MIND SHIFT:

Experts estimate that the number of thoughts that run through our heads a day are between 50,000 to 80,000. That’s incredible!

We do know that our thoughts shape and reinforce our attitudes and mindsets. Our ‘headspace’ impacts our choices, verbal expression and actions. In order for any kind of change to take place, there has to be a mind shift.


And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:2)

We have the authority as believers to take charge of our thoughts, attitudes and mindsets.

Casting  down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against  the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the  obedience of Christ; (2 Corinthians 10:5)

Negative thoughts that are infested with jealousy, hatred, bitterness, pride, low self worth and anything else that is contrary to God’s purpose must be addressed. Learn to sift every such thought through the sieve of Scripture. Process each thought, not with your own wisdom but with God’s. Allow the Holy Spirit to transform your mind, thought by thought. Fight your thoughts with Scripture and walk with God throughout the journey. He promised to be with us every step of the way.

More scripture to encourage you:
and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matt 28:20)


“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”(Joshua 1:8)


“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Phillipians 4:8)


Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

YOUR LIFE MATTERS:

By You I have been upheld from birth; You are He who took me out of my mother’s womb. My praise shall be continually of You.
Psalms 71:6 NKJV


Childbirth is one of the greatest phenomena I can think of.
For a fetus to survive inside a human body then get delivered 9 months later is nothing short of a miracle. The new born baby who once found comfort in a fluid-cozy womb now has to take in air for herself/himself. We are now able to look at this child and appreciate his/her form. The little limbs that punched and kicked are now in sight. This once silent being, now lets out a sharp cry to announce their arrival.
Friend, we all went through this miraculous and life giving event.
On average, a person at rest takes about 16 breaths per minute. This means we breathe about 960 breaths an hour, 23,040 breaths a day, 8,409,600 a year. Whoa! Isn’t that incredible?!
We are here, not on our own accord; but because the Lord Himself allowed us to take in that first breath of air…and then the next and the next; up till your very present breath. He holds your next breath in His hand. On average, 7178 babies die at birth (may they rest in peace, and may the Lord God comfort the bereaved). God allowed you to live….up till this very moment.



Friend, you did not will yourself into existence. You are not a mistake or an accident. You are not useless or the scum of the earth. I don’t know what your past says about you. I don’t know what people have said about you or what you believe about yourself. All I know is that the Supreme King Himself fashioned you. The Creator of Heaven and earth. He who scattered the stars across the sky. He who said, let there be light and there was light. He who paints the beautiful sunsets on the canvas of the sky. He thought of you before He laid the foundations of the earth and made you in His image.

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”Jeremiah 1:5 NKJV


His thoughts towards you are precious:

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!
Psalms 139:17 (NKJV)


He loves you recklessly and His pursuit of you is relentless.
Think about it.
Consider this.
Why are you alive today?
It’s not about you. It’s all Him. He made you. He knows you. He designed your very being, your mind, your spirit, your personality….He set you in a specific family, neighbourhood, nation, continent, race and time-period. He wasn’t late or early in placing you here on earth. He knows. He has your blueprint. Want to know what it is? Want to know why He put you here? Here’s why:


Let everything that has breath praise the Lord . Praise the Lord !
Psalms 150:6 NKJV


To worship Him.
Alone.
To love Him.
Alone.
To glorify Him.
Alone.
Want to know why else you are alive? Get to know this Maker. This King. He will show you great and mighty things you have never known.

Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’ Jeremiah 33:3 NKJV)


He will correct you like no one ever has, He will father you and love you, comfort and cover you……forever.
If you already know Him, good. Continue in the pursuit, enjoy His presence and leading as you await eternal fellowship with Him. If you don’t know Him, say this prayer. Invite Him into your heart and grab yourself a Bible either in digital or physical form. Get connected with Christians in your life and tell them of your decision. Reply in the comments below so that I may pray with you. Thank you for making this choice. Your life will take on a different meaning from now hence forth.

Be encouraged friends.
Warmly,
Sojourner.

SINNER’S PRAYER:

Dear God, thank you for making me. Forgive me of my sins. Make me anew. I choose your Son and your Word. I believe in you. Thank you for saving me. Help me in this journey. Only You can. Amen

If you said this prayer, you’re now a new creation. You start a new chapter in your life today. Heaven is rejoicing over you. You have a new name, a new heart and a new identity. Your name has been written in the Book of Life. Nothing can separate you from God’s love. Welcome into God’s kingdom.


Find yourself a Bible; they’re readily available in both digital and physical form. Reach out to Christian friends and inform them of your decision. Reach out to me in the comments below and I will get back to you. You now belong to God’s family!! I’m overjoyed concerning your decision. God loves you and sent His Son Jesus to die for you!

Enjoy your new life!!


For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38‭-‬39 (Christian Standard Bible)

ENCOURAGEMENT FOR TODAY:

I wish I could reach out and hug anyone going through a difficult season right now and to anyone facing mountains in their way. My heart goes out to you, beloved friend. This is a treacherous time indeed! Many can attest to that. Everyone is affected in one way or another. Sickness, death, loss of a loved one, job loss, relational issues, marital problems, deep rooted family struggles, paycuts, hunger, separation from loved ones, loneliness, uncertainty, anxiety, depression, helplessness, despair, confusion. How do you face such challenges that threaten to break your very will to live? How will we emerge from these circumstances victorious and joyfully and in a way that we can encourage others going through similar troubles? How will we find meaning and purpose despite the darkness?
Well there’s only one way.

Let me introduce you to Someone who:


1. Created the entire universe and all that we have come to know as the wonders of creation. (For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. Colossians 1:16 NKJV)


2. Reigns supreme. (Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And Your dominion endures throughout all generations. Psalms 145:13 NKJV)


3. Is the Alpha and Omega and has no beginning and end. (I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.” Revelation 22:13 NKJV)


4. Is not subject to time and space. (Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. Psalms 90:2 NKJV)


5. Is all-knowing, all-seeing, all-present and all-powerful. (Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,’ Isaiah 46:9‭-‬10 NKJV)


6. Is pure love, pure holiness and perfection like we can not fathom. (“No one is holy like the Lord , For there is none besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God. I Samuel 2:2 NKJV)


7. Knows you and saw you before you came to be. (Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them. Psalms 139:16 NKJV)


8. Saves us wretched sinful humans from the snares of eternal separation. (“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. John 5:24 NKJV)


9. Looks on you with love and has your name written on the palm of His hands. (See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me. Isaiah 49:16 NKJV)


10. Catches every tear you cry and puts it in a bottle. (You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book? Psalms 56:8 NKJV)


His name is Jesus.
He is the way, the truth and the life.
Taste and see that He is good. Whatever your predicament is. He is knocking at your door. What’s your greatest need right now? Reach out to Him; only He understands what you’re going through right now. Only He can encourage you by His Spirit. Turn not to any man, or any ‘device’. No need to numb your pain. He can bear it all. He cares. He loves you deeply, recklessly. All you need to do is confess your sin and believe in Him. Take that step and find your strength in the Rock of ages. Unshakeable, sure foundation of love and holiness.

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
Matthew 24:35 NKJV.


Whatever we are going through and whatever will come; will pass away but His word remains true. When all is said and done, He will remain.

Anchor yourself in Him.

Finally, would you like to share your struggle that I may pray with you?

Be encouraged.

FIVE LOAVES, TWO FISH:

And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals. But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes. He said, Bring them hither to me. And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.

Matthew 14:15‭-‬21 KJV


Many of us are familiar with this miracle. What’s in it for us?


Father, thank you for your word. Give us the grace to grow in our hunger and thirst for truth. May we delight in You. In Jesus’ name, amen.


Takeaways:

1. Jesus cares:

The disciples wanted to send the people away so that they could go and buy food. But Jesus told them to give the people something to eat. Jesus cares about us. Each one of us: man, woman, boy and girl. The figure of five thousand did not include the women and children. If He cared about each and every person in that crowd, will He not care for you and I?

2. Jesus listens:

How can one care without first listening? I can visualise the conversations between Jesus and the disciples. I can imagine Him listening intently, wanting to know why the people could not be fed. Jesus, is God: omniscient. Doesn’t He know our thoughts and needs even before we think or voice them? I tend to get rather impatient and bored when someone tells me something I already know. But not so with God. He listens to us. He enjoys it when we talk to Him. He desires for you to seek and commune with Him.

3. Five powerful words:

And they said, we have here only five loaves and two fish.

He said, “bring them here to Me.”

Those five words stood out for me.

Here are the disciples telling Jesus that all they had was five loaves and two fish….for five thousand people minus women and children.

This reminds me of reality. Whatever that may look like for you. Your real life circumstances. You know, the cards you’ve been dealt….believer or not. It is hard, I know. We all have burdens to bear, sometimes heavier than our backs can carry. Whatever the load is, as impossible as it may seem….take it to Him.

He says, bring them here to Me.

Leave the rest to Him. Could the disciples have imagined the magnitude of the miracle that was to come? I’d say no. Can you imagine how God will move in your situation? Probably not. That is not for you to lose sleep over. Yours is to trust that He who cares enough to say, ‘bring them here to Me‘, will do whatever He needs to for His glory.

4. There’s more to it than food:

Remember man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the Lord.

As we grow in our desire and yearning for God, He not only fills up….He not only satisfies; but as we abide in Him, our cups overflow. (Psalms 23).


Be encouraged as you continue to read God’s word.

HE WILL NOURISH YOU:

grayscale photography of hand
Photo by George Becker on Pexels.com

And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. (Isaiah 58:11)

Whenever I walk around my block, I never fail to appreciate the greenery that surrounds us. We live in a desert country characterized by eight months of scorching summer and four months of 23 degree winters. However, lush landscapes can be found in selected areas. We are privileged to live in one. As I walked this evening, I marveled, at one particular tree. It stood tall and had fresh offshoots sprouting out of its branches. I just had to touch them. How could this tree flourish in such a harsh climate?


This brought me to our desert seasons as Christians; where you find yourself in a place where you feel like there’s nothing for you? Where your spirit feels parched and desolate. Where your strength wanes when you behold the vast nothingness about you. Where you have a ‘why I am here’ moment. Only you can articulate what that season is to you. If you’re going through that right now, read on.

In the Bible we encounter deserts in the following stories:
  • Israelite’s forty year journey.
  • David’s escapes to the wilderness.
  • John the Baptist.
  • Jesus Christ.
What we can learn from them:

Remember Jesus’ prayer at Mount Olives; ‘Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.’ (Luke 22:42). God is capable of taking us out of our tough seasons. However, He allows them in our lives to teach and prepare us for a greater good, desert seasons included.

What was your last desert season like? What got you through and what did you learn from it? I’d love to hear from you.

Dear Father, may You be glorified in all seasons and may Your will be done. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

A LETTER TO SOMEONE ON THE EDGE OF DESPAIR:

Dear friend,
I don’t know what darts life has thrown your way, but I’m here to remind you of something.
God doesn’t change.
He created the seasons. They change, but He stays the same.
He created us. We change, but He stays the same.
He created emotions. They change, but He doesn’t.
I don’t know what your days (or nights) look like,  I don’t know how you’ve been bruised and battered but I do know one thing. God doesn’t change.
Have you been lied to? Has someone broken a promise or promises they made to you? Had you put your faith in someone only for them to leave you hurting? Have you been cast out by your loved ones, or people you trusted? Perhaps you are confounded by a broken engagement or an old friendship that ended unexpectedly? Well God won’t do that. He does not lie.
Think of God’s attributes. Make it personal. Think of what He has been to you specifically. Now add this tag, ‘God does not change’. Has He been your peace even when things didn’t make sense? Then He will not change.
Has He been Supplier of your needs? Then He will not change.
What has He been to you?
You may ask yourself, why don’t I feel that peace? Well, you change, He doesn’t!!
I pray that you will be glad that life is unpredictable and that seasons, people and circumstances change. Picture that contrast between our changing, wavering lives and a God who does NOT change. How dull and miserable would we be if we served a God who changed. Nothing would make sense. Would we even be here? What hope would we have? Where would we run to if God had mood swings? What misery that would be; to have to deal with our unpredictable human lives and also a changing God who didn’t keep His word. I’m here with good news. That is not the case at all. Our God does NOT change. He will continue to be what He was to the men and women of old and He will continue to be what we have known Him to be forever and ever. He was before we were and will continue to be, forever more. All those attributes and names of God. All that He was, is and will be. He is what you need Him to be; He is enough and He does NOT CHANGE.
Your friend,
Sojourner

GOD IS ABLE: PRISCILLA SHIRER

book book series business chapter
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Indeed, life is life.
Between birth and death we go through a myriad of remarkable milestones which prepare us for the next level; which is thrilling and sometimes complicated. As we navigate those levels; whether physical, emotional, spiritual or financial, we are faced with triumphs, tribulations, bewilderments, accomplishments and plain rude shocks. Sometimes, we tend towards building boxes for God, both knowingly and unknowingly. Then again our faith has a life of its own which is why I’m delighted to share a review of a ‘growing-up-in-faith’ book.
Honestly, I picked the book out of curiosity more than anything else. Curious to find out if Priscilla Shirer is equally gifted in writing as she is in speaking. If you’re not familiar with her, she is the main actress in the GMA Dove Award winning movie, ‘War room’. She’s also an author, motivational speaker and Christian evangelist. Curious to find out just what wisdom I could learn from a book titled: ‘God Is Able’.
First off, the title of the book reminds me of statements we hear so much and so often that we hardly realise that we’re slowly losing a connection with the truth represented in them. Shirer says this book is for anyone who has lost even an ounce of confidence in the power and loving attention of God. The book opens by encouraging the reader to reflect on what actually brought them to the book. Or as Shirer puts it, ‘that thing in your life you can’t seem to know, escape, fix or solve.’ That’s where it all begins. A searching within oneself for any BUT that may come up when you say the words, GOD IS ABLE.
She then takes the reader on a ‘Seven T’s’ expository journey of Ephesians 3:20-21 which looks like this:

  • Time
  • Turning
  • Truth
  • Transcendence
  • Totality
  • Turbo
  • Tribute
Shirer weaves her own personal stories, others’ experiences and colourful relatable analogies throughout the book; all the while keeping the reader focused on what really matters which is the Word. It’s impossible to read this book without looking back at your own testimonies of how God met your requests in ways you didn’t even imagine were possible.
Shirer beautifully unpacks the mystery of God being able to do EXCEEDING ABUNDANTLY BEYOND what we can ask or think, all the while inviting us to actually believe, receive and experience this truth.

POST IT!

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

Joshua 1:8

In which areas does your faith need solidification? Have fear and anxiety made residence in your heart and mind? Do you struggle with negative thoughts? Do you feel forgotten by God? Do you wonder how things just took an unfortunate turn of events and why it has to be you? Do you feel like God doesn’t care? What is your game plan for the season? How will you make it through and come out stronger like an eagle after its rebirth?

Our search for perfect peace will only bring us back to Christ Jesus. Nothing lies beyond His word. Whatever we require for life’s changing seasons is in His Word.


I invite you to learn a simple yet powerful way of meditating scripture.

First off, a definition of the word ‘meditate’. I like this one from the Oxford dictionary:
meditate (on/upon something) to think deeply, usually in silence, especially for religious reasons or in order to make your mind calm. meditate something (formal) to plan something in your mind; to consider doing something. Synonym – contemplate
 Looking at Hebrew and Greek definitions, we find five words:
hâgâh, śı̂ychâh, higgâyôn, śı̂yach , meletaō
A summary of the meanings of these words include: to murmur (in pleasure or anger); ponder, imagine, commune, mutter, roar, speak, study, talk, utter, converse (with oneself, and hence aloud), complain, declare, muse, to take care of, revolve in the mind, imagine. Or: reflection, devotion, musical notation, solemn sound, contemplation, utterancebabbling and communication.
Basically, meditation involves turning your mind into a scripture factory where you read out Scripture aloud to yourself, and think, dream, breathe and sleep it. Taking it in as often as you possibly can via reading, video or audio and just letting it play over and over in your mind as you make it second nature of course all with the help of the Holy Spirit. . Pick a verse, read it slowly then stop, go through it word by word…..soak yourself in it. Ask God to focus your mind on His Word. It also involves not just talking to yourself about it, but to others. The mind is a battlefield! Secure yourself with the belt of truth.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness (2 Tim 3:16)


ARE YOU READY?

Think of areas in your life where you feel the devil is trying to get a foothold. Areas where you feel your faith is shaky, areas where you have believed in lies from the depths of hell. You can also come up with areas where you need reminders of the truth, or areas where you’re trusting God for wisdom.

It is time to replace lies with truth, time for edification and rekindling of worship. It’s time to resolve to hide God’s word in our hearts that we may not sin against Him. (Psalms 119:11).

Now get scriptures that speak to those specific areas and post them where you can see them regularly as you go about your day. You know best where to post them! I picked my kitchen because I spend a good chunk of my time there. I posted the scriptures in the image at the beginning of this post right above my sink. I figured it would be a great idea to have verses there which I could meditate upon instead of just mechanically washing dishes as my mind wandered everywhere and nowhere. It was also a pleasant thing to discover that this was actually a way of inviting God’s presence into my daily grind where a simple task like washing dishes could be turned into a moment of worship or devotion.


Further Ideas:

  • Scripture cards
  • Phone or PC homescreen/wallpaper
  • Sticky notes on your desk/car etc
  • Bookmarks with scripture
  • Scripture written on your chalkboard or white board
  • Scripture written on your bathroom mirror with an erasable marker pen

Prayer:

Dear Lord, thank you for the ease at which we can access your word. Thank you for speaking to us in a language we can understand. Thank you for  Your Word which is  truth and life, a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our paths. It is rich and perfect beyond description. Thank you that we can sit at your feet and learn the Truth. Mold us  Lord. Teach us. Open up our hearts to hear you, to listen, to trust, to obey, to grow. Fix our focus on you. Lift our heads toward you and nothing else. May our hearts be that good soil that is ready to receive the seeds you desire to sow in us. May our lives be founded on truth and not lies. May we hear your voice above every other voice. Give us opportunities to share your word. Be glorified. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Your turn:
Please share in the comment section below, I’d love to hear how you meditate on God’s word on a day to day basis.

DAILY GRIND: PURPOSE:

daily gring purpose
 
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.
Colossians 1:16
 

 
Have you ever looked at your life’s motions and wondered exactly where your purpose lies? Under the ‘rumble’ of your day to day existence, the waking up, driving through traffic and back to your house, the perceived monotony of your life…. Where do you find your purpose? Do you feel like your life’s purpose gets lost somewhere in the jungle of your daily grind?
Ecclesiastical Solomon was at the same point. He watched and wondered, questioned and pondered on riches, wisdom and vanity. He had it all. He looked at man’s labour, man’s quest for riches, man’s desire for wisdom and came to one conclusion: Life is empty without God.
This is an excellent starting point and a great encouragement for anyone feeling like their current story is far removed from their God-ordained purpose.

 
Are you walking with God? When you meet God, you meet purpose. The idea that your life’s rigors are parallel to God’s purpose is absolutely wrong. The idea that God can not use your job/daily life to reveal his purpose for you is also far from the truth.
Rather than entertain ideas that may produce more worries and stress onto what we already have to deal with, why not embrace these truths:
  1. God cares about the nitty gritties and the grand details of your life. (1 Pet 5:7)
  2. He will perfect everything that concerns you. (Psalms 138:8)
  3. He is the author and finisher of your faith. (Hebrews 12:2)
  4. Your life can glorify God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
  5. Delighting in the Lord results in fulfilment of your heart’s desires. (Psalms 37:4)
  6. The Lord will straighten your paths if you submit to Him. (Proverbs 3:6)
  7. His word will guide you and light your path. (Psalms 119:105)
  8. Everything works together for the good of those who love Him. (Romans 8:28)
 

 
Prayer:
Dear Lord, thank you for creating us in your image. We are designed in accordance with your plan and purpose. Thank you for our day to day activities. Teach us, walk with us, empower us as we do life. Remind us that we were in your mind before you laid the foundations of the earth. Just knowing that your presence is with us is reason enough to wake up expectant, joyful and exuberant. Teach us to trust you through the highlights,challenges and the mundane. In all things,be glorified. In Jesus’ name, amen.