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Volume 11, Issue 44: There Was Jesus

I found a song by Demi Lee Moore & Riaan Benade' called 'There Was Jesus'. Another recording of this song is sang by Zachary Williams and Dally Patron. I have played this song nonstop over and over again the past few weeks. This song and other interactions I had on the first day I listened to it got me interceding for those hurting among us - folks who are sad and feel all alone.

Jesus is always there, in the waiting and in the searching, in the hurting and in the healing. In the fire and in the flood. On the mountain and in the valley. He is there. We never walk alone. Jesus is there, like a blessing buried in the broken pieces.

Thinking of other people's burdens and hurts leads us to Jesus in intercession. Where would our world be without the healing touch of Jesus? Where would we be if Jesus wasn't there to bring us through difficult times? Where would we be if Jesus wasn't there to give us the fortitude we need to make it through valleys and fires and floods?

Jesus is there. Whether it's hurts that we bring upon ourselves or those we find ourselves victims of, Jesus is there. Mending our broken hearts. Healing our hurts. Wiping away our tears. Making us whole again. Remaining on our side when our friends desert us. Turning our sorrow into laughter, our mourning into dancing and thorns into roses.

There was Jesus. Can you see it now in hindsight? That he was there with you in the hard times? And that he is here with you in the good times. No matter the season, Jesus was there. Jesus is here.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 11, Issue 43: It's Consistency, Not Intensity That Gets Results

As we approach the end of the year, we are most likely reflecting on how we have faired against our goals. For some of us, there are goals we set out to go after but dropped the ball on at some point. For these, one of the reasons we didn't succeed is because we thought we weren't able to go after the goal(s) with the intensity we deemed necessary for success.

However, it's consistency, not intensity that gets results. I wanted to write every day but didn't because I felt stretched too thin to write with intensity. I felt too tired to be bothered to pen down a few sentences each day.

On the other hand, I consistently had my thirty minutes brisk walk and thirty minutes strength training five days a week without fail. The results of this investment is evident in my body size, shape and vitality. An hour of low intensity workout isn't much but it certainly yields results when done Consistently.

So, why did I succeed in one goal and fail in another? Why didn't I apply the principle of consistency to my writing like I did with my workouts? It's certainly not because working out is any easier than writing.

I think part of the reason is because the time I assigned for my writing almost always got used up by other activities that I felt obliged to do at that time. As a result, by the time I got a moment to sit and write, or tried to squeeze it in at other "free" times in the day, I was too tired to do it.

I have learnt that unless I assign my daily writing activity to a time slot that nothing can distract me from, then I will not be able to write consistently however much I want to. I want to be careful to re-assess my writing time slot before this year draws to a close so that I can benefit from the principle of consistency as far as my writing is concerned next year and beyond.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 
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Volume 11, Issue 42: Relentless Pursuit of Your Teen's Heart

I have sat under the instruction of a few awesome parenting coaches. I have even taught parenting classes to groups of young parents when my children were young. As a result, raising my little ones felt like a breeze those early years. I thought my children were cooperative and I took them with me wherever I went.

I later realized that although my children were growing and adjusting into a different stage, I wasn't. When my children became adolescents, I missed to notice that they were not always enthusiastic about going places with me like they were when they were younger. I was also pushing them to do things the way they always did them rather than motivating and encouraging them. Because they challenged me, I regret that sometimes it came down to "my way or the highway". This pushed them away, and as a result, I found that there were times when I didn't like them.

After a few twists and turns, I finally came to the realization that nothing matters more. If you ask me, our children are our most precious treasurers here on earth. We are foolish when we think that because we are providing for our children's basic needs, we are doing a lot. Absolutely not! Our teens would rather have our dedication and support than the expensive schools we take them to or fancy houses we have them live in. We are mistaken to think that because they are privileged, they shouldn't want anything, and that whatever they want they should earn.

We have no problem extending financial support to distant relatives and friends yet we think our kids are entitled when they ask for an extra pair of shoes or a fresh coat of paint in their rooms. Doesn't charity begin at home? We are happy to spend hours out with friends on the weekend or at a church meeting but are too tired to sit through a movie with our adolescents. When we do this, we make our kids feel that other people are more valuable to us than they are.

Just because they are teens doesn't mean that they don't need us as much. This is the stage when they feel the most emotions. We shouldn't be okay with our teens staying away in their rooms when we are home. What's normal is them wanting to hang out with us when they are not with their friends. Happy teens still want to do things and go places with their parents every now and then.

These are not fantasies. I have found that if we are serious about pursuing our teens' hearts, they come alive again. How do we do that? It takes creativity and boldness. It takes putting them first before other people. It takes going all out in speaking their love languages. When you come to the realization that nothing that you are busy with and care about matters more than your teen, you will do whatever it takes to win him or her back, by God's grace.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 11, Issue 41: Raising Teens

In the few years I have been a parent of adolescents, I have learnt a few things that have changed the way I do parenting. Over the years I have attended parenting classes and read parenting books that taught me how to bring up successful children. But it wasn't until recently that I noticed I wasn't learning anymore.

I was doing parenting the way I had always done parenting, oblivious of the fact that my kids had grown up and needed a different approach. I believe that when children are younger, they need loving firmness and rules. But when they enter adolescence and teen years, they need understanding, creativity, support and care.

When we raise young children right, by the time they are teens, they already know right and wrong. They have discipline and life skills and know what is expected of them. As such, adolescent and teen years is not the time to insist on rules and doing things our way as parents. It's the time to support our pre-teens and teens to continue doing the good they already know how to do.

While we must absolutely still require obedience from our children in their adolescent and teen stages, we must be careful to be flexible with them and understanding of the challenges they are facing with all the changes taking place in and around them. Most of them still want to obey, just in their way. Insisting that they obey our way discourages and pushes them away.

I believe daily expression of loving kindness, affirmation, encouragement and caring support are key requirements for the adolescent and teen years. This is not the time to be forceful and come off as pushy and rude to the children. It is time to turn on the heat in seeing things from their perspective. I have seen kindness, affirmation and support yield very positive responses from my adolescents.

Teenagers are no longer little children. They are growing into young adults and should be treated as such if they are to transition successfully through the tumultuous teen years and wind up successful young adults. What I am finding important in this stage is creating an atmosphere where our teens are happy and still want to be around us. This way, we can continue to be a good influence in their lives, and hopefully override all the varying influences competing for their attention.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 
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Volume 11, Issue 40: Find Solutions

There are two kinds of people, those who dwell on problems and those who look for solutions to the problems they come across. I happen to have very low tolerance for dwelling on problems. Whether it's at work or in my personal life, I am always more than eager to find solutions, to move on to the step of solving the problem.

Some of the challenges I have faced I have found to be mentally and emotionally unhealthy to dwell upon. With such, after I have gathered the courage to face the reality, I bear it before the Lord and leave it with Him. I then make a deal with myself to only think or talk about the situation with the Lord.

I don't like to worry, so whenever the thought of the problem I am facing comes to mind, I remind myself that I can't ponder over it outside the atmosphere of prayer. I learnt early enough that I have no business worrying over things I cannot change or control. So I lay them at the feet of the One who has the power make all things work together for my good.

Dwelling on awful problems is just a recipe for sadness. I figure, why succumb to sadness when there's an option for joy? The Bible commends us to rejoice at all times. The only way we can do that is if we don't carry the heavy load of our problems. The Lord invites us to cast our cares and burdens to Him. So why burden ourselves with problems that weigh us down when we have been provided with a way out?

What is it going to be for you going forward? Are you going to dwell on the problems and challenges that plague your life, or are you going to find solutions for them? Which do you prefer, misery or joy irrespective of your circumstances? I choose joy. I choose to find solutions to my problems. I choose to lay the problems outside of my control at the feet of Jesus, and watch Him come through for me as He has done over and over again.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi