One Life. One Shot. Part 2/4

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Each one of us has been assigned a set number of days by God which days were already written in His book. I would like to propose that because of this you and I cannot afford to live fwaa! That just really means living aimlessly, without purpose, without goals, just eat, sleep, use the toilet, and then repeat the above type of life! Your life and mine must count! On March 5, 2017 I turned 38 and as expected, I had moments of reflection about my life particularly about the fact that if I am to live up to age 70, then I only have 32 years to go! Can you imagine? And by the way anything beyond that will be a bonus. Extra time, for the football lovers. A whole 38 years have expired. There is no turning back. There are no U-turns in life. That’s it. Done. 38 years stamped and sealed. File closed. The challenge to me now is how am I going to live for the rest of my life? The clock is ticking. I have only one life to live and I had better make it count.

So, how do we make this one life count? Yes, the numbers of days are set. Yes, the clock is ticking. Yes, there’s no turning back. Now what?

# Embrace your YOU

The journey of making our lives count begins with you intentionally embracing you. This applies to your whole self – your physical make up, your background, where you were born, the schools you went to, your parents, siblings, extended family, your history, your story, your tendencies whether as a result of circumstances you went through or otherwise. It all begins with you embracing you!

Psalm 139:13-14

“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.

I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.”

God formed our inward parts. Every detail about you was deliberately designed by the creator Himself. Then the scripture goes on to say He covered us in our mothers’ wombs. The picture in my mind is a mother hen sitting over the eggs she has laid. She literally covers them for 21 days, hardly moving for anything until she brings them to the point of hatching. Likewise, God covers us in our mothers’ wombs, hovering over us that we will be brought of the point of birth. The guy watches over His investments! He has had His eye on you for a long long time!

God was intentional about you. Everything about you is for a specific reason and the sooner you embrace YOU the better. For a while I desired to be two things I was not; one, I desired to have a lot more flesh on me. I wanted to be fat! That was because I grew up being scolded for being too small, my collar bones protruded painfully and it was said they would pass for a soap dish. In other words, you could place soap there and it wouldn’t fall. Therefore I really wanted to be fat so I stop going through all that shame from cutting comments. The second thing I wanted to be was talkative. Again, I was scolded for being too quiet, never speaking up, being fearful, and branded anti-social. I wished I could be like one of those bubbly chatty personalities who arrive in style into a room full of people and cause them to burst out into laughter with just one comment. No wonder I got married to Chris who on any gien day is not short of words! I probably was looking to compensate for what I did not have yet desired to have! But then, God made me fearfully and wonderfully! And His works, including you and I are MARVELOUS! There is no mistake about you.

The 4-process path in Embracing You:

Know YOU. Love YOU. Invest in YOU. Celebrate YOU.

Know YOU. I like to refer to myself as Kyomu, which is my maiden name because something about that name gets me directly in touch with deepest parts of me. So I would tell myself, “Know Kyomu!” What do you love? What is your story? What are your roots? How uniquely has God designed you?

Love YOU. When you have discovered YOU, go ahead and love YOU. Yekunde! Weyagale! Love YOU! Walk with your head high because you are special, uniquely designed, and there is only one YOU in the whole wide world. YOU are custom made!

Invest in YOU. Spend on YOU. Take time to enhance YOU spiritually, relationally, physically, intellectually, and intellectually. You need to view yourself as worth it.

Celebrate YOU. Take time to celebrate YOU. This looks differently for all if us but whatever you do, celebrate YOU.

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

Quit trying or wanting to be like someone else. You are unique, carefully designed, fearfully and wonderfully made. Embrace your YOU!

One Life. One Shot. Part 1/4

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Just before my 16th birthday, I had what has been the most profound spiritual experience so far. It was during the Senior Four vacation when my parents sent me to join my cousins in taking care of a paternal aunt who was bedridden. At the time, my family had been living in Mbarara town for seven years and I had been studying at a boarding school in Bushenyi district for the same number of years. So you can imagine what kind of excitement filled my heart when I learnt that I would be spending part of my vacation in KAMPALA!!! I guess those who were raised in a city are thinking, “What is the big deal?” My friend! Every time we took a trip to Kampala for anything we hardly slept the night before. We would pack our clothes, bathe thoroughly and generally be at the best of our behavior lest the trip was cancelled. Those who never liked vaseline would definitely use it on those epic occasions!

Anyway, the home I was sent to was in Mbuya Barracks, a housing estate with lots of little houses back to back. Because our host was a little high in the army ranks, we were lucky to be staying in the more “up class” residences in comparison to the surrounding uni-ports that housed even bigger families. We were a full family of at least four adults and seven children living in there. With a bedridden patient fully occupying the little second bedroom and the heads of the home in the other, the rest of us spent the nights in the already packed sitting room. That was life but I was happy to be in Kampala! Even with the accelerated practicals in nursing and adjusting to the new environment, it was still an exciting adventure.

It probably was a combination of fatigue, mosquitoes and I do not know what else but at some point, the person who had been sent to be a nurse fell sick too! I remember lying down on a mat at the back of the house next to a sigiri (charcoal stove) in the hot sun having bled so much through the nose into a basin of water. I was aware of the activity around me but it all felt so far away!

Then; something began to happen. The world around me began to spin – at first slowly, then faster and faster and faster! And as it did my head grew lighter and lighter and lighter. I imagined this is what fainting felt like. If I had been standing, I probably would have fallen down like a sack of potatoes! Before I knew it, I felt myself begin to lift off the ground at first slowly then real quick into a space far above the earth, which became smaller and smaller and smaller in my eyes. What is happening to me? I wondered.  I absolutely had no control of what was going on. I was aware that my body was lying on the back verandah floor but then a part of me had left to go somewhere I was yet to find out. Is this what it feels like when people are dying?

Then from far above the earth I saw what the spinning was doing. With tornado-like power, the earth was being rolled like a mat! Wwhhhaa! Wwhhhaa! Wwhhaaa! Everything on the earth – trees, cars, and houses; everything was being rolled away with the “mat”. On the underside of the “mat” I could see humongous volumes of soil.

Okay!!! Is this the end of the world? I continued to wonder. I then found myself walking in a quite mature forest with many other people. There were two lines of people – one to my left and another to my right. It was intensely quiet. The only sound one could hear was the crackling of the dry leaves under the feet of the people as they marched on.”Kwaa, Kwaa, Kwaa!” Jesus! What is happening? I turned to the people to my right and to my left asking; “Where are we? What’s going on? Where are we going?” No one answered. All their eyes were fixed ahead of them marching to wherever it is we were going. As I turned my own eyes to look ahead like everyone else, I could see far ahead something that made very clear what was happening; We were going to stand before the throne of Christ, each to give an account for their own lives. And then just as suddenly as it had all began the out of body experience ended.

22 years have passed since that happened but it left a permanent mark on my life, an imprint that will stay with me as long as I shall live. I had only read about it in the bible and now I had just lived it out for a few seconds. Every one of us will stand before Christ to give an account for the life we have been given here on earth. What will it be like when that time comes? Now of course at the time I had not encountered the amazing grace of God so I spent the next 13 years striving to make sure that when that day comes I would be found worthy! That is another long story to be told on another day!!! Today, I know that God loves me with no strings attached and that my works do not validate me before Him. However, I still live with an intense awareness that at the end my life – whether it be 70 years, 80 or more, I will give an account for how I lived. It had better count!

Every one of us goes through a definitive moment in life that gets us to wonder what our lives are about. You survive a car accident, almost lose your life on an operation table, or go through burglaries. Some of us have had their bodies violated, lost one or both parents, or diagnosed with a serious medical condition. The moment when we inherit lots of wealth and the pursuit of money ceases to be the main point of life, or miraculously pass key exams. We experience unexplained rapid career growth, great success in business or recurring dreams and significant prophetic words. All these distinctive moments, also referred to as kairos moments bring us to a place of questioning and searching whether there is more to life as we know it and what we do with these moments greatly matters.

Psalm 90:12

“So teach us to number our days,  That we may gain a heart of wisdom”

Psalm 139:16

“Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.  And in Your book they all were written,

The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.”

# YOU HAVE ONE LIFE TO LIVE. MAKE IT COUNT!

We carry God’s DNA

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Yesterday I had the honor of having lunch with two incredible girls- Kosher and Alitha in Grade 2 at Harvest Academy. On Friday last week, there was a leakage in their classroom so in addition to getting it fixed, the teacher in me quickly grabbed what is referred to as a “Teaching moment”. I asked the class who could spell the word ‘leaking’ as in ‘Water is leaking’ and well, as you can imagine all sorts of spellings were offered! Eventually, Alton spelt it correctly. He won himself my precious Friday lunch which is such a big deal at school- Chips, Chicken, salad and fresh juice. The class could hardly believe what had just happened! Alton was going have ALL of Teacher Lynnet’s lunch. What?! A rather concerned Gabriel asked what I was going to eat since Alton was going to have my lunch! Some speculated saying maybe I would have lunch at home.

Anyway, I rode on the excitement in the room and asked a follow on question.

“Who can spell licking as in “I am licking ice-cream?” I asked.

Hands shot up eagerly and to cut the long story short, Kosher and Alitha spelt it correctly. Their award was to have lunch with the Principal on Monday. The joy was tangible! The whole school would know in just a couple of hours that Alton was having the Principal’s precious Friday lunch in addition to his own and that the two girls would have lunch with her the following week.

At this lunch, I gave them an opportunity to alternately ask me any three questions of their choice and this was one of Kosher’s questions;

“Why did God create numbers and letters?”

My mind raced at lightning speed to try and find not only an answer comprehendible to this 7 year old but theologically accurate as well.

“Actually, I think it is man who created numbers and letters not God. God gave them the brains which they then used to create numbers and letters”, I answered. I went on to explain that we need letters to be able to put words together for purposes of meaningful conversation and that numbers help us put time in perspective. Otherwise without numbers for example, we would never know how old she is.

She seemed convinced for a moment, until the follow on question came.

“Teacher Lynnet! So, why did God give people brains? Is it for just creating numbers and letters?”

Oh dear! What should I say now? Think! Lynnet. Think! Then, suddenly the answer came.

“In the beginning, God created…” I began, tagging on them to complete Genesis 1:1. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, they said.

“Great! And in whose image did God create us?’ I asked.

“In His image”, they both answered after a split second of trying to quickly remember the story of creation they learnt in Kindergarten.

“Exactly! He created us in His image so we are like Him. He is a creator and so we too are creators. He gave us brains so we could be like Him in creating all sorts of things. Someone created the chair you are sitting on, the fan, plate, carpet, and the building we are in.”

Even as I spoke, the light bulb came on again! We carry God’s DNA. Everything He is, we are.

Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.”  1 John 4:17

He made us in His perfect image, replicating Himself in us not partially but 100%.

 “And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.”  John 1:16

Do you sometimes feel insufficient and too small for the world? You and I carry God’s DNA meaning we can operate exactly as He does. This goes for everything pertaining to life- EVERYTHING! In 2012, I stood at one of the four corners of a home my husband and I had put on the market for sale. As I viewed the property a part of me was hurting deeply from the fact that we were selling. “What do you see?’ The Holy Spirit asked. What I was seeing at that moment was a beautiful building, a mature well kempt compound, the memories of the time we had lived there and subsequenty, the extent of what I felt was a deep loss at the time.

“So, who did all this? He pressed on.

As I reflected on that second question, the memory of that place at the time we bought the property came back like a flash. It was a forest with monkeys in it! There was no access road and if one wanted to physically take a look around, they would literally take a forest walk! Then by the wisdom of God, my husband and I had transformed that ‘forest’ into a beautiful home. In that moment it dawned on me that just as our Father is so are we! We had created a home from scratch. It began in our minds and became reality with time! We are creators! Much as we were selling this home, we had the ability to recreate this in amother place because it was within us.

In the beginning God created the heavens, the earth, the sun, moon, stars, birds of the air, fish of the sea, land animals and all sorts of things. And all this came from a place that was dark and void. He spoke these things into being. On further investigation of the story, it is clear from the sequence of events that God had the end in mind. For example the earth had to be perfect for hosting human life so He created man last after everything is in place, the fish needed to come after the waters had been gathered in one place and well, the first order of business was separating day from light so seasons are clear from the beginning-night and day!

This is the guy we take after. We are created in His image. We carry in us His very own DNA, 100%. Like Him we are creators. Create the present you would like to see by painting the picture, speaking it into being and making decisions today that create the future you see. Choose to walk in the fullness of who you are because you and I carry God’s DNA.

STOP! He needs you

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This morning, I knocked at the children’s door. It was 6:10am – Five minutes to departure time!

“Quick! Quick! We have only five minutes left. You need to get ready for school”, I literally commanded.

He was wrapped in his towel, still dripping from his early morning bath. “Mum, I have a surprise for you”, he said with a twinkle in his eyes.

“What is it?”  I quickly shot back trying to keep a calm tone but quite jittery at the ticking clock. In my mind I was thinking, Lord, no! Not now. We need to beat the slow traffic on the way to school. There is no time for surprises and lingering extended conversation.

He pulled out an old CD my friends and I recorded while at the university over 15 years ago

“It doesn’t have a scratch!” he proudly declared.

“Oh! Where did you get this?” I asked in surprise. He smiled back at me refusing to reveal his secret. Then, just as quickly, I took another quick look at the CD, put it away and switched back to what we referred to as “Quick! March!!” while we were growing up.  Within 15 minutes I managed to ship him along with his sister out of the house, sending them off to school.

I carried on with my work and started on what was supposed to be a bible study but the scene played over and over again in my mind.

“I should have stopped! I should have stopped!”, I went on to scold myself quietly. Why on earth did I do that? I could see it was important to him. Why on earth didn’t I stop? So what if we are a few minutes late? Okay, even if we were an hour late because of the slow traffic, so what? The earth will make one full rotation around the sun every 24 hours and still spin about it’s axis 365 times a year. In other words, nothing earth shattering will happen.

I felt like I had missed a moment to connect with him and it wasn’t going to return. I set aside the bible and said a quiet prayer, “Lord, I know I have missed that moment. It was important to him. Please give me another opportunity. Amen.”

And the opportunity came. Before he left with the shuttle at the end of his school day, I asked to talk to him.

“How are you?” I asked.

“I am fine”, he responded.

“Did you like the CD?” he inquired. This time, I stopped. And with as much heart as possible, told him how surprised and happy I was. Also, given he is spending the weekend away from home I told him how much I would miss him. He walked away with a smile that beautifully wormed it’s way into my heart.

I was glad that this time, I STOPPED.

STOP! He needs you.

 

 

Words of Peace

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Genesis 41:15-16

“And Pharoah said to Joseph, ‘I have had a dream, and there is no one to interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that you can understand a dream to interpret it.’ So Joseph answered Pharoah, saying, ‘It is not in me; God will give an answer of peace.’”

Before Joseph got to hear the details of the dream which bothered Pharoah, he made a profound statement; “God will give an answer of peace!” Joseph’s experience of God in times of turmoil was peace. Pharaoh’s dream had thrown the whole nation into a state of panic; a catastrophic famine was inevitable. God’s answer indeed helped Egypt to collect one fifth of the produce of the land in the seven years of plenty.

At the heart of every prophecy (by way of dreams, visions, words of wisdom and knowledge, etc) should be always be words of peace.

 “Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.” 1 Cor 14:1,3

In John 7:11b, Jesus said to the woman caught in adultery; ‘Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.’  God said to Abram, ‘Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them for four hundred years. But in the fourth generation they will return here.’ Gen 15: 13, 16a

However difficult a message is, there ought to be peace and healing at the heart of every prophecy. Declare words of peace as you prophesy.