Before & After Part 1 -WordFest Day 1

Joy photo

NB, I haven’t had time to blog this week because I am in the middle of our annual conference. I have added my messages at the conference here.

John re-echoed Jesus’ message to us – “That your joy may be full“. He has some amazing messages for us that can help us enjoy more of God and rejoice in him. However, it’s great to know that John was once a fleshy man like us.
In this message, I try to explain that there was a pre-encounter John.

God bless as you listen.

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Pst Ade-That Your Joy May Be Full

joy photoWordFest Day 3. In this message Pastor, Ade wraps up the message by showing the difference between the old life and the new one in Christ.

The new life is eternal life, it’s can’t be thought, neither can it be forced. You need to know God and His life will grow in you. All of Him and less of you.

Photo by Deepakjb
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That Your Joy May Be Full

that your joy may be fullIn this episode, I encourage you to take out extended periods to seek God this summer. The power of word challenge is one way we have taken out to expose our hearts to the Lord. This is very important part of our walk with God. If you seek Him with the whole of your heart you will find him.
Also, remember to trust God for a wonderful week!

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This Is My Song…This Is My Story

This is my song

This is my story
This is my song

My story is unique and so is yours
Sometimes excited I feel like jumping
And then I am scared I feel like quitting

One thing remains I am not alone
The truth for real do you want to know?

Guess what sometimes I don’t believe

I doubt his love, His plan his grace
I run the race as if it’s mine
Forgetting the one who owns the plan
Only to fall into His hands

Alive and well in His embrace
That’s when I hear His voice to me

My jewel, why are you afraid?

I trust in You – my Lord, Devine                                                                      
I look in You and see the plan

And why was I afraid again?
Why trust in fake alternatives?

I fix my eyes on You, my King
I rest, my all belongs to you

I hear I do I hear and say

I am glad You chose to live in me
The world awaits to know and see

Unveil Your all for all to see

This is my story
This is my song
Praising my savior
All the day Long

This is my song is a piece I wrote 2 nights ago. Didn’t find time to post it until now. Let me know if any part of it tells your story.

Your story is unique.

I will catch up on the power of word challenge later.

God Bless you today & always!

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A Soft Answer Is A Product Of Humility Day 19-20/30

a soft answerWe recently got this electric pressures cooker. It’s such a life saver, especially for things that take longer to cook like beans or for stock fish that smells strongly. It cooks fast and locks the smell inside the pot.

So what? Well, it came with a recipe book. This book has a special recipe for each meal, brown rice, white rice, jasmine rice, basmati rice, beans, chicken, beef, sauce, soup, yam the list is long.

Anyway, from the moment we opened the box and found the recipe book, I thought to myself, hmm… how nice but who’s gonna use that. I know how to cook and I can always figure out how to use it. And so I always just use the pot as the way I like or sometimes like a rice cooker. Works well when I make my African food but not quite well for my plain rice dishes.

My husband, Ade, on the other hand, doesn’t have as much confidence when it comes to cooking as I do. You know what he does? He brings out the book each time, follows the guide, and guess what? His plain rice dishes are always perfect. I wonder why 😜

The Bible is not just a guide, contains God’s words and they are powerful. And I mean strong. When you meditate on God’s words, over time the Holy Spirit infuses His power in you, making you able to obey that word. It’s really interesting how it happens. This is why I love this kind of challenge we are on. The more you expose your heart to God’s idea about something, the more your desires and actions will follow.

A soft answer turns away wrath,
But a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1 NKJV

“Patience can persuade a prince,
and a soft answer can break bones.” ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭25:15‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

As I read the verse above I feel some weakness in my bones😊.

Isn’t it true though? Haven’t you experienced that? Even in a movie, it works: There is a fight, then instead of the other person attacking back, they give a soft answer in response. It always changes the situation, doesn’t it?

There is great power in God’s word, quick and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword, separating the souls from the spirits. What a blessing for the person who focuses his heart on the word of God to do it.

However, the truth is that when you are in the heat of an argument or when you feel attacked by someone’s speech, you usually don’t remember that patience is a fruit of the spirit, do you? Well, when you think like a human it’s normal to fight back. We have that survival instinct that scientists talk about. We never want to lose.

We bar our gates, fortify our defenses, attack, and do battle—even with those we love the most. But why? According to James 4:1–3, fights and quarrels result when:

* We don’t get something we want.
* We can’t have what we want.
* We envy those who have what we want.
* We look to people instead of to God for what we want.
* We regard our own pleasure as the highest goal.

-Power Of Word

In Christ though, there is a difference, you are no longer an ordinary human when you are in Christ. You are like Jesus.

As you feed your heart with God’s words you become more like him. You start to reduce the desire to fight for yourself and start gaining the desire to relax and let Him fight for you. It’s interesting… The urge to react rash because you feel like it will start to diminish. You start to think “how is this going to affect Christ’s plans?”

With these, people start loving to be around you. They start to get the vibes of he/she is really kind. Your children, spouse, friends, family, and coworkers will begin to enjoy the atmosphere around you. Even when they make mistakes, they know you won’t shove it down their throats.

This is humility.

It takes humility to give a soft response. Especially when the situation warrants a fight. It takes humility to not attack back and not defend yourself. It takes trusting in the abilities of Jesus to save you.

It takes humility to think about allowing God’s kingdom to come in your own life and around you. It takes humility to think about those watching your reaction. It takes humility to think you are building a foundation for the younger believers in your life.

Humility is a powerful weapon, a powerful influence. This puts your mind in a higher position. You know you are at peace with God and give charge to Him. You love your position of peace, no need to struggle with man. You don’t fight to win every argument, you know you already won in Christ. You just need to remain there.

Humility helps you bring a soft answer. Words of grace. These words are powerful and calm. These words have God’s power in them. They heal.

He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a cityProverbs 16:32 NKJV

Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud,
but humility comes before honorProverbs 18:12 NKJV

Remember though, humility doesn’t come in a day. Don’t feel bad if you don’t have it yet. One day at a time, you learn to trust Jesus and keep the goal in mind, then before you know it… humility is a part of you.

God help us all.

Have a great day!

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Has Anyone Ever Told You That You Talk a lot? Day 18/30

talk a lot

A few months ago, if you had asked if I thought I talk a lot, I would have sincerely answered with a big-NO! Now, however, the more I think about it, the more I think the answer could be….well, may be (is that a sign of denial?).

Interestingly, I never saw myself as a person that talks a lot. Though I remember I used to love chatting with my big sister and catching her up on happenings at home while she was away at school. I didn’t think it was any big issue. I also knew I love details and not summaries and that’s what I give. And my past jobs, well, always had some form of talking involved. Don’t judge me, but still, I didn’t have a clue.

This notion only changed recently.

(By the way, each of my daily post title this month is influenced by the email I get from the power of word challenge)

In your own opinion…

Do you talk a lot? Do you tend to interrupt during a conversation
Do you get inspired to say everything about a subject matter?
Are you a person of many or few words?  Ask someone who knows you to describe you. Especially the quiet people you know.

Do People Think You Talk a Lot?

You may also ask someone who knows you to help. Especially the quiet people you know. Ask them if they think you talk a lot.

Caution: depending on your level of growth, you may really become resentful hearing people’s opinions of you.

I was there… We had an ice breaker exercise once at church that got me really upset. It was about giving feedback on what each person should improve on. By the time we were done, I felt like I was the worst person in the church. I am sure there were positive comments but the negatives lingered for me. Until months later when I was able to let the pain go.

What does God think?

The truth though is that if you really want to grow, you need honest feedbacks from people that love you. And hopefully, you can calm down and bring these feedbacks back to God, which was what I did; eventually.

Again the aim is to go to God and present what His other children have said about you. He is your father and knows you a lot more than anyone else. Chances are that some, if not all, of the feedback you get, is true.

You can also start with doing a review of your day with Him. This is a practice I started with. And my God always has a way of lovingly helping me see where I am. Now I go to Him faster for such reviews.

Ok, like me may be you have been able to wrap your mind around the fact that…yeah, you talk a lot…at least in sometimes.

Reasons People Talk a lot

To better understand, let’s consider why we even talk a lot.  The first reason I can think of is that if you are in the position of listening to others (may be even a mom of a preschooler) when you finally find listening ears you may tend to go on and on.

You may also use talking as a way to clarify your own thoughts. Other times it’s that you have taken on the responsibility of entertaining others. “If I don’t talk no one would and I won’t want it to be boring”. Or may be you are trying to impress others unconsciously.

The bad thing though is that, when we talk a lot, we may begin to say things that we don’t mean and before you know it, sin creeps in. You may begin to use your words to prove a point or as a weapon of war to attack others.

As I have thought deeper about this, I also noticed that talkers feel the urgency to talk, they believe they have this fantastic thing to talk about and now. You can actually keep talking without allowing others to say a word. You ask a question and then they answer it because the silence felt awkward.

You can get so carried away talking and not realize that your listener is already disconnected, restless and is now disinterested.

Anyway, I think I should keep quiet now,  enough of talking 😉

Let’s look at God’s words

Proverbs 10:19  Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut. NLT

Proverbs 17: 27&28  A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered.  Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent. NLT

Ecclesiastes 6:11 The more words you speak, the less they mean. So what good are they? NLT

Proverbs 29:20  Do you see a man who speaks too soon? There is more hope for a fool than for him. HCSB

James 1:19  Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. NLT

Jame 1:26  If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. NLT

Thankfully we have a helper! He lives in you.

Helpful Tips: T-H-I-N-K! 

I found this helpful tips (acronym) to help you before you speak. I am not sure who made it up, let me know if you find the author.

T-True- What you are about to say, is it true?
H-Helpful- What you are about to say, is it Helpful for anyone?
I-Inspirational- What you are about to say, is it inspirational?
N-Necessary- What you are about to say, is it necessary?
K-Kind- What you are about to say, is it kind?

Colossians 4:6 Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.

Practice Silence

Have you ever tried reserving some of your words in a conversation? This is something I recently began to do consciously. Now I wait for Gods prompting before I talk. I still get it wrong at times but I am not giving up.

The most important thing is that I am now consciously aware that God must be a part of everything I say. He wants to be a part of every aspect of our lives.

We must trust him to mold your words.

Lord help me to relax when I feel I need to say something urgently. That I will first confirm with you first before gushing in out.

I need thee every hour.

 

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Don’t Put New Wine Into Old Wineskins Day 17/30

New Wine Into Old Wineskins

Don’t put new wine into old wineskins. I have noticed that Christians sometimes, assume that we can try to use God’s grace with our old character and attitude, it’s definitely a messy situation. Your old container though it can take to new wine for a bit, it will soon burst and then you lose both wine and wineskin.

“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the wine would burst the wineskins, and the wine and the skins would both be lost. New wine calls for new wineskins.” Mark 2:22

In order words, your old character and attitude will mess up the new life of God. This is why we need to abide in him and fellowship with Jesus every day so He can show us all that needs to go. He wants to replace our heart with His brand new heart. That way,  the world can see Him in us.

I want you fresh everyday day. We want you, Lord.

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A Clean Heart – Use PEST Formula To Help You Think Clearly Day 14/30

a clean heart

David prayed, create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10

That wasn’t a David-only prayer. It was a prayer for all humanity. Our human heart needed an overhaul because of the fall. Our old heart couldn’t carry us further.

Create in me a clean heart, O God!

God’s response – JESUS!

Jesus died for our sin
He paid the price.
Nothing is owing.
Zero balance.
Our slate is clean.
We got a new heart.
A brand new heart.

Selah….(pause and think about it)

Anyone who is in Christ is New
You have a righteous heart in Christ,
He is alive in you.
He reigns, he rules in you

Now in practice…let’s take stock, what’s going on in your heart….

When someone seems to pay attention to you or someone ignores you
When someone seems to accept your opinion or someone rejects your ideas
When someone seems to praise you or someone complains about you.
When someone seems to help you or someone abandons you.
When someone seems to give you peace of mind or someone disturbs your peace.
When someone seems to be barging into your space or someone gives you your space
When you seem to be in charge or when you seem to be losing control
When you seem to be a very important person or when you seem to be taken for granted
When you seem to have a clear picture of tomorrow or when you are not sure of what tomorrow may bring
When you seem to be getting it right or when you seem to be losing on all sides

What is in your heart?

JESUS!!!

Remember that, you are not trying to be like Jesus, you already are.
That’s the truth, Christ is in you, however, in real life, you need to learn how to think through and handle a stressful situation. And you must trust God through this process.

Here is a formula to help you. P-E-S-T 

I call it the PEST formula. I have created the acronym so it can be easy for you to remember.  If you don’t do this, your relationships and in turns the purpose for your existence will continually be under attack.  In short, many Christ filled individuals suffer and their relationships suffer as well. Start practicing PEST from today and you will see how easy it is to communicate with others. You will also see that you will be able to clearly hear God when you start mastering this.

  • PAUSE– Always pause before responding. This is good when you are happy or not. Pause; count to 15 seconds in your mind, don’t respond in hurry. Proverbs 25:8  Do not go out hastily to argue your case; Otherwise, what will you do in the end, When your neighbor humiliates you?
  • EMOTIONS– It’s important to be aware of your emotions and the other person’s (check body language and emotions of the other person as well). Don’t jump to conclusions and don’t say anything that is not proven (like you always annoy me) because that’s not true; though it feels like it. Proverbs 16:32 He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.
  • SHOES– Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Try to think about why you could have done or said that…and you may be able to see why you don’t need to attack your opponent or defend yourself. It helps. Don’t forget to put away any assumptions you have about the person. 1 Corinthians 10:24 Try to do what is good for others, not just what is good for yourselves.
  • TIME– Buy more time to calm down and think- Postpone the rest of the conversation if you need time to cool off. Proverbs 15:1  A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.

This process helps you think clearly and it does help to bring calm to the situation at hand.

Practical Example; 

You sit down to dinner with your spouse after you both have had a long stressful day at work. Your spouse asks angrily “why is the laundry piled up?” This makes you realize that you do a lot more of the housework and it seems ridiculous to you that he/she could say that.

Now let’s use the PEST formula

P – …..count to 15 seconds in your mind

E – Then say: You know it’s hard to not get angry when I hear comments like that from you,

S – Then say; though it sounds like you have had a really bad day.

T – How about we both relax a bit and talk about this later?

This approach usually works. It disarms and reduces tension easily. If it doesn’t work the first time, it may be because the tension in your relationship has really piled up and you may need to try it a few times before you start to see its effect. While you do though, you will get better at keeping your emotions in check and be able to relate to the person in love.

Love is the best solution always.

If there is righteousness in the heart, there will be beauty in the character.
If there is beauty in the character, there will be harmony in the home.
If there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nations.
When there is order in the nations, there will peace in the world.

-Confucius

Create in me a clean heart, o God. And renew a right Spirit within me.

 

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Time Bank – Invest Today & Withdraw Tomorrow Day 13/30

time bank Assuming there was a bank to store time, a time bank, what would your account be worth? Imagine if you could actually do that. Deposit your time and withdraw it when you need it. Wouldn’t that be cool? If that were possible, today would have been a major withdrawal day for me. So much to do…

Well, I believe when you plan towards the future, help people, build other people up, pray for others, invest wisely, plan your career path with good advice, read, even rest, you are actually saving some minutes in the time bank for the future. You will definitely make withdrawals later. Your withdrawals may be in minutes or hours, it may even be in days, weeks, months or even years. What you invest would determine what you can withdraw.

Make good decisions now in order to gain time in the future. Don’t just follow the crowd. Think and pray before taking major steps (even small ones).
This is somehow connected to our topic for today. Life & death are in the power of your tongue. When you work hard to use your tongue to give life and build others up you will reap the fruits in the future. Like me, I am sure you are withdrawing favors from some investments you made in the past. Doesn’t it feel great to reap?

I have made up my mind to speak peace into the lives of people I meet. I deliberately just do so because I know many don’t hear good words spoken to them. Plus negative words stick longer than positive. Therefore it’s important to bless with your tongue and not curse at all.

I have made up my mind to not let a negative word or thought come out of me towards anyone. What about you?

“Don’t be careless with words. Refrain from jesting, teasing, criticisms or constant “evaluations” that leave their mark. Don’t make snap judgments or jump to conclusions–be “slow to speak”(James 1:19).

Curses only have power over us if we believe them. If they’re not true, they are powerless (Prov. 26:2). When we believe them, we invest power in them.
Make a choice to reject words that do not line up with God’s Word.”

– Power of Word.

Guess what? Time Bank Actually Exists

Talking about time bank, I just found out, this moment, that there is actually something called time banking. According to Wikipedia, Time banking is the practice of reciprocal service exchange which uses units of time as currency. It’s very common in the US and some other western countries. You can start one around you, I guess. USA, Other Countries

Here is how it works, Bob needs a personal trainer so he visits Tim. Tim offers 2 hours of his personal training service toBob in exchange for 2-time credit. Now Tim has 2 TC (time credit). Tim also needs a dentist’s service so he visits Paul and pays 1TC for 1 hour of dental service. Tim is left with 1TC to be used for another service later.  I think it’s a nice way of volunteering to help others. And builds a nice community. Check if it’s in your neighborhood, if not maybe you can start one. I think churches also can consider starting something like this. That way we can help others, network, and love.

I got this from a friend: 

Usain Bolt has won 9 gold medals in last 3 Olympics and he has run less than 2 mins on the track. That’s economy of effort.
Usain Bolt ran for less than 115 secs in total in his 3 Olympics and made $119 million dollars! That’s more than  $1 million for each second he ran!
But for those 2 mins, he trained for 20+ years! *That’s investment.*
*Think long term. Patience pays.
– Anonymous
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Gossip Talk – What Do you Do With Other People’s Info Day 12/30

Gossip TalkThe topic for today is about Gossip Talk.  I don’t feel like talking about gossip today. Maybe I will in the future but let me just add a few statements to summarize Gossip Talk. The truth is that I have not really had time to think the topic through. And later on in this post, you will see what I am interested in for now.

Gossip Talk?

Gossips is a major issue in our world today.  The invention of social media has helped to make gossiping easier than it was back in the days.  “Did you see what so and so posted on Facebook?” Yeah…we get that all the time. Sometimes the intentions are even good but before you know it you are spreading information about others.

Sometimes it’s even a rumor and has not been proven to be true. I can’t count how many times I have read posts about famous ministers of the gospel and their wrong choices. I wonder how many of these posts are true. I am not saying to condone errors but I think it’s important that we confirm a story before sharing it with others.

Whether the story is about a family member, a friend, a neighbor or a stranger; take the time to pray for them instead of spreading it.
Paula Hendricks Marsteller . wrote a very nice article about how to react with regards to gossips. I think everyone should read it here

Now back to my mind today….

Today I found some time to get back to my listening class; you know the one that led me to this challenge. And it got me thinking, it’s not easy to unlearn what one has been used to for years. As much as I know not to think of my response when I am in a conversation with other people, I still find it hard. Why is it that my mind is always actively thinking when I am supposed to be actively listening?

I was in a meeting today, and I tell you, it was only half way through the conversation (which was about an hour period) that I realized that I wasn’t actively listening, all the while I was thinking of what to say.  I hope you are not thinking of me as weird after reading this. Well, I think I am and I know I have a long way to go.  God help me!

Why is it so hard to do what one knows to do? I don’t know if I am the only one feeling this way. This challenge for me is opening up so much for me to deal with and I don’t want to rush. I am taking my time to learn.

What about you? How has the challenge been for you so far? Don’t forget to leave me a comment below. 

I see my need for God even more now.

 

 

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