WALKING THE TALK

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I Know His Name

I know His Name, His Name is Jesus
I know His fame, His fame is Messiah
I know His pedigree, it is God the Father

I know His work, it’s healing and miracles
I know His power it’s walking on the high seas
I know His promise, it’s salvation for all who believe

I know His history, it’s from before time began
I know His destiny, it was to shed His blood
His plans for harmony, that the Church might be one

I know His Name, His Name is Jesus
I know His love it’s for each and everyone of us
I know His heart it’s to take us to the Promised Land               

 

 

Hurdles

It’s summer and the season when many sports come into their own. There’s the tennis at Wimbledon, rugby in New Zealand, cricket at Lord’s and even the London 2017 World Championship in Athletics taking place in August, something to tickle everyone’s fancy so to say.

Our individual life journeys are often likened to one sport or another.

Your Life as a Sport
Do you envision life as some form of team sport where you bounce around with your team members everyone contributing their unique abilities till ultimately the winning goal is scored?

Many assemble on that fine June or July day to see the opposing team humbled and your side erupting into the victory song that will stay with you for many many days. What the crowd often fail to remember is the gruesome training the team members undergo, years and years of sweaty practices, coaching that seems way too harsh and some colleagues who fall by the wayside their hopes dashed.

Is athletics your thing, you go through life like an Usain Bolt sprint. Life must be fast, it must be furious; you must be at the forefront of everything. The first to get the latest gadget, play the latest game, watch the film premiers and meet the stars. For you the end justifies the means, you coming out on top is all that matters. You may have to push, shove or kick, but my jolly you will be at the centre of the photograph if only for a few fleeting moments.

Just one question, at the very end of the day, will the bad name, the bastardised reputation really be worth it?

Sport did I say, you feign a chin scratch, you’re not really into sport, pressed further you come up with marathon. Yea, why not “slow and steady” win the race or so they say. Really! The only race the slow and steady win is the snail race and even then there might be the over ambitious snail who makes a dash for the finish and beats you to the line.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that life is all about the sprint finish, I don’t and will never believe in the end justifying the means, but if you spend life looking out the window wondering what could have been you will never reach the finish line.

Challenges vs Problems
You need some oomph, some gumption, some motivation, something to spur you on when the going gets really tough, and it will do, trust me.

Sometimes I look at life like the hurdles race, I know I’m not the first; I didn’t invent this particular wheel but bear with me.

You start out at the beginning, everyone does, the whistle is blown or the gun goes off and you’re on your way. Be grateful for that start, some never saw the sun rise and others spent their formative years in and out of hospital, but the Lord was gracious to you and you joined your peers as the race of life began.

No sooner than the race started than you came in contact with the first hurdle, in life we often call them challenges. Some call them problems, a Mount Everest and immediately limit their ability to surmount the hurdle. We will refer to them as challenges and by the grace of Almighty God we will overcome every challenge, every obstacle.

Do the Circumstances of Your Birth have to Determine Your Future?
You were not born into a wealthy family you were born on the wrong continent, in the wrong month and definitely in the wrong year. You didn’t get an iPhone for your first birthday, no bicycle when you were five. Your parents didn’t send you to the latest trendy school in town, you didn’t go to university abroad and you didn’t get a BMW for your graduation present.

No, unfortunately you didn’t graduate, heck, you didn’t even finish high school, did I say parents with an ‘s’ what are those? You had a Mum who tried her best but the struggle was too much she succumbed when you were eight; you went to live with an Aunt who really didn’t care.

Life has dealt you lemons and you’ve decided to frame them, put them on display, you have a sob story for anyone who cares to listen. You’ve decided to fall at the first hurdle.

Well that’s easy for me to say, I’ve not had to live your life. That’s very true, not even twins live the exact same lives there will be some differences, we are all different with different experiences. The fact that we tend to smile, hug, backslap and wish our friends and family a happy new year on the 1st of January each year doesn’t necessarily mean we are actually happy to be welcoming in a new year.

I remember one particular birthday a few years ago that I literally balled my eyes out. 50 years but precious little to show for it. “Shattered dreams, wounded hearts and broken promises…” or words to a similar effect the song writer sings.

Inspiration for the Journey
What to do? When life deals us lemons we need to take those lemons and make lemonade, if there are enough off them we can even use them to scale the hurdle and get some respite as we continue in the race.

Yes, we will encounter disadvantages, perceived discrimination or lack of “luck”; we never seem to be in the right place at the right time, we are always pushed over or left out, seemingly.

Or maybe like a colleague of mine once said we need to “make our own luck”. Starting with hard work, being where we are supposed to be when we are supposed to be there, putting in the hours, the commitment, the dedication, the willingness to start on the lowest rack and work our way up.

As one speaker said ‘John’s’ overnight success was ten years in the making, maybe more.

Dearest friend, there will always be hurdles in life, life is the hurdles race. You overcome one challenge, breathe a little, rejoice a little, enjoy a little and then you’re faced with the next challenge and more often than not it’s a bigger challenge.

Stories abound of people who had to overcome hundreds of challenges before they got their light bulb moment, just ask Thomas Edison. The key that unlocks every door is ‘Don’t Give Up!’

Jesus said in the world we will have tribulations otherwise known as troubles, misfortunes, problems, trials, sufferings, pains… but He said we should be of good cheer for He has overcome the world.

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16 verse 33

I urge you align yourself with the all-knowing God, the Omniscient and He will enable you to not only scale every hurdle but ultimately be a winner in this race called life and remember – Quitters don’t win and Winners never Quit!!!

See you soon, LolaA 🙂

The Future, Here I Come!

Forgiving

As I went for a run this morning I thought of the radio program I listened to just before going to sleep. The program was about forgiveness and the importance of forgiving one another, even when it’s not easy. Asking God to help us to release that person(s) to Him so that we can move forward in our lives without a root of bitterness and so that we can receive forgiveness from the Father for our own wrongs.

So I thought about it, had I forgiven those who had a part to play in some of my unfortunate circumstances and I felt yes I had forgiven, some years’ back a friend had given me a book that had helped me to pray through and forgive.

I realised however that now I needed to forgive myself. In a bid to forgive others I had put some of the blame at my own front door, now I needed to get rid of it, forgive myself fully and move on!

I continued with my run, turned where I usually turned and began to head home. Then what I might term one of my worst nightmares happened, I fell, not good I can assure you. I managed to break some of the fall with my hands and came away with a bruised knee and elbow.

I got up as quickly as I could and began walking, hopping on my way. I daren’t look back to see if the people at the bus-stop I had passed a few minutes ago had seen my fall, I was too ashamed to, so I continued in the direction of my travel.

I began to think and ponder, why did I fall, the path wasn’t new to me and I had definitely taken it in much worst weather, ice, snow and frost and I hadn’t fallen? I’m a child of God and He is more than able to take care of me, He could have prevented the fall if He so desired. I wasn’t injured in any way apart from the minor bruises and scratches; I felt there was a lesson for me to learn.

Let Bygones be Bygones

Just as I had gotten up from that fall as quickly as possible, dusted myself over and continued on my way I felt the Lord was saying I needed to leave the unfortunate incidents in my life behind me.

Just as I didn’t look back at the unusually large number of people at the bus-stop to see if they were jeering at me, I should shake off any shame I might feel about my circumstances and head into the future strong in the Lord and the power of His might.

If truth be told, the people at the bus-stop probably never jeered, if at all they saw my fall, if they felt anything it was probably compassion. The devil however always wants us to think otherwise, he wants to put shame on us where no shame is warranted. He wants us to sit down in the mud and puddle and have a pity party, to feel sorry for ourselves and to think we have drawn the worst straw of all.

Well we’ve got news for him, satan, the devil, the pity is over and so is his monstrous party, for we’ve stood up, we’ve shaken off all the shakeables that were holding us back and we’re heading into the future, the glorious future of fulfilled promises, favour of the Lord and victory on every side.

 

Pressing Forward

I really felt the Lord wanted me to leave the past behind and focus on the future, fully assured that He is with me, that He will never leave me nor forsake me and that I’m going to overcome and when the people see me they will call me blessed of the Lord.

I’m not going to quit running or walking because I had a minor fall today, no its going to make me stronger, because I saw the Lord’s hand and heard Him speak on the inside of me, indeed it is very well.

The future is bright, I don’t know if it’s orange but I do know that it’s Jesus!!!

Speak soon LolaA 🙂

 

Chibok Girls

This is the BBC report of 17th October 2016

Tears of joy as Chibok girls reunited with families

17 October 2016 Last updated at 20:47 BST

People have been celebrating the release of 21 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Islamist militants in the town of Chibok who have now been reunited with their families.

The girls were held for more than two years by the Boko Haram.

Officials say the militant group is still holding almost 200 other girls who were abducted at the same time.

Martin Patience reports from Abuja.

On the 26th of July 2014 just after the Chibok girls had been in captivity for 100 days I uploaded a post ‘How Long is Time?’ At the end of the post I spoke about the Chibok girls and what a great day it will be when we will be able to say “Welcome Home, Chibok Girls”.

As I did mention in the said post God’s ways are so much higher and different from our ways. But God does have His ways, 2 Peter 3:9 tell us:

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”      

The Chibok girls may not be returning in a large group as they were abducted but they are returning, the Lord is bringing them home and I for one am jumping for joy. Many had given up, many had forgotten, but God never forgets, He never gives up, He never stops working and He wants us to never stop believing.

He is faithful and He is in control!

I don’t know where you are “at” today, what your life looks like and what you would love to change. But the Creator knows and He is more than able to turn your situation around.

Over 2 years in the ‘wilderness’ yet 21 girls and their families are rejoicing today. Abraham and Sarah waited 25 years but eventually they laughed with Isaac (Isaac means laughter)
So hold on tight never give up, your laughter and your time  of celebration will definitely come in Christ Jesus!

Have a good one, LolaA 🙂

Winning the Race

 

Outline: Winning the Race

  • Who is in the race?
  • What is the race?
  • How do we run this race?
  • What is the prize?
  • Why do we need to run the race; do we have a choice?
  • What are the obstacles?
  • How do we overcome the obstacles; how can we be victorious

 

Who is in the Race?

Every Believer, every Born Again Christian has been placed in the race by our Lord Jesus Christ. When we receive Jesus as our personal Lord and Saviour we become children of Almighty God and we are entered into the ‘race’

“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God…”
John 1 verse 12

“…and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…”
Hebrews 12 verse 1

 

What is the Race?

As believers we are all running a race, a race to live a victorious Christian life.

The bible commands us to be Holy even as He is Holy… (1 Peter 1:16)

We are expected to be light in this dark and perverse world… (Philippians 2:15)

We are the only bible that many people have to read… (2 Corinthians 3:2)

We are to witness to others; we can only do this effectively if we ourselves are living victorious lives.

We are to follow in the steps of our Saviour, Jesus ran His own race, He went to the cross, our own race is to showcase His goodness to those around us.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Hebrews 12 verse 1-2

How do we run this Race?

We cannot run the race in our own strength, the bible tells us that without Jesus we can do nothing, so we need to depend on Him

There are rules and regulations guiding the race we are involved in and these are found in the Word of God.

“An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.”
2 Corinthians 2 verse 5

Some of the instructions are:

  • We must be Holy
  • We must be examples of the believer
  • We must keep our eyes on Jesus
  • We should not habitually sin
  • We must be malleable and flexible in God’s hands (Living sacrifice)

 

What is the Prize?

The prizes that we are competing for are crowns in heaven, commendation from Our Father and from Jesus (well done my good and faithful servant… Matthew 25:23)

“Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.”
1 Corinthians 9 verse 25

 

 

Why do we need to run this race; do we have a choice?

Jesus Himself has placed us in this race and just like He did the will of His Father while on earth we are required to do the will of our Saviour

But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.
John 5 verse 36

I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
John 9 verse 4

There are so many people and beings watching us that it is imperative that we run a successful race and glorify our Saviour. We don’t have a choice, we are in the race and we must endeavour to run it victoriously.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12 verse 1- 2

 

What obstacles do we face as we run this race?

  • Sin
  • Our Flesh – we need to put our flesh under
  • Detractors – People who want us to take our eyes off the ball
  • Enemies – Satan and his cohorts
  • The cares of this world

 

How can we overcome the obstacles, how can we be victorious?

  • By drawing near to God (James 4:8)
  • By spending time in prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
  • By spending quality time reading and studying the Word of God
  • (2 Timothy 2:15; Acts 17:11)
  • By spending time in praise and worship (Psalm 34:1)
  • By spending time waiting on the Lord i.e. fasting (Matthew 17:21)
  • By spending time fellowshipping with other believers in a full-gospel church (Hebrews10:25)
  • By surrendering to the will and purpose of God for our lives (Psalm 40:8)
  • By disconnecting from people who hinder our walk with God (Psalm 1:1-2)
  • By having a heavenly focus (Matthew 6:33)

 

May we all be winners in Jesus Mighty Name!

You are the best 🙂 LolaA

Generation J

We hear of generation X, generation Y and generation Z
But the more we look the less we see

“Move with the times”, I hear them say
Be liberated, move ahead, don’t be stuck in yesterday!

They think they know it all, have it all, but I’m proud to say,
I know my generation and I proud of it, its generation J

I’m not confused about where I stand
I vote for Jesus to Him I lift my hand

His Word is true and quite infallible
Plain to read and easily discernible.

Some say the bible is outdated
That we need to move on and be liberated

I say His Word is more current than tomorrow
Without it we’ll all be doomed to an eternity of sorrow

The Word of God isn’t dead, it’s alive its living
The Word of God is a gift to us, a gift that keeps on giving.

It’s a privilege to live according to the awesome Word
And when we do we sparkle, we stand out from the herd.

I urge you my brother, my sister, join the ‘in’ group
The happy people, the Jesus people, don’t be left out of the loop!

 

 

Bless You

LolaA

 

God Doesn’t Do ‘Maybe…’

Maybe I’ll go to town tomorrow

Maybe I’ll get my hair done

Maybe I’ll go to university to study to become a doctor, or maybe a pharmacist

Or maybe I’ll go to university and read law or maybe I’ll become a journalist or a newscaster

Or… maybe I’ll become a travelling blogger, blog my way around the world seeing some great sights in the process.

Maybe, maybe, MAYBE……

There seems to be a whole lot of choice in life and with that choice comes uncertainty. So often we are not sure of the next step in life and where that next step may take us.

There are some of us, of course, who grow up dreaming of becoming doctors, lawyers or astronauts and successfully fulfil that dream in record time. Some of us have many twists and turns but eventually fulfil our life’s dreams. For some of us ‘life’ happens along the way and we have to take a detour and are never able to fulfil that initial dream, but maybe we fulfil another dream which could even be a better one.

Some of us are not even sure of our dreams or maybe our dreams are a bit like shifting sand, constantly moving. Or maybe after attaining our dream job/role we realise it’s not the ‘dream’ after all and we seek out another dream.

At times the opportunity to fulfil our dreams does not come our way, we have to push them aside and get on with the important task of living or even just existing from day-to-day.

In the topsy turvy and mucky waters of life where can we find stability?

I’ve heard it said that there are no certainties in this life but is that true? Are we supposed to just keep on swimming in these waters of life and hope that someday, somewhere we’ll reach terra firma?

On reflection I don’t think so. There is someone out there who can give us all the certainties and all the guarantees we need. Not just a five year warranty, not even a lifetime warranty, no, He can give us a warranty that will last the whole of eternity. How great is that!

His name is God, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

He doesn’t just know our past or our present; He has our future in the palm of His hands. If only we can trust Him, allow Him to have His way, allow Him to direct our paths and to lead us, then we can be absolutely sure of amazing success.

When Abraham was seventy-five years old, Our Father promised to make him the father of many nations even though he was childless at the time. (Genesis 12)

Did God bring that dream to pass, was it fulfilled? Dearest one if God gives you a dream, if He makes you a promise, gives you a Word, you can take it to any bank in this world and it will be honoured. God is watching over His Word to fulfil it. It may take a day, a week, a month, a year, seven years or even twenty-five years, but surely it will definitely come to pass, it will be fulfilled. The world may laugh, they may say you are past child bearing age, or your body is old and weak. They may say university is for the young or running marathons is for the youthful. God says with Him all things are possible, that is all things, all things!

The Father God gives us certainty and stability in this world and that stability is in His Word and His promises to us.

What He requires of us is to ravish the scriptures, spend time in His Word, the bible, and know what He is saying to us. He will lead us step but step if we allow Him, and if we are walking in step with Jesus we can never miss our way!

From time to time our skies may seem overcast, the sun of our lives hidden and the wind raging as the darkness of the clouds deepens. But like Elijah’s servant we need to take another look (1Kings 18:43). We need to peer through the lens of Our Saviour, Jesus. Astonishingly His Word will brighten the horizon and as we focus our gaze we will observe that actually the clouds are breaking up. Not only is there a silver lining but the wind has morphed into a gentle breeze and the sun peeks out from behind the clouds and begins to glow as it bows to its superior the Son of the Most High God.

The day becomes fresh and our lives seem like new as we place our hope, our dreams, our lives in the hands of Him who never sleeps nor slumbers. Our faith is in Him who is the embodiment of certainty, Jesus the Christ!

“The everlasting God is a refuge, and underneath you are his eternal arms… “
Deuteronomy 33:27

Sunrise