What Are You For

Happy July! 🙌

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Mango Tree - Tabora Mjini

And a happy second half, 2017 to us! The King, is absolutely faithful.
The 1st half has been all sorts of stretching. So so many lessons learnt. I couldn’t possibly share all, Because, space, and time… Or I’d be writing forever.

Off the top of my head though here’s one,

You seek to find your purpose for a long time. To answer that question, What Are You For… You think that is the end goal. To find your purpose. One day you wake up, and before you retire to bed that same day, the Lord confirms it. You are excited. Filled with all sorts of joys. All levels of excitement. “I have arrived” you think to yourself. You do whatever dances you love. Then you retire to bed.

The very next morning, (atleast in my case) you wake up with this anxiety (not of God). You do not know how to go about your purpose. Not that it is an absolutely foreign thing. Infact , I have also realised that this thing purpose, what you were designed for, is in you. It isn’t fitted on as a garment later in life. You do not sit with it, as strangers on a first date trying to figure each other. Hardly. It is in you. Woven into every fibre of your being. Only, it is covered by heaps of fear, and moss that you gather while you stood still, trying to look in control… Or ‘with it’, as my teens would say.
Anyways, the anxiety, is similar to that of being asked to marry someone you have ignored all your life. 😂. Ok this is a stretch… But you get it. You start to ask yourself how to start. What to do with yourself. And this purpose that you have now found. Then you get this life-altering ‘ah ha!’ moment… Discovery of Purpose is Just The Beginning.

You must put in work. Extra work. More than ever before. There is a resistance that you must learn to tear through. It grows your muscle. You must learn to bulk up with the word of God. This really, is the manual to your purpose… Whatever it is. I know it sounds cliché… But from one 25y/o to the world… I KNOW IT.

One more thing.
If you are yet seeking God on what you were designed for, keep on. I came into it at 25. There is no cast-in-stone.ness for purpose. You cannot compare yourself to others. Focus on your own finish.
Like I said, purpose is innate. If you were born For it, you were born With it. It won’t be a foreign thing. Do not look into your friends’ lives for what your reason for being is.
Sit patiently before the King. Without noise. Let Him instruct. Not in two minute sessions. Or 1hr sessions. It is NOT about length… Rather, the state of the heart.

Ultimately your purpose MUST glorify God. Whatever it be.

It is no science. It is God’s own. Do not pursue it as if it is your assignment. You did not call yourself. You’re not working for yourself. Whoever you are. It is God’s own assignment.
Chin up! The Master is Available! 🙌

ATTENTION! (The Sequel) 

Here’s a funfact : Worship uplifts you. Fellowship strengthens you.  (Ideally,  the sweet fellowship of the Holy Spirit) 

9.30pm.

In the night,  (there is a perfect crescent moon in the navy blue sky.  No stars. Just the moon. Not centrally placed. Awkwardly positioned where a shared side-plate would be at a formal dinner table) I pick out a home from not too far.  There’s lights.  

We’ve maintained Sonko’s mansion to our general left.  We can’t be too lost.  “Should this house be the one we’re looking for, with a water tank outside, I’ll cry” I think to myself. (About a month ago when we came for the reconnaissance,  said house was only about 15minutes from camp.) 

I keep up pace. I’m singing psalms and lifting the King.  I’m enjoying a wonderful fellowship with the Holy Spirit.  I continue repenting for many things that He convicts me on.  Let me bare myself here,  for me, today,  it’s mostly omissions.  Not what I do,  but what I do not do,  that I know I ought  to.  Passivity. Not speaking out. Refusing to defend His cause. We go from Not reading scripture when and how I ought to,  to refusing to reach out,  regardless of who is at fault.  

I’m reminded of James 4:17 [NLT] , “Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.”

📷 : Pawel


There are no words in any human language that can explain  the joy I felt just seeing that black water tank. Positioned right next to the perimeter fence.  I couldn’t even cry.  This joy transcended that.  Here’s what got me,  in that moment. We had not arrived yet. We still had some ground to cover. My back was in more pain than I have ever felt before. But that didn’t matter. Because that water tank in that lone homestead,  gave this hope that,  we’re almost there. That soon, there’s rest.  Soon,  it’s all going to be over.  A shower to soothe my back. And food, to  soothe my stomach. Hehe. And I began to repent some more,  for ignoring the ultimate hope of all things… Jesus Christ.   

Colossians 1:27b[NKjV] “…which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
To think how many times I act hopeless. Speak hopeless. Think hopeless.  Just because I’m between a rock and 2 hard places. Because time has ran out. Deadlines have passed. Resources are  unavailable. Et cetera.  I forget that Christ is in me.  Yoooh.  CHRIST JESUS IS IN ME!  And that should excite me. Fill me with gladness.  Fuel me for a lifetime! Set me in places  above  Kings. This is not just a man from Galilee. The carpenter of Nazareth. This is The Christ! The Boss! The King. And He Is In Me! 

I realise that after all is said and done, and more has been said, than done,  my life is in the state it’s in because of such apathy! That the King resides in me and my reaction to that is, . .. Yaay! Or,  Oh joy! 😑. Such lack of interest! Such rudeness!  Such dark response to light and life! 

If the black water tank could speak to my entire being,  easing up even my back, the King of the universe in me should cause me to evolve all together. Because, He is fully committed to my wellbeing, and I think that’s  ok? That’s nice? Nooo.  That is unimaginably out of this world! WHOOOA! 🙌. 

10pm.

We stumble right into the camp’s gate.  It honestly takes me by surprise. It’s almost too soon! It was unexpected! Even the kids do not realise at first  that we’re here. But we are. Albeit 12hrs later! Glory to God! 🙌. 

The crys for joy! The victory dances. The songs of adoration.  Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. 😅

As I throw myself onto a verandah, watching the kids pitch their tents ahead of dinner,  I am grateful for the lessons.  I have this awkwardness plastered on my face.  My heart is warm.  My back is hurt. My life feels put together. I recline against the wall and take it all in.  

Then The Master, gently, softly, says,  “It is sad that it takes me all that to get your attention”.  

The stinging, affection-infused words of a lover. 

I mull over those words.  I pull them apart in my mind. I taste them separately in my mouth.. And then together.  

“What, Bryan, must the King do to get your attention? Because,  He will” I follow up to myself.  
*** The End***

ATTENTION! 

I. Have. Been. Swamped! 😴 

If we are friends… This has most probably been my reply everytime you ask how I am.  This. Or beat. Or just plain ol’ tired. And it’s true. You know when you have so much to do, and everything is important, you just can’t cut anything off? When of all things,  the ones you can cut are those that are yours,  and the pain of not doing them is mostly unshared? For me,  I cut things such as phone time. Social media presence , and food. Lol. I take alot of time to 1. Decide what I want to eat (as a result, I always download a restaurant’s menu before I go), 2. To finish eating (good food is for having, not just eating).  These, ofcourse, take even longer if I’m making the food.  😅.  

I digress.  I even tried remedies for time management.  Forget timetables (I absolutely lack the willpower to adhere to these :'() Google ‘Eisenhower’s Important /urgent Principle ‘.  It worked.  To some point.  And then you become lenient, and everything, absolutely everything makes it into the 1st quadrant,”not urgent, important “.  You have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about, have you? *sigh 

About a week ago,  I was sooo tired,  I got home,  and as the gate was being opened for me,  alas! I had fallen asleep, behind the wheel.😧  Ofcourse I didn’t hear the end of this for a long time after. My mom was my passenger. 😩. Here’s a funfact.  I do not doze off in meetings, or class, or services.  At all. It doesn’t matter how beat I am.  But when I get home.  It is my peeps that will suffer. No conversation whatsoever.  Then by and by,  it is my inner man.  Because I will only nibble  at The Word. Relegating studying scripture to obligatory, rather than intentional. Does anybody else find themselves here? No? Ok. Just me. 

 

📷 : Pawel

 ***

This past week, I was in Machakos. 5day camp.  On Wednesday,  we hike.

10.00am. It’s a long trail. A little under 45km,give or take. We have with us teens.  Between 13-15y/o. I’m with the boys, 17 in total, and 5 counsellors.  

By the time it’s  6pm,  we’ve covered just about half the trail.  I’m still energetic.  There’s 3 of us counsellors behind. 2 in the front, and one in the middle.  

8pm.We get into flatland.  No structure as far as the eye can see.  There’s zebra, gazelles, wildebeest and other small animals I can’t identify.  Word comes from the front,  there’s hyenas.  A couple of us spot them in the dark. We keep our flashlights on.  By this time,  my back is killing me.  My feet refuse to cooperate. Too tired to fear. Plus,  we have kids with us. Fear is an unaffordable luxury.  

Two things give me strength in this instance,  

1. Knowledge that we have a team in Nairobi praying until we arrive at camp. 

2. He who watches over Israel, neither sleeps, nor slumbers. 

We walk on.  Ofcourse the kids are scared beyond words. . . But we love that it’s working to our advantage. They’ve summoned up all their energy to walk like their lives depend on it. 😂

A few moments later, I am on the ground.Stepped right into a hole,  and fell flat.  Felt great to stretch my body out like that. 😂. As we continue to walk though,  around 9pm, we realise, we are so lost!  So the kids sprawl themselves on the thin dark struggling footpath with nary a care in the world,  and we hurdle up to brainstorm.  There’s Sonko’s huge mansion, whose lights in the night make it appear like a football stadium. That is our compass for the rest of the journey.  So long as it remains on our left,  we are on the right path. We even get google maps in the last moments of my dying phone battery. So we start on our way. 
“We will not rest again. It cannot be too far now, “we agree. 
Something happens, on this last leg.  I begin to focus on my finish. One of the lead counsellors has hurt their inner thigh muscles,  so I begin to walk on ahead of everyone to replace him in the front.  I begin to Worship.  I even bubble in tongues.  My back is in unimaginable pain.  But as I delve some more,  it fades into the background, the pain.  Only thing on my mind now,  is the finish. I’m too broken to worry about other things.  ‘The unbearable pain is not uncommon. The kids must feel it a thousand times over’, I think to myself.  ‘The fatigue is nothing new.  The older ones must be dying inside.’ 

I remember 1Cor 10:13… No trial has come to me,  that is uncommon to man.  And 1Pet 4:12, to not be surprised in suffering as if we were undergoing something strange.And 1Pet 5:9,that our brothers and sisters are going through whatever kind of suffering we are going through. All these go through my mind.  I begin to look at myself as part of something bigger than myself. I begin to repent for my ‘special’ complains. For every time I have thought, “God’s not being fair. Why me? Too much! Pick on someone else. Split the misery, Lord!” 

Everyone else,  is paces behind me… The lead,  is only arms length ahead of me.  

9.30pm. [Part One] 

Run Right

​A week ago,  today. I’m speaking at a midweek, night service. Immediately after, around 9pm, I head on home.  I’m in the car with Naomi, a co-worker in the vineyard. “You’re bigger | Jekalyn Carr” is seeping through the speakers. We’re talking about Bitez.  😒. Do you know these things? Those things that kids eat in almost every church service.  It’s like in the  accepted sooth-pack for screaming toddlers everywhere.  Ingredients: corn, water, chemicals and air. Lots of air.  They resemble “WoW” rings. The multicoloured snacks from back in the day. 

You have no idea  what I’m talking about, do you? Next time you’re at your local duka,  ask for bitez. They’re for kids,  but I have enough adult friends that indulge. Weird humans. Hello Jojo! 🙋 but I digress. 

The car right ahead of me flashes on their hazard lights and swerves into the middle lane.  Before I can, there’s a matatu,  dropping passengers smack in the middle of the highway. So I slow down and hoot with everything I have . I’m waiting for the middle lane to clear and from  behind is the loudest screeching noise. He’s flashing lights at me and honking still.  I can tell,  the impact, from behind would be crazy, but in a heartbeat, he zooms right past my side,  maneuvering right between the speeding cars in the middle  lane and disappears into the lit night road. Just then,  the matatu ahead begins to move.

Ofcourse, I’m shaken.  We don’t talk about it.  I drop Naomi and go on home. The only  thing on my  mind, is “but by my Spirit, says God.” 

***

Have you heard someone talk to you about barking up the wrong wall? Climbing a ladder only to find it’s leaning against the wrong wall? Fighting a losing battle? Because you’re fighting the wrong party? I have. All week long infact,  that has been it for me.  Everything I seemed  read led me to these things.  

Then he said to me, “This is what the Lord says to Zerubbabel: It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. Zech 4:6 [NLT] 

It felt like an “Aha!” moment. Then seconds later , like a slap in the face.  Because God kept saying;

“Not by force; or, by an army, as the word bears,[Hebrew] ; you may think you shall need all army to defend you in carrying on building your life, which the ill-will of naysayers and your own mental limitations about you hinder, but I tell you there is no need of an army. [Matthew Poole] 

Nor by strength; courage and valour, all which make, arms considerable; no need of this neither. Too much work Mwashigadi,  you need to chill.  No really. You’ll pop a vein. These things don’t just come by strength. See my words also in 1Samuel 2:9 [NLT] “[I] will protect [my] faithful ones, but the wicked will disappear in darkness. No one will succeed by strength alone.”  Even you,  child. 

But by my Spirit; who garnished the heavens and can beautify the your life; who moved upon the darkness in the creation, and brought forth a beautiful and mighty structure; who put desires in you and goes ahead to satisfy them;my Spirit. Who can comfort and counsel,  when you’re at crossroads, and the advice of humans, will come close but hey! They’re also under instructions, just as you are! Only by my Spirit, who covers and protects you, in the day of danger. Your standby,  waiting only for you to hand over that baton, and never ask for it back. And on days that you’ve made right,  will rejoice over you,  with songs of gladness. Only by my Spirit. Who heals your broken places, anoints your  wounds, restores the joy of your salvation [ Psalm 51:12] and can do as much now, as well as forever. ” 

” How pitifully sad! “I thought. 

We spend all our energy chasing and running, and climbing, and diving, and all this time God has it for us? Our shortcut  prepared long before we arrived at the scene of life!? That  when  Christ died,  and ascended into heaven, and left with us a full time helper, He had our full hassle free life planned out.  But nooooo.  We must display our strength. We must climb to the top to prove something,only to find out we got to the top and the rooftop we were aiming at, is 10blocks away… If you’re lucky. For some of us,  the right rooftop is in a different city altogether.  

We sprint and get a headstart over our peers,  only to get to the finish line and there’s applause from everyone, but the Father! And what joy is that, really? Because we won the race that wasn’t assigned to us. 

📷 Patrick : Running

Sprint, beloved, by all means. Let your ambition be on fleek.  Get a headstart over your peers.  Climb to the top.  There’s nothing wrong with strength and force.  But there’s something higher than that.  God’s Holy Spirit. He’s the enabler. The engine that runs life. He’s the oil that gets you through. Greasing your elbows. Brightening your countenance. He is IT! Jesus thought so! Why shouldn’t I? .  He must have looked at what life he was leaving behind, having experienced it and figured,  “This is utterly impossible. Let me send a constant, dependable helper” 

Therefore Run this race right!  Fight well! Get Him. The Holy Spirit. Ask the Father. He most certainly will give [Luke 11:13]. Desire and yearn for Him. Because without Him, we’re making noise where it doesn’t matter. We’re applying strength and force to no avail. We’re getting ahead, yet lagging behind. Get Him! Because If you’re a marathoner, even ten one-hundred-metre wins,  are an insult to your being. 

OF DESIRES AND SECRET PETITIONS

I’VE . BEEN. SWAMPED! :'(😴. I’M TIRED. BEAT DOESN’T EVEN BEGIN TO CAPTURE IT.  I’M JUST NOW GETTING HOME. (Checks time…  11.17pm 😩) I hate being out at night.  Ofcourse my mother and her sister don’t believe a syllable in this sentence.  Most times when I come home,  they’re on phone. Usually she’s on speaker. And mother will always announce in vernacular , “Oh! That’s actually him coming in.”
I’m always like,  “Do you guys ever talk about anyone else?” lol. It’s a small family really,  but hai!
Twice I’ve caught them talking about my love life.  😂. Oh these my women!

Aaaaanywaaays,  if we’re friends, then within this past month  or two,  I’ve given you one of the above answers to answer the question,  “How are you”. Because of the things of life.

If you’re in my low maintenance category of friends (bless your soul), I might have failed forgotten not ignored, forgotten to reply to your txt(s). Put that together with the fact that procrastination is out to have a family with me.  😩. Worry not though, I’ll get to it. 

Last week,  I’m talking with my boy Mukiri. And I’m feeding him the same lines,  because we’ve been planning to meet tangu May or June.  He says something in there that causes me to pause a bit and engage brains. 

It occurs to me that I’ve become a complainer.  Oh wait. Let’s say murmur.  It sounds like something a polished human will do. I mean it started out as a little truth and then it morphed into this thing. I mean, it’s true,  but still,  it’s murmuring . 

It also occurs to me that these are things I asked God for. Maybe not vocally, out loud, but I did.  And when they were new and shiny, I enjoyed them. Briefly,  and then began to desire more. Shinier. Brighter.

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📷 Eunice Ricky

Look closely here…

“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart. ” [Psalm 37:4 AMP]

If I were to write a version myself,  I’d add if. . . To make it an explicitly conditional clause.  It would read, 

IF you delight your self in the Lord,  THEN HE will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.

That makes it automatic. 
Dearly beloved,  (hehe) you see things in your life that you didn’t even ask God for? Somebody say desire! Somebody else say secret petition! Especially if you are a believer… And you delight yourself in God.  You won’t do a thing unless HE approves of it.  You involve God even in decisions like what toppings you want on your pizza… Or what flavour you want on your Galitos chicken.  All the way to what colour scheme would make Him happy, for your wedding.  Of course He’s already spoken in accents clear and still concerning your partner for life. 

Are you serving in church? You enjoy thoroughly giving your time (and youth) to the BODY OF CHRIST? Or maybe not thoroughly enjoy.  Maybe you’d rather be sleeping on a lazy Sunday afternoon, but you don’t mind really, being in ministry,  serving brethren, and the Master wherever? Are you the type that thinks about how a new job will impact your service and ministry before signing your contract? Or are you the one that will not think twice about next week’s bus fare/fuel because God loves a cheerful giver,  and you’d rather cross that bridge (or walk that route) when you get there,  than fail to delight yourself in the Lord with your offerings? Or are you all those things? 

Then you fit the bill. As you delight yourself in this and so many other ways, in the Lord,  He’s automatically looking into your heart. Granting you your desires and secret petitions. 

I don’t know about you,  but it scares me a little. Ok,  A LOT! Because,  what are my Desires? James [1:14] tells of how men are swayed and tempted by the *desires of their hearts. 
(*evil,  but desires anyway)
Also, what are the secret petitions of my heart? Jeremiah [17:9] tells of how hopelessly wicked and dark the heart is.
And that this heart is what the Lord searches. Yikes! 🙆

So I ask myself,  is it possible to delight in the Lord and have a dark, deceitful heart,  with evil desires and warped secret petitions? Yes. I find later. 
Matthew [7:22] tells us of this team of brethren that really, delighted in the Lord. Casting out demons,  prophesying and performing miracles, YET the Lord says to them, 

Depart from me! You workers of iniquity. ”
Ouch is right!

He took one sweep at their hearts and found deceit among so much more,  despite the fact that all they did,  was delight themselves in the Lord. 

I cannot end up like this! Neither can you! 
My desires and secret petitions have to delight in the King as well! I must clarify my heart’s desires. So as HE grants them,  they’re not just in His will, they’re His perfect will for me. 

Challenge Accepted! 🙌

The Father’s Hands

My father was an amazing man.  That’s how I remember him.  I remember when he’d take us out for soda at Uncle Sam’s joint (no relation) back in the day.  I remember bowling green in Parklands. Is it still there? Near City Park I think.  I remember tandoori chicken at some joint in Parklands too. He must have been a foodie, come to think of it.  I must have gotten it from somewhere! I remember his hands. Strong,  firm,  with roughish palms,  a result of peeling. As he held my little ones teaching me everytime we met, how to cross the road. *sigh 🙂
He died,  my old man.  Ages ago.  Almost 16 now. I was young then.  Didn’t understand much. 

I didn’t even cry when my mum broke the news to Kris n I. Then it began to eat into me. . . All throughout adolescence.  In highschool as everyone flung loosely tales of their super-hero dads, because that’s what we all see them as regardless of whether or not they pay attention to you,  I had none.  I felt like I needed to make up excuses for his absence, forget that he was absent by death.  My mom, bless her soul, had stepped in to fill that void.  Super woman this one.  She was everywhere for Kris n I.  She was everything too. . . And without complaining.  Always reminding us that we were now the King’s concern.  That God was our Father,  and her Champion.  [Psalm 68:5].That things were good for us, because we love God [Rom 8:28]. That we were in His hands. His business. And I wanted to believe her.  I really did.  10years. I went through life.  10years. Then one day,  at The Encounter weekend (a program of DCIK-Z),  I let it all out in God’s presence.  I mourned my dad for the first time, ten years later, in 2010. I let go.  I allowed myself to believe God… And mum.  And trust His hands.  Or begin to, anyway.

And the healing process began.  The tearing down of walls I’d set up as defence mechanism. The formatting of all the lies of the devil.  The renewal in the spirit of my mind.  I’m still God’s student,  and oh how deeply I love it. 

***
About a month ago,give or take a few  Rev. Geoffrey Mwithi travelled to India. Rev, truly is my father.  I never asked him to be, initially.  God just put him in my path.  His 1st son is my boysest.  😂. (It’s not a word, but I’m a creative, so now it is.  Go on ahead and explore more words, like boyser, its comparative. 😂) So being around him, made me a regular sight around Rev.  He didn’t know much about me then. . . But it didn’t matter.  He stepped right in.  As a Father would. From calling me in for that probe,  to calling me on phone just to tell me “Mwash,  you can do it”. In my head I’m like,  “I’m just about to have my dinner,  dad. I can do this?” hehe.  But I knew what he meant.  I’d get into details,  but zee word count. 😩.
So,  he is perfectly healthy.  He was there on sonship assignment.  But on the last Sunday before his return the following week,  he collapsed and went into a coma. 
When my boysest called me about dad that Sunday evening,  I was confused.  It was like a joke. I fumbled, but with my words.  I never fumble.  Atleast not with words. 
I remember saying to Hush,  ” It’s a good thing it happened while he was in India,  right? I mean, isn’t that the world’s medical capital? So he’s in the right place.  In the right hands. ” 
Only,  there was no peace in me as I said that. 
One peaceless week later,  I’m praying about it all and God’s sharp correction comes in.

” He’s in The right hands“?  He asks. 
“Have you met them? The doctors in India. Have you? Do you know them? How,  pray tell,  did you conclude they’re the right hands? I mean,  they could be back door entrants into the medical field with nary experience! ”

And God went on and on.  And I broke down. I too was shocked at my lack of faith.  (Hello Faith 😘)

” If you’re gonna trust me,  it’s got to show in your words.  And your secret meditation too. I’m watching! ”

So I met up with boysest soon after.  And undid that thought.  And set it right.  He’s in THE right hands.  The hands that send forth instruction.  That point in the direction of life, saying this is the way,  walk ye in it[Isa 30:21].  The hands that wound, and bind up. That smite, but also heal[Job 5:21]. Those hands. God’s hands.
That to mean,  that it didn’t matter really whether it had happened in Kenya,  or in the Kalahari,  or in Aitong, of the Mara, or in Kalampton, of Nyahururu. It didn’t. Because no hands quite match up to The King’s hands.  Nothing even comes close. 

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📷 Moyan Brenn - Hand

And this peace flooded my soul.  And I set myself on gear praise. . . And that’s what has been taking up all of my time lately.  💃. Dad isn’t back home yet.  But there’s tremendous, miraculous progress. His recovery is winning souls already! Because in this pain was a plan,  orchestrated by God’s own hand.
His sovereign, commanding hand that everything falls under.  His loving, gentle hand, that all things are subject to. That all things cannot resist. 

To think that everything in life,  the highs, lows and in between is subject to God’s own hand.  That he is supreme and over it.  That it doesn’t matter how bad the situation is,  it is a toothless bulldog.  It has no will of it’s own.  It cannot destroy you.

The Lord says, “I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts. It was I who sent this great destroying army against you. [Joel 2:25 NLT]

It is God that sent it! He’s in charge of it all.  Rest child! Rest! It cannot invade what God’s hand hasn’t allowed.  It is not sufficient in itself.  It is receiving instruction too! Whatever it is.  The story has you victorious in the end. I mean doesn’t Jer 29:11 say it? There is yet a future for you. And a bright hope.  And a glorious latter. 

Quit complaining.  Over that loss.  Over that pain and suffering. Over that heartache. Over everything that has/is going wrong. Quit it.  The worry is not worth it.  That pity party is not for you. You’re not invited,  child of God. You’re crashing. You know your God. [Dan 11:32]. Obey His Word.  Be strong! Exploits await! 

He sent it.  For your own good.  He’s your Father. Trust His plan.  You shall come out with great substance. He’s your champion. Trust His strength.  His name is God Almighty. 
Trust His Hand.

Straight Ahead

Not so long ago I had serious heart burn.  I don’t know the scientific/official name for this. . . But I’m guessing you don’t either, so heart burn it is. 
Google quick home remedies, top of the list is banana. Not happening, especially because its the last thing I’d had,  before I stuffed my face with Muthokoi. :|. I don’t like it. But I was hungry.  Its sooo drab(and dry), muthokoi. So robbed of life.  It doesn’t matter what you do to it.  The only other thing less creative in any pot is Gikuyu githeri.  Atleast muthokoi has been skinned… Or something.  *sigh 😕
Anyway,  I also find cold milk, baking soda solution, bla bla bla. . . It’s like 3 in the morning.  I drag my feet to the kitchen, and at some corner,  is this milk bottle. I pick it up and without thinking, take a nice loong sip. The confusion in my mouth in that dead night! It’s this porridge mix, left in there to ferment. . . For later preparation of the real deal. 
Funny thing is, I’d gone out earlier to shop. I’d seen that milk bottle, so I knew there was milk, thus didn’t buy any.  This fermentation in a bottle well presented itself as milk. Never take anything at face value guise.  Probe.  Get in.  Need to know. 😂. No, seriously.

***

Yesterday I’m chilling in one of my friend’s office, people I look up to,  Pst Kibira. I’m going through a book I found on the table.  The audio Bible is playing…  He’s working on his computer,kila mtu shughuli yake.  I think he’d just fired up his machine because when I came in,  it was chapter 2.
I’m beginning to sink into the book when I hear, 

You shall not,  certainly, die”

I frantically begin to search all versions of Genesis 3:4

Almost all put it that way, interchanging “certainly” with “surely”.

You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. [Genesis 3:4 NIV]

I found one better, 
Douay-Rheims says,  “… You shall not die, the death”

The atmosphere in that room totally changed. There was this stirring in me.  I felt like screaming,  ” I got you, devil” *insert dramatic praise break & TD Jakes dance*

The devil was not presenting anything different to Mama Abel? No.  He was just doing what he comeS to do.  Lie. 

Grammatically, these statements are different. 
°You, CERTAINLY, shall not die
°You shall not, CERTAINLY die.

The 1st indicates that the absence of death is certain,
whereas the 2nd merely indicates that the certainty of death is absent.

In Simple terms,  what God said (2:17), was that they certainly would die, if,  but here is the father of lies saying, they would die,  true,  just not certainly. 
That they would die,  true,  just not THE death. 

He hardly makes up his own thing.  Little wonder scripture calls us to be Alert! Sober! Of sound mind! [1Peter 5:8]. In close communion with God.  Dressed up,  in the full armour of God [Eph6:10] . 

Take up,  friends, the Shield of Faith,  that you may extinguish all his fiery darts. His lies will hardly be full-on lies.  Infact,  I doubt ever. 
Always half truths. Like a used diaper, in a new gift bag… Pleasant in presentation, just not fully labelled. He’s after your relationship with God, through your friends.  He’s coming after your job and health.  He’s going to try and paint this beautiful rainbow out for you, if he hasn’t already. Telling you about the zest in that bottle. . . Or that gusto in the hypodermic needle. All true,  only,  he’ll conveniently leave out that it won’t last. He’ll tell you how pleasurable it is to entertain a plus one in your marriage, and leave out that as you arise ,  you leave your destiny right there on her thighs. He’ll tell you how everyone is doing it.  How you’re too young to straighten it out, how you’re too weak to walk the high and narrow . . . And leave out the part that you have everything it takes.  All the strength you need to move it along. That you have every spiritual blessing, and are seated in heavenly places, having received all things that relate to life and godliness, called to glory and virtue.  He has all that info.  He knows.  But he is the father of lies [Jn 8:44], you expect nothing else from him. 
God too expects nothing else from him. 
But God does expect something from you.  That you be alert.  And in interacting with the Holy Spirit, you say No.  In combing through the Holy Scriptures you put up the shield of faith and put out them darts. 

You received the instruction, not the devil . You have the relationship. Not him. You have the crown waiting. Not him. So walk straight ahead.  Past him, and his new scented gift bag of used up lies.

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📷 Dennis Skley - Straight Ahead

We are those that refuse to barter trade with the enemy! Esteeming suffering, like Moses,  than the fleeting relief of Egypt.
Refusing the greedy ambition of Eve to taste better, at the expense of our freedom.
Refusing the passivity of Adam,  when we know the instruction God gave us. 
Because to die is to die,  whether it is to die the death,  or whatever other form the devil had in mind for Eve. 
The life of God,  on whatever conditions, is the life I choose!

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Praise Assault

“Tawala Kenya tawala *2
Rais Moi,
tawala Kenya tawala”
*waves finger in the air* 💃

This is what was on my mind as I woke up today.  I know.  I know.  😂
Weird. So I just sang it,  just so it can go away. Bad mistake.  Hours later,  it hasn’t. 
It has only led to more songs in praise of former president Moi.  24years! That’s how long ‘baba’ was president. *sigh. Nostalgia.

***

The book definition of Praise is “the expression of approval or admiration for someone or something.

A Praise report, commonly used in Christian circles,  used interchangeably with ‘testimony’ is an evaluation of the the works of someone.  And forever, here,  this someone is God. 

“Praise God”! – A form of salutation among Christians.  (that’s what we have reduced it to. It ideally should be, an instruction, a command even. An opportunity to go all in. The start key to telling it all. About Him, all.)
Oh it’s reply? Amen! Lol.  Everytime I think about it,  I laugh.  Because, what is this? Praise God,  Let it be so!? 

😂. Truth is I use it.  And expect that “amen” reply too.  But think about it for a minute. Shouldn’t we ‘lose‘ it every time someone says to us “Praise God” ? Rather than just subconsciously quip amen! Because really,  for a God that is constantly working, constantly thinking up good plans for you[Jer29:11], Constantly gathering strength to show you mercy [Isa 30:18], Constantly on standby to help [Psalm 46:1], and so much more, “Amen” seems soooo rudely out of place. 

I am absolutely convinced, that God, our great God,  our Household name (See previous Over The Counter post), works these wondrous things so we can through and through gurgle choruses of His unwavering Faithfulness, His loving kindness. Not so we can put a lid on it with that ice-cold ‘Amen’.
He’s cooking up a storm for you, because He has a plan for that praise He’ll get.  It has a purpose. 

“Out of the mouth of infants and of sucklings thou hast perfected praise, because of thy enemies, that thou mayst destroy the enemy and the avenger.” [Psalm 8:2,Douay-Rheims] 

Would. You. Look. At. That! 🙌
Praise,  used interchangeably here in different versions with strength, stronghold and ordained praise.

Out of all things that The King would use for weaponry,  He picked praise.  Ladies and gents,  PRAISE! 🙌 Not swords and javelins. Not bombs and missiles. Not grenades and simis (what is this?) Praise.  To DESTROY (put an end to by attacking) the enemy and the avenger. Not harm or simply kill.  To destroy.  This praise therefore,  must be, an assault weapon. 

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📷 U. S Army

Assault : Harmful or offensive contact with a person. Offensive, to mean,  “Me first”. Not waiting to defend /cover myself with praise,  rather, to go out and make myself safe with praise. To invade, offensively, with praise. To pray, in praise. No defeated prayers here. 🙅 To determine situations before they happen, with praise. To command the atmosphere, with praise.  To take the battle to the enemy’s camp,  with praise.  To stay on cheering guard as God restores every wasted year [Joel 2:25], with praise. 
To go through the valley of the shadow of death, with praise. And later that day (It won’t last forever 🙋), emerge at His gates with thankful praise.

Tell you what,  last Tuesday, around 9pm, I’m coming down Valley Road at about 50kph. Just a bit after CITAM, I hit this pothole reeeeal nice.  I struggle a bit, and get the car to a halt right at the end of that Panafric bus stop. I would go on to be stuck there for the next one and a half hours. My phone is dying and I’m tired,but my spirit is aliiiive! I get my praise on.  And just refuse to die out. In a quick series of events, the car battery dies, followed promptly by my phone battery (I would later charge it at the Shell station across the road). I talk to the cabbies at Panafric to help jump-start, they are hesitant. Then one elderly one says to the rest in Kikuyu which I understand, “We don’t want to refuse to help this kid”. It sounds funny. Like he’s under instructions.  They try jumpstarting and fail.  They leave,  insisting they’ve tried their best. I’m not even asking.  It’s really dark.  Seconds later, an AA van pulls up behind me.  (We don’t have membership)
He says in Swahili “Someone called me to come and help” Only three people knew of my predicament at that time,  and none had made any such calls. Fixing the damage the next day was financially draining. . . But I’ve never been more deliberate in my praise. The non-über cab guy lowered his rates for me. The shell attendants towed the car for me at no fee at all.
His workings are calculated ladies and gents. They are perfectly crafted to preserve,  and save in the day of trouble.  I need not wait around for motivation to go all in.  Everywhere. Someone might just find life from your praise.

Because His workings,  since the beginning of time, are for exactly that.  Insulating, against the fiery darts of life.
Waging war,  with the full assurance of triumph.  A perpetual victory parade.  A perfected praise. An ordained praise.  An assault-weapon praise.  To maim and destroy. To clear and wipe out. To subdue and conquer, and paying it forward,  to Make Jesus known! 🙌

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Foolproof Footwear

Today I woke up with fond memories of my campus life.  The lectures especially.  I miss them.  Just today. Only today. 😁 You never knew what to expect.  There was Environmental Psychology (was it?), by Dr. N. Muthiani.  Something about wanton living and Imelda Marcos. Former First lady of The Philippines that is known, of all things, for her extravagant shoe collection. Travelling the world to buy designer shoes at a time when Filipinos were in poverty.
Google her. It’s interesting really. 
Anyhu, that was in my 2nd year of Campus.  I had quite a collection of shoes that I’d never worn myself. So I stopped buying shoes. 😂
I lie.  But I did step down that number by alot. 

Shoes though! That’s a tricky subject.  Not many people get it right.  I mean, there’s very few people whose taste in shoes I’d applaud. Have you met someone so tastefully dressed but whose shoes just make you want to weep? Have you? This lady who is always dressed to kill bless, but only up to her ankles? Shoes so bad they make you want to become a cobbler? And it doesn’t matter btw! It could be the most expensive pair in the world, but it looks like worn tyres🙈. There are shoes that go for $3M.  Some red ruby slippers.  That don’t even look like a tithe of that amount.  😕
Footwear is tricky, guys. 
Little wonder then,  that the Master would take all of 60 precious seconds to guide us on the choice of footwear that He’d love to see us wear.  The family of believers.  Household of Faith. Bride of Christ. You see how schools like Limuru Girls will require that all their girls wear brown leather shoes?

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📷 Gonzalo Díaz Fornero - Snow

Something like that. 

For Shoes, put on the readiness to preach the Good News of peace with God (so that you will be fully prepared, to face the enemy with firm-rooted stability, promptness and readiness) ” [Eph 6:15,NLT emphasis, Mine]

Would you look at that! 🙌
Footwear is important. It says where you’re going.  Or coming from. Even where you belong. I mean, if you saw a KDF soldier in all the splendor of their army fatigue, and Bata patapata! That would be something. Something sad. 

Or how waitresses hardly serve you at a busy restaurant in 6 inch heels.

Or how surgeons do not go into theatre with the beautiful beaded maasai sandals they got last Christmas!

As Christ carefully laid out the outfit for His bride (See previous Bridezilla post), He picked out her shoes too.  Something fitting all occasions. Something you can wear at a wedding, and dash to a funeral in too.  Something you can take to a nuclear war, and rush back home for dinner in too. Something you can drive a battle tanker in and on arrival at base,  hop into your Vitz and speed off into the sunset in.  Something you can take to your bosses office, and soon after take to your kids school, after a long day. 
All purpose shoes.  All weather shoes .  All season shoes. Good for all spiritual terrain.  Shoes you can walk in on earth, and pull up at Heaven’s pearly gates in, without a shadow of doubt. 

Shoes that have stood the test of time. Foolproof footwear. Simple. Faultless. Fit for you and me.  The bride and the groom. In your ride and your room. Shoes sure to win a race, populate heaven, revive a soul, uplift a drooping head, inspire change, set things right, build up nations, fill hearts with joy, put an end to social vices, renew leases on life. Shoes sure to bring healing to broken flesh, bring back life into failing lungs.

Shoes you cannot afford to leave home. Ever! Shoes set to Make Jesus Known. His crazy love for humanity. His suffering and death. His conquering might. His triumphant resurrection. His eternal reign. His shiftless sitting-on The Throne.
Shoes branded, The Good News! 🙌

Over The Counter

Do you know a household brand? Or name.  A household name.  Do you?

Ow yes.  We’re back!  It’s been a month.  Of learning and perfecting the skill. But we’re back! Thank you for holding. 😄

Where were we? Oh yes.  Household name.  Like kiwi.  The shoe polish.  You’ll hear “Nunua ile kiwi ya Lude” (is lude still in production though? I remember its acrid smell. Oi! 😵) ama you’ll be sent to buy omo ya blue (to mean toss. The blue one that we all used at St. Matthews mixed boarding primary school). That in simple language is a household name.  How I will say bring me soda, and you’ll get me something from the Coca-Cola company.  Forget that akina mirinda et al are still outchea. (always wanted to say that 😁)
Household name. What you’d ask for over the counter, and are not afraid. Because its the most honourable thing to ask for. It’s what you know.  It might not be the cheapest option, but it’s the best. It’s been recommended a million times, and everyone uses it.  Either because it’s perfect, or even though it may be flawed, and sometimes annoying, it is the best option for you.  And you know it.  Like asking someone whether they have “Mpesa ya airtel”. That kind of thing. 

Imagine my excitement when I found God’s name being described as such. 

” GOD, brilliant Lord, yours is a household name.” [Psalm 8:1 MSG]

I was actually at a kesha when I checked this rendition.  Ofcourse I had to know what the KJV says, among others. 

” O LORD, our Lord, How excellent [is] Your name in all the earth, Who have set Your glory above the heavens!” [NKJV]

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📷 Alex Hu - Sunrise

“… O Lord our Lord, how admirable is thy name in the whole earth! For thy magnificence is elevated above the heavens.” [Douay-Rheims]

For the MSG paraphrase to settle on ‘household name’, they considered the book meaning, 
person or thing that is well known by the public “
And figured, who better than God?!

The ancestors encountered Him. Physically even. They wrestled with Him.  Conversed with Him, asking Him to show them His Glory. They argued cases for humanity with Him.  They basked in the heat of fiery furnaces with Him, and came out unscorched.  Not even with the smell of fire on them.  They chilled in the lions’ lounge with Him and walked out unscathed. They won battles against giants alongside Him.  They came close to death but never did taste it, with Him. They prayed the sun still, to Him,  one whole day it did not set. They lost everything they ever had.  Got sick and were in pain, but never once did they doubt His restoring power.  They stayed in bellies of big fish,  and never once ran out of faith in His power to not only hear prayer, but also act on it. They commanded death out of water, and reclaimed lost property, with Him. They gave women their children back .  They raised the dead in His name. Through active fellowship with Him, they cast out devils. These our ancestors. They walked tall.  Because of Him.  They endured suffering and shame, and never once contemplated walking out on Him.  Because they knew Him that they had believed. And were persuaded that He is able. Well able.  They walked in Him,  and their shadows left healing in their wake. They we’re broken out of prison! And beheld iron gates open of their own accord. Automation even in that age, because of Him.  That, and so much more.  They went ahead, and under the inspiration of His Spirit, they put it down. In a powerful, awe-inspiring book. Redolent with the aroma of life. For anytime reference. Lest we forget.  As we so often do. To be passed on to posterity. All the while, God’s plan holding up.  A perfect means for Him to make His name admirable.  To Elevate His magnificence above the heavens.  To fill the earth with His Glory .

God. Our choicest. Our God.  Faithful and true.  Our household name.  Proven throughout the generations.  It’d be a shame if we asked for another option of the same.  “Give me God, the one that can respond on twitter and facebook. And blesses me on my ability to like and type amen”  or “Give me God, only the one that I have to spend money on, to entreat”  or something as absurd. 

God.  The one of the Holy Scriptures. That says “Come” Tenderly. Gently.  That says “Ask” even over the counter. His counter. Without a prescription. Zero complications. Simple instructions. That undiluted one.  That living and breathing one. That relentless and brave one.  Whose name is a household name.  Give me that God.