Intentional Growth

In January I made the decision to join Harvest Institute which is run by Worship harvest ministries. This is a yearlong school with once a month meeting and assignments, some of which are monthly and others all year. The institute is about personal leadership growth and organizational leadership with the hope that this will  create transformation in our lives, for those around us and eventually spread to the entire country. The sessions and books we read offer ways of how to be intentional about living this out and in turn influence others.

There is a variety of topics covered monthly falling under four broad areas. The broad areas include 4 major topics; Personal Growth as a Leader, Leading in the Church Context, Organizational Leadership & Management, Leading in a Changing World. In the end the person is challenged to grow in all areas of life as leaders because like John Maxwell says, ‘Everything rises and falls on leadership’, in another instance he explains that ‘leadership is influence’. This is what  influenced the leaders who started Harvest institute, they had a desire to grow the people attending who in turn would impact others.

I have enjoyed most of the studies and been challenged to grow. Truth is, for many years I have had the privilege of learning a lot of these things and more but somehow the cares of life cloud them out of my life which leads to less influence. I sit in most of these classes and smile remembering the last time I listened to someone teaching that topic. One of such topics was to do with Bible essentials of ‘exegesis’ and ‘hermeneutics’. I first heard of these terms about 10 years ago but I convinced myself that these are for bible scholars, surely not for me a ‘lay person’. Finding it again here got me thinking, maybe it is high time I considered growing in using these tools for myself and others.

I see growth happening in my life and more waiting to happen. I feel very stretched but I know that this growing is not for me only but also for those that I will interact with on my life journey. They will benefit more from conversations with me and will be able to learn from me as I learn from them.  I welcome you on a growth journey, which will be both for yourself and for others. Let’s keep learning, unlearning and growing together for the sake of transformation of our nation and world at large.

 

 

Growing from ‘last minute’ actions

 

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I am an adrenaline junkie and this partly contributes to why I do things last minute when the deadline is knocking. I have talked myself out of this habit but I am yet to succeed. I know it contributes negatively to my output sometimes but somehow I find myself back at it whenever I have a task. Some days I have felt so helpless and almost resigned to my fate but  I know that growth requires me to keep on and not give up concerning an area I am convinced I need to improve. I must say that going forward I will pick up again and work towards planning and accomplishing tasks without waiting for the deadline.

Take for example assignments, I can have them for as long as a month but I will still keep pushing them aside until it’s the last day. One given Friday, the electricity was off for most of the day and night ( who makes these decisions at UMEME) and I needed to finish reading a book and a write a report on my reading before midnight. You should have seen me reading the book using the torch from my phone. This lasted up to about 11pm and later start the process of writing the report . Thankful that the computer had enough battery which allowed me work. Once the writing was complete and ready, the internet connections was playing hind and seek with me. It was difficult to attach the documents to the email. Thankfully eventually they attached and I was able to send a few minutes after midnight. The voice inside me (God) inquired why I do not consider doing all this much earlier to avoid the hassle.

And yet it is not only in tasks at work or school but even concerning travel. I usually know weeks prior to my travels and I wait until the night or morning before the trip to do the packing. This is disorganizing because I tend to forget some items which I need on these travels. It’s in times like these that I remember the advice from my dad while growing up. He suggested to me to consider packing my luggage at least one week before the travel ( this was especially in relations to school) because that way when I forget an item I am able to include it before the travel date. He even suggested that I consider making a list of the items I must pack.

Today while thinking about this I almost quickly acknowledged my weakness and accepted it as me but then I remembered that if this is not helping me be effective then I need to drop it and find ways  of growing. In life if we hope to grow, we cannot allow certain areas of our being to go unchallenged but rather engage with them and come up with plans to improve them. I look forward to operate from the ‘not urgent but important’ quadrant as opposed to the ‘urgent and important’ quadrant which is draining. Which areas in your life which areas do you recognize need growth? What are you doing about it? Or are you justifying their existence instead of improving them?

‘My take home’ from Proverbs 18

 

1A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire;
He rages against all wise judgment.

A fool has no delight in understanding,
But in expressing his own heart.

When the wicked comes, contempt comes also;
And with dishonor comes reproach.

The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters;
The wellspring of wisdom is a flowing brook.

It is not good to show partiality to the wicked,
Or to overthrow the righteous in judgment.

A fool’s lips enter into contention,
And his mouth calls for blows.
A fool’s mouth is his destruction,
And his lips are the snare of his soul.
The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles,[a]
And they go down into the inmost body.

He who is slothful in his work
Is a brother to him who is a great destroyer.

10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
The righteous run to it and are safe.
11 The rich man’s wealth is his strong city,
And like a high wall in his own esteem.

12 Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty,
And before honor is humility.

13 He who answers a matter before he hears it,
It is folly and shame to him.

14 The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness,
But who can bear a broken spirit?

15 The heart of the prudent acquires knowledge,
And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.

16 A man’s gift makes room for him,
And brings him before great men.

17 The first one to plead his cause seems right,
Until his neighbor comes and examines him.

18 Casting lots causes contentions to cease,
And keeps the mighty apart.

19 A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city,
And contentions are like the bars of a castle.

20 A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth;
From the produce of his lips he shall be filled.

21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit.

22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing,
And obtains favor from the Lord.

23 The poor man uses entreaties,
But the rich answers roughly.

24 A man who has friends must himself be friendly,[b]
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

‘My take home’ from Proverbs 18 

Seek knowledge. I should keep learning and never feel that I have arrived because as long as I live there is something I can learn. Growth is a deliberate choice on my side, I have to spend my resources and read books, listen to great teachers, attend conferences etc. but whatever I do I have to keep on the journey of learning.

A combination of hard work and gifting. I have to work hard knowing that this is God’s way of blessing me. I should remember that work is not a curse as some view it, because God asked Adam to work the garden way before the curse. In addition to hard work is utilizing my gifts or talents because with no hard work the gift’s effect diminishes (think of it as practicing for the athlete or musician). God’s promise is that my gift will open doors for me. I have seen glimpse of this in my already.

I need to continuously find ways of keeping my spirit alive. I have been in a place where my spirit has been broken and it is not a good place. I felt stuck and was vulnerable to all the lies the enemy threw my way. So for me this is very crucial – I have to continuously ‘protect’ my spirit and keep it alive because it’s what keeps me alive. I know it is a catch 22 but well I must figure it out. The most consistent way to keep it alive is to keep in the truth of who I am and whose I am.

The tongue is life and death. Woooohhh, I think this is deeper than we can ever comprehend. This also contributes to a man’s spirit being alive or dead. I will keep proclaiming life in whatever situation I am in. It is difficult because it goes against the status quo but this here is about life and death, maybe if I view as ‘life and death’ I will be more deliberate in what I speak in/to my life and that of others.

And that folks were my highlights from my reading today. What are your highlights from Proverbs 18? Share and we learn together.