Friday, 22 April 2011

On 'Christianity'

A good man may not be a Christian but a Christian must always strive to be a good man. Of what point is our 'religion' if it does not lead us to be more be more like Christ. Dear Lord in this day I ask not for courage to change the world but courage required to change me. Let prudence, charity, justice and love be my watchwords today dear Lord/ Give me the strength not to take the 'bios' pathway but the Zoe. It is not just the abundant life but a higher form of living. Dear Lord be my strength and guide. Help me to see the place of prayer as a divine appointment between I and my Heavenly Father. It's ok to be nervous when you've been a bad child because a good Father chastises the one He loves. But I'll step into that place remembering that I'm meeting the One who sent His one and only son to die for me while I was still a sinner. I'm just imagining how much more You would receive me into your arms now as a child. A naughty child...but a child nonetheless... : )

N.B. Not everyone who goes to church is a Christian. Not everyone who calls themselves a Christian is one either. However Christians do lie, steal and do bad things. Because salvation is instantaneous but maturity is a lifelong process. Jesus Christ lived his life as a model for us and being a Christian is daily depending on His grace to live like that. We should be getting better. I love the way C.S Lewis puts it. "It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird; it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while inside an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad."

Thursday, 21 April 2011

On 'Wisdom'

'But where can wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?.......God understands its way. And He knows its place.....And to man He said, Behold the fear of the Lord that is wisdom and to depart from evil that is understanding.'

Selected verses from Job 28

What can we do without wisdom? We were not designed to trust in our own intelligence, to trust in our own understanding, to rely on ourselves for anything but to depend on God to show us the way. Hmm...O Lord God teach me to put my trust in you once again. The answers to all questions of life can be found in you. Thank you for today. In you is the wisdom required for me to solve the riddles that life throws my way daily. 

N.B There are some days I wish God didn't speak to!

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

On 'The Darkness'

'There is unquestionably a grave danger of many becoming spiritually paralysed by depression'

Streams in the desert

To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory.

Isaiah 61:3

I love David and I love reading the Psalms. He's one of the Bible characters I relate to because I see a lot of myself in his life and his writings. Christianity is not about perfection but that despite imperfections God still loves us. I do know the feelings that come with being depressed. To be afraid to face a world that seems so full of joy while your own heart seems so full of pain. To not rejoice in the 'day the Lord has made' and all you live for is to go back to bed again and pray for sleep to take you away from reality. But there is hope and there is light. For another beauty of Christianity is the simple truth that light banishes darkness. Jesus is that light. 

It is a process. When Jesus touched the paralysed man, his healing was immediate but he had to pick up his bed and walk. He had to begin to use his legs to go to places. It does take time and a loving friend sometimes. What is a friend if you cannot entrust them with the responsibility to share your burdens with you? It helps to be busy, looking for ways to be a blessing to others. Depression puts the focus on you, service puts the focus on others. Depression is listening and believing 'satanic whispers.' Set your atmosphere aright (preaching to myself right there). The grace of God is sufficient to see you through the darkest moments of life. Weeping may endure for a night....encourage yourself in his word that joy comes in the morning. He is the Lover that is never too busy, never too tired. His love for us is renewed by the day. Lord let your light always shine in my darkness. 

There is a battle to be won, lets receive strength from on high so we can fight the good fight of faith. In Jesus name. Amen.

Monday, 11 April 2011

On....'His silence'

But if I go to the east, he is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find him. When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him.  But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.

Job 23: 9-10

The absence of the 'feeling' of His presence cannot be concluded as His absence. His 'silence' does not diminish His Omniscience or His Omnipotence. I usually equate those quiet moments as having to do with sin. Its true...sin separates us from God. But its not the whole story. Even when I don't know where He is....He knows where I am. When God does speak to Job at the end of the story, it's obvious that He had been there all along, through the death of the children, the death of the business, the death of everything. Problems are not an indication that God has forgotten us..'Many are the afflictions of the righteous....but the Lord delivers.' Sometimes I think He's always speaking but its me who isn't always listening but its comforting to know that He is always there. 

Lord teach me to trust you in the silent moments and the grace to obey You when You do speak.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

On....His goodness?

For the Lord is good and His mercy endures forever; his faithfulness continues to all generations. 

Psalms 100:5

Sometimes I can look at my life (I'm sure you do as well, don't worry I won't!) and ask God if certain events and circumstances are an indication of His goodness? I hastily conclude from present issues that I can see no evidence of His faithfulness. But circumstances are not what gives God His characteristics. That is a myopic view. Chimamanda says it well when she talks about the danger of a single story....the danger of a single story is not that it is not true but that it is incomplete. My story about God cannot be based on present events, not even on the story of my life but its about looking at life from a Kingdom perspective. I think there's a reason why God promises that those who wait on Him will soar like the eagles...eagles have a different view from chickens! I'm tired of's time to rise. What you see from an altitude you can never see from the ground. 

A Kingdom perspective means seeing it through God's eyes (I rarely get this...its not so much about understanding as it is about trust). I don't like to be prejudged by people but I do it to God all the time. When we hear bad why do we always attribute it to God?..either His nonchalance or impotence...If we truly know God we'll know that He is very interested and He is also very powerful. Knowledge comes with intimacy. If I know Him...I should trust Him.

I wish I had all the answers but I don't. But I know God is good. I see the fire...He sees a purification process.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Forgive me.....

that I still love them. That I'm asking God to teach me about condemning sin and not the sinner. Because sometimes I don't know where one ends and the other starts or when one starts and the other ends. Forgive me for praying for restoration of the wronged for it takes strength and courage to speak against what is wrong, despite what others may think of you. Forgive me for praying for restoration of the guilty and for thinking that they may need God even more. Forgive me for not discussing issues when I don't have the facts. Forgive me for not believing that not everything available on the Internet is true. Forgive me for thinking you should know better. Also for being 'biased' but are we not always biased with respect to those we love? Hmmm? Forgive me for not choosing sides for I wonder which side God is on? For I believe that the same God who is working on healing in one is also working on healing in the other. Forgive me for thinking He has the ability to do so.

Forgive me for believing that when people fall, they fall into the arms of a loving Father who will punish their wrongdoing and yet still have the capacity to have mercy on them. Forgive me because I don't understand how He does this...I'm still working on my own salvation, with fear and trembling, now more than ever. Forgive me for not having the capacity to fully empathise with a situation, true if it had been me..I would shoot first and maybe ask for forgiveness later...Forgive me for accepting the apology of people who looked into my eyes, admitting their error as they told me they had made a mistake. Forgive me for thinking you were not entitled to your opinion about issues and matters for you are. God doesn't love us less or more wherever we stand.

Forgive me for being confused about what to say or do because my Christianity 101 manual didn't prepare me for some things. I am a believer working towards maturity, and some days are harder than others. Sin remains sin, regardless of who commits it. Grace remains grace, regardless of who requires it. In all, God remains God, despite of what people want Him to be. Forgive me for having more questions than answers. Forgive me for not making sense but then who says we should make sense of everything?

Forgive me for believing that despite everything that happened God has the power to work good through it all. 

Please forgive me...

Friday, 8 April 2011

On patience...

Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.

Psalms 27:14

It takes courage and bravery to be patient..'be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord' will need to be strong. I will need to be strong to face each day and keep going on despite the fact that I have not seen any physical evidence of my good change. To keep sending stuff out despite getting a slip that says 'Thanks but no'. To keep keeping at it requires bravery and courage. To believe God and live life at the same time. To obey God when He tells you to make things happen for others with your skills and abilities. Because I believe that God will make life happen for me.

Daddy give me courage to be strong, to take heart and wait for you. Like David, let my wilderness season bring out psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Help me to wait with the right attitude, not in despair but in abundant joy serving others.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

On difficulties...

'It is the storm itself that the eagle uses to soar upward into the dark sky, turning the storm clouds into a chariot' 

Streams in the desert

What a suitable word for me today. It's easy to be 'academic' about God working all things together for my good. Truth is that 'all' includes extremely difficult things as well. It includes disappointment and heartbreak. Just like the individual ingredients of a cake can be horrible if consumed alone, insert eggs, butter, flour, sugar, cocoa mix...yet working together and going through the heat of the oven they can give the most scrumptious, yummy chocolate cake! In the same way, I believe God can mix the individual ingredients of our lives, insert rejection, storms, disappointment...allow us to go through the fire and come out looking different and better. Today I am disappointed at my 'rejection' folder (insert job and grant application) but I trust God and choose not to give up.  

Daddy help me remember you in difficult times, that they never last but are character building. That they don't necessarily come from you but you can still use them. Please give me strength.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

On being..

'She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said'

Luke 10:39

I always want to do something. I don't know how to be. I'm more a Martha than a Mary...its more important to get table settings right than enjoy the! Mary got it right, sitting at the Master's feet. Not because she wasn't going to go and do something later but right at that moment she just needed to sit down and relax, just 'be' with Jesus. Life is about moments, some seemingly insignificant but yet so pivotal. In a whisper, in half a breath they're gone...I'm learning to recognise them. When you love someone, spending time with them is a given. Just being...being a family, being friends, being people. Nothing wrong with doing but being precedes the doing.

Dear Lord, I need to learn to sit at your feet but I need You to help me. While I would rather foxtrot and quick step through life remind me that there should be room for the waltz and somedays its enough to just hold hands. Thank you Lord.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

On...'Forgetting yesterday'

Forgetting yesterday and reaching for tomorrow was the message I got from my devotional this morning. Receiving strength for a new day, strength for a New Year. A New Year is lived one day at a time, one decision at a time. I spent yesterday angry, depressed....almost allowing resentment to take root. I woke up this morning remembering that 'Today' was a day the Lord had made for me to rejoice and be glad in. The decision is mine. God has already made the is up to me to rejoice and be glad in it because I'm not God's puppet. Right now I'm day is starting right. I don't know what's ahead but I'm going into it with God. He is my King and my lord. I bless and magnify His name. 2011 will definitely be my year of greater achievement in Jesus name. 

Monday, 4 April 2011


It's been a while. Never take for granted anything you do...even writing a blog. Its the little things that make life beautiful. Life has been, well for want of a better word 'interesting'. I thank God that He has been even more 'interesting'. There's this stage where one moves from knowing about God to knowing God. Separating fact from fiction. Separating people's opinions of God from what you know yourself to be true. There's this stage where one is in the wilderness, there are no cell phone signals, no microwaves and worst of all no MAC (lol!). Separating what/who you think you need from what you really need. Learning the basics...of survival. Confronting the difference between what people see and the person you know you are. Realising that if not for the grace of God....

It is so personal....this walk with God. No one knows me like He does. It is so public....this walk with God. For the world is always watching to see if I truly believe what I say I believe. All I'll say is that I'm glad that despite everything, there's someone who will ALWAYS be there. Someone greater, someone bigger, someone more forgiving. Someone who loves me. 

So the 'On' series, sharing bits and pieces from my journal. I don't know what the frequency will be, hopefully it'll be more than one. I'm asking questions, sharing musings, praying...hopefully sharing testimonies. One of the things I love the most about the Bible is that it doesn't read 'PERFECT'. I think a lot of us struggle with living to this ideal that Christianity = Perfection. David....shepherd boy, combination of melancholic and choleric personalities, psalmist, warrior, king. In the course of his life, he showed poor decision making, insert Bathsheba, insert poor parenting skills. How do we know? Because the Bible recorded it. 'But these things were written for our examples..'

Its about growing. Its about learning.

Remain blessed and highly favoured.