We are moving!

So many open doors this year, I’m kind of dangling on one right now, but that’s among the many posts that will follow this one. To mention two, I started work at Africa 118 on a Google training project – Digital Skills for Africa, in January as I had desired all along (God is faithful), I revamped my blog and oh! how I love it – Thank you Stephen.

Here is a how I introduced the new site on facebook.

“Let me share how faith landed me this job.
A friend had 3 interviews and landed two jobs.
She started on one and a month later she was called to report to the other.
On the day she declined the second offer, I appeared an hour later, CV at hand.
Got lost on the familiar road until I stepped into the elevator with my current supervisor.
Two interviews later, the rest is history.

Sited on my right is the guy rebranding my blog. I’m yet to know how the one on the left fits into God’s divine plan. The one right opposite me should be getting me shoes . Because when you go to Him on your knees and walk your legs in faith…He moves.

ChristHub.co.ke is baking.

Why Christhub? Hub is described in the Oxford dictionary as ‘the effective centre of an activity, region or network’. Another site simply describes it as the ‘Focal point’.
Christhub simply describes Christ at the centre of…everything.

Like our page, let’s see where this goes. Share your thoughts too.”

FOLLOW ME ON MY NEW BLOG http://christhub.co.ke/

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God knows exactly what you need

I want to move houses, this means a new school for Nate. I want to finish school and off to work immediately. I want to go to Paris. I want all of these by December 2016. None of that has happened. Yet. The other day we were walking to church with Nate and met an old friend. I happened to mention to her that I needed God to do so much in such a short time & that didn’t surprise her. She assured me God is able to do so much more. I wanted to believe that, i just couldn’t.

I had a great start to the year, it would be my last year in school and I was sowing in faith on so many levels. Then, the nanny I got from the blues, who I hadn’t even prayed for really, who we went to church together and she accepted Christ in our fellowship, who I saw as a gateway to the ministry I was called into on campus and home church See how i was psyched up for this…left within three months. As she was leaving, I realized how much I had failed to balance ministry with my home and the latter fell, come to think of it both fell at that point. Faith wise, I began to crumble. See, when you trust God for an egg and one day it drops in your hands, you spray it with water, wipe it with your kinky hair and smear olive oil on it, then when you least expect it the worst happens and it drops and takes everything with it…you crumble. I have had over 15 nannies with Nathan (He is 3 years old). It’s like never keeping a job. I did absolutely everything to keep them and one by one they left with a piece of my broken heart, taking the last shred of hope I had in keeping one. I have learned to be responsible, to walk into a kitchen full of dirty scattered dishes (it’s the kitchen that always messes with me), put on music and spend the next 3 hours restoring sanity in my tiny space where the orange-white checkered curtain is constantly screaming “wash me today please”.

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As she was leaving, God blatantly told me I had failed when i was compared to Cain in the Bible. The devotion I read that day was “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” And perhaps because i was bitter with God over time it did just that. I ended up not doing much in evangelism committee ‘according to me’, I kind off just slacked.

I left the skies and in the recent months I have been dragging in the mud of faith; believing I can pray again and that the bible doesn’t contain empty words and promises. There’s been test after test after test, and at some point I got tired and allowed myself to get hit. I opened a can of worms. My battery went so low and it eventually died. I try to recharge it and I constantly get the blinks. I don’t know what God is crucifying in me, perhaps it just got started and I don’t know. My eyes are wide open staring into darkness thicker than the smokes of Hades, constantly calling out ‘save me’.

He knows what I need: offer the sacrifice of praise, Godliness with contentment is of great gain, the just shall live by faith. He knows I need my spirit strengthened more than my body satisfied. He knows these things shall pass. He knows It’s time I fed on meat, even when I feel I’m not yet ready, even when I don’t know what that really means. It’s been the hardest to trust in God, perhaps my roots are being pulled deeper or I’m growing them.

It doesn’t sound musical, perhaps it will when I’m in heaven and everything is in the right perspective.

Have you been to a night service where it’s cold, you are struggling with sleep, the worshipers are off key and you can’t seem to follow what the preacher is saying? And you are like…”would it have been different if I stayed home?” That’s the right atmosphere to meet with God. Doesn’t make sense right? God doesn’t always call us to fancy stuff. To preach to 100 million people moved to tears by the Holy Spirit. To Hillsong, King and country concerts. To cruise in the Atlantic singing ‘Kumbaya’ adorning God on the works of his hands. We are constantly sent to mission fields to pray with the sick and evangelize to a handful who show up and no one accepts Christ (sowing the seeds). We are called to seek God on empty stomachs and a clueless tomorrow, being thankful in advance…to the prayers he seems to not give answers to. We are called to trust him, even when our hearts are continuously broken. We are called to faithfully serve with the little we think we have. We are called to rejoice at all times because the price was already paid. The lamb is already slayed. We have the gift of salvation that surpasses everything we may ever desire. We are victorious because He says we are. Even when we don’t understand a thing.

We are called to know and believe that He is God. He knows exactly what we need and the rest are details.

Perception

I was walking from my house, thirty minutes past 7 in the night having my usual conversations with Christ. I thought how tangible things are more real and perhaps what frustrates me most in my spiritual walk is the inability to hold and feel my faith, God’s promises and even his unconditional love for me – in difficult times. In that instance it dawned on me, as if I never knew before, that I can neither see, hear, taste nor smell any spiritual aspect of my life – at list not in my daily Christian walk. I can’t demystify God from my human perception – the cognition/awareness of the information I receive from my sensory organs, that is ears, eyes, nose, mouth and skin.

I often read and reread my posts, mostly because I relate to the events I write. There are instances I try too much, I must admit, and there’s one post i tried to write someone else’s story. I will walk down that memory lane, from where God has me headed, so I won’t delete them. God has given me a framework of what he could have me do & I have no idea where to start. In theory, it seems great. It’s one of those concepts of making the world a better place. It’s big & puts me out there – an introverts nightmare. And I asked him “How am I even able to do this? This is bigger than me.” “Through Christ who strengthens you” that’s what came to mind.

Another post that I question its impact from the title alone is this. Am very honest in my writing, sometimes a little too much. There have been moments I question God’s goodness; in chronic situations – painful seasons that seem to last forever, his loud silence and my very own perfect ideas that hit a dead end. Am like God, I thought we were on this together…I tagged you along remember? And I must have done just that, tag him along instead of having him take the wheel. My imperfect relationship with Christ is an everyday work in progress – that’s how I see it, and still on the other side I know Christ did all the work, I am not saved by my works.

“but when perfection comes the imperfection disappears” 1 Cor 13:10.

Am working towards receiving everything he worked so hard for me, who knew acceptance would be the battle? I remember how grandmothers in my community chewed our foods and had us swallow, when we were still infants. Now we want to throw up from the mere thought because we think way too much. Infants eat anything, even poop & they don’t question what their grannies give them. We get older and get conditioned to the awful thought of having someone chew for us & it’s no longer an act of love/nurture. That’s the very same way we act towards God. His yoke is easy, his burden light but we still want to drag our own weight and remain as we are, in our discomfort zone.

“For anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work….” Hebrews 4:10

My spiritual perception changes(gets bigger/clearer) as I grow in the Lord. I pray that in the quest to impact others with the knowledge and truth of Christ, my emotions won’t get in the way. Am striving towards; living joyfully from this fact alone – Christ has redeemed me & it’s his will for me to be joyful always, not in the turnout of my circumstances; trusting unwavering in God, his timing & promises. That everything I do will reflect the truth & love of Christ and a woman yearning to please God; from sharing real/personal/true struggles that reveal the glory of God to preaching water and drinking from the very same cup. So help me God.

 

VANITY

Among the very valid reasons God wants our minds off this world is that it will constantly disappoint us. The widow with the 2 small copper coins gave more than the rich in the room. Jesus said it’s because she gave out of her poverty while the latter out of their abundance. Let me turn this the other way round to illustrate how and why friendships, property, children, spouses and any form of security can never satisfy. Those who gave plenty gave out of abundance and the world lacks that which we seek hence it cannot give what it does not have.

I have had high expectations on people, even now I still do. I expect people to be honest and mean what they say. I expect everyone to be conscious of their future and plan now, save that extra mpesa transaction money, that weekend alcohol bill and take a bus instead of a flight if they have no rush – the goal is the destination right? I want people to read my mind and know I mean well even if it doesn’t show on my face. Expectations, from a world that doesn’t have much to give if any at all. Am looking to people who harbor hurt & pain to love me back, who suffer rejection to openly accept me, people who don’t know the future to acknowledge that am on the right path. Am looking for approval, dependency, stability and security in an ever changing world. Am looking for a constant – relationships that will last forever, a pocket that won’t run dry, health that won’t deteriorate, knowledge that will stay on my fingertips. Am chasing the wind, and heck I want to be fit but am getting weary instead. Am always disappointed and my secondary appraisal is to blame them that have let me down. I spend too much energy fixing my perspective on people who don’t see eye to eye with me. Then I end up thinking maybe it’s actually me with the problem and not them.

Yesterday, the bulb went off and I not only saw the light but perceived it. I heard the voice but then again this time I understood – the moment we shift focus from God to people, we can only expect less of what we are because lets be honest, there’s not much to rejoice within us either. We make promises we don’t keep, we pass judgment, we silently scorn others and even in our thoughts we err. If I can’t give as much, I shouldn’t expect to receive any. So the next time you are disappointed in someone/a circumstance look within yourself and see the much you lack, then draw to God who has much more to give than you are willing to receive – not another relationship, job, career, town. They will still disappoint.

“Cursed is the one who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength & whose hurt turns away from the Lord” Jeremiah 17:5

“Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle” Proverbs 23:4-5 NIV

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” Col 3:2 NIV

If you think God isn’t nice wait until he disciplines you

At the height of my hurt & anger this is all God had to say to me, ‘sin is lurking (remain hidden waiting in ambush) at your door, beware & master it’. “What God? Don’t you see how much am hurting? Don’t you even care? Where’s my comfort?” Then I pictured throwing my punches while tears flowed like crazy. ‘If there’s a moment I don’t love you Lord it’s now, it’s this very moment’…Not even God was spared from the intensity of my emotions – I couldn’t help it, & that’s why he’s fighting it off of me. Ruthlessly.

I have prayed the bit of God search my heart and thoughts and if you find anything unworthy lead me back to the way everlasting. Then he found something & stripped me – stark naked. In my hurt I still found the will to do devotion and that’s when he let me know how much I had in common with Cain who killed his brother Abel. If you think God isn’t nice wait until he disciplines you. I get why David cried out for Mercy.

My best friend in high school thought I was slightly better than Cruela – a mean character in a certain soap opera. I was utterly mean and delighted in winning cold wars. I figured I wasn’t meant for the literal battle field so I mastered the art of inflicting emotional pain; I was pretty good. I pushed a classmate to a mild anxiety attack – don’t even ask me how, & I watched Evelyn turn pink from crying her heart out a couple of times. There are a few who flopped their exams, I couldn’t let them study. I brought out their insecurities, often ridiculing them in public trampling on their self-esteem. I was barely affected & when I was, I had to master my feelings because I had to win; they had to beg for mercy, not once, not twice but until my anger was quenched – & I had plenty.

Fast forward to years when am chasing after God and I think nothing unworthy is lodged within me. After all I have him search my heart every day. I pretty much get convictions from the Holy Spirit, like when I cross the road at a non-designated area when the foot bridge is a stone’s throw away, when I lie or a negative thought crosses my mind. He’s like ‘Caroline, that’s still wrong’. Sometimes I sigh as I drag myself to climb the extra stairs & go round a building to get to a place I could otherwise hop & be there in a minute. He makes it worthwhile as he reminds me that there’s no easy way of doing the right thing & on the other hand when there’s no police in casual cloths waiting to pounce on me from the other end, he’s still watching. Occasionally I meet a needy person and I share lunch with him/her or I meet a friend I hadn’t seen for a while. It pushes me to do one more thing right – oh these awful gold star rewards of mine!

6 am. Swollen throat from a tearful night, am looking for comfort from the God I felt I hated. I was unconsciously hurting people I love over consequences from past choices I made – those he forgave & delivered me from. In all honesty I don’t want to be an angry person carrying every little hurt at heart. Am glad he didn’t strike me down from all the unworthy thoughts I redirected towards him. So he is God and he is supposed to fix everything even when am doing the exact opposite of what he commands. Because my emotions are bursting out of control, he is supposed to come to my level and assure me that he knows my heart & how I desire to do right. That when everyone else doesn’t get me, he does, so I shouldn’t take things too hard. If only he did so!

‘Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door, it desires to have you, but you must master it.” Gen 4:6-7.

Wait. Me & Cain? If I do what is right? Have I been doing wrong – in all my pursuit of righteousness? This isn’t the comfort I was looking for. So I started off at Gen 4 to get where Cain went wrong, & learned a few things.

He was the first born – Normally first borns have some sought of honor, remember Esau & Jacob on the birthright story? They are considered the strength of their fathers. Without forgetting, he is the first miracle of birth, yes, pregnancy & birth are miracles.

He was the first to offer offering – “In the course of time, Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord…” Am convinced he had good intentions otherwise he didn’t have to bother with the offering in the first place.

He did not receive favor from the Lord – This is the bit am still digesting – my wounds are kind of still raw. So Cain brought what he had & offered to God. He had expectations and wanted to receive approval from God but he was rejected. It had to be with his heart because what came out first was anger then jealousy. “So Cain was very angry and his face downcast” verse 5. I also see lack of humility.

If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? – And right has never been relative like this before. I realized I can wear myself out trying to be right when am chasing the wind.

Sin is crouching at your door – another version says sin is waiting to attack you like a lion. I have seen lions hunt & they waste no time to pounce on a prey they pursue. In my case I just have to open my lips & give in to my emotions, saying things I don’t understand/mean and labelling God on how unloving and unfaithful he is.

It desires to have you but you must master it – It doesn’t say should, rather it’s a command; you must master it. God clearly told me that this situation desires to destroy me but I must not give in to it. That required me to be humble, apologise for things I did not understand and refuse to give in to my emotions that dragged along unnecessary words. It’s the hardest thing I had to do.

The greatest lesson I learned is responding to my emotions with the true & absolute word of God. So help me God.

Earlier this week, God made it so clear that he hasn’t called me to impress people – by my stories and many words, but rather go forth in obedience doing the work he has called me to & do it ‘right’; that didn’t come out so nice. I won’t even say that was mean, it’s simply God’s tough love.

BEHIND THE SCENE

Movies are great because of all that happens behind the scenes; the editing, re-shoots, make up and so on. Real life stories are even better because we can relate to the challenges and triumphs. I open my student portal frequently to check if my results have been posted, am always looking forward to an A because I know I worked behind the scenes – I studied. I grouch on the Bs & promise not to do the last minute study again. Studying, especially for an exam, is not always fun. Faith isn’t either. Trusting God in the middle of the storm is plain hard. Fasting makes me cranky at times. Keshas-nights of prayers, are long & cold. Sometimes I think of that clean, fresh & warm duvet, the pillow I had just replaced and I check my watch from time to time. Commitment is crazy and on this post I will refrain as much as possible from talking about the great results of pushing through hard times.

At times I struggle to trust in God then as I hold on to his word, my flesh follows suit. Its no longer about how I feel. What’s the point of reading scripture and attending church if they won’t have any impact on me in difficult times? How does it help me to know God is good yet I can’t hold on to his goodness in times of need? Being broken and hopeless should not warrant me to give up. Just because am coming down from Egypt with Pharaoh’s chariots behind me and the red sea ahead doesn’t mean I have to cut my wrist and choose an easier pain. Sometimes dragging ourselves is part of the journey, as long we are moving ahead. Usually, after a powerful sermon, I wonder how in the world I could have missed that. One disturbing truth I learned a while back is that God works with my pace and I can only learn from Him as much as I want to. I attended a one month series on purity and twice I left crying. How could I not have known these things earlier? Well, prior to that I hadn’t been to any event centered on that topic, how else could I have learned? Church is great but not enough. 2 hours in a week won’t give anyone a fraction of strength we need to overcome the flesh & to walk close enough with the holy spirit to be convicted of sin. Going for trainings, prayer meetings, bible study is all part of the behind the scenes work – it’s not always fun but it’s worth it. It’s worth knowing your purpose (& we can only know this in Christ) in life & avoid going round life taking chances.

Another disturbing truth I came across – if you are not up for the job, someone else is. God knew you before you were born & lets say, he put the gift of music in you for His glory. One case scenario – because you have not developed it through practice you feel inadequate and as a result your salt losses its saltiness. How can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men (Mathew 5:13). The enemy picks up the remnants of a good soul and uses it for his glory, then has you half naked singing & dancing in front of a crowd to be trampled by men (& he has plenty of ways to do that). I have seen a man who had anything but a musical voice start to lead worship. He took it upon himself to lead & clearly there’s a passion to worship God even from his choice of music. In the first weeks we would give each other glances through muffled laughter. Then he actually started to sing better than anyone in the room and that’s exactly how God works. He gives you a gift and you sleep on it, He gladly puts it on another willing soul.

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Am still chasing this awesome God & today in my weariness I told him to not let me be the first who will be last (mark 10:31). May I fight the good fight, finish the race and keep the faith; that I may receive the crown of righteousness which the Lord will award on that day (2nd timothy 4:7).

 

 

 

 

Why I said No to God’s calling

I was that type of Christian who got saved every Sunday. Felt right. I meant to post Bound on 31st Dec. I didn’t want 2016 to be the year of shelving God. I didn’t backslide over the recent years, I just shelved prayer & reading God’s word until I was too dry to feel Christian enough. The bible refers to Christians as trees; either bad or good, nothing in between. ‘Every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit’ Mathew 7:17. I examined the fruits of the spirit within me (if any at all); joy, love, peace, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control and patience…The bible specifically addresses each in various ways. Thessalonians 5:16 says ‘be joyful always….give thanks in all circumstances…’ I was certainly not ALWAYS joyful. I complained, anger had been my portion when certain situations arose, hopelessness drew in some days and as a result I shelved prayer from my lack of Joy. There was no self-control to hold back my words, lies, thoughts, and actions. I still lack unconditional love (1 Corinthians 13); love greater than people’s action and myself. I wasn’t always faithful in prayer and devotion. This spoke much of the tree that I was/am/short of. With all these thoughts rummaging within me I still expressed to God my desires of seeing through His eyes and in a dream I was referred to Psalms 139.

“…you have searched me and you know me….you perceive my thoughts from afar…before a word is on my tongue you know it completely…”

I had mentioned that my love for God drains me. I feel drained in pursuit of Christ’s righteousness – to live a holy life. God continues to pursue my spots, wrinkles and blemishes that sometimes I retrieve. Psalms 139 continued to say “Where can I go from your spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens you are there; if I make my bed in the depths you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast….”

I was also reassured that God knew what He was dealing with when it concerned me, for He “created my inmost being, knit me together in my mother’s womb…my frame was not hidden from Him when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth…”

The calling…

I was put in the campus evangelism ministry in November of last year to serve in 2016. We are a team of 12 in different dockets. Our work is to share about Christ in campus; organize and lead crusades, preach, outreach, nurture new believers with numerous extended meetings of praying, fasting, sharing, planning and organizing among others. Before I knew in details what I was called into I said No, I asked for someone else to replace me because I was busy; mostly caring for my family (that’s why we need to serve God more when we are younger; when we have the time and less responsibility). God responded.

Before I knew it I had a nanny to assist me and I was attending a 3 day prayer retreat to dedicate the work ahead to God. There were certainly other things holding me back, some came up in our bonding session with the rest of the team.

  • Fear of going out of our comfort zone

Most people, including me,  prefer the comfort of warming church seats listening to a sermon. We don’t consider being the preacher, spending hours in prayer and digging the word. We can’t stand on our feet in the ushering ministry, join praise and worship, visitation, Sunday school ministry and missions. It takes too much time and we are busy with work, school, entertainment and family. Its equally difficult to leave the safety of our caged insecurities in attempts to serve God, but where is God in your comfort zone?

  • Fear of Sacrifice

I mentioned to a friend that a good public speaker is not necessarily a good preacher. He disagreed. I know from experience that you can have the knowledge of Christ when sharing and that’s all you will share. God’s word is specifically ordained for a purpose and a season, we have to seek Him in prayer to ask for the right message and utterance for the audience He has provided lest we speak what we think people ought to hear. When we preach, it’s not our word changing people but the spirit of God convicting hearts. If we don’t seek Him, He won’t be present to do so. Walking with God will also cost us big time, some have paid the price with their own lives. Jesus in Mathew 10: 35-38 says that he has come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against his mother. A man’s enemies will be the members of his own household because anyone who loves his mother, father or child more than Him is not worthy of Him. He says this because nothing kept Him in Heaven when He had to die for us; not even the love of His father.

The life of John the Baptist speaks of the ultimate sacrifice. He was born for a specific mission; preparing the way of Christ. He lived in the dessert – he must have been lonely without his family, he fed on locusts and wild honey. It’s great to preach about the love of God and His mercy, it comforts people. Instead he had to solely preach about repentance. He was imprisoned for upholding truth and the Christ He championed seemed to be setting others free, except him. It must have been so hopeless for him to doubt the truth he had known; the Christ He had laid his life for. He was beheaded as a gift to a king’s daughter. When Jesus heard that John had died ‘He withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place’ Mathew 14:13, because it troubled and saddened Him. He knew the scripture had to be fulfilled and just like His death, He could not have stop John’s.

  • Fear of Inadequacy

Am not good enough. That has been on the table for me; I have fed on this I know how it tastes and smells, I can perceive it from afar when am asked to pray or lead a service. The only way to counter this is enriching myself with the word of God; learning to pray in spirit as my roots get deeper and as I develop boldness in Christ. I have to continuously be present, seek his face wholeheartedly as I learn to focus on Christ and not myself. There’s no shortcut in being confident in Christ other than surrendering FULLY to Him.

  • Fear of what people will say

We have evangelism week coming up in February. I will be part of my team preaching in open places, will go door to door seeking students for Christ. I will meet my friends who perhaps in that moment will not want to come closer for the usual hugs.

  • Fear of the unknown

I was to hopefully work this year yet I feel I want to focus on this given ministry more. It will be great to activate my faith in God’s provision – faith and trust are areas I have been praying for God to help me with, especially when things are out of control or am in dire need of a breakthrough.

Will God want me to maybe work in ministry full time? Will this stand in the way of my dreams of a bigger family? Does this mean I will have no fancy career to pursue? Will I still travel the world like I want to? Can I be committed? What if my nanny goes, will I stop everything halfway? Can I sacrifice it all?

The word in bold is Fear, because among other things that will keep many outside the gates of heaven is the fear of grasping the opportunities set before us – the opportunities to truly receive and share Christ. The bible says that the race is not for the swift but that time and chance happens to us all. The other day I was afraid to take food to a homeless man; just in case he was crazy and he happened to chase me away. He turned out grateful and hungry too. Am glad I stamped on fear and blessed a heart, three in that case; mine, his and that of Christ.

Today God inspired in Me.…Salvation is a journey of Faith one day at time.

Just to share – Am on a journey (again) of reading the bible from Genesis to Revelation. Found it easier to start with the New Testament, drawing inspiration from the life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and am looking forward to it. Will find a way to share the milestones as God inspires in me. Blessings.