The first time I saw the book cover and read several peoples review of Hope Babigumira’s “No makeup on – The Rebirth of Identity”, I knew that this was a book I wanted to read. I must say I judged the book by the cover… the beautiful cover and title pulled me in to buy the book and read. I am also big on identity, I believe that a lot of issues we struggle with could wholesomely be sorted once our identity is sorted.
Hope shares her life with a hope that ladies out there or anyone struggling with identify will not have to listen to the lies of the enemy concerning who they are and therefore will not agree to them and go through a lot to be accepted or fit into different groups. It is these lies of the enemy that lead one to make decisions that are harmful to themselves and others. Hope shares what was like for her and how the truth freed her to live her life in abundance and how she continues to stay in the truth.
Get this book, read it and choose daily the truth of who you are – You are loved by the best!
This year I committed to read a minimum of 2 books a month on various topics. I prefer hard copies to kindle or audible which sometimes is a challenge especially when I travel without having purchased the books. I then miss opportunities of reading the free time which attempts to frustrate me.
On my last trip in Eastern Uganda, I traveled along with 2 books which I looked forward to read. I read Jovita Babiryes “The Pursuit of Adventure – Breaking barriers” which I enjoyed. As a matter of fact, I did not put the book down until I had finished reading all her pursuits. It is a small book with 81 pages which makes reading easy, you can do this in less than an hour. Reading this book got me feeling like I was right there being part of the various adventure activities.
The big ‘take home’ for me from the book was that in life I need to push the limits and do that which is scary because therein lies the opportunity for growth. If you are scared of starting that business, taking on that task, engaging in an adventure activity… this book shows you that in life you need to push the boundaries and dare yourself. Get a copy for yourself .
I love spending time in prayer connecting with God but for the longest time I struggled with how prayer was ‘taught’ to me right from childhood with it taking on different shapes. For example, prayer was asking God to give to me, you had to have eyes closed, kneeling down except when practically impossible, talking for a such a long time etc. And then there were the overnight prayers at University where the struggle for sleep and staying awake was real. After analyzing and realizing over night prayers were certainly not for me, I dropped them but not without guilt for a while. When I heard of this book, I was excited to pick it up after listening to Andrew Wommack when he visited Kampala.
In this Andrew approaches prayer from two angles, the first being how not to pray and the other how to actually get the most from ones prayer time. He shares many misconceptions about prayer especially through misunderstanding of certain scriptures. He shows that God has already done his part, He moved already and the onus is on us to move and receive. This is the attitude in which we approach prayer. Below are some of my ‘take-homes’;
“Prayer is not to inform God how bad your situation is. He already knows what you need – even before you ask!
Begging from God, using Luke 11:2-4. God is not waiting for us to beg Him, he is not like the friend referred here. “If the Lord hasn’t already supplied your need by grace, your faith can’t make Him do it.
Sin is not in the way for you to receive from God because God sorted that once for all. Do not think that maybe I have not received because I sinned.
For us to have a better way to pray, we need to get back to the Word, believe it, live it and declare it concerning all of life. Andrew mentions that “when God is truly the center of your life, everything else works out. The Lord makes it work supernaturally.” Prayer is about praising God for who He is, declaring the truth of His Word. More ‘take-homes’,
Almighty God wants to hang out with you because He loves you. Prayer is primarily for loving and worshipping God.
Speak to your mountain and not pray about it, Mark 11:12 -14. Faith is a powerful force, but you must believe in order to reap its benefits. Although your words are very important, your actions must also be consistent with your faith. When you pray, praise God that your problem has been taken care of. Then, exercise your authority and speak directly to the problem. If you don’t, you won’t see your desired results.
We are Spirit being, your answer is given in the Spirit the moment you ask but it has to manifest in the physical for you to experience it – speak it and declare until you see it manifest in the physical. If you are still in fear, don’t pray over whatever it is yet…draw near to God and deal with the fear. Praise Him for His awesome love until it casts out all fear ( 1 John 4:18.) Don’t speak words in hope alone either. Wishing and trying aren’t faith.
You need to get this attitude that God is faithful and He’s already met your need before you ever had it. Boldness, confidence, and faith will raise in your heart as you realize that God’s supply is always greater than your need!
Consider the Spirit realm. The devil will try to stop your answers like in Daniel 9 & 10 but you must keep on believing and declaring. The manifestation of your answer is affected when you become discouraged, depressed, or give up.
Other people are often involved in the manifestation of your answer. God sends provision through people. E.g. you need money, God tells someone to give you money and they withhold it, keep thanking God until this person responds to God.
God is constant. God is always faithful. His promises are yes and amen. Ask and you will receive.
This verse consistently came to mind as I read this book and I leave it with you here Heb 4:16 “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” NKJV
The word ‘blessing(s)’ has been in the media for a while, both from believers and non believers. Everyone wants to be blessed, with some people purporting to be custodian of blessings which they release to those in need depending on how they respond to their demands e.g. you might have to sacrifice animals for the case of witch doctors or ‘sow a seed’ for the pastors. Mostly the blessings ‘given’ by such are dependent on what one does or does not do. It is exciting that you and I have access to blessings from God our father that are everlasting we access through faith in Him. It is the object of your faith that matters because after all when you visit and do as the pastor, prophet or witch asks you to do, it is because you have faith in them and trust that once you do what they ask, you will receive the blessings, why not direct that faith to God who is loves you regardless and in spite of whatever.
With this back ground, I was excited when I saw blessings listed in these verses as I started reading Ephesians this week. I have read this book before but the beauty of the Word of God is that it is fresh every time and you pick truths that you missed the previous time. Paul mentions in v3 ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ’ NKJV. My attention was drawn to ‘Spiritual blessings’ I read on in search of what they were. I wanted to know these blessings and see whether I have been enjoying them or not. If I do not know the Word of God, I will not access what is rightfully mine and will not enjoy the fullness of life. I know that there are many other spiritual blessings listed throughout the scriptures but these are what I saw in this portion of scripture.
V4 – God CHOSE us in Jesus to be holy without blame before him. It is important that we understand that God chose us, it is His will. He is happy to associate with us and is pleased with us. When in doubt, remember God chose you in Jesus and it is Jesus who makes you holy and not of your own effort. Today choose to enjoy this spiritual gift and stop striving.
V5 & 6: God adopted us – we are sons…we are accepted in the beloved. This verse seems obvious when you first read it until you realize you are not living it. Hello out there…you are a son of God – with full access to God and everything in His household. A child is taken care of by their parents, a child is not worried about bills ( at least this is how it is usually except in a few instances and still we find those abnormal). Can you start living the fullness of life with this truth, let ii permeate every area of your being as you approach life. You are a son of God. You are beloved…regardless of what you do or do not do, Gods favor is upon you. Please do not wait for someone to say it for you to believe it, it is in the scriptures.
Verse 7: He redeemed us. Our (Your) sins were forgiven once for all, the ones you committed yesterday or the ones you will commit tomorrow. God’s grace is enough to handle all our sins, do not live in condemnation, guilt or shame, you are forgiven before you commit the sin. Your sins were wiped out once for all…those you commit knowing and those not knowing, or by omission, they are wiped out. Live in the freedom that Christ purchased for you.
Verse 8 -10: He has given us wisdom and insight… O how I need wisdom and insight as I live here on earth concerning the Spirit, Soul and body. He has made this available. I need to call this forth when unsure. You have the mind of Christ, ask and access this wisdom concerning all of life.
Verse 11 – 12: People…We have an inheritance, wululululu. I do not have to add much here…those who have received an inheritance know how it feels to know that someone worked hard to leave you with something.
Verse 13: We have a guarantee – the Holy Spirit. What more would you ask. The God who never lies, creator of heaven and earth has chosen you, loved on you, given you an inheritance but knows that you will have moments of doubt…then he gives you a guarantee to seal it off. Know that the Holy Spirit is here for you to walk with and enjoy his presence. I have enjoyed having conversations with the Holy spirit concerning all of life, he has given me direction often telling me what to do in a situation in real time and reminding of God’s promises.
Aren’t those blessings exciting? They are for me, I invite you to read and re-read this portion of Scripture and start walking in these blessings. Each of these triggers many other blessings and leads you to live an abundant life in Christ Jesus. Apply them to your life, you will be awakened to approach life with boldness and courage taking on your dreams, you will not live in fear or condemnation, you will seek for your healing, etc. Let me know how it goes as you apply the Word in your life.
In one of John C. Maxwell’s books, he mentions that ” everything rises and falls on leadership”. The first time I read this quote I did not quite agree, I thought that surely people have a role and they cannot be left off the hook and we give the full responsibility to the leader. John C. Maxwell further says ” Leadership is influence”, this is when it suck in and I agreed with him that indeed leaders have the influence and authority to determine the direction of their people and subsequently their communities.
For the past months, I was spending time in 1st and 2nd Kings in the old testament for my morning devotions. I like to keep inter changing the testaments so that when a the book in the old testament the next should be from the new testament book and back so that I keep in perspective of the message of the gospel. However when I finished 1st Kings, I realized that 2nd Kings was in a way connected to 1st Kings so I needed to start on it so as not to lose the flow.
For the first time I learned that the Kingdom was divided into Israel and Judah. I imagined how years later these two would be enemies forgetting that they are brothers. I think this is how the world behaves when we focus on our differences and highlight them instead of celebrating life with one another because we are all human beings. We forget and start thinking one tribe is better than the other, and therefore choose to relate and favor one against the other, the same for race or gender forgetting that essentially we are all; Spirit, Soul and body.
Two insights that I gleaned from these two books;
Everything rises and falls on leadership. The Kings had influence on the people and could determine which direction the community took. The bible kept mentioning how some Kings did everything evil in Gods eyes and led people to worship at the high places whereas other times a King would do right in the eyes of God, destroy the high places and lead people to worship God. If a King was hard working with wisdom, he created wealth for the Kingdom only for the next King to squander it. One King would choose ‘his wars’ carefully using wisdom to create alliances and listening from God through the prophets whereas another would not. Whatever the decision of a King, it affected the people directly. Your leader matters because they make ‘life and death’ decisions on your behalf.
God is committed to His people and it is never His wish that any should perish. We see this in 2 Pet 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” NKJV. This truth keeps coming out as he pleads with Israel to leave the high places and stop worshiping gods that are nonexistent and causing pain to them, practicing rituals like passing their children through the fire. Why would a god who loves you ask you to burn your children? In all this God keeps hope alive and keeps inviting them to himself through the prophets to choose life. He still does this today, inviting us to choose life, because what the world offers is fleeting and leads to destruction. He invites us today in John 10:10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill and to destroy. I have come that they many have life, and that they may have it more abundantly”. NKJV
Have you read 1st and 2nd Kings before? What insights jumped off the pages for you? Please share in the commend box.
I had heard of Kidepo valley national park for quite a while and I longed to visit it. Tucked away in the furthest north eastern corner of Uganda, it is ‘out of touch’ with the rest of the country and only few determined adventurous folks make it there. For a long time, it was not only the distance from the Capital – Kampala and poor road that made Kidepo inaccessible but also the war which cut it off from the rest of the world. This led to very few visitor numbers and subsequently animal populations reduced due to poaching. On a good note though, it made the park a true African wilderness like its tagline because of few visitors.
Thankfully the war is long gone and the visitor numbers have increased, it is quickly becoming a favorite place for many who brave the long car drives like we did. One should know there are options of a flight from Entebbe or Kajjansi. I was on a tour organised by nature Uganda and I must say I enjoyed my time in this wilderness. We set off from Uganda Museum in Kampala at about 7.15 am and arrived about 8 pm with a stopover in Gulu town for lunch. I wanted to arrive during day light so that I enjoy the sights leading to the park but alas, I missed.
Unlike the other Savannah national parks in Uganda, i.e. Murchison falls, Queen Elizabeth and Lake Mburo, Kidepo valley is the only park with no water body to have a boat safari. This leaves one with ample time to engage in game drives and nature walks in the park. Our very first game drive was in the Narus valley which has some water throughout the year unlike Kidepo river which is seasonal. Off we went with our fantastic ranger guide who knows Kidepo like his own home. He shared about the different animals and birds found this area and the people groups that called this their home – the Karimajong, Tepeth and the Ik people who moved to create way for the park.
My highlight on this game drive was the the scenery of the valley against the mountains, such a wow moment throughout the drive. The animal populations are generally low but recovering and we had great sightings of Elephants, big herds of Buffaloes, Zebras, Topi, Water-bucks, Jackson’s heart beast, Uganda Kobs, Giraffes and warthogs. After a while everyone was anxious for a lion, cheetah and leopard, you could easily smell the anxiety of the people as the game drive continued. Eventually a leopard was spotted in a tree to everyone’s excitement but we missed the photos because it soon descended and disappeared in the tall grass.
We started the game drive early without breakfast, we were eventually exhausted and ready to return to the lodge for breakfast. Many were disappointed because they had not sighted the King of the Jungle but thankfully we had Day 2 to search again depending on the program. For me Kidepo is more for the culture, birds and scenery and not for the animals animal sightings.