REACTING TO COVID-19

It was on the mid morning of Friday 13th of  March when the dreadful news was announced on national TV Stations. I remember the headline very well, ‘CORONA YA FIKA KENYA’ which translates to read ‘CORONA REACHES KENYA’. I honestly could not believe what I was seeing at this point. We were on our tea break and I remember randomly talking to a gentleman who was standing next to me. I did not shy away from expressing my genuine fear of the Virus and it showed in my hands which could not stop shaking, it was really hard to drink my cup of tea and the snack that acted as its compliment. The guy tried his best to calm me down but it was futile,  at that point I was experiencing a surge of emotions. After finally finishing my tea and snack, I rushed to get my phone and called my mum to tell her about the news and thereafter called my brother just to warn him to be careful as he heads out. It was after that call when I felt the Holy Spirit convicting me. I was so fearful that I forgot about God, It’s like I forgot that He exist and let the fear consume me to the point where I got others fearful.

 

C19

I do not know how your response was when you first heard about the virus, maybe you were like me or not but here is my take. COVID-19 is scary and fearing something that could potentially take your life is a natural reaction but we should not allow fear to take dominance in our life especially at such a time as this. I believe God intentionally repeats the phrase ‘Do not fear ‘ in different accounts in the Bible to remind us not to allow fear to take control. One thing that gives me comfort in this pandemic is knowing that God is Sovereign, the whole world might have been caught by surprise by this pandemic but God wasn’t. He knew this would happen and He allowed it ,for reasons better known to Him. So it’s best to focus on God and have Him guide us on what to do for this pandemic shall indeed pass, this season shall change but God will remain constant.

COVID-19

Here are my tips on how to react to COVID-19

1. Read and Meditate on God’s Word

Examples;

  • Psalm115:3-‘Our God is in Heaven, he does whatever pleases Him.
  • Isaiah 41:10- So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God.I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand
  • 2Chronicles 7:14-If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and I will forgive their sin and will their land.
  • Philippians 4:6-7- Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

2. Pray without ceasing

Use the extra time you have to stand in the gap and pray for your family, friends, leaders, nation and the world. This time can also be used to do some soul searching and work on your relationship with God.

3.Be good stewards of time

Ask God on how you can best use the extra time you have on your hands. This in itself could be a blessing in disguise. Once He has shown you what you can do, ask Him for the wisdom and discipline to be faithful enough to do it.

4. Gain adequate knowledge about the COVID-19

Gain enough knowledge on it and act accordingly in order to make sure you keep yourself safe as well as those around you.

5. Check up on your loved ones

Call your friends and see how they are doing. If the social distancing has taken a toll on you, video call them and keep the conversations flowing. Different people are handling this differently, it is never wise to assume that they are ok.

6. Be creative and have fun

Let your imagination run wild but of course remaining in the confines of Godly principles because the devil is still working and looking for a way to get to you, so do not let him have that glory.

FHL6

All in all, let us all cling to Faith in our God, Hope for a better tomorrow and continue showing love to one another.

” I have found the paradox, that if we love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt,only more love.”

                        –Mother Teresa

 

 

 

Fear of Reaching Out (Evangelizing)

To reach out simply means to seek to help someone and evangelize means to share the gospel, together  it refers to, seek to help people through sharing the good news of the  gospel and today I will talk about why we fear based on my personal observation from my own experience and that of others.

I am sure you are all familiar with the phrase, ‘the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak’ which was originally uttered by Jesus to his disciples who fell asleep when they were supposed to be praying. Today people carelessly proclaim that phrase  as a justifies alibi for not doing what they were supposed to do. Personally, I have proudly publicized the phrase without ever giving much thought to  it. But now as I come to terms with the true  meaning I can’t help but feel guilty,  you see by proclaiming these words I am simply saying that I  would rather bow down to my flesh instead of the Holy Spirit that is guiding me on the right thing to do in that given situation. If you are like me, then you have probably fallen prey to this as well and the funny thing is in most (if not all) the scenarios, you will always find that there are”justifiable” reasons that back our actions.

In the case of evangelizing most of us fear because we either think:

  1. I am  not “spiritual” enough
  2. Someone else can do it better than me
  3. The person I want to evangelize to might ask questions I won’t be able to answer
  4. I might be attacked by the demons in another person (This was my biggest fear!)
  5. I do not feel like there is anything I could possibly share
  6. I am not eloquent enough and so on and so forth….

CROSS

If you are nodding your head to some of these fears or adding your own, I would urge you to stop paying mind to them. Remember allowing these fears to take center stage means you are essentially focusing on your own strength and flesh which in itself is very limiting.  Once you focus on your own abilities fear comes naturally and giving  in to the flesh becomes inevitable. We need to overcome this fear not only for ourselves but for the person out there who needs to hear the message of hope and love from us. Some practical steps you can take to overcome the fear;

1.Pray for Boldness-This is one of the prayers God delights in and will answer immediately. A good example of people who prayed for boldness is found in the book of Acts4:29. God is willing to help and guide you so do not be afraid to ask.

2. Acknowledge that you do have something to share-The fact that you know the love of God , His redemptive plan and the peace and joy that comes with accepting Jesus in your life is enough reason for you to reach out to someone who has not tasted the goodness of God 1Peter3:15.

3. It is okay to have limitations-Remember you are not relying on your own strength but God’s. Once you offer yourself as an instrument to be used by Him , He will work through you enabling you to do things you could not do on your own. God does His best work when you are weak (2Corith12:9).

4. Love others more than yourself-This would mean sacrificing either your comfort,time and other valuable things for the sake of reaching out to other people. A good example of a believer who did this was Stephen (Acts6:8). The living reality of Jesus guided Stephen’s actions. He was a man filled with the Spirit and his two greatest concerns were God’s glory in Christ and the eternal good of others.

5.Focus on God’s approval and not man’s-Once you have this mind set you will not worry about people’s opinion which usually fuels the fear of evangelizing (Gal 1:10).

6. Ask for God’s wisdom- By doing this you will get insights on how to approach a given situation that calls you to reach out to someone, you will get words on what you need to say and how to say it (James1:5).

7. God is bigger than all forms of evil in the world-If God is for you then there’s truly nothing to be afraid of, nothing can get in His way(Romans 8:31,Psalms 27:1).

8. Do not underestimate what the word of God can do in someone’s life (Hebrews 4:12).

EVANGELISM 2

I hope this helps, these are some of the steps I have been taking as I embark on this journey of learning to boldly evangelize. Remember it does not have to be in a huge crusade or anything like that, it could simply be that person you meet at the kiosk  or matatu who seems distraught, that beggar you pass every day on a particular street, that kid in the estate who does not have good role models around her, whatever the case may be, do not hesitate to share what God puts in your heart at that very instant that situation presents itself. You are blessed to be a blessing to others.

All the best. Godspeed.

How To Overcome Negative Thoughts

This has been the greatest challenge I have ever had to deal with in my whole entire life.  I honestly  did not know the gravity of this problem until I encountered situations in my life that brought out the ugliness negative thoughts can have in one’s life. You see the negative thoughts that were in my mind prevented me from doing many things, for instance, I would shy away from pursuing my “crazy dreams” simply because my thoughts would tell me that they would not succeed, or  even worse they would force me to be a prisoner of people’s expectations and opinions of me and because of that I would shelve them in the back of my mind. Other negative thoughts and doubts that plagued my mind include: I am a failure, I will not amount to anything, I am not setting a good example…….

Yes I am a Christian and if you are one, chances are you are thinking that I should have known better than to allow such thoughts to run my life (and that would be a fair argument), but as we are told in the word of God, once you are born again you do not become Christ Like in that very instance, it is a gradual process of what is referred to as sanctification and 2019 is the year I learnt to overcome my negative thoughts. Before I got to the thing that worked for me, I tried out various things from listening to various motivational speakers, reading various books and articles to writing down positive affirmations about everything pertaining my life but these only gave me a momentary high, it did not serve the purpose I yearned for. Intentionally, I continued to pursue God in this area and prayed for this intervention in this issue and He led me to His word, the Bible (Go figure!). As they say, it does not matter if you have been a Christian for 1 month or 10 years you still have a lot to learn.

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After studying the word as revealed by God, I got to learn that there is truly nothing that we face that God does not know. God in His awesome wonder inspired the authors to write the bible in such a way that it guides the believer in their journey. An ancient book it may be but it is nevertheless timeless in its relevance.

Practical steps that you could use;

  1. Memorize verses that speak to your situation. Be intentional about it, if you are not good at memorizing it then you could simply jot it down in your phone diary and set it as a reminder, that way you will find yourself meditating on God’s truth. Another alternative would be to write sticky notes and stick the notes in a strategic place where you can easily see them, an example would be your study desk.
  2. Shoot down any negative thoughts with the word of God.

“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword….”

Hebrews 4:12

  1. Always remember that Jesus came so that we may have life and have it abundantly. This simply means that Jesus did not go through what he did for you to live a miserable life or one that is marked with fear, self-pity, sadness you name it. Do not let the devil win!

Other steps I made included changing my playlist, to one that composed of at least 90% gospel. I love music and I wanted to make sure whatever is going through my ear was positive and uplifting. I was cautious of what I was watching as well. What you listen to and watch affects affects your thought process, so make sure it is beneficial to you. Remember everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial (1Corinthians10:23).

I wish you all the best in your endeavor to overcome the negative thoughts in your mind. Remember we were given dominion over the world , the devil is only as powerful as you allow him to be so please don’t let him have a strong hold in your mind or life in general.

Be blessed

Guiding Verses

  1. Philippians 4:8
  2. Isaiah 41:10
  3. James 4:7
  4. Jeremiah 29:11
  5. John 8:36
  6. Proverbs 3:5-6
  7. 1Peter 5:8-9
  8. Romans 12:2 & 8: 37
  9. 1Peter 3: 3-4

Songs

1.Contemporary and Pop

  • Jamie Grace- Daughter of a King and Happy Valentine
  • Mandisa-Overcomer
  • Jonathan mcReynolds-Cycles
  • Jonny Diaz- Define me
  • Casting Crowns- Voice of Truth
  • Nichole Nordeman- Listen to your life
  • Mercyme-Greater
  • Lauren Diagle_ You Say

2. Hip-Hop

  • KB-No Chains
  • Koryn Hawthorne-Unstoppable
  • Andy Mineo-You can’t stop me
  • Trip Lee- Sweet Victory
  • Lecrae- Don’t waste your life

3.HYMNS

  • Keith and Kristyn- Living waters, I will wait for you (Psalms 130)
  • Nichole Nordeman-Turn your eyes upon Jesus

If you would like more materials(songs,books, articles e.t.c) on this topic let me know through my email; lindatwiry@gmail.com.

 

 

 

Why Do Christians Suffer?

One of my good friends asked me this question one Sunday afternoon as we were having our Bible study,

“Why do we have to ‘suffer’ before we get what we want in life?Why is it that my non christian friends seem to have an easy life yet they live a life not following Christ?”

At that particular point my only response was  “Jesus Christ did not have an easy life on earth, He was ridiculed, rejected and finally killed unjustly. As Christians we should  not expect our lives to be easy, If the Son of Man suffered best believe we will too.But I can assure you this, God loves and cares for you and I even though we may struggle to know His will”.

Valleys
God of the Hills and Valleys(Your Ups and Downs)

Personally I thought that was pretty much the only reason why we suffer,however, God revealed to me additional reasons as to why we undergo various challenges in life;

  • To awaken our spirits. Imagine living a life where everything was handed to you on a silver platter or a life where the world was free from death, pain, heartbreak, violence, illnesses and so on. Do you think we would have a relationship with God? I highly doubt it, you see suffering produces perseverance and perseverance character. Without suffering our faith cannot be strengthened. However, we should not be disheartened because the we know that God cannot give us anything we cannot handle,furthermore, He promises to be with us through it all providing strength, encouragement, wisdom and comfort.
  • To enable His work to be revealed in us.An example from the Bible is the healing of the blind man. During that era being born blind was considered a punishment that resulted from the sins of the parents. Can we just pause and imagine the kind of stigma this man had to go through,it is quite sad. He experienced isolation and a sense of hopelessness but, Jesus filled with compassion healed him off his blindness hence revealing God’s glory in the process.

Similarly, Jesus is aware of our needs and He will help us all we need to do is put our trust in Him and He will be faithful to answer.

Ultimately, suffering is part of God’s exalted purpose and we are always under His perfect sovereign care. Therefore to my fellow readers, do not be disheartened when facing trials of many kind instead cast all your worries to God and allow Him to take the weight off your shoulders. Always focus on God and not the problem at hand. There is beauty in lack, ask God to reveal to you what He wants you to learn from the season you are in.

Be blessed.

Guiding Verses

  1. John 9: 1-12
  2. John 15: 18-21
  3. James 1:2
  4. 2Timothy 2:13
  5. 2Timothy 3: 12
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My first Post!Please feel free to comment.