OPERATION: MIND THE BINUSU

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A lot has been said and written about wealth and financial resource but I find one story in Genesis chapter 41 quite intriguing. This young guy named Joseph has been through hell on earth and back. He thought he had a glimpse of his bright future but the dreams disappear in thin air when his brothers sell him off into slavery. A glimmer of hope – gaining favor while working for Potiphar for whom he had interpreted a dream – is cut off when Potiphar’s wife accuses him of attempted rape.

To cut the long story short, Joseph winds up before Pharoah from yet another prison; again to interprete a dream. God honors him with an opportunity to speak incredible wisdom to Pharoah, the kind which eventually saved the nation. By what I believe was God’s ordaining, Pharoah appoints Joseph second in command to himself ensuring that he in charge of implementing this directive.

What follows is nothing short amazing!

47 Now in the seven plentiful years the ground brought forth abundantly. 48 So he gathered up all the food of the seven years which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities; he laid up in every city the food of the fields which surrounded them. 49 Joseph gathered very much grain, as the sand of the sea, until he stopped counting, for it was immeasurable.

Genesis 41:47-49 (NKJV)

Can you imagine that scenario?

The one common thread in all financial literacy programs is the need to set aside a portion of one’s income for investment. This recommended percentage usually varies on average between 10-20% which allows one to have room for meeting daily needs. Three things stand out for me in Joseph’s story;

  1. Joseph recommended a 20% saving and a specific period in which Pharoah was to follow this saving plan.

34 Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, to collect one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt in the seven plentiful years. 

  1. Joseph had a specific system in place for the saving plan.

35 And let them gather all the food of those good years that are coming, and store up grain under the authority of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. 

  1. Joseph had a specific reason for the saving;

36 Then that food shall be as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which shall be in the land of Egypt, that the land may not perish during the famine.”

I do believe with all my heart that there is a place of such abundance that it is no longer necessary to count. However, we need to recognize that there are years of counting behind the scenes. Years of faithfulness with the resources God gives us, whether a little or much. It is true that there are fundamental disciplines we need to observe in order to reap the best, disciplines like tithe, first fruits and giving. That said, there is a place of faithfulness, consistency, and sheer discipline with our finances. Many of us will listen to teachings on finances and get quite excited. We will go for that seminar, read the book, listen to the preacher, play like cash flow with friends, etc. We leave determined to put into practice whatever it is that we learnt from the experience. Then after a few days, weeks and months, we lose the gusto for different reasons.

Here are a few questions to ponder on from Joseph’s story;

# Do I have a specific percentage you are setting aside for saving?

#Do I have a specific period during which I am going to be saving?

# Are my reasons for saving very clear?

# Do I have systems (however basic in place which I am following? Who am I accountable to? Who is overseeing this project (accountability), where does the money go (bank account?) and how often?

22 Though you grind a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain,
Yet his foolishness will not depart from him.

23 Be diligent to know the state of your flocks,
And attend to your herds;
24 For riches are not forever,
Nor does a crown endure to all generations.
25 When the hay is removed, and the tender grass shows itself,
And the herbs of the mountains are gathered in,
26 The lambs will provide your clothing,
And the goats the price of a field;
27 You shall have enough goats’ milk for your food,
For the food of your household,
And the nourishment of your maidservants.

Proverbs 27:22-27

 

#MIND THE BINUSU

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HELPER: The Power of Womanhood

Bride and Groom

Over the years I have grown to love attending wedding services because every time I do, I get a refresher on an element concerning marriage. Last Saturday, July 1, 2017 I attended the wedding service of one of the young girls Chris and I have been discipling closely for the last six months. Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi both officiated and preached at the service. He is one of those personalities whose demeanor calls for attention even before he opens his mouth so needless to say, I was all ears.

He spoke about five attributes of love from the famous 1 Corinthians 13 but what struck me hard was a reference he made to the story of creation of man in the book of Genesis. He brought to our attention the fact that Eve was brought to Adam, literally on a silver plate. This was after God declared in verse 18 of chapter 2;

“It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.

The quotation threw my mind on a journey of reflection over my role as a helper. Unfortunately the word helper has become synonymous with a “less than” connotation and yet there is such power in the role. Something else we seem to skip over is the fact that following closely is the little yet powerful word “comparable”. The dictionary meaning of the word “comparable” is  a person or thing able to be likened to another; similar. This implies that the woman is likened, akin to, equivalent, similar to the man. In their creator’s view, the women are in no way less than the men. That said, at the point of her creation the woman’s role was crystal clear! To be a helper.

What does this mean for you and I? What does that even look like in real life? A good place to start is to examine your husband’s life purpose. Then find ways in which you can compliment and support him in order to make him shine in his purpose.

“The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain.” Proverbs 31:11

I find that when I embrace my role as a helper to my husband (aide, teammate, coworker, associate, colleague, partner, right hand woman), there is an indescribable surge of power in the home! My husband is gifted with thinking big picture while I automatically think details. I cannot begin to tell you how many times we have frustrated each other in conversation because as he is painting the big picture I am busy interrupting with the details which disrupt his trail of thought. And then I end up being angry because in my world, I am thinking he is being irrational by not putting all the details into consideration before he goes off into his dream world! However, on the times I have chosen to think of myself as a helper, it has been so peaceful and productive I wonder why I do not stay in that mode all the time! In such a case I would listen to his incredible ideas without interrupting, give it a few hours and then get back to him with the same idea put under the microscope of my excel tendencies. It always works. I am more pleasant and he is willing to listen!

“Her husband is known in gates, when he sits among the elders of the land.” Proverbs 31:23

Being your husband’s helper does not make you less than him. On the contrary, in this role lies the real power of womanhood. Just imagine your husband shining bright and deep joy knowing that even when they may not acknowledge it, you contributed heavily to the product the world is experiencing. And the beauty is you too will shine in the process.

HELPER! The Power of Womanhood.

 

 

 

 

WHAT DO YOU SEE: The Power of a Name

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“Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished.

19 Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name.

Genesis 2:1, 19

When my husband and I were preparing for the birth of our children, we went through great lengths to find names for both these precious people. We went on the internet to find names that described what we were feeling in our hearts about them. For the firstborn, we were based our decision on the fact that firstborns in the old testament bible times were dedicated to God. Hence, Lemuel– Hebrew name meaning ‘Dedicated to God’. Then came the second child. As we pondered on what she would be called, friends of ours visited us and jokingly mentioned that since both parents are worship leaders, this child should be named Worship. And boom!!! The idea settled in our hearts and she got to be named Sinza – Luganda word meaning ‘Worship’. In the years that have followed, I see a continuous fulfillment of their names daily. At the age of 11, Lemuel is serving as an instrumentalist on the church worship team, he is mindful of people, justice is important, volunteers once in a while with children’s church, is innovative, has never broken a bone (even when they say boys will be boys, they will break bones)and many other things.  At 8, Sinza is singing soprano on the music team, writing songs, does vocal and lyrical practice independently, and is leading people older than herself.

God invites us to co-create with Him. He did not need Adam to do the naming because after all, the work of creation had been completed. But then, He goes ahead and brings each living creature to Adam ‘to see what he would call them’! It almost feels like a test of sorts to me. It seems as if God is checking what Adam’s perspective and thinking is concerning the creature. The last part of verse 19, confirms that He (God) is posing a question to Adam, ‘What do you see?’;

‘And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name.’

A name is a powerful thing; a declaration of what someone, something or situation will be. When we receive children at birth, adoption or otherwise, God gives us a clean slate. Everything is else is set for the child – limbs, eyes, ears, nose, internal organs, etc. Only the name is missing! He is waiting to see what we shall name them; what we shall choose to declare over this child for the rest of their lives. Whatever we choose to name them is what they will be!

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit.”

Proverbs 18:21

God has given us the privilege of co-creating with Him in naming. Whether it is a child, an event, a health condition, or a situation; whatever you call it, it shall be.

 

A Call to Die

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“Right at the center of the word obedience is the word die: OBE-DIE-NCE.
Doris Mayoli
#FearlessSummit2017

God is calling us to radical obedience. This is a call to die. Dead people have no will, no thoughts, no preferences, no rights, no opinions to offer in an argument, no nothing! To say yes to this Call to die is To give up my own life that He will live His through me.

What does this look like in real life? This looks like giving up my own preconceived ideas of what my life ought to look like and embracing His plan for my life. After all, “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

The beauty with saying yes to this call to die is a simple yet rather powerful factor called multiplication. Every seed knows that left alone in a beautiful center piece basket is not to maximize it’s already inherent potential. A farmer knows it is insanity to celebrate the kilograms or tonnes of seed he owns years in, years out! He must plant to get double, triple, times 30, 60 and sometimes 100 fold!!!

Is the call to die a risk? Oh yes it is!!! What if the rains do not come? What if the sun shines too hard? What if the pests come and wipe out my garden? What if the thieves come and harvest my yield in the middle of the night? What if the markets are not giving me the appropriate price for my harvest? What if? What if? What if?

But what if it the opposite? What if you succeed? What if the rains are just enough? What if the sun shines only when it should? What if you have the best season ever? What if He rebukes the devourer from your gardens? What if you get a bumper harvest? What if your seed yields 100 fold? What if the market gives you a ridiculous price for your yield? What if? What if? What if? You see, you will never know until your plant that seed!

This is a call to radical obedience, a call to die! To say yes to this call is to yield to the possibility of Multiplying yourself 10 fold, 20 fold, 30, 60 or even 100 fold. What would it look like to have a million people just like you? On this discipleship journey, we are called first to Come and see, then we graduate to Come and follow. Friends, we are no longer babes. The time has come. It is now time to COME AND DIE.

Let Go and Let God! Take a risk. Take a step of faith. Take that leap. Take that jump. It will be worth it. Yours will be one of those referred to as A life well lived.

Birthing the Dream

Woman in Labor

I had been told that when the time came, I needed to be walking to and fro as much as possible. Being quite literal, that’s exactly what I did. On that morning, my husband Chris and I went for the routine morning walk in preparation for delivery. A pain kept presenting after every ten minutes but I ignored it. After all, it felt like the usual crumps accompanying the monthly cycle every woman goes through. This was not new at all! Of course Chris wanted us to go to the hospital immediately but I reminded him rather firmly that the experts said first pregnancy labor took hours, sometimes up to 48 hours. I was not willing to go spend my precious time in a hospital for all that time.

I paced the whole day up until about 5pm when I thought it a good idea to go to our good friends’ house and play piano as a way of distracting myself from the discomfort. (Laughable in retrospect!) Just before we left the house, my waters broke! Just like that. No words can appropriately describe the 4 hours that followed.  The baby was coming out, hook or crook. My husband drove like a madman through the traffic and I still wanted him to speed up. On arrival at the hospital, the nurse announced that I was going through what is called precipitated labor, the kind that progresses real fast from 0 to 10 cm dilation. With every birth pang, the strength that was going through my body is the kind Chris says could move a stuck truck! I remember during the delivery of our second child, I carried Chris and the doctor with both my hands off the floor!

On both occasions, after much sweat, screams, broken toilet seats, no more covering for privacy, midwife pressing my upper tummy to aid the child’s delivery, doctor’s orders, lots of blood, stitches, name it, the ordeal ended. Thankfully, it ended with a child in arms, joy indescribable from relief that it was finally over and looking forward to the fact that now I could sleep comfortably through the night. Well, details of what happens after in the next episode.

Every one of us has a dream, never mind that our gestation periods are quite varied. Irrespective of how long you have nursed this idea, when it is time for the dream to be delivered, that’s it. A couple of things in my experience giving birth to children seem to be a direct parallel to the process of birthing dreams. Let’s draw some comparisons.

  1. A sense of agitation. When it is time to deliver, a woman will pace, sit, stand, bend, lie down, wash dishes, scrub the floor; name it. Some even rearrange the house, cook, pack and repack the hospital bag that had already been packed for weeks! There is just a sense of agitation. Nothing seems to settle or satisfy.

Do you feel agitated? Do you feel dissatisfied? Do you feel like it is time to jump? Maybe it is time to birth that dream. You have brooded over the matter, prayed, perhaps even fasted and now, it is time to push it out!

  1. Accelerated progress: With some exceptions, usually when it is time for a child to be born, the body system is designed to go through the delivery in a certain time period. In fact, beyond a couple of hours, the doctors will recommend a caesarean. The waters break, contractions kick into play and the usually composed woman suddenly becomes something else! She is bold, courageous and ready for the event. She is ready to push!

Your system is ready. You can feel a surge of energy flowing through you. It feels like there is no mountain insurmountable. All the blocks in the path appear conquerable! Suddenly, there is an inner courage that you have not experienced before. Everything around you fades. Both eyes are on the prize: The birth of the dream!

  1. Ready helping hands: The waters have broken and the contractions have kicked into play. Everyone around is suddenly in emergency mode. The baby is coming. Even the most unfriendly neighbor will get up from their closed curtains and get the woman to hospital. A taxi man will re-route and the passengers will be okay with it if a woman gets into sudden labor.

When it is time for your dream to be birthed, there are people who suddenly come to your service. They will stop their own programs, short and long term, to attend to you personally in whichever way they are able to at the moment. Some of them will do things they have never done before but they will do it anyway. Some people you will know personally and others not! Whichever way, the helping hands will be available.

  1. Professional helping hands: She arrives at the hospital. The receptionist quickly queues her in, the midwife and doctor on duty are informed. She is wheeled to the labor room which was ready for an incoming mother. When it came to the delivery moment, both my doctors said to me, “Lynnet, now the midwife is going to do her job!”. When it was all done, the doctors returned to do the stitching.

God has put in place professional people in to assist the delivery process of your dream. These are the people who know the ins and outs of what it is you have been dreaming of. They know what you are about to go through and they walk you through the process. On both occasions, I had a midwife literally push over my upper tummy as I gave my final push to have the baby out! They are there to push that dream out with you and clean up whichever messes may come along with it!

  1. Happily Thereafter: The baby is out. Everyone is celebrating. Messages are going around announcing the arrival of the bouncing baby. Flowers pour in. Guests are coming in and out. However, the mother now needs to learn how to feed (first time mothers) and a sense of being overwhelmed sometimes sets in. Yes, there is the relief of carrying this huge bump around but again, it is not as rosy as she had imagined. Colic effects, immunization appointments to keep up with, waking up in the night to feed, and sore breast tips are just a sneak peek into what the mother is experiencing! And this is just the beginning!

The dream has been born. You are excited! What you visualized has finally become reality. You have registered the company. The office is open. Word is out there. You wrote the music, went to studio, and now the album is out. You started that business, church, school, farming project, etc. You posted on face book and friends congratulated you. You are confident this is going to work out! Then suddenly, you are faced with the reality of nurturing this baby crying for everything ranging from hunger, heat, cold, and soiled diapers. It cries for everything! And you are thinking, how did I get myself here? You have mixed feelings because on one hand you are happy and on the other, you are so overwhelmed with the responsibility!

Can you imagine this is just the beginning? We are only at the point of birthing the dream and yet there are still years ahead of us to nurture the dream to maturity!

One Life. One Shot. Part 4/4

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# Embrace your WHO

To live a life that counts is to live a life of significance. A significant life is one that focuses on investing in others rather than in oneself. Houses, financial wealth, degrees, PHDs, accolades, awards, investments, and all sorts of achievements are for us all to attain. That said, it is important to note that we carry none of the above to our graves. What remains after we are long after we are gone are the lives we touch while we live.

I believe that we have all been given the grace to reach a specific group of people. Who are you assigned to?

“To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.” Ephesians 3:8

“(For He who worked effectively in Peter for the apostleship to the circumcised also worked effectively in me toward the Gentiles.) Galatians 2:8

Paul was over qualified for the Gentiles. He was circumcised on the eighth day, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews, concerning the law a Pharisee and blameless concerning the law. Yet all these things did not carry weight to the Gentiles to whom he was sent. On the other hand, Peter was under qualified for the Jews. He was an uneducated, unschooled, uncouth former fisherman whose mouth went off way before his mind processed his words and God sent him to people who highly valued being learned. Inspite of Paul’s over qualification and Peter’s under qualification, God worked EFFECTIVELY in both of them to reach the people they were assigned to. They each received grace for the assignment.

Do you know your WHO? WHO have you been given grace for? Not so long ago I realized that I have been given extra ordinary grace for children. Interestingly, many adults found me unapproachable (I have have come a long way in changing this story) yet children literally flock to me and it doesn’t matter the age. I know that I can reach all people- men and women in all sorts of fora but I know that in this period of my life, I am most effective as far as children are concerned. It is no wonder Harvest Academy is growing at breakneck speed from 22 students in our first year to 110 students in our third year! I carry a special grace for the assignment. Embrace your WHO. Whether you are under qualified or over qualified, God will work effectively in you for your assignment among your WHO.

The 4-process path to embracing your WHO: Know your WHO.  Love your WHO. Invest in your WHO. Celebrate your WHO.

Know your WHO. WHO have you been assigned to? Check the trends of your life. There are some cues.

Love your WHO. Paul would have preferred to be sent to the Jews because he was qualified for them bulungi but he was sent elsewhere. And he had to make that adjustment by coming down to their intellectual level, which was way lower than his in order to effectively reach them. Love your WHO.

Invest in your WHO. Invest time, money and resources in your WHO. It is the most rewarding feeling ever. It will take you miles.

Celebrate your WHO. What you celebrate grows. They will flock to you in droves if you celebrate them.

Remember: # You have one life to live. Make it count!

One Life. One Shot. Part 3/4

# Embrace your WHY

Whether by God or by man, every created thing has a purpose. If trees, birds, flowers, fish, herbs, land animals, beasts, cars,  houses, chairs, basins, cups, plates, forks, and saucepans have a purpose for which they were made, how much more YOU? The second step in making our lives count is embracing your WHY. Every inventor or creator goes about his job with a purpose of the creation and therefore begins with the end in mind.

Psalm 139:16

“My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret,

And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth”

Isaiah 43:7, 21

“Everyone who is called by My name, Whom I have created for My glory;

I have formed him, yes, I have made him.

 This people I have formed for myself; They shall declare My praise.”

Ephesians 2:10

“For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

We have each been custom designed and equipped for a specific achievement and purpose. There are good works that were prepared beforehand for us to walk in. He knows and calls you by name, He formed you for His own glory. Now we need to understand that the praise we bring to His name manifests differently in all of us because we have been created for varied purposes. I have three very good friends who come to mind as examples of purpose. When Angela Okullo begins to sing, all the listeners will agree there is a God in heaven. When Bee3 opens her mouth to teach, we all go, Oh mmmaaaeeennn!!! How can such a small woman be such a power house? She is designed for the job. If you don’t want to spill the beans of your life I advise that you never sit down to speak with Sarah Mukisa one-on-one. She has this uncanny way of listening with her whole being and all she is saying is “Mmmmhhh! Mmmmhhh!Mmmmhhhh!” and before you know it, you are healed of all emotional pain and you will definitely walk away praising the LORD!

Embrace your WHY. What is your purpose? Why do you exist? Why were you made? What is that one, two or three things you live for?

The 4-process path to embracing your WHY:

Know your WHY.  Love your WHY. Invest in your WHY. Celebrate your WHY.

Know your WHY: John C. Maxwell suggests that a good place to start in discovering your WHY is asking the following questions. What do you cry about? What do you sing about? What do you dream about? Rick Warren proposes that in finding your purpose, exploring one’s SHAPE would be helpful. SHAPE is an acrinySpiritual gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality and Experiences. It will not necessarily be a one off exercise but as you dig deeper you will eventually get to the bottom of it.

 

When you have found your WHY, love it. There is no point in competing with the rest of the world while you have your own race to run, your own lane to mind! Imagine the drama if you tried to sing like Angela, or speak like Bee3 or worse still, listen like Ary!!! It would be so sad.  Fall in love with your own WHY.

 

Then Invest in WHY you exist. Grow in your WHY every day. Invest in your purpose. Intentionally live out your days growing in and fulfilling your WHY and finally,

 

Celebrate your WHY. The fulfillment of your purpose not only brings glory to God but also puts a smile on His face. Have fun while at it.

 

Remember: # You have one life to live. Choose to make it count!