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CalledToCourage

In Abraham’s Bosom…

I hope you danced today in David’s dance studio and took a walk on the streets of gold with those women who supported Jesus’s ministry financially. Greet Anna, Joanna and Susanna. You would bond you all know what it means to raise money for ministry.

You loved to smile. I hope you are smiling none stop. If you smiled on earth, (tough to smile on a construction site!) how much more will you smile on streets of gold and amidst finished mansions?

You loved on your four children, who told me that they were sure you were in heaven and that Jesus and dad were going to take care of them.

You trained well. I hope you saw that you trained well especially when we gave them apples. They were thankful yes, and most of all they immediately bowed in unison and acknowledged Jesus. They will have one audience in life- Jesus.

“Thank you Jesus for providing this nice apple. Help us enjoy it and continue to praise you”. There was no sense of entitlement nor indifference, only thanksgiving, humility and cheer to one audience.

It was a painful and lovely ride on our way to send off your body. We knew that you were already in Abraham’s Bosom but we missed your presence especially your children.

Riding with your precious girls and little son Apolo was intriguing and gave me so much hope. You modeled well and held on to truth.

” Mum read her bible all the time, “when?”, …all the time!” The girls, Able aged 7 and Apple 5 narrated to us.

I am praying this promise in Isaiah 54:13-14 for your family.

All your children shall be taught by the Lord,

And great shall be the peace of your children. In righteousness you shall be established;

In righteousness you shall be established;
You shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; And from terror, for it shall not come near you.

Able and Apple will certainly value God’s word because of your silent witness of the value of this everlasting word. Yes! and they will be taught of the Lord. Heaven and earth will pass away but his word will not pass away. His word, his lamp and his path.

Irene, you were loved in life and in death. The last two days your family has been comforted by your Nav family and others. Your ability to serve others in different spaces, homes as well as minister to people will never be forgotten. Your nav family served just the way you would have loved and served others. I hope you have met people like the seamstress Dorcas who helped the widows make clothes in the book of acts. I often wonder how they did that in that time. Did she spin? With their hands? There were no sewing machines.

Apollo, your loved one and your children miss your charisma and Christ centered companionship but God remains a great comfort to them . I remember that your death is precious in His sight and that in him your children and hubby will hold together. In Jesus all things hold together and it’s in Him that we live, move and have our being.

My friend Roy was single then and wanted to serve and work in a certain organisation. In order fo him to be trained and catch the vision of the organisation he was asked to move into his Supervisor’s home. That was part of the training and interview.

Roy asked his host and supervisor what his expectations were. For his entire time, he was given only one task;

“All we want from you, is to demonstrate a servant’s heart.”

Roy could have been given a list of chores, kept them and that would have been it! He had to figure out how to be a servant in their home. Was it laundry? was it mowing the lawn? reading to a child? doing the shopping? vacuuming the rugs? There were no rules. No list of do’s and don’ts. He had to define servanthood and live it out. Fortunately he found the freedom, life and liberty to serve them with no obligations.

“I learnt to anticipate the needs of those around me as I looked out daily on how to serve others. I was on the edge sometimes, just looking for the appropriate thing to do but I got the hang of it. I learnt servanthood without being given a list. I watched and simply did.” An incredible relationship was built.

Although we know that the New Testament hardly addresses the subject of tithe many teachers continue to teach that we must give ten percent to church. What if we taught just generosity with no rules of percentages or do’s and don’ts. We would give with more freedom and no obligation. The apostle Paul speaks of an exceptional generous community, the Macedonian Church and writes nothing of tithe. Jesus in the gospel talks about tithe only once.

Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of all their wealth but she out of her poverty put in everything… all she had to live on.

She demonstrates what God did when he sent us Jesus. He didn’t send us ten percent of what he had. He had one son and gave him up, one hundred percent. Again, He was not obligated ! Sacrificial generosity is the biblical model.

As you determine in your heart, serving and giving to others out of freedom, grows alot more relationships and the culture of generosity.

Writing doesn’t have to be complicated but the discipline especially in an oratory culture is quite something. So I Sault every African who has written.

We think in our local dialect and so writing in an international language like English can be a daunting task. To gain the writing momentum, consistency is needed.

If You have the tendency to procrastinate, you need to appoint a policeman like the one appointed to watch Bobi Wine, a musician and political activist in Uganda. Bobi is watched, moment by moment like Uganda’s future depends on him. He is given attention like a new born baby is watched by a first time mother. Sometimes like a watchman waits for the dawn.

So if you are writing you need to find someone close to the key officer who issues instructions when Bobi breaks camp or is about to hold an illegal rally. You need to find him to stop the illegal distractions of a writer.

This officer will call you at the end of the day or send a text to check in on your writing operation. Hey. You need him to gain writing momentum. He will say a sentence like, “Someone from above needs to read that story.” Then walk away. Make sure you are shaken then write.

You will write. Whether you write with ease or panic, the content will flow. Find a solitude corner away from the distractions of traffic, a bossy boss, shopping queues, picking the children from school, a moody spouse, social media, homework, the usual african funerals etc. will serve your writing goal. Find that officer.

You will be lucky if he gives you light to write. So write during the day hours. Night light isn’t guaranteed, darkness is. You will otherwise be left in the darkness and expected to write on straight lines.

“Write the next chapter or no bail ! Orders from above!” he will add. Hopefully he won’t kick you with his big black boots.

When you gain momentum, you will have avoided a ‘bad look’ and the pain of those boots. The editor will take your book, increase it or reduce it. You will get an ISBN. The publisher will print and publish. You will behold in your hands a book, written by you and it will be on several shelves soon.

You will be thankful that all things, the good, the bad even the torment was working for your good. It was intentional. Trust the process.

Did I mention you could invite whichever president you desire at your launch? They will come, get in touch with me. You will thank me later my writer friend, I mean you. Just write!

The President depending on which one you subscribe to will be at your launch. If it depends on the people, refreshments will be served for the first hundred minutes and after that the counters will need cash on order. If it depends on the president the launch will be on the house and the counters may never close.

Dear South Africa,

I watched you beat a woman, strip a mother naked. I am hurting from the cries of a young man being burnt by a cheering crowd. An indifferent crowd witnessing and recording a video. I cring with pain.

The causes of hostility instead of hospitality are many. I will never know all your pain and causes but I will address only two lies. Two lies that trigger the feeling of injustice and stirs the blame game.

1. The lie that other Africans have taken your jobs. Hm… hmmm. You may want to unlearn and learn that you were supported by these same Africans during the time of apartheid. They hosted thousands of you and carried you through a dark season. Your own history could grow your appreciation for the plight of other Africans.

…Hebrews 13:2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.

2. Secondly the lie that Africans have brought drugs to your country and ģiven them to your children. It’s not the Africans bringing in drugs. They are simply distributing what is in your society. A little education around drugs will spell out a curtail and a series of people including authorities that get drugs into any country.

If our children don’t say no to drugs, our parenting has gone south. Could we have passed on pain and not taught how to process it? When our children have no boundaries and no cultivated self control, no foreigner can account for their choices.

Perhaps we could abandon the sense of entitlement and embrace the sense of duty / urgency to get our hands dirty. Only then will we understand, own , appreciate our call and real destiny.

I greet you, speak healing to you, truth to your situation and ultimately greatness.

I’m going to be a flower girl right now!!!😊☺👰✌nd time.😛😛😗

This is Nziza’s memo on my phone just before walking into church as a flower girl.

There are few seemingly insignificant actions that could change every little girl’s story. A listening ear, a quiet time in the scriptures, a walk, an ice cream, quality time at a play ground, a trampoline or perhaps doing a craft project like origami, together. Oh don’t forget to pretend play, be a patient and she, a doctor, the results are amazing.

One such gesture is making a little girl part of a bridal party. This weekend, my not so little daughter Nziza, was a flower girl. I have never seen her this happy. Aware of herself, expressing her desire to wear a weave / wing and just carrying a countenance that said, I belong here. I truly belong!

For Nziza, creating beautiful hair, choosing her fashion and the temporarily long hair filled her emotional tank. Most of all reminding her that her sense of value of worth and value was not wearing a silver dress or being around the bride was significant. She kept saying;” it’s who God says Iam and the value, his death put on me. This truth is enough to grow confidence levels and draw out a beautiful smile.

What makes that little girl around you smile? Little gestures and little truth deposits will grow their self esteem and confidence. Every consistent ounce of these truths will keep the emotional tank full.

Guess what? Every body needs to experience the joy of an emotionally centered, well adjusted child. The one who carries a countenance that proclaims, ‘I belong here, I do belong’.

Comfortable in their skin and totally centered.

…. Could Change a Generation.

Ask about where they are at in their relationship with God.

A Chinese Malaysian met my friend and Uncle Udo in the University Cafeteria. It was uncle Udo’s first time away from home. Uncle Udo comes from Nigeria. He was thousands of miles away in Birmingham University. This Chinese Malaysian asked him if he was Christian. He said he was. However this man asked further, ‘how do you know? ‘ Uncle Udo shared his journey and from his story, he knew Uncle Udo was a Christian. He invited him into his home and connected him to a discipling community.

Uncle Odo later become a meteorologist but more than that everything changed in his life, he became a disciple maker and has given his entire life making disciples. His goal is to have disciples next door to everywhere in every city. On a daily basis he helps people to develop a relationship with Jesus that changes everything. In turn they too help others become believers, reaching anyone and everyone.

Seekers are people searching for meaning in life.What is my purpose? they quietly ask. Uncle Udo found meaning.

Perhaps you could meet a seeker if you join the guest experience team at your church or family gathering or just spoke to a guard, boda driver and an executive at a party. I invite you to a journey of finding a seeker and helping them find home.

1. Greet the stranger. The latest in-laws. They long for friends and connections in the family but most of all they are seekers of truth. That new mother and her child at the swimming club. Look out for the fresherman’s week. There is a young person lost in the multitude looking and searching for belonging.

2. Watch out for the new staff at your workplace. New people grapple with identity and feelings of being displaced. They may be seekers and need relationships.

3. Start an investigative Bible study, explore the book of John just asking,’Who is Jesus?’. Perhaps starting a book club and inviting them over maybe a platform. Whatever it is, initiate the platform!

4. Start an air bnb; it’s an avenue to meet new people. You can reach the city for Jesus by hosting those who are new for Christ. The city is often full of new people.

5. People in transition. Look out for the refugee next door. The lady in between jobs. Just about to marry. Just about to have a baby. They look well but may not have the next meal, or worse it depressed. They look content but may Seekers.

Seekers are everywhere, the harvest is plenty and the labourers are few. Could you join the harvest field by praying to the Lord of the harvest? Could you seek out the seeker?

A ten minute conversation could change the course of an individual, a family, a community and a generation.

1. Every leader must come up with a compelling reason and create compelling language for busy people to regularly come together.Why? The why is important and critical ;

For people to write…

For people to be partners…

For people to vote for you…

For people to gather for a meal?

For people to have fun?

For people to join in the games ?

If the why is a motivator for children as they get older
how much more the adults? Everyone needs a why.

2. Pray together…leaders praying together with those they lead creates an opportunity to grow. Even more particularly when the why is clear. Praying together grows ‘like mindedness’. People that pray with me became part of my life.

3. Plan together; being included in the planning process, grows ownership and is an opportunity for the individual to ask and see, ‘where I fit into this grand plan?’. Wherever I have been included in the plan process, I grew in ownership.

4.The cost; to have a great marriage that costs you nothing is an illusion. Everything great or of good quality costs something. Time, resources, sacrifice and sometimes abandoning your thinking thread/pattern. Explaining the cost always prepares the mind and emotions.

5. Working together; provides a shared experience. Can Be slower but rewarding. Don’t accept help that comes with conditions and rules. If any one wants to help you, they could help without strings attached.

When leaders provide a compelling why and use an language that creates imagery. People follow the leader.

Jona 4. 11 ” And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals. “

When God called Jonah to warn the city of Nineveh of the wrath to come, Jonah was hesitant to go. His fear was that God would be compassionate. He was right about Him. God’s pattern towards a repent heart is predictable. He is merciful and gracious. He annoyingly calls them great!

I am from a God of a second chance, who has compassion for the multitudes as well as the minority. I am from Him who loves people relentlessly as well as the animals.

I am from the one million, six hundred fifty thousand eight hundred people in Kampala plus the animals. I am from boda bodas cutting corners. Iam from thinking, ‘these people don’t know their right hand from their left!’. I am from watching a corrupt government official who keeps a straight face amidst theft reports. I am from those who don’t know their right hand from their left hand. I am from, ‘I must see them as Jesus sees them. Great is his title for them!

I am from a people who don’t see the crisis of leadership in our city or country? They would rather keep the status quo. Read the ‘mess we are in ‘. They too don’t know their right hand from the left hand.

I am from a city that neglects the poor, unable to feed them or accommodate them. I am from the sleepless city night dwellers. Iam from the many homeless Kampalans, unseen at daylight but visible in the dark of the night. Iam from many cardboard beds and paper bag blankets, seen only by those who search for the homeless.

I am from the ridiculed wealthy, who enjoy a life style of luxury and privileges. They feel pity, sometimes concern but are not compassionate enough to take action for their city, Kampala.

I am from a healthy relationship with the majority poor that facilitates compassion and a healthy interaction with the wealthy minority who inspire dreams. They are all broken, just in different spaces. They have another thing in common like the city of Nineveh, they don’t know their right hand from their left hand. A great reminder that Jesus loves the majority poor as well as the minority wealthy.

I am from the one million six hundred fifty thousand eight hundred Kampalans plus the animals. Yes, Iam from his value and worth of an individual and the strength of the multitudes.

I hope like Jona we can, show concern but follow up with compassion to help them know their right hand from their left.

What city, people and animals need your compassion?

What confused city needs you to call out it’s greatness?

Who do you need to refer to, as great even though they act contrary to this title?

You may feel vindictive like Jonah sometimes but don’t hesitate to reach out in compassion. For God loves the confused, the scattered person who knows not their right hand from the left. Guess what?

He calls us to love them too.

Don’t let what you can’t do stop you from doing what you can do…

Do you need to take a strength finder test to discover your strengths? I can link you up with my friend Rosy. She does a good job.

Being aware of your strength reduces the focus of what you can’t do or don’t do well. You become a fish that continually swims without worrying about what it would look like to walk. If you, as a fish tried to walk, you would certainly die. Find your strengths and keep swimming.

1. Serve your larger family, take opportunity to serve them. Someone will point out how they experience you and perhaps mention how well you do something. Focus more on what people enjoy about you.

2. Do different work until you find what interests you or doesn’t. It will spell out what you enjoy and what you don’t enjoy but needs to get done. Focus more on what you enjoy.

3. Observe the different work patterns; who you like to work with, Is it the elderly? men? Is it the young people or is it women or children? Is it the refugee or the young professional. Define the people group and determine why you appreciate working with them. Zero in on a people group you enjoy working with.

So keep going to places you enjoy, to people groups you enjoy, doing what you enjoy most and serving people.

Don’t let what you can’t do stop you from focusing on what you do well.

What is it that you do well? Focus, do it and do it well.

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