It’s all in your mind!

Someone once said that what you give power to, has power over you. Henri Ford alluded to this and quoted ” whether you think you can or cant, you are right!” I agree that it is only your mind that must perceive or not any abilities and intelligence. The attitude and mindset are the link between where you are and where you wanna be. Be it in business, relationships, spirituality or even physical fitness.  In fact it is said that your body wont go where your mind does not push it.

No wonder Romans 12:2 says ” Do not be conformed to the standards of this world but be ye transformed by the renewal of your mind…” The world and society has its own set standards on many things including baby growth milestones, beauty standards, expectations in friendships and marriage, expectations in burials etc. It is almost impossible to be experience any transformation in your life if all you do is only conform to set standards? It can only begin with a renewed mind!

A renewed mind is hopeful,motivated, can withstand pressure, can ignore naysayers because it bases its thoughts on Gods word. When the society tells you that you can not make it because of your background, a renewed mind tells you that indeed you can do all things through Christ who enables you.

Why do you think some people exuberate confidence while others suffer from inferiority complex? It all starts with the mind- how you perceive yourself! If you are weighed down by sickness,renewal of your mindset will even optimize your healing process. Recently, a friend of mine was in hospital high dependency unit but when he saw the mom who had traveled from afar to see him,he told his mom ” don’t worry i will be well” And sure enough, because of the power of the mind, he is doing well! You will be shocked health does not always come from medicine. Most of the time it comes from peace of mind. Look back  even in school life. You did better in subjects that you liked the teachers.If you set your mind to like the teacher or subject, you will effortlessly improve and pass on the subject. If you have negative thoughts about your workplace, you will most probably be among those fired or laid off. Why? Because the negative thoughts affect the time you go to work, the motivation to work, the productivity and so on. You can always tell someone who hates their job – it will be written all over even on the face!

Real success and transformation all begins with our thought process; what we entertain in our mind.  The good news is that  you can actually be intentional about what you think about. What images do you visualize? If your mind only pictures problems and disasters, that is what you will wire yourself to. But if you choose to see positive images, you will work hard to equip yourself to the opportunities! Don’t limit yourself by  limiting your thoughts. The thoughts we have can either tie us or act like wings for us to fly!

Truly if we change our mindset, we will ultimately change our body, health, wealth and relationships.  Can I dare say if we want to have a real revolution in our society, it must start with the evolution of our consciousness, which is the mind !I am beginning to direct my mind to think of what is true( is accurate or can be verified), lovely (beautiful and sweet), just (fair,right),pure(genuine), noble( good and honorable), excellent (perfect,outstanding). I am beginning to equip myself as I prepare to act in response to the good thoughts that I synthesize. You too can choose to be intentional on what your mind dwells on!

Categories: christian, mindset | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments
 
 

Is God unfair?

God is unfair! Where was God when I lost that job, yet I never had missed on tithing? Where was He when I missed out on that long overdue promotion and my new colleague got yet I never was late for even midweek prayers services? How comes He allowed my spouse to cheat on me? How comes He has allowed me to be childless?

Are these statements familiar?  You are not alone! Just a quick look at Job, a man described as blameless and shunned evil. In Chapter 29, Jobs final defense, it seems that he had had enough. He longs for the days his righteousness brought blessings in his house and respect from those around him. He details about his good acts to neighbors and his society. His connection with God had made him a wise man; his counsel was widely sought. He felt God was unjust towards him. God had forgotten all his good deeds.

Isn’t self righteousness a common pitfall for many of us?  According to the Cambridge dictionary, Self righteousness is when one believes their actions are morally better than those of other people.  It comes when we feel we have fulfilled all our religious requirements;  have accomplished our part of bargain and now therefore expect God to do his part of rewarding us . We will parade our good works, how we tithe faithfully, how we give alms, how we have paid school fees for many, how we fast often, how we wake up in the middle of the night to pray etc. We make others believe that probably that our acts have played a role in the blessings we receive from God.  Self righteousness is very dangerous because it makes us envious of those we consider  evil or ungodly. We get angry when they their children do not get sick, when they get those promotions, when they build that big house…because they don’t deserve it; they have not earned it!  We get depressed when bad things happen to us because we did deserve better! i mean we are holier than those others!

But what happens when God comes into the scene in Job chapter 38.  He details uncountable things that Job cannot fathom, did not even know. He shows him how his wisdom, justice and righteousness are unattainable by men. In the end, Job cannot help but repent in (42:5-6). Remember Asaph, in Psalm 73? In vs 13 he laments “surely it is in vain I have kept my heart pure….” Keep in mind he was a respected religious leader yet struggled to understand Gods justice and almost backslid! But when he entered Gods sanctuary, his perspective of life changed.  Jeremiah too wasn’t spared  by self righteousness. In Jeremiah 12 he makes a complaint to God about justice. Gods answer seems similar to that he gave to Job

Clearly we often humanly struggle with self righteousness, understanding Gods justice. Many are unable to fathom this and have consequently suffered depression, hated serving God, lost the faith.  But the moment we allow God to come in to the picture, the moment we focus on Him and his sovereignty, things won’t be the same again. The day we will comprehend that our righteous acts are like filthy rags, we will run to him to cloth us with His righteousness. We will stop being bitter when our neighbors are blessed because we will understand what grace and mercy are all about.

Just like Job, Asaph, Jeremiah will you allow God to come in to the picture?

 

Categories: General Life Issues, self-righteousness, unfair | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

The power of rituals and celebrations

What is the place of rituals or celebrations today? I have been going through the bible and noticed that whenever Abraham settled in a new place, the first thing he did was to set up an altar to the Lord. He did these in 4 occasions. (Read Gen 12-13). He must have passed this ritual to the son because we see Isaac do the same. How many of us parents are able to pass down right values to our children?

Isaac had settled in the land of philistines and God had blessed him abundantly until they felt he had become too wealthy and powerful for them. And what did they do? They chased him away. Isaac tried relocating but on 2 occasions he dug wells but were disputed. One he named strife and the other hatred.When God blesses you, some will hate you and even chase you out of that marriage,that job. Some friends will abandon you and cause unnecessary drama just because they can not stand Gods blessings in your life!But finally he dug one and no one disputed. There, he set up an altar for the Lord (Gen 26:18-26) as an acknowledgement that God had finally given them room to flourish. These were visible signs for the neighbors and even future generations of the doing of the Lord.

In  Exodus 12-13,we also see that God had  instructed the Israelites to commemorate the consecrations of firstborn through the Passover feast.  Children are always curious and inquisitive and so Exodus 12:26  says that when your children  ask for meaning of ceremony of such ceremonies we are to use the opportunity to tell them what God has done us. 13: 8 says ‘…It will be like signs on your hands and reminders….”

What rituals or commemorations do you have as an individual or a family? What visible thing can help raise curiosity about God’s doing to our progeny? For Isaac and Abraham it was altars. Could you be going or previously gone through seasons of strife and hatred.  You may have been hopping from job to job, relationship to another and finally God  God brings you a breakthrough. You May have been trying to start a business but for your have issues with the regulator, or your competition causes frustration until you have no option but to close down. What do you do intend to do when God finally gives you an enlarged space( Rehoboth) ? When finally God settles you and  expands your territory, will  you just remain quiet like nothing happened? What sign will you pass to your children?

Even today, I still am convinced that the place of regular celebrations, memorializations are a significant part of a christian’s life . They give us the  opportunity to reminisce, the opportunity to say thanks, etc.Celebrations are actually an outward observance of worship.

Its usually said that Abraham could trace his paths by the altars he built . How will your christian walk and success stories be traced?

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It all boils down to the family

This week, July 1, the former Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore’s death was officially announced and within hours an acting CEO had already been appointed. We know Bob was an apt CEO and had taken the company to very great heights but after his death, the official memo by his company only mentioned that he had been survived by his wife and children.  It didn’t mention the several overtime hours, the several meetings he chaired. No one talked about the many deadlines met or not met, any unanswered emails, no one mentioned his salary!

Many of us in the corporate world sacrifice too much for our companies. In a recent telegraph article (July 1, 2019) Neil Lyndon wrote “We claim to love our families, yet we elect to spend more than our contractually allotted hours at work. It’s time for men to take a stand”I appreciate that indeed we have so many work priorities and we easily get lost in the pursuit of making more money. But do you realize this circle never ends? The moment we make more money, our lifestyle changes- we move to better estates, transfer children to better schools, start attending better hospitals, buy cars or newer ones and soon we need more money and still more money.  Before we realize it, we have become old and have nothing else except our career to show for.

Could this be the reason we are seeing a trend where especially men die too quickly after retirement. Maybe because they were too busy looking for money and building a career that they forgot to form a bond with the family. Once they retire, all the friends and workmates are gone and now must retreat and face the wife(s) or children who are strangers to them. Are our retired parents dying from loneliness which affects their immunity levels and all sorts of sicknesses start coming up?

When was the last time you visited your parents? When did you last call them for no reason other than chitchatting? When last did you take leave just to spend time with your spouse and children? Isn’t it weird how some of us are quick to post on social media great birthday and other anniversary messages to parents who haven’t seen them for ages..

When was the last time you spend quantity time with your family.. Nowadays the excuse we have is that we are giving our family quality time.. This is  a lie from hell! Ask a number of children, they keep complaining that mum and dad are too busy. They do not remember the one Sunday you took them for a swim or fun day. They remember the 6 days your are not home! Why are many marriages breaking? Is it not because spouses feel abandoned, with no one for chitchats?

Talk to your ailing parents, your retired parents. You will be surprised what they want is not just the quick Mpesa we do but you actually talking to them and visiting them. Just sitting down with them, being there with them as they cook, cultivate, or any other of their normal chores.

The balance between making money and participating in family can be hard, but once you achieve it, the bonds with your loved will outlive all this and make you more successful..

Categories: christian, General Life Issues | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

What legacy do you want to leave?

What kind of a legacy do you want to leave behind?Legacy is a gift or a bequest, that is handed down, inherited or received from a predecessor.You can only leave a legacy in what you are passionate about. What is the one thing whose mention ignites a great drive in your heart?

Methuselah was the man known to have lived the longest but surprisingly only 3 sentences are used to describe him (Gen 5:27). I found this quite ironical because on the other hand, someone like Joseph lived only 110 years but chapters and chapters are written about him. Compare also with Jesus who only did His ministry for 3 years and chapters and books are written about him.

Legacy does not come easily. It calls for quest for excellence and sacrifice. Those who leave a great legacy do not take short cuts, they do not go for the easier route! Mother Theresa didn’t know she would one day get the prestigious Nobel prize. She was simply pursuing her passion. She was so devoted to working with the poorest in her Calcutta City that she sacrificed her teaching job to do so.  Nelson Mandela had to endure imprisonment for a cause he believed in, anti-apartheid, only later to become a president in the same country. Martin Luther King directed all his efforts  and energies to fight racial inequality until his assassination in 1968. And even coming home, we all know what Wangari Maathai had endure before obtaining the Nobel prize- the several arrests, injuries while protecting the environment. I will not be surprised Economics experts the likes of Prof X.N. Iraki and Prof Ndemo spend endless times researching and reading before producing the great articles we see.  Telecommunication gurus, the likes of Tom Makau, didn’t just find themselves there! Most probably they spend hours and hours reading  to become better. The doctors who have made great impacts, the likes of  Dr Charlotte Kaliti who was able to perform fistula  surgeries must have sacrificed so much to achieve this. The same can be said of the great teachers, medics, lawyers,entrepreneurs.. the list is endless.

What is the one thing that you can die for? What is the one thing that differentiates you from others? Whom have you touched in the course of your life? What can be written about you today?The legacy we leave begins with the little things we do today! Haba na haba hujaza kibaba as we normally say.. Are you passionate in making  one’s life better, even the least of all? How can you achieve that? Start today!

Being just there, being average, wont take you anywhere! In fact we have some friends who are just there. You have been with them probably for so long but they ain’t close friends, neither are they enemies. You can’t say or write much about them because they are just there. We have another category of people who may have been in our lives for so short a time but books and books can be written about them. What kind of a friend are you?

What legacy are you leaving in your relationships, in your career, in your community? What can you hand over to the next generation?

Categories: christian, General Life Issues, legacy | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Complaining and murmuring will make you dumber!

Complaining is expressing dissatisfaction or annoyance about something. Murmuring is the same thing but rather subdued; done privately.

It is very natural for human beings to find a reason for grumbling.  Each day we find ourselves having to deal with unpleasant circumstances, from heavy traffic jam, rising cost of  living, lack of funds,overdue debtors,corrupt leaders among other. Maybe as you read this you are complaining of that bad working environment, or that bad inconsiderate boss or that contractor who did a shoddy job, or that seller who sold you less value for the money you gave or even a delayed justice. It could probably be that you have given your all in a relationship but your partner seems to give back a raw deal and so whining is the only way to vent out your frustrations.

There are also another lot of people who are just serial complainers. They will complain  about everything and anything. They will do it just to stir some debate, they will complain because this one is not doing things perfectly, they will complain when you are too quiet but also complain that you talk too much. They will complain when rains fall and also when it doesn’t rain. I suspect you already have someone in mind, who, the moment they open their mouths to talk or chat in a group setting, the mood changes and all they bring is negative energy!

Did you know murmuring or being complained-to rewires our minds for negativity? Some researchers have even attempted to show that complaining can physically damage the brain by releasing stress hormones that damage neural connections. This causes shrinking of the hippocampus, the part of the brain involved in the formation of new memories, learning and emotions. This is basically saying that grumbling or entertaining it will make you dumber! It will make you stupid!

Our creator knew the effects of complaints and no wonder He severely punished grumblers, to the extent of killing a number of them.  It cost  the Israelites 40 years in the desert for grumbling, a journey that would have taken then ~11 days!He sent venomous snakes to bite them (Numbers 21:4-), sent fire to consume them, sent plagues  (Numbers 11) just to mention a few.

Grumbling is ideally an expression of lack of faith. Fear pushes us to see our enemies bigger than our God! We complain of high cost of living because we do not believe God can provide for us even in harsh economies. Surely didnt He provide manna for His own? Don’t you believe he can miraculously also provide for you? We complain and worry lack of tenants and customers because we do not believe these come from God. Who gave you that business, that house in the first place?Don’t you know there are millions who wish they had what you have?  If He did it for you yesterday, He will do it for you today and can do it for you tomorrow!!

Do you know there is even a promise for those who resist this vice? God will causes them to shine among the rest like the stars in the sky! phil2: 14-15

14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”[a] Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky

So then what do we do?

Do an audit of your life. Is there something you have constantly complained about?  What can you do about it? What can you do to fix it? Go ahead and offer a solution instead of complaining.

Avoid serial complainers. It is okay to shut off negative people from your life. Otherwise they will reduce you to a dumb as well. You have the freedom to make right choices concerning your life!Keep off any environments that are toxic

Learning to let things pass works wonders. It is never that serious.. You don’t have to win all battles, just let them pass.  Some things are even beyond your control? Don’t be too uptight with what you have little control to change. Relax..

How about replacing complaints with  a better medicine: gratitude? When you feel like complaining, think of the many good things you can be thankful about.  You will be surprised the list is endless!

Categories: complain, fear, General Life Issues, Trusting God | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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