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!