Cast down your nets

Hi folks

Today, I hope to encourage you and help your faith rise despite any difficult circumstances you may be facing. God always has more for us; the bible tells us that His promises are yes and amen. Let us say yes to the promises of a faithful God!

I want us to chat about faith for the dreams, visions, and healing God has placed in our lives. The story of the mustard seed in the bible tells us if we are to have faith as little as a mustard seed, we can see mountains move (Matthew 17: 20). I want to encourage you to keep believing God for the things that He can do in your life.

All the successful people we know probably had to take some risk to get to where they are now. Faith demands that you step out of your comfort zone and do what is unusual to get unusual results. They believed in their dreams and visions and decided to cast out their nets. Although they saw nothing at one time, they believed that eventually, things would change for them. How about you, where is your faith?

Constant disappointments can derail people. We have tried to do things and have failed dismally but the passion for some things simply does not go away. It continues to burn inside but we may end up ignoring the flames because nothing has changed yet, the situation may even be worse than it was before. That is how Peter in the bible probably felt after fishing the whole night without catching a thing. He did his best, but he had no luck until the King of kings, Jesus Christ spoke a word and said, “Let your nets down for a catch”. Peter obeyed and probably realized at that moment that it would take a miracle to get any fish because he tried and failed- but he did it anyway and yielded much from his obedience (Luke 5). We can learn a lesson here that faith is believing in the power of a greater and faithful God, believing He can do it despite our failed attempts.

What dreams have you given up on, what vision have you cast aside because all the doors you knocked on were shut? Is your health (mentally and physically) getting worse, but you have made peace with it because it has been too long since your prayers were answered? I believe in taking breaks and resting in between, when I have tried all I can, I temporarily let go of some things and focus on what God wants me to focus on. However, at the back of my mind, I know God has not changed His mind about His purpose for my life. I want to encourage you today, to remember that God has not changed His mind about the things that He has promised you, it may take many years before you see them happen, but He is faithful, and He makes everything beautiful in its time. If you have taken breaks and ran out of ideas on how to achieve certain things, it is okay. When Jesus is ready to change your situation, He will speak one word and it will come to pass.

My question to you is when Jesus speaks and instructs you to act, to go, to run, to try again, to cast out that net will you be willing? Remember our walk with God is active and it is a partnership, where both must agree and do our part. In your tired and disappointed state are you willing to allow God to be God, to speak a word, and to change things around for you? He certainly can do that for those who believe in Him. God honors faith, even as little as a mustard seed. I encourage you to start believing again, especially the things that have been in your heart for a long time. May God give you His strength to believe again, may He be your primary focus and may you believe in His power and not just your human strength and gifts. May God pleasantly surprise you as you believe in Him.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” Hebrews 11: 1

With love,

Unathi.

Positive Thinking

Hey folks

Have you ever heard of the scripture “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he”? (Proverbs 23:7). If you have, what are your thoughts about it, does it resonate with you? Today, I want us to explore how our thinking patterns impact our lives, whether we are aware of it or not. Shifting our thinking from negative to positive will improve the quality of our lives.

The way we think shows clearly in the way we carry ourselves and make decisions. If our view is half-empty, then we are probably those people who often have some resistance to life and new things and that is because we operate from a place of fear. Of course, it is good to be wise and know when to act but if we are always skeptical of things and people, it can be a problem. It is necessary to shift our point of view from half-empty to half-full. When your perception is more positive, you are most likely to attract more positive events and people in your life. The little disappointments of life do not get you down easily because generally, you are a positive person that has good expectations from life.

My question to you today is what do your thoughts look like, do you ever take account of them? If you could draw a representation of your thoughts on a piece of paper, what would we see? Would it be a garden filled with flowers or a dark and misty cave? I am referring to the regular thoughts that visit your mind, I know some days will be different from others depending on your activities, but generally, as people, we either have healthy thoughts or negative thoughts. Life gets busy, I understand that we hardly find any time to stop and think about what our thought life looks like. This is hidden from others and only exposed to you and God. The fact that it is hidden should not stop you from considering and fixing the affected areas in your mind. “As a man thinketh, so is he”. I believe this statement is true because we may say one thing about ourselves, but the manifestation of our actions stems from what we consider as truth. There was a time in my life when my self-esteem and worth were close to zero. I did not believe in myself, and my thoughts were obviously very negative and it showed in the relationships that I found myself in, it showed in the things that I attracted and tolerated. As much as there will be bad characters in life which we cannot avoid, we have the right to decide who stays in our lives. So, when we see little value in our lives, it will probably show in what we entertain and tolerate. If you have negative thoughts 70% of the time, guess what? Your outlook on life will be negative. This may be an indication of healing that needs to take place. Healing can only start when you take account of your current thought process and decide to act on improving/ changing it.

Your behavior can be a reflection of what is going on internally.

Training our minds and thoughts takes time, so does anything else that is worth having. So, if you recognize or know that your thoughts are generally in a horrible state, the first step would be to admit to yourself without judging yourself harshly. Once you realize that your “truth” about life, in general, is negative, then you can start searching for the real truth, one that will set you free from the bondage of negative thinking. This negative mindset can feel like a prison, especially if you are bitter and angry towards others and yourself as you replay the same scenarios repeatedly. Doing that will only cause damage. Once you are honest with your current state, the next step would be to forgive yourself for having allowed your mind to be locked in such a state. Thirdly, try and remember what happened to you. What happened before you had a negative mindset, what got you there? It could be a series of events but try and remember which particular event got you to abandon your happier and healthier self? Going back to the event might get you angry or make you sad again but it will be worth it if you confront it. Once you confront it, remind yourself that you are no longer living there, life is different for you now and so will your thoughts be. Reconcile with this place in your life and recognize that you hold the keys to your freedom. You are not your thoughts, just an observer of them, remember that.

Of course, the negative thoughts will attempt to come back but when you are aware of these thoughts and have decided that they do not belong with you then you are a step closer to change. Do not allow your thoughts to consume you, you have power over them. Make a habit of checking in on yourself daily, every morning and every night. Check how you are feeling and identify any negative thoughts that come up, release them, and replace them with good thoughts such as your dreams and where you see yourself in the future. When these negative thoughts come up, speak to them as the manager of your life and take a decisive stand against them- you hold the key to a healthier mental state.

As your new thinking pattern establishes, you will see a great change in your outlook and experiences. Be patient with yourself in this process.

“Even a child is known by his deeds, whether what he does is pure and right”- Proverbs 20: 11.

With love,

Unathi.

Let’s Grow

Hey folks

Today I want to chat about growth and give you a few tips on how you can get there. This stage of life is available for any person but doesn’t happen for everyone. The difference between two people, one who grows and another who does not grow is being intentional about one’s growth process and making it a priority. I want us to look at growth from a personal development point of view. I am not speaking about the external environment but the internal. Growth must start inside of us before we can change the world around us. Life can continue to look the same for many years if we are not willing to desire some change in our lives.

Personal development comes when we decide we want to become better versions of ourselves. Sometimes we can recognize our bad habits, or we may have experienced the consequences of bad decisions. Other times we may simply be unhappy with how we live our lives; all these different things happen for a purpose – and it is usually to propel us into becoming better.

This decision to become better comes at a cost, it takes courage to want to grow or develop oneself. It is often easier said than done and will certainly not happen until we make a firm decision coupled with consistent actions towards developing ourselves. I believe deciding to improve oneself is a game-changer, it bears a lot of good fruit such as self-love, self-confidence, self-discovery, less worry about what others think, etc.

Before you start developing yourself, you must become self-aware. You must know yourself before you can embark on any change. Do a quick self-assessment by asking yourself the following questions:

  1. Who are you? Describe yourself in three words that summarizes the core of who you are
  2. What key things do you like/ dislike?
  3. Where do your strengths lie?
  4. What are your weaknesses?

The answers to these questions should give you a bit of an idea of who you are, what you are good at, and what you suck at. Once you have jotted these down, have a look at the next category.

Do a self-assessment of these following aspects, simply rate where you are on each of these on a scale of 1-5 (1 being poor, 5 being excellent):

  • Spiritual, mental, physical, financial, emotional.

These categories will give you an indication of what is lacking or needs improvement. Choose to start working on any of the five categories that scored 2 and below. I would suggest you set up a plan for each of these. Decide what needs to change or be improved, and where you would like to see yourself in those areas. Next, determine what activities you must do to get there and give yourself a time frame of 6 months. If you can, find an accountability partner who can check in with you every month end. Start by listing all the activities planned for the month by category and at the end of each month give that person an account of the activities you have completed. As an example, if you scored 2 on finances, focus on doing something about it in the next 6 months. Let’s say you have a debt of R3000. Develop a plan of how you can sacrifice an additional R250 in your budget to pay off that R3000 over the next 6 months. The key thing is to commit to an amount and share it with your accountability partner. Eventually, it will help with bringing some change in your financial situation. When you become gain some financial freedom you are already improving the life you are living. Do the same with all the other categories that had low scores. At the end of 6 months, assess how far you are with your categories and activities, if you need more time, expand your time-frame, and repeat the steps. If you have managed to accomplish all you needed to do in those 6 months, spoil yourself for your hard work and re-assess what other areas you can start working on in a similar way. Even when we are good at stuff, we can always do better, we can aim for excellence and be intentional about it!

We are responsible for our lives and God has given us the wisdom and grace to do better. With each day, we have an opportunity to improve ourselves and become the best we can be. I encourage you to take this journey of self-development seriously. Partner with God, I find Holy Spirit to be the most practical ever, He can give you wisdom on how to customize your self-development journey. This process can open many doors and will change the way you see yourself. It will help you move from wanting others to do things for you to realizing how much power is already in your hands. May God give you the revelation and strength to do it.

“Change is inevitable, growth is optional”- John C Maxwell

“…so, I will save you, and you shall be a blessing. Do not fear, let your hands be strong”. -Zechariah 8: 13.

With love,

Unathi.

Bloom where you are planted

Hi folks,

One of the most frustrating things I have ever experienced is feeling like I am in the wrong place. When you have a big dream inside of you, you may struggle with the comparison of the current situation vs your dreams. When I go through this cycle of frustration, I am often reminded of King David in the bible. He was anointed to be king at a very young age but only appointed for the office of being a king much later in life. Time went by before he could walk into that place of destiny, and he still had to be present in the events of his life before assuming the role of a king. I am certain it was not easy for him, knowing he had a great calling on his life but still going through the mundane activities of each day before the manifestation of that dream. However, we read in the bible that life continued before the great role was filled and God worked in His life even then. 

In today’s blog post, I want us to chat about how we can make the best of our current situations. As Christians, we know that we cannot live without the guidance of the Holy Spirit and that comes with a surrendered heart. This means allowing Holy Spirit to lead you on the next right thing to do, or the next big step to take. If our lives are truly surrendered to God, why do we worry so much about tomorrow? We hardly go to sleep worried about whether the next day will come or not, yet we worry so easily about God’s promises over our lives or the dreams He has placed within us. So, with all the stressing and worrying about being misplaced or stuck in certain cycles in my life, I try and remember that I have surrendered my life to a God who knows it all. This God wants me to succeed because it brings Him great joy to see me prosper, and at His right time, He will make sure it all comes to pass. I rationalize it by reminding myself that I am where I am because God is still allowing it. I may not see it, but He knows what else still needs to be refined in and through me being in this place. No matter how much I may want to see myself stepping into a new season, only God knows exactly when that time will be- and He will lead me to it. He will do the same for you!

In the meantime, it is important to ask God to open our eyes to what He is doing in the now. There could be numerous reasons why the anticipated shift in your life has not taken place yet:

  • Perhaps you are still where you are because you are leading people that have no idea how to move forward.
  • You may still be where you are because you are the only one that can pray for people to receive Christ in their lives.
  • You may still be where you are because you are the only one that knows how to shine the light of Christ so that people may be introduced to our Saviour.
  • You may still be where you are because God is completing the refinement process of your character. God knows it all and He has a purpose for you now, all of it builds up towards that greater or better dream you have inside.
  • Perhaps there is an important skill that God wants to impart to you, but you may be too closed off to even learn. Pause and reflect and ask God what He is trying to teach you in the now.

My encouragement to you today is to seek God for the now, be where the Holy Spirit is. He can open your eyes to see many other opportunities you may have missed because you are so focused on what is to come. Relax a bit, be kind to yourself and rest in the Lord, He will guide you on the next step to take. Your today matters and is just as precious as tomorrow but tomorrow is not even guaranteed so let us enjoy what God has given us in the now. I pray you may see your today as the Lord sees it, that you are placed wherever you are for a divine purpose, you contribute to people’s lives just by being the best version of yourself. When that noisy voice in our heads comes back to make us feel like we are behind, let us be bold enough to remind ourselves that we are led by Holy Spirit who knows the times and seasons under heaven. He is faithful enough to tell us of the next thing in His heart but also wants us to complete the current thing that contributes to the next big thing.

You are given an opportunity to bloom where you are planted, go ahead, embrace it and give it your all.

“Be still and know that I am God, I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth”- Psalm 46:10.

With love,

Unathi.

Clutter

Hi folks,

I was reflecting recently, thinking about how we live in such a fast-paced world that conditions us to think we should accumulate stuff, the more you can afford, the more stuff you buy. I have only been recently awakened from this nightmare. I call it a nightmare because we equate our worth to things, the more we have, the better we think we are yet this is not true. God considers us worthy based on our relationship with Jesus Christ and not based on stuff.

In today’s blog post, I want to share my thoughts on clutter. Some synonyms to clutter are mess, chaos, disorder, rubbish, or confusion. I am certain these give a clear idea of what clutter means. I was inspired to write this post because there has been so much clutter in my life over the years. In my case, I saw it in the physical order of things and my mental health state. I started removing items I have not used in years and donating these. I have been doing this in phases, some items were easier to let go of, especially those I have lost interest in. I did this exercise again recently and was surprised by the little stuff I was still able to give away again. I think in the first phase of doing this I kept some of the stuff because I thought I would need them soon, although I knew they had not been used in ages. I also unsubscribed to newsletters and emails I have not checked in months.

This exercise led me to some self-reflection. I believe our physical behavior is a manifestation of our internal perception. Through this process, I realized that the clutter is saying a lot about my internal situation. I asked myself a few questions:

  • Why am I holding onto things, even those I have not used in years?
  • What am I scared of, by keeping them?
  • What would letting go of unnecessary things look like?
  • Which things am I going to release?

By providing an honest answer to each of these questions, I was led to so much revelation on my fears and bad habits, why I do the things I do, and why I react the way I do. A lot of the way we do things starts from our childhood and has been carried on throughout our adult lives out of habit. After doing this exercise, I had to repent and ask God to help me. I realized that I had attached my worth to things/ stuff. The more I had, the better I felt and filled the void of issues undealt with.

Declutter is defined as removing clutter from an area, this can apply in any area of one’s life, be it physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, or mental. This does not mean packing them away in a wardrobe stacked with other clothes like I used to do, it means releasing them. These questions above brought to light the need for me to declutter. Being honest with myself helped me start a journey of decluttering my life, one step at a time I am releasing the things that are not of value, whether these are tangible or intangible. These things include clothing, paper (notes, old documents etc.), negative and destructive thought processes amongst other things. Every time I release these comes freedom and renewal to my thoughts.

I read an article where a psychologist points out that clutter provides interesting clues about our state of mind. He mentions that the way you see your clutter is the way you see yourself and your relationships. He also links the clutter to childhood experiences. He gives an example that you may find an over-stocked kitchen pantry in the home of someone who grew up poor or too many clothes in the wardrobe of someone that was always given hand-me-downs as a child. I thought this was interesting because it confirmed to me that as human beings, we hardly give ourselves time to assess why we behave the way we do.

What is your clutter telling you?

As I continue this journey, I also encourage you to also take an inventory of your life. Ask yourself if you need all the stuff, you are keeping or entertaining. If not, why are you keeping them? What do those things represent or mean to you? Is it a healthy representation? If not, what are you going to do about it?

As mentioned above, we are not defined by things. Yes, we are allowed to enjoy the finer things in life but if these get out of control or become unnecessary or even become idols, we need to stop it and declutter. I am grateful that I did not just move to a bigger place where all my “stuff” could fit but I had to go through this irritation to get to the bottom of hidden issues like letting go of a lack mentality. All things work out for good, even the clutter we surround ourselves with! If you need any support or practical tips on how to do this, click on the contact button and leave a message, I will get back to you.

A quote by Barbara Hemphill puts it so well “Clutter is nothing more than postponed decisions”.

“It is your responsibility to act. We are behind you so go ahead and get it done” – Ezra 10:4.

With love,

Unathi.

The beauty of becoming

Hi folks,

I recently had a blessed conversation with a wonderful friend I had not spoken to in months. We encouraged each other through the difficulties and the stagnancy we both feel and face in our lives. As she encouraged me, she reminded me of the blessing of processes. I have heard ministers call the young people “a microwave generation”- I will be honest, I have fallen into that category many times in my life, from not understanding the times and seasons of heaven to being impatient and ordering God to do things in my time-frame, forgetting to imitate Jesus in prayer- “not my will but yours be done, LORD”.

Today I want to share what I have learned regarding processes- life processes that shape us into who we are designed to be. I will use one of the most important processes in my life- being called to ministry. My friend reminded me of the first prophetic word I received about being called to ministry, she reminded me of a church that we used to go to where I was first told that God has a plan for me to work for Him. I must have been 14 years old when that prophetic word came. To be honest, I had forgotten about this, I only remembered a word I received at age 17. I was encouraged when reminded of this because it showed me that God made up His mind about me a long time ago, whether it is currently evident or not.

As I reflected on this, I realized that God’s processes are a blessing. God trusts us enough to reveal His plans for our lives, and sometimes the words He gives us are for encouragement during dry seasons so that we have something to hold on to. In all the prophetic words that have been given over the years, I was never really told when these would manifest. I simply assumed these would happen at a certain point in my life and in some cases, I forgot. Although I was involved in ministry in high school, many years went by after that when I was not in ministry and did not really have the interest for it. I only joined the ministry again as an adult. Throughout those years, God was busy doing the necessary work on my heart, although I was far from His will.

When I look back, I am so grateful that God took me through processes to refine, heal, strengthen me, as well as develop my character. I am grateful that He spoke over me but took His time to shape me into a ‘useful vessel’. I use this term because when you work for an organization, you are as good as useless to them if you do not align to their values and core objectives- you can even be counterproductive if you are working against the main goal of what they are trying to achieve. There is a certain level of wisdom that is required to do any job you are employed to do. If you lack that wisdom, you can end up taking things for granted, or you may make a mess of things. I can count the number of times when I have messed up due to a lack of understanding, or ignorance.

A dear friend of mine, Amahle, who is a mom, once gave me an illustration about God’s processes using her relationship with her children. She said her children will ask for things they want regardless of whether these are good for them or not, they are children after all and do not know any better. She made an example that she would not give them ice cream in winter simply because they cried or nagged for it, this would be irresponsible and can lead to flu; neither will God. He will not give us things unless He believes we are ready, mature, and responsible enough to handle them, no matter how much we may cry for them.

He gives us a glimpse of what to expect in the future through ideas, prophetic words, dreams, or the desires we have in our hearts. With that revelation follows a process where you will have to be prepared, pruned, matured, and purified. The process helps you heal if you have gone through traumatic events. This process teaches you who you are in Christ, it gives you an identity that is separate from what the world calls you. It pushes you to unlearn false doctrines so you can learn the truth of God’s word. This process allows you to be in a solid relationship with God- solid despite the storms of life. I do not think this process is designed to make one perfect, but God knows how much needs to be stripped off and rebuilt before you can walk in your destiny. What processes do is that they equip us to be fit for service, they enhance our vision to see the bigger picture of what God wants to do in our lives.

I still struggle with processes and sometimes wish I had a magic wand to get me to where I think I need to be, but that is not how the things of God work, and I am also learning and accepting this. We live in times that promote disregarding the processes that God takes us through, we are often quick to equate hard processes to only the enemy’s work but if God is allowing things to happen in your life, surely, He has good reason to. Surely, if moms do not give gifts to their children, they have a good reason not to. Our Heavenly Father is loving and patient with us, He wants us to succeed, prosper and expand His Kingdom but He is a God of order who certainly has the power to work things out immediately, but often takes His time until He sees that “it is good” and we are ready to be released to the world. He sees beyond our vision and can advise when it is Kairos time for things to unfold in our lives.

A process as a verb can mean to perform a series of mechanical operations on something in order to change or preserve it. Think of this every time the process seems hard. Let us continue to trust that God is changing and preserving us for His Kingdom, developing us for His glory, and our good. Be encouraged today knowing that His processes are good, although we may not see it with our eyes. Jesus has a plan and a purpose; processes are part of that package!

“But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen and settle you”- 1 Peter 5:10.

With love,

Unathi.

Your joy is in the bag

Joy, despite it all. I remember being asked what my New Year’s resolutions were a few years ago, I answered “I want to be happy”. My former colleague laughed at me and said this is impossible and unrealistic. She was probably right. What I meant though, was I wanted joy, I just did not know then that there is a difference between happiness and joy, now that I know better, I still want joy to be a part of my every life. Is this even possible?

Happiness is described as that feeling that comes over you when you know life is good, and you cannot help but smile. It is a positive emotional state that one experiences when they are content and satisfied with how their life or situations are currently presenting to them. The definition of this word seems to be based on circumstances, when life is good then only will the emotion of happiness come out but what happens when life is bad, does it mean that happiness disappears? Is there an alternative to this? I do understand why my former colleague laughed at my ambitious desire, because life continues to bring a lot of situations that will steal your happiness, and unfortunately, we do not always have control over these. Although I like feeling happy, I do not like the fact that it is so limited and short-lived.

Joy is described as good cheer and vibrant happiness. It reflects a form of happiness but suggests that it is much deeper than that. If you end your search at using a dictionary, you will most probably conclude that happiness and joy are one and the same thing. However, when digging into the scriptures, you will find that joy, a deep gladness from the LORD is defined differently. It is a gift that comes with walking closely with God. The bible reveals that unlike happiness, joy can be found in both good and bad times. Joy lasts longer than what the emotion of happiness brings us. It remains in us even though we may be enduring trials, it allows us to go through those difficulties focused on a hope and a brighter future.

The bible tells us that joy is a fruit of the Spirit. Fruits are produced only when seeds are planted. After some effort and time of watering and allowing the seed to grow, we eventually see the fruit we have planted in the good soil. Fruits of the Spirit come about when we allow Jesus into our hearts and surrender to Holy Spirit to bear that fruit. We do this by being in constant fellowship with Holy Spirit, constantly allowing Him to remove weeds from our hearts and to water our lives with His rivers of living water. This sounds like a doable exercise yet so many of us move through life with sadness and brokenness though we are in a relationship with God. What then is the issue, why are so many people constantly sad and broken when the gift of joy is given to us forever, a gift that surpasses our horrible situations? I think it is because we simply have not grasped this concept, otherwise, our lives would be different. We do not fully understand that this is both a gift and a fruit of the Spirit. We are blinded to it and therefore have not tapped into it. The trick about spiritual things is that they work when done in alignment with God’s will. I know I have a constant struggle with wanting to do things my way, the logical way, a way that I can measure. However, when it comes to things of the spirit, we must continue to draw from the word of God and not necessarily on what we see.

Joy is ours. We must start by believing it, as with all things related to God, we step into these promises by faith. When that spirit of heaviness approaches you and bullies you into discouragement, you must choose joy by faith. Imagine joy as a beautiful colorful shawl or scarf that you can cover yourself with. Imagine this every time that nasty spirit of irritation, pain, or humiliation comes near you. Choose to cover yourself with this cloth and believe that Holy Spirit has already given you this gift and therefore it is yours to use and enjoy. Choose joy, despite it all. Choose to silence anxiety, anger, sadness, etc. by being decisive in choosing joy. It is there for you, but it is you choosing it despite your circumstances that makes the difference. May God help us all in choosing well.

“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness” -Psalm 30: 11.

With love,

Unathi.

Check your lenses

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” -C. G Jung. This is a profound quote, I have had to assess myself a few times, wondering why certain characteristics about people annoy me, this pointed to my undealt issues or sore points I must deal with.

How is the view from your lenses? Do you have a positive or negative outlook on life? Our perception of life, situations, and people will determine the outcome of most things we face. Are you always quick to lean to the negative and criticism of others or do you find prioritize finding the positive, even if it is small? An important fact regarding people is that at the core of who they are, they are created in the image of God. Therefore, some of their characteristic traits will represent God. I am not referring to the bad behavior and habits people have adopted due to pain, trauma, or disappointment, but I am referring to people’s character- who they really are.

Today I want to focus on perception, our understanding, opinions, beliefs, and interpretation of concepts. Have you ever heard of the saying “there are two sides to a story?”. This saying is telling us that if we want healthy relationships, we must understand there is more to life than just our feelings and thoughts about situations. We can have viewpoints and express them so that people understand how we feel, but when dealing with others we must remember that all parties involved in situations have feelings, opinions, and thought processes. These may be similar or different from yours. We cannot control how another feels or perceives but we have the responsibility of navigating our thoughts and feelings towards issues and people. It is great when we mature in our thinking, but if we are still immature, we must take accountability and strengthen this area because it impacts our mental health and the decisions we make.

In short, I want to encourage you to be accountable for the way you view life, assess your own opinions of people and situations. Be honest with yourself to see if your perception is limited or tainted. Question your motives to see if you are reacting or responding. Reacting is emotional while responding is emotional intelligence. If you do not grow and mature in your thinking and opinions, you will move through life in a pessimistic way, where the world is always against you. Regularly clean your lenses so that you can correct yourself and heal. Dirty lenses will limit the beauty of life and can damage your relationships, but clean lenses produce a clear outlook on life. As I encourage you to check yourself, I too commit to being accountable to checking my often-tainted lenses, I know I have a long way to go regarding this area.

“Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but happy is he who keeps the law” -Proverbs 29: 18.

With love,

Unathi

Answer the call

I believe our main purpose as Christians is to love the LORD our God, with all our hearts and minds, to walk in His ways, and to hold fast to Him (Deuteronomy 11:22). This can be manifested through our relationship with Him, He teaches us His ways and the more we dwell in His presence is the more we get to know who God is. Although on this earth we will not have a full picture of who God is but daily or regularly we may receive more revelation of the manifold character of God.

Today I want to talk about the purpose we have in our lives. As mentioned above, our main call on life is to love and glorify our Heavenly Father. God has gifted each human being to work, minister, or live out a specific purpose that enables us to glorify Him and expand His Kingdom as we teach others about the salvation we have found in Christ. There are many different industries and areas of expertise, wherever you may find yourself, understand that even in those secular places you are still called to glorify God in the work that you do. God has allocated different talents and gifts for us to nurture and use- these are still intended to glorify God and to bring honor to His name.

Think of your childhood, and what was on your heart as a child. What did you love most, enjoy the most, or dream of becoming? Children are usually of innocent spirit because they have not come across the different influences and experiences that may produce doubt, fear, and anxiety. Most times you may find that you have always been attracted to your purpose but you never really thought of it as “your purpose”.  At times, we stumble across our purpose as adults but because God has always known what your purpose is, you will find that you can trace it back to previous activities in your life. Purpose is basically what you are designed or created for. If for instance as a child you were always interested in things related to health and were fascinated by how people become healed, your purpose could lie in the health sector. This industry has many different professions such as being a doctor, nurse, radiographer, occupational therapist, paramedic, pharmacist, etc. However, there are also support structures to this industry such as financial, administrative, operations, etc. This already covers so many different roles within the health sector. If you use to dream about becoming a nurse, you could end up as a support structure within the nursing field, which could mean that your gifts lie in understanding both medical and administrative aspects. At times, we can be discouraged if we do not end up in the exact place we thought we were supposed to be, but you can find that you are not necessarily misplaced. Perhaps you were not supposed to be a nurse, but you have always been called to support nurses and the work they do because your gifts are not just limited to nursing. We can easily go around in circles trying to find our purpose but God knows exactly what He has placed inside of you and what He has designed for you to do. It would ease your burden to seek the LORD on what exactly your purpose is in life. Go to God with a clean slate, knowing that He could direct you to a different path and will eventually link to what you have always desired to do.

Answer that call, wherever God calls you to.

Each of us has a purpose that we are to walk in and grow in while we still are on earth. It may take you a long time to get to that place however, the assistance and direction from Holy Spirit will certainly get you to where you are meant to be. The LORD expects us to walk in our purpose because He has already given us the gifts and solutions that are required in our place of purpose. For a long time, I thought a place of purpose was optional but when I read the bible, I realize that we will have to account for every gift God has given us. Like the parable of the talents, the Master will come back and ask for an account of what we did with the talents He gave us.

Which of the three servants will you be or do you want to be? The first servant was given five talents, the second given two and the last one was given one talent. The first servant traded with the talent and gained five more talents, the second gained two more talents whereas the last one did not even attempt. I encourage you today, seek God for your purpose, it may not be revealed immediately but God will certainly point you in the right direction. Purpose may not necessarily be limited to a job, it could be work in ministry or charities. Whatever God reveals to you, work at it with all your heart, you will find joy and blessing in it.

“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” —Frederick Buechner.

“His lord said to him, well done good and faithful servant, you were faithful over a few things. I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord” – Matthew 25:21

With love,

Unathi

Pick up your spade!

We fall down and get up, that should be our anthem as God’s children. Our lives come with experiencing ups and downs. The ups are amazing and give us opportunities to experience the ‘milk and honey’ as God pours out His goodness through these activities. When the road is smooth, it is often easier to do more and manifest our hearts’ desires because we are encouraged and joyful. However, the lows can be discouraging and can feel like you are stripped of the things you once held dear to you, but the valleys teach us valuable lessons and provide wisdom that shapes our character and outlook on life. Although we may fall during the low periods of our lives but must get up again!

I met up with a friend this past weekend, one who challenges my thinking and brings a sense of accountability, partly because we find ourselves traveling similar paths in pursuing our passions but also because her character is one of a visual person who sees what most people cannot see, and she is an active person who gets things done. I was encouraged after our meeting, reminded of the dream that God has placed in my heart to reach out to the lost, broken-hearted, and lonely souls that need Jesus and need to hear about the transformation Christ has brought to me.

I, therefore, got up and started believing and working again. I realized some things must still be put in place to get the dream going. The dream will not necessarily be manifested in a short space of time, but it will eventually come together, let us continue to build our dreams one brick at a time. If we were to take inventory of our lives we would be able to trace that there is so much that has already been done, a few wrong turns, and perhaps unwise decisions but the good LORD uses it all for our good. The wrong turns and disappointments come as part of the process of growth and being established in purpose. I realized that the disappointments and obstacles can sharpen our perception and understanding so that we avoid the wrong voices or influences in future decision-making. Although we may have fallen, it is time to get up and start allowing God to move on our behalf, in those difficult and impossible situations.

I encourage you today to dream again, to work again, to allow God to use you to further His Kingdom! Dream realistically knowing that processes take time. These dreams might be tested along the way, tested with challenges and obstacles that can make the dream seem impossible. We must soldier on knowing that our lives will minister to many people who need to hear about the grace, miracles, transformation, and healing God has brought to our lives. As we have been released from our prisons (mentally, emotionally, or physically), our victories might be the key that releases others from their current prisons. So, dream again dear friend, this time with the guidance and leadership of the Holy Spirit who knows all things and is willing to direct your every step. May God meet you halfway and surprise you with the fulfillment of your heart’s desires. You might have prayed for long periods, yet nothing changed, pray again, God’s arm is not too short to save His children. Perhaps this time your efforts will be accompanied by courage that is beyond the natural, exactly what you need in this moment. Take up your spade and keep digging, much discovery awaits in your place of purpose.

“So, I say to you, ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you” – Luke 11: 9.

With love,

Unathi