Deciding Tears

Was reading Judges 19-21 wishing I wasn’t all the while that I was. For me, its hands down, the most terrible story in the Bible. Remember the one about the Levite and his concubine? Always leaves me…in another not so good place… for days after I read it.
Anyway, I learnt from it how a single decision, a deeply personal decision, can affect a nation – in devastating ways. Without giving all the details, so the story goes, a woman decides her lover is not enough for her, finds another then takes off home to her Daddy. Her lover, a priest decides that he cannot live without her, leaves his duty post and goes off to woe her. The woman softens her stance and decides to take the priest – her lover – to meet her daddy. Her daddy decides he really likes this one…and decides to keep him for a few days – longer than the priest planned to stay, since he has a job to return to. On the fifth day, the priest decides to break free from his darling’s daddy’s manipulation and return home late in the afternoon. Home is not close by, so the priest decides to take refuge among those like himself – it would be too dangerous to find lodging among those unlike himself. After hanging out in the Quad for some time, an old man takes pity on him especially upon learning that the priest is from his original home, and decides to take the priest, his wife, his servant and two donkeys home with him.
Some time in the night, some young men decide the priest is too irresistible a guest not to be intimately partaken of – in a sexual way. They howl at the old man’s door and finally the priest’s resolve breaks…and he…throws out the woman he has gone through extended leave to bring back home. He decides it is better her than him…and the men glut on her…internally break her to pieces. She decides to crawl back to the old man’s house and dies face down with one arm penitently stretched into the threshold of the house. Her lover, the priest, decides to take off from this place as early as he can, but has to step over her to get onto his donkey – he decides to finish the journey with her body. Back home, not at work, he decides to break her remains into twelve parts and send this to the twelve tribes of Israel. Israel decides to come to him, to find out why. The priest tweaks his story a little, he decides to, so that the villains do not include him, but are those lustful sons of Benjamin…. Benjamin decides not to release the criminals…after all they are a super power unto themselves and can take on the nations of Israel single-handedly. They after all posses the war personnel to shame all warriors, and it was possibly against their national policy to surrender their nationals to those who are not Benjamin…even when they had committed crimes against humanity.
Well – God saw one of His little girls die…took into account her last moments and decides to arise – The Avenger, the Man of War…God The Just Judge…nothing escapes Him. Before the week is over, about 90,000 of a nation’s best warriors are in eternity. And they are not just from the offending tribe’s side. A daughter of Israel died. More than this, an entire tribe is wiped out leaving just 600 hiding behind a rock. Israel mourns one of their own…and decide to rebuild that tribe. 600 young women are not asked whether they would choose to participate in this ‘noble’ endeavor…a town is wiped out of all its inhabitants save 400 ‘useful’ virgins. 200 hundred others are basically kidnapped as they dance at a religious festival. Decisions were made by their kinsmen…and they are the ‘clean-up team’. For life. They did well…Israel’s first king came from these chaos and ashes. Because in their day, Israel had no king, and everyone did as they chose to.
May my one decision, a breath at a time, always Lord, be an echo of Your Wisdom, and birth Healing, Life, Resurrection, Order, Peace…produce what is like You. Shalom.

Loving Perennially

Its been happening a lot to me lately; how certain relationships that are special to me, are defined totally differently by those I behold as dear in them. Honestly…heartrending to say the least. Every time. I woke up this morning full of joy at the prospect of seeing God – then between two teeth aching simultaneously and another reminder that a beloved one does not think lovingly of me i.e. that we are not in the same relationship, storm clouds descended on my brow.
I sat heavily meditating of these for about two hours. I wondered which one hurt more…then God reminded me that He is Healer. He reminded me that I love Him far less than He loves me and yet, He never gives up on me, and stops being Who He Sees Himself as to me. He reminded me of my priesthood, and His expectation of the same from me – that I keep holding on to the Truth He has laid in me about these associations, and living my walk as He gives me Strength to. He promises me His Strength to be as He is.
He comes as He wills doesn’t He…even in a cloud.
“Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.” Revelations 1:7
#CastingCrowns #EvenSoComeLordJesusCome #EternallyBelovedOfGod #GodIsRoomMaker

Merry Seasonal Divorces

The ‘season to be merry’ can sometimes be the season where ‘Joseph is quietly planning to put Mary away’. Not kill her, although it feels like it, but to divorce her or act like he is not married or in a relationship with her. And the pendulum swings the other way too. Mary may have found a good reason to leave Joseph as well. It looks sometimes like ‘merry’ can be with someone else, and impossible with ‘your regular’. Your heart, your esteem gets tired of being thrown around…or of being associated with someone who does not seem to look like ‘Christmas Lights’ no matter what angle you dim your eyes, your perspective to view them with… God knows you have tried. So does the devil, and he in particular has this particular knack of sliding someone ‘better’ between the cracks of your disillusionment and heartbreak. Greener grass so to speak…That total male or female that always made your nerve endings go ‘giddiyup’ is suddenly looking your way, and looking really, totally, delicious in the oasis kind of way…hmmm.
Hmm, a lot of my friends are celebrating marriage anniversaries this month and in the next. And sometimes when they drop the numbers…I look at them with new respect… “How did you do it?” No matter how cosy a couple look together, especially when they look cosy and have been married or together a while…they have been tested…severely so. They deserve a trophy for keeping on, a badge…am humbled by them. They stood. Ok, some are perpetual strays but they have a life-mate who is sturdy, home – stays put…and to these warriors, I want to be around, a witness when God makes His pronouncement about your life and faithfulness to your post – it will be worth it.
So if the devil is trying to teach your sturdy heart a lesson or two on being a stray…[truth is, with the spouse you have now, no one who knows the ‘whole story’ would blame you for taking a short stroll in the park] I wont tell you not to follow your heart or your nerve tips…I will just share a word that my great friend shared with me this morning that got me rushing back to post…
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” Jeremiah 17:9-10
and this one is from me to you
“You who are young, make the most of your youth. Relish your youthful vigor. Follow the impulses of your heart. If something looks good to you, pursue it. But know also that not just anything goes; You have to answer to God for every last bit of it.” Ecclesiastes 11:9

So…Are You Married? Really?

What unmake’s/invalidates a marriage? What is marriage? What is it that defines it in such a way that it does not matter what or where you come from, makes it still true? If the nation in which you live in, God forbid, was declared a non-state by those who claim the rights and ability to do so; if the policy context under which you married was drastically changed; if the religious institution which declared you married was in some way nullified or if it no longer held true for you; if the symbols of the legality of your union according to the culture by which you live were lost or destroyed in some way; if the authorities and witnesses – all of them – that authenticated your marriage were declared of unsound mind or lost their lives or were no longer relevant to you- or changed their minds/testimony about the validity of your union; what if one or both of you felt they made a mistake and no longer believed and lived in the honor of that union? Would you still be married? Is it possible for one to be married legally in one context and yet be illegal in another? What if you do not have any of the above in the first place? What/Who makes or unmakes a marriage?

BACK TO THE FIRST MARRIAGE RECORDED IN THE BIBLE – BACK TO EDEN: “Now the Lord God said, It is not good (sufficient, satisfactory) that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper (suitable, adapted, complementary) for him. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam; and while he slept, He took one of his ribs or a part of his side and closed up the [place with] flesh. And the rib or part of his side which the Lord God had taken from the man He built up and made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.

Then Adam said, This [creature] is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of a man. Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall become united and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not embarrassed or ashamed in each other’s presence.” Genesis 2

Trembling at The Word God

DSC08973This morning as I took a walk, my conversation with God was basically me shouting “I give up – I think I heard wrong – this is too, too painful, shameful and exhausting!!!!” and He kept saying “Trust in Me, do not give up, I have this.” But it was too hard, had been too long, it was getting darker and heavier instead of better…A friend, [a new bride who is in crutches after an accident that crushed her foot a month after her wedding], had just ‘WhatSupped’ me to find out about a certain situation in my life over which she was praying…and I had told her, and my pastor friend [who I woke up this morning] that I was quitting. She – they both said, “we will pray even harder.” Two other friends texted me from Isaiah 43:19 and John 16:33 [these had/still have no idea the import of their messages to me this morning]. And another to tell me that being low is not my portion.

Suddenly I sensed a desire to just LISTEN to one of my oldest and dearest friends. So to quiet the battle within me, I called her as I walked…for no particular reason. I was glad she was getting on fine…but she told me something that just stopped me, because it is a confirmation of what God has been telling me this past weekend “Vip, God is taking us through a time where we must honor His Word above our emotions.” Basically “Word over Emotion.” I have awesome friends! Thank You Lord – I still feel like quitting, but I WILL tremble at Your Word as You have assured me that You Who began this thing in me, are Faithful and You WILL complete it._NIK5654

Someone else is about to give up on a situation that has been sustained for a while by only The Word of God…It’s hard…makes no sense any more…That Word is enough. Please, lets not give up. I look forward to sitting next to You in Glory, and hearing the testimony you almost aborted today. Don’t Quit – Tremble at the Word of God.

“But this is the man to whom I will look and have regard: he who is humble and of a broken or wounded spirit, and who trembles at My word and reveres My commands.” AMP

““The people I value are not proud.
They are sorry for the wrong things they have done.
They have great respect for what I say.” NIRV
Isaiah 66:2


After a really really eventful last day of the year, and a night-time in which I was to weary to cry, pray, talk to anyone, or even worship…I wake up wrapped in the Grace of God….joyful, triumphant, hopeful. My cry is for you and I to be restored back from all the places to which we strayed, sometimes in an attempt to seek sanity away from The Presence of God. There is no soundness of mind apart from Him as we cannot ‘out-wise’ God. That is just the way it is.

SONY DSCMy Hearts cry begins with ‘Those whom God has put together…” and ends with ‘…LET NONE PUT ASUNDER’. I have cried for myself and for many others, as I watched them grope around trying to find a stable place to place their broken hearts and lives, after their homes were torn, sometimes by their own hands. I have watched them try to put their lives back together, after God-ordered and ordained relationships crumbled…and they thought they could easily get fixed if they connected to another partner. I have watched people walk away from their divine connections, in ministry, in vocation, in careers, in friendships, jobs, and businesses, because satan appointed and anointed an expert to slander the intent of God in bringing them together. I have watched as nations tore themselves and others apart by the same satanic slander of God…and His purpose for putting a set of diverse peoples together as one nation.

My cry this first day of January 2013 is a reminder to satan and his agents that they are defeated, and that I, VIP KNOW IT TO BE THE TRUTH! I know at least one other person, who does. So because we are in agreement…The ones that have strayed are coming home, repentant and forgiven!. God is bringing back that which He has ordained to be, and the purpose of His Spoken Word will be accomplished. Go back to Him…What God has put together CANNOT and WILL NOT be sustained independently of Him. Let us go back to God.

““Come on, let’s go back to God.
He hurt us, but He’ll heal us.
He hit us hard,
but He’ll put us right again.
In a couple of days we’ll feel better.
By the third day He’ll have made us brand-new,
Alive and on our feet,
fit to face Him.
We’re ready to study God,
eager for God-knowledge.
As sure as dawn breaks,
so sure is His daily arrival.
He comes as rain comes,
as spring rain refreshing the ground.”
Hosea 1:1-3

Week of Passion…and Possible Divorce

First week of April. 2012.  In my mind – the fourth of twelve days.  

The last week of March had been both harrowing and victorious. The victory had been in the joyful and unabated Pilgrim-ing despite the strong winds trying to push me down, backward. There were days when the unbelief was so strong, I was sure I would die from it. In those two weeks I have heard both snide and gentle voices telling me how hopeless my course in God was, and that I needed to go back and do the ‘normal’ thing like other normal people. Standing out was too much of a challenge, and not just to me. It disturbed their peace…and their peace was what was important. Not God, not my eternal destiny, nor the destiny of my family, and definitely not the work of God. Over and over I heard the voices echoed now in my own mind, and many mornings and nights, I went to sleep and woke up almost believing them. 

So God woke me up this morning…and gently whispered, “Vip I want you to remember what week this is. It is a week of passion, but it could also be a week of divorce.” Interesting. This week is one in which we are reminded of God’s ultimate Passion for you and for me. A week of Love at its best. A giving love that basically turned Himself inside out to show you that there was nothing held back.

But. But there were other things about this week; things that replay themselves today in the lives of many of us who truly love Him. It was the week that one of His twelve best friends and constant companions chose money over Him. Tell me, has money or the lack of it judged you as wanting in the last few days? Have your loved ones turned their backs on you, possibly because an association with you offers no prospect of financial growth? Have your loved ones given your place in their lives to someone else for the glitter and glory this someone else would shine on their lives that you dont? Dont let it preoccupy you unnecessarily – their very action will catalyse for you a series of events that may initially seem harmful to you, but will ultimately lead to greater regard for you. Much greater than you could dare to hope for or imagine. As for their destiny, and the glow promised by their new associations, and their slight but shortlived advancement, dwell a little on Judas’ end. I hope it will inspire compassion in you, to reach out and prevent them from ending up like him. Its God’s way – Love’s way. 

Of the huge gang at dinner, to the three sleeping friends a distance from the praying Jesus, to the one who followed from a distance but ultimately denied Him thrice, it looks like Jesus’ social circle – the inner circle, thinned significantly as He faced His defining moment. Many hurt for Him, but virtually none is recorded as having valiantly and convincingly stood up for Him. He was on His own. Three years of irrefutable demonstrations of His Lordship over the elements, and His love for His friends and the world He created – and the closest to Him at this defining moment were the jeering crowds, the rough soldiers, and a man compelled to help Him carry His cross the rest of the narrowing way because he just happened to be watching from the crowds. Where are your friends and family this week? You are blessed if you can answer my question jubilantly. But for you who are facing your calvaries, you probably know where Christ was this day. You have done all for them, laid down your life and dignity, stood by them as friends when others wondered how you could allow them into your inner circle…and now it seems that your critics knew your loved ones better than you. They are nowhere near you. You and I know, that here, you cant really change course, your end is determined for you. A wo/man needs his/her friends around them on days like these.

 Whats going on with Jesus’ friends? They had thought He was impervious, and yet here He was more than touched and bruised by mere men. They had thought He had the ability to know what is in people’s minds; but here He was, betrayed by one of His own friends. They had seen Him walk through hostile crowds unharmed, but here He was naked, beaten, bleeding and crowned with thorns; at the mercy of those that could not reach Him. How did this fit into the faith they had held, that He, Son of David was their source of liberty? Three years away from their careers, knowing that He was the driver of Glory Train, leading them on a one way track to Glory Land. How did a cross on His back help them now? Was this what they had given up everything for? Dont tell me you dont feel like this sometimes. Especially if you have been called out to serve Him. You have lost everything, and hoped to gain everything more from Him. And yet, He seems defeated, vulnerable, you have seen your enemies and His take on the upper Hand over Him. You are dissapointed, heart broken, friend of God, bride of Christ, is thinking of a way to secretly divorce Him, just like Joseph had hoped to – on noticing Mary’s pregnancy. You are tired. You have prayed. You have seen Him do it for others, and yet the closer you leaned towards Him, the more naked you felt. You cant quite put into words what you expected from Him…but this was not it. You are going to lie low for a while, think up a story  to explain the three year gap in your Resume. And then you are going to get your old job and old friends back. By the end of the week.

  But if only you were able to see Sunday from today, next Monday too. If you were able to watch this from God’s Heart and Mind, you would see the depth of Passion, the abandon defined by this week. Beyond the horror of it, would you see the powerful, gentle, pure, unabated, unyielding, forceful, love gushing your way? Re-defining you as LOVEABLE. Would you realize that this was the only way possible for you to ride on Glory Train to the real Glory Land? You cannot give up now? You cannot go back to your old haunts. Sunday is coming. Its Ressurection day. And the promise lives on from Isaiah 35.

And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose;
It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice,
Even with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
The excellence of Carmel and Sharon.

And the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
And come to Zion with singing,
With everlasting joy on their heads.
They shall obtain joy and gladness,
And sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”

 A reminder…There is a Sunday coming, and a Monday. And in those days, you will look back at today…and know for sure, that you have been loved thoroughly, through a Week of Passion.


While men slept…

.I get up from my knees with a simple prayer. Lord let me not qualify as ‘puke’ from the LAND. Yours and this one.

via While men slept….

I Remembered…But Dont Know If it Still Means the Same Thing

I Remembered…But Dont Know If it Still Means the Same Thing.

Author and Sustainer :Vows to Live By

God has called me to listen to Him; to listen to the disappointments of His people in each other, and sometimes in Him, and to represent the Truth, of His Faithfulness – in word, in action and in the posture of my faith in Him. So many times I hear myself and others speak about our frustrated expectations in relationships we are in. We have pre-conceived ideals as to how others need to handle their roles as our relationship partners: our parents, spouses, lovers, children, betrothed, pastors, work colleagues, workmates, the bus driver, the police, the army, our political, corporate, church leaders….but primarily how we feel God has let us down by NOT MAKING THEM CONFORM to OUR ideals. The truth is that, we are our own worst let-downs…I am just saying. Anyway let’s go back to the main stream of my thoughts this afternoon.

Many relationships, God ordained relationships are on their death bed or have been buried because one person [or more accurately, both] is not excellently living up to standards, as well as continual and increasingly sometimes complex of expectations collected from other sources along our pilgrim.  These may be  inspirational, often even powerful, but sadly and on the  most part,  un-communicated to the person who is expected to live up to them. Often the first they hear about is when they are drawn into the courts where reputations die, by advocates other than the relationship partner. If the relationship partner does bring it up, it is often in a sentence that begins with something like “why are you not like….” Many times though, we silently and resolutely move from that relationship, by refusing to live up to our own expectations in it, citing as an excuse for our execution – ‘insufficient resourcing‘ from the ‘errant partner‘. In other words, ‘it doesn’t matter really what I did or am doing now to harm the relationship we are both responsible to God for nurturing, JUST  what YOU are not doing right.’ The ‘more humble’ amongst us, judge ourselves against the same cruel standards…for being a certain way and lacking something that heaven has not given us, and perhaps, never will. You know what am talking about…it’s that thing that just popped into your mind.

So this morning I am again before My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, repenting for not measuring up…and I hear the smile in His voice, a somewhat sad smile as He tells me “I am going to teach you to lay down your harmful standards, and take on Mine, Vip. Who went and lied to you by telling that I need those things from you? You are already giving Me back the fullness of what I have given to you, and you have pleased Me.” I get this vision of a majestic but tired eagle about to fall off a precariously small, jagged mountain-ledge. It is too tired to fly off this place that it, itself flew into and can’t exactly walk off. The only way off that place seems to fall off and crash into the rocky jagged bottom of the mountain – and there surrender to death brought about by its injuries, and despair. I hear my own spirit whisper, tired ‘that’s me over there’. And then suddenly a huge man looking Spirit being appears next to the eagle. The Being is bigger than all mountains  put together, standing tall above the clouds with His Feet upon the earth; but beautiful, gentle and terrible to look at. The Eagle is not frightened of Him. And when He extends His fore-finger and the Eagle trustingly grasps onto it and The Being Walks away beyond my vision. The message is clear…you just need to Trust in Him and He will take you where He is taking you, to Heaven’s Table land, beyond carnal vision. Indeed, ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.’ 1 Corinthians 2:9

And later in the afternoon, I am chatting with one of my oldest and dearest friends and we begin to praise The God of our journey and something falls into place for me. In spite of what your carnal state looks like to you and to others, God through Jesus Christ and the Trinity has committed to put in the work to make sure that your and I make it to heaven. We must however do something, we must Trust Him. Trust that God’s Hand WILL NOT drop you off the heights or bury us in the valleys we may have found ourselves in. And my standards and yours are pretty filthy and shabby to hope to impress Him by. For me that settles all my lofty debates…The Creator and Sustainer of the Universe, The Almighty God, HAS committed to doing all to make sure, I am among the number of triumphant saints worshiping before The Heavenly Throne someday soon. What is keeping you away?

    “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, THE AUTHOR AND PERFECTOR of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

“come to Me ALL YOU who are weary and loaded down with burdens, and I WILL give you rest” Jesus Christ in Mathew 11:28

Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down,
   that the mountains would tremble before You!

...When You did awesome things for which we did not look,
      You came down,
      The mountains shook at Your presence.
       For since the beginning of the world
      Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear,
      Nor has the eye seen any God besides You,
      Who acts for the one who waits for Him.
       You meet him who rejoices and does righteousness,
      Who remembers You in Your ways. ” Isaiah 64

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