Tag Archive: Peace


…By Lee

“And we know that in all things we are more than conquerors, through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37

Once in a while people confide in me, pouring out their hearts on their many problems, and desperately hoping for God to provide a solution. Although I encourage them to have faith and stand strong in the Lord, I know that is far from easy to take that message to heart especially during times of turmoil.

I know for a fact that problems are created in the attempt to divert our attention from accepting God’s presence in our lives. God wants our focus to always be on Him, simply because, when we lose sight of God’s perspective, we blindly tumble towards our own destruction.

God knows how the ways of this world try to lure us into turning away from Him. When problems come our way, and we focus on them, they continue dragging us further and further away, until we are fully parted from our Godly mindset. The more we separate ourselves from focusing on God, the more we forget His word and the more vulnerable we are to adopting the earthly way of thinking; where we allow problems to drown us in a pool of worries, confusion and panic.

Through the apostle Paul, God assures us that we are more than conquerors in all we do. So in times of trouble, if those words can echo in our minds, and if we choose to have firm faith in them, knowing that God has declared us more than conquerors, more than champions, then we will be transformed in how we handle challenges. It’s like going to play a football match against a mediocre team. If you are intimidated by the team, you might end up losing, but if you face the team with the confidence of a winner, then you will play like a winner and triumph like a winner. It is all in the mindset. Therefore, when challenged with difficulties, recognise that you stand in God’s word and you have already been declared the victor in all you do.

So how can one be able to adopt a Godly mind set? The only way to adopt God’s way of thinking is to get deeper into His word. Develop your relationship with Him through prayer and daily devotion. Like any relationship, the one you have with God requires time, attention and commitment. As your relationship with God grows, He will gradually reveal Himself to you. The more you know God, the more you trust in Him. As your trust in Him grows, the stronger your faith will be.

In the book of Romans chapter 12, Paul also tells us that our minds should no longer be conformed to the motifs of this world, but instead be transformed in our way of thinking. We decide what manifests in our minds. If we allow our minds to be filled with fear and worries, it will reflect in the way we live. If we allow God’s words to take root in our minds, it will manifest in our lifestyle. We will begin to reflect His nature and being. The word says God made man in His image, so there is no reason for us to think that we can never reflect His nature.

So I urge you to fasten your minds on God and take hold of His word. Do not allow thoughts of fear and discomfort to dwell in your psyche, but allow the truth of God’s word to shape your mind. We

When facing problems, you should always remember that the God who breathed life into you has made you a conqueror of anything you will ever face. God will always provide a new perspective on your situation and he will empower you with the strength you require to get through it.

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…By Mwandi 

Before I got baptized, I had always been a critic of the frequent church-goer; who on Sunday, in their Sunday best would praise the Lord with all their heart, and all their soul and all their might…then on Monday don the ski mask and rob you blind.  And it was unfortunate for me that I knew so many of them.  There were few people I met who I could say were truly spiritually in-tune and showed that both in and out of the office. 

I remember countless sermons in church that taught one thing and I ended up doing the other the very next day; a sermon on taming the tongue…and the next day insulted my manager in all the international languages I had acquired.

 Then I made the glorious change in my life and was baptized.  I was a new person.  I had a new outlook for life, I had new joy and peace within me and for the first time I had an overwhelming amount of hope.  But I was still working in the same office that drove me up the wall.  It didn’t take long, and it wasn’t too hard for me to quickly become a Sunday angel and the next day be a Monday Devil. 

 I remember countless sermons in church that taught one thing and I ended up doing the other the very next day; a sermon on taming the tongue…and the next day insulted my manager in all the international languages I had acquired.  A sermon on patience, and the next day wanting to chop off the head of a matatu tout for short changing me.  One on being a Samaritan to those around me; helping them up…yet the next day tearing them down.  There was a problem.  There was a missing link. 

 Not only was I not applying everything I’d learned the day before where it mattered the most; I was breaking one of my most sacred vows…putting God first and having Him guide me wherever I go.  I could be wrong (though I highly doubt it) but I don’t think God intended me to be a razor-sharp clawed, fire breathing vixen in the office.

 But many people claim and say that God does not belong in the office (unless your office is some form of ministry).  That religion and politics do not and should not mix; and that “me” as the politician is totally different from “me” as the religious person.   But where else can one practice the principals learned on that religious Sunday?   

 Finally, I did what every struggling Christian thinks last to do…I prayed.  I asked how do I bring God into the office?  How can I show, that something within me has changed…that God is fully with me and that I am a changed person?”

 The answer did not come easily and the application of the same is harder still.  It required of me to hold back when I wanted to go forward.  Or stand firm when I wanted to flee.  It meant me persevering when I wanted to quit; and letting go when I wanted to hold on.  It took more of me than I thought it would but I gained all the more back.  The peace that resonated within me from my decision was now spilling into the one place people said it should not go. 

And that is when I knew…it’s not the preaching in the office; neither the countless bible verses exhibited your work space; nor the continuous exclamation that “I am a Christian woman” that makes the difference.  It is God, living within you, guiding, transforming and emancipating you, that makes the difference wherever you go.

…By Mandii

God is love. There is a God-shaped hole in every heart. When we do not fill this hole with God, we seek other ways to seal the vacuum. We seek out the ‘love’ of others. There is a huge problem with this as until we know God’s love, we shall be unable to truly love ourselves, and  truly love others.

When one seeks out the love of another without first establishing a relationship with God- many a time, an addict is born. The relationship addict feels (sometimes on a subconscious level) a sense of incompleteness, emptiness, despair, and sadness that he or she seeks to remedy by connecting with another. The relationship is viewed as a means of meeting one’s needs for love, attention, and security rather than as a shared experience.

The addictive relationship becomes an arena for trying to resolve unfinished business with one’s soul, to fill the void that remains without God. Addictive relationships are characterized by a simultaneous excess and lack of love; an over abundance of love to obsessive attention is bestowed upon someone else while an inadequate amount is given to self.

Here, I give you seven signs of an addictive relationship:

1) Dishonesty: Neither John nor Mary talks about who they are or what’s really bothering them. They lie about what they want; they use manipulation and half truths to elicit emotional responses in the other. This kind of communication fuels an addictive relationship.  

Hebrews 6:18 – “So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie.” (NLT)

Psalm 119:160 – “The very essence of your words is truth; all your just regulations will stand forever.” (NLT)

2) Unrealistic expectations: Both John and Mary think the other will solve their self-esteem, body image, family, and existential problems. They believe the “right relationship” will make everything better. Yet, they’re in a disastrous addictive relationship.

But He said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” (Luke 18:27)

(Psalms 147:3 NKJV) “He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.”

 Ephesians 3:20 “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.”

3) Instant gratification: Mary expects John to be there for her whenever she needs him; she needs him to make her happy immediately. She is using him to make her feel good, and isn’t relating to him as a partner or even a human being. He is like  a drug. An addictive relationship drug.

2 Timothy 3:2 “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy.”

4) Compulsive control. Mary has to change or act a certain way, or John will threaten to leave her and/or vice versa. This establishes a strict conditional love policy within the relationship, lacking any kind of compromise, tolerance or acceptance.  Both feel pressure to stay in this addictive relationship; neither feel like they’re together voluntarily, but instead are limited in exercising their free will.

Malachi 3:6 “For I am the Lord, I do not change …”

 Psalm 80:13 “So I [God] let them go according to the desires of their heart: they shall walk in their own inventions.

5) Lack of trust. Neither partner trusts the other to be there when the chips are down. They don’t believe the other really loves them, and they don’t believe genuine caring or liking exists. At some level they know they’re not in a healthy but rather in an addictive relationship.

Luke 16:10 – “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” (NIV)

6) Social isolation. Nobody else is invited into their relationship – not friends, family, or work acquaintances. People in addictive relationships want to be left alone. They do not want to hear the advice of those who care for them, as the truth of the unhealthy nature of their relationship is something they would rather not  hear.

Ecclesiastes 4:13 “Better is a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king who no longer knows how to receive counsel (friendly reproof and warning)” (AMP)

Proverbs 19:20 “Hear counsel, receive instruction, and accept correction, that you may be wise in the time to come.” (AMP)

1 Corinthians 4:14I do not write this to shame you, but to warn and counsel you as my beloved children.” (AMP)

7) Cycle of pain. John and Mary are trapped in a cycle of pleasure, pain, disillusionment, blaming, and reconnection. The cycle repeats itself until one partner breaks free of the addictive relationship.

Psalm 34:19 “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He guards all his bones; not one of them is broken.”

Jeremiah 30:17 “For I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds,” says the Lord.

John (or Mary) can get out of this unhealthy, addictive relationship…but how does he overcome this self sabotage nightmare?

John must let go of the fear of being alone.

Tim 1:7 (AMP) “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.”

John must have an awakening, emotionally, cognitively and spiritually. The first step to recovery is acknowledgment of a problem and the will to change. Thus once John realises that things aren’t quite what they seem; what he thought or how he wishes they would be,  his initial awakening shall continue as he recovers.

1 Peter 5:7 (AMP) “Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.”

John must glimpse his (addictive) relationship as it exists in reality. John’s spirituality and subsequent relationship with God can provide the essential coping skills and personal courage required to do this. John’s emerging awareness leads him to seek out and find appropriate help. Awakening awareness begins to help him to see and understand his self sabotage of chances for genuine intimacy. John shall learn about learn about identifying poor boundaries between adults; addiction and problems of intimacy; unhealthy attachment, ending relationships and self sabotage.

 God can slowly heal John’s issues with control, being over-responsible, neglecting his own needs, and his fear of abandonment. When he begins to allow God’s love in, he will understand that during his relationship he put up with abuse and ill treatment, which should have been unacceptable.

John learns to let go and let God. Most importantly, he learns what REAL love, what God’s love is.

Psalm 46:1-3,7 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold. “

…By Mandii

When they walk into the room your knees turn to jelly, your brain scrambles and your heart sprints faster than Usain Bolt….

Many of us have experienced this feeling of intense attraction and perceiving amazing qualities in another person. Society has continually reinforced the message that until we meet the ‘love of our life’, then we are ‘incomplete’, ‘unfulfilled’ and ‘undesirable.’ Couples ‘fall in love’ blissfully and fall out of it with such agonizing heartache. Countless others remain in relationships that are not necessarily healthy, purely for the sake of not being alone.

I believe that many of these short lived romantic relationships are based on nothing but physical attraction and butterflies in the tummy...

Indeed, God created man and woman to be together, to complement each other. It is natural to desire to meet someone with whom you can share your life with. However, despite the cliché yarns of being swept of your feet into a whirlwind romance that would rival any Spanish tele-novella, the long lasting romantic relationships are those based on more than passionate infatuation. I believe many of these short lived romantic relationships are based on nothing but physical attraction and butterflies in the tummy, but those based on friendship have a deep understanding of who the other person really is and what they need.

Proverbs sheds some light on several characteristics of friends and friendships. Prov.17: 17 says, “A friend loves at all times.” Prov.18: 24 says, “There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.” Prov.27: 6 says, “When a friend rebukes you, that rebuke can be trusted.” Prov.27: 9 says, “The pleasantness of having a friend springs from his earnest counsel.” Prov.27: 10 says, “Do not forsake your friend.” These verses bring out the fact that God blesses friendship and encourages us to develop them. Friendship involves three essential elements, commitment to fulfil the responsibility of a friend, care and concern for the welfare of your friend, and affection. A romantic relationship rooted in this kind of friendship is much more likely to withstand the tough times.

When romantic relationships develop, the couple involved may feel the need to express intimacy through physical means. In an unhealthy situation, from my own observations I feel sex has come to be used as some kind of a drug. Even within the context of a ‘relationship’, sex is used in order to escape reality, to forget about problems, to relax, for instant physical gratification…and like all drugs, this is a harmful and destructive practice.

The purpose of romantic intimacy and romantic expression is for marriage and that is where it is to come into full bloom...

The Scriptures discuss the context in which the ultimate physical intimacy (sex) can be shared within a romantic relationship. Firstly, the purpose of romantic intimacy and romantic expression is for marriage and that is where it is to come into full bloom. It is like a flower bud that exists before marriage and is only opened up in a full way when it is time for it to bloom (in marriage). This is simply because romantic intimacy involves the most fragile part of our being – our hearts. Once our feelings are expressed and shared, the deepest part of us becomes vulnerable to another.

When your mother told you not to give your heart away too freely, she was right. She knew that sex is an extremely powerful force, and that when you bear yourself to someone else it is so much more than just a physical act. When we’re in bed with someone, we’re giving permission to that person not only to commune with our body, but with our whole being; we cannot hide who we are. Song of Songs 4:9 describes the vulnerability of expressing romantic desire to another when it says “You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes...” When romantic desire and attraction are expressed and reciprocated it “steals the heart” and makes it vulnerable. Without the commitment and resultant security of marriage, our hearts can easily be crushed.

The bride of Solomon in the Song of Songs celebrates the unity of romantic and physical intimacy as she proclaims in 1:2 “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth – for your love is more delightful than wine.” The Hebrew word translated “love” in that verse is literally “lovemaking,” showing love sexually.

In God's beautiful plan for man and woman, romantic intimacy and physical intimacy come to full expression together only within the protective bond of marriage.

In God’s beautiful plan for man and woman, romantic intimacy and physical intimacy come to full expression together only within the protective bond of marriage. Based on the Scriptures we have seen thus far, we can draw some important conclusions that can give us guidance when it comes to establishing romantic relationships. The first is that God desires for us to experience friendships with others before marriage. And it is a friendship-type relationship (with romantic desire, but not sexual intimacy) with a spiritual seeker of the opposite sex that moves directly into engagement (preparation for marriage). Second, in the Scriptures, no relationships are moved to the engagement/marriage stage unless the person is mature enough to be married. In Gen.28: 1-3 Isaac calls for his son Jacob when he is mature enough to fulfill his responsibilities as a husband and commands him to seek a wife. Third, romantic intimacy should not be experienced without the commitment of marriage to go with it. Romantic and physical intimacy is to be expressed only in marriage between a husband and wife. The Song of Songs shows us that romantic intimacy and physical intimacy are expressed together in marriage.

I leave you with some reflective words on marriage:

In a time when nothing is more certain than change, the commitment of two people to one another has become difficult and rare.  Yet, by its scarcity, the beauty and value of this exchange have only been enhanced.  ~Robert Sexton

Marriage is not a ritual or an end. It is a long, intricate, intimate dance together and nothing matters more than your own sense of balance and your choice of partner. ~Amy Bloom

Love is a flower which turns into fruit at marriage.  ~Finnish Proverb

Don’t marry the person you think you can live with; marry only the individual you think you can’t live without.  ~James C. Dobson

We have the greatest pre-nuptial agreement in the world.  It’s called love.  ~Gene Perret

A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems too short.  ~Andre Maurois

In His Presence

…By Wambui

Have you ever felt God so near you that you could almost hear Him breathing?  Have you ever felt so surrounded by Him that the sheer intensity of His presence made you shudder?

Mt. Kilimanjaro, almost six kilometres above sea level - the highest point in Africa.

My experience was much unexpected.  It was on top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, almost six kilometres above sea level – the highest point in Africa.  It was the fourth day of our expedition; we had been walking all night to reach the summit, and were hungry, cold and utterly exhausted.  I dragged my feet to the edge of the cliff to get a good view of the landscape below.  As (bad) luck would have it, our pace had been too slow, so the sun was already high up, and had caused thick clouds to form below us.  Instead of seeing the land below, all I could see was clouds – layer upon layer of clouds.  I was disappointed.

Just as I resigned myself to accepting that I would see nothing but thick clouds below, out of the corner of my eye, I saw some movement.  It was not one of the people in the expedition; it was the movement of clouds right in front of me.  These were not the thick clouds I had been staring at far below; they were light wisps of water vapour right at my eye’s level.  Then I realised what was happening.  The moisture laden wind blowing across the plain was now blowing up the cliff at whose edge I was standing, cooling and forming clouds right before my eyes.  

The first was God as a child playing happily with bubbles which floated upwards into beautiful formations.

Two images came to my mind simultaneously.  The first was God as a child playing happily with bubbles which floated upwards into beautiful formations.  The second was God standing right next to me – a renowned musician conducting the symphony of nature. Then He looked at me and smiled, and I shuddered.  The raw power of that moment made me shudder and all I could think was, “O Lord, my God. How majestic is your name in all the earth.”  It could have been my untamed imagination playing tricks on me, but at that moment, I felt like I was sitting right next to God when he said, “Let there be light.”

To this day, whenever I remember that moment, I find myself smiling.  I’m still surprised at how I had such an amazing experience at a time when I was at my worst – exhausted, frost-bitten, sunburnt, hungry and disappointed.  It also makes me ask myself why I should be afraid of death, if dying means that I’ll experience that moment every day. 

 I don’t have the answer to that question.  All I know is that the answer will come when I least expect it.

…By Mwandi

“You are the person who has to decide,

Whether you’ll do it or toss it aside.

You are the person who makes up your mind

Whether you’ll lead or linger behind.

Whether you’ll try for the goal that’s afar…

Or just be content to stay where you are”

(Author: anonymous and time: unknown)

 Ecclesiastes 9:11

I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all.

 There is a time for everything under the sun. Time comes with opportunities and decisions you need to make on which direction you will take.

Time comes with opportunities and decisions you need to make on which direction you will take.

 There is the time to change; the time to stop complaining.  The time has come for that old attitude, mentality and habits to change. You’ve complained all your life and has that made a difference?  You’ve looked in the mirror and despised the person you see there. Has that helped to make you a better person?

 The time has come for you to say and believe with your heart that God can do all things.  John left his home and went out preaching and baptizing people that the Messiah was coming.  He believed with all his heart and carried out his role in life with a vengeance like no other.  It is also time for you to have faith.   Sometimes things are so rough, you ask yourself “Where is God in this?”.  Remember, Jesus went through the same thing, when he was dragged, and beaten, and mistreated and insulted and a whole load of other things.  God was there.  Jesus needed to go through those things for us.  And now He is exalted and in Heaven, for suffering. 

(Read Ezekiel 37:1-14, the story of the dry bones).

 And then there’ll be a time for you to deliver;

 (Mark 1:14).  When John was put in prison, Jesus set out to pick his first disciples and begin preaching the new message.  He knew the stage had been set and went about performing what he needed to without hesitation. Fast forward a few years (or chapters), when Jesus was arrested, he was calm because he knew it was his time.  And before he was arrested, he went up on the hill and prayed.  It is important to remember the prayer as that is where he drew his strength from. 

 The time to be strong; by having a strong foundation and being a true woman (or man) of God.  Look for the Rock, look only to the Rock and build your house upon that rock.  When the elements come (the rain, the snow, the sleet, the storm, the sea), and after the storm, if you are on the rock, then you remain.  The elements, of course, refer to the challenges you are experiencing in your life.  (1 Corinthians 10:1-13)

 The time has come to choose to live for something, or you will die for nothing.  And you will not be content with your life if it was only focused on you and what you can take out of it.  There are souls you need to touch, people you need to speak to, and an impact you need to make in the name of Jesus. 

 Be blessed.  Feel loved.

…By Mwandi

My spiritual journey is battlefield; a castle under siege, a journey in un-chartered lands, a voyage in unknown waters.  I feel there is a war raging in the pit of my soul and every aspect of my being is fighting.  It is time consuming, emotionally weakening and mentally exhausting.  It’s a battle I want to win but I feel like am losing. In the process I get confused and cannot recall what was winning and what losing.  Suddenly losing looks like winning and winning like losing. My heart, mind, body and soul are in perpetual disagreement.  One says go that way, the other refutes it.  I am no longer able to tell what is right and what is wrong; for what was once right and what was once wrong have switched roles.  Nothing is as it seems.

 In my fear I build walls, fortresses, towers and strongholds to protect myself.  I say to myself that I must figure myself out before anyone else can figure me out.  But from within me I find my defences are insufficient and they begin to shatter.  This frightens me more…for I am left vulnerable to the world…like an iceberg in summer my inner self is melting, crumbling and disintegrating before your very eyes.  

 In the madness of my own storm, He waits for me.  After my frantic, futile attempts of setting up yet another barricade, I lay exhausted on the ground.  My tears do not reach the ground before they are evaporated into the heat of the atmosphere.  I sit in silence and wait…and He calls to me.  He calls and the layers begin falling to the ground leaving in its wake a wide gaping hole where my heart is exposed. 

 Though, instead of being left bare and exposed for attack…the heart within is shining…it dawns on me…

I always feel that I need to prove that I am worth something, forgetting that I am worth everything to God.

All the walls need to come down.  The walls I thought were protecting me from the assaults of the world were inhibiting me from joys of life.  I am not the queen of the stronghold protecting that which is around me, but the princess in the highest tower held against her will; sedated into believing that the confinements are freedom.  And God is my prince charming – my Saviour, my refuge, my father, my protector – fighting the evil minions who guard the walls. 

 God is destroying me within to save me from myself.

Finding that place of rest

…By Wambui

It was all about targets, efficiency, effectiveness, deadlines and progress, until I heard that in God there is rest. It was in a sermon in church, and I must admit I didn’t quite understand how that could work. Didn’t Paul say that we shouldn’t work if we don’t eat? Hadn’t I been taught that laziness is a sin? How then could I expect to just sit back, trust that everything would work out, and get good results? How would I meet my targets if I did not push, pull, lift, drop and drive myself to utter exhaustion?

Then one day I understood. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you.”
“Which things?” I asked.
“All good things that only God can give,” came the answer.
Joy, peace, patience, gentleness … and rest. Not inactivity, not laziness, not boredom, but a deep confidence that it is well.

When a loved one passes, away it is well.
When wordly possessions are destroyed in a house fire, it is well.
When a friend’s betrayal leaves a deep, bleeding wound, it is well.
When a searching soul finds that place of rest, it is well.

…By Mandii

Walking, stumbling on these shadowfeet
toward home, a land that I’ve never seen
I am changing: less and less asleep…
made of different stuff than when I began…

Shadowfeet – Brooke Fraser

There was a time that I trusted in my own strength; I was confident that I needed no one to guide or protect me; I was certain that I had overcome so many trials because of my OWN power.

The story of my life so far does include some amazing triumphs, but I had to wake up to the fact that divine providence had quite a role to play in this. Until the point of my spiritual epiphany, I realized that the journey I was taking, which seemed to have some direction, was actually a deviation from the path that was really meant for me.

I had always known that something was very wrong with the world, a rot that radiated from the core of humanity. In the darkness, there seemed to be very little light. Almost everything was blatantly sacrilegious, shady and sinful, and I had no way of putting things right – that gave me a sense of complete powerlessness. In despair something inside me decided that I would brace the storm alone. After all, indications of the absence of a benevolent God were all around me. So I thought.

My spiritual enlightenment came in phases. The truth first manifested as a whisper, adamant to be heard. As cliché as it sounds, a voice inside was telling me that there had to be something beyond this life. I did hear it, all attempts to ignore it failed. I decided to seek the voice out, and naturally I turned to the church.

Sitting comfortably on my self-righteous pedestal, I observed and silently judged all who I met on my numerous church visits. I collected empirical evidence of hypocrisy and sanctimonious back talk. I figured that they had no right to tell me how to live, when their own lives were not consistently echoing what they ardently preached from the pulpit.

Despite these thoughts, I stayed, and I heard all that was said. The whisper in my heart became louder. I HEARD the declarations and testimonies, but in retrospect, I was not LISTENING. There is an enormous difference.

I first started listening through song. I have always had an affinity for music, and particularly enjoy singing. Joining the choir was a logical choice. The gruelling practices forced me to begin to listen to the words I was singing, and I began to reflect on them. I began to refer to the Bible, to track down the foundation of the lyrics. The voice inside me became louder still.

The pastor at my church who regularly held bonding sessions for choir members encouraged me to start journaling, and to truly immerse myself in a spiritual environment; to use the spiritual appliances that most captivated me to trigger my awakening and coax the ‘real me’ out.

I researched my stance on hypocrisy, which I felt held me back from embracing Christianity. I acknowledged not realizing that genuine Christians have such a low view of their own morality, I attacked them. What drove me to despise Christians was not unkindness so much as a desperate attempt to drown the shrieks of my own conscience. A favourite, rarely conscious, technique to silence a suppressed but nagging conscience is to muddy the name of anyone who might give the appearance of being morally better than me.

Slowly, I came to recognize that my thoughts on Christian hypocrisy were merely the rejection of aspects of ‘Churchianity’ that Jesus himself would reject. Jesus denounced religious hypocrites- I realized that we had that in common. If I wanted to really be more Christ-like, I would have to adapt more of His outlooks, in this case, Jesus’ attitude towards hypocrites: He forgave them.

We have free will. A human being has to choose. This is where our strength lies: in the power of our decisions. Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness.

The day I chose to forgive, my soul opened to the lights of heaven...

The day I chose to forgive was the day my soul opened and heaven’s light came in. I cried for hours- tears of sadness for all the years I had wasted inside my hardened shell, tears of relief for the peace I now enjoyed and tears of joy for my heart that was no longer stone.

I came to realize that I am responsible for my own salvation, I am accountable for the lifestyle I live, and I am a representative of God here on earth. For these reasons I must make a genuine effort to reflect the best image in my choices, so that through me others may see the greatness of God and how his love and grace can transform any seemingly ordinary human being. A relationship with God unlocked the greatness within me, and I found that I wanted to share this joy I had found with others.

I WAS AWAKE!!!

….By Lee

Let my life song sing to you Lord. This ought to be the daily anthem of all Christians. The lyrics of this song are heartfelt and hold deep meaning; our life song does not only refer to prayer life and attending church, our life song is the drive behind all that we do. Be it at work, at home, in the presence of our friends, wherever we are, our words, actions and motivation in all we do should give praise to our awesome God. I love the way this song points out that we can never repay God for all he has done, the most we can do, is live a lifestyle that brings glory and honor to His name. We do not receive His mercy because of our efforts but we receive it because of his overwhelming grace. I pray that you may comprehend the meaning behind this amazing song and hopefully it may transform your perspective of your daily business….

Casting crowns – Lifesong