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Volume 13, Issue 15: True To Yourself

I liken living in a family to living in a community, even if your home life includes just one or two or three other people. You may be the clean and organized type, or the getting things done and thoughtful type in your family. It's unrealistic to expect your family members to be just like you.

Expecting your community to mirror your living habits is setting yourself up for disappointment. I reckon the best you should do is communicate your expectations as clearly as possible then leave it up to your community to choose to live up to them or not.

Regardless of how they choose to carry themselves, you have only yourself to live up to your standards. Purpose to do your best even when your community chooses to just get by without much thought to being considerate with shared spaces and responsibilities.

More importantly, keep a check on your attitude. Be careful to not focus on your community's "deficiencies" and be upset by them. Happily maintain the space as you like it and enjoy your life. After all, some straightening up or cleaning up after someone takes just a few seconds or minutes. It's not worth rearranging your disposition.

The same attitude applies to how we respond to people's behavior. I like how James Clear put it in a recent post. "I can't control the other person's behavior, but I can control my response. Their actions may be rude or unacceptable, but I still want my response to be measured and thoughtful. Even if they aren't doing what is right, I still want to make sure I'm doing what is right."

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 13, Issue 14: When God Gives You A Word Part IV

This is a follow-on article to a prior week's post. Please read "When God Gives You A Word" and "When God Gives You A Word Part II" and "When God Gives You A Word Part III" then come back to this post. In that first post of the series, we spoke about how you know that God has given you a word, what happens in many cases and what to do. In this post, we are highlighting the last of five examples from Scripture of when God gave a word.

5. God's Word for the Children of Israel (Genesis 13:14-16; 17:7-8; Exodus 1)

God gave his word to Abraham that his descendants would live in Canaan. And he promised Jacob as he went into Egypt that he would bring him and his descendants back to the land of Canaan. A lot of time passed, and Pharaoh even tried to eliminate the children of Israel by ordering the killing of the boy child. The midwives disobeyed Pharaoh's order to kill the boys at birth and God saw to it that their numbers continued to multiply tremendously. God then raised up Moses to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt.

Pharaoh refused to let them go despite several miraculous signs from God. And even when he finally let them go after the death of all Eqyptian first borns, he changed his mind and went after them to get them back. The children of Israel faced the Red Sea, and the Jordan, and war from their enemies. There seemed to be no way through to the promised land.

Despite all the obstacles that the children of Israel faced, God made a way. He made a passage through the Red Sea and later through the Jordan river and the children of Israel walked on dry land. He drowned Pharaoh's army in the Red Sea. And he slew their enemies in battles. They could have died of thirst and hunger on the way but he provided food and water in the wilderness until they made it home. Until He fulfilled His word.

God fulfilled his word for the Children of Israel. When God gives us a word, nothing can stand in the way of its fulfillment. Not the passage of time. Not mischief. Not obstacles. God is able to make a way where there is no way to bring to fruition what He has spoken to you.

When God gives you a word, hold on to it, travail for it, pursue it, persist in it and keep praying for it. Refuse to drop the ball just because it looks like nothing is happening. When God gives you a word, don't give up on it unless He says so.

As I conclude this series, could you think of examples of when God gave you or someone you know a word and what transpired?

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 13, Issue 13: When God Gives You A Word Part III

This is a follow-on article to a prior post. Please read "When God Gives You A Word" and "When God Gives You A Word Part II" then come back to this post. In the first post, we spoke about how you know that God has given you a word, what happens in many cases and what to do. In this post, we are highlighting the third and fourth of five examples from Scripture of when God gave a Word.

3. God's Word for the Shunamite woman (2 Kings 4:8-37)

In this story we see that nothing can hinder the fulfillment of God's word. We are introduced to the Shunamite woman. At the point of her encounter with the man of God, she was a wealthy woman and her husband was an old man. This is the same woman I wrote about in the "Extravagant Restoration" post.

Through prophet Elisha, God promised the Shunamite woman a son. She didn't believe it was possible for her to receive such a blessing. So she brushed it off, telling the man of God not to raise her hopes in vain. But God's word came to pass and she bore a son a year later.

However a few years later, tragedy struck and her son fell ill and died. But God had given her a word. She knew this son wasn't her own production but the doing of the Lord. So she refused to resign her fate and set out in pursuit of the restoration of what God had given her. Elisha prayed and her son was brought back to life.

4. God's Word to Zechariah (Luke 1:5-25)

God gave his word to Zechariah through Angel Gabriel while he was in the sanctuary of the Lord burning incense. God promised to give him and his wife Elizabeth a son who would be great in the eyes of God, dedicated to the service of God from birth. The child's life's purpose would be to prepare the people of Israel for the coming of the Lord Jesus.

However, Zechariah doubted the fulfillment of the word since both he and his wife were well advanced in years. Because of his unbelief, he was made mute until the child was born. But his unbelief did not keep God from fulfilling his word at the appointed time.

When Zechariah's week of service in the temple was over, he returned home. Soon afterwards his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and later bore a son whom they named John, and everyone rejoiced with them.

God fulfilled his word to the Shunamite woman and to Zechariah. When God gives us a word, nothing can stand in the way of its fulfillment. Not our doubt or unbelief or age. Not even death. Just like Zechariah and Elizabeth were too old to bear children, the Shunamite woman's husband was an old man. But their old age and barrenness did not keep God from fulfilling his word to them.

God is able to override your disqualification and unbelief to bring to fruition what He has spoken to you. When God gives you a word, hold on to it, travail for it, pursue it, persist in it and keep praying for it. Believe the word of God even when it seems impossible given your lack of prerequisite qualifications.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 13, Issue 12: When God Gives You A Word Part II

This is a follow-on article to one of last week's posts. Please start with "When God Gives You A Word" then come back to this post. In that post, we spoke about how you know that God has given you a word, what happens in many cases and what to do.

In this and the in next two posts, we will highlight five examples from Scripture of when God gave a Word.

1. God's word to Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 12:1-3, 15:1-6, 17:15-16)

God promised Abraham and Sarah a child. That promise took around two decades before it came to pass. Abraham was 75 years old when God told him that he would make him into a great nation. The passage of time caused them to doubt and they tried out an alternative. Sarah gave her servant Hagar to Abraham to have a child for her. But this alternative didn't replace God's word. Ishmael, the child that was born to Abraham from that arrangement at the age of 86 had to be sent away.

God qualifies for his word. This couple didn't meet the prerequisite qualifications for having a child. They were very old and Sarah was barren. But that didn't hinder God from giving the word and fulfilling it. Isaac was born to them when Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah 90.

When God gives a word, he sustains it. It was through Isaac that God promised to make Abraham a father of many nations. When Isaac was probably a teenager, in a test of his faith, God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. After a display of Abraham's obedience, God provided the animal for the sacrifice and Isaac lived

2God's word to Joseph (Genesis 37:2, 5-10, 41:39-44, 42:6)

During his teen years, God gave Joseph a word through dreams, that he would be a leader. What followed is that all that could go wrong went terribly wrong. His brothers threw him in a pit, then sold him to slave traders.

A slave in Egypt, Joseph was put in charge of Potiphar's household. But Potiphar's wife gave him a hard time and eventually falsely accused him of a terrible crime when he wouldn't give in to her seduction. And he wound up in prison for a crime he did not commit.

While in prison, the people he interpreted dreams for forgot about him when they were released. It was more than a decade later that God's word to Joseph came to pass. He became second in command to Pharaoh, and his brothers bowed low to him when they came to him in Egypt to buy food during a severe famine.

God fulfilled his word to Abraham and Joseph to the letter. When God gives us a word, nothing can stand in the way of it's fulfillment. Not the passage of time. Not our lack of necessary qualifications. Not opposition. God is able to override protocols to bring to fruition what He has spoken.

When God gives you a word, hold on to it, travail for it, pursue it, persist in it and keep praying for it. Refuse to drop the ball just because it looks like nothing is happening. When God gives you a word, don't give up on it unless He says so.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 13, Issue 11: Willingness To Adapt

I just got back home a few weeks ago after living in Addis for a few months. At home, my environment allows me to do my walking workouts outside as early as 5am in the morning. And the setting in my house allows me to do strength training workouts with weights from YouTube workouts on my TV at 4.30am. And that's what I did until the day I left for Addis, and when I got back home.

The first hotel I checked into upon arrival in Addis had a great gym on a separate building, and it wasn't open until 6am in morning. The hotel management agreed to have it opened for me at 5am, and I used it for the first couple of days for both my walk and strength training workouts. But I soon felt uneasy about being in a gym alone when it was still pitch dark outside. So I stopped going and worked out in my hotel room with YouTube body-weighted workouts on the TV. My daily walking workout was substituted by walks to and from the office in the morning, during lunch break and in the evening.

When I left the hotel and moved to a more permanent accommodation arrangement, my hotel apartment was far from the office, so I couldn't walk back and forth. I also did not feel safe to go outside for my 5am walking workouts. And I wasn't disappointed about the lack of a gym in the facility. I adjusted my morning YouTube workouts on the TV from body-weighted strength trainings to walking workouts. I also did a bit of walking at the office parking lot during lunch breaks. And on the weekends I went out for long walks in the middle of the day.

I admit, my workouts in Addis weren't as rigorous and efficient as my workouts at home before and now. But I worked out. I adapted to my environment and continued to exercise in some shape and form. I maintained my identity of being a person who works out at least 5 days a week.

To be maintained and improved, habits have to be done consistently. But I have learned that practically, consistency is not about being disciplined. It is about being adaptable. If I wasn't willing to adapt my workouts in Addis, I could have either put myself in harm's way or put working out on hold all together. And so, when I recently read James Clear's post on consistency, I knew I wanted to write about it.

"In theory, Consistency is about being disciplined, determined and unwavering. In practice, consistency is about being adaptable. Don't have much time? Scale it down. Don't have much energy? Do the easy version. Find different ways to show up depending on your circumstances. Let your habits change shape to meet the demands of the day. Adaptability is the way of consistency." James Clear.

Which of your habits do you need to get comfortable with adjusting to suit your current circumstance? We can always show up for the things we have signed up for even when our circumstances change. All we need to do is adapt. Then we can be guaranteed to remain consistent and achieve our goals.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi