Featured

Whatever you do, keep your feet moving!

Keep it moving

If you watch sprinters doing their thing on the track, when one is left behind, people are often disappointed when the athlete stops altogether because they are too worn out to run anymore. Your heart goes out to the athlete-you know they are fatigued but you secretly wish they had kept walking or SOMETHING to the finish line!

People love a good story that inspires them, we want to see a person rise from the ashes.

People love a good story because they too need hope. They too want to know that someone faced difficult times and they persevered until they got there.

Let’s draw a few lessons from the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle; Meghan gives hope to someone who never had any hopes of reaching that mountain peak because they just thought the greatest opportunities were reserved for a certain group of people in society. Well… Meghan has made it possible for someone from a broken home with biracial blood running through her veins to marry into a royal family!

That a good story, it gives a black girl in the slums hope that anything is possible-and it really is! The irony is we all have royal DNA, we are children of the King of Kings and yet we still limit God and what he can do for us.

In this article I am not going to give you 5 ways to overcome this or that- I love the idea of providing X number of ways to deal with this and that -but this time let’s just keep it abstract -all too often life is exactly just that.

 

structure

Photocred: http://www.blog.fontoxml.com

 

Surrendering your structured perfect life

Have you ever worked hard to maintain a  ‘structured perfect’ life then BOOM! Cracks start to appear, cracks you cannot hide, you are fatigued and you simply can’t keep it together anymore.

Well…I have been there and that feeling can creep up on you when you least expect it. Life really happens when you are busy making plans and I am sure God often wonders why we simply don’t surrender all to him-he is after all the way maker and Prince of peace. Let’s learn to surrender everything to him and he will make our paths straight.

 

Accept that it’s alright to C.R.U.M.B.L.E

 

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step but you may fall along the way. ACCEPT that it’s PERFECTLY alright to C.R.U.M.B.L.E. Seasons of fatigue are there but so are seasons of joy, the difference is how you react in each season. Keep those feet moving  when tough lessons swing by and learn what you need to learn so that you a better candidate for the success that awaits in your life.

 

cookie-crumbles

Photocred: Doowans.com

 

Moving from one season to another

 As you move from one stage of your life to the next, if your seamless expectations of what life should offer get overshadowed by the REAL stuff that happens then low faith levels can come in like a flood– especially when you seem to have prolonged seasons where God seems silent-Anyone relate?

In these moments the problem is FEAR  grips you and you just don’t think you can do it.

DON’T give the devil the power to think you are not worth the GOOD that God has in store.

No good thing will God withhold in your life! None whatsoever.

In YOUR journey  (it’s is unique to you), don’t be fixated on your disappointments that you don’t enjoy and celebrate the achievements of others. That’s an injustice to you and to God. Keep your feet and heart moving, be sensitive to other people’s needs and celebrate other people’s achievements. Jesus is such a good example because HE empathized with those that were suffering and celebrated with those in moments of joy.

The next person is just as important in God’s eyes. Be your brothers keeper, love your neighbour as you love yourself.

 

Enjoy the ground you are on…this is where God would have you be

Life is gift and it ought to count BUT it’s quite interesting that most humans tend to want what they don’t have.

You used to dream of this and that and when it happened you gave yourself another milestone which you are now obsessed with.

If you find yourself in this vicious cycle STOP and remind yourself your feet are placed right where they are for a reason and you are moving at a pace that is unique to God’s will and purpose.

You can place your focus so much on moving from one stage of life to another that you forget to enjoy your current season, there is always something to be grateful for and there are always blessings in the here and now. Be thankful for those, you are right where you need to be at this point in your life.

I am blessed. Believe you are blessed too because you really are

Your feet are blessed too, he will order your footsteps, trust him to do so.

God is faithful and just to show us the way as we keep our feet moving!

 

There is nothing impossible with God. All the impossibility is with us when we measure God by the limitations of our unbelief- Smith Wigglesworth.

 

~Taah~

Advertisements
Featured

January Journal Challenge

Happy new year Gleamers

2018 January Journal Challenge inspired by Pinky promise movement. Start today… speak to God and meditate on the word. Watch God work this season!

1. Spend time with God and your journal.

2. Meditate on scripture, away from social media interruptions.

3. Become a better you.

4.Post an amazing picture of your Bible and Journal on social media with #gleamofdawnjournalchallenge #pinkypromisejournalchallenge

 

Keep Shining

~Taah~

Featured

STRIPES-Dare to tell your story

Stripes dare to tell your story image

Stripes tell a powerful and compelling story, one that transcends the boundaries of time over generations of those that were, those that are and those that are yet to be.

While stripes have been embraced by the cosmopolitan chic, the masculine man and the pretty petites; they tell a story that you and I could never finish writing even if we tried.

A prisoner uniform in medieval times; the fashionistas uniform in the nineteenth century.

A multilevel tier constantly in a state of flux in the here and now.

The black and white striped fabric woven into society will signify the haves and have-nots. The bourgeoisie’s who have made it in life, some through toil & sweat, some through inheritance and some merely from a corrupt hand. Echoing Shakespeare’s very words, these are the great, the ones that have either been born great, have achieved greatness or have greatness thrust upon them. Everything fair and grand symbolises this group YET ‘closely’ aligned are those with a future that seems BLEAK. The ones that stare and are filled with admiration when they see what crossing over to the other side will yield. The ones that hang onto faith because without it …all is lost, they WORK so that in the end they can take pride in the fact that they have earned their stripes, they HOPE they WAIT. Some content in the present, some eager for the future.

Revealed through HIS stripes, albeit in a peculiar shade, one that I dare not try to summate in a phrase, are a  Saviour’s wounds symbolising HIS pain, suffering and helplessness at a chosen time to save those HE loves.

HE symbolises what is pure and holy-a very different shade to those HE has come to save. Those in need of a Saviour, those that have been born into sin and are filled with sin.

They label themselves believers, amongst them some will be saved some will be lost. Some will obtain the victory so freely given unto them, yet some… like a moth to a flame-destruction will be inevitable.

Contrasts between Good and Evil-Right and Wrong-Light and dark-Life & Death.

Accounts revealed through seamless stripes…

Closely aligned are two shades of people; the optimist and the pessimist. Four eyes viewing the same glass. Two will see endless possibilities; two will dread the challenges that are ahead.

Physically…YES closely aligned-Mentally…worlds apart.

Stark contrasts of black and white will tell a story of a single woman paralleled with another who wore a veil. A pair in need of a child alongside another with children that are keeping their hands full. Stripes will tell of someone with a clean bill of health and someone hanging onto the little that’s left. All told through this striped frame are Seasons cold and blustery characterised with impatience and hopelessness as one waits on a seemingly silent redeemer to come through. They will also reveal the beauty in seasons of uninterrupted sunshine filled with blessings and praise.

Defeat & Victory…

Confidence & Doubt…

Weakness & Strength…

Sorrow & Joy…

Black & White juxtaposed, close in association yet very different in stature.

Dare to tell the story.

 

~Taah~

Featured

Be willing to Dream Big & Fail Big

dream big fail big

Photographer: Margaret Madondo

 

Martin Luther King had a dream, I had and still have a dream, You had a dream and I hope you are still allowing yourself to get immersed in the land of dreams and accomplishments. We all dream but dreams don’t always come to fruition in the exact manner and at the exact time you want them to…

God’s calendar is pretty interesting. Preaching to the choir anyone?

Growing up I wanted to teach…I didn’t quite know what I wanted to teach. Looking back I think I saw myself on a big stage making a difference. My life back then though didn’t seem like it had the much needed substance and depth to make a difference. I hadn’t invented a light bulb, I hadn’t done anything ‘out of the ordinary’ and I wasn’t that ‘special’ …or so I thought ….BUT I thank God because the dream I had of making a difference still burns within me to this day. Not sure how I will get there, maybe I have already arrived but I encourage you and I both to believe that the best is yet to come.

Joel Osteen in his book IT’S YOUR TIME says you gotta stop thinking that your best days are behind you. God knows the secret petitions of your life. YEP! Those dreams you dare not share with a soul because deep down you wonder if it’s still possible to see them come to pass. It’s absurd to even think…to even entertain the idea that just maybe…somehow things will work in your favour because all the cards seem stacked against you.

YOU HAVE TO HANG ON AND KEEP THAT DREAM ALIVE!

I received a whatsapp video earlier this month. I have played this clip over 5 times *hides face* and the most important lessons I have drawn from this clip are a must share.

So you have a dream, GREAT but it’s also important to remember……

*IF YOU ARE WILLING TO DREAM BIG, BE READY TO FAIL BIG.

Raise your hand if you are scared of failure! If I had ten sets of hands I would raise them as high as I could. Sadly, or should I say gladly, I have failed on so many fronts, it stings each time but it doesn’t make it any easier when the failure blow strikes again.

Sometimes you see it coming, sometimes it takes you by surprise but to succeed and to see your goals and dreams come to life, you have to think outside the box and be willing to fail a few times.

Be willing to have people laugh and mock you.

Be willing to be the odd one out, be willing to be in a pit.

Be willing to make a fool out of yourself.

You only learn through this process and you become better equipped to deal with the magnitude of blessings your dream will come with once it comes to pass. Failure also allows you to remain rooted in your humanity. It is because of failure that we become more sensitive to the needs of others. When you fail repeatedly, you realise how important it is to help others succeed. Success is sweeter when shared.

*YOUR DREAMS MUST HAVE GOALS

Okay so you dream of being a counsellor? You want to be a counsellor so that what happens? Ever asked yourself that question? Sometimes I don’t even know why I want certain things to happen for me. Each dream much have a goal. Our goals should also be a direct reflection of what God would have us do.

All those that build without Christ labour in vain (Psalm 127:1). If you want to get into counselling so you pry  for all the wrong reasons then ask yourself why God should give you the desires of your heart when you haven’t searched your heart.

If you are dreaming of being great so that you pat yourself on the back and bask in your glory then you need to go back to the drawing board.  How easy is it to get into the self-gratification mode once things go your way-Again I raise my hand- I lose my way quite a bit! You pray so hard but once you get what you so deeply desire it becomes about YOU and how you are so great.

We all have a lot to learn and I pray that our gracious Lord continues to search our hearts (Psalm 139:23) so we become better candidates for his kingdom.  This brings us to the last and final lesson I drew from this video clip…I’ll bet the most important of all three.

*ASPIRE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

We live in a fallen world. One that is in DIRE NEED OF HELP, we all need help. I’m in need of help as we speak and so does the next person. Everyone is fighting some battle.  Even as you read this-The bible says so. The bible promises that there will be many troubles in the world (John 16:33), troubles which blanket the rich and poor alike. As you fight and work hard to make your dreams happen- be willing to till the land- be willing to break a sweat with the aim of making a difference in this fallen world. I have seen some create employment for others; I have also witnessed how others provide emotional support to orphans and vulnerable groups when God blesses them. Let’s all aspire to do the same.

Your best days are ahead of you and when your dream comes to pass in accordance with God’s will, I pray that you remember to MAKE A DIFFERENCE because in the grand scheme of things, it ceases to be about YOU! In fact, IT NEVER WAS. Everything that was and is and will be should all be for the glory of God.

Let’s Dream BIG and Let’s Fail BIG!

~Gleam of Dawn~

Taah

 

 

Featured

Identity matters: Know who you are! (Part 1)

identity

What is the world going to think now? What must I do to convince them otherwise? Are you spending most of your time trying to please God or people? If you are worried about the latter then you may very well spend the rest of your life trying to achieve that goal. It is a futile exercise! People are so different. If you aim to please everyone then you may seriously need to go back to the drawing board because in one way or the other, you are being pretentious.

“If you are busy pleasing everyone, you are not being true to yourself”
― Jocelyn Murray

While I would like to talk about pleasing people extensively, that’s not what I feel I should talk about right now. I really felt it was necessary to talk about our Identity as women.

Identity matters! As an African woman there are certain things that cannot totally be divorced from in our lives.  We all have different roles that we play when we are with different individuals. I am a wife, a sister, a friend, and a daughter…I am also an African.

Identity doesn’t just occur in a vacuum. It’s a construction, one that you are working on with each passing day. In constructing your identity it is important to know why you are here in the first place and what you aim to achieve in your lifetime.

Know who you are, once you find your purpose it becomes easier to live fulfilling life. When you know who you are, where you have come from and where you are going you will find satisfaction and fulfilment in the things you do.

The main reason why we don’t always find satisfaction and fulfilment is because we have misplaced our identities.

From the time you were conceived, God identified YOU as his OWN.

Are we on the same page with God or are we identifying with God only when it is convenient for us? I find it interesting that sometimes we speak about God only when it is convenient or when the crowd allows.  Identity matters affect us all. In knowing who you are it is important to remember we are his own. There is nothing mediocre about God. I am not mediocre nor are you…

Here are a few nuggets relating to our identity as women that can help us embrace our God given identity.

Fitting in vs Being set apart

Being a woman is an identity that is wonderful but is has its challenges. It is easy to wonder how you will fit in a gathering or society and in trying to fit in you may become so fixated on adjusting your identity in order to influence what others ultimately think of you. I WANT THEM TO LIKE ME. While this is true, pleasing people is sometimes incongruent with what God wants. When this happens, choose to please God. We must be cognisant of the fact that while it is impossible to  please everyone, we can still serve Christ through our conversations with others. You cannot minister to others without conversing with them…Biblically, a Christian identity calls for you to be caring, nurturing and selfless. The bible also says we should work with our hands, live a quiet life and mind our own business. Help us Lord!!!

Confidence vs Arrogance

Have confidence in yourself and in Christ. As women, our identity in Christ should make us realise that there is no need to be unnecessarily apologetic. If you get a raise at work, give thanks to God and stand tall. If you feel good in what you are wearing, stand tall and have confidence in yourself. Unfortunately, Christianity is often associated with poverty and suffering.  While meekness and humility are traits of a true Christian, feeling sorry for yourself is not a true marker of a child of the most high God.

We don’t serve a substandard God. He is the most High. Arrogance on the other hand is what will make you think you are better than everyone else. Arrogance will make you look down on everyone else. There is nothing Godly about arrogance and all it comes with. While a Christian should go through some challenges to grow, the word says we shall be lenders and not borrowers. Heads and not tails, we are above and not beneath.

Looking Good vs Looking Flamboyant

Lastly, your image should exude your femininity.  I am not talking about vanity here or walking around making everyone else feel small. Jacob bought his son Joseph a coat of many colours…was this flamboyance or what? I think not, he was just a proud father who wanted to make his son feel appreciated and loved.  Clothes matter, they do not define you but they certainly play a role in your identity. Looking good can be done inexpensively! Take the time to look good because you are God’s OWN.

~Gleam of Dawn~

Taah

The African christian woman: struggles and victories!

 

2017-06-15-PHOTO-00000819 (1)

Hi guys! This month, I thought it would be interesting to get views from a few ladies on what it means to be an African Christian woman. Each christian has a unique journey but I’d like to believe the African woman has interesting obstacles and stepping stones during her journey that must be shared.

I start with my take on what this journey entails, you will find a lot of differences and similarities between my blog entry and those of my sisters in Christ Sonia, Melisa and Bridget…If you are African and you are christian you will want to read this!

 

Precious

She is an African woman. She is a Christian African woman. This woman’s path is intricate and her journey complex. At times, she takes pride in her appearance; dark skin and rather peculiar but unique hair strands. Other times, she succumbs to the pressures of Western ideals which have been perpetuated so as to envelope the whole world as the “new normal”. Her journey as a Christian is a conundrum to say the least! Juxtapose Christianity and cultural beliefs, you get a soupy mixture that is harsh on the palate and hard to swallow. Her culture is multifaceted and hard to understand, yet understand it she must. Her culture and society as a whole place so much pressure on the woman, to live up, to show up, to face up! This culture has moulded a female figurine which ticks certain boxes as she grows older. Aged 15 –  able to cook check!…25 – married check!…30 –  children check..40 check!…If she gets to 40 with even just one box unchecked, stares and whispers abound! There are cultural expectations that must be met. Her Christian beliefs however tell her that God pilots everything and ticks each box in the right season as life unfolds. Even so, she struggles with the cultural and Christian ingredients that are forcibly mixed and though inferior, must somehow still excite the palate. The African woman has innumerable battles she has fought. She has won some and lost some. She is a work in progress. She is strong, she is witty, she is weak and she is vulnerable. Trying to understand her in her totality would be an exercise in futility. She is bound and she is free! She has struggles but she is victorious!!

Sonia

Being a Christian African woman in 2017 means that you are finally seriously pursuing an intimate relationship with Jesus, and seeking to live life the way He tells you while still having to struggle with cultural norms placed upon you by virtue of being African and a woman. It means searching relentlessly to understand who God says you are and not what the black African culture or the Western culture has dictated to you for thousands of years. It means choosing to remain feminine and loving yet assured despite the temptation to assert yourself and get what you want forcefully because of all the injustice you and your maternal ancestors have endured for decades. It means an internal battle to remain loving, selfless and compassionate without losing yourself in the process or becoming a doormat. It means returning to God’s definition of woman as He originally intended.

Bridget

Being a christian african woman in 2017 means learning to trust God and allowing God to build my character. I have always thought I have it all together, I like to be in control and try to calculate how things will turn out- It gets frustrating when things don’t work out the way I want them too.  this year has shown me that I have flaws and they are not pretty and I have to work on them. It’s been a painful yet growing experience. 2017 has shown me that I have to learn who to let God be on control and learn to trust him. I am not sure what that really entails but I’m a work in progress.

Melisa

I thought and rethought of the words to write regarding being a Christian woman without sounding like I am glossing over the real journey of being a woman in the Lord, in fact just being a Christian . What does it mean to be a Christian woman in 2017? To answer this question I need to start by saying to be a Christian you need to fully realise that you cannot do it in and of yourself, but that you need Christ to be your compass. Realising that you are fallen and you need a saviour and that in the absence of grace your life, in fact your very existence is meaningless. In 2017, well as each year unfolds you realise how easy it is to write off the world as one that is perishing and the biggest temptation is to compromise. Being bombarded daily with the opinions of a world that tries to convince you that your pursuit of a Saviour is no different from people who believe in the ‘spaghetti monster’ to be a deity makes it immensely difficult to share your faith because the world for some reason has convinced us that it matters what everyone else thinks. We try our hardest to tip-toe around many issues because ‘heaven forbid’ if we ruffle some feathers or say anything that might make it seem as though we are intolerant. In my personal journey I have often found myself asking God, ‘Can’t I just mind my own business, love you and serve you in this upsetting the world?’ Perhaps, this might make people question my standing but I find being a Christian woman, while my faith is a personal choice, confessing it publicly is not such an issue but sharing my beliefs is a difficult task that I often find myself shying from speaking out and later when I get home I am filled with regret realising that the word of God actually says do not worry about the adversity you will experience remembering that the world hated Him first. It is in those moments that you realise God, never gave a second thought to giving Christ His son as a ransom for you and I and so I say to myself, then why do I and why should I?

 

Each woman’s story is different YET there are similar threads woven into each of them. I hope you found this insightful.  Do you relate with some of these stories? Do you have struggles and victories? Gleam of Dawn would like to hear from you as we continue on the quest to find out who we really are and where we are going as African sisters! Have hope. Be inspired. Share the Light!

Contact us:-
Email: gleamofdawnministry@gmail.com
Facebook: @gleamofdawnministry
Twitter: @gleamofdawn