The God Who Fights My Battles..

Often times in my human nature, I have found myself in deep thought questioning why God would be so kind and so loving. These are the times I have found myself in a state of either judging someone because of something negative or outrageous they have done or just trying to understand why some things happen especially around painful occurrences and the culprits walking free. I realize and acknowledge that God is not man. Unlike me who has to deal with unforgiveness, bitterness and anger, God deals with things in a very different way. It’s nothing I can understand or explain, but it’s something I see every day in my faith walk.

This past week, a neighbour made me so angry that I could not understand how else to deal with them. I needed some peaceful time but they must have been on the other end of the line probably high on something and unaware of the mess they were causing. We had a back and forth for a while and lots of apologies from their side but the issue kept recurring and at one point, I found myself thinking that this person was just out to irritate me and test my limits. I realised that in all that anger and bitterness, my blood pressure was probably rising and the issue was sort of beyond me. I said a small prayer that was along the lines of God, remove my anger and bitterness and be my avenger. That very short prayer or thought made me feel like a burden had been lifted off my shoulders. A back and forth that had been on phone for almost 3 hours suddenly came to a quiet standstill and a very present peace seemed to reign over and take over the situation. I was able to go to bed like nothing had happened. I remember telling my sister the story of what had happened and how that one realisation that God should avenge for all our battles had brought me peace.

A few days later, I found myself in yet another battle, an entitled person that felt that only their services mattered also crossed my path with multiple lies and excuses. I knew this was a person I was not going to give any work as he was keen to mess up my projects if he was not assigned the tasks. Again, after so much inner battling, I am realising that this whole time, I have been mentally fighting back, instead of letting God avenge especially the lies he keeps telling.

As a believer of God, one of the lessons I have had in the month of January is that no secret is hidden from God, and at the right time, He reveals everything to us. There are people God will bring your way to test your dependance on Him. Sometimes very irritating human beings like the two I have had to deal with in the past week. God has kept reminding me that they are His children and a parent can deal with every battle their children brings their way, He too will deal with this. I am therefore at peace knowing that as a human being, it is not in my place to judge the motives, but it is in my place to surrender every situation to God. He is a kind and loving God and He will fight battles that happen even in dark places where we cannot see the real enemy. We just need to believe and surrender.

As January 2022 comes to a close today, may our eyes be open to see beyond the anger and pain inflicted to us by others, see beyond the lies told to hurt us and instead, see the kindness and love God has shown us, when it’s us on the other side of the situation. Don’t judge, don’t hold anger and bitterness, instead, release it all to God and let your life be free, released to the kindness that only God can give, because He loves you in a moment, more than anyone could in a lifetime.

God bless you.

Raising A Godly Generation..

You may have heard of conversations around letting children decide the path they want to take when they are adults when matters religion are mentioned, but the same people never let children make decisions on choosing to walk clothed or naked, why? I don’t know.

A few weeks ago, I had a work project that took me to an islam dominated region in my country and in one of the days I ended up in a new born unit of a hospital. Being a sensitive area, you do not expect much activity except the new born babies, medical and clinical staff and maybe a few mothers coming in from the main maternity ward and a few from home (whose children have to stay longer in the hospital care) to check on their babies. The case for this specific hospital was however different. Besides one of the little babies who had been born premature sat an old greyed man reading a Quran to the child. He had told the staff in the ward that if they did not let him read the Quran to the child, then he would carry the child home and do it there. You can imagine my shock and reaction, and I could not wait to share the words with my Bible study leader, a lady full of wisdom and hear her thoughts.

My stereotype mindset that kicks in when things are done in a certain way was overtaken by my Bible Study leaders thoughts who told me that this was an old man who had understood the strength of speaking life into a situation that was beyond him. True to her words, nothing was going to stop this man from setting up the foundations that this child needed when he/she could not fight for themselves.

That situation made me reflect alot about my parenting and led me back to what the Bible says in Proverbs 22:6, “Teach a child in the way that they should go and when they are old they will not depart from it”. It is these strong guidelines on parenting from the Bible that have been my guiding principles in my parenting journey.

No parenting class, book or seminar prepares you for everything. Try listening to a group of ladies discussing their labour and delivery story and that’s enough to prepare you for what parenting is all about, it’s different for everyone and children have a way of picking lessons from every source availed to them.

How then do you make your voice as a parent or guardian the most significant or at least the most clear?Parenting for me was a mystery. Nothing prepared me to having two children below the age of three years at one point in my life. It has become easier with time but back then, it was tough. I remember a period when I completely shut off mentally and grateful that our children had the love of their Grandmother (My Mother) and their Father to take on things I could not do.

It must have been particularly easier for My Mother to parent my children and nephews having been a parent herself at a very young age. By the time she was twenty four years, she has all my siblings and I and as a working Mother, she also enjoyed the support of parenting offered by her own Mother and Mother in law, I sort of followed the same tread, but in my case, she understood more than I knew or was willing to try.  I remember at some point leaving everything for her as I had no idea what to do and she never disappointed. That bond with my children remained true till the end of her life in 2021.

The greatest parenting lessons I learnt from Mom was having the right foundations of faith. I still remember scripture I learnt in Sunday school and Bible stories that became guiding principles when I lost my way many times, prayer and fellowship were key. Those are lessons I have passed on to my children.
I may not control a lot of what happens when my children become teenagers, young adults and eventually adults, but I have an influence in how they can handle some of those seasons.

The Bible has remained unchanged through history, and for me that remains a guiding foundation for my parenting journey. We may not attend physical church every Sunday, but we purpose to attend online church on Sunday, say Our Lord’s Prayer everyday, jointly confess the words of Psalms 23:6 daily which proclaims that Surely goodness and mercy shall follow us, all the days of our lives; and we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever, Join our community in the weekly Bible Study Fellowship online sessions and above all, use scripture to guide our decisions and lifestyle.

We have many people that are struggling with parenting, not because of what they know or what they don’t know, but because they are pulled in different directions, unsure of what way to follow and what way to forsake. The unfortunate reality is that once a child checks into your life, whether born or adopted, you are stuck with them for many years and only the formative years determine a lot of what happens in the future. As a parent or guardian, you can only influence your child’s decisions for a short while, why not try when they are younger?

As you take on this heavy role of parenting, may you choose wisely each day, the foundations that are right, after all, the world and all it offers will keep changing, but one thing remains uncharged, the word of God.

God bless you!

Changing Your Name..

I still have tiny baby tags that were on my children’s wrists when they were born that read baby AJM (my names but in full). The blue one and the pink one for both my son and daughter ready to be given to them one day. Once every few years, I remove them and show them among a few other memorable items they had on their birth dates. Their new names only appeared in the birth notification at that point. 

A new name signifies so many things. It’s that’s exciting moment for a parent or custodian to give an identity to a new born child or it could be given shortly after a meaningful milestone, whether it’s after a wedding taking place and you are adding your spouses name to your own or after a painful divorce denouncing an x-spouse name, or after a long gruelling adoption process and the child or children are now yours.  There are many reasons why names change but let’s stop at this today. 

The reality is that a name change kicks off a new season. Often times, the name comes after a painful sacrifice, be it a mother in labour bringing forth a newborn or long tiring days of planning for a beautiful wedding  or even a painful partnership leading to a divorce just to mention a few.

As I read Genesis 32 today, I was drawn to verses 24 – 30 that gave the story of how Jacob, Isaacs son and Abraham’s grandson had his name changed to Israel. The verses say, “So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered. Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.” But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there. So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.” (Genesis 32:24-30 NIV).

Jacob was returning to the land of his father after twenty years in a foreign land. However, he was not returning alone, he now had wives and children and wealth. He had finally got freedom from Laban who was not only his father in law but also his maternal uncle. Ahead of his journey lay the fear of meeting his brother Esau whose birthright he had taken. That’s a whole story for another day but I wish you took an afternoon time out to read the interesting Genesis stories. I better be back to the name change.

My realisation as I read this scripture was that aspect of struggle before we acquire new names. Many have been called as teachers of the gospel, painters, political leaders and world changers, but we are not ready for that battle, we assume that those titles and names belong to other people. We are not ready to wrestle with what we consider limiting in our lives to move to the next level. We have settled with names such as “Fat Mary” or “Poor Tom” or “Lying Joe”. We settle in the names that have been silently used to describe us.

As week two of 2022 draws to a close tomorrow, I pray that this is the year that you will arise and take on that struggle, and let those who called you names like Poor Tom will call you “Rich Tom” and “Honest Joe”.  Some battles may be tougher than others, but we must stand firm and refuse to move till the blessing of that new name comes.

God bless you!

A Great Challenge..

The first time I heard this song by Phil Wickam was as my daughter sang along. There is a dance vibe around it that makes you put it on replay. But the words never meant so much to me till i visited a town in the North Eastern part of Kenya where visiting the house of worship several times a day is part of their daily lives. A call to prayer is made and everyone yields or stops where they are and what they are doing to pray. 

Growing up, I was socialised to know that the church was the house of God,  where we gathered to praise and worship Him as a congregation. I was however reminded that I could call on Him at any time as He lived and still lives in each of our hearts, the same thing I have taught my children. When Covid 19 hit and churches were closed, we had to find new ways of congregational worship, some that have been very instrumental in my journey with online fellowship going on many months later and personal Bible study becoming an every day joy.. 

Thinking about this song today made me long to heed to this call. It’s sad that we have turned some of our houses of prayer to market places, with many becoming takers instead of givers. This is a topic for another day, because this is a judgement call that only God can take. For now, let me drop the lyrics for this amazing song here, hope it speaks to you today. 

We worship the God who was
We worship the God who is
We worship the God who evermore will be
He opened the prison doors
He parted the raging sea
My God, He holds the victory…… There’s joy in the house of the Lord
There’s joy in the house of the Lord today
And we won’t be quiet
We shout out Your praise, There’s joy in the house of the Lord
Our God is surely in this place
And we won’t be quiet
We shout out Your praise
(Oh-oh, oh) we shout out Your praise
(Oh-oh, oh)….We sing to the God who heals
We sing to the God who saves
We sing to the God who always makes a way
‘Cause He hung up on that cross
Then He rose up from that grave
My God’s still rolling stones away, There’s joy in the house of the Lord
There’s joy in the house of the Lord today
And we won’t be quiet
We shout out Your praise, There’s joy in the house of the Lord
Our God is surely in this place
And we won’t be quiet
We shout out Your praise, We were the beggars
Now we’re royalty
We were the prisoners
Now we’re running free
We are forgiven, accepted
Redeemed by His grace
Let the house of the Lord sing praise ‘Cause we were the beggars
Now we’re royalty
We were the prisoners
Now we’re running free
We are forgiven, accepted
Redeemed by His grace
Let the house of the Lord sing praise, There’s joy in the house of the Lord (there is joy in the house)
There’s joy in the house of the Lord today
And we won’t be quiet (oh yeah)
We shout out Your praise (I wanna shout out Your praise)There’s joy in the house of the Lord (there is joy)
Our God is surely in this place (there is joy)
And we won’t be quiet
We shout out Your praise (we gonna shout out Your praise)There’s joy in the house of the Lord
There’s joy in the house of the Lord today
And we won’t be quiet
We shout out Your praise (we gonna shout out Your praise)There’s joy in the house of the Lord (there is joy, there is joy)
Our God is surely in this place (joy in this place)
And we won’t be quiet (we won’t be quiet)
We shout out Your praise, We shout out Your praise
There is joy in the house, there is joy in the house today
We shout out Your praise
We shout out Your praise

Source: Musixmatch

God bless You! 

Trust Me And I Will Show You..

I would want to boldly say that God has a good sense of humour, but no! When He does things, He is just being who He is, God. One of the greatest gifts God gives human beings, second after life, is a vision. Thankfully most peoples reaction to these God given visions are private matters and conversations with God that are best left to the two.

I read a post today that said, “Man says, show me and I will trust you, while God says trust me and I will show you”. I know I have found myself in that conversation with God several times and you can guess who is often right, even though that realisation sometimes comes many years later. You know God is not man or woman to force issues, He places a vision in your heart, and it can be as simple as leave this land and I will show you the land to which you shall go.

Imagine Abram (who later became Abraham) in Genesis 12:1 -2 being told by The LORD, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you, I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.” and unlike me who would have started that conversation with God, Genesis 12:4 tells us that Abram left. Who at the age of 75 years just gets up and leaves without a clear picture of where they are going? Well, if you know the one holding your breath, you don’t have those conversations I am talking about, you simply get up and leave. The rest sorts itself down the road. 

Why am I sharing this story, because in 2022, many of us are sitting on visions that date as back as 2, 5, 10, 20 or even 30 years ago. You are still waiting for God to show you so that you can trust Him instead of trusting Him to show you just like He did for Abraham. You have a choice this year. I pray that the choice will be to trust and make that move, whatever the move is. 

God bless you!

Our Steps Are Ordered..

Family or friends decide to take a certain route or make a certain decision but your heart is not in it and you bail out. Then sadly, something unexpected happens (hopefully nothing deadly) and the first thing you think is that, “my gut was right I should not have joined them”, or “my 6th sense was right”. Well, whatever name we give it, one thing you need to know is that maybe if you joined them, things would have been worse or more fatal so you didn’t save the day, someone greater than you did. 

That 6th sense or gut feeling for me is always the voice of God.

We get so many near misses in our lives and forget that someone was directing our path and showing us the direction we should follow. The Bible in Psalms 37: 23 – 26 has some very bold words, I quote from the NIV, “The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in Him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with His hand. I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be a blessing”. 

This is the catch, righteous is not the outward show we see on peoples faces after lining up to take holy communion or the Lords supper. In our own strength and ability, we cannot be righteous, only God can do it by His grace. It therefore takes each of us to go boldly to God as our Father and admit that by ourselves, it is hard, and allow Him to hold our hand and walk the journey, leading us every step of the way.

Why? Because that surrender and submission is the only way we can stand right with God, and can boldly with no fear or guilt of shame and sin, go to Him and seek Him, to order our steps, every second of every minute. 

God Bless You. 

My Land Is Kenya..

My friend and colleague decided during a training session yesterday that having us in two groups and coming up with amongst other things a patriotic song was a good idea. Being an election year can be a bit scary in a country that has been marred with political violence in the past. I however hope and pray that past lessons will make us behave as a nation, considering that unlike Kenya that is so welcoming to her neighbours, if war broke out today, I doubt any of our neighbours would welcome us as we so gladly do. 

I guess that patriotism lingered on, as on my way home, I was drawn to the beauty of the the newly built roads and some renovation that’s happening at a park near our home. Interestingly enough, I woke up humming Roger Whittakers song, My land in Kenya. The chorus has words that I closely identify with. 

You only got one mama
You only got one pa
You only got one life to live
No matter who you are
You can go the whole world over
Every city has its dawn
But everybody liveth has one place where he was bornAnd mine is Kenya, so warm and wild and free
You’ll always stay with me here in my heart
My land is Kenya, right from your highlands to the sea
You’ll always stay with me here in my heart, here in my heart.

I also found myself in deep gratitude of the composer(s) of our national anthem which is a prayer, and I wondered how often do we as citizens of this land take time to pray and be grateful for our nation. Yes, we do have problems, but there is lots more to be grateful for. Our peace in atleast most of the areas, our weather is great compared to many nations that suffer natural calamities and so many other things that we all know and appreciate.  As I did my Bible study this morning, I was drawn to Genesis 18 where God wanted to destroy Sodom and Abraham was asking God if he found  a few righteous people if he would spare the nation. The negotiate went down from 50 to 45 to 40 to 30 to 20 and eventually to 10. And God was so merciful that if He found only 10 righteous, He would spare the land. When it comes to righteous, no one should deceive you that by their own power they can do it, but God can help us. 

Our differences may be many but as the campaign period starts garnering momentum in the next few weeks, my prayer is that every Kenyan would just pray the words of the National Anthem. If we did that daily, maybe God will spare our land… these words are;

O God of all creation,
Bless this our land and nation.
Justice be our shield and defender,
May we dwell in unity,
Peace and liberty, Plenty be found within our boarders.

God bless you.

Someone Is Watching Your Every Move..

I reached out to a good old friend who shares my love for learning to let her know about a health group I thought was worth joining, her first response was hilarious, she wrote it in swahili, “aki wewe, si uko kwa group mingi, sawa add me” (You! You are in so many groups, okay add me). Adult learning requires a lot of patience as you must be selective in whats worth your time, whether you are using your loved ones as the source of information or news channels, subject experts, social media sites, books and magazines or even google. The best teachers however go unappreciated and unannounced in public.

I am reminded of a day recently that my family and I decided to spend some time at a park near our home. A few metres from us was a very energetic and cheerful lady dealing with a hyper toddler. Being a parent myself, I suspected the child must have been around two years old. Those little bundles of joy called terrible twos are part of the wonders of this world. The lady must have been around my age, and just watching her made me question what I would do if the roles were changed and I had to do what she was doing. One minute the child was attempting to jump from the highest possible place which was a park bench by a hilly terrain, the next minute he was trying to ride on the back of their dog and my mind wondered what this child would be doing at home, probably attempting to switch on the gas nobs or remove hot coal from the barbecue grill by hand. Anyone dealing with a child this age is indeed a miracle worker as all your senses work overtime. I was taking mental notes on the lessons that I picked in those few minutes they were close by.

Patience and love were two lessons I learnt by just observing a total stranger who is expected by the society to nurture this child and ensure they become great citizens that can pay taxes to their governments. Imagine watching a parent communicate with a child who can barely speak a whole sentence yet they fully understand what the child is saying and respond accordingly. Allow me to digress, Mothers should never pay taxes.

This is not just about these amazing mothers and nannies, it’s about the things we do when we think no one is watching because we are so engrossed in it or it’s become a habit, whether it’s a good or a bad habit. No matter what you do, let your character be one that someone can learn from, why? Because a lot of people are learning from you in private, but will never let it be known in public just like that lady never knew I was watching and learning.

God bless you!

Life Lessons..

We all learn lessons in different ways. To read and write, we either had our parents or guardians, older siblings or teachers and caregivers show us the best way they knew or they were taught. Depending on where you spent your early childhood, your learning was dependent on who taught you and what their worldview were. A conversation I recently had with a loved digressed to how things that make us discriminate others are purely as a result of the environment we grew up in and sadly these can be as basic as religion. Think of it this way, if you were born and raised as a Christian, Islam, Buddhist or any other world religion, that to you may seem as the only right and perfect religion. What if the tables were turned and you were born and raised in a different religion, wouldn’t what you attest to now be “the forbidden” religion?. Something worth thinking about.

Too much on childhood lessons. Let’s talk about adulthood lessons. We carry burdens and go through hardship and despair in our homes, employment, businesses, social spaces and even the streets and parks which ideally should be safe spaces for all. You walk a step and see someone spit or another one robbed and your worldview starts changing. Worst of all, is the betrayal by those you love and trust be it in your family line or your friends. You know those days you use all the curse words in your native language as you try to figure out why a friend would lie to you or run off when you needed help? or a spouse or partner lies or goes against the commitment you made to each other?. Well, I have had it said that “adulting” is tough, but I beg to differ, I just think that nothing is a waste of time if you learnt something and used that experience for today and tomorrow, after all, every lesson has its good and bad.

God Bless You.

Nurturing Your Seeds.

I got a light bulb moment after reading my bible in Gen 1:29 earlier this week that says, “Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. As the world revolves to what only a few know and understand, we are being led to enjoy and prefer seedless fruits. We walk in to the grocery stores and local food markets and purchase seedless grapes and oranges and forget that the minute the seed is out, life stops. Well, there must be a reason the bible specifically added the word “seed” in that verse and many more after that.

A seed is not just that of a fruit, everything we hold, speak or think about is a seed, and we can choose to grow that seed or let it die. Whether that seed is a thought, a bad habit, little or much income, a business idea or an actual business, the choice on what happens next entirely remains our own.

I chose to water my good seeds today and slowly deprive my bad seeds of any nutrients that I gave them as I focus on making this year one that I can fully depend on God to nurture and guide me in taking care of all my seeds that include my life, my health, my family, our children, my work, my business, my relationships, my faith and above all my day.

God bless you!.