Unravel Passion

Stories of Faith, Life & Laughter


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So good…. but not so good

moses - red sea

You have a gift; you know, that thing which on a good day will earn you money, make you friends and get you a job? It could be your temperament, talent, skill, people skills, that natural inclination etc.

Moses had a gift – he hated bad guys. Really, it’s a gift.

One day, he had just fled Egypt to start a new life in Midian. He sat down by the well because, I guess he didn’t really have anywhere else to go. As he sat there, some ladies came to water their camels before taking them home. Some ‘bad guy shepherds’ started bullying the ladies – just because they could.

Moses stood up for the girls. He tried talking to bullies but they wouldn’t reason. He drew a line in the sand and dared any of those bad guys to cross; one of them just looked at the line and after Moses was done with them, they ran leaving their flocks behind. The ladies surrounded him; saying thank you, admiring his six pack, praising the Lord etc etc. Being the gentleman, he watered their camels and became an instant celebrity. When the ladies got home, they couldn’t stop talking about the stranger.

Moses was invited to their home for dinner and he moved from fugitive to getting a home and wife just like that. His hate for bad guys had given him every blessing.

A few months earlier, the same gift had turned into a curse. He killed a bad-guy Egyptian and buried him in the sand. Pharaoh now wanted to kill him and he ran from home. He ran from everything in his life. His hate for bad guys had cost him everything.

Fast forward to his future – this hate for bad guys was really his mission in life.

God had deposited it there; Moses was built to be the deliverer of an entire nation but he had to learn to do it God’s way.

Moses’ strategy – He killed one Egyptian and buried him in the desert & became a fugitive. 

God’s way – The entire nation was saved with God showing off His love, might and power in great miracles along the way. 

You know what?

We have the dream job, relationship, business and more. The desire to be great and the gifts to do it were inbuilt at your creation. They are a pointer to your mission, your assignment, your purpose.

Like Moses, we must learn to do it God’s way. Allowing God to direct, guide, give strategy to execute. God choosing how to build your character, timing for your breakthroughs and right relationships.

You must believe that God’s way is better than your way. This means humility, obedience in surrender.

God’s best will be better than you ever dreamed but it must be done His way.  

Oh for grace to trust Him more.

 

Catch the original story in Exodus 2 here

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Fire and more fire

cat

Everyone goes through a crucible; a test; a furnace; a fire. Several times in your life in different forms: Financial trouble, loneliness, losing someone dear, disappointment, sickness – we all go through a fire. Three types of people emerge from the fire;

Those who die

They are consumed by the flames, choked by the smoke and their hearts melt in the heat. The bad experience defines the rest of their lives. They get stuck in the ashes, memories of how it used to be and what could have been. Alive but not living.

Those who learn to love the fire

The fire is not allowed to burn out. They adjust their lives and live as if the fire still rages on; as if the building is still filled with smoke and the metal door still too hot to touch.

They meet new people but still treat them like they were part of those who cheated them.

They refuse to leave it in the past and get back to who they are – the fire changes them. They do not give a chance for the fire to go out and go cold – they keep it alive. They have plans just in case the fire comes back again. Life is built around their issues.

Those who come out stronger                

The scars are accepted as a new part of who they are and not hidden. The clothes worn on that day refuse to lose the smell of smoke are thrown away. A makeover happens. Conversations about the incident don’t come up all the time now. Laughter gets deeper and louder – things do not go back to normal; a new normal is created. Some friends are lost, some are rock solid and some new friends are made. Things have changed but the past is in the past, working what is here now to create the future.

I bet you can see yourself in all three categories – dead, stuck or coming out stronger. Life happens!

Fake it till you make it won’t work here; be aware of how you have been affected by fires you have been through. It’s not ‘get over it’ but ‘be aware of it’. Know when your pain is driving you to choose friends, to decline business offers, quit the job, change church or wear those uncomfortable heels….

Take it to God often and ask Him for healing, comfort and to come out stronger. A pastor, counsellor or friend can help to give perspective, support and strategy. Keep the commitment to be defined by Christ not by the fires you’ve been through.

God knew life would happen and we would be dead or stuck but want to come out stronger so

       He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought  us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5


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A problem shared

Long story short, dude made him an offer, Naboth said ‘not interested’ and politely asked the King to bounce!

Meanwhile in the palace, after two hours soaking in the bathtub with goat milk and herbs from Egypt, Queen Jezebel’s scent was delicious. Her hair was perfect. The maid servant whispered a prayer for strength for what was coming next. She picked up the corset and started the process of transforming Queen Jezebel’s waist from 38” to 28”. After much screaming and yelling, the queen miraculously entered her favorite blue dress. She was ready for her weekly date with her man.

Ahab sat on the floor with his crown placed on the royal throne. He requested a funeral song from the harp player as he sat there pulling his beard. Once she saw Him, Jezebel knew the date night would not happen.

She had seen this side of him before; his depression could last days! Hell hath no fury like a Jezebel whose date has bounced after two hours in tub of goat milk. “You are the king! Stop acting like a mouse, be a man! I’ll show you how it’s done!”

Mr Ahab nice guy, the diplomat who had asked nicely and even offered to pay for the vineyard allowed Jezebel to forge a letter, get Naboth killed and soon, he owned the vineyard. On the day Ahab went to see his new vineyard, God’s judgement came swiftly to the whole family. Even before he could enjoy the grapes.

Do you have something that you want really badly?

 Be picky about who you open your heart to and share your longings.

 Especially when getting out of our comfort zone and taking a risk, doing something unfamiliar. There is someone who will open your eyes to other options and challenge you to push past obstacles while keeping you accountable to your values and God’s values.

 It’s better to hold on to an unfulfilled longing than suffer from following someone’s idea which brings out the worst in you making you do something stupid.

Ahab needed someone to tell him, “Dude, you’re the King! Plant your own vineyard or look for another one to buy.” Yes, Ahab is responsible for his choices but his wife was not much help.

Check out the story in I Kings 21.


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Wet Paint

Wet paint 2

The park bench has just been painted. The ‘wet paint’ sign was ‘brilliantly’ placed on the back side where no one could see. its almost five o’clock and three people sit on the almost dry paint. They now have faint paint smudges on their derriere but that’s not all they have in common.

The 26 year old John graduated from University of Nairobi three years ago and was now on the brink of divorce. His wife who lived back in the village wanted to come and live with him in Nairobi – for about a year now she has been suspecting he is unfaithful. The truth is he is not unfaithful …. not yet. He reconnected with his college sweetheart Carol a year ago and they spend a lot of time together. Nothing has happened but he feels that something probably will… soon. They broke up after uni because John’s father had forbidden him from marrying a city girl. He was afraid of his father and just did what he was told. His fear had pushed him to make a decision that he now began to doubt, even though his wife was a great person. Had he married the wrong woman? He wanted to scream because he felt his life was out of control – so he sat on the bench.

20 year old Shiro sat next to John; holding her violin case tightly. She was first introduced to the violin in high school and was instantly hooked. When they went for competitions or concerts to other schools, she noticed the boys never came to hang out with her crowd. They were ‘not cool enough.’ Slowly, she began to find excuses not to practice violin and joined the choir where all the ‘cool’ girls were. She told herself that the violin and choir we really the same anyway and now, her life was better because got letters from boys. It was after high school when she realised that all her friends moved on to their own lives and she was on her own.

She faced the truth that she really missed her violin and took up violin classes. Her class ended an hour before her mum left work so she sat on the bench to wait. She was happy.

Jane drops onto the bench – she’d really tired of her job. Watching people pass by, her eyes naturally settle on their hairstyles. Some she loves, some are okay but some hairstyles make her want to kidnap the woman and remove the overdue weave. She works at a bank and even with the advantage of getting loans at 6% interest, her job is not fulfilling. Her husband is always supportive even though their lifestyle would change if she quit her job. Her love for hair began as a child as she spent time at her mother’s salon but when it came to career choices, her mother told her to choose a ‘real career where she could wear suits and make real money’. The forms for her MBA are in her purse and her boss guaranteed her promotion if she enrolled. The deadline is tomorrow and she must make a life altering decision. She sat on the bench to take some painkillers – she was having a headache.

Parents, friends and stereotypes – these three easily push us into decisions. Like sitting on a bench with wet paint, the results can be a little messy at times. As our lives unfold, we form stronger opinions about who we are and what we want.

Sometimes it’s easy to start over like Shiro or tougher like Jane. Other times like John, we must slap ourselves, cut off the ex, bring the wife to town and make the marriage work.

You are growing in wisdom and making better decisions everyday – walk with your head high.


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100% Success

Whether made on New Year or a random day like today – resolutions are important because the only way to move ahead in life is to set and achieve goals. Its March! Let’s see how well I’m doing on my resolutions.

So far, I am successfully keeping one out of my two New Year resolutions, 50% success rate!

Really, some advice – don’t have a list of 20 resolutions, be kind to yourself!

I’m really struggling on one resolution and doing great on the other. I’ve been thinking about it and I realise my winning resolution has two things going for it;

Not motivated by guilt

This goal was not set through the gritting of my teeth; I must! I must! I should! This just doesn’t work and nothing gets off the ground.  Why is guilt so terrible? Negative vibes take away the energy that you so desperately need to fuel your forward motion.

Look at how God does it – God demonstrated His love through His son and invites us to follow Him – Love not guilt. It is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance.

Why do you want to make more money – are you jealous of someone or do you have actual goals?

Why stop looking at porn? Is it to stop feeling guilty or do you want to please God and feel better about yourself?

Why loose weight? Is it because someone teased you or to walk easily and be healthy?

Forget about the guilt – focus on the reward for succeeding.

Choosing to take the stairs

Where I have a step by step plan, things are really moving. In my stagnant resolution, I just dreamed up a goal and waited for an elevator to ‘somehow’ get me there, I’m still on the ground floor.

Right motivation and a Plan – that’s the fuel baby!

Join me – Let’s not wait for December to feel guilty about unkept resolutions. If it has no motivation or clear plan, then its a wish.We can work to turn our wishes to goals and resolutions. 

We can achieve 100% success rate this year.

Did I hear you say yeah?

 


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Sleepy in Troas Town

 

The great apostle Paul was in Troas Town – Love him or hate him, he could not be ignored. He was always a leader, initially against Him but now, His greatest preacher.

In those days, guys just met in the house where the best tea was served and that was church. In Troas Town, someone let them use a room on the third floor of his house. Just like church today, when a special guest is in town, church will be more packed than usual. All windows were open and some people even sat on the window sill.

Paul had to leave the next morning so this was the only chance – Late into the night; way past the average bedtime those days since there was no TV, Paul was still preaching, giving revelation, answering questions, encouraging, warning and testifying about what Christ was doing.

The good thing about church in someone’s house is that it’s small and the preacher can make eye contact with everyone; that’s how I know Paul saw him – a guy who was sleepy seated at the window. You know how funny it is to watch a sleepy someone trying to stay awake, dropping their head from side to side and opening their eyes wide but then they shut down in slow motion and the struggle continues.

I wonder what Paul thought when he saw the guy sleeping when he was probably explaining a deep revelation – “How dare he? Does he know how long I have fasted and prayed to prepare for this? I am also tired but I am pushing myself. This is the kind of Christian who moves the church back!”

What offends you reveals your heart.

We can’t know Paul’s thoughts but his actions show his heart – the sleepy guy actually fell out the window and broke his neck and died! Gosh! Paul ran downstairs, stretched himself over the dead guy and prayed fervently for him. The guy resurrected! Paul went back upstairs and continued preaching like nothing had happened.

If Paul had taken offense at the sleeping guy; he would probably have said his death was a warning to those who sleep in church! At the end of Paul’s overnight service, “… the people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted.” I love how this turned into an opportunity for a great miracle. He displayed love and mercy that he was always preaching.

Don’t take offense at everything; people are just going through life – stick to your race.

You have to see the full story is in Acts 20:7 – 12 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=ACTS+20:7-12&version=NIV

 

 

 


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Boat to Tarshish

The boat was headed to Tarshish. He nodded at the man who sat next to him who also nodded back – none of them wanted to talk. The boat had passengers and business cargo from Joppa to Tarshish.

Peter knew it was wrong but he had already decided. His business started in Nineveh and was expanding to Tarshish so he went there often. This trip was different though. He met her a few weeks ago – she invited him for dinner but the way looked at him, moved her lips and her sultry voice made it clear that the invitation was for more than food. He politely excused himself from her and went home to his wife. She broke the news that she was expecting their seventh child. They had discussed it – she was supposed to go to the doctors a few months before and ‘close shop’ but she ‘forgot’. His world has been spinning fast since that day. He just wanted to escape reality.

Jonah was running from his assignment; his responsibility. He felt guilty but he had decided. He needed to escape reality. He slept soundly lulled to sleep by the swaying of the boat.

The storm came from nowhere and the captain, who seemed to have done this before, took charge. The thunder, the lighting and the rough waves – it really seemed like they were going to die. The captain ordered the cargo to be thrown overboard and no one objected – not even the owners. Even the all important Captain’s chair was also thrown overboard. The boat did not stabilize and one man suggested that the fat passengers should be thrown overboard – tempers flared and now people wanted to throw him overboard. The captain came to his rescue.

It was decided that they would cast some lots/dice and the gods would show them who had sinned making them angry and causing the storm.

Peter was sure he was the one who had jinxed the ship. He was sure God had heard his wife’s prayers and was punishing him for his intended dinner mission. He prayed loudly asking for mercy, saying he was sorry, promised he would be faithful to his wife, he would work harder to provide for baby no.7. He had never been more sincere in his life – he stayed on his knees and repented of everything he could think of and made many promises to God.

By the time the storm was over, Peter was a changed man. When faced with the trouble, his priorities were all of a sudden clear. This journey was to search for a few minutes of pleasure but would have ruined his wife, his six children and his life.

While Peter was in the corner, the lot was cast and it fell on Jonah. Jonah confessed to being a prophet who was running from his assignment from God. he was sure God was causing the storm to get his attention. He asked them to throw him overboard and when they did, the sea became calm.

The storms in your life may not be your fault but they will help you clarify what’s important. What to pursue and what to let go of; what can be replaced and what we cannot live without; who to throw out of the boat of your life and you can move forward peacefully.

Sometimes a tough situation may not be your fault but it always helps realign your life’s priorities and what is important

Sometimes the best way out of a tough situation is getting in a corner, stop all the frantic efforts, get in a corner and ask God for help.

*Check out the full story in the Bible Book of Jonah Chapter 1