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Volume 10, Issue 37: The Last 100 Days

The beginning of this week marked the start of the last 100 days of 2020. When this was brought to my attention, I started thinking of what I can salvage. By this time in the year, there are intentions that we have probably given up living up to this year. But the awareness of a whooping 100 days left in the year brings a sense of motivation that it's not too late to salvage some things.

Are there conversations you intended to have, maybe one off or on a regular basis this year that you haven't gathered the courage or made the time to have? Are there trips you intended to make, places or people you intended to visit that the COVID pandemic prevented you from making and visiting respectively? Are there habits you intended to master or drop that somehow fell through the cracks? Are there disciplines you started at the beginning of the year but didn't follow through with after awhile? If you are anything like me, you have answered 'yes' to some of these questions.

Is there a qualification you intended to get or start pursuing that you put on hold for one reason or another? Are there struggles you would rather conquer this unprecedented year than carry forward to next year? I most certainly have a few of those. This last 100 days' mark gives us an opportunity not to reset the clock, but to salvage a few things and finish the year in a better place than we otherwise would. Let's take a few moments to consider what's important to us, the things that are worth salvaging thus far in the year and give it a try.

There's still enough time to start enjoying your life, to start rewarding yourself, to start eating better, to start exercising, to start a course or earn a qualification, to start praying with your spouse, to start reading books, to start planning for your future, to fight for a relationship worth salvaging. There's still enough time to stop hitting the snooze button, to stop overeating, to stop shouting at your children, to stop taking yourself too seriously, to stop working yourself to the ground, to stop overspending at the expense of your future, to walk away from a wrong relationship.

There's still enough time to dance in the rain. There's still enough time to stop beating yourself up for what went wrong, for the messes you made. There's still enough time to let go of the pain or shame, to accept what you can't fix or change. There's still enough time to give yourself permission to fly, or smile. There's still enough time to come out of the furnace of 2020 smelling like a rose. So, will you give it a try? I sure will. I owe it to myself, and so do you.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 
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Volume 10, Issue 36: One Purpose, Different Assignments

I like what I gleaned on the subject of purpose while studying Rachel G. Scott's Walking in your Purpose YouVersion Bible plan. She wrote that the Google search dictionary defines the word "purpose" as the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists. Google defines the word "assignment" as coming from the root word assign, which means to allocate (a job or duty) or to designate or set aside for a specific purpose.

As you can see from these definitions, these two words although seemingly similar are distinctly different from each other. One answers the what and the other answers the how. Purpose answers the what and assignment answers the how - Rachel G. Scott.

Our assignments are defined by our purpose. As followers of Christ, we have all been given the same purpose. Our purpose is to walk in the authority that has been given to us on earth and in heaven, and to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is the reason we exist, to make His name known throughout the earth. Through spreading the message of Jesus Christ and bringing people into the knowledge of Him, we walk fully and totally in the purpose for which we have been created - Rachel G. Scott.

The purpose is clear, it is our assignment (the way in which we are each called to go about it) that differs. Rachel expounds more on assignments in her Walking in your Assignment YouVersion Bible plan. She says that assignments are defined by the purpose, and the purpose is fulfilled by the assignments. Every assignment is significant in fulfilling the purpose. All assignments that God has us on are impactful and a contribution to his greater purpose.

My key takeaway from these devotionals from Rachel G. Scott is that, just like every believer, my purpose is to make Christ known. My assignment - one of the ways I do that is with my writing. What is your assignment? What are the ways you are called to go about fulfilling THE Purpose? How are you making Christ known?

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 10, Issue 35: I'll Have More Tomorrow

I am taking time for extended rest for the next four weeks. I started a YouVersion Bible plan titled "Making Time To Rest" at the beginning of the week to get me started in the right direction. I was particularly inspired by today's reading to the point of making some decisions for when I go back to work. Here is what the author had to say in the last day of the plan.

The reason we need rest is because we have been working or exerting energy is some way. And just because we learn how to rest and may feel rested doesn't mean we will stay that way. We will work again. We will help others again. We will be emotionally drained again.

Getting rest for the sake of rest is not the whole point. We rest and get rest so that we can work again. There's a beautiful ebb and flow of working and resting; of being filled up so that we can pour out. We find rest as we do the practices that fill us back up daily. We can't think that one week of vacation will carry us through for months and months. We must make daily deposits in our rest buckets to endure. And we have to be paying attention when too many withdrawals have been made.

In his book, Leading on Empty: Refilling Your Tank and Refueling Your Passion, author and pastor Wayne Cordeiro tells about a dream he had. A woman approached a farmer at his farm and asked him for something he didn't have. He said, "Come back tomorrow, and I'll have more." She was upset but it didn't bother him. He just kept working. People came to his farm everyday and when he was out of eggs or milk, he would simply say, "Come back tomorrow, and I'll have more."

Pastor Cordeiro shared this newfound view he had after the dream: I don't have to tie myself to an imaginary, unrelenting cycle to produce more, make more or try to outdo last week's numbers. I have just so much time in the day, and i want to do what I can with all my heart involved. When the clock runs out, then I'll say, "Come back tomorrow, and I'll have more." We wake up each day with a certain amount of mental, emotional and physical energy. When we have poured out everything we have to give, we must rest. When we are in this empty state, there is less of us to get in the way of God's work in our lives. Lean in, be still and rest.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 10, Issue 34: Turning Adversaries into Ambassadors

How does he do it, remove our opposition? And why does the Lord remove our opposition even long after we asked him and we have learnt to co-exist with the opposition? Why does he still remove them? Because he is a faithful God who does what is good for us in his own time.

God doesn't ignore our prayers, he answers each one of them. Sometimes with a "yes" right away, sometimes with a "no", and sometimes with a "wait". A "no" is good for us just as much as a "yes" is good for us. And a "wait" is just as good for us as an immediate "yes" because God teaches us valuable lessons in the wait and changes our hearts.

Late last year I came into some serious opposition at work. God removed two of my fiercest foes at the beginning of this year, then another that I could live with towards the middle of the year. And now, when I am no longer bothered about it, he removes yet another, the last one in the pack.

What is so special about the wait is that God used this time to work on my heart. I have come to love and respect these last two adversaries. Both of them have been routing for me, shouting my praises on the rooftop, and on their way out, offering to take me with them to their greener pastures. Can you believe that? I can, because the Bible says that when God approves of your life, even your enemies end up shaking your hand - Proverbs 16:7 MSG.

Who makes enemies pack up and leave when they are on a winning streak? Who turns fierce foes into ambassadors? Things that only God can do. Isn't it amazing? It blows my mind away. God rewrites our stories. He makes all things, even our pain and difficulties work together for our good. Whatever your struggles this season, hang in there and do your best to repay evil with good. Trust God and maintain a good attitude. You will be amazed to see what God is doing behind the scenes.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 10, Issue 33: I Can't Come Down

Ever since I studied one of Rachel Scott's YouVersion Bible plans a few weeks ago, I can't wait to get some time in my hands to study the rest of her plans and digest her message. Rachel is the founder of "I Can't Come Down" movement.

I am doing something great and I can't come down. That's what I got from Rachel. This is taken from the story of Nehemiah when he had to overcome distractions to complete the work of rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem. His enemies Sanballat and Geshem sent him messages to go meet with them. Knowing their ill intentions, he responded, "I am doing a great work; I can't come down. Why should the work come to a standstill just so I can come down to see you?"

“When Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies heard that I had rebuilt the wall and that there were no more breaks in it—even though I hadn’t yet installed the gates—Sanballat and Geshem sent this message: “Come and meet with us at Kephirim in the valley of Ono.” I knew they were scheming to hurt me so I sent messengers back with this: “I’m doing a great work; I can’t come down. Why should the work come to a standstill just so I can come down to see you?”” ‭‭Nehemiah‬ ‭6:2-3‬ ‭MSG‬‬.

I am doing something great and I can't come down. Don't you just feel like saying that when you feel bombarded with invitations, or feel left out for not being able to accept invitations? Reading Rachel Scott's message validated me that I am as normal as I can be. There is nothing abnormal about turning down even seemingly good invitations in seasons when your plate consumes all your attention.

Your something great right now could be raising your children, maintaining your marriage, starting a business, growing your career, recovering from exhaustion, taking care of a sick loved one. These, and others like them are valid reasons to turn down invitations for seemingly good things that would either overstretch you, or distract you from your great work.

I am doing something great and I can't come down. What do you need to say "No" to in this season? What invitations do you need to stop being guilt-tricked into accepting so that you can focus on the great work that your life should be all about in this season of your life? Which groups of people do you need to stay away from to help you focus on becoming the best version of yourself this season? Just respond with, "I am doing something great and I can't come down."

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi