Monthly Archives: June 2013

Dear God…


Abba,
This is me just saying thank You, for everything and in everything. Thank You for the first half of this year. Thank You for always being here, for never leaving nor forsaking me, for being a constant source of strength and an ever present help in time of need. Thank You for the family, for preserving us and keeping us safe, whole; nothing missing, nothing broken. Words fail me to express how much I deeply appreciate all that You’ve done and continue to do for me, in me and through me. I am eternally grateful.
Thank You for the miracle of sleeping and waking up. Thank You for each new day, for keeping me alive, for Your word says that to him who is joined to the living, there is hope. Thank You for giving me a hope and a future, and for establishing me in righteousness. Thank You for my salvation and for growth. Thank You for experiences that money cannot buy. Thank You for opportunities and expressions of talent. Thank You for wonderfully crafting me, Your workmanship is beautiful!
Thank You for the trials that make me stronger. Thank You for the tears that cleanse my soul. Thank You for the tough times and for keeping me through it all. I couldn’t have made it without You this far and I know that You’re still with me through it all. Thank You even for loved ones that have passed on. Thank You they knew You and passed in the faith. Thank You for being a comfort when it didn’t seem like we could handle the pain. Thank You for coming through at the nick of time. Thank You for speaking even through the silence. Thank You for dreams, visions and clarity. Thank You for making a way where there seemed to be no way.
Thank You for friends and sisters that I’ve never met but who have become a part of my life. Thank You for connecting me with a part of Your 7,000 preserved men. Thank You for the internet and how You’ve used it to bless me. Thank You for Tinu, Tomi. A, Ayo, Tomiloba, Annie, Oluchi, Ibukun, Moyin, and all other “sisters” You’ve brought my way. Thank You for accountability partners.
Thank You for the second half of this year and the things You will bring to manifestation. Thank You for grace to go through all that will come our way. Thank You for Your strength being made perfect in weakness. Thank You for ability to do beyond what our minds can conceive. Thank You for your unending joy even when we pass through diverse temptations. Thank You for our victory in Christ, we have overcome the world. Thank You for your provision, protection and preservation; nothing shall by any means harm us. Thank You for establishing Your praise in our hearts and putting a song on our lips and a dance on our feet. Thank You, for You’ve done great things.
Thank You Abba, that You are God and You’ll always remain God. That we can call upon You at anytime, it’s a privilege, thank You. All that I am, and with all that I ever hope to be, I give You praise. You’ve been a friend, a lover and a father. I cannot thank You enough. You’re awesome beyond words, beautiful beyond description. All the glory, praise, honor, worship, adoration, I ascribe to You. You deserve so much more than I can ever offer, I give You all of me. I present myself to You as a living sacrifice, this is my act of worship. Every praise I receive I hand it all over to You. You alone are God. I love You always and forever!
Eternally Yours,
K.

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7000 reserved men


This year, one of my goals is to read the Bible chronologically from start to finish… (Thank God for the You Version Bible App).
Today’s reading, 1Kings 17-19, is centered around the prophet Elijah. While reading today, I came across the part where Elijah was saying to God that he was the only one left who had not bowed down to Baal and God told him that He’d preserved seven thousand men who had not bowed to Baal.
As I was reading this, something struck me… I’m one person who gets easily influenced and can ultimately be sidetracked so I’ve found it as good advice to guard my heart with all diligence. Since I decided to ‘live intentionally’ a while back, I’ve tried to cut out as much negativity as I can and surround myself with people who uplift me but trust, this hasn’t been as easy as it sounds. Many times, I take long breaks from twitter, especially when it feels like I’ve taken in way too much negativity or idle talk.
Earlier today, I was on twitter and one of the people I follow was talking about how we can live our ‘ordinary’ lives in such a way that we are worthy of sainthood… Everything she said was just on point! The purpose of this post isn’t to recap all that she said but it just made me realize how I’m not the only one who’s striving to live life intentionally as God ordained. I’m not the only one who is fighting the good fight. God has preserved for Himself 7,000 men who haven’t bowed to Baal. I’m using twitter as an example because I’m quick to point out just how negative that place can be but the truth is maybe I’m the one following the wrong crowd. Even on twitter, there are many who haven’t allowed themselves to be influenced by the world’s system. Of course, I knew this before now. Not everyone I follow there is negative or engages in idle talk, but it dawned on me really well today because I’d been meditating on that particular verse from my daily Bible reading.
Elijah was discouraged because it seemed like he was fighting all by himself… Maybe if he’d been aware of the other 7,000, or if he had them around him, he’d have been better equipped to confront Jezebel.
Anyway, before I go off on a tangent here, I guess my point is we aren’t alone in this ‘walk’.. There are 7000 others who we can lean on for support, inspiration, encouragement, and everything else we will need on this pilgrimage. Surround yourself with that lot. Choose your influence.

Free


I love writing here mostly cause I can totally be myself. Twitter used to be that for me, but now, neeh…
Bear with me, with this realization comes the need to put down every thought in my head, so there’ll prolly be more “random” posts than before. I’ll try not to over indulge though… :p
Anywho, this is to say a quick thank you to everyone who’s said a prayer for me recently. Cause I know I’m not standing today by my own strength. I really don’t know how I’m able to smile right now, there’s been way too much going on. Just too much. I know I’m not this strong… I should be broken now but I’m here. Someone much bigger than me is holding me up. Thank you Abba!
Something else I want to share… Last month, I was on a fast of some sort. During the period, I didn’t pray any specific prayers for myself (except just asking for Abba’s will to be done), but I realized that everyone I prayed with for something specific got answers. Like 4 of my friends got jobs and it’s been super amazing. Of course I know it’s not because of my prayers but it’s just been very uplifting. (*somedays I wanna get jealous like everyone’s getting answers except me.. Lol). Overall, I’m not as depressed as I used to be. I’m just very open to whatever Abba wants to do in me and through me.
My thoughts are all over the place, I’m sorry. I’m sha really excited for the things that are going to happen.. Even for the storm. I’m grateful that I’m growing (at least, in certain areas) 😀
Kisses!

The Nadir


I came across this conversation in a book I’m currently reading and it struck me in a way nothing has in a while. I’m sharing this hoping that it’ll make some sense to someone else too. I won’t be explaining it, I’ll leave you to peruse on it, get a message and possibly share in the comments….

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Awake again.

Back-and-forth, back-and-forth.

Stop it.

We do this every night Mark. You make an attempt at sleep only to have the thoughts come back.

I can’t help it.

Right. You can’t help it.

I lay here trying not to worry, not to be fearful, but everything in my life that seems to be falling apart rushes into me like Attila the Hun.

That’s because your problems are the center of your life.

What’s that supposed to mean?

God isn’t the center of your life. Worry is. Anxiety is.

That’s ridiculous.  Don’t go blaming this on me. I have been diagnosed! I have sleep apnea! I can’t help this!

You tell yourself that. Whatever helps you sleep at night.

Nothing helps me sleep at night.

Exactly.

How can you say God is not the center of my life when I am constantly bringing all these anxieties to Him, begging Him to change them?

Yeah. You consider God for a fleeting moment just before you spend the next three hours obsessing over the unfairness of it all.

What would you think? My head is a mess, my marriage is stale, my children are constantly bludgeoned by this and that-just look at Charlie down there at the foot of my bed.

I know.

The cast is all the way up to his hip! He’s in a wheelchair, for crying out loud! He can’t walk, can’t swim- all I can picture are those few seconds when he was skipping happily right before the screaming.

Lots of screaming.

He thought his awful summer was finished.  We all thought it was finished. He was hurt so badly. I can’t imagine the next time he will skip like that.

You’ve got to stop replaying it in your head.

Do you know what he said while I was carrying him to the car?

Stop.

He said, “YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE JUMPED WITH ME! ”

You’ve got to stop.

And I said, “But you asked, ” and he screamed, “I DIDN’T KNOW IT WOULD HURT SO BAD!”

Mark?

I just know that clinic is going to think we’re doing something awful to him.

MARK!

What?

You’re stuck in the circular.

Huh?

You’re still not learning.  This is the way you’ve always lived. Sure, it’s ramped-up this time. It’s suddenly a melodramatic version, but it’s still the same garbage over and over with no change or growth in your reaction to it.

Oh. So, this is all about me, then.

Nothing is all about you. But, you seem to think everything is all about you. That is exactly my point.

Well, I don’t care what you think, because my life is not circular. I am pushing through all of this rough stuff and I just know that any moment, I’m going to reach my half-point.

What are you talking about?

My life-my faith has felt like an uphill climb and I’m ready now.

Ready for what?

For my half-life.

Your what?

The apex of my experience where learning turns to application and the circular path finally gives way to the straight and narrow.

Where did you hear that?

It’s in the introduction.

So let me get this straight.  Your life has been a challenge.

Yes.

So, your perspective is- expend all your energies attempting to get to the point where challenges are suddenly over?

I wouldn’t exactly…

You really think there is supposed to be some euphoric summit that cancels the climb and begins a slide?

Of course not.

Well, you’ve been living that way. You’ve been living as if all of your pursuits are grasping at easy.

Have not.

Have so. It’s a lame duck way to live. That’s you, Mark. You’re the Lame Duck Christian.

I resent that.

Think about it. Think about what you’ve missed spinning your wheels just to escape lousy. Life isn’t rosy, but it’s certainly not all eye herpes either. It’s a collision of the two and you’ve missed the better half trying to scrape your way out of the stink. There is no top of the hill-and you have most certainly not been climbing.  There is only one you facing the fact that joy can definitely be found on this path, but you’ve got to fight for it because the fight builds character. It turns you into something beautiful.  You really thought you were at your apex?

Well, it’s just a theory.

You do realize what an apex is, don’t you?

It’s the half-point.

No, Steele. It’s the high point. The high point doesn’t change you-and that’s a good thing, because this moment is certainly not the high point.

Then, what is it?

The nadir.

The nadir?

The Lowest point possible.  It’s when you come to the end of yourself. When you die to your selfishness and surrender to God. But, you won’t do that if you are pretending you’ve scaled some triumphant peak. You are not a martyr, Mark.  You’re just figuring out that life can be hard, but that is okay.

The nadir.

If you’re looking for a halfway point- this is it, baby.

The low point of my life.

Embrace it, brother! It’s a great thing to come to the end of yourself because it’s the only place you can truly rely on God’s power.
Accept it. Surrender.
It’s the only way to truly tackle your grief. Die to yourself, and you’ll start rolling despair over and spanking it in public.

But I’ve been through so much.

And, you’re going to go through more, but your perspective on what you’re going through could change everything.  Take a moment and look at your wife.

I can’t.  Her face is covered with pillows.

Well, take some action-lift them off her. Look at her. Do you remember?

Of course I remember!

Well,  then FIGHT for her! Get off your fat patoot and live in a way that will get her and keep her. FIGHT for you. Get yourself back.

I keep TRYING to get myself back!

No. You keep trying to get comfortable back. Trying to get the past back.  The naive, undisciplined you back. Forget that garbage. You’ve got to die to that.

That’s exactly what I’ve been avoiding.

Of course it is, because it’s even more painful than what you’ve been wallowing in this past year, but it’s just going to keep getting worse until you decide to dive in and face what is down in the darkest depths.

You say that as if it is easy. I am at the end of myself here.

No. You just think you are. If you were really at the end of yourself, you would start seeing what God is doing. You’re actually quite full of yourself and all the agony that comes with constantly staring in the mirror. You aren’t even close to the end of yourself. You keep saying you are ready for all God wants to do inside you, but you’re not letting any old garbage out to make new space.

You’re telling me this year-all this pain-has been selfishness?!

I’m telling you that you know the one thing you have to do and keep refusing to do it.

I’ve done everything I know to do!

Have not.

Have too!

Have not!

Okay, wise guy, what is this one thing left that I have not done.

Die already.

Die already?

Die already.

You mean-now?

Yes. Now. You’ve been stretching this angst out a bit, don’t you think? Make a move. Stomp on that despair. Kill that sucker-punk moneychump.

But death is what I’ve been doing my best to avoid.

Exactly.

I don’t understand.

You think you’ve been clinging to God because you love Him and you want to be who He has created you to be, but the moment that becomes painful, you decide that you love comfort more. So, you try to pray the pain away, refusing to acknowledge that pain itself might actually be a part of the way out of the pain. Everybody hurts, Mark. Everybody dies. But there is much to embrace, to find joy in, to hold onto throughout that very same path. You’re in agony every single day. And you will be until you finally decide to die already. Until then, you’re only living half a life.

But, how on earth do I do that?

You really want to know?

Of course I do!

You cannot possibly really want to know it unless you are really ready to do it.

I’M READY! JUST TELL ME!

Okay….
Open your mouth and close your eyes.

And what is that supposed to mean?

Don’t worry.
You’ll figure it out.

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From the book: HALF-LIFE, DIE ALREADY (How I died & lived to tell about it) – Mark Steele.

Thoughts?

Home…


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You are my hiding place… My place of quiet refuge.  I run to You to escape from the noise of the world. Away from all the distractions life provides, I come home. Here, I can forget about the pressures of the constantly demanding world with its persistent nagging. I can ignore the constant chiming of the clock, for here, time is of no essence. Everything stands still…
At ease.
Apart from You, I cannot overcome the constant need to do, with You, just being is… Perfection. No one to impress, no need to be my best. I just am…
Content.
I find no reason to keep alert.
Relaxed.
Gratified.
Pleased.
If someone were to ask me now how I feel, my response is simple, “I cannot complain”… Not because I’m trying not to, or because I want to stay positive… I honestly have no reason to. I don’t have to try. I don’t have to do anything. I just am…
Complete.
My happy place. Does this aptly describe it? That sounds like something spurred on by activity. Do I even feel? But it feels good if I have to describe a feeling. Beyond good. It is more than a feeling now, I just am….
Calm.
No pressure. No frenzied unrest. This peace, it engulfs me. I could stay here forever.
I must go out again to face the world. I can’t escape what needs to be done… but I carry You in my spirit as a reminder that this; what is known, what is seen, shall pass. Soon I’ll be home…
Quiet.
Alive.
Me.
To simply affirm life, not to bring order out of chaos, or to suggest improvements in creation… My focus is simply to wake up to the very life we are living. That’s all that matters right now. Make the most of what is here now…
Our silent laughter. Our peaceful moments. This is the life that is truly life. This is the place I constantly yearn for…
My deepest longing is You.