Category Archives: Lessons

On Letting Go…On Moving On


Life is unpredictable.

Yes, that is my big revelation. After 27 years trying to understand it, this is what I have found; life is unpredictable.

Love is unpredictable.

I was having a conversation today about letting go, and someone (who has played a fatherly role in my life for as long as I can remember) said I love too passionately. He went further to emphasise that he didn’t think it was necessarily a bad thing, but it just meant that I’d find it much harder to grasp the concept of moving on.

Moments after, I am left wondering what “loving passionately” even means. Is there a way to love less than passionately? How does one love that way? Can we even call it love if it isn’t passionate? Call me naïve…

Eventually, you have to cut your loses, no matter how painful. You have to look yourself in the mirror and recount the lessons you’ve learned. Sometimes, that is enough. Knowing that in this period, ten years or ten months, you have learned something. There will be something that you will take with you for the rest of your life, a piece of someone else, a collection of memories, a memoir of an ‘unlived future’, an abundance of new strengths developed… Whatever it is, that ‘something’ will act as a reminder that in a given space, and at a given time, you found the you that you had always been too afraid to be. That person is worth love, of the passionate kind.

Life is unpredictable.

So what if you still carry around boxes of “to-dos”? Put the box down for a second and take out those dreams one at a time, or several at a time, and live them. Some of them will make sense. Some others will be outrageous!!! But who cares?! They are of no use in the box anyway. (You might want to ignore me now. LOL.)

But yeah, be happy! Just BE! For no apparent reason. For the heck of it. For the sake of living and loving and laughing and everything in between. BE!

Life. Is. Unpredictable.

So every chance you get, stamp yourself in it. And when people call you weird, know that it is because they are too afraid to live. When they leave, understand that they are too afraid to find peace with the world around them. Too busy seeking control. They fail to see the fickleness of it all.
Don’t be like them.

And when you make a list of all the things yet undone, strike out ‘safe’.

If you fail, laugh it off. Have a glass or two of something. And try again… Maybe at something else. Even if it’s just so you have two things now done. Haha! So reckless! Yet, so free.

Free.

Life is unpredictable. So is love.

Don’t try to figure it out. Take what you can. Live. Give of yourself. Love.

BE.

Love, light & freedom songs,
Kov!

PS. I’ve not been drinking, I promise.

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Prisoners of Promise


January is almost over. I’ve not decided exactly how I feel about that. On the one hand, my ‘break’ is coming to an end and I can finally start off with what the rest of 2014 holds (all the planning can finally start coming together) and that’s a good thing, but on the other hand, I’ll have to get out of my comfort zone and basically start from scratch with a lot of things… Ouch! I mentioned before that I took January off work but it hasn’t exactly being a lazy month. I’m moving on to a new phase of my life that has me both excited and scared and I wanted a ‘chill period’ in between. Surprisingly, I’ve been quite busy but I’ve loved (almost) every minute of it.
You know how at the beginning of the year a lot of people spend time with God getting direction for the year ahead, some take a fast and what not. Well, I’m one of those who is super excited about all that my Abba has promised me in 2014. I generally try not to get too excited about things so if it doesn’t work out, I don’t get disappointed. With 2014 however, I can’t help myself. I’m super psyched to see these promises come to pass.
A few days ago, I ‘accidentally’ found myself in a meeting and the teacher was talking about the need for perseverance. Now, that’s one message a lot of Christians these days do not want to hear. We like the ‘feel-good’ messages, and the slap-happy ‘easy-believism’. And yes, God has promised us a lot of good and perfect things but we refuse to see that these often come with trials.
Psalm 105 16-22 “16 He called for a famine on the land of Canaan,
cutting off its food supply. 17 Then he sent someone to Egypt ahead of them—
Joseph, who was sold as a slave. 18 They bruised his feet with fetters
and placed his neck in an iron collar. 19 Until the time came to fulfil his dreams,
the LORD tested Joseph’s character. 20 Then Pharaoh sent for him and set him free;
the ruler of the nation opened his prison door. 21 Joseph was put in charge of all the king’s household;
he became ruler over all the king’s possessions. 22 He could instruct the king’s aides as he pleased
and teach the king’s advisers.”

Joseph had been given a dream (a promise) of greatness. God had shown him a beautiful picture of the future. But the process sure didn’t look beautiful. Look at verse 19, it was the Lord who tested Joseph’s character until the time for the fulfilment came. King James Version puts it this way:  “Until the time that his word came: the word of the Lord tried him.”
It is true that the Lord has promised you wonderful things but be rest assured that promise will attract problems. The journey between where you are now and the fulfilment of that promise will not be without problems. The fact that God promised a thing doesn’t guarantee smooth sail to the final destination. There will be nights, but morning WILL come. These challenges are there to build character in you. “To your faith, add patience”. Your faith is incomplete without endurance. Let it do it’s work!

James 1:2-4 “2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.
4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”

Most of the time when these trials come, we want to pray our way out of it as quickly as possible. When that doesn’t seem to be working, our faith starts to waiver. We begin to question the things that God has said to us. We become unsure and allow depression kick in. One translation of James 1:4 says, “don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do it’s work…” Don’t be quick to say God has abandoned you. Let the challenge do it’s work!
As you patiently (and joyfully) go through these not so pleasant experiences, remember that God hasn’t abandoned you.
Hebrews 10:23 “Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.”(NLT)
“Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word.” (THE MESSAGE)
Habakkuk 2:3 “3 This vision is for a future time.
It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled.
If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently,
for it will surely take place.
It will not be delayed.”

So maybe you’re still basking in the euphoria of His promises, excited and eagerly anticipating, or maybe you’ve already come down from the ‘high’ and you’re already being knocked about on every side… Be encouraged. You’re a prisoner of His promise. At the appointed time, it will show forth. ENJOY the process.
2Peter 1:5-8 “5 In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.
8 The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Okay, sermon over *phew*. Lol! Pastors try o. We hear these things all the time though, why is it so easy for us to forget when the trials come?! No more, Amen? Hehe.

Peace & light,
Kov!

P.S. If you have any specific requests for 2014 (or whatever) and you’d like someone to join faith with you in prayer, I’d love to. Please leave a comment here or send me an email.

Customised Pathway…


And when you’re asking questions about the future, decisions and choices to make, the right path to take, and wondering about God’s interest in the specific details of your life…

“I will guide you along the best pathway for your life, I will advise you and watch over you” – Psalm 32:8(NLT)

“18 – And therefore the Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking and longing] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [earnestly] wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him [for His victory, His favour, His love, His peace, His joy and matchless unbroken compassion]!
19 – O people who dwell in Zion at Jerusalem, you will weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; When He hears it, He will answer you.
20 – And though the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide Himself anymore, but your eyes will constantly behold your Teacher.
21 – And your ears will a hear a word behind you saying, This is the way; walk in it, when you turn to the right hand and when you turn to the left.”
Isaiah 30:18-21 (AMP)

“This is the way,walk in it…”
Wow! This is Him reminding me that He’s got me and He wants to be involved in the process. So when you’re at a crossroad, listen for His voice saying, “this is the way, walk in it”. He will guide you along the best pathway for YOUR life. He’s earnestly waiting to be gracious to you.
This is a reminder for the moments when you’re unsure of the next step. Relax. Earnestly wait for Him. Expect, look and long for Him… He will surely be gracious to you.
Mahn!!! These promises just blow my mind.
There’s a customised pathway for me, and He wants to lead me! He’s more than willing to help when I need it.
“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Hebrews 4:16

The End Of Myself.


I love happy endings, but more than anything, I love new beginnings. Mornings. Birthdays. Fresh starts. I love the idea of a do-over, always have. Clean slate. And for sometime now I’ve been thinking about this for myself. I want a new beginning… More like an opportunity to try out new things in a new environment. I have this overwhelming desire to start afresh. It’s been in my prayers.
I almost had my desire come to pass a few months ago. Already packing my bags, I was eager for this new adventure. Then very randomly, something went wrong in the plan and one by one all my back-up plans blew up in my face. Very painful experience. As I tearfully unpacked my bags (metaphorically), asking Abba why He’d chosen that moment to abandon me, I heard Him quietly whisper, “not yet”. Even though it wasn’t what I wanted to hear at the time, those words found a way to calm me while He patiently waited for me to see the lesson in my misfortune.
 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives…
The life that we now live is no longer ours. When God asks for all of us, it’s so He can multiply it like the little boy’s lunch… Blessed, Broken, Given, for the benefit of many. Of course, I could go my own way and I’d still be a success. But why settle for less, my glory, when I can be so much more, Abba’s delight!
…Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity.
I have my plans. I’ve structured my life in such a way that my five loaves of bread and two fish can feed me just fine. Then Abba says to hand it over. Errrm how about He takes some of it and leave me with just enough to survive? I want ALL of you so He can feed thousands and you’d still have some left over (twelve baskets worth!)unless a kernel of wheat…dies
Therein lies the lesson! DIE!
He’s saying to me, “Kovie, come to the end of yourself. Die. So you can live. Give me all of you. Trust me with it.”
He’s been saying this to me but it won’t be Kovie if she doesn’t prove stubborn. So I move ahead with my own agenda… I’ve learned (the hard way).

Dear Abba,
I don’t always understand Your plans. I’ve had mine. The temptation to ask You to move according to my plan is strong. I want to have my own way and get You involved in it. Who am I fooling? Help me trust You. Help me see that this new beginning I crave can only come when I get to the end of myself. I choose to lay it down. I’ve come to the end of myself. Your will, Your way, Your desires. No half measures. What I have to offer isn’t much, but with You, it’s enough. Do with me what You will.

P.S. Every time I convince myself that it’s time to kiss this personal blog goodbye, something happens to make me stay. On Saturday, I got the most amazing surprise when my blog was chosen as Blog of the Week on ConnectNigeria… See here. I just want to use this opportunity to thank everyone who visits this blog and reads the very random things I write. I write for myself (mostly), but I write for you too. Thank you for choosing to be an audience witnessing the imperfection that is me. Thank you for going on this journey with me. And when at last the Master says “Well done!”, I will raise my glass with you at the marriage supper… “To life!!”

These Things Happen


“Brennan, how could you relapse into alcoholism after your Abba encounters?”
“It is possible because I got battered and bruised by loneliness and failure; because I got discouraged, uncertain, guilt-ridden, and took my eyes off Jesus. Because the Christ-encounter did not transfigure me into an angel. Because justification by grace through faith means I have been set in a right relationship with God, not made the equivalent of a patient etherized on a table.”
All Is Grace – Brennan Manning.

These things happen.Things that rock our faith and push us, nay, shove us off the path in which Abba has set us. Things that we have no control over, or that we allow to overwhelm us and cast doubt on our faith in Abba’s ability and willingness to help us. Things that remind us that we are human, that we are broken, and then suggest to us that we are beyond repair, beyond fixing. Yes, these things do happen.
And by grace, we choose to take our focus off these things that do happen and allow Abba find us in the place of prodigality where “these things” have pushed us to.
Grateful for Abba’s grace that supersedes and far outweighs the effects of these things that crush us as we fall to our knees, choosing instead to crawl to His feet in our fallen state. Thankful for Abba’s tenderness. Undeserving of His love.
May I never tire of speaking of His grace.
It’s not me, it’s Him- My Abba, my redeemer, my everything!

#NP – How He Loves Us ~ Kim Walker/Jesus Culture.

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….

**************************
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?