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Ins and Outs: Devotional #12 (Mini-Series Intro)

A few posts ago, I mentioned that I started exercising. When first I started going to the gym, I became attentive to what I ate. Not with a calorie-counting obsession, but with a mindfulness of what was the best for me and what would help me be productive in the gym.

I’m learning that going to the gym is not all it takes to be fit and healthy. It’s not only a matter of what I burn, but is a matter of what I bring in to my body as well. I think this is a brilliant illustration of the life we’re called to in Jesus. The bible says to throw off our new nature, but to also put on the whole armour of God. We are told that the old has passed and behold, the new has come. Jesus constantly told his disciples and the crowds that listened to him preach to both forsake AND to follow. 

22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.

Ephesians 4:22-24

Faith really IS a two-way street.

In Matthew 6, Jesus says;

22 “Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. 23 But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!

Today, I am mindful of the ins and outs of my faith. Of what I consume. Of what I let in. Over the next four weeks, I’m going to dedicate my focus to four thematic aspects I notice in this.

  1. Throw if Off: Getting rid of our old nature.
  2. Put It On: Putting on our new nature in Christ Jesus.
  3. Taking in: You are what you eat.
  4. Letting it Out: What goes in must come out.

I hope you’ll journey with me!

Have a blessed week.

Featured image from here.



you will die

Priscilla Takondwa:

No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From a life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny

No power of hell, no scheme of man
Could ever pluck me from His hand
Til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I stand

~In Christ Alone



Originally posted on the book of miriam:

Many weeks ago, I attended the funeral service of a young woman who I had very briefly known. She was a good friend to some close friends, and I accompanied them to pay their last respects. My experience at the funeral service, however, stayed with me for many days to come, as I mulled over the words the pastor shared during the memorial.

For one, his sermon was very straight talking, in some ways, too straight talking, I felt, especially for individuals mourning the sudden demise of a loved one. “Are you ready to die?” He asked the congregation. “Are you ready to die too soon? You will die.” He discussed theology that I had never considered before, stating that we remain in a sort of unconscious limbo until Christ’s return. We don’t go to heaven immediately. We ‘sleep’ till then. “When Christ returns and she is resurrected,” he said…

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Not-So-Devotional #11

I haven’t been on social media for 16 days and this weekend, I’ve been especially thankful for the fact. It has allowed me to sit quietly with the news of chaos, without the dissonance of well-meaning opinions and criticisms. It has allowed me to notice my reactions. To be silent and still. To make mistakes in my judgement and acknowledge them. To own my ignorance on matters that are far more complicated than I have the knowledge to comprehend. It has made me experience the feelings: the anger, the fear, the frustration.

This weekend has been a whole host of different things for different people.Some mourn. Some remain confused and apprehensive. Some, while grateful at the information they receive, are frustrated at the media (social and otherwise) and its apparent selectivity in crisis- in its choosiness over who is worth being mourned and who isn’t. Some remain angry over this frustration. Some remain withdrawn- still trying hard to make sense of other equally recent tragedies so that feasibly, they cannot yet begin to deal with the most recent catastrophe. Some are on the streets, occupied in protest for their own lives and those of their people. Mothers mourn. And yet more mothers, elsewhere, wonder why the deaths of their children were met with no impassioned reaction.

For me, this weekend has been a giant question mark, an exclamation point, and an ellipsis. I suppose everyone who has heard of this is doing their best to make meaning of the chaos that unfolded, as well as the reactions that have erupted as a result of it. It takes the shape of lengthy rants for some, and it takes the shape of silent retreat for others.

This weekend, I have made criticisms. I have passed judgement. I have gone through bouts of frustration, and I have lost it over the dispensableness of some lives as compared to others.

This weekend, I have been humbled. I have been slapped in the face with the reality that very real people are gone, and very real people are mourning.

I have been angry some more that the others are very real people, too.

I have seen a name scroll across the screen followed by the words “A student studying abroad in Paris for the semester,” and been reminded of my own status as a student abroad, and of the friends I have all over the globe.

I have been annoyed.

I have put it away from my mind to sit with all of it later.

I don’t know how I feel. I offer no criticisms any longer. I am still, and I am silent. I am aware of the myriad of places in turbulent circumstances- far above and beyond, and including Paris. I am saddened. I am observant. I am aware of what I know God’s word says about all of this. 

But above all, consistently, and prevailingly, for reasons I do not know, I am reminded of the following scripture, and this is all I have today by way of a devotional.

He heals the brokenhearted
    and bandages their wounds.

Psalm 147:3N

That is the God we serve.

Be strengthened. Trust in the LORD.

Have a good week.

Featured Image from here.


What’s Important to You? Devotional #10

This past week, I did something I have never done before. I rolled out of bed early in the morning, pulled on my leggings and hardly worn trainers and I hit the gym. Some minutes after 7 o’clock, I was hard at work getting my blood pumping. Believe me when I say I was on that treadmill like white on rice.

Monday, I walked around feeling like the baddest boss there ever was. Tuesday I was sorely limping around campus. Wednesday my aching thigh muscles left me walking around like a gestating elephant. Thursday and I was starting to feel a bit like Beyonce. Friday and I was lifting my shirt up before my mirror convinced that I could see some rock-hard abs forming. (But really, though! Where my tablettes de chocolat were at?)

Yesterday, while skyping my friend Alheri, I shared with her how proud I was to have completed an entire week in the gym without fail. I told her how good it felt to have been consistent, and how addictive it is already proving to be. The conversation shifted to something else and after a while we fell into our occasional silence.

“How is your devotional time with God going?” she asked me simply.

My answer was a jumble of uhms and likes and euphemisms. We didn’t dwell on the subject for too long, but the moment she asked that question, albeit casually, I was plunged into reflection that has spilled over into today.

I was so proud to boast about my physical exercise. I am coming to place importance on how well I take care of myself, and how I steward my physical body, so I was very happy about this. However, the moment Alheri asked me that question, it all seemed extremely futile to me. In that moment, and onwards, a question has been ringing in my head.

What is Important to Me?

The way that I see it, this is a question that can be answered in examining the things that I invest myself in. While I think it’s a little bit impractical to say that my love for God should be reflected proportionally, i.e. in the amount of time I spend reading my bible, praying or serving in the church vs the amount of time I spend doing other things, I think that the level of discipline and commitment I channel to my relationship with God speaks volumes. It speaks volumes about who I am, and what/who my heart beats for.

Isn’t it so easy to get caught up, and completely enraptured by so many things that sound so incredibly important that we neglect our very relationship with God? That time with him is time left-over from other activities? A maybe that may or may not materialize?

In thinking about all this, I read Matthew 6:19-23.  In the first part Jesus said;

19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

I always say that my faith in God is the most important part of my life, but if it doesn’t seem to be reflected in the way that my priorities are laid out, then something is off. More, in reflecting about what the bible places importance on, I seem to be falling incredibly short.

How thankful I am of God’s unending grace and mercy that catches me in moments like these. I have come to the conclusion that I want to be able to boast that I truly know God more than I want a ripped bod (ha!). There is absolutely nothing wrong with sweating in the gym, and I will carry on doing it, but nothing will take away the time I spend in communion with the Lord.

36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? 37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Mark 8:36 (KJV)

Friends, let us set our minds on things above, and not on earthly things. The value of the lives we live exceeds how well we live in our physical bodies. These bodies, the earth, and everything in it will pass away. So let us grow in the Lord. Let us seek his face. The glorious thing is that he has promised never to leave us nor forsake us. He is with us even until the end of the ages.

I can never escape from your Spirit!
    I can never get away from your presence!
If I go up to heaven, you are there;
    if I go down to the grave,[a] you are there.
If I ride the wings of the morning,
    if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    and your strength will support me.
11 I could ask the darkness to hide me
    and the light around me to become night—
12     but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
    Darkness and light are the same to you.

Psalm 139:7-12 (NLT)

Have a fantastic week!

Featured Image from here.


Winter Is Coming

Yesterday, I decided to brave the slight chill in the air. I took these photos on the walk from church while my teeth were chattering, but I figured that I might as well since pretty soon the summer will become a social construct (and my bride-price with it, as I’ll walk around looking like a cocoon), so I indulged.

Winter is coming.

Taking Le Coat off.
The “Walks away” shot
Serving face
“Walks Away” shot 2.0
Inspiring maiden alone on a bench
Dat Pout
Dat Pout
Face Serving 2.0
Maiden sees bus approaching and thanks God it’s time to put the coat back on

Monday Devotional #9: A Mishmash of Prayings and Words

Today, I’m a little empty. My mind is starkly akin to those columns of coloured vertical bars that flashed at the start of grainy VCRs back in the day. All I can make legible sense of in this moment is my heart’s longings, and my deepest desires. So today, this is my offering to you. I wrote this as I reflected about where I want to go, and how I want to grow. My “devotional” today is therefore my prayer for you and myself as I sat in contemplation.

May you be strengthened.

I pray that God restores the joy of your salvation. That His workings become unambiguous to you. That you stand in awe of his mercy and enraptured by his love. That you be strong through his discipline, and faithful through toil.

That you get to the place in your faith where you can boast that you truly know God. That you hear his voice. That you remain surefooted in the face of adversity. That it dawns on you how greatly you are loved. That your vision of God will be no less than who He is. That you will have your hunger reawakened, your passion refueled, your zeal reenergized. That you will stop running, if that running is drawing you away. That you will stop gazing on longingly from a distance and draw near. That you will plunge in, unafraid. That you will recognize His glory. That you will be consumed in His unwavering, immeasurable love for you. That you will grow in this truth that you were taught. 

That you will speak life. That you will know who God is, and who you are. That you will be taken completely aback by new revelations. That you will trust God to comfort you. That you will keep your eyes fixed on Him. That he will become your obsession. That you will love as He loves, and give as He gives. That you will be thankful for the freedom He gives. That you will see the world through his eyes. That you will have His wisdom. That you will be a city on a hill, a lamp unhidden

That you will no longer be ashamed. That you will no longer be bound. That you will realize what Christ’s death and resurrection means for you. That you will heal. That you will grow. That you will love. That you will have life to its fullest. That you will become bold and unafraid. That you will pray. That you will listen. That you will hear. That you will put yourself away. That you will read His word with clarity and divine understanding. That you will realize the brevity of this life, and the grandeur of eternity. That you will chase after God’s heart. 

That you will be attentive to his voice. That you will not just hear His word and so deceive yourself, but that you will do what it says. That you will grow. That you will wait on him. That you will take heart. That you will have the courage and strength to throw off the things that He requires you to. That you will have your mind set on things above. That you will be fully alive in Him. That you will find meaning and purpose in Him. That you will act on your faith. That you will love like Christ. 

That you will listen and obey. That words like ‘sin’ and ‘love’ and ‘heaven’ and ‘miracles’ will have meaning to you again. That you will know God, and truly know God.

That you will see Him.

That you will love Him.

That you will seek Him, and that you will find him. 

Revelation 3:1-3 NLT “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Sardis. This is the message from the one who has the sevenfold Spirit of God and the seven stars: “I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive—but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God. Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. Repent and turn to me…

Rev 3:8 “I know all the things you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one can close. You have little strength, yet you obeyed my word and did not deny me. Look, I will force those who belong to Satan’s synagogue—those liars who say they are Jews but are not—to come and bow down at your feet. They will acknowledge that you are the ones I love.

10 “Because you have obeyed my command to persevere, I will protect you from the great time of testing that will come upon the whole world to test those who belong to this world. 11 I am coming soon.[d] Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take away your crown. 12 All who are victorious will become pillars in the Temple of my God, and they will never have to leave it. And I will write on them the name of my God, and they will be citizens in the city of my God—the new Jerusalem that comes down from heaven from my God. And I will also write on them my new name…

15 “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! 16 But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! 17 You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. 18 So I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see. 19 I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.

20 “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. 21 Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne.

22 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.”

Have a blessed week!

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