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Volume 10, Issue 27: Second Half

Every new day, every new week, and every new month of the year is an opportunity for a new beginning. But there's a special allure to the beginning of the second half of the year when it comes to finishing the year strong. This is because the beginning of the second half of the year gives us a wake up call that connotes that it's now or never if we are going to achieve the goals we set for ourselves.

I consider the beginning of the second half of the year just as crucial as the beginning of the year. It's an opportunity to reset the clock, to get things back on track and pick up the pace. If you are anything like me, by now you have a few things that you had a good handle on at the beginning of the year that you are not doing so well at any more. You have dropped a few balls and gotten sluggish in a few areas.

One of the things I have struggled with for a good part of the first half of this year since COVID happened is maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Before I started working from home, I left the office by 5pm and didn't handle any work related stuff until when I got back to the office the next morning. But working from home has made that quite a challenge to get right on a daily basis for the workaholic that I am.

The problem with blurring the lines of work life and home life is that by working longer, we wind up with less of ourselves available to give to our home lives. Thereby dropping the ball in our personal goals categories. Something always loses when another gets more than it should, or more than is truly available for it.

As I sit at the precipe of the second half of 2020, I am enthused with the desire to finish strong. I don't want to come to the end of the year and think I could have done better, or I could have nailed that. You and I have the opportunity to reset the clock right now and finish the year strong, having done all that we set out to do, and having accomplished all that we know we can.

So, which of your goals for this year are you failing at thus far? Which balls have you dropped along the way? What have you gotten sluggish at? Do you need to reset the clock, pick up the pace, get some stray balls back in the game? Be honest with yourself. Admit your struggles and become intentional about winning your game for 2020.

Just like in a football match, it's half time. Far from the end of the match. I have watched many matches where the losing team gets their act together, turns on the heat in the second half and wins the game. It's not too late to turn the tables and come out at the top when the curtains for 2020 draw to a close. Let's not let this grand opportunity to reset the clock slip through our fingers.

Related article: Second Half with a Bang!

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 10, Issue 28: Fearless

I have to tried to write from the twenty seventh chapter of the book of Psalms before but I couldn't go through with it because it is quite personal to me. This is one of my favorites portions of Scripture that I declare and lift my praises from most mornings. Going back to my Bible study moments after writing "You've Got This," a portion of Psalms 27 popped up and I knew now was a good time to write from it.

David writes, “Light, space, zest— that’s GOD! So, with him on my side I’m fearless, afraid of no one and nothing. When vandal hordes ride down ready to eat me alive, those bullies and toughs fall flat on their faces. When besieged, I’m calm as a baby. When all hell breaks loose, I’m collected and cool.” Psalm‬ ‭27:1-3‬ ‭MSG‬‬

The intensity of David's troubles was probably ten thousand times the intensity of the troubles I have faced. But I think some of the stories in our journeys bear resemblance to some of David's stories. What differentiates us is the attention we pay to God's workings in our troubles. When you recognize that God rescued you from fierce attacks, you are left in awe, and you face your next troubles fearless, collected and cool.

After writing of his disposition in the face of trouble, David goes on to express his intended worship. “God holds me head and shoulders above all who try to pull me down. I’m headed for his place to offer anthems that will raise the roof! Already I’m singing God-songs; I’m making music to GOD.” Psalm‬ ‭27:6‬ ‭MSG‬‬

There will always be people who try to pull us down. But when we have experienced God's charge and seen how he holds us head and shoulders above our opposition, giving them a run for their money, we are lost in adoration of our King and Defender, with praises that words cannot express.

We join David in saying, "Point me down your highway, GOD; direct me along a well-lighted street; show my enemies whose side you’re on. Don’t throw me to the dogs, those liars who are out to get me, filling the air with their threats. I’m sure now I’ll see God’s goodness in the exuberant earth. Stay with GOD! Take heart. Don’t quit. I’ll say it again: Stay with GOD.” Psalm‬ ‭27:11-14‬ ‭MSG‬‬. Because we don't stand a chance without Him.

God reiterates the point for us in the ninety first chapter of the book of Psalm. He says, ““If you’ll hold on to me for dear life,” says GOD, “I’ll get you out of any trouble. I’ll give you the best of care if you’ll only get to know and trust me. Call me and I’ll answer, be at your side in bad times; I’ll rescue you, then throw you a party. I’ll give you a long life, give you a long drink of salvation!”” Psalm‬ ‭91:14-16‬ ‭MSG‬‬

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 10, Issue 26: You've Got This

As I stumbled into Joshua's commissioning section of Scripture once more this morning, it occurred to me that God affirms us for the work He gives us to do. I also remembered Jesus' commissioning and noticed how related it is to Joshua's. When He was being baptized by John the Baptist, as He came out of the water, a dove rested on His head and God spoke in a loud voice saying, "This my son, whom I love, with Him I am well pleased."

Jesus was just about to begin His ministry, which would culminate in sorrow and crucifixion a wooden cross. And God gave Him a prep talk in the hearing of people. I believe this affirmation was to prepare and encourage our Lord Jesus to step into His job with courage, the same way Joshua's was. And I believe that this commissioning is for us too as heirs with Joshua and Jesus.

Joshua's job was to lead the children of Israel across the Jordan River into the promised land. He was taking over where Moses left things. God must have figured that Joshua was probably intimidated by the task ahead. I mean, he was being required to step into some really big shoes. Having walked closely beside Moses, he knew the weight of responsibility Moses carried and probably felt he wasn't as mighty.

I think if Joshua was oozing with confidence, God wouldn't have given him this particular prep talk, commanding him to be strong and courageous. As He commissioned him, God told Joshua, "It's all yours. All your life, no one will be able to hold out against you. In the same way I was with Moses, I'll be with you. I won't give up on you; I won't leave you. Strength! Courage! You are going to lead this people to inherit the land that I promised to give their ancestors. Give it everything you have, heart and soul." Joshua 1:1-9 MSG.

God was in essence telling Joshua, "You've got this." And He is telling us that too for the work that our hands have found to do. Believe that your line of work is not just random, and that God is interested in you succeeding in it.

I am mesmerized by God's words to Joshua. If you know that God has told you that all your life no opposition that raises its head against you for the work He has given you will succeed, you walk on air, humbled to be loved and protected. When you know that God has promised to be with you, to never give up on you however weary you get at your work from time to time, and to never leave you, then you know you've got all you need to succeed at it.

Whatever it is that you do for work, you've got this. However big your responsibilities grow, you've got this. Joshua's responsibilities started small. He was just an assistant. But then he got promoted to team leader position. It appears that Joshua gave everything to his assistant job and God was impressed. And now as a team leader, God needed Joshua to know that He had noticed his strong work ethic when he was an assistant, and that because of it, he was good enough for the leadership job.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 10, Issue 25: Enjoy the Stretch

Do you remember praying for promotions? I can't believe I almost forgot how much I prayed for promotion at work. Yesterday a friend of mine posted on WhatsApp a piece of writing by someone by the name Dawn Chere that hit home for me in a big way. I have copied it here word for word for your reflection.

"When your dreams get bigger, the weight of responsibility does too. If you aren't careful, you'll find yourself complaining about things you once prayed for. Complaining isn't harmless, it is addictive and a thief that steals strength. What we need is gratitude.

Gratitude for the added pressures that come with influence. Gratitude for the stretch in the unknown that forces growth. Gratitude for the chaotic hustle that happens in seasons of unexpected blessing and opportunity.

I have caught myself saying, "if I can just get through this week" in busy moments. When I pause, I realize I don't want to just get through it! I prayed for this, and I won't let the pressure force me to feel overwhelmed or unprepared. I want to have a heart overflowing with gratitude that realizes it's a miracle that weeks like this even exist, that dreams are slowly coming to fruition and progress is being made daily!

Open doors don't remain open when you start resenting them for the responsibility they bring to your life. Sometimes we don't need less on our plate, we need to make the choice to enjoy the stretch. Crush that path before you and do it with an attitude of gratitude!" Dawn Chere.

Wow! Talk of a slap on the wrist just when you need it. I don't know about you but I needed to hear this. I have needed to hear it for maybe a year now. This is something I need to put in front of me every working day. I don't want to forget that it's a miracle that I have the kind of weeks that I have and let my heart overflow with gratitude. I don't want to let the pressure make me feel overwhelmed.

It is so good to realize that it's not that I need less on my plate. What I need is to make the choice to enjoy the stretch. I am making that choice right here and now. Let's be grateful for the answered prayers that got us here. And remember that we can handle the weight of responsibility and the pressure that accompany our blessings and opportunities.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 10, Issue 24: Give it Everything

We can never say too much about the importance of a strong work ethic in the times we are living in currently. Many people excuse their lack of enthusiasm for their work on being on the wrong job. But if we are really honest, we will admit that the extent to which we like our job has little to do with how much we give to it.

On the other hand, when I find myself working a bit late in an attempt to finish tasks well, I fail to appreciate that the reason I feel pushed to the limit at the end of the day is because I have given it everything I had to give that day. If you are anything like me, you try to make sure that you do all that you could possibly do today, and in the best shape possible. Then I realized that this is actually how we are wired.

God didn't make any mediocre people. He didn't make some us sloppy and others diligent. Otherwise, He wouldn't have declared "It is good" after He created man if some of the man was no good. Additionally, he wouldn't expect us to work at what we do with all we have if He made some of us incapable of doing so.

As God was commissioning Joshua to take over the leadership of the children of Israel after the death of Moses, He gave him two main instructions to undertake in leading the people to their inheritance. The first was to give it everything he had, while following the directions given to the letter. The second was to not let God's Word out of his mind. These two, God told him, were the recipes for his success.

“You are going to lead this people to inherit the land that I promised to give their ancestors. Give it everything you have, heart and soul. Make sure you carry out the Revelation that Moses commanded you, every bit of it. Don’t get off track, either left or right, so as to make sure you get to where you’re going. And don’t for a minute let this Book of The Revelation be out of mind. Ponder and meditate on it day and night, making sure you practice everything written in it. Then you’ll get where you’re going; then you’ll succeed.” Joshua‬ ‭1:5-8 MSG‬‬.

God instructed Joshua, "Give it everything you have, heart and soul." This is what God expects of us in our work, in every task we get our hands on. So let's not be bothered if we find that we spend a little bit more effort on our work to produce quality results and get it all done. We are not going beyond the call of duty. We are simply doing what is expected of us by God. We are giving it everything we have like we should.

God repeats this instruction for us in the twenty third verse of the third chapter of the book of Colossians where he says, “Whatever you do [whatever your task may be], work from the soul [that is, put in your very best effort], as [something done] for the Lord and not for men." Colossians‬ ‭3:23‬ ‭AMP‬‬. In other words, whatever you are working on, give it everything you've got. As I write and edit my articles, I give it everything I've got for the Glory of God. As you work on your job or in your kitchen or laundry or backyard, give it everything you've got for the glory of God.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi