Soul for Soup.

There is a song with the lyrics: …and you cannot imagine all the places you’ll see Jesus. But you’ll find Him all the places you thought He was’nt supposed to go. It sure makes a whole lot of sense after I found I found God in the pages of the very old but well known story of little Oliver Twist, this famous scene in particular:

Child as he was, he was desperate with hunger, and reckless with misery. He rose from the table; and advancing to the master, basin and spoon in hand, said: somewhat alarmed at his own temerity:

‘Please, sir, I want some more.’

[Oliver Twist: Chapter 2]

All I see here is a little boy who, in a moment of desperation, went beside himself, outside of all his fears stepped up to feed his hunger. It shows me the impact of desperation in one’s life. Oliver forgot his size, his setting, he forgot everything and followed only the instinct of his need for food. Reminds me of another, who also out of desperation, went outside of logic and better judgement to follow the instinct of his need – my nigga Esau. Funny, how both of them were just after some soup.

Esau, for a bowl of soup, traded his birthright, his inheritance inorder to meet a temporary need. It cost him a life long blessing. I find that sometimes, we too can be like Esau or Oliver – forgetting what’s at stake, we forget who we are and where we are, how far we’ve come and He who has carried us that far. We forget it all in our moments of desperation and for momentary convinience or pleasure we give up the inheritance of eternal life, of peace, of joy and of the hope of being with our Loving Father forever ever. Maybe we dont give it all up for soup, but we are all hungry for something: attention, affection, security (money), acceptence, success…what ever it may be and we give up our birthrights: integrity, dignity, pace of mind, values and all for temporary bowls of soup.

Here is the thing about hunger though:

Matthew 5:6.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

So, it’s not so much that there is fault in being hungry, only that we should adjust our appetites. What a tremendous difference it would make if we craved heaven more than earthly pleasure, if we would desire His acceptance rather than the world’s applause, if we would seek His security and provision rather than worldly riches. It makes all the difference what it is our hearts yearn for, because that is what we will willingly put everything on the line for.

I pray that we will be found sacrificing every resemblance of Jacob’s soup in our lives for the sake of our soul, not the other way round.

Owned.

I remember my less refined days in high school. I remember, a little too vividly my strict boyfriend criteria: tall, plays either basketball or rugby, not smarter than me, has nice shoes. I mean height is still pretty key for me, but i think I’ve grown out of my other superficial boyfriend standards. But this isn’t about my immature tastes, that was just disclosure of who and where i was as evidence of just how kick ass God is at this transformation business. So anyway, when you date a guy on a team and decide to take your relationship public, the high school way of making that official is him giving you one of his team jerseys with his name and number on it (swoon, i know)😂. So whenever you put it on everyone knows who you belong to, its like a public statement saying ” I’m with her,” or ” That’s my nigga,”😊. Personally, this and when my superstar boyfriend scores a try and calls out to me, “This one’s for you!” Where the greatest form of PDA high school had to offer. I’m all grown now, and still I talk (type) too much and always lose my point.

The point is, Matthew 1:23

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

gave me the same feels as my boyfriend’s jersey used to, only better. What this said to me was the God of heaven, would put on flesh, stepping out of heaven into the world, to make a public declaration of His love for us (for me). That He would take up my cross as if it were His own, wear my shame around His neck, my sin and nail it all to the cross all the while thinking, “Kundai, this one is for you,”.

And my heart broke a thousand times over when I opened my eyes to the fact that, no matter how many times I fail, with the stench of sin, the weight of shame and guilt, He still wraps His precious arms around me, gives me a robe and crown drenched in His sacred blood, customized JESUS’ on the back and in heavenly places walks hand in hand with me, nodding to everyone who sees…

She’s with me.

_____________

Isaiah 43:1 – But now, this is what the Lord says— … I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

The Middle.

As a first child, this really isnt my struggle, but I understand that there is a belief on how the family structure works: the first child being perceived the trend setter, caretaker of all, the one who sets the standards and paves the way, without the pressure of comparison because they are first; the last child is usually considered the baby, receiver of all ridiculous favors and the one with whom the parents are most linient; middle child(ren) well noone talks about them, they’re basically just like the meh in the Emoji movie. Unappreciated. The middle child gets very little attention, or so they say, little responsibility and hardly any recognition. Maybe its a middle thing, because I got curious and checked all the gospels to find that; there is plenty to be said about Day 1 (the cruxifiction) and even more hype, rightfully, on Day 3 (the resurrection) but noone seems to pay any attention to Day 2 (the middle). But God seemed to find it relevant enough to rest it in my heart so here goes how much revelation I got while washing my dishes late at night (we already covered the Extraordinary God, Ordinary Places I believe, I digress).

I understand the value, believe me: chief sinner and born rebel, I’m all for Day 1 and Day 3. I’m constantly going back to the cross; head bowed from the weight of guilt, shoulders dropping from shame, thirsting for the cleansing blood that flowed from the heart of a loving Savior. And on the days where the devil is fighting me, I rely on the victory of resurrection morning, drawing strength from the rolled back rock and the folded linen to roll back the boulders that stand in the way of my destiny and folding the cloth of my past self and leaving it in the tomb of worldiness that I once made my home.

But some days arent so eventful, somedays I’m simply making my bed, doing laundry, going to class and trying hard to smile at the whole world. Somedays there are no ceremonies celebrating my adoption to the family of Christ, somedays there are no dreams of heaven, some days I sing and my heart doesn’t shift, somedays feel a lot like day 2.

I figure that all of life : the middle, the inbetween of our time of salvation and our point of elevation come death or rapture, is pretty day 2. Its just the most basic of life, it’s mandane and simingly unimportant. But on Day 3 Jesus arose in victory over death, grave and sin, and Day 1 he took his roadtrip to darkness through death, I’m guessing the battle went down on day 2. When everyone had moved on from the drama of crucification and was going back to their own lives, when all life went back to normal and noone was paying attention, Christ was fighting for our lives and showing His glory to the elements that bind us, He was breaking our chains ahead of time and clearing the Way in which we should go before we even started walking, He was at work.

So I just want to let it be known that there is nothing wrong with fighting battles behind the curtain of the rock before its rolled back on judgement day to show all our efforts  and victories for the Lord. I have felt a little ignored when I managed to discipline myself to a full seven days of fasting for the first time and there was no parade. When for the first time I fired David-sized stones to the devil when he tried my patience, my very first deliberate battle and noone gave me a crown. I’ve been discouraged when there are no spotlights when I whisper a song to God right before I get up just to beg Him for strength to get through the day. Sometimes I’ve been a real baby about overcoming a past sin and noone throws me a party to celebrate my broken chains.

But the battle of Day two was shown in the breakout on Day three. So maybe I get to celebrate my own wins, pat myself on the back for rejecting the familiar call from my old self. Maybe holding on to the hope of Day three is enough to take me through Day two. But I’m done taking my day two for granted.

Day two is my story, day two is my journey. And I will travel it gratefully and joyfully, every micro step of the Way.

Doorstep Delivery.

Psalm 100:4 – Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.

I attended a Prayer Vigil last night (19.10.2018.) and the theme was Thanksgiving and Testimonies; so obviously because we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the words of our testimonies, before we began praying we needed to make it clear just what we were thanking God for so everyone took a number and took turns to share what the Lord had done in their lives. I have to say God has been working overtime because everyone had so much to say that they had to cut the testimonies short to get on with the program. So I didn’t get a turn, I didn’t mind actually because while everyone was testifying I was taking inventory of all the things that God has been doing in my life. Because He is so amazing and really loves to splurge on His children, I knew I didnt have time to share it all but I was also caught on what was the most relevant testimony that deserved to be shared. But time redeemed me and I didnt have to worry about it anymore. So we went on with the program, we sang, we prayed, Oh man we prayed. As we worshipped, I prayed and on my heart God showed me something that broke me to tears and I could not carry it in my heart, I was prompted to ask the Pastor for just a few minutes to share what God had just revealed to me, but I was a coward, so I didn’t. Today, I read a quote by Martin Luther King; There comes a time when silence is betrayal. I believe that time is now, if I dont say this now I will be betrayain the Lord’s goodness in my life, so I’m here to testify.

He who does not know, does not know that he does not know, what he does not know.

This is how my life was before Christ and I became acquainted; I lived recklessly, carefree, with some delusion of freedom. I was one of those who was rebellious, stubborn and would go the whole way just to prove a point, I danced to noones drum and challenged authority for no other reason than to show them that they didn’t know it all. I thought I did – know it all – I thought I was ahead of my time and the rest of the world was playing catch up. But He is a God who uses the simple things to shame the wise, even if all that wisdom was all in my head. But last night God showed me this:

Matthew 7:7 – Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door shall be opened unto you.

Revelation 3:20 – Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person and they with Me.

I saw a stubborn girl, with good grades, a stable relationship on an unstable foundation with a dream of a boy, I was conquering college just how I planned to. I was satisfied, happy even, I wasn’t looking for more, didn’t think I needed it. Then an unexpected visitor showed up and shook the foundation I thought I had under me. He asked questions I didn’t have answers to, challenged my so-called wisdom and left me blank, then He went back and filled in every unanswered question with Himself, to show that the end of me was His very beginning. His name was Jesus.

He loved me so much that He gave me an open invitation to race to His front door where He promised to always be there to open it, to always lead me when I’m lost, to always provide when I ask. But He loved me a step further and in the realization that I didnt have the good sense to seek Him on my own, that I did’nt know what I needed therfore I wasnt asking, that I did’nt know that I was lost therfore I wasnt seeking. He raced from heaven, through the cross and to the front door of my heart, a journey from Matthew 7:7 to Revelation 3:20 . He arrived, Christ on delivery, without invitation. Since He entered my heart, He has been feeding me the bread of life, which I take down with living water from a cup that wont run dry.

Now, I wont advice the world to sit in their homes and approach the relationship with God lazilly. I will not advice anyone not to seek His kingdom or not to go knocking in the grave for Christ to show Himself from the outside, because He will have mercy on He will have mercy, and my story is not everyone’s story, my measure of grace not the same as the next person’s. But I have been blessed, favored, I’ve been given more than my share, given a gift of freedom that I have not earned and I will be robbing the Lord of His glory if I do not share it with the world, how good He’s been to me.

I was in church, on a Friday night, a place I would’nt have thought of being two years back, I look in the mirror sometimes and I dont recognize the girl I see. She looks nothing like me, but that is the newness of self, the truth of:

For it is nolonger I who lives, but Christ who lives in me.

That, is my testimony.

 

Extraordinary God, Ordinary Places.

I’ve been a recluse for most of my life; that’s because brutal honesty, an inappropriate sense of humor and stubborn facial expressions dont really do much for a person in terms of making friends. Anyway, the Holy Spirit has filed most of my rough edges into form by now and I’m less of a loner, but still pretty reserved. For that reason, I usually had noone else to turn to for expert advice other than myself, so I paid a hefty chunk of my twenty four hours to my mirror for self therapy ( I don’t know how much good that did me ). Then salvation knocked on my door and it came apparent that there was a Big God sitting on a Big Throne some distance beyond the sun (or debatably in my heart) who was so concerned about every little thing in my life that He would descend the staircase from heaven, meet me on my bedroom floor, listen to me vent, tear a piece of His precious heavenly garment to wipe my every tear and just sit right next to me holding me tight until I didn’t feel so terrible anymore.

So my friendship with the Holy Spirit began and the more I understood the essence of prayer and finally ripped through the boxes I had put God in, I had a new therapy buddy. Since my former method involved me talking to myself, I had no problem doing all the talking, since technically my new therapy buddy wasn’t much of talker (or so i thought) and all I really wanted was someone who cared enough to listen and He did. Does. Until such a time came when I started experiencing problems I had never encountered before; because new life, new problems right? Anyway, at this point I became terribly desperate for God to be a physical being on a couch across from my puddle of tears, sipping heavenly tea and providing audible solutions and conclusions to my many problems, but He wasn’t. Instead He was a still small voice whispering to me, “you are worried about many things, but indeed only One thing is needed…choose the better part Kundi,” He was a soft squeeze on my heart, He was a rush of peace at 3am when I started to wish I had a cuddle buddy, He was there, talking and responding and I missed Him for so long. Once He opened my eyes to this, I got really excited and started deliberately seeking Him at every corner in my everyday and man I’ve seen so many faces of God since.

I’ve learnt, and have loved doing so, that God is not just God in the thunder and lighting and firey clouds on Mount Sinai, that He isn’t always a whirlwind carrying Elijah’s chariot into heaven, or a flood sweeping all evil out of the earth, sometimes He’s a new born baby with no room at the inn, sometimes He’s a servant king carrying a cross that is not even His own, and sometimes He is me losing my keys so that Im delayed thirty minutes and dont have to bump into my ex boyfriend around the corner, sometimes He’s the right combination of words on Google search that leads me to the page that pretty much answers my whole assignment. I’m just saying, God is so real and sometimes so basic that if we dont recognize His hand over our lives, we can easily miss Him.

I’ve been studying the Book of Exodus and just when I was about to skip the parts I considered irrelevant, the Holy Spirit scolded me and showed me that every word, comma and fullstop in the Bible is there for a reason, He was right, because in those verse I saw:

“Make the ephod of gold, and of blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and of finely twisted linen—the work of skilled hands. It is to have two shoulder pieces attached to two of its corners, so it can be fastened. Its skillfully woven waistband is to be like it—of one piece with the ephod and made with gold, and with blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and with finely twisted linen.
Exodus 28:6‭-‬8God, the designer.

Make fifty loops along the edge of the end curtain in one set and also along the edge of the end curtain in the other set. Then make fifty bronze clasps and put them in the loops to fasten the tent together as a unit. As for the additional length of the tent curtains, the half curtain that is left over is to hang down at the rear of the tabernacle.
Exodus 26:10‭-‬12God of decor.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Take fragrant spices—gum resin, onycha and galbanum—and pure frankincense, all in equal amounts, and make a fragrant blend of incense, the work of a perfumer. It is to be salted and pure and sacred. Grind some of it to powder and place it in front of the ark of the covenant law in the tent of meeting, where I will meet with you. It shall be most holy to you.
Exodus 30:34‭-‬36God, the perfumer.

I actually saw God reveal Himself as so many other things in these texts and I was amazed at how well-rounded our God is, not only in breathing out oceans and light and stars, but in the most mandane things such as baking, sewing, decorating. This got me real excited because that means that when I’m losing my mind over how to tweak a Pinterest recipe to make it my own, I can call on the God of heaven to be my co-chef; and when the time comes and my baby girl needs a costume for a costume party, I can sit down and consult God – my assistant designer to help me out. All I’m saying here, is God is not too far away, He is very present and very eager to be involved in every part of our daily lives, even the smallest bits we wouldn’t otherwise think He would descend from heaven for. He will. He sure has for me.

I guess God really meant it when He told Moses “I am that I am.” Because he is so much more than I thought He was, and so much more than I’ve discovered. He can be anyone/anything for everyone, at anytime, as long as we choose to call Him to the party.

So start dialing!

Faith, Like 4C Hair!

I recently took the Enneagram Personality Test, and before I get into this, I just want it to be known that I believe that I am all those types, I just lean heavily towards specific ones on certain days and in certain situations. On the day I took the test though, it would appear I was leaning towards my Type 5ness, needing to be knowledgable to survive. I tried hard to challenge this, but after several hours of self evaluation and an A-class counselling session between me and my mirror, I decided the results were’nt altogether false. I do have a strong need to know things and I am driven by accomplishment, I like to win. Unfortunately I carried this same energy into my faith and God had to knock that need to know everything out of my system. It’s safe to say He’s still knocking, but we’ve made enough progress for me to admit it publicly and talk about it, so that’s something.

Apart from being a know-it-all, another thing I’m passionate about is my hair, my natural 4C African Kinky hair that I take pride in. I’ll tell you a little something about my hair; it doesnt flow down to my shoulders, it doesnt flow at all, it likes challenging my comb everytime I try to look presentable, it refuses to retain moisture and it looks, today, the same way it did when I cut it. It’s beautiful, but it is unbelievably frustrating. So anyway, I undid my hair extensions recently and before I washed my hair, whilst it was still stretched out from the hairdo, I realized how much it had grown. Then I washed it, because that is the logical thing to do after hosting foreign objects in your hair for about three weeks, right? Anyway, right after I shampooed it, it shrunk back down and all that growth disappeared with it.

Now before you think I’ve become a natural hair blogger, I just want to show you what my gorgeously stressful hair revealed to me about my growth in this walk of faith. I like reading the Bible, because I feel like I have more power when I know more, yet when it comes to God, it feels like there’s always something new. I read and read, but there’s always more to learn, which frustrates me because it feels like there’s no sense of accomplishment in any of it. So it is with my growth, I fight battles and win and right before I finish celebrating my victory, it seems as though I’m right in the middle of another battle, it feels like I keep moisturing my faith and still it shrinks back down. But my hair taught me that just because my growth isnt evident in the length of my hair, doesnt mean it isnt there. Once in a while, God or a hot iron will stretch it out to reval the length, but otherwise it’s a broken seed germinating underground. It taught me that hair growth isnt always about length (how much verses I can recite off head, how many dragons from my past I can slay) sometimes its simply in the fact that my volume has increased, my baby hairs are flourishing and my hair is more moisturized today than it was yesterday (which it is). Sometimes growth looks like learning to study your Bible without being pushed to do so, It’s in learning to pray for others and not just yourself, its in minding what you say, its in watching what you wear or listen to or watch more closely than you did before. Sometimes growth isnt in the obvious things, sometimes growth is hidden in shrunken hair after a wash, but it doesnt mean it isnt there.

Thing is though, for as long as we are planted in God’s garden and are being watered by the living waters that flow from the fountain of life, we can be guranteed to be fruitful. Our growth is a given, it just doesnt always show in the things we would prefer, but sometimes flowering is a sign of growth even though there isnt any fruit yet. Here’s what I know, my hair is longer today than it was when I cut it (I can tie a puff in the middle of my head, trust me its a milestone) just as my faith is stronger today than it as the day I surrendered to Christ. It does’nt have to look that way to be true, I guess that where Faith comes in.

2nd Corinthians 9:10 – Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness…

Presence!

I’m sitting here:

too early into the morning, too late into the night,

holding myself a little too tight.

Feeling more alone than I actually am,

because I’m surrounded by I am.

He is the song that my heart beats to,

The heart in everything I do.

He is the light kiss in August’s wind,

He’s the overwhelming peace within.

He is the spark in mama’s eyes,

He is the hand that paints the skies.

He is stitched in every cell of the skin that I wear,

the attentive hand that catches my every tear.

He is the warmth in the embrace of a friend,

He is the string behind a helping hand.

He is the hope in the sunrise,

The bed in which my faith lies.

He is the weight that grounds me here;

inhabiting every molecule in the atmosphere.

He is the force behind the waves of the ocean,

He is every word that has ever been spoken.

Just like the coffee cup on my nightstand – He is visible,

Like the echo of my voice, very audible.

A King above all others, in all His undeniable magnificence,

chooses me and finds me of sufficient relevance,

to lend me an eternal supply of His overwhelming presence.

Covered by the dimness of night I finally see Him clear,

In the ordinary, in the everyday things, He is always HERE.