challenges, not by what happens during the process. The Psalmist said the end of the upright person is peace. Mark the perfect man and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace (Psalm 37:37)

If you dwell on the righteousness of Christ, you will prevail. Wailers are defeated partly because of the guilt they bear. The devil accuses them of wrongdoing and weakens their confidence. without confidence no one can become a prevailer. You are a prevailer. No matter what you are going through right now, the end of your story is predictable — You will Prevail. – Rev. Eastwood Anaba

 

It is my prayer that our Lord Jesus will continue to grant us grace and strength to become prevailers and not wailers… Amen.

Stay Blessed Always!

STRENGTH IN BEING AUTHENTIC 

Related image

I came across the trunk I used in senior high school a while back —  It didn’t take long for me to discover a box from my childhood, and there on the top was my little, pink diary. It felt like I was going on an adventure(my little excursion) to the past. Surprisingly I was excited about going through the pages filled with —  naive, painful, confusing, childish and happy memories.

Did you have a secret diary growing up? If so, I’m a bit curious about what you kept in yours — if you’d find in yours what I found in mine: a girl struggling not to worry about what others thought of her.

Here are some of my swirling thoughts:

October 26: Right now, I don’t like boys! I don’t think much about boys. I may act like it, but I don’t. Boys are bad news…

November 15: Why did those girls from the other class give me that look when I entered the dinning hall. Perhaps there was something wrong with my uniform. Should I confront them? What if they deny it?

March 27: I missed class today I just didn’t want to leave the dormitory. 

April 9Today, nothing much happened. I don’t know how my friend got me in this mess ( paring me up with a guy I don’t even know saying you need to act like a big girl else you’ll end up alone).  I don’t know what to do. Lord, please get me out of this mess! 

April 12: I broke up with Him. Gosh I don’t know if I should be sad or glad I did. Well I feel better, now that I don’t have to pretend to like someone I was paired up with.

What a struggle! Although that trouble seemed trivial, there were other times I wrote about frustrated feelings with friends and family, and confusion about what to do. 

Do you know what the real issue was with many of my problems? I was fearful of people. With little or no confidence at all — Sigh.

I wasn’t sure of the girl I was, or the girl I wanted to be. I often found myself acting all sorts of ways so I could be the person I thought my friends and family wanted, instead of being aunthentic – true to myself. Growing up, I’ve come to understand more of the truth in God’s Word. He has shown me I don’t have to spin like the Tilt O’ Whirl at an amusement park — trying to be everything to everybody. I don’t have to get on that emotional and exhausting ride. Gradually becoming more and more brave every day to be the one He’s created me to be.

Ephesians 4:14 tells us: Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth” 

Paul is teaching us that we don’t have to believe all the things people say about God. We need to believe what God says about Himself in His Word. That is where truth can be found.

The same is true when we spin this way and that, believing things that aren’t true about ourselves, then trying to be someone we’re not. It makes us shaky inside — insecure. God can give us the strength, bravery and confidence we need to believe who He says we are. And as we become mature in our faith and self-worth, we can then help others, such as our friends, colleagues and even our children (someday), as they grow into adulthood. God can help them, too, so their lives don’t feel constantly pushed one way and then the other. He has the power to make us all brave. God can give you the courage to be the true you if you keep trusting in Him.

Dear Jesus, I don’t want to do what I think is right; I want to do what You say is right. Help me learn to be stable and true to myself most importantly You. Help me to be brave and ask You for wisdom instead of feeling like I’m constantly being pushed around by people and by my ever-changing emotions. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

But he must ask in faith, without doubting, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” (James 1:6)— We must have faith and believe in who God says we are unlike the chameleon who ends up taking so many different skin colors in a day just to feel accepted by the environment.

Be Authentic. There’s strength in being you.

Stay blessed!

 

Do You Feel Forsaken By God?

Image result for a picture of someone who feels forsaken

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46)

I was reading a blog post about how we sometimes feel forsaken by God and I could relate to it so much. From the above scripture, we can hear the anguish in Christ’s cry from the cross. Are you at that point where you feel God is far from your situation?

I have felt that kind of despair in my own life. Though God will never literally forsake me, I have felt forsaken, abandoned, betrayed by those I loved. I have questioned where God was in my pain — I have wondered what good could ever come from my suffering. Because of the cross, we who have felt that pain, who live with unanswered questions and sleepless nights, can unreservedly rejoice at Easter. Out of the worst evil imaginable, the sinless Son of God on the cross, God brought about the greatest good ever known.

FEELING FORSAKEN

Easter is a stunning reminder of Genesis 50:20, that what man means for evil, God means for good. In my own life, through the lens of Scripture, I can see that God has brought the greatest good out of the hardest events. But I say that in retrospect. At the time, none of my suffering felt even vaguely positive.

Sobbing by my dad’s casket was devastating. Suffering from my first heartbreak, dealing with abuse, getting rejected, trailing that paper,not getting that scholarship, not getting that admission, hearing the doctor give that diagnoses about my back, and then watching it happen, was agonizing I could go on and on but…

None of those trials felt redemptive. None of them could be celebrated. None of them even made sense. I never could have imagined that God would bring something beautiful out of my pain. I felt that my pain was deforming me. That I would forever be marred by it. I was sure my best years were behind me — before “this” happened. When I laughed easily and often. When I wasn’t burdened with the memories of all that had gone before.

PAIN DEEPENS US

And yet somehow, even in those horrifying trials, God was doing something. Something extraordinary. Something I could not have planned or foreseen. He was doing something in me that could not have happened any other way. It was strange and beautiful — wonderful and unexpected — the handiwork of God.

Out of the most crushing pain and terrible despair, God was bringing glorious triumph.

Instead of deforming me, my pain strangely deepened me. It increased my capacity for God. And for joy. It made me see the world through different eyes. Eyes of faith and not eyes of hopelessness. It helped me recognize that what I was going through was just a snapshot in time. One day my life will be totally transformed.

DOES EVIL WIN?

While my circumstances will undoubtedly change one day, what changes most profoundly in my suffering is me. The very struggles that I thought would break me are what God used to purposefully shape me.

That shaping did not happen instantaneously. It took time and trust. At first it seemed like nothing was happening — nothing but disillusionment and defeat. It honestly felt like Satan was wrecking my life.

Similarly, to the disciples on that terrifying Friday, it must have seemed like Satan was victorious. Their Savior was crucified. Their dreams were dead. Their hopes had unraveled. Maybe evil really had won.

And then everything was silent for two long days. It may have seemed like nothing was happening — nothing but disillusionment and defeat. But in the wisdom of God, when life looked darkest, it gave way to the dawning of the purest, most brilliant light.

GOD MEANT IT FOR GOOD

Easter Sunday reminds me that God’s perspective is infinitely greater than mine. Much of what is really happening is unseen. While it may look otherwise in the moment, Satan will never be victorious and evil cannot win. God always has the last word.

What Satan means for evil, God means for good. Always.

So if you feel forsaken and have no idea where to turn or what to do, trust that God is using that very struggle. If life looks like a hopeless mess and every day is a fight to survive, trust that God will one day gloriously prevail. And when he has, when you are on the other side, trust that God will have done an incomparable work in your soul.

Then you will have learned how to rely, truly rely, on God who brings beauty from ashes — brokenness. Your life and walk with him will be more beautiful than you ever imagined. And somehow, through your pain, you will be transformed. And when you are, when you see how God has changed you, you will never want to go back to the way you were before.

Take comfort in your pain that the Father did not exempt Jesus from the test of being allowed to “feel” forsaken. It’s key to understand that God didn’t cause it – God allowed it — for our redemption (our good)

Yes – there may be some “questionable times” where you may have quit … but jump back in the battle of trust and keep on fighting!  Jesus will never quit helping you fight your cross battle.  He didn’t die for you to lose.  He died to make certain you would stay enlisted in His army of overcomers. 

You will understand that nothing can thwart God’s plans for you. What now appears to be evil will result in your eternal joy. 

I pray the staggering triumph of Easter falls afresh on you in Jesus Name. Amen

He is RISEN henceArise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.” (Isaiah 60:1)

Stay Blessed!

 

CALLED OUT

Image result for set apart for GodDuring my first time at outreach(2013) I was paired up with a friend Kobby (Now Ps. Kobby Obeng by God’s grace, God Bless this Gentleman). I believe God really set that up because every conversation I have had with him has been very enlightening. Out of these conversations one of them (outreach 2015) was a very defining moment for me. He said “Elinam whenever God wants to transform a generation (people, a bloodline, a family, a community ) He usually uses one person — you are that one person, you are chosen and He will equip you to get this done” He reminded me of this same word during our prayer time this dawn, I’ve heard this a couple of times, I remember back in senior high one of our pastors said something similar during S.U. but this time around when Kobby said those words to me it made sense, it struck a nerve. Honestly I don’t enjoy hearing things like this, that’s because it simply means… Responsibility and Difference. 

What does it mean to be Chosen? To be set apart? To be Called out?

To be set apart means that God has His hand on you for a specific(unique) purpose. He’ll use other people to get you on track, in addition to dreams, visions, and that “still small voice” of God. A scripture that would fit nicely with this is Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” He guides our lives differently than it might have been had we not submitted to His call. And even though it may appear that we are not in ministry, we are marked by God to minister in the day to day living. Because He has set us apart, we are already walking into our destinies.

Have you ever found yourself among a group of friends, and with every conversation and activity you have with them, you keep feeling on the inside that you are different? — Personally I’ve lost a number of friends due to this difference.

You will feel a pull away from people and things that distract you. Even though you may feel as if you are put on a shelf and forgotten, you have been set apart for the call of God on your life. It is during these times that we will find ourselves spending quality time with God as He molds and makes us into His image. He will build a character in us so that when it is time to go on the frontlines, He knows we will be ready. He will be able to trust us with what has been appointed for us to do. Jesus said, “Come out from among them and be ye separate.” (2 Corinthians 6:17)

Matthew 22:14 says, “For many are called, but few are chosen.” It is as if we can picture Jesus standing in the middle of a very busy, dusty, marketplace like malata market, not even aware of all the disruption going on around Him. Instead He is intently holding up and examining select pieces of fruit. After deciding on His choice, He gently places them one by one in a basket cradled in the crook of His arm, close to His side. You could say that we are separated from worldliness and given new purpose in Jesus to be used by God.

I don’t know if you’ve experienced this before — recently I paid my mum a visit — I was hungry so I chose a tuber of yam out of a lot, peeling it just to find out that it was totally rotten on the inside. Then the Holy Spirit spoke to me saying; that this fruit is symbolic to what some Christians are like. They are beautiful on the outside but the inside tells a different story. This got me deep in thought, I felt the need to check myself to make sure that I was clean before the Lord. God has chosen us to do a work for Him and we need to be “set apart”, chosen to do a work for the King. He has anointed us and equipped us to be used for the advancement of His kingdom.

I have felt called to be separated unto God. My desires to please God. I did not always succeed, but my heart has always been for God. If I get off track, God always gently guides me back onto the path He has chosen for me. 1 Thessalonians 4 tells us that we should live a life pleasing to the Lord. Paul is encouraging us to live it even more than before. 1 Thessalonians 4:9 instructs us to love our Christian families and Christians around us. He exhorts us to love them even more.

God’s Word is clear on our call to be completely set-apart for Him: “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you” (2 Corinthians 6:17). Of course, this doesn’t mean that we hibernate away in a cave or that we barricade from the world in a nunnery somewhere. In fact, God commands us to go into all the world and make disciples in His name; to seek and save the lost just as Jesus did (Mark 16:15).

But how? By engaging in the same behavior and lifestyle as everyone else, so that we can be accepted by secular society? No. Rather, the Bible says that we should expect to look strange to the world because of our set-apartness, when we do “not live the rest of this earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do – living in debauchery, lust, addictions, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you” (1 Peter 4:2-4).

God says that our lives will give off an appealing fragrance to those who are ready to receive Christ – but to those enslaved by sin, our separation from the world will cause great offense everywhere we go (2 Cor. 2:14-16). Though it is not easy to walk the narrow way that God has called us to, we must understand that being set-apart for Him is not a hamper to our Christian witness. Being set-apart is our Christian witness. 1 Thessalonians 5:6 says, “So we should not be like other people who are sleeping, but we should be alert and have self-control.” 1 Thessalonians 5:8 says, “We should wear faith and love to protect us, and the hope of salvation should be our helmet.

Do you get the point by now? If we are set apart to do the work of the Lord, then we will not have time to get into trouble; especially if our hearts are set on pleasing God. We should be working on being full of the fruit of the Spirit and telling people about the message of the Gospel of peace. That alone is a full-time job.

And as Paul ends 2 Thessalonians, “Now may the Lord of peace give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.”

Don’t expect a round of human applause when you choose the set-apart life. But remember that in its place you will gain something far better – a standing ovation from Jesus Christ. Take the story of Abraham, Moses even Jesus was set apart. I love the story of Stephen heroically giving his life for the sake of the Gospel. Just before he died, he saw heaven opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of the Father (Acts 7:56). Stephen’s willing sacrifice brought such delight to the heart of Christ that the King of all kings actually stood to welcome him into eternity. I don’t know about you, but that’s all the applause I could ever want or need. I don’t want to meet Him with my head hanged down.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, first of all, I thank you today that you have set me apart on the basis of your sovereign grace, not because of anything I have done. In no way am I godly enough to earn your favor. But I am a glad recipient of your grace which binds me to you and helps me to be more like you. My godliness is borrowed, completely borrowed. Thank you, dear Lord, for being such a generous lender. And thank you as well for setting me apart for you, not just for your work, but first of all for relationship with you. What an incredible privilege it is to know you, to have freedom to speak to you, to rely upon you, and to call you Father. Lord, even as I seek to serve you with my life, may my service be an outgrowth of my intimate relationship with you. Amen.

Set yourself apart for God’s Glory! You’re Chosen. Stay Blessed!

Image result for set apart for God

“AS YOUR MERCY AND GRACE DEMANDS”

I Will Run To You

Your eye is on the sparrow
And Your hand it comforts me
From the ends of the earth
To the depths of my heart
Let Your mercy and strength be seen

You call me to Your purpose
As angels understand
For Your glory may You draw all men
As Your love and grace demands

And I will run to You
To Your words of truth
Not by might not by power
But by the Spirit of God
Yes I will run the race
Til’ I see Your face
Oh let me live in the glory of Your grace

And I will run to You
To Your words of truth
Not by might not by power
But by the Spirit of God
Yes I will run the race
Til’ I see Your face
Oh let me live in the glory
Oh let me live in the glory
Please let me live in the glory of Your grace
And I will run to You
And I will run to You
Yes I will run to You


Growing up this was one of my favorite songs — still is, except for the fact that I know the right lyrics now — everybody lied about lyrics at some point right? For the past 7 weeks as we worship(I wrote this two weeks ago), we end service with this very song and God keeps taking me back to my childhood days. I share things I remember from my childhood because those memories are quite meaningful and point out how they relate to my life now. So much about the stories can be traced back to God working in my life, and sharing them, makes it evident that Jesus is real and intimately involved with us(Children).

Think back for a moment, when you were a little child. Did you ever wait at the door with excitement, just to run into your daddy’s arms when he came home from work? How badly did you want your mother to just carry you around. Feeling the warmth and safety, knowing all is well when they are with you. As little children we have a total dependence and trust in our parents, we simply believe they will do what we say. This is the exact imprint of belief God is calling us to as we develop our relationship with Jesus. He tells us numerous times in the gospels, “In order to experience me fully and completely you must become like a little child”— We are children of the Most High God.

He calls us  for this one simple reason, so we might become like little children; simple, free, trusting, dependent, risen, joyful, easy, uncomplicated, untainted and favored. He wants us to know that children live life freely from day to day. They never hold on to grudges, always forgiving (share your candy or toy with me so we make amends), living life, and open to new ideas. But now; there’s something at the back of your mind thinking about what someone said or did to you 10 years ago? Maybe you’re thinking, “I deserve better than this in life?”

Well, our lives began and end with the “Finished Work of Jesus“, in whom we have all things. That means the work on the cross covers the north, south, east, and west, nothing is left undone. We have security, simplicity, rest, satisfaction, power, trust, purity, freedom, just to name a few. This masterpiece was handcrafted and designed specifically for you to call your own, to simply receive. Childlike Faith believing we can be anything! Is your faith based on your timing and expectations? Or is it like that of a little child, where every ounce of your being stands on the finished work of Jesus Christ?

Lets take a look at the faith of one little girl, who changed the destiny of one powerful Syrian man. Naaman was the head honcho of the Syrian army. He had high favor with the king, but there was one challenge, he was a leper. Isn’t that just like us? We are in great need of our “Abba” Father(daddy). This purest form of love he richly lavished upon us, by sending forth his only son Jesus, to die on the cross, so we could experience high favor with the King all the time. Even though the Syrians did not worship our great Creator, they knew victory came from Israel’s God.

During a raid, they carried off a little girl from the land of Israel, and put her to work for Naaman’s wife. The little girl began to speak with great faith to the woman. “If my lord would be with the prophet (Elisha), he would cure him of leprosy.” A second time the same words of the little girl were now repeated to the king from Naaman. Still, a third time the same words of the little Israelite girl were repeated. And this time to Israel’s king. The news had traveled to Elisha about the great faith of the little girl. He told the king to send Naaman to him. Elisha told Naaman to wash in the Jordan 7 times. A simple, practical, childlike way of healing. “Go take a bath and you will be clean,” isn’t that just what our parents usually say to us(kids). That is just what Jesus did for us. He washed us with His purity, and made us white as snow.

Naaman didn’t like it one bit, he flared with rage! He was a powerful man. It should be a miraculous healing, right? Nope! His faithful young servants spoke to him with great faith. “My father, it is a great word the prophet has spoken to you, wash and be clean!” He finally dipped in the Jordan seven times. His whole being was restored and made new like that of a little child (2 Kings 5:1-19). How awesome is the Living God!

You know how frustrating it gets as a child — trying desperately to get your mother’s attention. Gently tugging at her cloth making her uncomfortable, calling out “Mama, Mama,” over and over again. She’ll finally stop whatever she’s doing, bend down to meet your gaze and carry you. Where am I getting with this?

Jesus is gently tugging at our hearts day and night, calling us to become like little children and — “Run to Him” as His Mercy and Grace demands.

Stay blessed!

EXCELLENCE TAKES TIME

Image result for excellence

Journeying through life — with, the busy schedules, trying to find purpose, what your ministry is, trying to get a career, working on a project, trying to get that degree, making that relationship work, trying to save a broken marriage or maybe picking up the pieces of your life after a divorce — Destiny. Perhaps you heard a word from God — but mind you, God gave several people the same word — so you might have the same vision with sister A or brother B to start a company but then it might not involve the same process — Sister A might need an office space whiles God wants you to start yours in the garage or the back yard of your house…PROCESS.

As developing children, especially during our youth, we often have a greater degree of neuroplasticity in comparison to adults. The brain’s neuroplasticity ensures it remains flexible enough throughout childhood, the ability to unlearn patterns of response and create new conditioning. Conditioning refers to our habitual response to event (so for instance if during your childhood you had dreams of becoming a doctor but growing and developing new interests you now want to become an engineer, adapt to the new dream)

There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. (Joshua 1:5)

You have to read my previous post in order to understand this analogy. So if “God is going to be with you as He was with Moses does that mean you have to skip the Process? God’s presence doesn’t abort the process… The fact that God is going to be with you doesn’t mean you have to boycott the process. Process is usually an accumulation of boring days — routine — go to work(school, church) and come home, waking up the next morning, go through the same routine and it goes on and on — boring. Trust me going through the process isn’t fun but you know “People who win are people who don’t quit” You will win if you don’t quit“.

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way” (Psalm 37:23) The key word here is Steps. Why didn’t God say the Elevator? That is because steps here is significant to process — but we live in a generation where we want to sidestep(overlook) the “steps” just because we want to take the “elevator“. We want everything suddenly, right now, immediately, thinking if I don’t reach a certain level at a certain age then I might not reach it, if I don’t get married at a certain age then it might not happen at all — the I have to get it right and now.

We put so much pressure on ourselves, comparing our stories to what we see on social media and what we have in our minds, so you’re 23 and you’re already depressed about not being married yet, not having a car, a huge salary etc. Comparing our youth to things that a 50 year old has achieved. Forgetting that as children we must learn, through practical skills and strategies, to be aware of and label our emotions. Consequently acquiring a set of coping skills(patience, endurance) to enhance our well-being in times of challenges — to perform to our full potential. Growing through the process.

 “Beginnings don’t look like endings” Bishop TD Jakes

A lot of people shy away or abandon new beginnings because nobody recognizes greatness in a seed form. TD Jakes started preaching with less than 5 people as members yet he went through the process not knowing the bigger picture from then. I believe Jesus Christ went through a process too from the time He was born till the age of 12 there’s not much recorded in the Bible meaning He was at the background yet Training. If someone had told me I’d be blogging about Jesus today trust me I won’t believe the person. Somewhere in 2013 a friend Afia Kyei always said that whenever she read my status on whatsapp she will tell me she believes I’ll become a writer and most likely about the things of God lol let me save you from the response I always gave her. God had to take me through a phase before getting here. So Just like an oak tree doesn’t start like a tree, it start as an acorn, you should see an acorn it looks nothing like the tree, your partner may not be where he/she is supposed to be, maybe your career is not where it is supposed to be, maybe your finances(salary) is not where it is supposed to be — but just because all that hasn’t reached the opiate of success, does not mean you shouldn’t earnestly contend to reach the expected end as Jeremiah calls it (Jeremiah 29:11).  Trusting God that it is going to end right.

 “It takes time to be excellent” You can’t be a winner overnight…there’s a process.

So God is saying I am with you, I will not leave you nor forsake you; it does not mean He is excusing you from the process. So you just lost that job and God is saying “I am with you as I was with Moses” you failed that exam He says “I am with you” His presence is in the normal days we think are irrelevant. His presence is with you yet He still has to train you to get rid of all the irrelevant things that doesn’t conform to the purpose(plan) He has for you, He still has to prune your heart and sensibilities “Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands” (Deutronomy 8:2) . Hence the wilderness is supposed to toughen you up for the coming Glory. 

My mum usually says “the greatness of marriage is not determined in a year” meaning the process counts. She said if you see a couple who have been together for 25 years and above — they are not superhuman but rather they were willing to go through the process that yields a long lasting marriage. Where am I getting with this? Excellence is not always harder, it just sometimes takes longer. Excellence is a way of thinking, being and doing life that is mindful of what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, how it needs to be done and even why it needs to be done. 

Whatever is worth doing is worth doing right and through a process. “Right doesn’t go to wrong, wrong comes to Right”

And He said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.”(Exodus 33:14)

His Presence is in the Process.

Image result for images of excellence