FILLING EVERY MINUTE

I have been reading the book Practicing His Presence by Brother Lawrence & Frank Laubach, and my heart is drawn to a conscious awareness of God like never before. I have always known about the omnipresence of God but I cannot say that my conscious mind engages with Him continually throughout the day. In my mind, I separate the sacred from the secular. I unconsciously tune God out when focusing on tasks when I could invite Him to my every task, every thought, and every second of my every day!

When I stop to think about it, I see how ridiculous it is to have the God of the universe living in me, yet choose to do things on my own and only invite Him into the situation when I feel stranded, confused or desperate. The reality is that I could experience days of heaven on earth by leaning on God for everything – not just when I need something. I can stay in touch with Him all day, carrying on a conversation with my God in the midst of my busy life. Then every minute of my day becomes sacred and there is no demarcation between the sacred and the secular. I can truly keep a smile on my face all day because of the ongoing conversation with Him. I can truly fill every minute of my every day with God.

When I fell in love with my husband, I had a glimpse of the power and intensity of consciously filling every minute of every day. We met in college and I fondly remember that my days were truly centered around him – literally. I would wake up intoxicated with love and thrilled about another day with him. I would smile my way to the bathroom and get dressed with his favorite color in mind. I made my selections for the day seeking to please him. I wanted him to be excited when he saw me. I walked tall and had a glow about me as I went to class. I would constantly picture his daily schedule and mentally track what he would be doing at the very minute I was thinking of him. I had a spring in my steps as I got my work done because I knew that each passing minute took me closer to him. I looked at every occurrence through his eyes and I could not wait to share the details with him. By the time I finally saw him, I was so excited that love gushed out of me!

You are every minute of my every day

 

Imagine how rich life would be if we live in the consciousness of the presence of God minute by minute. Imagine how minuscule your challenges would be in the presence of God. Imagine how different your daily experiences would be if you really knew God was right there with you all through the day. How empowering it would be to hold a long conversation with God throughout the day. God the Holy Spirit is always with us and He is eager to be a part of our day. He is always there as a silent partner willing to help, comfort and guide all day.

God wants a relationship with you more than anything else. He wants to be there for you, He wants to be a part of your everyday life – not just the highlights. Jesus wants to be a part of your life. Everything else flows out of the relationship with God. The depth of your relationship with God is the core of life and everything we do for God should flow out of that core.

What would happen if we make a conscious decision to have active conversations with the Lord throughout the day? Every 10, 15 or 30 minutes,  punctuated with a conversation with God would transform your life. Join me in the decision to practice the presence of God, making Him an active part of every minute of every day.

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” John 14:16-17

How do you stay aware of the presence of God? Please share by leaving a comment.

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DO WHAT IT TAKES

How is your new year going?

Its only 30 days into the new year and the excitement is starting to wane. Things seem to be finding their way back to the familiar routine. Rather than settling, this is the time to shun distractions and do the work required to make the dream a reality. I’ve had to redirect my attention to the truly important activities and refocus more times than I would like to admit. The urgent tasks always threaten to deprive the important tasks of attention.

This is our year to dream bigger than ever before. The year to dream so big, it’s scary. Let’s make the vision crystal clear, and then take it to the next level by doing the hard work required.

 “When your clarity meets your conviction and you apply action to the equation, your world will begin to transform before your eyes.” Lisa Nichols

This year, don’t go on the destiny journey alone, find like-minded people who will help move you farther in the direction of your dreams. Accountability in your relationship will break the cycle of lethargy and inspire action in the right direction.

It is not enough to try and then stand back with the words “what will be, will be”. Go after your dream with all you have.

Trying is not enough

There was a paralyzed man who needed healing. His friends heard about Jesus and how He healed all kinds of diseases. They decided to carry their friend to Jesus for healing. When they got there, there was a huge crowd and the house was full, there was no room left, not even outside the door. At this point, his friends could have justifiably left saying “we really tried, but we could not even get close to the door”. That explanation is legitimate and completely understandable. However, those four men refused to take the easy road. They removed the roof and lowered their paralytic friend in front of Jesus. This is a radical step laden with risks. What if they all fell through the roof in the process and got injured? What if they dropped the paralyzed man and made his situation worse? How would they fix the roof back? How many hours of labor will that require? Those bold men refused to be intimidated by the “what-ifs”, they focused on their purpose – getting their paralyzed friend to Jesus. The paralyzed man received his healing because he had friends who would not let themselves off the hook because of challenges.

Have you given up too soon?

The bible says that Jesus saw their faith. That makes me wonder – How did Jesus see their faith? Is faith visible? Jesus saw their faith through their actions and healed their paralyzed friend. Faith is indeed visible. If you truly believe what God has promised you, your commensurate action will be the proof.

Don’t let yourself off the hook when you encounter challenges – press in and remove the roof if necessary

In another situation, the Jews were being threatened. The King’s top officer, Haman, had planned to execute all the Jews. With the penalty of death looming, the Jews were frantic for help. One of the Jews, Mordecai, had raised his orphaned relative – Esther. She entered the beauty contest and won becoming the Queen. However, due to the controversial situation of the Jews, she and Mordecai kept her identity a secret. Now with the death penalty looming, Mordecai reached out to Esther for help. In deep agony, Esther confessed that she could do nothing because she has not had access to the King for 30 days and no one could approach the King except by invitation. The situation was dire but Esther was helpless. However, Mordecai did not let Esther off the hook. He challenged Esther to press through the challenges and find a way. Esther fasted and prayed for 3 days, approached the King uninvited and was able to reverse the death sentence on the Jews (Esther 4).

Just like Esther and the paralyzed man, you need to surround yourself with people who will not let you off the hook. This year, you need people who will hold you accountable to your dreams. You need friends that will push you to destiny. People who will not console you with words like “at least you tried”.

Go the extra mile this year. Be clear about what you want to accomplish and channel your resources to making it a reality.

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord” Psalm 37:23.

God will order your steps but you have to move.

Start taking steps in the direction of your dreams. Refuse to allow anything to stop you this year.

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STAND

“Never doubt in the DARK what God told you in the LIGHT.” V. Raymond Edman

The year 2016 will end in 1 day! In many ways, it feels like the year just started and in other ways, it feels like it’s been a long year. Some would describe this year as a banner year filled with blessings and new beginnings while others would describe this year as a hard year filled with difficulties and pain. What was your experience in 2016 and what memories are you holding on to as this year slips away forever?

 

The good news is that irrespective of our experiences in 2016, the year will end on December 31st and a new year will begin ushering in new hope. The new year is another opportunity to experience the faithfulness of God. If you have been waiting on something, keep standing – God is faithful. If you are recovering from a difficult experience, keep standing – the strength of God will be perfected in you. Anchor your life on the Word of God and keep standing on His word.

 

standing-on-the-promises-of-god

The heavens and the earth were created with words, God declared what He wanted to see and it materialized.  We were made in the image of God and we have the same power. We can use our words to create/recreate our world. Begin to speak the word of God into every area of your life and expect it to conform to the word of God.

The word of God is as powerful in your mouth as it is in the mouth of God

You are indomitable because you have God living inside you and your words cannot be refuted because they are the words of God. Stand in this truth and watch God work in your life

You are more than a conqueror through Christ and you have heaven on your side. Nothing can withstand you as you stand on the promises of God. You cannot fail with Him. Dig into the treasure of the Word and stand strong.

Find the Word of God that addresses your situation and declare it. Believe – do not waiver! There is power in the word of God and that makes you invincible. Stand and keep standing – God is at work in your life.

Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105

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LIFE IS A GIGGLE

Learning to ride a bicycle has been fun for my daughter. She is thrilled by the idea of learning something new and giggles all the way. When she falls down, she thinks it’s the funniest thing and squeals – “Mummy did you see how well I was riding before I fell off my bicycle!” Running beside her, I’m getting a much needed workout but I am also learning a lot about the right attitude to life. The power of perception and how it changes everything. Later that day, we practiced writing sight-words and my daughter was tickled by the similarity between “d” and “b” and how easy it is to mix the letters and write one instead of the other. She sat at the table giggling and having a great time learning! I stared at her in admiration. If only I could maintain my giggle through all of life’s learning moments.

It’s amazing how much we can learn from the way children embrace life. Most of us have lost the child in us but the truth is that we are God’s children, we are not God’s adults. Jesus encouraged us to be like little children. He said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Mark 10:14-15)

Letter from God

You can make a conscious effort to be childlike. You can determine to trust God. Refuse to worry and accept each day as a present (gift) from God. Let God take care of you, cast all of your burdens on God and let Him be your Father. Imagine how ridiculous it would be if a little child insists on taking care of herself: take a shower, get dressed (just imagine wild color combinations), get breakfast and head out the door to catch the school bus. Donning the button, “I dressed myself today”, the child steps out of the house proud of the accomplishments. One glance at the chaotic mismatch will convince anyone that the child is not old enough and should not be doing that. Yet that is how most of us are with God. Consciously or unconsciously, we insist on taking care of ourselves and making all our choices independently. As a result, we step into the day half-clad and ill prepared.

God wants to be your Father. He is saying “let me take care of you”. He wants to take that weight off your shoulder. He wants to help you with that problem. He wants to teach you what to say in that awkward position. He wants to provide for you. He wants to comfort you. He does not want you to go through life alone. He wants to walk you through life.

Take an honest look at your life, in which areas have you been trying to do it all? No man can prevail by human strength. Rely on God and let him help you through life. Let God be your Father and life will be a giggle.

 

 

 

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NEVER GET OVER IT!

I really enjoy watching good movies. I had to add the word good because some movies are just so bad. Have you ever watched a movie and gotten angry with yourself for wasting that time? Sometimes I select a movie with a promising storyline but then the scenes don’t look as exciting. I keep hoping the movie will get better with each scene, sometimes that happens and it is a relief. At other times, the movie ends in a very disappointing way. However there are those all-time favorite movies, those are the movies you can watch every single day and not get tired. Some of my favorite movies make me cry every single time – even though I have seen them so many times and know the lines.

Growing up, I remember watching movies about the suffering and death of Jesus and crying every single time. Around the Easter season, TV channels had different versions of the movie playing most of the day. I would sit in front of the TV and cry my little heart out – each year. Even when we acted out the production in church, it would break my heart. Even though I knew that Jesus rose again, the pain He suffered and the agonizing death on the cross was so heartbreaking. I could not conceive that level of suffering for any human.

The question that gnawed at me was: why did He do it? Why did He allow Himself to be crucified. I love the stories about the miracles of Jesus and the display of the power of God; but my mind couldn’t reconcile glory and crucifixion.

Never Get Over It

As I began to learn more about God, I discovered that He did it for me! He allowed Himself to be crucified on the cross to secure the abundant life for me.  The devil had plans to steal, kill and destroy us but Jesus took our place. Jesus thinks so highly of you and I, we were worth His life. He died because of His love for us. The motive was LOVE.

The good news is that Jesus did not stay dead, He rose again on the 3rd day and His resurrection grants us access to all He died to obtain for us – redemption, healing, wholeness, deliverance, and prosperity!

If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus, this is the perfect time to draw close to God and discover how much He loves you. He loves you so much that He took a chance on you.  He died for you even when you didn’t know Him in the hope that one day you will draw near to Him and receive His love. His love for you is endless and His hands are wide open to welcome you into a personal relationship with Him. Receive the love of Jesus today and never get over it!

Enjoy this song about the amazing love of Jesus for you: Amazing Love (You Are My King)

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THERE’S MORE!

I have been thinking about what it really means to live the abundant life. Jesus said that the thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].” John 10:10. What does that abundant life look like?

Most of us are living below our privileges. We have settled into a routine and defined “normal” by our day to day experiences. We have allowed circumstances to show us the boundary of possibility. We have accepted common knowledge as the standard. We have rationalized what it means to be made in the image and likeness of God. We have surrendered to our humanity and refused to place a demand on our divinity.

That ought not be so.

There is more to life and we have the capacity for so much more. It’s time to go back to the foundation and rediscover who we really are. It is time to get off cruise control and get into alignment with the plan of God and really get to know Him.

Know God

 

The most important thing you can do this year is to really get to know God by spending quality time studying the bible every day. As your relationship with God develops, you will be drawn to a life of excellence and begin to see things through His eyes. You will develop an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit, encounter the wisdom of God and begin to recognize His leading in your life.

As soon as you make up your mind to spend more time with God, there will be distractions and events competing for your time, but you need to dig in your heels and determine not to let go of the His Word. If you fall, you need to make up your mind to get right back up and keep growing in God. No matter how you feel, stay with the Word of God – don’t let go.

We all need to watch out for a very dangerous place called the “comfort zone”. The good is always the enemy of the best and you must refuse to stagnate. Growth is a process and the key is to keep growing. Never get to a point where you are no longer hungry for the things of God – There is always more in God

“The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.” Proverbs 4:18

Have a wonderful week!

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GAIN MOMENTUM

The 2016 marathon started on January 1. What an exciting day filled with dreams, fresh outlook, renewed hope and great expectation. The days started with a burst of high energy, healthy habits and gusto.

January will end in a few days and the momentum of the new year seems to be waning. Things are threatening to go back to the pre-2016 normal and the days are starting to feel familiar. The problem with normal is that it keeps things the same. I don’t want things to remain the same, I want to soar this year and be ALL that God created me to be.

The secret to sustain momentum is daily commitment to improvement. Each day matters! The way you and I spend time each day and the choices we make will either take us closer or farther from the goal. The brush strokes of everyday life are painting the portrait of tomorrow.

The familiar is comfortable but oftentimes it is far from the best of God. We need to be willing to step out of the boat and trust God’s leading. Your willingness to obey directly impact your momentum to destiny.

Break up with the familiar and embrace the new

Dont limit God

Mary had a unique experience with God that was unprecedented. She was a young lady in an exciting phase of life. She was engaged to be married and life was good. Then an angel visited her with a message that she would have a son. Her first reaction to the angelic visitation was confusion – how will that happen? The angel said she would be overshadowed by the Holy Spirit – whatever that meant. Mary responded with the words: “Let it be to me according to your word!”

Mary did not rationalize or ask for proof; she simply yielded to God and the world has not been the same.

Don’t let 2016 get on cruise control. Live each day intentionally and experience greatness!

God wants to do so much more in your life than what you are experiencing now. Yield to the promptings of God and trust Him to lead you to what He has for you.

God is about to do new things, do not limit Him to your past experiences. By faith, enlarge your capacity to receive from God and determine to do what the bible says. Daily obedience will sustain the momentum in 2016.

“Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.” Isaiah 54:2

 

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DAILY PROVISION

Prayer time changed in our home when my daughter Temi learnt the Lord’s Prayer. Now the Lord ’s Prayer is the standard prayer in our household. It does not matter what the occasion is: morning prayer, night prayer, mealtime prayer, my princess prays the Lord’s prayer.

The first time Temi said the Lord’s Prayer, it was so cute and profound. Hubby and I grabbed our phones and recorded those precious words. It was heartwarming and we mouthed those precious words as she prayed them earnestly. Then it became apparent that Temi really loves the Lord’s Prayer and would pray it at every opportunity.

I need to admit that sometimes I’ve tried hastening the prayer along to keep things moving at the dinner table. However I quickly realized my hurry tactics had no effect on Temi and she would enunciate each word of the prayer and end with a resounding “Amen!”

Finally I settled into the pattern and then an amazing thing happened – the prayer began to come alive to me! Each time she would say the words, revelation would explode in my spirit.

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

(Matthew 6:9-13)

Daily Provision

Jesus taught His disciples to pray these powerful words. The prayer starts by establishing our identity as children of God praying to our Father in heaven. This gives us the boldness to approach the throne of God with confidence and receive freely from Him.

The words “Give us this day our daily bread” have been echoing in my heart. God wants us to depend on Him for daily provision. He wants to be involved in the details of our lives.

God wants to take care of every need, every day. He wants us to cast all cares on Him and enjoy the present instead of regretting past decisions or worrying about tomorrow.

The abundant love of God shines through His promise of daily provision. You can rely on God each day for your supply. Cast all of your cares on God and live in the moment. Do not let the pressure or cares of this world weigh you down. Trust God with each day.

Daily bread includes whatever you need for your daily sustenance – strength, provision, wisdom, favor, joy, etc. It’s like getting a box of supplies each morning when you open your eyes.

Unfortunately many of us try to make it through each day on our own, hauling our cares along the journey of life while trying our best. The problem is that our best is nothing compared to God’s enablement.

Let God take care of you – receive His provision each day and live your life to the fullest.

 

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GOD IS BUSY

I woke up feeling out of line. I had let things slip and it felt like I had a backlog in every area. I walked into the prayer room for my daily time with God with that burden on my heart. My heart cry was “Lord align me!” It felt like I had the energy to do the barest minimum just to get by and I knew that was far from my best so I let out a desperate cry to the only person who could help me – Lord realign me and refocus my priorities!

Grasping for grace, I opened my bible to Psalm 37:23-24 and the words flooded my heart with peace.

“The steps of a [good] man are directed and established by the Lord when He delights in his way [and He busies Himself with his every step]. Though he falls, he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord grasps his hand in support and upholds him.”

It thrilled me to visualize God busy with my every step. I could see Him guiding, redirecting and recalibrating the routes of my life while supporting me through the falls. What an expression of love! The God who created the heavens and earth takes the time to direct my steps and be involved in my life.

God cares

 

God is interested in the details of your life. The details do matter to Him. He is heavily invested in your everyday life – yes including the decisions, the surprises, the highs and the lows. Therefore loneliness is an illusion! You are not alone – God is right there with you working out the details and He will make all things work together for your good. God is busy with your life.

Let the reality of the presence and the love of God warm your heart and provide the reassurance that you will never be without help. Face each day and all it brings with the knowledge that the Lord is directing your steps and you will win.

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GOD-VISION GOGGLES

Imagine how beautiful it would be to see the world through the eyes of God. Imagine the compassion that pours out of God when He looks at His creation.

God sees the world through the lens of love. You and I can also see the world through the eyes of God when we put on God vision goggles of love. When we look through the eyes of love, we look through the eyes of God.

Love is the heartbeat of God. When we love each other, we become the hand of God extended to the world.

GodVision

Love never gives up.

Love cares more for others than for self.

Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.

Love doesn’t strut,

Doesn’t have a swelled head,

Doesn’t force itself on others,

Isn’t always “me first,”

Doesn’t fly off the handle,

Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,

Doesn’t revel when others grovel,

Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,

Puts up with anything,

Trusts God always,

Always looks for the best,

Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.

The world is hurting and people need more love and compassion. With our God-Vision goggles intact, we can be the beginning of a love revolution.

 

 

 

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