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GOD IS EVERYTHING!

March 2, 2015

god-is-my-everything

In the latter part of last year I faced a challenging period in my life. You know when everything falls apart all at the same time. When relationships fall apart; When true colors of friends come out; When your work life/career faces difficult times; When you are low in your spirit, and the devil takes advantage of that time and plays around with your mind every waking moment. When church doesn’t make sense anymore and the thought of going there just depresses you even more. When there is absolutely nothing to look forward to and no part of your life makes sense. And all of it happens all at one go!

I have learnt that when bad things happen in your life, that’s just God trying to get your attention, in order to really show you who God is. The first couple of weeks, I tried to get through this period in my own way. Read self-help books. Listened to motivational speakers , prayed a bit, cried to anyone who was interested in listening to my sob, pity-partying stories. But nothing was happening; nothing in my surroundings and in my inner spirit was changing. Until I listened to that still sweet voice of God say to me, “When am I getting my chance?” And then I surrendered. I went on a 21 day fast in December, IN DECEMBER! I remember telling a friend this and she said to me,” Fast ka dezemba boss ?? God must really being trying to get your attention.”

Of all the times that I have prayed and fasted, of all that I have really sought God in my life, of all the times that God has really spoken to me in my life, this was by far the most amazing, wonderful and life-changing experience yet.

He made me aware of certain people, friendships and relationships that I needed to let go, and I’m talking about people that in my own will and strength I didn’t want to let go. He showed me exactly what to do, who to call, where to go in order to step up in my work life and career. He told me what to do, where to go in my service and ministry to Him. He increased my finances and blessed me in a way that I could not explain it even to myself. He told me secrets that belong to only me and Him. He gave me a peace that was so amazing, that I would wake up in the morning and wonder if I was the only person left on earth.He set me apart and ordered my steps in such a way that I was overwhelmed, and I remember waking up in the middle of the night, one night and saying, “Oh Lord! It’s too much! I understand what you mean by exceeding abundance!” and He just said to me, “You aint seen nothing yet.”

I remember listening to David Odeyepo jnr. (The Bishops 1st born son) preach and he said “You are a spiritual being; therefore you are a supernatural. If you can live and explain your life naturally, you are not living your life supernaturally.” That was a BOOM! moment for me.
The lesson that this painful –turned- amazing short-lived period of my life taught me was that, GOD IS MY ALL IN ALL. I’ve always known this, but somethings we know cause we know them, not that we really know them (figure that one out). He taught me that I cannot rely on my job, He is my job. I cannot holly depend on friends, He is my Friend. I cannot totatly rely on church/church activities. He is my Church. I cannot rely on a boyfriend/husband. He is my Husband. I cannot find solutions anywhere else but in Him.

When you make Jesus your everything, things happen. Not always pleasant things, but ultimately all things work together for good. James said we should consider it pure joy whenever we face trials (James 1:2), but that is never easy. Jesus didn’t call us to an easy life. He called us to a changed life.

When we make a decision to be obedient to God, lay down our lives, and make Christ our focus, our everything, we pick up a cross God makes just for us. The Christian life is not about being happy. It’s about being filled with joy in spite of our circumstances. It’s about choosing to be obedient because we love God. It’s about spending time in the presence of God when our flesh would rather do something else.

Sometimes we have great times. These are the days we cherish. The ones we are to remember during those times that aren’t so great. These are the days for which we yearn. Other times are hard. We trudge through these times desperate for them to end—reaching out to God in our distress. Days like these keep us humble.

In summary – the Bible verse that I live by, my life mantra is Matthew 6:33. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these other things will be added unto you.”
I like the way The Message version puts it, “Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.”

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LOVE & PURPOSE!

February 23, 2015

Love and Purpose

I write this little love letter to you at a costly risk that my boss my just see it and I might get fired (hahahaha).

We all (most of us anyway), enjoy listening to motivational speakers and/or reading self-help books. Because these things boost our egos, challenge us and makes us look at life from a different, clearer window. However, what these things do for you is tell you things that you already know. It’s stuff you know that you tend to forget, and their job is just to remind you and motivate you to take the next step and push yourself. So what I am writing to you right now, is not something that’s new to you, it’s something you either already know cause you know it, or something you know because you heard it somewhere, or maybe this might just be a light bulb moment in your life.

One of the biggest questions that people ask themselves in life is “why am I here? What is my purpose in life?” Mark Twain quotes, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

Your purpose lies in whatever it is that you love doing! We all have something that we enjoy doing, things we do with our eyes closed. Things we do daily even if we don’t even get paid for it. Think about it… what is that thing you REALLY LOVE DOING?

If you are struggling to find your life’s purpose here’s how:

Make a list of the things you do naturally without even thinking about it. EG: an eye for detail, a great sense of humor, a nurturing side, the ability to focus intently, or being playful. These are your genius. Genius comes easily and profoundly, without needing to expend a lot of energy. Some people are geniuses at math or music; but there are lots of other types of genius as well. There are genius mothers, genius teachers, genius listeners, and genius independent thinkers. We are meant to use our genius in service of our Life Purpose.

Make a list of the things you do for fun, or that you really enjoy. Include in the list the parts of your job that you really like, the things you volunteer for, sports, the arts, reading, singing, coaching, speaking in public etc. Imagine you’re a billionaire with no worries about money, how would you choose to spend your time? Add those things to the list, even if you don’t do them now. This list is of your passions; the things that you love to do, or would do simply for the pleasure they bring you.

Somewhere in your genius and your passions is your purpose. The trick is to pursue them to get to the end goal – PURPOSE!

Let me use myself as an example. I love physical activity and being in the outdoors; I love planning and organizing parties/trips/events etc. It’s my passion. I love reading and writing it’s my genius. I do these seamlessly without being asked to do them. I do them, and I don’t get paid for them (not yet anyway – LOL). People around me are always asking me, “Why don’t you open an adventure company,” (tick, that’s done) or “why don’t you write a book/s,” (yeah yeah! It’s coming its coming).

I have a 9-5 job that does not fulfill any of the above from a passion point of view. Yes I’m pretty good at what I do, but I’m certain if I was really passionate about it, I would be further than I am right now career wise (this is the part you must not show my boss.) But in not being in-love with my career, and merely in-like with it, I still believe in maintaining a spirit of excellence. In all that you do, whether you like it or not – DO IT WITH EXCELLENCE!
The greatness in the men in the Bible also stemmed from what their genius’ and passions.
• Moses was a shepherd in the desert for 40 years, before he was called to free the children of Israel from Egypt. He went from tending sheep-sheep in the desert, to tending human-sheep in the desert.
• David was a shepherd boy-come king. He also went from tending and protecting sheep to tending and protecting nations.
• Joseph went from being a prisoner, practiced how to be reliable and efficient to becoming second in command to a foreign people.
• Paul went from a persecutor to knowing what it’s like to be persecuted.

You can’t achieve your dream by staying comfy. You can’t fulfill yourself doing what everyone expects. Stop listening to naysayers. And start listening to yourself with God’s guidance. Follow your passion. Cultivate it and learn about it in every chance you get. Go ahead. Fire up your passion!

In the words of Steve Maraboli, “You were put on this earth to achieve your greatest self, to live out your purpose, and to do it courageously.”

DIARY OF A HIKER: LIFE’S CHALLENGES

January 28, 2015

Fish River 1Fish River 2  Fish River

Otter 3 Otter 1 Otter 4

4 Months ago, my adventurous friends and I set out to the hike the Fish River Canyon in Nambia. It’s a 90km trail which needs to be hiked in 5 days, practically in the desert. Smart us chose a wrong time of the year to conquer this horrid trail. The recommended time to walk through the-canyon-in-the-desert is May to July. But noooo, we decided to do it in September, when the river was drying up and temperatures were ridiculously hot (ok, so we didn’t know any better.)

Nonetheless, we set out on our adventure. It was by far the most difficult that that I have ever hiked. The terrain, made up of sand and rocks, was unbearable as we walked through 38 plus degree temperatures daily. We slept under the stars, with no tents (ok so that part was cool.) The day we finished that trail I promised myself I would never! Ever ever ever! Repeat that trail ever again. Never again!

Several months later, we embarked on hiking the Otter trail in the Western Cape… or is it Eastern Cape; Somewhere on the border of the Capes. The excitement was defeating. After having had researched the trail, it was unanimous that it was a beautiful trail with amazing scenery. What all those blogs and websites failed to share was how damn hard, intense and challenging the trail was. Day 1 was a breeze! Day 2 was nothing short of astounding as I threw myself on the bungalow floor at the end of the day, and promised myself never to hike again. And here we thought the days would be much easier after day 2… but ohh no! The trail remained as challenging right through to the end. 41km over 5 days! BUT as hard as it was, I would do it again.

The similarities between Fish River Canyon and Otter trail, is that they are tremendously challenging. The difference is that you wouldn’t pay me enough to hike Fish River, whereas I would consider Otter again.
As is life, there are lessons to be learnt about both trails, and the biggest lesson I learnt was, CHALLENGES ARE NEVER THE SAME. As we go through our lives in general, we face challenges, and challenges are never the same. How you may have managed one challenge in the past, may not be the same way you will handle the next challenge. Always be open-minded to deal with matters differently.

The beauty about hiking all the treacherous trails is that as hard as it is, as you are going through it, as life threatening as it may sometimes be, as much as you may feel like quitting or turning back, the most wonderful feeling is getting to the end of the trail and screaming. “I DID IT!”

The same applies to the challenges we face in life. The trick is not to give up. The trick is to put one foot in front of another as hard as that might seem. The trick is to take it slowly and not try and rush through it. The trick is to pause, sit down, take a breath, gather your strength, get up again and keep on moving. The trick is to have an eventuality in mind, and that eventuality should be “I DID IT!”

Every challenge in life is different. Every challenge in life will get you somewhere better. Life is a hike.

THRILLS OF BEING FAMOUS

November 21, 2014

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I’ve always wanted to grow up being popular. I was an attention seeker. Look I could blame it on absent daddy issues, but that story is tied now. Point is I was an attention seeker. I was one of the girls who wore the shortest skirts. I was the one who was loud. I was the one who sent “secret admirer” letters to the school newspaper and unashamedly signed my name so that it wasn’t much of a secret (I see my Mmabatho High School friends giggling at those newspaper love letters to a certain Mr.Mokoena LOL). Then I went to varsity and I still sort attention; dyed my hair blonde. Wore shorts, tiny skirts and dresses (I had the body for it, so hell yeah I was flaunting). You know the varsity drill. I’m sure we’ve all kinda-sorta been there.

I then hit the streets of Jo’burg and thought to myself I was going to be a celebrity. All I wanted was to be on TV or in a magazine, or somewhere where the world would see me. Tried signing up with several modelling agencies and I was constantly rejected either because my bum was big, or I was too skinny, or too tall or not tall enough (What did those people want?) I mingled and partied with celebrities seeking to be a celebrity out of them. It was easy because half of them were my ex high school buddies. Oh! But God just kept on saying NO! NO! NO! NO!

Then as I grew up and I stopped seeking public validation and being in the public and I decided, “Lord, I’m going to make it about you. Less of me and more of you.” I became involved in church activities and lo and behold, platforms opened up. I was entrusted with being invited to speak at events, I made it to the pulpit to teach and I made it on several radio and TV shows. So all along God had refused for me to make it in the big bad world, where I wanted what I wanted for my own pleasure. He wanted it to be to His glory.

Then as I got the attention I so sort out initially, I started not wanting it anymore. I know right. At first I just thought “I’m getting old and I don’t need this kind of public attention.” But this was validated by my watching how the lives of celebrities are so in the public eye. I put myself in these people’s shoes and I wondered how incredibly hard it has to be, to have every single corner of your life scrutinized by people who don’t even know you. They think they know you because they see you on TV and that automatically gives them the right to judge and tell you how to live your life.

I wondered how Khanyi Mbau handled the attention. Yes she wanted it, and boy did she get it. How Kelly Khumalo manages to live through reading through the horrible things people say about her on twitter as if they are God. Let me move it away from those kinds of celebrities and move it to the church. I was around when Pastor Ray got divorced to Lindy, and saw that church nearly fall apart. How people treated him like he was an entity and blurted out whatever they felt like blurting out when they wanted to.

It was after this analysis that I got down on my knees and said “Thank you Lord for closing all those doors back then. Thanks for not letting me be a celebrity.” Knowing myself and my character, and how in-spite of wanting to have been in the public eye, I respect privacy to the utmost. I respect it so much, that I find it hard to share any part of my private life with just anyone, no matter how close we are.
God knows best hey! Sometimes we look at closed doors and don’t understand why He is not giving us what we want. But He really does know and has a bigger and better reason and purpose for it, even if we can’t see it at the time. If he closes a door, it’s either He’s protecting you from something, has something better for you, or it’s just not the right time yet.

Everyone thinks that being famous is awesome. Sure, you get rich (sometimes), but like P Diddy used to say in the Puff Daddy days, “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems”. Of course there are many perks to being a celebrity, but is it worth it to go through all those downs?
I got 5 reasons from a celebrity friend of why it’s so tough being one:

  • You can’t get a break-ever. Imagine wanting to go shopping, or grab a coffee and having to worry about people running after you to take pictures of you.
  • Your business is not only yours anymore. It’s everybody’s.
  • It can make you or break you, depending on the strength of your character
  • Some tend to have stalkers. People are creepy out there, and can just follow you all over all day.
  • We tend to have trust issues, because you never really know if someone wants to know you for you, or because you’re a celebrity.

Ok, so this blog was scattered a bit, but in summary just take 3 things out of it:
1) Being a celebrity is not all it’s made out to be. If you are one or strive to be one, keep your life private, if anything for your own peace of mind.
2) If you are not a celebrity, don’t be so quick to judge those that are in the public eye. They maybe celebrities, but they are also only human.
3) Trust God to lead and guide your life and trust in His timing. Closed doors only lead to new doors opening, protection and safety.

MEN-AND-RESPECT

November 5, 2014

https://i2.wp.com/ocfilmco.com/wp-content/uploads/Love-and-Respect-for-Men-300x300.jpg

This is such a personal story from my life. But it had to take this experience for me to learn a lesson, and to realize its importance. Please, do not judge any of the characters in the story.

I was raised by a single parent, my mom. My parents got divorced when I was four years old and for as long as I have remembered anything, I don’t remember growing up in a house that had a dad and a mom. It was always mommy doing both mommy and daddy duties.

My mom was a strong woman, very independent. She was not a beggar, nor did she need approval from anyone, or consider anyone else opinion. If she made a decision on something, it was gospel, and nothing would change her mind. If she started something, no matter how challenging, she saw it to the end. Not only was she strong in character, she was physically strong. She mowed her own lawn, occasionally fixed her own car, washed her own laundry and always believed in getting things done herself (domestic helpers never stood a chance with her). Over and above all that, she was very strict. In Setswana we say e ne e le chobolo. If she was angry she did not even have to say a word for you to realize it. But when she did speak, in her anger, all demons in hell ran away. She was loud and heavy with her words. That’s the kind of woman I grew up watching, seeing and learning from.

My father on the hand is a soft-spoken and a gentle soul. The kind of character that could make any woman fall in love with him, which is why he has gone through more than 5 marriages. Yes he was sweet, but he was a player of note. So my view of him was always negative. I never really saw his gentle side; I just chose to see the player, irresponsible side of him.

Because of my up-bringing, I never really grew up knowing how to communicate with a man, how to “gently” talk to one, and how to show them respect. I have never seen that growing up. I’ve always read it in the Bible and in male-female relationship books, but I’ve never seen it. I’ve always looked at my “submissive” friends, weak and bullied, and wondered why they accepted such behavior from their partners.

I have also seen and watched marriages fall apart because the husbands felt undermined, pressured and disrespected, and wondered why they were being so overly emotional about the matter. After all, wives took their nonsense, why couldn’t they just suck it up as well. What I knew theoretically, I never knew practically.

Several years ago my father got married to wife number 8 (or 9 or 10 -I lost count). This woman I liked. She was open minded and receptive to him, his past and his flaws, and looked like she was going to make a good wife. More-over, I just prayed that this marriage would last forever, and that he won’t have to go through another divorce. Needless to say a couple of years or so into the marriage, I started to get complaints from my step mom about my dad, and because of the past, I judged my dad before I even spoke to him about any of the complaints. I switched to my mommy-chobolo-mode, and “reprimanded” him accordingly. These events would happen repeatedly, and my dad just took in the chin, the way I expected men to from women.

Then my dad started withdrawing, not just from my step-mom, but from me as well. He would disappear and go to a house that he has in the village, just to get away. As he did this, I always used to think “Here he goes again, Oh Lord, let this man stick this marriage out and not quit it please.” Then he would go back home for a week or so, and then disappear to his man cave again. I lost all hope of this marriage seeing it through to til-death-do-us-part.

A couple of weeks ago, I went to visit my dad and step-mom. When I left my home to go visit them, I had made a conscious decision that I was not going to talk about any issues or treat him like a child. I was going to have a good day with them finish and klaar. No less than 20 minutes had I arrived, step-mom started complaining about papa. I sat there listening to her and nodding my head, as I side-eyed my dad. When she was done ranting, I asked if there had been any changes since the last time I had “spoken” to dad about all her previous issues, and she admitted that there had been changes. So it’s not that the poor man wasn’t trying.

Then my dad, in a soft low shaky voice asked to speak. It must have taken strength to ask to share his end of the story. He then proceeded to tell us how committed he is to this marriage. That he would like to have a happily-ever-after with his wife. That everything that she had asked for, she had received, and that all he wanted was to have a peaceful home. He continued to share how “verbally abused” he was by his wife, and how disrespected he felt. I really don’t know how to express it in English, but in Setswana this is what he said, “Mme o wa me, o bogale e le tota. O wa ntlhapaola. Nnako tse dingwe o omanyetsa kwa godimo, mo e leng gore baagisanye le bone ba a utlwa.” (ask someone to translate for you). He continued to tell me how he does not feel like a man in his own home, which is why now and again he withdraws and goes away to his man-cave.

As he was painfully sharing his story of being disrespected, I was teary eyed. For the first time in my life, I understood the pain of a man who is constantly disrespected and abused. I saw it in my father’s eyes and heard it in his voice. I also think it was God’s will that I experience and see that hurt from my dad, whom I held in low regard when it came to matters-of-love. I saw how human he really is, how he also feels pain, how even at the age of 80+ respect and honor are such a big requirement to men. The penny finally dropped. I was so hurt seeing that side of him, that I cried all the way back to Jo’burg, and as soon as I arrived, I had to call him and apologize for all the times that was I “rough with my words” towards him.

Paul in 1 Peter 3: 1-4 says, “Wives, respect and obey your husbands in the same way. Then the husbands who do not obey the word of God will want to know God. They will want to know God because their wives live good lives, even though they say nothing about God. They will see that you live holy lives and respect your husbands. You should not be fine on the outside only. Some women make their hair nice. They wear gold things. They have fine clothes. But you must be fine in your heart. Have a heart that is gentle and quiet. That will not wear out. And God thinks it is worth very much.” Paul was on point.

I had a short chat with a friend who is separated from his wife and told him this story, and he said to me, “Any man will do anything for a woman/wife that honors and respects him. The funny this is, unintentionally when she nags and dishonors us, we do the opposite of what it is that she is nagging about, and it pushes us further and further away.”

I have no experience in matters pertaining to marriage, but I saw and experienced what I knew theoretically. I am certain that God was speaking to me about my “bullying and bossy” nature, but I am also certain that I was not meant to keep this story to myself, and that it will be a lesson and benefit someone else.

Ladies, I know that the idea of submission scares (angers) you, but here’s a little blurb I read the other day:

“The world has perverted the idea of Biblical submission. They think it means we can’t speak for ourselves and we’re slaves to our husbands. This by the way is absurd! Submitting to your husband just means you’re following his lead. It means you’re believing in him and supporting him in his endeavors and efforts. This is what every husband needs from his wife!
When a wife follows her man’s lead, he then feels respected by her. And when a husband feels respected by his wife, he’ll generally pour out his love for her. The flip side to this is the husband being commanded to love his wife like Christ loved the Church, which is not natural for men.

By following your husband’s lead, you are laying a strong foundation for your future. When the babies come, financial pressures ensue, in-laws/outlaws meddle, tough decisions need to be made, illnesses come, etc. all enter into your marriage, you’ll have built a strong marital relationship; one that has been built on the Word of God. Generally when a wife thinks about submitting to her husband, she feels like she’s losing the battle, or giving up herself, becoming less of a person, etc. That’s so contrary to what actually takes place in your marital relationship.

When you choose to believe in your husband, support him in his endeavors, and follow his leading, you are helping him to be a better man. Or you could take the path to tear him down and let him know that you don’t support him, don’t believe in him, and think he is worthless. That’s just not a wise path to take, my friend! The choosing of that path will quickly lead to a miserable and loveless marriage. Now, I don’t think you want that, do you? So to prevent from having a rocky or loveless marriage, this is why you would want to submit to your husband.

I can’t tell you exactly how to submit to your man because that’s a heart issue.
You have to figure out if you’re wrestling with God over this command. (Or maybe you’re not fully trusting in God’s plan for your marriage? Or you’re not trusting in your man’s leadership? Or you just don’t want to die to self? These are ALL common feelings for a wife to experience, so know that you are not alone!

The best thing you can do is surrender your will to God. Do you believe His Word? Remember, God doesn’t force you to do anything. He is a gentleman. He’s given you free will. You can choose to obey Him or not. It’s your choice. And just remember that your husband needs this from you, just like you need to be loved by him. I’m sure it would break your heart if he told you he couldn’t and didn’t want to love you, right? That dying to self thing is sooo hard to do!”

Ultimately = Men Eat Respect!
A man will choose a woman who respects him over a woman who loves him.

SPENDING TIME WITH GOD

July 29, 2014

TIME WITH GOD

After the last blog, I had several people asking me what I do in my quite time. So that’s what I’m going to share today.

There are certain things in life, that even if you don’t feel like doing them, you do them anyway. You wake up in the morning, not feeling like going to work, but you get up anyway. Runners will tell you that half the time, they don’t feel like going out for a jog, but they get off their booties and go for it. I personally never feel like going to gym, but I force myself to go.

The interesting thing about not feeling like doing anything, is that once you’ve gotten into it, it becomes enjoyable and pleasurable. The first 3kms of any run for me are always the hardest, after 3kms I get into my rhythm and I go go go. Warming up at gym is always a rather painful exercise but once you’ve warmed up the body allows you to keep going.

The same applies to spending time with God in prayer and meditation. Sometimes it feels like a chore, sometimes I just don’t feel like doing it (excuse me for being honest). But once I get into it, I just keep going and find it hard to stop.

This is how I have my daily devotion time. By no means is this the wrong or right way. It’s just how I do it.

My alarm goes off. Sometimes it doesn’t because my body clock goes off before the alarm. Now I’m a slow riser. If I need to get out of bed at 5am, I have to set my alarm on for 4am so that I can snooze for 30 minutes (at least) before I’m consciously awake. So when my alarm goes off, as I slowly snooze out of my sleep, I pray in the spirit. Then it goes off again, I press the snooze button again and continue praying in tongues. Then it goes off again and I press the snooze button again and continue praying in the spirit, until I am fully awake.

From then on I “command the morning,” by declaring and speaking life, success, well-being, favor into that day. I create how the day will turn out with my words and nullify anything that may come against me and God’s will during the course of the day.

Following that I just have a heart to heart with God. Which normally starts with “Wassup Daddy! What’s happening? I made to another day. Thank-you. That means you ain’t done with me yet so let’s go change the world.” And after babbling on and on, as I child would to a father, I stop to listen. Just silence and listen to what He has to say. In my listening, I grab my journal and write down whatever He drops/ deposits in my spirit. After that I read my Bible.

As I continue to get ready for the day, I get my musical praise and worship on. (Sometimes I’m too loud, but I’ve apologized to the neighbors).

Because I’m human and I ain’t perfect, sometimes I just don’t feel like doing all that. So my easy way out is to listen to some or other preachers message either via TBN or YouTube. Or sometimes I just listen to my audio bible.

That’s how I dedicated a part of my day to God. Now we are not all the same. Some people are morning people, others are more awake and alive at night. DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU! The important thing is that you build and maintain a relationship with Him.
I used to have my devotions at night, and I was cool with that. Until I read Mark 1:35, which says “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” Since I try to be a Jesus imitator, I was like “Imma do it like Jesus from now on.”
Then I heard Joyce Meyer preaching on morning devotions and she said “Make sure that the first person you speak to and hear from in the morning is God.” And then I was like “Yo! Joyce is so on point.”

But either way, do what works for you. I don’t go to gym with the masses in the morning or evening, I go at lunch-time, cause that’s what works for me. And in that way, I am diligent in my going to gym. So when you go about it in a manner that works for you, you are bound to be diligent in giving God your time.

After all, God just wants you and you’re time. He yearns for your heart and time with you. He’s not looking for some text book method of how to spend time with Him. Spending quality time with God is important. And there are many promises in the Bible about what happens when we do this. Psalm 16:11 says that in God’s presence, there is fullness of joy. And Nehemiah 8:10 tells us that God’s joy is our strength. The devil wants to steal our joy. If he can get our joy, he knows we won’t be strong in the Lord. And we’ll lose our focus on God.

“Walking with God is the best adventure, finding God is the best achievement and having God as a companion is the best source of happiness.” – Anonymous

FRIENDSHIP: THE CORNERSTONE OF GOOD RELATIONSHIPS

July 14, 2014

the best relationships develop out of friendships

Aaaaahhh, new love! What a beautiful thing. The infatuation, the butterflies. The sweet kisses and gentle touches. Long walks in the park, endless conversations on the phone, date after date. They are the first person you want talk to in the morning and the last voice/text you want to get at night.Aaaaahhhh new love.

Then you get into relationship where you really get to know each other. The many calls and texts he used to send decrease or the cute way she used to chew now irritates you. This is the crunch-time-deal-breaker phase that determines if this relationship will make it to “happily ever after” or not. This is when friendship really counts.

If you get to the decision that this is the one you want to spend the rest of your life with, you then realize that you can’t just drift along on mundane what not’s, but you have to put in effort to make it work. You have to consciously make time to spend with your partner. You have to learn to communicate, to talk and to listen to each other. You have to speak words of love, encouragement and speak life into each other’s lives. You need to be friends!

To build faith and trust for each other, you have to be real and honest with each other. It’s a heart-breaking thing when your partner ignores you or doesn’t treat you right. The pain of being in a relationship, yet you feel like you are all alone is one of the worst kind of pains. Love, trust and longevity in relationships is built on time spent together, communication and sacrifice. You need to be friends.

Why then do we think that the same doesn’t apply to our relationship with God? Why do we think that we can just skid through life having 30 second conversations with him and expect our relationship with Him to be on point? Why do we think that He is just there for us to take take take, without giving? Why do we want to treat Him like our little skivvy when it’s convenient for us, but we don’t want to invest in Him? What kind of relationship does that make it? If you were in a relationship with someone who treated you like that how would that make you feel?

What is the state of your relationship with God and what role are you playing in it being where it is?

You may not know how to answer because not too many of us are living out the type of relationship that God has in mind when He sent His Son to die for us. God doesn’t want a relationship where you visit Him once a week on Sundays, just because it’s Sunday and it’s the thing to do. God wants to have a deep, intimate, daily relationship with you. He wants to be your friend and then some. No matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done, God loves you and wants you to know Him in a deep and beautiful way. A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24).

You may be reading this and be thinking, well I read my Bible every day and I’m not experiencing a deep relationship. Well, let me ask you, after reading this blog do you feel like you have a deep relationship with me since I wrote this? I don’t think so. It’s not that I don’t want a relationship with you, but we can’t have a good friendship if the only time we spend together is these three minutes where I “talk” and never hear the sound of your voice.

The exact same thing goes with God. If the only spiritual thing you do is reading some words written on paper, then you can’t have a deep relationship. You can know what’s expected of you as a Christian, but you can’t have that relationship. The only way you can have a deep relationship is for there to be an ongoing dialogue between God and yourself. I’m not saying don’t read your Bible. What I’m saying is, don’t only read your Bible to read your Bible. Read your Bible as part of an ongoing dialogue between you and your creator. An ongoing dialogue means that you don’t just read God’s word, but you talk with God and wait on His response. Whether it’s in His word or that small whisper on your heart. Communication is really important. You can’t read each other’s minds and the way to get to know each other is by constant communication.

A relationship with God is such a beautiful thing, because believe me, there’s no relationship like it. Just when you think you’ve got God figured out, He takes you deeper into His mystery and grace and love. God wants to be involved in everything we do. He wants us to fellowship with Him, which means communicating with Him throughout our day just like we do with someone who’s our close friend or family member.

So today, why don’t you start building a relationship that will not only grow throughout your time on earth and stretch into eternity. Talk to God not just to ask Him for something but talk with Him like you would a friend, spend time in His word, and wait on Him. Believe me when I say, you won’t be disappointed when you do.

After all He already calls you friend! “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” John 15:15