Archive for May, 2012

Ps.115:1 Not to us, not to us, but to Your Name be the glory.

Grace to you,

I write this article, because as the days go by, I see a need that is rapidly growing and I feel it is my Christian duty to respond to such needs.  Some are doing it intentionally and some genuinely do not know. Rather than sit and complain, let me use what God has given me to share my concerns and trust that God will help us through this one too.

Let me first start by explaining what I mean by the term “Gifting.” I have used the word gifting to infer to what we have freely received from God, be it in form of knowledge, skill or talent, or the biblically recorded gifts, for the glory of His name.

Christ is an example to everything we will ever need in life so let me start by showing how He correlated with what God had given Him. Christ’ purpose when coming to earth was to redeem it and reconcile it to God. God had decided before time, that He was going to be the instrument through which we were going to receive redemption.  Everything that Christ did was God centered and the role He was to play was not separate from His being. Christ and His saving work were the same. ALL that He did emanated from Him being God yet man, being sent by God the Father and the work that He was to do which was all for the glory and pleasure of God. There is no time, where Christ separated the two, His saving work and His being. He did what He was to do because when people looked at him, they saw the one who sent Him and believed. He came as the light, John 12:44.

Let me shift this to the present day Christian. What is it that God has sent you to do? What has He freely given you that come with so much ease to you for the glory of His name? Are you doing it fully and for the glory of His name? Let me break it down further. In this diverse Christian family, we have received various gifting/talents from God. We have the fivefold ministry then we have the gifting/talents or skills such as photography, writing, music, poetry, filming, et al. Every good and perfect gift comes from above and every gift/talent is for the common good. That means that it is not your personal trophy. You are just a carrier who must deliver the contents to the intended recipients.  You are supposed to use it for the edification of the body and the glory of God. We are to use our gifting/talents to preach God’s message of reconciliation. That is the message that John the Baptist preached and the same message that Jesus preached when He set out in His ministry.

God’s word is taught so that we may be fully equipped for the work of ministry. For some, it may mean going to Rendille for some mission work, whilst for others, it may mean being in your field of expertise as the mission field. Once we begin to see what we have been given as a tool to preach the gospel, edify the saints and bring glory to God, then and only then, will we begin to bear good fruit.

So I ask again, is the Christian and his gifting/talent one or separate? Is my Christianity and my blog, my Christianity and my photography work, my Christianity and my music, my Christianity and my poetry,  my Christianity and my fashion business, etc.  same or separate? Will I call myself a Christian but desist from practicing or showing Christ in my blog? Will I say I am a Christian but my poetry pieces cannot attest to that? Yes, I understand that we are one body but different parts, meaning everyone brings something different on the table. This is always evident when am reading other people’s blogs and am just amazed at how we are all so different yet sharing the same agenda. I can only write the way I write, but one thing’s for sure, regardless of our differences, the point should be the same.  If you have been sent out, don’t you think it is important to do the will of the one who sent you? Christ was willing to obey even when obedience meant death. Why do we trifle with the will of God? Why do we think the gifts/talents we have received are just gadgets for us to have fun with? Why can’t we see the bigger picture – For the glory of God and His pleasure?

If we are told to live a life worthy of the calling we have received, don’t you think it should apply even in the way we use our gifting/talents? We are Christ’ ambassadors, each with different assignments but with one agenda, “Preaching the gospel of reconciliation.” Why is it hard for us to see your agenda as the Christian?  Col 3:16 says, “let the word of God dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom.”  The word of God is the main tool for preaching the gospel. Have you ever thought, that maybe, God has equipped you with photography skills so that you can show the world how creation testifies of His glory, or you are so adept in sports because God wants you to show how sports can be done for the glory of God, or how when I read that awesome piece I am supposed to just see God strewn all over it, don’t you think so? Everything Christ did gave God glory, shouldn’t it be the same with us? Shouldn’t someone be able to pinpoint from the very start that this one is from God and glorify God? Why are there so many relativities and ambiguities in our work? Are we failing in our gifting/talents?

Col 4:17 says, “See to it that you complete the work you have received in the Lord.” Are we doing that? An exhortation is given to work with all our hearts in everything as unto the Lord and in all we do, whether in word or deed, to do it in the name of the Lord Jesus, Col.3:17. We are told in Col.4:5 to make use of every opportunity and in 2 Tim.4:5, to discharge all the duties of our ministry.  1 Peter goes higher to the heavens by saying, be holy in all you do, for He who has called you is holy. Is holiness exuded in your work? Is holiness exuded in your gifting/talent? Then the mother of them all, 1 Cor. 10:31, “so whether you eat or drink, or WHATEVER YOU DO, do it all for the glory of God. Do not stumble anyone for we are not seeking our own good but the good of many (the great commission), so that they may be saved.” Are you taking heed to that? It is to the word, we will do well to take heed.  Finally, Rom 13:10 says, Love worketh no ill to his neighbor. If we really love God with all our hearts, strength and mind, and love our neighbors as we love ourselves, why aren’t we sharing the gospel, the good news, the word of life to the perishing souls through the media God has given us?

To answer the question, the Christian and his gifting/talent are not separate but one. Do not separate what God has joined. The Christian and his gifting have a mutual relationship one flows from the other, your gifting flows from the fact that you are a Christian therefore Christianity is supposed to be imprinted in it. Let us not be like the Jews in Jn. 12:43 who believed in Christ but would not confess their faith for fear of being expelled from the synagogues, for they loved praise from men more than God. If we are going in, let us go all in. I leave you with this, “Are you glorifying God and reaching out to people, not with positivity but with the gospel, in the area God has called you into?”

Grace & Peace

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LOVE IN THE HOOD ~ ^ ~

Posted: May 11, 2012 in broken_pieces

Psalms 115:1 – Not to us, not to us but to Your Name be the glory.

Grace to you,

This article was inspired by my neighbour’s son, two Sundays ago. I was preparing for church then happened to throw a glance outside the window and I saw him. I saw him and his mother walking down to their house and I could tell that they were from hospital. He even had something wrapped around his face for concealing purposes. This boy has been sickly from birth and my heart usually goes out to him. Every time I see him, during his sick days, I usually have to hold back tears and mumble words to God. Words like, “God please just have mercy on this boy and heal him, or at least give him the grace to go through this if it’s your will that the sickness remains for your glory.” The boy is not saved and I have never shared the gospel to him, I always wonder how to go about it. I pray that God may enable me to talk to Him someday soon.

So, as the thoughts of this boy are flooding my mind, I start thinking of my hood. That boy is like a small bro to me cause we’ve basically grown up together and so is the case with the rest of my hoodies. We truly love each other, are always there there for each other in good times and in the bad, we spend ourselves for each other. Then it got me into thinking, wait, isn’t this how Christianity should be?

Most of the times, we Christians tend to forget that we come from the same hood. We draw ourselves in clusters and cliques that are thick to cut, we cause divisions amongst ourselves based on worldly views forgetting that we are a family. Acts 17:28 says we are the offspring of God.  We are in this world yet not of this world,that shows we are from the same hood. Rom 5:15 enhances it by saying we have been given the Spirit of sonship (adoption) and God is our father. God actually predestined  us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ and that Christ may become the firstborn among many brothers. Why then is there no love in this hood? Why do we live as strangers with each other yet God clearly says in Ephe. 2:19 that we are no longer foreigners and aliens but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of his household. Why do we live in disunity like the non – believers yet our unity is what is meant to reach out to them, Jn. 17?

Like the Romans in  chapter 2:24, God’s name is being blasphemed among the Gentiles because of us.  Because we do not do that which we know we ought to do. Truth in love no longer exists. Rom 13:10 says love worketh no ill to his neighbour. Why are we breaking this command?  Why do we keep quiet when we see a brother falling or straying in the name of “I don’t have a relationship with them” or “I don’t want to stir up stuff?” In the name of keeping pretty and pleasing the masses? Yet God has already certified you to talk to them by the main fact that you are of the same hood, Christians. I don’t negate the place of relationships, there is but I think we are overstepping it in the way we use it nowadays. God calls us family. Which one of you will keep quiet when their biological brothers are about to fall in a pit? How much more then are we supposed to speak up when we see members of this heavenly family, which is more important and which is everlasting? If we are going to live, with the end in mind, then I think the Christians, as a family of God, are way above considering they will still be there even when it all ends.

Why do we have to hide behind the walls of “stop judging me.” Paul says it is not his duty to judge the world but the church. Judgement begins in the church. Why is it when I compliment you or commend you on something and I don’t know you, you hurriedly and warmingly receive the compliments, but when I speak up in love when I see you straying, you rudely retort that “I don’t know you?”  I find that to be a bit hypocritical, if that’s how you are going to act, then do so fully. Don’t receive the compliments either.  If your circle of friends, the people you have a relationship with are not seeing when you are straying or if they do but they prefer to keep mum on the issue, but me, a “stranger” I choose to spell it out to you in love, why is it so hard for you to exercise spiritual diligence and think, if this person has decided to risk and come talk to me there must be something, why don’t I gauge it with the word. The word is the standard, not us, not our opinions, the word.

Let me just give you a practical example, I wrote this article yesterday night and God made it practical today morning when I was going to work. I was in a matatu and these two women behind me were chatting. One was an embittered woman who had left her church and was now telling this other one about it. Truth be told, that journey was long, the whole matatu was quiet, we were just hearing her complaints about the church and pastor. I kept wishing that somehow God would make it possible for us to alight at the same stage so that I could talk to them, mostly the embittered one. God in His wisdom, let me alight with the one who was being told the story. So, I just stopped her, said hi, and asked her if she’s a Christian. She said yes, and I told her I couldn’t help but hear their conversation and it wasn’t right at all. So I explained to her why and she was grateful and appreciated and was of the same thought. I didn’t know that chic, but the fact that they were professing Christians, I couldn’t just walk out of that place without telling them the truth. That’s what hood love is all about. We are family.

Let’s practise some hood love people. Let’s be real, let’s be genuine with each other. This world is fleeting and an open rebuke is better than hidden love, so says God. The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit, Prov. 15:4. Let us not lie to one another. Let us practise love in its fulness. We are members of the same hood, let’s not forget that, only ours is more is more stronger because we are united by one blood.

So anytime you are about to say, “you don’t know me, you can’t talk to me, remind yourself this, we are from the same hood.”  We are family, so either of us can talk to the other. Gal. 6:10 says, “therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, ESPECIALLY to those who belong to the family of believers (hoodies :)) That’s the word of God take it or leave it.  Time for some hood love.

 

Grace and Peace.

 

IF I WERE TO DIE!!! (SONG)

Posted: May 9, 2012 in Songs
Tags: , , , ,

Chorus:

If I were to die today/There’d be no tomorrow

Die today/No more second chances

Die today/All the words unspoken

Lord, please help me not to waste today

If I were to die

The anthem rise, The crowns are worn

The trophies display our glories

The lifeless soul, The wounded heart

The content heart ignores them

Tell me now do you see them as the Christ

Maybe then your heart will change

All the trophies that you hold/They are detestable to God

Find your worth in what will last/When the criers gong resounds

Find your worth in what will last/When the trumpet blows for you…..

Chorus:

If I were to die today/There’d be no tomorrow

Die today/No more second chances

Die today/All the words unspoken

Lord, please help me not to waste today

If I were to die

You have reached your end in life/Death encroaches

There is no one by your side and your heart is bleeding

Now you lay, an empty heart, an empty soul

Now you count, all the things that matter – none

Find your worth in what will last/When the criers gong resounds

Find your worth in what will last/When the curtains draw for you

Chorus:

You are just about to die today/Tell me what will matter

Die today/ Is your heart secured

Die today/There’s no more tomorrow

Lord, please help us not to waste today

Cause we are about to die

LETTER TO DAD

Posted: May 2, 2012 in Letters
Tags: , , , ,

Dear Dad,

I still have a vivid account of the incident that happened that day. The date was May 20th on a Saturday, at Milimani Estate, Kakamega, 1995. I even remember what I was wearing. I was 9years old and in Class 4 in Star Academy. You had travelled to Lodwar for a business trip and you decided to pass by your daughter’s school on your way back since it was on your way home to say “hi”. But as God would have it, that was never to be. I remember our class had made so much noise and we were made to kneel down. Then my geography teacher, Mr. Wesonga, called me out and took me to his classroom office in Class 5. He started asking me questions about you, how you were faring on, if you ever complained of ill health and all that. All I could tell him was that you had HBP. Immediately, I knew something was wrong. My small mind could not grasp it and kept wandering off wondering why all the questions. I remember the teacher walking out and telling me to wait for him there. He took quite some time, because I remember dozing off. Then he came back and told me to go back to class.

Next thing I hear, school is being closed and we are told to go home and use the back gate. Something kept telling me, that somehow, I was involved in the school’s closing. Just couldn’t figure out how. Out of the gate we all went gladly, but you see, for me to get to our house, I still had to come at some distance close to the front gate of the school. At that not so far distance, I saw this:

Yea, it was my first time, to see that in my life. The cops had come, the body had already been taken, their car was still there, all I could see was that. Still, I knew something had happened and I was the one affected. So, like the 9year old that I was, I just slowly strolled home. Only to find some of my teachers already there and the house filled with people. I just walked in and as I was going to our room, I hear my sister asking me, “Winnie have you heard what has happened?” She was crying in the bathroom. I just said yes. Nobody had told me anything but I knew you were gone. Just like that, you collapsed and died at the gate before you could even say hi. Sometimes, I wonder what it is you wanted to tell me. I know you had missed me, just wanted to see me, wanted to hug me, maybe even carry me, you loved doing that. But that day, all that was never to be.

Then, after the burial, we had to move back to Nairobi, where mum took good care of us. Maybe I have never really mourned for you, I always try to block the painful things in my life, it’s what I do with mum too. So today, let me do so. You were a very loving, caring, industrious, smart dad. Someone recently told me, you truly are a lecturer’s daughter. That made me smile, made me think of you, made me thank God for you and all that you imparted in me in that short period of time you were with us.  It’s from you that I got the “reading thing”. I remember always going to your bookshelf and reading stuff that was way beyond me. I read “Things Fall Apart”  in Class 3 plus other stuff. You inculcated that in me and your dream for me was to reach University level and be the best. Trust me that stuck with me all through my life and it hurt when I couldn’t go to campus because mum had just passed on the previous year when I was doing my K.C.S.E and there was no one to cater for the fees. It hurt so bad, seeing other people, my friends mostly, even those who had failed going to colleges and campuses, and I was just at home. Nobody knew, but I was so devastated.

Here’s where the twist is. When you died, we were all confused, mum really tried to be strong through it all and made sure we all went to school, had the best and finished school, single handedly. She taught us alot, but today it’s about you. When you left, we knew we had lost our only dad, the greatest man in our lives. I knew I was alone, no father figure anymore. No more feeling of your strong arms holding me and carrying me into the air. No more running to you in the evening after school and us discussing about how school was, what I got in the different subjects. No more. I knew it had all ended there. Till I met one who is more than a father figure. One who calls me child and one who loves me more than I could ever think of. One who says that when I was in my mother’s womb He knew me. One who says he is always watching over me and never slumbers. One who I can talk to about any and everything, when I met that man, then I found peace.

I know you tried your best to be the best father to us, and we appreciate everything. I only wish you knew the one who gave you that parenting job before you left us. God only knows where your soul is right now. I thought it was the end of me when you left me, then mum followed, but God was just orchestrating stuff for His glory. Now, looking back, I thank God for all that has happened, albeit with some hint of grief. For if all these hadn’t happened, I don’t know where I would be. So I managed to go to college, I schooled myself, I know that would have made you proud, I didn’t go to campus and I didn’t become a lawyer. God had other plans. Now, now am a fully grown woman, 26years old. And all I can say is, were it not for my heavenly father, I don’t know where I would be. This far, the Lord has brought me, this far,  Lord hath kept us.

He carried me, in places where even your strong arms could never have carried me. He has seen me through tough and trying times that I never thought I would come out from. He has been my anchor, my joy and  my peace. Now I can smile, now I can walk confidently, because I am not alone. He says, “He shall never leave me, nor forsake” you don’t know how sweet and comforting that is. His promises are sure, He never fails. That is my God, that is my Father. So to all who have lost their dads, there is one who is more closer. To all whose dads are absentees, run to him who said He knit you together in your mother’s womb. To all who don’t feel loved by your dads, run to the one who has adopted us into his family and given us the Spirit of sonship by which we cry out Abba Father. To all who don’t know Him as a Father, develop a relationship with Him. He is your peace and He calls you child.

Run to your Father. His arms are always open wide. He never turns His face away from His children. He gives us all of Him. Run to Him. Let Him be your anchor, let Him be your everything. Let Him wipe away all the tears, all the fears, all the pain. Let Him carry your load, that’s how loving He is. The Almighty is our Father. May you learn to see Him that way. To God be the glory.

Your Lovely Daughter,

Winnie.