Training to ‘fall’ in love

Once I wrote a list of everything I wanted in my man. I wrote that He must be this and that way and have so and so. I had heard preachers preach that that is the way we get ‘whatever’ we want from God. So I presented my list and I added; ‘Lord, he must show up this year or at most next year.’ Then the lord asked me a question when I got through my writing; “What are you going to be for him?”

I was amazed at my own selfishness. I realized in that instant that I had no business getting married yet. I was in my early twenties at the time and was in my penultimate year at the university. I could have a degree and a good job in the next one and half to two years and be ready by the world’s standard for marriage. But it would take another four to five years for patience, gentleness, self control; the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit to be fashioned in me.

One day; my pastor called me into his office and began to tell me some things he had received from the Lord about me while praying for me. Among a number of other things; he told me that the Lord said I was now ready to be a wife because he had taught me how to respond in love to people and be kind to and considerate of others. It had been exactly five and a half years since I wrote that list.

It takes over night to fall into ‘chemistry.’ Chemistry is exciting; and I definitely have it with my husband. But when ‘life’ happens to chemistry, it crushes; and life always happens. Let the Lord train you to ‘fall in love.’

Wearing your confidence like an accessory

It is common knowledge that we live in a rather impressionable generation. With values changing almost as quickly as fashion trends, it is clear that ‘peer pressure’ is no longer an experience limited only to adolescence. Too many of us are spending our lives looking for ‘fans,’ too worried about what other people think of us. Caught up in the ‘gang mentality;’ we have lost our own identity. When we loose our identity, we also loose self-determination, and we are subjected to living short of the best that we can be.

Every woman needs to base her sense of self on something that does not change. This is what gives birth to ‘confidence that is confident.’ If our confidence is based on our fickle emotions, or appearance, or our performance in a task, then we would most of the time walk around with a second class opinion of ourselves. We do not feel good all the time. With things like child-bearing or growing older, even illnesses; outward appearance may change, and everyone makes a dumb mistake every now and then. So we all need to learn to keep our behaviour, performance, appearance, assets or the attitude of others towards us seperate from our self-worth.

Wearing you confidence like an accessory starts with changing the way you see you but it ends with changing the way you see others. It begins with knowing you, accepting you, believing in you, and and celebrating you; but it ends with being able to give yourself to others in a selfless manner. One vital proof of a healthy self-image is being freed from selfishness. Extravagance or attention-seeking in any form and an attitude of superiority by no means prove anyone confident. As a matter of fact, they may well indicate insecurity. Education, skills and talents all add to confidence. Yet they do not necessarily guarantee confidence. It is mostly a function of the value you place on yourself. So you can relax and concentrate on being yourself. The next time you see a bold yet kind woman, who is at peace with herself, not fretful or resentful, who can receive and give love; and has faith enough for tomorrow; now that’s a confident one – content, hopeful, and happy.

A few thoughts on leadership

So everybody is all about leadership now. Big Projects. Big Names. Lots of money being spent. Lots of people being spent too. But leadership… is no  matter of egos. What makes a leader? Fame? Money? Position? I have been there, several years; no money or fame came out of it. Only a few thoughts:

  1. It is not all about gifts and talents. The gifts and talents will get you noticed and will also get you in trouble. Your same strengths are likely to be your weaknesses. E.g, You may be quite resilient, and likely to be too stuck in your own ways as well. Maybe you are outspoken, but also likely to be talkative as well. You will do well to be conscious of both your strength and weaknesses and have them appropriately channeled or controlled.
  2. Leadership is about having a firm direction under God and being able to give the people a direction. It is not all about doing what people expect and how they expect you to do it. Neither is it about making them do what you want them to do at all cost. What a leader owes his followers is actually direction, not necessarily orders.
  3. Leadership also means being there for people even when they are not able to be there for you. Yes. Leadership is lonely. When they mess up, they come to you for help but when you are in a mess, don’t expect them to know how to deal with it. You are their leader.
  4. Leadership means caring enough for people and about the vision to continue to choose the right path even when it is personally unrewarding or painful and no one would know or notice what you’re doing.
  5. Leadership is walking around not feeling up to it but doing something that needs to be done anyway. You should acknowledge your feelings, but you cannot always express them or act on them. You have to just go on with what needs to be done. This too is the burden of leadership.
  6. Leadership is giving up! Giving up!! Giving up!!! Leadership is sacrifice, not self-gratification. You give up your ‘life’ (your own thing) over and over; for WHO you believe in, for WHAT you believe in.

Selah!

The miracle of friendship

A man of God I respect once said; “Friendship is the greatest spiritual miracle in any relationship; including marriage.” No wonder the scripture says; “A friend loveth at all times…” {Proverbs 17:17}. People who are charismatic or talented one way or other or people with an outgoing temperament tend to have many people around them. But you will realize sooner or later that you do not need many people in your life, just a few genuine ones. We will have different kinds of people in our lives and different relationships for different purposes. We are all still growing and none of us is perfect yet. We all have weaknesses. So if you tend to be one of those who are intolerant of others, who are quick to judge others and who tend to seek a perfect friend or partner, just know that while you are at it {your unrealistic standards} you run the risk of missing out on the greatest miracle of your life. Truth is that some people are having to ‘cope’ with certain things about you too. You may be ‘unknowingly’ proud as of now. Some people tend to be ‘humble’ in such a way that it make others look bad and themselves look good. Maybe you are jealous and insecure, or bitter and unforgiving. We tend to look on others as the ‘bad friends’ while absolving ourselves of responsibility. But we are all work in progress. The more we grow spiritually, the better ‘friend or partner’ we become. On our journey to finding true friends, we must learn to recognize and price the gifts that God sends into our lives. Sometimes we tend to lose great friends and fall into the wrong hands because we have the wrong values. We despise and do not appreciate enough the people who may turn out to be the greatest gifts in our lives because we have more regard for reputation and connection even within the church than spiritual maturity and character. We tend to respect the kind of clothes people wear, the neighbourhood in which they live and the kind of cars they drive more than qualities like intimacy with the Lord, genuine humility, and faithfulness. If you do not deal with lust, it will always lead to compromise and regretful decisions. You will constantly find yourself chasing after users, people who neither value you nor want you and you are going to have your heart constantly broken.

Remember also to show yourself friendly. Moodiness, depression, impatience, low self-esteem, touchiness, rudeness, hot-temper, insecurity, and of course pride are all potential threats to any meaningful relationship or connection. So we need to work on ourselves consistently to be the best for our friends too. The truth is that if it is always all about you, you will never be happy because your happiness will depend on others doing or being the way you want them to be. But if friendship for you is about finding ways to help and bring joy to another person, you will truly be enriched, fulfilled and rewarded in a hundredfold. No human being should ever replace the intimacy you have with the Lord and become an idol; where we think of them as solution to all our problems and we have called them first before we even think of praying. You will never be content until you find completion and wholeness in intimate relationship with the Lord as your best friend.

This thing called love

No one can love who has not experienced the love of God. Doing something from the heart without expecting anything back will be strange. Showing mercy will be strange. Forgiveness will be strange. If HE has ever said to you “Woman {or man} where are your accusers?” {John 8:10} Then you can no longer walk around with a stone of retribution in your hand. You can say to someone “I love you.” and the person can trust in that love because it’s not yours. It’s HIS’ in you; flowing out through a captured heart to others.

I had come to know Jesus as personal Saviour and Lord a couple of years before I began to understand His love for me.  Initially, the fact that He went to the cross and died meant to me that I had to work hard to be good enough for Him. I didn’t realize it meant that He had done all the work that would ever be required of me in this life and the next to be ‘good enough.’

Love saves. Love says when the object of love is falling short; “I love you and I am pleased with you.” then the object of love knows that love is not about what they can or cannot do; it is something deeply divine and prevailing. It is the power of life that conquers death in the heart