More than a day….

It is not unusual to hear some people refer to days like Valentine, Birthdays and Anniversaries as just another day. I think differently, first of all, every day is a blessing in my world. Another chance to do right, live better and do more.

Special days are even more important as they mark the start of something new. Each recurrence presents an opportunity to evaluate how well you have done, applaud yourself or course correct.

The thought of an applause worthy Special day gives me an adrenaline rush since I get to give myself a treat for a job well done.

O well, you can say I love celebrations in whatever form, after all we only get to live once. So when our tenth anniversary came knocking, we could not resist the urge to celebrate.

As I dreamed up ways to make this more than just a day, an amazing Black Friday Deal too good to be true popped up on my screen. You can call it a coincidence, I will choose miraculous. I watched my dream escape to the island of Cape Verde become a reality; the right price and an irresistible deal and Voila, Project Verde was activated.

Four hours later, we touched down on the beautiful island of Cape Verde somewhere off the West African coast surrounded by the Atlantic ocean. Blue beaches, lovely resorts, great foods, beautiful sunset and world class hospitality.

Project Verde Goals accomplished…….

A well deserved celebration of ten awesome years of growing and learning together. As we celebrated, we are reminded that we are better today because yesterday we chose tomorrow together. We believed, we worked and now the project continues.

Life is a project with milestones along the way, so think of today as a milestone in the ‘Love’ department. Even though, some folks say ‘love don’t cost a thing’, love does cost something, it is in the action and the sacrifice. It is never idle, it is always doing. So whenever an opportunity presents itself for love to be expressed, sound the alarm and make it loud and clear that you love and you love for real. Don’t just sit back and watch today go by, find a box of chocolate or whatever tickles you and take sometime out to celebrate love and friendship.

Because love is a beautiful thing, make this Valentine more than just a day…………

Happy Valentine Day!!!


Never too late…..

I often marvel at the elasticity of the human spirit, something in us keeps striving, keeps pressing and keeps trying until we have more than an aha moment.

Meet Ms. Grace or ‘mummy’ as i like to call her and yes this is a real person and a real story.

A few months ago, we all listened to a young lady speak to us at a Women Conference on the topic, ‘Dare to Dream’.

Mummy is in her late fifties and I found it surprising that she was as excited as we younger folks. Fast forward to a few weeks later, she whispered to me, I have started sewing again. Even though I don’t know if that spark lit a fire, I was just excited that someone took the learning and acted on it.

Exactly one year later, while gisting away, she mentioned a store, I didn’t probe much because we were talking about more important things. On a Sunday morning right after church, she slipped an invitation into my hand.

Mummy was opening a restaurant, she called it ‘Souper Woman Kitchen’; Souper I guess because of the mainly soup dishes that she will be serenading her customers with.As I look more closely at the word ‘Souper’, I think of the closest English word to it ‘Super’. 

Ms. Grace is an example of so many ‘super’ humans out there striving, pressing and demonstrating the elasticity of the human spirit.

At close to 60, Ms. Grace listened to a young lady tell us that if we don’t take action, our dreams will remain what there are ‘dreams’.

She took action, not just one, several little steps. Souper Woman Kitchen opened, I missed the opening but heard that she is excited about this new opportunity.

As I reflect on this story and my interactions with Ms. Grace,  I recall that she was always on time for all meetings (Discipline), listened with intent  (Deliberate), acted on what she heard (Determined) and was very comfortable around young people (Teachable). I find that you gain a lot of fresh insight from being around younger folks.

Now and in the years to come, it is not OK to dream and write goals, be like Ms. Grace and take action.

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Here is wishing you the best life has to offer, see you next week…….


Hi, We are Idorenyin and Thelma Mbang

We love to tell stories that draw out lessons from every day life.

If our stories strike a cord with one person, then our day is made.

Life is a journey, it leaves imprints along the way; good, bad and sometimes just plain ugly. As you go through daily life, keep your 👀 on who you are BEcoming.

We hope you enjoy our post each week, don’t forget to leave a comment, subscribe to read more stories and tell your friends about us.

Here is wishing you the best that life has to offer

Idorenyin & Thelma Mbang

Worth the Find III

We are still on this wisdom matter, we hope that everyone who reads our blog this season begins to approach life a little differently.

According to the words of Proverbs, wisdom is actively looking for following, likes and tags; begging to be used and referenced.

One area that the book of Proverbs seems to over-flog is the subject of sexual immorality, promiscuity and all related vices. As I read through the chapters, I was beginning to yawn dreading the next verse with a warning about ‘the dangers of a strange woman’. I muttered ‘not again’ and then it hit me why there is so much emphasis and still so many offenders.

My pen began to write…..

It is amazing how much time has been spent on instilling wisdom and warning about the subject of immorality.

I am tempted to gloss over but reminded that many have strayed away from the faith because of ‘It’, many families have been disrupted because of ‘It’, many have lost their lives because of ‘It’. News stories tell of men and women caught short in their prime because of ‘It’. Even the pulpit is not spared, callings lost and crowns surrendered at the feet of “It’.

I remember the story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife. Joseph ran, in fact, he fled. Joseph was a wise man, he saw into the future and knew exactly what to do.

The Bible warns that ‘let anyone who thinks they stand, take heed lest they fall’.
I Corinthians 10:12 NKJV

It is a simple warning that we should not lose our guard or think that scriptures with warnings are for others, not us. When something is repeated over and over in a book written by the wisest man with a special type of history with the subject matter, it is for emphasis. It was probably his way of saying to us, ‘I have been there, done that and it didn’t pay’.

So let us hold the warnings and words in Proverbs to heart. They keep us aware of the dangers that lurk in the day and night, reminding us to guard our hearts, eyes, ears and steps.

As believers, we also have a duty of care to those around us – we can each make one simple adjustment in our lives to help ourselves and others stay on the straight and narrow path.

Next time you find yourself on the path leading to ‘it’, be wise and flee as Joseph did.

Let those with ears listen and heed these words. Selah

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Worth the Find II

We are back after a one week break. During our unannounced break, two of our readers reached out, one to check if we left her out of the distribution list while the other was wondering if we were testing to see if people will read without the weekly reminder prompt. These two individuals by their simple gesture made us realise that each week our mission to reach one is being achieved, so thank you for staying with us, reading our stories and cheering us along.

Idorenyin and I have been marriage counsellors for as long as we have been married. You will think that we were married for this, like ‘made for this’. If you got my attempt to rhyme, thank you.

We have spent countless hours with couples at different stages of the love walk – ‘boy meets girl’, ‘we want to get married’, ‘we are now married’, ‘we are not getting along’, ‘we are not doing again’. Each of these stages come with a different type of conversation, so we have had many diverse conversations. We have shared the role that love, commitment, prayer, similar values, fear of God amongst other plays in making a marriage work. I don’t recall us specifically adding ‘wisdom’ to that list. I guess maybe it sounds very intellectual to think of marriage that is filled with so many emotions being the zone of wisdom but it is.

As I read the book of Proverbs 14, verse 1 stopped me in my tracks – “a wise woman builds her home”. I didn’t bother with what a foolish woman does, I wasn’t interested. It hit me that wisdom is required for a good marriage, a whole lot of wisdom. The Bible tells us that “wisdom is the principal thing” and in all our getting we should get wisdom. To everyone who is getting married or married, my simple advice to you –  please open the door and let wisdom in. You need it even more than love, yes I said it. People are falling in and out of love but wise men and women remain wise in their dealings. Trust me, if you have tasted wisdom, you will not be able to stand for foolishness.

As I finished reading Proverb 14 and went back to reflect on verse 1a, my pen began to flow. I present below the raw version of my thoughts on that scripture. I pray that you are blessed as I open a window and let you peep into my thoughts…………..

Proverbs 14:1a – “A wise woman builds her home.

Such a loaded verse that implies that wisdom is a critical component of a marriage and home that works.

We talk a lot about love and commitment as key ingredients, but I don’t hear a lot about wisdom. Wisdom is as important as love.

It takes wisdom to know that marriage is serious enough for the decision to be made wisely.

It takes wisdom to know the right conversations to have with your spouse before marriage so that you can decide if it will work.

It takes wisdom to know how to manage the different relationships that are birth as a result of your marriage.

It takes wisdom to know what to say and do per time.

It takes wisdom to know when to speak and when to be quiet.

It takes wisdom to plan and save for your future.

It takes wisdom for two to become one flesh.

It takes wisdom to know where, when and how to build – the wise build on the rock (firm foundation) while the foolish build on the sand(faulty foundation).

So from one married couple to millions out there, married or about to be; we echo the words of proverbs – In all your getting, Get Wisdom!

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Worth the Find

One of my favourite games to play with my children is a treasure hunt around the house. I always begin by drawing a picture of the house, next I put together some treats and then I move around the house to locate the best spots to hide the treat and leave them clues on the map. Once I am done setting the stage for the treasure hunt, I hand the treasure map to the children and they start running around the house trying to find the treats. Each time, I hear a scream, I know something has been found. At the end of the game, they gather their treats and split the spoils. From their excited faces and noise, you will think they were real-life treasure hunters who discovered a chest full of gold in a cave somewhere.

If your imagination is like mine and you can picture my children on their treasure hunt from start to finish, you will have an idea of how I feel when I read through the Bible and discover new meaning in a verse of scripture. The Book of Proverbs is my sweet spot, I often find hidden gems when the words on the pages come to life. I will echo the words of King Solomon and agree that ‘Wisdom is worth the find’.  Reading through the pages of the book of Proverbs feels a lot like a treasure hunt. Try to do it while using different highlighters to mark words that pop out and you will discover something new each time. Don’t just read it, meditate on it, soak it in, internalize it and use the words of counsel daily, your life will change. Yes for good!

Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures.
Proverbs 2:2‭-‬4 NLT

I am sharing a few nuggets from the book of Proverbs that I have found useful:

Nugget #1:The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Allowing yourself to be led by God is one of the wisest decisions you will ever make

Following God and keeping to his word positions us to act the right way. When you are led by God, he directs your steps, he tells you where to go, what to say and how to say it. When you obey God, what the world sees, is a wise man on display

Nugget #2:Wisdom is worth the search, I say this with confidence because they are areas in my life that I don’t worry about because I have allowed the wisdom from God’s word to direct me. Look to acquire new knowledge and insight – the Bible is loaded with information and encourages us to seek knowledge from books and by interacting with people with deep insight

Nugget #3: Wisdom will help you avoid rework. Knowing what the Bible says about your daily actions, is knowing the mind of Christ. When we say we have the mind of Christ, it means we know what is written concerning a situation and we are convicted enough to do what we know the scripture says. When we read the Bible, we read to our spirit, creating deposits similar to a wellspring. When we encounter a situation, the holy spirit calls to remembrance the things that we have already deposited in our spirit – the word of God comes to life.

We need wisdom to navigate through life, it is a difference-maker, a bridge-builder, a waymaker and a game-changer. It differentiates two people who start a journey on the same day headed in the same direction. A wise person can discern the end of a thing and change its course for a favourable outcome. When you gain wisdom for a certain area of your life, you can accomplish in less time and with less effort what others struggle to achieve. Begin a treasure hunt today, you will find that ‘wisdom is the principal thing’ and like my children, you will scream when you find it – some call it a light bulb moment.

If you follow through with this search, the eyes of your understanding will be enlightened and you will walk in wisdom.

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Enjoy the ride!

Like every other intending couple, we looked forward to our wedding day with so much anticipation. Everything we did or talked about for the 12 months between the proposal and the actual wedding day was mostly about ‘the Day’. The dress, the hall, the food, the guest list, the location, the cost – such an exhausting list. I remember that we were told to enjoy the planning process by a lot of people, we tried our best to and have also shared this advice with those who have come behind us. Why was it important to enjoy the process, you may wonder.

From our experience, we learnt a lot during the planning process about ourselves, our parents, siblings, friends and other important areas of our future lives. We learned how to manage all the important relationships that were about to be fused by our love, we learned how to allocate resources, we learned how to manage expectations, we learn how to negotiate, we learned how to win and lose honourably, we learned how to disagree and still return to the drawing board, our patience was tested and we developed vendor management skills. The most important lesson for us was knowing that when the wedding day came, we were both ready for the responsibility that those rings and vows represent. The process prepared us.

In my Christian walk, I have often focused a lot on the Cross, after all, it is the symbol of sacrifice and salvation. Last week, I gain fresh insight, that the path to the cross is just as important to the Jesus story as the cross itself. God sent Jesus not only to die for us but to live for us, that in His living we will have a model of the life that we can live in our human form. His death on the cross, a symbolic representation of the burden of our sins that He took upon Himself was also a bold statement that points to His living. His death reminds us that He lived on earth like us and amongst us and did not sin, so we too can live like Him by daily choosing God in our minute by minute decisions. The more godly decisions we make, the more natural it becomes for us until He is fully formed in us.

When I look at the path to the cross, I see a few highlights worth sharing:

• He spent His early years like every other child, in the confines of a home under the tutelage and protective custody of His father and mother
• At the temple, through His grasp of Scripture, He taught us that understanding of scripture can be attained at an early age
• When John displayed discomfort with baptising Him, preferring a role swap, He knew the timing of His assignment and was patient for His manifestation
• When it was His time, He read His manifesto and went on to check each box, fulfilling everything that Prophet Isaiah spoke concerning Him.
• For forty days and throughout His ministry, He was tempted in all ways and overcame
• He went about doing good
• He had the right answer for every situation
• Because of His message, He was loved by some and despised by others
• He knew when to be quiet, to speak a few words, to speak a lot

•He expressed different swings of emotions – fear, weeping, anger, frustration
• He gave us two powerful prayer models and taught us to pray
• He had customs that guided His daily existence that we can emulate
• He never left a room without sharing a message of hope calling His audience to repentance
• He was merciful and filled with compassion

Because He did these and many more, we are confident that we have a High Priest or big brother who can connect with our walk of faith.

The cross will only make sense when what you encounter on the path to the cross convict you. The surrender effect that we feel at the cross comes as a result of our encounter on that path. So glean and enjoy the ride!

In His footsteps, we place ours, one step at a time until the day of His second coming.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
John 14:6 NKJV

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Bow or Burn

Every coin has two sides, just like every story. The side that we choose to hear and retell and the side that we prefer not to speak of. The gospel is not different. A lot of times, it is easier to take in the good – the blessings, miracles and promises. But our faith is not a supermarket trip where you get to pick what you like and wish away the tough stuff. Some hard days and times will come, our faith will be tried in the fire, weighed to see how we shakeup. Every great man had his day and is considered great today because they stood their ground.

Abraham’s faith was tested when he was asked to sacrifice his son, Daniel was thrown into the Lion’s den because he refused to obey the king. These stories serve as vivid reminders of the scripture that says, ‘In this world, we will have troubles’.

As I read through the book of Daniel, I have to pause and reflect on the faith of the three Hebrew boys. While everyone bowed to the image of the king, they stood tall knowing the consequence was Death. Today, that same image stands tall in different expressions and many of us bow down knowingly or unknowingly because we want to be nice, we don’t want to offend, or we don’t want to make the headlines. We often look the other way and ignore opportunities to speak the truth of God’s word when we encounter people with misdirected versions of the truth.

The Hebrew boys had two options, Bow or Burn, they chose to burn with very clear words for the king.

“O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve can save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”
Daniel 3:16‭-‬18 NLT

Look at the boldness that they displayed in the face of opposition. Whereas, the thought of a blazing furnace will make so many today shouts,  ‘it is not my portion’ or ‘God forbid’. We have taught the gospel of bread and butter for so long that we have left many believers unprepared for the perilous times that will surely come. Many of us will feel that God has forsaken us or even question how a good God can allow his children to go through this. The truth is a good God will not and that is why He created us and kept us in beautiful Eden but every day just like our ancestor Adam, we do exactly what He told us not to do.

Now, let’s go back to the three Hebrew boys for a lesson on trials. First, they acknowledged that they served a God who was capable to save them – ‘the God whom we serve can save us‘. It is important that when we go through life, we remember that God is able, that awareness gives us strength to accept what comes out of every situation that we go through. Knowledge of God is important because ‘those who know their God will be strong and do exploits.

Next,  they made a statement that blew my mind – “Even if he doesn’t”, this statement acknowledges that sometimes God will say No when we call on him and ‘No’ might not be what we want to hear but ‘No’ is an answer.

Then, they sounded the alarm –  “Your majesty, we will NEVER serve your gods”this is called taking a stand, what and who do you stand for? Every believer needs to come to this point where God is God to you no matter the outcome. The point where your decision to follow is trusting because He will take you to places that may not have milk flowing on the streets.

You have to decide for yourself that God is God no matter what. I pray that God will give us the  strength to Stand Firm and have an ‘Even if he doesn’t’ kind of Faith

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Lest We Forget 2

And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and prayers.

Acts 2:42

Last week, we reflected on the ways of the early church to remind ourselves of the basics. We talked about the importance of studying the Word and Fellowship with other believers. One of my early memories of Church involved coming together for a love feast with other families and sharing in each other’s meal. It was loving, simple and beautiful. This season of lockdown has made me miss getting together with other believers. Our home Bible study group practised the tradition of breaking bread from house to house. This fellowship kept us, we studied, prayed, ate, laughed and did life together.

This week, we continue looking at what the early Church did that we should not forget:

Praying together – The words, ‘Let us pray’ remind us that even though prayer is borne out of a personal relationship with God, there is something powerful about corporate prayers. The words of the Lord’s prayer set the premise for this by referring to God as Our Father and using the word ‘us’ in its lines. Our faith is strengthened when we come together in unity to pray. Our relationship with God is based on communication with Him as individuals and as a body. As Christians, we pray about everything because God wants to hear about it. If it bothers us, He wants to know. We don’t only pray for ourselves; we pray for others. The Bible is filled with different examples of when people pray, why they prayed, how they prayed and what God did in response. You can look to this as a guide or just say the words as you will when you talk to a friend. God listens and He is always looking for people who will arise and stand in the gap for others. Their prayers were powerful and we read testimonies of the raw evidence of God’s power. The early church prayed and so must we.

Giving– The believers sold property and possession to give to anyone who had need. There’s a lot to note from this. As soon as the believers gave their lives to the Lord, their possessions no longer meant anything to them. It was no longer their priority. Ensuring that their fellow brothers and sisters had enough became their priority. ‘They gave themselves.‘ When earthly possessions no longer have a stronghold over you, you have given yourself.

Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

Matthew 19:21-22

The believers of old didn’t just give their possessions, they gave themselves. That is the highest form of giving. When you get to this level of giving, the accolades don’t matter, knowing who gave what is irrelevant, self is relegated to the background and Christ is seen. When you give, let the people thank God and not you. This is why the believers laid what they sold at the Apostles feet.

Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.

Acts 2:43

We must not forget that the early Church had no fancy buildings, no perfect audio system or comfort in worship. In fact, for all we know, they were always in hiding. Yet the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. They had the Power of the Holy Spirit who performed signs and wonders through them. This to me is the all-time guaranteed way to bring people to the Lord.

While the aforementioned things are good and needful, we must not substitute the Power of the Holy Spirit with other attractions. Lest we forget, we should more often than we do, go back and reflect on the book of ACTS so that we are in sync with our history. While times and seasons may change, the way of the Lord remains the same. It is timeless.

As we move forward, stopping to look back sometimes, makes our steps more firm and bold, because we have a cloud of witnesses cheering us on. They whisper to us “We did it, so can you, Stay Strong, Stay on the Path, Fight the good fight, Finish the race, Keep the Faith”

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Lest We Forget

We got together as a family to reflect on the month of May, my husband decided to do a roll call of the things that we are thankful for. As he called out the different reasons, I realised I had forgotten some of them. It was like I replaced the things that happened early in the month with the memories of the more recent ones. I left the session a lot more grateful because indeed, I was surprised at what God had done for us as a family in one month.

With today’s post, we will like to take out time to remember the early church also known as the Church of Acts. There are so many lessons that we can draw from our history to keep us focused and prevent us from making mistakes. For any journey to be meaningful, we must remember how it all began, the sacrifices made, the errors recorded and the gains accomplished so that we don’t forget and miss our way.

Do not remove the ancient landmark which your fathers have set.
Proverbs 22:28 NKJV

Going back in time connects us with the essence of our walk, almost like looking at a mirror and conducting a self-assessment. An ancient landmark can be like a boundary. A boundary serves two purposes – it keeps the things that you want within and keeps out the things that you do not want. A boundary defines what belongs here and what does not.  The way the early church conducted itself serves as an ancient landmark for today’s church, reminding us of what we should do and not do in our conduct as believers. It is important to highlight at this point that when we speak of the Church, we refer to You and Me, not the building.

And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and prayers.
Acts 2:42 NKJV

What does this mean for us today?
We will start with the easy version from the famous Sunday School song – “Read your Bible, pray every day if you want to grow”. And now the grown-up version –

1. The word – We have to continue steadfastly in the reading of God’s word. When we read the word, we are feeding our spirit and out of our bellies shall flow streams of living waters. That stream is the word of God. Since there were no early writings of the teachings of Jesus in the days of the early Church, the apostle’s doctrine was a simple retelling of all the apostles heard Jesus teach, the stories of the life of Jesus as they witnessed it and the revelations that they derived from their encounter with the Holy Spirit.

Why is the knowledge of the word of God so important?

We will use an object lesson to share with you how God’s word works in our life. The word of God is like a seed that we plant in our heart(the soil), as we read more of the word, we water the initial seed planted until it takes root and become a big tree. When the word is still a little seed or stump, it can be easily uprooted but when we keep watering it,  it grows into a big tree with roots stretched wide and deep. At this stage of growth, it will take a lot more effort to uproot that tree than the effort that will be required for a stump. When the word in us grows into a tree, it bears fruits and because the tree is well watered and healthy, the fruits will be good fruits. The fruit in this case represents our behaviours and actions.

The reason why you need to continue in the word and do it steadfastly (consistently) is because you can only grow in your knowledge of God if you are disciplined and hungry for more.

2. FellowshipOur walk with God is not a solo walk, yes it is personal but it thrives in community. Iron sharpeneth iron!

When we are in fellowship, you lift me, I pray for you, you encourage me, I rejoice with you. The Body of Christ helps us grow. Fellowship is more than just attending a church service. I make this distinction because fellowship can happen in a Church building but I have also seen Church buildings with no fellowship. So always look out for a community that you are accountable to, that supports your growth in Christ. A community that gives priority to studying the word, prayer and breaking of bread.

And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. Hebrews 10:25 NLT

Fellowship is even much more important today than it has ever been. Don’t let anyone deceive you into accepting isolation as normal, seek out fellowship, you will need it to strengthen your faith in the days ahead.

We will stop here for this week and continue to explore this subject next week. We invite you to join in and help shape this conversation. What is missing in your Christian walk today that existed in the early Church? Let’s spend some time in self-reflection and ask God to set us on fire for him like the Days of Pentecost.

Till we connect again next week, stay connected to God!

On Customs & Footprints

We were moving to a new city and as expected, we had certain fears associated with moving. One of those fears for us was the impact of a change of environment on our children. At a send forth event organized for us, I had a conversation with an older friend who in my opinion had raised 5 level-headed boys. Her boys are now spread out in different parts of the world chasing their dreams & passions. If you are a parent, you know that raising children is not an easy feat these days. So I asked her how she did it and she had just one advice for me, “I took them to Church every Sunday, no matter where we were, we never missed Church”. “That’s it I asked”, and she answered “Yes!”. In her words, she did that and left them in God’s hands and she believed God did the rest. Of course, there were other things she did in raising her boys but she believe that this was the Foundation she built on.

Recently, we were in another conversation with a few people and we got talking about our current walk with God. One of the guys said that growing up, they never missed Church. It was like a taboo to miss Church on Sundays. After he left home, no matter what he did on Saturdays, not even his late night rendezvous prevented him from going to  Church on Sundays, until he realized that there was more in the Church than in the world. He stayed!

In January this year, the new President of the United States, Joe Biden was sworn into office using the Biden family Bible that had been passed down from generations to generation since the 1890s.

What are the similarities between these three stories? Customs & Footprints. Some people were intentional about leaving customs for the generations after them and though some of the children may have strayed, most wandered back to the customs that were in built and stored somewhere in their hearts. In the Biden story, this is over 100 years of passed down traditions. After reading about this, I have become more intentional about my study Bible, its preservation, my highlights, and how I will pass it down to generations after me.

So, He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up: and as His custom was, He went into the Synagogue on the Sabbath day and stood up to read. Luke 4:16

Luke 4:16

I believe this verse was written to show us the importance of creating customs and traditions for generations to follow.

  • It was His custom to go out early to pray.
  • It was His custom to fellowship.
  • It was His custom to do good.
  • It was His custom to do His Father’s will.

Jesus has created customs and if we say we belong to His tribe, these should be our customs and traditions as well.

We are called to follow in this way and show the generations after us the way. But you can only show a way that you have walked in yourself or one that you are willing to walk. One of my favorite Hymns has a line that says “O let me see Thy footprints, and in them plant my own”

The footprints we leave should go beyond taking our children to Church. They should be footprints of Honesty, Integrity, Forgiveness, Love, Joy, Gratitude, Hard-work, Dedication and Service. We may talk about our footprints, but the young ones under us will ‘hear’ what we ‘do’. We are always leaving footprints wherever we go and whether we know it or not, other people are planting their foot in them.

Note to self – Be intentional, walk boldly and let your footprints lead to life.

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The Straight Line

In 2011, I was a first-time mom, a very excited one and I could not wait to show my daughter everything I knew. One of those lessons took place at the back of our house when she was just three years old. I returned from work and we all moved outside for ‘Growing up 10X’, the lesson for the day was ‘How to do the catwalk’; after all, every young girl should learn to walk with poise. Just like me, you are probably wondering if you read right, oh yes, you did! Let just think of it as one of many strange things new moms can find themselves doing or simply call it ‘New Mom Fever’, and yes it is okay to laugh at me. I laugh at myself thinking back on it as I have no plans of repeating that class with my second daughter, or maybe, I will reconsider when she is older. In teaching my daughter the catwalk, I told her to imagine a straight line and just walk on the straight line. It was fun watching her take those steps and attempt it until the child in her began to hop and run and do what kids love to do in a large open space. The class was over.

But that is exactly where our own class for today begins. At some point in your life, you must have said ‘The Sinner’s Prayer’, a simple confession that denounces the old and embraces a new life in Christ. You will agree that the change was not instant, but it came with each attempt to do what is written in God’s word. The Bible became your guidebook, your mirror, your companion and your standard. Our Christian walk is so similar to the lesson that I taught my three-year-old daughter, it is a simple call to walk the straight line. In the Garden of Eden, God drew the line and ask Adam and Eve to simply walk the line and leave the rest to Him. They stepped out of line and man fell. Thousands of years followed and man struggled to walk that fine line as outlined by the law. God knew that we needed all the help so He sent His Son in a final attempt to reconcile us back to Him. Jesus came to carve out that line, this time in our hearts and left us the Holy Spirit to convict and nudge us in the right direction.

We hear the Holy Spirit as a still small voice or a loud disruption calling us to ‘think on whatever is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report’ and let these thoughts guide our actions. The straight line is like a ‘Connect the dots’ exercise that charts a path that leads to the Father. My children always remind me that as Christians, it is not good enough to make good choices but that we should strive for ‘God choices’. I was confused at first but on second thought, I realise that not all good choices are ‘God choices’ but all God choices are good choices. Each God choice connects the dot and just like looking in the mirror, we are becoming more and more like Him. When He comes, it will not be difficult to know His own because ‘We will be like Him’.

Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.
Proverbs 4:25‭-‬27 NLT

Don’t worry too much if this feels like a herculean task, you may find yourself hopping away like my daughter on some days or feel overwhelmed but He promises us that ‘His grace is sufficient for us’. Think of it as one dot at a time and take out time daily to reflect on yourself, His walk, His word and His crown.

Note to Self – Oh Lord, the path is clear, it leads in one direction, so help me daily to choose to go in the direction that you are calling me to go.

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Sound the Alarm

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 KJV

Our whole christian walk is summed up into this phrase – Fear God & keep his commandments. Simply put, have enough reverence for the One who created you and do what He says you should do all the time. The book of Ezekiel refers to God’s instruction as life-giving which means they guide you through life on this side of eternity until such a time when He calls you home or the trumpet sounds.

Early last year, we had new neighbors move into our building. One morning, we heard their fire alarm go off. From the footsteps, it was obvious that she was confused about what to do with the noise. The noise was loud and filled the entire building. We observed closely for a few more seconds to see if it was a false alarm or a sign of real danger. It stayed longer than we expected so we rushed out to go see and realised that it was a false alarm. Since she didn’t know how to make the noise stop, we helped her out and everywhere was quiet again.

Alarms are meant to alarm you, put in place to give a warning that leads to some action. God’s word is just like that alarm to every believer who stays in tune, warning us to be alert, to keep watch, to pray, to be vigilant, to stay holy. Today, we sound the alarm, a different kind because the earth as it is, has become too comfortable. It seems many of us have forgotten that we are only travellers with a home beyond the clouds. I love those heaven bound songs that we grew up singing, they rattled and unsettled you, keeping you in check and giving you daily perspective as you chase. These days,  I marvel at the things that we chase because they pale in comparison to ‘the call’.

Do we even remember ‘the call’, that many were martyred for? A simple instruction to be lights, to go out and disciples? Oh no, looks like we are too busy, dying on the wrong hill. Will we be in the number when the saints go marching on? What did we even do with those classic songs that kept heaven always in view? I think we replaced them with meaningless ones that excite the flesh. We need them back, songs like, ‘I am running a race to meet my redeemer’; songs that filled the believer’s heart with hope for a better tomorrow.

We should all look forward to that glorious morning when like Paul, we will say the words,  ‘I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. II Timothy 4:7 NKJV
And then hear Him say in return – ‘Well done’ and ‘Welcome Home’ to the place I told you about.

I have two daughters, even though they are both born of the same parents, one laughs with a wide smile to show excitement. The other one has a blank look on her face when she is excited. You know that she is excited, infact too excited that her face doesn’t know what to do with all the emotions going on inside her. I share this difference in my two daugthers to make you see how different each of us are and even though we all travel through this journey called Life, we start and finish at different points. Everyone has their unique path that they must chart out and just like our DNA, no two stories will be alike.

As we end the ‘Journey to Alpha’ series, we encourage you to take out time to reflect on your own path. Do the things we do, say or think take us to or away from Him? Think on this, repent and begin to store up treasures of eternal value because in the end, just like in the beginning – God. Selah

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:2 KJV

May the souls of the faithful departed rest in the bosom of the Lord! Amen.

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