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Volume 09, Issue 46: Unperturbed

I concluded the "Trust the Process" article by urging us to not let the opposition distract us from our agenda. I wanted to follow up that article with something I was gleaning from the story of Daniel at the time, but I have been so busy to write until now.

I have always enjoyed the story of Daniel, but it has never come to life for me like it did the last few weeks during my people struggles at work. I believe that God sometimes allows people to come into our spaces who are downright hostile, hellbent on uprooting us. This is not new to our time, there are examples in the Word of God to encourage us when chaos rock our boats.

Daniel faced severe hardships on the job. He had a boss who was a violent narcissist and his coworkers were actively trying to undermine him and get rid of him. But Daniel did not retaliate or stoop to the political machinations of his coworkers. Instead, Daniel went about his job like normal. He went on just as he had always done before, did his job and went into his room and prayed - giving thanks to God and asking for God's help - Tim Keller, from his Theology of Work Project.

Inspite of his opposition, Daniel served his boss faithfully. He did not let the chaos around him get to him or distract him from his assignments, he went on as though no one was going against him. It may be chaotic around you right now, but as long as you still have a job to do, don't waste time trying to figure out your opposition or murmuring or retaliating. Rather, fight back by tuning them out and doing your job the best way you know how.

As long as we live on this side of eternity, there will always be trials. But God has promised to deliver us from all of them. Daniel's prayers didn't keep him from having to go through trials. He still got thrown into the Lion's den. But God used Daniel's ordeal for good. Thanks to Daniel's faithfulness in the face of opposition, the pagan king ended up praising Daniel's God. And in the end, Daniel prospered in Persia, despite the people problems that plagued his work environment - Tim Keller.

Just like Daniel, we can be unperturbed in the face of workplace strife. We can actually thrive in it. Daniel did his job: showing up, praying, thanking God, and asking for God's help. God did the rest of the work, taking care of Daniel and prospering him in his workplace. So don't let your opposition distract you from your agenda. Resist the urge to retaliate or to stoop to their level. Instead, keep doing your job the best you can and maintain a thankful attitude.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 09, Issue 45: Trust the Process

The last few weeks I got into situations at work where I felt like throwing in the towel. I kept praying under my breadth, "God, get me out of here". Then God spoke to me through a YouVersion Bible plan by Sheila Walsh from her "It's Okay Not To Be Okay" book. I was reminded of one of the lessons in Joseph's story - doing the work at hand admits unpleasant circumstances.

The story of Joseph has a profound lesson for us when we go through occupational difficulties. Joseph went from being the favoured son, to an Egyptian slave, then a prisoner for a crime he didn't commit. It's easy to lose heart in such situations but Joseph remained steadfast and devoted himself to the work at hand.

A slave in Potiphar's house, Joseph worked so diligently that his boss put him in charge of all the affairs of his household. This was his first occupation right after being forcefully removed from the comfort of his home. He had every reason to have a bad attitude, but he instead gave his all to the tasks he was assigned. He later had to go to prison for a crime he didn't commit. Even there, he serves the prison wardens so wholeheartedly that they entrust him with the responsibility of running the jail.

Some of the struggles we face are from our mistakes, others come from other people's malice and spite. If we remain true to our Master, fixing our mistakes and remaining steadfast in the midst of opposition, God sees to it that we are vindicated at the right time. It may be a long hard journey, but if we trust the process, He walks with us, makes it easier for us to bear, and leads us to victory.

By the end of the second week of that mess, I was in a different place mentally. I was settled in the knowledge that I have a job to do for my King of Kings. I therefore need to stay put, give it all I have to give, leaving nothing on the table until the One I ultimately work for reassigns me. You cannot let the opposition distract you from your agenda. Tackle each tussle with ease and joy, and when it's all said and done, you will emerge victorious. Not because you are better than others, but because of Whose you are.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 09, Issue 44: Why You Should Exercise Regularly

We all know that exercise is important to maintain a healthy weight. But what about the other benefits of exercise? Many people don't have issues with their weight and therefore see no reason to exercise. Let's consider health benefits of exercise that go beyond your weight and that go beyond the way you look. We need to find motivation to make exercise a priority because it's all about taking care of ourselves and investing in our long term health. Your exercise today is going to pay off in the future when you are older. The benefits of exercise are obvious, but I was interested in sharing the science backed reasons for exercise provided by Ria of The Whole Happy Life channel. Let's get started. I have laid it out exactly the way Ria presented it in her video.

1. Healthier skin

Regular exercise can make such a big difference to your skin. Why exactly is it that exercise helps with skin health? One is better circulation. When you work out, you get better circulation and better blood flow, and as result of that, your skin is healthier because it's getting more of the nutrients from your blood. Two, is reduced oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is the type of stress that your body experiences, and it can cause skin wrinkling and aging. Regular moderate exercise can reduce this type of stress on your body and it can help your body boost its natural antioxidants. As a result of that, your skin looks younger for longer.

2. Improved memory and brain health

When you exercise, your heart rate increases, and as result of that, there is better blood flow to the brain. This then means that there's more oxygen to the brain which definitely has an impact on brain health. When it comes to memory, exercise also makes a difference. There's a part of the brain known as the hippocampus. This part of the brain is associated with memory and learning. Exercise happens to increase the size of this part of the brain, so definitely it is something that is worthwhile, something that you should be doing.

3. Increased energy levels

You will note that when you are working out more regularly, you have a lot more energy and you can get a lot more done in your day than when you are not working out. Several studies have shown that exercise can help with fatigue and energy levels. Exercise can help reduce fatigue, but there is a fine line between exercising enough and over exercising. If you are venturing into overexercise, it can cause a lot of tiredness and a lot of fatigue. So you need to recognize when you are overexercising.

4. Lowered stress levels

Stress is an inevitable part of life, you can't escape it, but you can manage it. Exercise is one way to help manage your stress. Exercise basically helps your body deal with stresses a lot better. It makes your body stronger, not immune but generally better at dealing with stress. Bear in mind that when you are exercising, you need to exercise within your limit, and not overexercise, as overexercise can increase oxidative stress. The right amount of exercise teaches your body how to deal with stress.

5. Increased happiness and better mood

Exercise increases our production of endorphins, which are chemicals that your body produces that can help you feel good and reduce the perception of pain. If you want to increase endorphins in your body, a good way to do it is through exercise. Exercises also helps with better mood, eases anxiety and depression.

6. Better sleep

Exercise can help with improving the quality of your sleep. Work out more often if you want to sleep better. There are studies that show that there's a link between sleep quality and exercise.

7. Better bone health

You might be thinking you don't need to worry about bone health because you are young. Here's the thing about bone health - when you reach the age of 35, you start to lose a lot more of bone mass than you rebuild. So your bone health is in decline after 35. So you really should consider starting to take care of your bones early on. Even if you are older, it's never too late to start taking care of your bones. One way to do this is through weight-bearing exercises. So find something that you enjoy that can actually help with your bone health.

8. Lowered risk of heart disease

Heart disease is a leading cause of death in both men and women across the globe. There's one thing that you can do to reduce your risk, and that is moderate exercise on a regular basis. Studies have shown that people who have higher levels of physical activity have a 20% lowered risk of coronary heart disease.

9. Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes

You can reduce your risk of diabetes with exercise. It's obviously not the only thing but it's definitely an important thing. A 2016 study found that 150 minutes of moderate physical exercise reduced the risk of diabetes by 26%. That's actually a substantial decrease in the risk just from 5 days a week of working out for 30 minutes per day. It's something that is definitely doable, and if you can work out even more, you can get some more health benefits, depending on how you do your exercises.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 09, Issue 43: With Ease and Joy

If we are honest, life is a series of burdens. Each of us has different kinds. My pressing burdens have been my work responsibilities and I am the first to admit that it can get pretty overwhelming at times. I went through a particular YouVersion Bible plan last week on the Ruthless Elimination of Hurry provided by John Mark Comer that helped me push a reset button to surrender.

When the burdens weigh us down, we feel like throwing in the towel, giving it all up for an easier life. I was encouraged listening to one of the live speakers at the Global Leadership summit that I attended the other week. She is a young senior executive high up the ladder in the corporate industry who admitted what I haven't had anyone else in a senior position admit. That it's hard having big responsibilities, and that sometimes she just feels like leaving it all behind to go relax in her farm in the countryside. I completely relate. Often times I toy with the idea of replacing my job with something easier in my estimation like baking.

The burdens of our work responsibilities can be daunting, but there's a secret to copying that we need to be reminded of time and time again. The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry study showed me what I already knew to be true but wasn't applying in my current situation. I desperately needed the reminder.

In the Ruthless Elimination of Hurry plan, John wrote that Jesus appealed to all the tired, weary and burned out and simply said, "Come, find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Jesus' open invite is to a life of rest and yet His imagery of an "easy yoke" is a bit odd. Far removed from an agrarian economy, we forget that a yoke is a tool for work; it was used to harness oxen together to plow a field. That sounds like the last thing a burned-out worker needs. The tired among us don't want a yoke, we want a vacation!

John continues, but Jesus is wise beyond comprehension. He gets it better than we often do, that life is an unending series of burdens. There’s no way around the weight of responsibility that is life this side of resurrection. What we need isn’t an escape from that weight, but a way to carry it with ease and joy. That’s what Jesus offers – a way to carry the weight of life with a straight back and smile on your face.

John reminds us that in the way of Jesus, Sabbath is a 24-hour practice of restful worship by which we cultivate a spirit of restfulness all week long. As we near the weekend, and look forward to a day of rest and worship, we need to remember that there are Sabbath moments all through each day - little opportunities to slow down and rest under Jesus' easy yoke.

There's no escape from the responsibilities of life. We can't throw in the towel and disappoint all those who look up to us as their role models. But we can carry the weight of our responsibilities with ease and joy by surrendering it to Jesus and asking for His help. We can move toward seeing the Sabbath as both a daily practice and a way of life.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 09, Issue 42: Your Difference Looks Good On You

I attended the Nairobi Chapter of the 2019 Global Leadership Summit a few weeks ago and was inspired by most of the presentations. To reinforce my learning from the summit, I committed to share my notes from the presentations that inspired me the most with my community. Today I want to share my notes from DeVon Franklin's presentation on harnessing the power of your difference.

DeVon Franklin is an award-winning producer, best-selling author and spiritual success coach. Beliefnet named him one of the Most Influential Christians under 40. He is CEO of Franklin Entertainment with 20th Century Fox.

DeVon's presentation inspired me to embrace my difference. Even though different is difficult, your difference is your destiny. Each of us has our own recipe for success. We have to own and cultivate the recipe that is already in us. Too often we try to become someone else at the expense of who we are.

Think about your life and make a list of the characteristics you bring to the table that differentiate you from others. Your difference looks good on you. You are good enough to find success. Your difference is good enough.

What would it look like for you to own your differences? What barriers, fears, or distractions keep us from living out our uniqueness? What needs to shift so that we are able to overcome those barriers?

Difference can be painful. It's hard to stand out. It's much easier to blend in with everybody else. And not everyone is going to embrace your difference. But your difference is the key to open the door to your destiny. Don't be concerned about fitting in. Own your difference, even when it's painful. Don't just fit in so as not to ruffle any feathers.

What makes you different/unique? What gives you a different world view, and why do you think this way? Don't exchange what makes you different for what makes you common. Resist the exchange temptation. Don't try to be a repeat of what someone else did. Take the bullet of being original and position yourself for your best life.

Let's aim to get to place where we can say "I am different, and I am okay with it". Feel good about being associated with yourself. Hang with those who encourage your difference.

Be salt and light. Start shaking your creativity on everything you touch. Shine your light in dark places. You may feel alone being different, but your difference doesn't require the approval of everyone. Let's build our confidence about our difference to be able to say, "I have me. I have enough all by myself. My difference is not only my destiny, my difference makes a difference".

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi