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making your own a hundred foot journey

12.06.14

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maybe if i were to select the personality of my husband, i would select the hope in Papa, the dad whose relentless believe in his dream caused him to stay determined in starting a new life with his family, re-opening a restaurant after losing one, and defying the odds that met him in this foreign land he dared to call home. i would definitely select the purity of love, and passion that Hassan, Papa’s son protrayed  in the movie – The Hundred Foot Journey, and the wisdom in knowing when a new chapter in ones life is knocking for a fresh start.

i particularly loved when at the peak of Hassan’s career in Paris, he packed up to return back home, to then begin yet a new chapter in his life. not making this decision foolishly, he knew that his peak would never mean as much, without his loved ones around him. he further new that, there was a special place in his life, where he wanted to accomplish this success, and home was that place for him. home in the kitchen of this French lady, who at one time saw Hassan and his family as intruders, and did everything in her power to bring failure to their restaurant endeavors. this was the same lady who later learned first hand, what gifted hands Hassan had, and who then invited him to study under her direction in her very own restaurant.

the a hundred foot journey

perhaps like Hassan and his family, you have been waiting for a breakthrough. perhaps, you have tried and failed. tried and failed. perhaps also, you have succeeded and learned that success alone, does not bring happiness. it get’s more lonely as you climb up the ladder of success, and that family and true friends mean more to you than life could describe. what if, all of life’s experiences was never a waste of life? what if, in every season, through every experience, there was a board of lessons to be taught and to be learned? what if in every level of experience, we opened up our eyes, to see just what He is teaching us? and perhaps then, what if in opening our eyes, and learning we then were able to move successfully to the next level of promotion?

there is noting as disheartening as a misplaced, premature opportunity. nothing as discouraging as a blessing not fully appreciated and utilized, and in that scenario hope is then lost. every season in life, is a teacher to us. a teacher that then propels us to the next level of promotion. so dare to take life by the horn, and live it to it’s fullest. think about this, if we were to go through life, without any level of experience and lessons, we would never truly meet the purpose that is at every level of promotion.

it took me a while to receive this revelation. in my self centered desire for personal accomplishment, i soon realized that God was prompting me into stillness, to then receive each lesson in each season. the constant moving, and searching was getting me no where, in fact it was causing me more frustration than anything else, as i worked tirelessly in search of something that i thought would truly bring me fulfillment.

well it turned out that the fulfillment i was searching for all this while, was buried beneath all my heart’s desire for personal gain, and it was not until i surrendered and received His stillness and prompting, that the pealing of these layers started, and the hidden gem of purpose was then unveiled.

in every level of increase, there is a greater purpose, and a much greater need for a giving heart. if we are ever to reach our maximum potential, we will need to reach a level of complete selflessness in hopes of serving others by bringing hope, life, joy and fulfillment to their life. keep in mind that, in this state of living we will enjoy the benefits of living a sacrificial life, for the sake of another, just like Christ did for us.

the benefits outweigh the struggles. 

am constantly reminded that, the Lord we serve is a selfless Lord. He will not dare get us to our maximum potential, without ever preparing us for this hundred foot journey. He gets us there, by walking us through different seasons in life, to then bring upon our life’s the much needed lessons to then receive our next level of promotion and calling.

don’t ever rush life, if life is asking you to yield for a few lessons. these lessons are vital for our future success. honor yourself, and honor God, by trusting Him enough to know that He will not walk you where He has not already been, nor will He abandon you half way there.

He desires nothing but the best for all His children.

what i loved the most about the movie – the hundred foot journey, is the purposed unveiling of forgiveness, love and hope. that what once started off as a major catastrophe, turned out to be one of their greatest blessing. that they knew when to stop, and start a new life. and that they trusted enough in themselves, to know that their dreams could come true, even in the darkest of days.

they never reached the peak, without climbing through some hills and valleys. it was never so. matter of fact, the story unveils some deep struggles, pains and unfairness, yet in every season, they dared to surrender, and receive the lessons in that season.

may i dare you?

dare you to surrender in stillness and receive His lessons

dare you to believe, no matter what

dare you to work hard, be relentless and know that He will never abandon what He has called you to do

dare you to trust in God. know that He is all we need to make it to the top. and know that when at the top, all the glory belongs to Him

dare you to live every day to the fullest

love: christine

pause blog music to the top right to watch this trailer

 

Posted in Love & Beauty

why the world must hear the cries from Kenya – the fight against stripping women naked

11.18.14

Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. Isaiah 30: 18-19

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i am originally from a country the world knows as Kenya. Kenya can be found in the Eastern part of Africa, tucked and surrounded by all kinds of beauties. sadly, today i am not hear to discuss the beauty that is Kenya, or how vast and magnificent it’s oceans are, but rather I am here to voice and share the cries of the women who live in this vast and magnificent country.

these beautiful Kenyan women, many who are simply hard working women, who like any woman in the world loves to look and dress good, so often pay a big big price for stepping out of their homes in their clothing of choice. you see in Kenya  like many developing countries, there are these groups of unjust men who make it their life’s mission to dictate a woman choice and rights. meaning, what a woman must or must not do, this includes what a woman must or must not wear in public. as such, these groups of hungry, disrespectful, abusive and unjust men can find it in them to be dissatisfied with a woman’s choice of clothing, and in broad daylight, and might i add in the middle of a busy public street or not, decide to strip a woman completely naked.

most recently in a youtube video i watched, these men can be heard yelling “remove, remove.” to a woman as other men in their group man handle, and strip this woman completely naked. 

now you might ask where the judicial system is when women are faced with such inhuman, degrading crimes. or where the just on lookers who i would want to refer to as potential helpers are, when a woman is stripped naked in a busy public street. the honest truth is that, the justice system in Kenya is miles away from help, and many a times will not respond to such acts of crime that are mostly committed against the poor and marginalized. when it comes to the just helpers on the streets, well it is safe to say that many of them are themselves afraid of being attacked, and many a times either walk away screaming for help, witness these crimes in utter hopelessness and disbelief or sadly walk away.

over the past few days these crimes have received some local and international attention amongst women, and even men who see the need for immediate change in Kenya. most recently i was proud to see facebook, twitter and news posts of women and men in Kenya standing up against these crimes, the most memorable one being the peaceful protest they called #mydressmychoice. kudos to all who put this protest together. however, in my opinion and based on the continued escalation of these violence, the end is not here and there is an immediate need for a unified approach amongst all women and nations of the world, to stand firm and demand an immediate investigation of these crimes, an end to such crimes and a zero tolerance policy in Kenya against such crimes.

in recent interviews and even in the past, it has been well documented that some women justify such acts by what they refer to as indecent dressing on our part. hence joining the hundreds and thousands of men who unjustly commit these crimes in argument of the same. my response to these women would be the same response i would give a man who justifies these acts with the same argument - it doesn’t matter whether or not we approve of ones choice of clothes, what matters is that we are mindful of every persons human rights, and that in every situation every human being is presented with an opportunity to live in freedom, and is then able to exercise their full rights as a human being. 

there is absolutely no room for justification of such crimes, absolutely no room.

in Nairobi and other cities in Kenya, the perpetrators of such inhuman crimes walk free, as the victims suffer in absolute trauma, left with a life time of scares and shame over these crimes committed against them. on the other hand, the other women who are thus far safe continue in a life of uncertainty, as their human rights are never fully theirs to live, but rather still in the hands of inhuman, babaric groups of men who continue to get away with such crimes.

additionally, the number of rape cases that occur due to such crimes are unaccounted for, unreported in many cases, and if reported are never truly investigated. the victims are then left in utter hopelessness as they struggle to move on with their lives, and heal all at the same time. many a times, dying slowly in complete darkness, shame and degradation.

may i challenge the President, leaders and judicial representatives of Kenya to dare enough to do something. to imagine that these victims could easily be their wife, their daughter, their sister, their friend. to dare enough to end this violence against women. some may say that the world has what many might call “more important justice matters to attend to,” but may i also dare the nations of the world to say that this matter is as important as all other justice matters, and as such should be given the immediate attention it deserves. may i also dare the lawyers/attorneys out in Kenya and around the world, to dare enough to take a case for free in the name of fighting for justice. many of these victims are poor, uneducated and therefore unable to afford private legal representation. may i dare you wonderful lawyers/attorneys of the world to take on these cases pro bono, and bring justice to these women.

by no means am i saying or implying that we can solve this issue overnight, what i am simply saying is that one voice, one step each day can go along way in eradicating such violence, and as a result eventually bring complete freedom to these women. this freedom is long overdue, and i am hopeful that with the right attention and effort, this too can become a thing of the past, as healing slowly makes its way to the victims of these crimes.

a special thank you to all who continue to fight for this worthy cause. may the Lord continue to strengthen and equip you for this cause. a very special blessing and prayer to the victims of these crimes, may the Lord alone bring revenge on your behalf, for He knows best how to handle and resolve all issues we face.

stay strong and know that you are deeply loved.

i love what Isaiah 1:17 says, “learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.”

highly recommend that you not watch this around children.

<pause the blog music to the top right to before you watch this video>

love: christine

Posted in Life With Christ

living beyond what aches in the inside of self

11.09.14

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guilty of yesterday you might ask?

yes,

because we have all at one time or another, found a moment of solace or maybe not. may be it was during a very chaotic, frantic moment when you realized how selfish you have been. a moment when it finally dawned on you that all this while, life has been all about you. about your desires. about your dreams, hopes and wants. and if ever your life was made into a movie, well let’s just say that you would be the star, and He (God) would just be an added prop that decorates your life into the beauty that it is – only useful in getting you further and further in life.

whether or not this decision is reached unconsciously or not, we as human beings have a natural tendency of growing into self centered beings, and sometimes even living in the center of our life. those who have been around little children know this all too well. we know that the first few words a child ever utters is the word – mine. this is well demonstrated when you reach for a child’s favorite toy, and it will not be long before you know who owns that toy you dare to grab. that fierce, possessive and yet innocent voice will let you know very loud that the toy you grabbed is his/her toy. so it is safe to say that as a human being, it is natural to gravitate towards the center of self, that being the case it is then very important that we dare to live outside of self. dare to open our eyes, ears and live beyond what aches in the inside of us. if not, then sadly enough, the center of our life is where we will always be found. and if that is the case, what life will you have lived? I ask.

yesterday in the mail, we received a card from our  Compassion International sponsor child-James (lives in Kenya). We have been sponsoring James for over 2 years, and much like our own children, nothing brings more joy to our hearts than seeing James grow into a handsome, Godly man. Seeing hope back in his eyes, when at one point his eyes looked empty of hope, is so rewarding. about a two weeks ago, we also heard from our other precious sponsor child Atul (lives in India), it is slightly over a year since we started sponsoring Atul, and like James planting and giving into Atul’s life adds more meaning to our life, more than we ever knew existed.

seeing a smile on their faces, brings meaning to our sponsorship. months when I have contemplated whether or not we can continue sponsoring both boys, and then deciding to continue anyway, and trusting instead in God’s provision has elevated our trust in God. for he never fails us. the good news for those who don’t know our God all too well, He is always looking for faithful followers. those who will be His hands and feet. and when He finds His followers, and starts a work through them, then can I also tell you that what He starts He is also faithful to provide for. we only struggle when we make it our mission to self provide, and forget that God who started it all, is very capable of finishing it all. He really doesnt need our help, all He needs is a willing heart. a faithful heart, and the rest of His work He will truly truly provide for.

the Lord out of this journey called life, teaches us that life is meant to be shared.

shared in every sense of the word.

meaning in pain, we are to gather in community, embrace the moment of pain, hug and share in that season of life together. in laughter and joy, we are also to gather together in community, celebrate with laughter and enjoy the season of joy that life brings.

 in everything life, it is important that we seek the will of God over our life, and not make a journey driven by our own will. this step alone will save us plenty of heart aches, and wasted seasons. in so doing, we are guaranteed a purposeful life, and because God is not found in self, we are also guaranteed a transformation of heart that we are then able to live outside of self. it is true that God is always out in the mission field. always found outside in the ditches, the dark places that self naturally never dares to go. He never did own a home, a car or the comfort that we so humbly enjoy. He lived outside of self, and mingled with those who were known to be sinners, helping the poor, healing and doing all sorts of signs and wonders. and through the help of the Holy Spirit, we too can find the courage to walk in the ditches, and the dark spots that self on its own can not dare walk. see the Holy Spirit, God our Father can do so much through us, if only we dare to align our will with His will, and believe without a shadow of doubt that He has nothing but good plans for us (Jeremiah 29).

never discredit the direction that God is leading you. some may also say, never discredit your humble beginnings. the difference between those who live a fulfilled life, and those whose life is empty and never fulfilled, is the ability of one to receive the full blessings and lessons of each season in life, and the ability to then trust in God to walk one through each season, no matter how lonely, challenging it is. with God we are over comers. and He will never lead you, where He has not already been. those who go on to fulfill their callings in life, have been those that have allowed God to do a work in them, in so doing God has then been able to prepare and equip them for every season, and they have gone on to receive the fullness of life.

there is nothing as miserable as living an empty, unfulfilled life.

we all have an opportunity to place our aches, pains and desires in the hands of God, and then trust Him enough to walk in the direction He leads, and know that He is not man that He should lie. what He says, He will do. that has been our journey, my daughters and I. we are not perfect, but we have tried our best to live a life in His will for us, many a times never truly understanding where He was leading us, however in all instances and retrospectively, we have come to witness such mighty mighty works. He continues to surprise us, and in every season He has never failed us. we too have our hopes and desires, however as we journey through life, we have come to realize that at the perfect time, He makes all things beautiful.

<to listen, pause the blog music to the top right of the blog>

lots of love: Christine

Posted in Life With Christ

why prayer is asking for rain; faith is carrying the umbrella

11.03.14

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 it’s a sure thing that summer is no more, and winter is just a few weeks away from making it’s presence felt. the trees are losing shape, as leaves shed and their skeletons then appear before our very eyes. yesterday we moved our clocks an hour behind, that means darkness makes it’s entrance much sooner than before, and the rise of the sun makes it’s presence known much earlier than days before.

a few evenings ago, McKenzie and Mya pulled out an old fashioned princess gown, and their not so vampire coat and dressed up to look like pictures from a story book in Nania, and dragged me along to knock on doors, smile and ask for pieces of candy. out here, they call the knocking on doors, and asking for candy  – trick or treat which is on a day called  – halloween. although i would venture to say that this night they call – halloween has a much deeper meaning, which for many reason one being my lack of knowledge, i dare not venture into. i would much rather see it for the pureness of smiling for candy, and the laughters that crowd our streets, on the last night of October, when most everyone dares to open up their homes, and light a few smiles on many children’s faces. there was this particularly tall gentleman, dressed like a character in the wizard of oz who managed to grab all the attention of all the kids, and might i add parents as well. with a signal to his home, all the kids followed to receive a glow stick with the words  – boo Jesus Loves You.

that put a smile on all our faces.

after this trick a treat night, we ushered in a new season, which is to us a season of thanksgiving. more a season of giving, to receive in return a gift much bigger than what we ever imagined to exist. like every season, a new season has a way of reminding us of what is yet to come, what has come and what we hoped to come. there are moments when doubt steps in, moments when we wonder if may be our desires and dreams, are far too far for our reach, and just maybe we should stop hoping. at least for many of us, that is what the enemy of our minds, tries to settle in our minds. that He has forgotten us, our dreams and hopes and that we should be more realistic in our expectations.

faith can rewrite your future. “the only thing that stands between a man and what he wants from life is often merely the will to try and the faith to believe that it is possible.” (richard de vos). faith is like a flashlight – no matter how dark things seem to get, it will help you find your way.

every tomorrow has two handles; we can take hold by the handle of anxiety or by the handle of faith.  – southern baptist brotherhood journal.

regret looks back; worry looks around; faith looks up. great leaders are almost always people of great faith. God has something for the man who keeps his faith in Him. Your life will shrink or expand in proportion to your faith.

think like a man of action, and act like a man of faith. prayer is asking for rain; faith is carrying the umbrella. you must first be a believer if you want to be an achiever.

faith, in its very nature, demands action

faith is action – never a passive attitude. – paul little

faith is not a pill you take but a muscle you use. faith is when your hands and feet keep on working when your head and others say it can’t be done. faith is necessary to victory.

by faith you can be decisive in the absence of certainty or in the presence of indecision. it is not daydreaming; it is decision making. real faith is not the stuff dreams are made of; rather it is tough, practical and altogether realistic. faith see the invisible but it does not see the nonexistent - a.w tozer. the world says,”seeing is believing.” faith says, “believing is seeing.”

faith is like a toothbrush. everyone should have one and use it daily, but you should not try to use someone else’s.

all i have seen teaches me to trust the creator for all i have not seen.ralph waldo emerson

doubt is the great modern plague. even so faith can cure it. real faith will refuse to see anything that is contrary to the bible. it won’t look at the circumstances or conditions but the promise.

the impossible is possible, john mason (page 159 – 160)

like the changing of seasons, and the pureness of smiling for some candy, there is much to be received in faith and in waiting. there is also much to be learned in wait and in every season. like the light that God shines on us daily, may our life be a representation of His light. may we walk in the presence of His light, and realize that even when our journey leads us to places that seem oh so dark, that this light will never fail to light a way for us, and bring us out into victory.

above all, may our prayers be accompanied with an umbrella in hopes of  what is yet to come. 

love: christine

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Posted in Life With Christ