Hug Her Mami

I woke up this morning to a beautiful memory. It was one of my joyfully confident daughter Shukurani at about 5 or 6 years of age, tugging along a sad or frightened friend, goading my attention, and then basically placing her friend in front of me, stepping back and saying “Hug her Mami!”. She would gleefully watch as I complied. I cant remember how many little girls I hugged at ‘her command’. But know how blessed I felt for doing so,and that the little girls always skipped and giggled back to their game . She was confident, that whatever her friends her were going through, a hug from her Mami would make it alright.

God reminded me that this was a lot like what Jesus did in making intercession for us before God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. He was confident of The Father Heart of God, and that none that He brought to Him, would be turned away. It went deeper for me than I have words to express…but it made it okay, to approach The Father, through The Son . I hope you get this…

“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.…”John 6:37-38

“Jesus said to him, “I Am The Way, and The Truth, and The Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” John 14:6

Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:25

vipslit@yahoo.ca

Has God’s Hand Become More Exciting to Me than His Voice?

Rent was on my mind: mine and that of three other friends of mine – one, a young survivor of Child Marriage, who had been thrown, along with her young child, out of her humble abode two days ago for rent arrears. I had been kept awake particularly by the plight of this last one. And that morning, I rushed out of bed with the desire, the urgent need to run to my knees and stay there until God spoke to me.

HimI had missed my friend Helayi. I decided to make another attempt at calling her. She answered laughing as usual, and said she had been planning on calling me all morning. She asked how I was and we got right into it.

“Vip, you know my story, how I have lived like a bird for the last five years. In that I have not had a place of my own since I lost my job, and have lived with various family and friends. I have prayed some of that time for this to change but God showed me that defines His expression in each one of us. Despite an area of our lives not changing, the Kingdom of God has moved on in my life.”  Helayi was right. I met her about five years ago at a Bible Study I was then coordinating for women. Even then, her hunger for God stood out, and humbled me. I wanted to want God the way she did. And over the years, she had grown from being the one who asked me many questions, to one who answered mine. Our conversations have left me hungering to walk even further with God, and especially when I was least inclined to do so.

God may not provide for us the way understand it per se, but He will work in us so that, that area of lack in our lives is as nothing so to speak, except for knowing Him deeper. When God provides, what is it that He reveals through my life? It is not so much about materials. I can actually do without this things, but what is important is that God is revealed through my life, in spite of my lack. He wants to reveal Himself in ways that are unprecedented. In ways He has not revealed Himself to someone else. My lack, should push me towards seeking God in a new way, not just towards immediate gratification.

Re: Hebrew 4. God speaks about a people for whom His word, did not birth faith. Isnt it enough that I hear God’s Voice? This has always been available to God’s children but it is amazing that they take it lightly and for granted. There are those who have walked with God for years, and are no longer excited about God speaking to them and revealing Himself to them. They have become too familiar with Him. This is sad. God wants to work into us a new level of relating with Him in which we enter into complete rest in Him that when He speaks to me, it is enough. He Himself is enough. It is refreshing to meet one for whom hearing from God remains a novelty, exciting. That THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE should speak to ME, should be even more exciting than that which you desire, and in fact, in the event that you hear Him, fill you with even more excitement than the provision of that need, and more so, EVEN WHEN HE DOES NOT ADD A SINGLE THING IN MY LIFE.

When we got off that call, the urge to go on my knees was even stronger. The desire to move further into the divine nature that God intended me to live, even as I walked this earth, was even stronger. I stood ministered to…I still do.

Shalom

viplit@yahoo.ca

[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope]

That if possible I may attain to the [spiritual and moral] resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead [even while in the body].

Not that I have now attained [this ideal], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own.

I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,

I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.”

Philippians 3:10-14 (Amplified Bible)

 

 

I will Continue To Fly the Flag of my Country

I will continue to fly the flag of my country high

For the love and hope I know to have for it

I will fly the flag of my country with pride

And in defiance of those who would have me fold it away in fear and shame

For better or for worse, this is the flag that God Himself has placed as banner over me

 

Kenya Flag

It is not because I have not been wounded by the wounds of my country

It is not because I am less useful than you who choose to criticize my way of loving and honoring her

I have sat willingly within my beloved nation

Feeling boxed in by fear, not knowing who has targeted my brethren

Not knowing when their weapons will target me

 

I have gone to hospitals, visited with the sick

Attended the wakes and mourned with the families of those bereaved

I have given my blood…given my money…given my time…listened, read, cried,

I have been caught in the crossfire

Wondered where my brethren have fled to for refuge

And prayed that they find safety there to fly the flag that we bear

 

I have listened to words brandied as wisdom

Laced with barely concealed anger, malice, blood-lust, chauvinism, despair

Spoken by those who may not even know that their stance and agenda is visible to many

And may be twisted by many to fuel devious agenda

I have sat on my wounds, brought about by these words, resisted fueling the raging fire with irretrievable words

That keep trying to destroy my nation

That have already robbed us of neighbors, families, beloved, deeply so,

Are robbing us of the beauty that is our diversity,

The fiery words that gather within the gaps of diversity, not to bridge our sameness, but to gnaw and tear at, mock and soil our differences.

The words accuse and counter accuse camps that carry within them my own wounded brethren

Bearers of the flag I bear

 

I will fly the flag of my nation, as I lie on my belly, kneel down in prayer, broken and yet still living

A miracle defying the hate, the anger, the rage, the malice, the blood-lust,

I will fly the flag of my nation, believing that God still watches, and acts

And though my act of faith and hope does not to you, seem as powerful as your words,

Your anger, your position, your ability to criticize the love of those who don’t love your way

I will fly the flag of my nation, as I wipe tears from my neighbor’s face while mine flow unhindered

I will fly the flag of my nation, as I reach out my other hand to hold that of my brethren,

I will fly the flag of my nation, as I do my part, focus on it and allow you to do your part without criticizing you for not doing it like am doing it,

I will fly the flag of my nation because while I love and believe in her, my enemy has not triumphed over me,

I will fly the flag of my nation because in order to do so, I raise my hands up in supplication to The One Who will hunt down to wipe out of memory, all those that threatened to tear her down…

I WILL FLY THE FLAG OF MY NATION EVEN WHEN MY ‘PIETY AND PATRIOTISM’ ARE PHENOMENA THAT ARE AN OFFENCE TO YOU

And there is nothing you or the devil can do to change that.

And then… I will fly the flag of my nation, when she rises above all that her enemies has thrown against her,

Because like you, my brethren, I believe enough, to do my part.

vipslit@yahoo.ca

Ode of my Failure; Song of God’s Victory

When God was about to send from Heaven, a fire that would be remembered for all time, He demanded that water be poured on the altar that honored Him. And His servant obeyed, and water was poured until, it overran. If that altar were human, it would be me.

This is my ode, my teary tribute to that altar, and to God Who honors it with His passion. It is also directed at the ones that believe they have control over the outcome of my life. It’s the only way I am allowed to mourn, as I still reiterate the Goodness of The God of my life, God Who remains here all the time.Image

When God called me to serve Him; you looked at me, and in your eyes, I was unfit to serve Him. You were right. There was nothing good about me of myself, but His Eternal Wisdom saw in me someone somewhat like a mirror, with no honor or beauty in itself, except for that of The One that stood before it. You went further to slander my timid assent to follow God – not giving me an alternative route, but simply saying I was not good enough, to anyone willing to hear you out.

I decided you were right – after all I knew myself better than anyone. How could God choose me? I went the way perhaps that would impress you. I went to look for an alternative life…if I could not fulfill the call of heaven, perhaps doing what was natural and in a special way would meet your approval. Besides,  I did not want to soil your fellowship for you. Back then your opinion mattered to me. I had no esteem for me either. So I looked for work outside my ministry call, and God in His Mercy showed me that there was no door on earth, no office He would not open up for me. When I look back to my work at that time, I see an excellence that can only be God’s. Yet…you began to slander me again. Truth was twisted and lies shouted from rooftops; and then it got rougher, meetings were held to make sure that I did not succeed in any assignment, but God kept my eyes on Him, as He won even those battles for me. One time a former colleague who had silently watched commented “Those who fight you in this system are powerful and have powerful god-fathers, but it is evident Vip, that your Father is God.” That shook me…could God still love me? Want me?

So I began to listen to Him again. So much time, so much pain, so much battle both spiritual and natural, so many ‘lost opportunities’, so many shouting that I could not do what I could, and that I should do what I could not if I deemed to be wise. In my endeavors to build a family, I heard the wail of your slander, in my attempts to build a career or to obey God in His call, the siren of slander scared away many who would have stood by me. You made it so, even if I abandoned God and tried to find work, no one in their right minds would take me in. Your influence was tenacious. I often wondered at the deliberate, vehement, emphatic attempts to bury any good that was in me, or that I had done, even in the excellence of God’s work through my life. It was like your very survival depended on my not having existed. And if anyone dared to speak well of me, they risked being bundled into the oblivion you worked towards for me. And yet, God refused to be muted in my life – He continued, in somewhat discreet ways, to send raven with meat for me when me and mine looked longingly at the sand and few shrubs in the wilderness you sent us to, for food.

Then God opened some doors to me, and the ones He led my way to bless me, became an army against His purposes for me. They seemed to say to me, that in order for me to get to God’s intended portion for me, I needed to throw God down from His Throne in my life, and recognise you, my slanderer yet again, as God. They stood before me, barely covering their intent while pretending to help, but like the psalmist I saw in them, those that came to gather slander only to spread about. My life, without God, is nothing. My life in Him is an open book. I saw it for myself. So even as I played your game, a game I had no idea of the rules and moves, and did your work the best way I knew, you stuck knives whenever you saw room in me. I smiled, sometimes cried quietly, sometimes echoed the roar of the Lion of Judah who had found in me, a temple. So the again began the effort of muting God in me. The scorn, the vehemence – the willingness in you to go even to hell itself literally to gather ammunition against me. One day my eyes opened and I looked out for a way, a way to feed my children, a way to educate them, a way to cloth them, a way to house them, a way to raise them higher than me, a way to leave a legacy for them for when you succeeded in burying me – for it seems to me every day, that with all you have been able to achieve in your own life, you eventually would succeed in this. I saw you in every roadway. You stood proudly blocking, proudly spreading your lies, using the little you knew about my life, to create stories that were award winning in their horror, filth, incredibility… And again, anyone who would stand by me, was threatened with oblivion. I smiled, because I was unable to cry anymore. I loved you, thought highly of you, and would never do what you did to me, back to you. I had learnt along the way, that doing so, grafted me among the enemies of God. And I am nothing without Him.

So this week, bowed down, I am again about to give up. The battle has been severe, and I have heard your hatred, the echo of the devil’s heart for me, in your voice, in your counsel, in your attempts to draw me into trusting you again, so that you find out from close up, where to stick your next sword. Many times, I have asked God to take me home so that at least, I am with Him for sure eternally. He asked me “Why won’t you trust Me with this?” I asked Him “What more can I do? Where do I stand? How do I get out of this? Can’t you see the giants that stand in my way? Don’t you know, that whoever stands with me, risks putting themselves and their loved ones in the pit I find myself in? Who will give me a chance?” He said to me “I will. Why won’t you trust Me with this?”

And though it’s the hardest thing to do, especially because I am so worn out with discouragement, feel beaten already, and am almost convinced of what you tried to do with all the great things that God has done through my life, regardless: that I am nothing and have done nothing good; I will trust in God, for those who hope in Him, will never be put to shame. Fire will come from Heaven…and then there WILL BE RAIN once more.

ShalomImage

vipslit@yahoo.ca

Testimony: God’s Watchfull Fatherly Eye

DSC00258She had spent that day with my two friends and I at my home. Eva Adhiambo Oguna is a Gospel Singer, a Designer, an actress, an effusively loving single mother of four. She lives in Kariobangi. I had gotten to know her through my late friend Nashon Meshack Dwoya, who was at that time her Manager, and who had asked me to support his role by being her ‘on-site’ manager. After his death, we remained friends, and she sought my fellowship and advise as she ‘hustled’ to grow in the Arts. That particular day she was visiting me in the less developed part of Tassia, closer to Riverbank and Soweto. It had rained that week, and black cotton mud challenged movement by both man and machine.

As part of putting together her profile, we had planned a pre- photo shoot. This was mainly to gauge and advise on her style, her public image, and prepare for another shoot at a later date. We had enjoyed the day. I directed the shoot and made her up. Unknown to us, she had only Kshs 10 with her. I was also doing really badly and facing an evening of probably no dinner for my household, and she picked up on this and so did not ask if I had kshs 50 to help her get home. My friend had a car and agreed to drop her off at the main road after the shoot. She was dropped off at Fedha.

“I stood there with my box on my head, and ten shillings in my hand and wondered how I would get home. The matatu [mini-bus] touts were calling out “20 bob-20 bob!” and I smiled and silently prayed and asked God to do something. If there was ever a time for  You to show up Lord, it is now. I need to get home to my children, and I need for you to provide for us food.” She hardly finished her prayer when a tout called out, directly at her “Mathe ingia na 10bob” [Mum enter with 10 shillings]. She scrambled into the matatu and was dropped off at Donholm. It was now dark, almost 7pm.

“I stood there, put the box back on my head and both my hands were on my hips” she begins laughingly. “I again appealed to God – get me home! Only You can.  So please do something” She saw the biker come, turn and stop right in front of her. There were many others at the bus stop she recalls but it did not seem strange to her that he chose her.

“Madam, I think am lost. Would you know where the Kariobangi Roundabout is?” She smiled and began giving him the directions. He was unable to grasp her verbal instructions, so she said to him “If you talk to me nicely, I will take you there.”

“Please, please madam, please take me there.” Eva hoped onto the bike with her luggage, thanking God for this miracle. ‘At least I will not have such a long way to walk now.’ When they got to the roundabout he stopped and asked her “Would you know where SuperLoaf is?” She smiled again and offered to go with him – thanking God – this is even closer to home! When they got there he asked her, “Was there a fire some time back around here involving some flats? Would you know where those are? The one that was burnt the most?” She smiled…the lost stranger that she met so far away in the dark, was going all the way to her home.

DSC00689“When we got there he was worried about leaving his bike unattended to call on one of my neigbours. I talked to our ‘Watchie’ [Watchman] and he agreed to take care of the bike, provided I sort him out [pay him]. I did not know how I would do that since I had no money, but also knew that I would. The man was going to 4th floor, I went with him and we knocked all the doors on that floor and all were answered except one. I knew the Mum of that house had travelled upcountry as she is a client of mine. I thought that her husband had briefly stepped out and invited the stranger into my home. There was nothing there in terms of food, and we had overdrawn from the kiosk that normally extended credit services to us. But I prayed, wanting to be a blessing to this man who had unwittingly been used of God to bless me.  I sent my son down to the kiosk and he came back with two packets of milk, a loaf of bread and blueband.”

“I wanted to make ‘short tea’, ‘thick tea’ just for him, so he would be blessed for being an answer to my prayers, and that is what I did. When he finished he said to me”

“Mum, you don’t know how you have blessed me. I had had nothing to eat since morning and this being my last delivery, I had planned to go somewhere and really deal with my hunger.” He reached into his pocket and Eva stopped him “NO, NO, NO! You can’t do that. You can’t leave money in this house! It is okay. You were a blessing to us.” She sent her son downstairs to check if her neighbour had returned, and he came and said that the man of the house had been in all the time. He had been in the bathroom when they were at his door. The stranger thanked Eva and went downstairs.”

She laughs now, tears filling her eyes. “A few minutes later they were back upstairs with my neighbour’s husband. I had made some clothes for her and she had to leave before getting the money with which to pay me. She had sent the money through the biker to her husband, with the instruction that as soon as he received it, he should take out the Kshs 2,800 ‘to the lady upstairs on 7th floor.’ Vip, that is our God…who sees you without and makes provision. My children now had food!”

My household had sat listening to her through this, stunned. We had just been studying Mathew 25 and 26 and discussing how being ready for God sometimes meant going out of your way to attend to someone’s need when yours was more pressing. She had just dropped in to hug me, to see my new place as she was recording in a studio nearby. She was with a group and had to run immediately after sharing this story. I confirmed that she had fare this time and we all agreed that God had planned this story to be exactly as it turned out. What a hug this was….

vipslit@yahoo.ca

When saw we Thee a stranger, and took Thee in? Or naked, and clothed Thee?…And The King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you. Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.’

Mathew 25

Testimony: God Took Me Home Safely and Provided Food for my Household

Testimony: God Took Me Home Safely and Provided Food for my Household

She had spent that day with me and two friends at my home. Eva Adhiambo Oguna is a Gospel Singer, a Designer, an actress, an effusively loving single mother of four. She lives in Kariobangi. I had gotten to know her through my late friend Nashon Meshack Dwoya, who was at that time her Manager, and who had asked me to support his role by being her ‘on-site’ manager. After his death, we remained friends, and she sought my fellowship and advise as she ‘hustled’ to grow in the Arts.

On this particular day she was visiting me in the less developed part of Tassia, closer to Riverbank and Soweto in Nairobi. It had rained that week, and black cotton mud challenged movement by both man and machine. As part of putting together her profile, we had planned a pre- photo shoot. This was mainly to gauge and advise on her style, her public image, and prepare for another shoot at a later date. We had enjoyed the day. I directed the shoot and made her up. Unknown to us, she had only Kshs 10 with her. I was also doing really badly and facing an evening of probably no dinner for my household, and she picked up on this and so did not ask if I had kshs 50 to help her get home. My friend had a car and agreed to drop her off at the main road after the shoot. She was dropped off at Fedha.

“I stood there with my box on my head, and ten shillings in my hand and wondered how I would get home. The matatu [mini-bus] touts were calling out “20 bob-20 bob!” and I smiled and silently prayed and asked God to do something. If there was ever a time for You to show up Lord, it is now. I need to get home to my children, and I need for you to provide for us food.” She hardly finished her prayer when a tout called out, directly at her “Mathe ingia na 10bob” [Mum enter with 10 shillings]. She scrambled into the matatu and was dropped off at Donholm.

It was now dark, almost 7pm. “I again stood there, put the box back on my head and both my hands were on my hips” she begins laughingly. “I again appealed to God – get me home! Only You can. So please do something” She saw the biker come, turn and stop right in front of her. There were many others at the bus stop she recalls but it did not seem strange to her that he chose her. “Madam, I think am lost. Would you know where the Kariobangi Roundabout is?” She smiled and began giving him the directions. He was unable to understand it, so she said to him “If you talk to me nicely, I will take you there.” “Please, please madam, please take me there.” Eva hoped onto the bike with her luggage, thanking God for this miracle. ‘At least I will not have such a long way to walk now.’

When they got to the roundabout he stopped and asked her “Would you know where SuperLoaf is?” She smiled again and offered to go with him – thanking God – this is even closer to home! When they got there he again asked her, “Was there a fire some time back around here involving some flats? Would you know where those are? The one that was burnt the most?” She smiled…the lost stranger that she met so far away in the dark, was going all the way to her home.

“When we got there he was worried about leaving his bike unattended to call on one of my neigbours. I talked to our ‘Watchie’ [Watchman] and he agreed to take care of the bike, provided I sort him out [pay him]. I did not know how I would do that since I had no money, but also knew that I would. The man was going to 4th floor, I went with him and we knocked all the doors on that floor and all were answered except one. I knew the Mum of that house had travelled upcountry as she is a client of mine. I thought that her husband had briefly stepped out and invited the stranger to my home. There was nothing there in terms of food, and we had overdrawn from the kiosk that normally extended credit services to us. But I prayed, wanting to be a blessing to this man who had unwittingly been used of God to bless me. I sent my son down to the kiosk and he came back with two packets of milk, a loaf of bread and blueband.” “I wanted to make him ‘short tea’, ‘thick tea’ just for him, so he would be blessed for being an answer to my prayers, and that is what I did.

When he finished eating he said to me” “Mum, you don’t know how you have blessed me. I had had nothing to eat since morning and this being my last delivery, I had planned to go somewhere and really deal with my hunger.” He reached into his pocket and Eva stopped him “NO, NO, NO! You can’t do that. You can’t leave money in this house! It is okay. You were a blessing to us.” She sent her son downstairs to check if her neighbour had returned, and he came and said that the man of the house had been in all the time. He had been in the bathroom when they were at his door. The stranger thanked Eva and went downstairs.”

She laughs now, tears filling her eyes. “A few minutes later they were back upstairs with my neighbour’s husband. I had made some clothes for her and she had to leave before getting the money to pay me with. She had sent the money through the biker to her husband, with the instruction that as soon as he received it, he should take out the Kshs 2,800 ‘to the lady upstairs on 7th floor.’ Vip, that is our God…who sees you without and makes provision. My children had food!” My household had sat listening to her through this, stunned. We had just been studying Mathew 25 and 26 and discussing how being ready for God sometimes meant going out of your way to attend to someone’s need when yours was more pressing. She had just dropped in to hug me, to see my new place as she was recording in a studio nearby. She was with a group and had to run immediately after sharing this story. I confirmed that she had fare this time and we all agreed that God had planned this story to be exactly as it turned out. What a hug this was….

vipslit@yahoo.ca

‘When saw we Thee a stranger, and took Thee in? Or naked, and clothed Thee?…And The King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you. Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.’
Mathew 25

A WORD FOR US WHO FEEL THE KEEN POINT OF THE SWORD DEEP IN OUR HEARTS

sword-of-the-spiritI am watching a Soap Opera [yes I do that sometimes], and wishing I could tweak the script a tiny little bit, to make the lives and paths of the characters ‘more blessed’. It get’s me thinking about the promises of God, The Blessings of God upon the lives of man, as He, God, defines ‘blessing’. He can give you that which everyone else covets, and you are blessed – but that which is most glorious, most coveted, often comes with great responsibility – great sacrifice sometimes…and a perpetual sword in your heart. Mary mother of Jesus Christ, lived through that. How many of Israel’s virgins would have traded places with her, in a heartbeat, for the privilege of becoming the mother of the long awaited Messiah!!!

As parents to children, we too live through the sword – the extreme joys and pains of that privilege; it is the same in our workplace and in our marriages -many secretly doubt their sanity when looking back to the point of displaying themselves as best candidate for that job, or that wo/man when you wake up to mornings where the temptation to go back to bed, is greater than anything that job or relationship offers – the sword is faithfully lifted. Depending on our posture, that sword can perform clean surgery when we submit to it: it will remove that which is harmful from our lives leaving room for the healthy to grow and thrive. But the opposite is also true, and that is what the sword is best known for – reminding us of our mortality. It fights back our rebellion. Keeps us pinioned to that which we, ‘romantically’ signed up for. It all depends on our posture. Either way, the pain, is real. Keen. Moreover, we cannot remove the sword from The Hand of God, that bears it. He is Good, He is Great, in His Hands, through it all, He holds the sword to our safety, and if we choose Him, no matter the true path of our life plot, our story is one of great beauty and triumph.

” And Simeon BLESSED them and said to Mary His mother, Behold, this Child is APPOINTED and DESTINED for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and FOR A SIGN THAT IS SPOKEN AGAINST—AND A SWORD WILL PIERCE THROUGH YOUR OWN SOUL ALSO—that the secret thoughts and purposes of many hearts may be brought out and disclosed.”
Luke 2:34-35 AMP

vipslit@yahoo.ca

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