Monday, 24 July 2017

What Is My Purpose?


Do you ever wonder...especially as you grow older - "What Is My Purpose in Life?". I remember listening to a sermon and I have my notes and in this sermon, the Pastor said, "there is one core purpose for every believer of Jesus Christ and our specific callings are gathered in a single purpose and if we MISS that purpose then all our desires, our hopes and dreams are in vain."

John 15:16 - "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit - fruit that will last and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you."

Our purpose in life is to go out and bear fruit. That does not mean winning the souls of men. It means being Christ-Like. It means reflecting the like-ness of Christ. Growing more and more into the likeness of Jesus should be our core purpose in life.

How do we bear fruit?

Bearing Fruit starts in the way we treat others. We fulfil our purpose as we begin to love others the way that Christ loves us.

John 15:19 - "If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you."

Where should unconditional love begin?

Firstly, love should begin in our homes. If you are married, love is how you treat your husband/wife and your children. If you are single, how do you treat your parents, your roommates, your friends, fellow Christians?

You can evangelise all you want, you can attend church week after week, you can sing and worship in Church but on that faithful day when the Lord comes and you have to testify before men and God, what can you spouse say about you? What sort of life do you lead in your home?

The Pastor also said, "I wish every couple who enjoys a Christ-Centred marriage would rise up and tell the truth. That marriage is a day by day effort. In the same way your Christian life is a day by day effort. It is like the way of the Cross. It means giving up your rights daily. Satan is set on destroying your home - so he will constantly bring trials.

Secondly, love is how you treat people outside of your home. How do you treat your enemies? Those that hate you for no reason. Those that cannot love you and aren't capable of loving you. We can't do this by our own strength, it is through the strength of the Holy Spirit.

John 17:26 - "I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them"

The whole point of finding your purpose is evaluating your heart. What is the condition of your heart? In Romans 8:28 - "And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him who have been called according to his purpose."

Our purpose is not to be successful, to be free from issues and troubles and trials, to be special, to make it in life, to be billionaires. Despite Churches having 'How-To' conferences on 'How to Defeat Loneliness', 'How to Defeat Depression' etc - we are called to be fruitful in the likeness of Christ. That means dying to yourself daily and loving people.



Sunday, 16 July 2017

25 Years - 25 Things I Have Learned



After turning a new chapter in my life...I've been thinking (as per usual). I'd like to think I've grown...wiser as well as older.

I remember listening to this Preacher when I was younger (God, I feel so old saying that). Anyway, I think it was a sermon I attended which was about Singles and Marriage or whatever. I was in University at the time anyway and I remember him saying, "Your 20s are the most confusing years of your life. You are trying to grow and find yourself, what works for you and trying to figure your life out."

I won't lie, I thought he was exaggerating. I knew I'd graduate in Law, I knew I wanted to be a lawyer. So, at the time (I must have been 20), I was like, "let me just graduate then go to law school and get a Training Contract". Well, I graduated and I completed law school - the Training Contract is still needed *rolls-eyes*.

Since graduation, I have had...three jobs in three different law firms, I have relocated to a whole different Country and I'm still trying to figure out my life. But nevertheless...here are 25 things I have learned in 25 years of living.

1. God ALWAYS PROVIDES PEOPLE.

There are times when I felt so alone, so depressed, so sad and I think it's because I didn't FEEL like God was there at times. There are times when I felt like giving up on this Christian life because I felt so DIFFERENT to others. I have learned that there are people who will call themselves Christians but not really ACTIVELY live out that life. I have attended many churches AFTER graduation and it was hard to make friends because a lot of these people were much older and I couldn't find people MY age in Church. They were either too young or too old.

But despite all this; I have an amazing cousin (Hi Thelma!) who probably doesn't know but she is such a blessing to my life. She doesn't judge me and she is always there to provide advice when I need it.

Even though I don't have a lot of people I can relate to around my age, I am thankful for my cousin, my best friend and my parents.


2. LOVE YOUR BODY

Growing up, I...wouldn't say hated...but I struggled with the concept of loving my body. I have always been slim. I remember my cousins used to tease me and call me 'skeletal' - which has given me thick skin because I was so used to family calling me 'skeletal', I didn't care what people said. BUT, growing up in a world where big bums and big breasts were everywhere (Kim K, Beyoncé) and then men identifying with people like that as 'beautiful', it was hard to accept that I, myself, being slim and having no curves, as 'beautiful'.

I'm not exactly THERE yet BUTTTTTTTTTTTTT, by the grace of GOD, I have learned to see myself through GOD'S EYES. You have no idea what a difference that makes. It took me a LONG time. I used to hide behind make up and baggy clothes. It took the Word of God to love myself the way God loves me. My confidence cannot be found in a man or society, it is found in God. I remember pondering upon Psalm 139 and thinking, 'Wow, God made me FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY. Who am I that God made me so beautifully?'. This is not me bragging but honestly, I have learned to accept myself the way I am.

I am in no way perfect but I am made perfect by the love of God.


3. ACCEPT ADVICE
I am stubborn. I won't even lie. I am stubborn and always tend to think I am right about everything. If anything...I refuse to accept that I am wrong in most cases. BUT, of course, it only takes God to change a person.

Proverbs 12:15 - Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others

THINK upon that verse for a moment. God is talking to you. It's good to have people who are older and wiser than you to HOLD you accountable for your behaviour. Its wise to have people advise you in the things you do. Be willing to accept help from others who have lived on earth a lot longer than you have.

4. IT'S OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY

I've often said I am not an emotional person. I have only cried in front of my mother, my cousin (Thelma) and my best friend, Mesna. I hate to have people think they have power over me. I hate to have people think I am weak. I hate to have people think I am this helpless little creature.

BUT - I have learned that its okay to be vulnerable. It's okay to accept help from others and not to do everything by yourself. It's okay to let your feelings out because at the end of the day, if you are not OKAY - then it affects your HEALTH, your FEELINGS, your BODY, your SOUL.

5. GOOD FRIENDS

Growing up - I don't think I had good friends. I've always been that friendly person. If I see someone sitting alone, I will go and chat to them. I remember in my school days, there was a girl who had 'selective mutism' (if you don't know what that is, google it). It's a condition that basically stops someone from talking because of anxiety or...whatever. Anyway this girl (Hi Sneha), was often bullied because of her condition and she was often isolated and seated alone, but I remember we had a class together (textiles) and I remember walking up to her and sitting with her everyday. We are EXTREMELY close friends right now and have been friends since that day.

Sooooo - I have learned to be discerning of friends. Even when it comes to guys, I have always wanted to have a good friend in a HUSBAND. If we cannot be friends, we can't be lovers. I cannot be married to somebody I am not friends with because I know myself. I will be miserable for life and make your life miserable.

I am thankful for having good friends so far...even the ones I have lost have taught me good things. It's not about the QUANTITY but it its about the QUALITY of your friendships that count.

6. FORGIVE

I won't write exactly what I am forgiving people for - its private. BUT I've learned to forgive and to let go. I know that NOT forgiving people has often led me to feel bitter about them, to hate them.
AGAIN, it's only because of the GRACE of GOD that I have learned the power of forgiveness without people apologising for their mistakes.

I know that I have also hurt people and I needed the grace of GOD. It took that to realise that just the way I need the forgiveness and love from God, people who have hurt me also need the love and forgiveness from ME. It's so hard to be Christ-like, guys! Honestly!

7. WAITING ON GOD

I think we can ALL agree that waiting for anything is a challenge. I remember when I was younger, my friends and I made a plan. My plan was...to finish university at 20 (done), go to law school at 21 (done), get a job after law school in a law firm (done) then get married at 23 like my Mum did. LOL.

Yeahhhhhh - unfortunately, God doesn't work according to our programs and plans. But, I think  God is trying to teach me something.

1. Do not rush!
2. Learn to love
3. Get closer to Him

Looking back now, if I got married at 23....I'd be a mess. I was bitter, I was angry and lazy and stressed with life (ask my young brother). I was still struggling with my relationship with God.
So, I learned not to rush (and I've heard plenty of testimonies of people in terrible marriages because they RUSHED and didn't consult God before they married. Someone told me, who you choose to marry is the SECOND most important decision you will ever make after getting SAVED.

So, waiting on God is good - it teaches you to trust God, to be patient during your wait and to get closer to Him.

8. TRAVEL TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH

TRAVEL!!!! I have learned to ENJOY life and explore.  It has been fun to get lost in a different country, to try out the different foods, to experience different cultures and traditions. It's honestly the BEST experience of my LIFE.


My best memories in life have been created because of TRAVELLING.


It's been an experience to learn different languages and see people of different colours - even to LISTEN to different languages. SEE and TRAVEL the world. It's the BEST experience ever. Dear Future Husband - please....you have to be a traveller. LOL.


9. TAKE A RISK!!

Well...I took a risk when I RELOCATED abroad especially to Zambia. I remember when I told my manager about my decision and he was so disappointed. He tried to offer me a pay rise, tried to set other conditions in my contract and I was like bruh. I often wonder if I made the right decision moving but well...we will see.

Life is about risks, after all.

10. LISTEN TO YOUR INTUITION
God gave us an intuition for a REASON - listen to HER. Wisdom is there for a reason, learn to listen to her...otherwise...you're screwed.

11. HEARTBREAKS ARE GOOD THINGS

Heartbreaks can teach you a thing or two - and if anything...I think God and I are a lot closer because of it.

12. BE HEALTHY

I have learned that I need to be healthy and that includes increasing my exercise routines because ALTHOUGH I AM SLIM...I need to be more involved in sports activities.

13. CHECK UP ON PEOPLE

People won't tell you they are fine. Sometimes it's good to check up on your friends - find out how they are. Are they doing okay in life? Friendship is give and take. If you check up on them and they check up on you...that's a beautiful friendship.

14. SPOIL YOURSELF

Hey - buy yourself some flowers, a dress, do your nails! Do something nice for yourself. I think its easy to let yourself go (as in...let yourself not care about yourself).

15. READ MORE

I already read a lot but I think I need to invest in more books.

16. DON'T SPEND TOO MUCH TIME ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media takes you away from your family and friends (people who are actually present and who actually care). Don't spend too much time on your phone, on Facebook, on Netflix, on Twitter. Chill.

17. DO SOMETHING CRAZY TO YOUR HAIR

I cut my hair and it was PRETTY LONG. I do not regret it. I need to do more crazy things to my hair.


18. DON'T BE ARGUMENTATIVE

I already said I am stubborn...I'm learning, I promise. I need to be less argumentative (especially when I think I am right).

19. SAVE YOUR MONEY

Save your money - you may need it for a rainy day (or to go back to England when you need to)

20. ITS OKAY TO SAY NO
Sometimes...you're just tired and want to rest. Say no to an outing. You don't HAVE to go out.

21. WRITE MORE
I love writing stories. I was an A* student at school in ENGLISH or anything to do with essays. Mathematics, Science or the like...were often an issue for me.

So...I've learned to write more. Write my feelings in a diary. Write stories. Write poems. Just write.

22. INVEST
My parents are very business minded with a successful business. I need to make good investments and will continue to try and assess what I am good at.

23. DON'T CHANGE
I am who I am. I am crazy, I talk too much and often emotional (although I don't show it).

24. BE MORE ASSERTIVE

25. CONTENTMENT OVER HAPPINESS
Happiness is conditional because its based on the condition that things are going well. So...I've learned to be CONTENT with LITTLE and with MORE. But regardless of the situation...I am content with life so far.

Just like the Apostle Paul said...we have to learn to be CONTENT in every season. There will be seasons where we will have a LOT and there will be seasons where we will have LITTLE.


Wednesday, 5 July 2017

GBV: A Story (Snippet)

Ruth followed her husband, Gabriel, out of their local Baptist Church that Sunday. From the outside looking in, they had the perfect marriage. They were a humble, quiet couple who kept themselves to themselves and led a quiet life. But Ruth was keeping a secret. A secret nobody could even comprehend based on how they perceived Ruth and Gabriel.

What was their marriage like? Well, their marriage was relatively young and so were they. Ruth got married at the age of 21, straight out of University having studied Social Work, whilst her husband was 26 at the time he had been called to the Bar and was looking to start his career in the law. They had been married for four years but had no children. She was a beautiful woman and other people thought so too. She was a woman of small stature, hardworking and always kept herself busy. She was very caring for her husband and insisted on doing all the housework, needing no house-help.
Her husband, Gabriel Mulenga, now thirty-one years of age, worked as a lawyer at one of the most prestigious law firms in Chipata, Mwenya & Mwenya Associates. A firm that had been built by a well known woman in Chipata. He had been working there since it's inception.

Women, both young and old, envied their marriage and the younger women at their church often asked for advice before they decided they wanted to get married.

Ruth kept her head down as they made their walk to the carpark of the church. No matter how powerful the message seemed to be, Ruth had lost faith. She had lost faith in God. She had lost faith in her husband. She had lost faith in their marriage. She had lost faith in herself.

"Gabriel!" Ruth and her husband heard somebody call for them. Gabriel, Ruth thought, a name fit for an angel. But he was no angel.
"Minister Kasonde" Gabriel smiled, a dimple forming on his cheeks, "How can I help?"
Gabriel was well known and admired by the women around Chipata. He was handsome, tall, light in complexion and incredibly smart.
Mr Kasonde was one of the Ministers at their Church. In fact, he was the one who had given them their marital counselling before they got married in Chipata five years ago.
"You don't need to help me at all. Ruth, how are you? It's been a while?" he leans in to give Ruth a hug and Ruth stepped back, glancing at Gabriel. He would be furious.
"I'm fine, thank you." Ruth plasters on a smile. Her face was still in pain after this morning's argument.
She turns to her husband, who glares at her, "Ahem. Sweetheart, may I have the keys to the car? I can wait for you there"
He fumbles around with his pockets, looking at Minister Kasonde.
"No, I needed to talk to both of you actually. We have a Charity Brai in order to raise awareness for Gender Based Violence next week, Sunday 4th. We wanted to have a few words from you, Ruth, since you work with women and of course men who suffer from GBV, your experience and what your work entails. It's great awareness and Gabriel, your work in Human Rights would also be helpful because people need to be aware of the laws surrounding GBV"
Ruth is horrified. Her face is suddenly filled with shame, "Oh, I'm honoured but I can't"
Minister Kasonde's smile becomes a frown, "Why not?"
She glances at her husband, who avoids her eyes.
"Gabriel?" Minister Kasonde nudges him
"I wouldn't mind doing that" he mumbles
Ruth on the other hand is weary, "I mean it's such short notice. You can't find somebody else?"
He sighs, "I thought you two were the perfect people for this talk. Every week we have women come into our offices admitting to their husbands being violent."
Ruth looks away then forces herself to catch his eye, "I'll think about it."
He smiles, "That's all I'm asking for. Please do let me know by tomorrow and I can make the necessary arrangements."
Ruth nods but says nothing.
"Have a great week"
She watches the Minister walk off, catching another conversation with one of the congregants.
She looks at Gabriel, who is staring at her, it seems.
"What is it?" she asks, concerned.
"Are you going to do the talk?"
She shrugged, "You are talking about it so why can't I?"
He hesitates for a moment then asks, quietly, almost sounding vulnerable, "You won't leave me, will you?"
She keeps quiet. She never responded to that question anymore and it would make him even more furious. He would ask her that after hitting her and apologising profusely.
"Let's go" he commands.

She didn't know if she could take this anymore. She had been through the worst and it seemed like nobody could see through him. Her parents thought he was an angel, her friends loved him, her entire family did not see the violence. When was the last time she even saw her family?
He kept her isolated. He would promise that they would go and see her family in Lusaka but work kept him busy. If she wanted to go on her own, he insisted that she stay for fear of her leaving him. She had suffered three miscarriages in the space of 4 years. She had caught him in numerous affairs. Throughout all this, people thought she was happy. She was tired of living this facade.
She didn't know how much more she could take.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

A Godly Woman




Hi everybody,

I know its been a while (a whole year, to be exact) and I have no excuse other than being busy. Anyway, in honour of Mother's Day just gone, at least in Africa and the USA, I've been studying what it means to be a 'Godly' Woman.

A 'Godly' Woman is a special kind of Woman. This message wouldn't be understood by the world because the world makes mothers out to be just 'mothers'. But the Bible says women were created to be mothers and wives.

The Beginning

In the beginning, God created Adam and we know that AFTER Adam was created, God created EVE for ADAM to desire. A woman, therefore, was created to be a help-meet for the man. So, in any area he LACKS, she meets to HELP him.

I know people nowadays, especially women in the 21st Century, we are so focused on becoming equal to the man. I know the movement of feminism is something that is popular nowadays. We want to take the roles that men have, to be leaders in our homes, to over-take the man. But, I grew up in a home which was very traditional. I don't know the details of my parents' marriage BUT I know my father is the ultimate decision maker and my mother would give her input on certain issues.

Anyway, in the beginning, God created Adam and after that, He created Eve to help Adam fulfil his purpose.

Genesis 2:18 - As women, we were created to be help meets. This is a woman's PURPOSE. So, if you are single (as I am), this is your time to prepare to be a mother, to prepare to be a wife and to work at the goal of being ready to be an available help-meet.

Titus 2:3 gives us guidance as to how women should behave themselves and it reads, 'Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.'

Women are urged to be discreet, to keep their business in their household, to be keepers of the home. Your home represents you as a wife.

I remember, growing up, my parents, especially my mother, would always tell me, 'Chansa, one day you'll be a wife, you have to learn how to take care of your home'. Now that I'm back in Zambia, my mother is even more adamant about this. She would wake me up as early as 5am, I would have to clean the house, cook breakfast for my father, wash the dishes. Needless to say, I used to be super annoyed. I LOVE my sleep, okay? I can pretend to be asleep sometimes, just so that she could leave me alone. I would wake up in a bad mood, I would complain (in my heart of course, not like I can complain to my mother). She would constantly remind me that I would have to do this in my own home. Anyway, don't judge me, I am a changed woman now.

So, reading up on how a Godly Mother/Woman should be in the home, I am so thankful for my mother teaching me (before it's too late). I have realised that she is teaching me and preparing me to be a mother and a wife, which I will one day be. Unfortunately, reading up on today's society, women are told to go out there in the world to further their careers and no seek any validation from men and this has led to higher divorce rates within the church, women are no longer seeking to get married because they have the mentality of 'I can do it all by myself' and 'I don't need a man'. There is also the whole 'men are trash' movement going around on social media, for those of us who pay attention.

What is a Godly Mother? Or Woman

1. A Godly Woman Is IN the HOME. Even if she works (is employed), her first priority is her household. Anything added to that is what she wants.

Proverbs 29:15 - "A rod and a reprimand impart wisdom, but a child left undisciplined disgraces its mother".

Many women seek validation from outside their homes, they leave their children and husbands to find their purpose and neglect their homes. Therefore, although many mothers work and have careers, a Godly MOTHER always puts her family first. Her husband, her children and all that God has given her as a home is always her first priority.

2. A Godly Woman is PEACEFUL

I don't know why, especially Christian women, look up to celebrities such as Kim Kardashian or watch these reality TV shows such as the Real Housewives of Atlanta or whatever which promote nothing but trash. We should, as women, look at women such as our mothers (if you have a good one like I do), biblical examples of women such as Ruth and Esther.

A Godly woman holds her peace in every situation. She is not quick to be angry but she is slow to wrath. She believes that God can fix anything and everything and because of that, she talks to God about it all.

3. A Godly Woman is QUIET and GENTLE
This means as a woman (or even a man, to be honest), do not be disrespectful, do not be aggressive, hostile or cunning.

2 Timothy 2:24 - "And the Lord's servant must not quarrel, instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach not resentful"

4. A Godly Woman seeks to SERVE OTHERS
Proverbs 31:15, 20 - "She also rises while it is yet night, and provides food for her household and a portion for her maidservants. She extends her hand to the poor, yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy."

There are many more qualities but I'll leave this with you to research:

A good woman knows that pleasing God is pleasing her husband. A good mother or a good woman attempts to do things God's way rather than listening to the changing views of society.

If you are a woman and you are reading this, be a good woman first. You have to be A GOOD WOMAN BEFORE YOU ARE MARRIED and be content prior to marriage. I have a friend who recently got married. She ALWAYS tells me, be CONTENT before you are married because marriage is a whole different GAME.