Why my edges are not growing (and how this relates to you)

I used to have a healthy head of hair, with decent edges too! Those good ol’ days… When I could confidently pack my hair all back 😁. Alas, the million braids era rolled in and I ignorantly jumped aboard. Goodbye, edges 😒.

The other day my friend and I were gisting about something completely hair unrelated and I don’t know who sent her to ask about my edges 😑

Friend: How is your hair?

Me: (Thinking uh oh… Don’t go there). It’s growing. Na edges I want (shebi I should have just stopped at “it’s growing”?)

Friend: What are you using for the edges?

Me: My sister, I have one oil… But I’m not serious πŸ™ˆ

Friend: Hahahahaha @ you’re not serious

She was seriously tickled at my expense πŸ˜’

But it’s true, I’m not serious. I know that regular and proper use of the hair oil would improve my edges. I know the way to apply the oil. I even set a reminder for the oil application which religiously pops up on my phone every 9am. I either ignore it or swipe it away like some bothersome fly. I’m really not serious πŸ€·πŸ½β€β™€οΈ

So how does this relate to you (and me of course! 😁)?

Knowledge is useless without consistent application.

All of the knowledge I listed above, as regards my sparse edges and the hair oil remedy, is useless without consistent application. Emphasis on “consistent”. Because, I actually apply the oil once in a while… In fact, I did so this morning and yesterday too, but this was after about 5 days of oil drought.

So back to you (and me of course! Hehe)…

What do you know? What knowledge have you gathered here and there? Many of us went on a course/webinar/e-learning spree during the lockdown period (it was a thing then… I’m not shading anyone oπŸ˜†). I spent good money in buying my hair oil, just like many of us have spent money to get knowledge upadan. We have invested time in learning and knowing, but are we doing and being? Consistently too?

I guarantee you that my edges will never grow until I get serious about consistent application of what I have (and know). But you know the real tragedy? Stunted growth (spiritual, emotional, mentally etc.) because we choose to not apply what we know. Now that’s tragic…

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God, not genie…

Happy New Year everyone! πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰

It’s yo girl the absentee blogger… Hehehe. Biko, take me as I am ehn? Squeezing out time to do some things these days is a herculean task. Before I unravel the reason for my blue moon visit, let me ask- how are you? Really, how are you? Let me also congratulate you for making it to 2021! No need for long story, you and I know that being alive in this hunger games season is worthy of plenty accolades. So once again, congrats champ! πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ‘πŸ½

So… what brought me here? Or more accurately, what dragged me here? You see, once what I’m about to share with you took form in my mind this morning, I felt a nudge to share it with you. I didn’t instantly whip out my laptop to start writing, which on a regular day would have eventually dampened the writing urge. But I guess today isn’t a regular day because fam, that urge refused to let me be o. In fact I had a rare opportunity to take a nap, I was already lying down sef but sleep no gree come. So I kukuma got up to write. Holy Spirit – 1: Me – 1 (It’s always win win with God 😁)

This morning was taking-out-the-trash day. How it works in my neighbourhood is that you have to get these kole people (trash collectors) to take the trash off you for a small fee. They are the middle men for the eventual disposal. It’s easier to get them if you go out between 6:30am- 7am. But Le Hubs missed this time slot, so on his way downstairs, he said a little prayer asking God to bring one his way (as per God, the kole supplier na.. lol). Anyways, he said the prayer and believed God would answer.

When he got downstairs, he waited but no kole was in sight. He waited some more, fixing his eyes in the direction he knew from experience they usually come from. Not a peep. But he said that he was not worried; he knew God would send one. So he waited some more. After some minutes, he felt a nudge to look in the opposite direction. So he did, and sure enough, there was a kole!

After he recounted the story to me, it struck me how we sometimes box God in. We expect Him to act within a particular time frame, in a particular way or a particular pattern. We essentially (more often subconsciously) act like God is a genie 🀷

I’ve had many instances God answered my requests but not in the way or time frame I expected Him to. But you know what? 100% of the time, His way turned out to be absolutely perfect! You know why? Because He is sovereign. He knows ALL things (past, present and future). He orchestrates and determines everything that is going to happen in my life and yours too. Knowing all these, I wonder why I’d think that my puny plans and limited logic should be His roadmap for my life. SMH…

A lesson I have learned along the way is to ‘let go and let God” – although I forget to do this many times 😏

God is not a genie. A genie is boxed (or bottled); God cannot be boxed. A genie does your bidding; God does His will. A genie attends to your every wish no matter how ridiculous or fatal; God lovingly gives you exactly what you need. A genie follows a predictable pattern; God can come in the least expected way…

More than just a clichΓ©, God’s time is always the best.

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Chapter Forty: Living with Purpose

Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails ~ Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)

All these knowledge and insights I’ve garnered these past days will amount to nothing if I don’t put them into practice. To ensure that I don’t derail, I must craft a Purpose Statement and review it regularly.

My purpose statement summary: The reason I live is to worship God, be grafted into His family to enjoy sweet fellowship, minister to other believers with my SHAPE, mature into christlikeness and spread the gospel to unbelievers so God receives ALL the glory

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Chapter Thirty-Nine: Balancing Your Life

Living life with a due sense of responsibility, not as those who do not know the meaning of life but as those who do ~ Ephesians 5:15 (Ph)

Dunno why I was thinking of work-life balance when I saw the topic. This is even more critical – my life is well balanced when I’m completely living out all my 5 purposes: worship, fellowship, ministry, discipleship and mission (evangelism)

To live a balanced life, I must do these…

  • Be accountable to a spiritual partner or a small group.
  • Regular spiritual checkup and HONEST self evaluation
  • Keeping a spiritual journal so I don’t develop spiritual amnesia along the way. Also, so that I can pass on what I’ve learned
  • Generously share lessons and insights from my spiritual journey. Generously pass on knowledge I’ve gained along the way.

Regardless of my age, the rest of my life can be the best of my life. I can start living on purpose today (My favourite line in this chapter 😁)

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Chapter Thirty-Eight: Becoming a World-Class Christian

Jesus said to His followers, “Go everywhere in the world, and tell the Good News to everyone” ~ Mark 16:15 (NCV)

Being a worldly Christian is not when you listen to Celine Dion or other “worldly music”… It’s not when you wear trousers and make-up. It is when you are self-centred and would rather God fulfils YOUR own purposes rather than the ones He created you for.

Reality Check: I have been more of a worldly Christian than a world-class Christian…

Henceforth my mindset has to reflect the following:

  • Being other-centred not self-centred. See others through God’s eyes and earnestly desire that they be saved
  • Think globally not locally. At least start the basic step of widening my prayers to cover not just my family and friends but also unbelievers all over the world.
  • Know that life is much more than what I see here on earth. Have an eternity perspective. This would enable me to focus on what’s really important and to quit wasting time on trivialities
  • Quit making excuses and just obey
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Chapter Thirty-Seven: Sharing Your Life Message

Those who believe in the Son of God have the testimony of God in them ~ 1 John 5:10a (GWT)

Being a messenger of God is the only one of my purposes I can fulfill only on earth; the other four I will keep fulfilling for eternity. This means I cannot waste time dilly-dallying because life is short

I don’t need a bunch of scriptures to witness to unbelievers; they won’t be bought that way. Instead sharing my personal experiences is sure to get their attention and connection. This is the “seed” that God will then water and cause to blossom.

I love the explanation Rick gave about us being witnesses and not attorneys. Sharing the gospel doesn’t require us getting into hot arguments to prove a point. It is not about us and God doesn’t need us to be voltrons for Him.

In summary, my life message is divided into 4:

  • My testimony: The story of how I began a relationship with Jesus
  • My life lessons: The most important lessons God has taught me
  • My godly passions: The issues God shaped me to care about most
  • The Good News: The message of salvation

A very important question I should always consider: Will anyone get to heaven because I led them to Christ?

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Chapter Thirty-Six: Made for a Mission

The most important thing is that I complete my mission, the work that the Lord Jesus gave me~ Acts 20:24 (NCV)

One more for Jesus! Wow! The story about Rick’s dad was the highlight of this chapter for me.

I must get serious about my mission. I must care about what God cares about.

My prayer should always be: “God who have You put in my life for me to tell about Jesus?”

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Chapter Thirty-Five: God’s Power in Your Weakness

I am with you; that is all you need. My power shows up best in weak people ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9a (LB)

Everyone has weaknesses, even the people that appear to have it all together.

God specialises in showing His power through our weaknesses. Therefore, my weakness shouldn’t be something I should be ashamed of or hide away. Instead, I should yield to God to use me Inspite of my limitations. Not doing so is pride and God resists the proud but gives Grace to the humble.

My weaknesses make me dependent on God and interdependent on others. That whole thing about “strong and independent” is nonsense and can be the loneliest thing ever because it creates distance/isolation instead of fellowship. Therefore, I must never be afraid to be vulnerable and open about my weaknesses. This is the only way I can influence and minister to others

Another thing is that the understanding that we are all mere mortals- frail and weak – would increase my capacity for empathy and keep me from putting anybody on a pedestal.

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Chapter Thirty-Four: Thinking Like a Servant

Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of Himself ~ Philippians 2:5 (MSG)

God is more interested in my motive and attitude than in what I actually do. The “what” is not as important to Him as the “why”. Which is why I should constantly check my heart in all I do to be sure I’m not doing it for the wrong reason.

  • I have the mindset of a servant when I am others-focused not self-focused or Self-serving… Ouch! I’m on this table a lot of times if I’m being honest. Hmmm all the times I think I’m being taken for granted when I’m not appreciated for my “service” is self-service. Correction taken…
  • We’ve somehow been conditioned to expect (read as demand) blessings from God when we serve. So much so that I think it has consciously or unconsciously become a bargaining chip for service. This is a major unlearning curve we must take.
  • I have the mindset of a servant when I am a Kingdom Builder not a Wealth Builder. Making and having lots of money (which I absolutely love) shouldn’t be for my selfish interest but to be given away for Kingdom Building. Blessed to be a blessing is the motto. And God can give you more blessings than you need, and you will always have plenty of everything. You will have enough to give to every good work ~ 2 Corinthians 9:8
  • I have the mindset of a servant when I don’t compare or compete with other servants. Doing these is as senseless as a striker dribbling his own team mate and scoring a goal in his team’s net. Also, I have no right to resent another person for not serving or be critical about his/her way of serving. Classic case of “Uche face your work”.
  • I have the mindset of a servant when I’m not always striving to prove my worth. My efforts neither add to nor substract from my worth. My identity in Christ and my worth in His eyes are intact by His grace not by my works. Serving in ways considered to be “undignified” doesn’t reduce my worth or erase my identity in Christ. This brings to mind how Michal despised David for dancing unto God in an undignified manner. Yet her opinion didn’t stop God from seeing David as a man after His heart.
  • I have the mindset of a servant when I see service as an opportunity not an obligation

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Chapter Thirty-Three: How Real Servants Act

Whoever wants to be great must become a servant ~ Mark 10:43 (MSG)

The measure for greatness is service NOT status

Without a heart of service, knowing my SHAPE in itself will not give glory to God

My SHAPE reveals my ministry but my servant heart reveals my maturity

  • Real Servants grab every opportunity to serve
  • Real Servants always notice when people are in need. They are not self absorbed
  • Real Servants make do with what they have, even though average. They start where they are and improve as they go along.
  • Real servants do not see any task as beneath them. It’s all a matter of doing what needs to be done, not seeking status/fame by doing the “great” tasks
  • Real servants are reliable and trustworthy. They are committed and faithful
  • Real servants don’t seek attention or praise. They don’t participate in eye service. They don’t steal the shine of others or accept the compliments for work they did not do.

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