Soul Food 4 U

It addresses itself to every day issues of life from a Christian perspective. You'll be challenged. You'll be rebuked. You'll be encouraged. You'll grow.

Friday, June 23, 2006

ARE YOU PREGNANT? OR WHERE ARE YOU IN YOUR GESTATION?

June 16,2006

Reflections:

· Be not disturbed at not being understood; be disturbed at not understanding. Chinese proverb

· He made the desert smile through friendship, service and thoughtfulness.

· Do not take refugee status as permanent, aspire to go home

· I like dreams of the future more than history of the past.

· The greatness of a person is determined by the cause he lives for and the price he is willing to pay to achieve it.

TEXT;

Genesis 30:1 "Give me children, or I'll die!" NIV

Joel 2:28 And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy,

your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. NIV

Phil 3:12 ‘. . . but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me’.NIV

Song 1:6 Do not stare at me because I am dark, because I am darkened by the sun. My mother's sons were angry with me and made me take care of the vineyards; my own vineyard I have neglected.

Luke 3:9, Matthew 3:10, The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. NIV

In higher learning institutions, a time comes when those who have successfully gone through the requirements move the tassel from one side to the other. Some institutions organise parties, chapels and many words are spoken in praise of the hard work and gratitude to all who facilitated the achievements. It is in such a gathering that one yearns from deep within that every one graduating, who may not be having a seed growing within them, get pregnant. The celebrations, rituals, and added certificates become meaningful when they are a reflection of rich fertile ground that brings newness and solutions to the many challenges that the societies face.

We can liken the dreams and visions to the foetus that develops progressively and comes out as a delight, a fresh sign of continuity of human race. What a lasting impression would be if each one of us allows conception of an idea that incubates, matures and becomes an answer to a need. I read a statement that said that you have not read a book until the book has read you. Pregnancy takes place when the knowledge gained becomes internalised, owned and new ideas germinate such that there is new knowledge created. The very first days of pregnancy, it is possible to have no visible evidence that a life is formed but as days go by there are signs that tell about the hidden story such as appetite change, fashion that is determined by the new image, walking style, friends and so many others. The young Mary went to look out for the older Elizabeth because there was something they had in common, new life hidden within. Please note that the choice of company is based on the vision not age. Similarly, the friends we keep are a reflection of whether we have a dream that is growing within or we are just taking care of other peoples’ babies. Many issues that seem to be caused by generational gap may actually be a sign of ‘barrenness’ that make people be driven by either their history, or opinions of others. Barrenness is reflected by dependence on the same old ideas, a feeling of being a victim of the environmental factors that make a person feel boxed in and so incapacitated from being productive, desire to be a marauder that victimises others to proof that you are successful, mediocrity, lack of accountability, desire for the events rather than the process and so get impressed by quick solutions that come in form of miracles or lottery, inability to distinguish between opportunities and problems, and so many others. Neither the church nor the country can grow when its members are barren.

Africa needs fertile people who allow God to inspire them with what is in his mind for those created in his own image and likeness but are now going through pangs of pain of hunger, lack, disease and general helplessness. You and I are born to make the desert smile as we answer the question that God has put in each one of us. There is a question that you can sense and your service is the response to it. It is not just knowledge and display of it. Those who teach may tell you of some students who as they respond to examination questions say that a given question should not have been what is on paper, they then proceed and determine what they think the question should have been, Unfortunately, information that does not respond to the question that the examiner set is not considered an answer. One needs to understand the question first so as to be able to select from the bulk of information they have, what constitute an adequate answer. Each one of is designed to be a response to a need that no one else can meet. There is a niche that God knows, and he also knows that we have what it takes to fill it. Spending quality time with our Teacher, listening and asking relevant questions will illumine is us what it is that will make the lame walk, the blind to see, the deaf to hear and the dumb to talk. You are not in this life to just fulfil the agenda presented to you by other seekers. The Kikuyu people have a saying that a borrowed necklace makes the neck tired because the owner is likely to come for it just when the event (dance) for which it was borrowed starts and so is a borrowed vision. It is not reliable. (Mugathi wene ni munogia ngingo –the Kikuyu saying)

We live in a continent where every Tom, Dick and Harry think they know what the solution to the apparent myriad challenges that face African economies is; they have prescribed program that if followed all will be well. Like Jeremiah said, “The harvest is past, the summer has ended, and we are not saved (8:20)." In addition to more certificates, more sermons, more conferences, we need to pause and allow absorption that would lead to:

  1. Clarity of identity – Know yourself. There is a person inside of you that is not the labels that are used to distinguish you from others. Each one of us is so important that Christ would have left heaven to come and search for us. The one lost sheep in a flock of 100 or the one lost coin that really counts. Remember what Jesus Christ taught about attitude and behaviour toward those who may be insignificant according to our societal structures being determinant of who inherits the kingdom of God. ‘The least of these brothers of mine’ (Matthew 25:40). You are a Prince/ Princess in whose veins flow the holy royal blood of Christ Jesus that was shed at Calvary.
  2. Clarity of the source of seed - The source of pregnancy is major determinant of the unchangeable genetic characteristics that are passed on. Two important distinctions are;

Ø There are different sources of seed that can fertilise our minds. Ideas and opinions that come from fallen creation are like weeds that grow in a garden. The weeds hinder growth of the desired crop. Ideas that come from other people need very careful examination so that you not spend your energy on that which does not make you the answer to that very specific question

Ø Do not make assumptions, inquire. Mary the mother of Jesus Christ on learning that she was to get pregnant asked a very important question. “How shall this be now that I have no husband? (Luke 1:34). The response Mary got is still applicable to us. ‘The power of the Most high will overshadow you’. That is what Prophet Joel said, that in the last days the Holy Spirit will be poured and so visions and seeds of dreams will be from God (Joel 2:28). When the idea is from the Lord, what comes out becomes useful to mankind. It is not self serving vision of outdoing others or a nightmare that scares and paralyses the dreamer. In Africa we need the Power of the most high overshadowing us so that we can have newness that is from our Father in heaven. The ‘babies’ we get as we try to incorporate ideas from other sources are not helping us, we need to get the seed that makes us come up with what is honourable and adds value and dignity to God’s people.

3. Clarity of ownership of the vision. Ownership of a goal that is big enough to engulf every other petty objective. Once that one thing that is uniquely yours is discovered, all other things become less valuable. Matt 13:44-46"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. . . 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it. It is with joy that one who has found that one thing gives up time spent listening to just any music, or chatting on issues that are of no value or registering for courses that are not relevant to the course or investing in projects that do not add value to the course. The hold of your vision grows as time passes and you find you cannot carry on a friendship, a conversation, without relating it to the force that guides your life that you meditate on in the day and dream of in the night. You cannot get a break from the growing seed and so your life, hobby, friends, personal self, are all dominated by that great overshadowing factor, the fulfilment of your dream. The kingdom vision makes you evaluate people, books, business opportunities, investments, employers, according to how they affect your cause and their attitude toward it. Allocation of activities around the time frame, and selection and feeding of ideas are all dependent on the seed that is growing in you. Your dress, speech, and habits all proclaim the message that is coming from with you. You no longer are motivated just climbing the ladder, for the ladder may be placed on the wrong wall. You are swelling with the desire to achieve predetermined objectives that make manifest your chosen value system that is based on a mind renewed by the word of God. The seed that is in you may make you do the same thing over and over again, like Noah of old, but when it is God’s idea, it is energising. A person who is carrying a vision cannot be bored for there are new developments that make one see opportunities everywhere.

4. Clarity of meaning of life. It is desperate- it is pregnancy or life has no meaning. Rachel understood the hopelessness of barrenness when she cried for the baby or death. Do not allow yourself to think that you have luxury of choice. You either produce fruit or you are cut off and thrown into fire. No excuses, baby or death are the only available options. Rachel was not satisfied by her sister Leah or the maid giving birth while she watched neither was Hannah who had to live with the cries of the co wife’s babies.

You can be a maid/house help or an employee or even a business owner, a pastor, teacher, who uses what you get to go and nurture what is yours. Your personal vision and mission should never be clouded by other people’s dreams. It is like a maid who assumes that the children of the mistress are hers and will then get rude shock when she realises that employment does not give you ownership. The word of God teaches us that Matt 7:7 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened: In Africa, many of us have lost our texture, we have become the scum of the earth so that others use us to explain what misery is, yet we are so busy, working so hard listening to every one else’s idea of who we should be. We have neglected our own vineyard and no one else can take care of it (Song of Songs 1:6). You have to get in touch with your very deep personal self in a very intimate relationship with God in order to get that which is uniquely yours. For us to be light and salt in our world, we need moments of privacy where the agenda is not more money, promotion, members, or even a job but identification and nod from the Most high who alone knows us and wants us to bring out the best that he created us to be. As the seed from our Maker interacts with our inner naked being, then we can go serve others in order to nurture what is our own. Your pursuit of education, career, and business should be activities that help you achieve that for which Christ took hold of you. Paul was called to be witness of Christ to the Gentiles and so he made tents in order to finance his ‘baby’.

Jesus Christ said that if you do not give birth you are not fit for the kingdom. The axe is already at the root waiting to cut off any tree that does not bear fruit. Your life is not about survival but doing that for which you came, that which is original, fresh and new, that which will brighten the world in which we live

THE GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST AND THE ECONOMIES OF AFRICA ARE NOT DEPENDENT ON YOUTH OR OLD, OR FINANCIERS OR REFINED SYSTEMS AND STRATEGIES, BUT ON THOSE WHO ARE DESPERATE TO GET WHAT IS ON GOD’S MIND AND ALLOW THAT TO BECOME THEIR BASIC MOTIVATOR.

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