Actions speak louder than words

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A number of people have asked if 4040 is a Christian organisation; others have assumed. Many a time, I have heard expressions like “That 4040 event is for balokole (born again Christians) I can’t go.” Or been asked ” How come there was alcohol at your event? I thought you are saved.” The responses don’t vary too much. I don’t see reason is constantly justifying my beliefs.

I remember a 5 aside (soccer) event at Bush court a couple of years ago, vividly; Dora walked over to me,Guiness in hand, visibly tipsy.
She was yelling my name. Earlier that afternoon, I had been attacked by John* because he felt his team was cheated during a game. He had downloaded profanities, one after the other and left me feeling both insulted and repulsed.
While I later found out he was a perpetual trouble causer, his breath betrayed another reason for his increased confidence.
A friend had whisked me away in time, as John was threatening to beat me up. I could not wait for that day to end.
The tone of Dora’s voice simply made me think “Not again!” I turned around anyway.
She gripped my arm and said “Thank you.” I was puzzled. Although I had seen her before, I could not imagine I had done anything for her to warrant gratitude. That is when she told me that she herself had had a troubled childhood and was glad that 4040 was helping vulnerable children. She added that she was excited to also be supporting in a small way and was thinking of ways to do more. My eyes welled up. I spent sometime talking to her and blocked out the earlier incident with John.

What I am about to say can be interpreted and debated in several ways but I hope that the message shall be well articulated anyway; I subscribe to a brand of Christianity that encourages Doers. The word is important and so is sharing it especially to those who most need it(we,sinners);but I believe that if we spend all our time preaching, it will keep us from actually practicing that which we preach.
While the organisation upholds Christian values, we also do not turn away anyone-after all, we are all sinners alike.

Atheist,Agnostic,Traditionalist;so many of these individuals are more Christ-like than those who shout ‘Lord,Lord!’
( “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven,but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”)

Millions have died at the hands of people practicing ‘religion,’ and using God’s name for these atrocities; It’s about time we stopped casting stones,and spent time saving our brothers and sisters so that by standers can see/feel the power of the mighty God we serve.

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Giant Killer*

“You’ve got to understand the anointing.”

This simple phrase is from one of my favourite gospel songs at the moment, ‘Giant Killer’ by Pompi. If you haven’t listened to it, slap yourself then run and find it ASAP.

I have listened to it over and over again, sometimes numerous times in a single day. The message is simple really, no matter how small or insignificant you think you are, the truth is you are a giant killer.

Let me take you to a story of a giant killer that you may or may not be familiar with.

His name is David.

David was the youngest son of Jesse. While the elder ones joined the army, his duties were simple; to attend to his father’s sheep and go check on and feed his brothers.

On this particular day when he went to take them some food, he started to hear some talk about Goliath. Who is Goliath you may ask, only a 10 ft giant (picture that height with massive weight)

David wanted to know what was in it for the man who killed the Philistine(Goliath).When Eliab, his older brother, heard David asking the men nearby about this, he lost his temper: This is how he reacted;

“What are you doing here! Why aren’t you minding your own business, tending that scrawny flock of sheep? I know what you’re up to. You’ve come down here to see the sights, hoping for a ringside seat at a bloody battle!”

“What is it with you?” replied David. “All I did was ask a question.” He ignored his brother.

Why? Well, I will tell you why David ignored all the negative energy.He understood the anointing.

He was determined to fight Goliath even if he was deemed young and inexperienced.

When he was second guessed by Saul, this was his response. “I’ve been a shepherd, tending sheep for my father. Whenever a lion or bear came and took a lamb from the flock, I’d go after it, knock it down, and rescue the lamb. If it turned on me, I’d grab it by the throat, wring its neck, and kill it. Lion or bear, it made no difference—I killed it. And I’ll do the same to this Philistine pig who is taunting the troops of God-Alive. God, who delivered me from the teeth of the lion and the claws of the bear, will deliver me from this Philistine.”

Saul said, “Go. And God help you!”

Sometimes we look at our dreams and feel ‘inadequate,’ yet this teenage boy saw a challenge and knew with God by his side, he was going to overcome it.

I have heard countless times that one can’t have faith and then fear at the same time. I have tried to ‘balance’ the two, now and then, albeit sub consciously but in the end, one has to tramp the other.

Like everything else, it can take some sort of ‘practice’ to get accustomed to. If your immediate reaction to a crisis is “I will get through this” even before you know what that entails, chances are you will battle every ‘giant’ that gets in the way of your happiness.

When David came face to face with Goliath, he could have ran, but no!He assured him;

“You come at me with sword and spear and battle-ax. I come at you in the name of God-of-the-Angel-Armies, the God of Israel’s troops, whom you curse and mock. This very day God is handing you over to me. I’m about to kill you, cut off your head, and serve up your body and the bodies of your Philistine buddies to the crows and coyotes. The whole earth will know that there’s an extraordinary God in Israel. And everyone gathered here will learn that God doesn’t save by means of sword or spear. The battle belongs to God—he’s handing you to us on a platter!”

You can’t speak like this unless you believe in the force behind you, and in this case his was the strongest of all, the spirit of God.

This teenage boy who was uncomfortable in armour given to him by his father took it off and fought off the giant with only sling and stone!

David

This could be you…

Think about a time in your life when you did the same; teachers said you were not smart enough, boss equated you to a failure, doctor said your loved one’s cancer had been caught too late for them to make it, your friends called you a dreamer, your family a time waster…The list goes on.

Did you prove them wrong? Are you ready to?

As long as your assignment is heaven sent, I assure you, it will pay off.

You have to be prepared for the persecution but oh that just makes the victory so much sweeter!

See, we are all offered a kingdom, and that kingdom is our life. This kingdom has enemies from within and without. Yes, you may be your own enemy, telling yourself you are not good enough, making yourself easy prey for the ‘outside’ enemies. You have a kingdom and you are in control!

What have you always wanted to do? How can your skill glorify God’s name even in the smallest of ways. You need to search for that anointing and once you have found it, start over new.

Just this morning I read a tweet from my friend Raymond, about a taxi driver in Wandegeya. His first route every morning is to Kitante Primary School, taking pupils for free. He probably didn’t dream of being a driver as a child, but now that this is his kingdom, see how glorious he has made it! What is our excuse?

You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practice.

Have you ever looked at a peer or superior and felt so much admiration it almost bordered on envy? They seem to effortlessly have it together.

Alternatively, they may perhaps have this great ambition you feel you may never be able to attain. They are constantly looking for ways to improve themselves either academically or professionally and almost always succeed.

Do you know what they have that you don’t? Nothing really, except they have chosen to fight the giant head on.

Not even God wants you to be the one who constantly follows, he wants you to lead. He wants you to rise up, say “I don’t need armour but I am going to be a giant killer.

Maybe you won’t run your company, but you can be the best salesman they ever hired. You will become so indispensable the boss easily considers you his right hand man.

Can I add that this glory does not have to be public? If you choose to love your spouse, like a man after God’s own heart, your compensation will not come in form of a raise or an award.

However, it is the best gift you will ever give your loved one, your children and all those who know you. If those who know you are trying to emulate you, and the father in heaven is nodding in approval, I know not what can top that appreciation.

 

And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom.

Shall you kill a giant today? 🙂

Life-Precious (Part 1)

At exactly this time last week I was doing what seemed like fighting for my life. It is for this reason that I have since put myself on pressure to get busy and be completely occupied at all hours for fear that still moments shall create an avenue for an episode..

How?

I had been feeling ill on and off for weeks but I simply took medication and carried on like everything was normal while my system silently crashed. It eventually gave in.

The Irony

On October 29th I received a Vocational service award from Rotaract for work done with 40-40.

Needless to say, I was surprised and excited before, during and after. I knew that this would do a lot for the team’s morale and also serve as a reminder that we are on the right track. I hope it did because on my part, I am still amazed.

Anyone who saw me that day realised I was as bubbly as always but perhaps a little more laid back because this experience humbled me even more.

Coincidentally, three years ago on that exact date, I was hospitalised and missed my graduation. This time, I was receiving an award. Weird,right?

I told a friend later that night something within me did not feel right. I later felt selfish for ‘whining’ when I should have been celebrating. After a silent prayer, I ‘forced’ sleep. I was to wake up at 4 a.m with the mother of all stomach pains. This was the beginning of a week long series of not-so-exciting-events.

The worst bit about experiencing pain over and over again is that sometimes you begin to think you deserve it and that it is ‘normal.’ This dim thinking is what got me to spend the day at home ignoring the fact that I was weak, nauseated and generally far from fine; this and the fact that my parents were unavailable and I had no ‘safe’ means to leave home.

When mum called later that afternoon, I told her I was ‘a bit sick’ but would await her return.

She got home and we drove to the hospital. Hardly had we arrived when I was drenched in drips and medication. I did not sleep that night.

Let’s get back to Thursday. I did not want my friends to know. In fact, I am still getting angry messages and calls from those that got the news after the ‘drama’ was over. It is difficult to explain, but once you have lived a certain life, you stop alarming people each time you have an ache. In many cases, they are fighting a different battle and you just want to let it be. Sometimes though, you want them to keep the image of ‘smiley you’ in their memory while you take care of the fight on the other side.

The friends who made it to hospital that afternoon did not head back to their offices.Two even left but found me in a bad state then decided to camp with me a little longer. I know that my condition scared them and if I could rewrite the script, I would have them sit in  a beautiful room as I battled with the devil alongside medical personnel who see such hurting often.

On the other hand though, I am glad they held the mantle as mum rested because she was to experience many other troubled nights that week on my account. Their presence made it all easier.

The Wonder

Through all my pain and anguish, these guys sat and prayed for and with me, sacrificed time and threw in a few anecdotes that just kept me going.

At some point I broke down not only because of the pain within but also as a result of stupid self pity, self loathe and several other emotions that I can’t quite expound in writing. It was not a new experience. In that moment though, I felt I had had enough.

I eventually calmed down.

Throughout my stay at the hospital I got no less than 20 drips and about 15 injections. I did not eat for 4 days and had to get supplements through the drips. When I would see the doctors cringe, I would think ‘Please smile so I can get some reassurance,’ but their reactions were simply natural. It is this stuff that moulds you munange. One day I will be a rock inside, oba diamond? 😉

Light moments

I had to search for sleep amidst sounds of Radio and Weasel, Mafiki zolo and Konshens at nearby bars between Thursday and Saturday. I often laughed at myself.

On Friday night, I actually heard a lady scream ‘woooooo’ when ‘her’ jam played. That could very easily have been me on any given day. I often scream or sing along when songs I love play. Instead, I was trying to stay in one position so that the drip would not move. It was a sad kind of funny.

Other dramatic events gave us hosptal peeps good laughs, from random guest’s conversation, ‘made up’ tales to mum’s laughter. I got me some good memories in there 😉

Each night I prayed to sleep, then prayed to wake up. My prayer was answered every time.

Now

I got discharged on Sunday morning. I had been told I would leave from Friday but each time, I got worse and had to stay. This time, together with my friend Zindzi, we began to pack the ‘migugu’ and take it to her car even before we were told. We forced LOUD laughter each time the doctor came in so he would see how FINE I was.

Eventually, it worked 😀

As soon as I got into the car, the lyrics ‘Though I ain’t good <Lord> HE still loves me’ welcomed me. I sang happily. Mum joked about me seeing the outside for the first time. I was genuinely glad to be out of that room.

Just before we got home R.Kelly’s ‘storm is over’ was on radio. How timely! How perfect! “I can see the sunshine; somewhere beyond the clouds….heaven is over me….” As in!!! Sound tracks to my life.

So here I am, running around to ensure the Charity bazaar is a success..but every moment I get, I sit and thank the Lord. He saved me and I shall use all the energy I have and don’t have to praise and glorify his name.

I have to thank my amazing friends who stayed with me and those that kept ‘the secret’ so I would not worry others; those that insisted on visiting anyways, the ones that called and sent messages even if I had mini phone fasts so I could recover, my family, the staff of AAR that constantly popped in and withstood the thousands of questions from my friends and I when the drips had honestly become TOO much. I am eternally grateful and can only ‘revenge’ with prayer.

I encountered a few other testimonies while I was in hospital but I shall save them for a part two.

Here is a short story within a story though. I like to send ‘Happy new month’ messages but this time 1st November found me indisposed. The funny bit is some people sent texts to ask why I hadn’t wished them a good month, and others happily ‘beat’ me to it. I didn’t let most of them in on ‘the reason’ but it was funny.

I can’t end this without some mushy clichés even if I know the lessons have been evident from reading it already.

However, I just need anyone reading to actually believe ‘Life is short’ because it is, however subjective this said length is. In essence, a 90 year old loved one is still mourned after his/her departure. That said, may we always remember to show those we love that we do and take care of them and ourselves. Goodbyes don’t quite come with a timeline but when you are ‘threatened’ with one, you begin to realise how precious this ‘unfair’ thing called life is.

 heaven

Each second is a new lease on our existence.  Mehn-let’s make it count!!

See you on Saturday at The 40-40 Charity bazaar and family day, I will be the girl looking like nothing ever happened because star ta fa! 😉

xoxo

 

Crossroads

You know how even atheists shall cry out to the Lord when faced with the possibility of death or any other such terrifying moment?

Well, sometimes Christians are no different.

We wake up every day going on about our business,taking a taxi,driving to work, making calls, reply any mention of us on the social media; a few angry remarks here and there..before we know it, The day has ended. We whine more than we should and compliment a lot less than we can. We think it is okay because “It’s my life”

Except, it’s not.  I mean it’s not okay, not it’s not your life.

Some evenings I am so exhausted all I get to say before I sleep is Amen or simply the Lord’s prayer; on many mornings I am too ‘lazy’ to even mumble that prayer. When I do pray,I sometimes rush it more than I should.

However, when someone close to me is in pain or am at a point of crossroads in my life, my every waking moment is spent in some sort of prayer, consciously or sub consciously. I sing his praise, read a few verses and pray or fast.

I will stress God so he can give me a sign of some sort, I shall call on him till he hears my cry.

BUT

How often do we go back to thank him after that call to tell us ‘You got the job!’ How many times do we at least say ‘thank you father’ before we close our eyes? Do you remember the last time you had any sort of thanksgiving for your love, family and all other elements of your better than average life?

Lately, I have gotten to a point that I can’t quite explain. I am yearning for God and yet not searching, searching but not finding,whispering when I want to praise. I am…numb.

Everyone who has shared their pain with me in the past few weeks has earned a prayer but when I get to the part about me, I go silent,stiff and stare into space..then it ends there and I hope that the next day shall be better.

I have woken up from nightmares,accumulated sweat,fear and random thoughts in the wee hours of the morning but none of it makes sense.

I think. Reminisce..but nothing.

So I say, I will take it to the Lord in prayer, and then I don’t

I think maybe talking to someone will help, but probably not

Oh, a getaway will take some of it away, tried it, lasted only as long as a the time away

and ……we’re back…

Blank

Uncertain

Lost.

Maybe someone else has gone through the same ordeal or is gong through it right now. Maybe this will be one of those posts which you simply can’t relate to. Still, I got a few verses to sort of help me through some of the emotions I have been feeling lately and thought I would share.

We can’t always have the answers but I know the one who does hears us even before we call and understands the most subtle signs beckoning him.

This should just be the default rule. When in doubt, ask Him, when you are certain, ask Him,before you begin, during and after the decision you are about to make/making/have made, ask Him!

Let it all be about Him, and not you.

Proverbs 3:5-6 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

When things do not seem to be working out, but you believe in them still,stand still and await his direction.

1 Corinthians 15:58

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labour is not in vain.

Suffering? Well, you are certainly not on your own and guess what? It will build you-for real..

Romans 5:1-21

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. …

Anger; Yes, it is natural but don’t let it consume you

Ephesians 4:26-27

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.

It is not just you. We all have the moments of grace and those of defeat.

Ecclesiastes 9:11

Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favour to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.

Temptation. We can’t always fight it but look to Him, he believes in you.

1 Corinthians 10:13

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Nobody said it was easy. If they did, they lied.

Have hope. Keep the faith

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.

  • James 1:2-4

    Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Doing good with little or no reward

Philippians 1:6

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

 

Endure and you will reap,don’t believe me? Trust Him

Hebrews 12:1-15

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him.

If we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us;

And finally, we should be thankful to God for anything and everything and let him know whenever we can.

I chant ‘Thank you Lord’ whenever I can. It could be a hymn for you or a favourite song but do let him know.

Philippians 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

This may not all make sense now. God knows even I have some doubt as I type this. On those days when the blows keep coming with no warning and last longer than they should, I ask myself why and want, even need to give up but you know what? Still I rise, and so should you 🙂

Where do I go?

Where do I go?

May God see you through the difficult and happy times alike for it takes an end to see a beginning.

Thank him and call on him. He doesn’t mind either but think about it. Which do you prefer to have people constantly ask you for things or knowing that even f you are their provider, they still have the courtesy to thank you?

Stick with Him and you shall be  in for a thrilling ride…You gerrit,right? 😉

xoxo