Self-Honesty

I am an hypocrite. In fact, if many of us should stop and think about it, we are very hypocritical when it comes to being honest with ourselves. By extension, we become hypocrites with God and others because frankly, in order to be honest with God or others, you must first be honest with yourself.

I look back on some of the years I once deemed as the best of my prayer life. These were the years I spent talking to God about others and their problems. I never spoke to Him about myself beyond the face value stuff. Back then, I believed my prayer life rocked as I spent time loading on the godly platitudes, raising prayer requests and reciting all the lovely turn of phrases I had heard during service at church. I was a living-walking modern-day hypocritical Pharisee.

I look back now and laugh because I realize that in those instances I treated God as an acquaintance. I also spent a lot of time running from myself. But how could I be honest that I did not love all my neighbors? That there were some persons I truly disliked despite trying hard to find the good in them? How about areas of the Bible that I struggled to obey? How about church rules that I disagreed with and felt really strongly about? How could I acknowledge my struggles to myself much less voice them to God or anyone else? How could I bare my soul to God when I didn’t have the courage to bare it to myself? It was far easier to pretend that everything was hokey-dokey than be the sole representation of imperfection or voice of dissent. It was far easier to pretend to be the perfect Christian. Everybody else seemed to have it together, why shouldn’t I?

Those years helped no one. I know they certainly didn’t help me or my relationship with God. One of the reasons I love King David is because of his brutal honesty to God about his nature, even in moments when he is not quick on the uptake. It takes a lot to be able to acknowledge that you have messed up or that you were wrong or that you are not perfect and need help. Moments like those require you to be brutally honest with yourself and humble enough to make the acknowledgement.

Frankly, that’s the way I want to live my life. I choose to be an active participant in my life over the casual observer. I choose to be introspective and insightful. I choose to be more than the regular indoctrinated Christian. I choose to be honest with myself, God and others. I choose to live a life of honesty.

I would like you to join me in making a commitment to ourselves:

We will take the time to discover our true feelings and be honest about them to ourselves so that we can be honest with God and others.

XOXO,
Chañel.

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Death Could Not Hold Him Down

For the last few nights, I’ve had difficulty sleeping soundly. There has been a few things on my mind and I kept taking naps before my sleep patterns kept getting disturbed. This habit has made me restless, edgy and tired. I also recognized that if I kept it up, I would soon be unable to function efficiently.

To make matters worse, I was ridiculously ill yesterday. I spent the day in pain, popping pills, nauseous and dizzy to the point where I kept digging my nails in my palms to fight the waves. Only God knows how I managed to stay on my feet for practically the whole day as I worked non-stop. I was unable to keep anything down until dinner. When I finally went to bed, I found that once again I was unable to sleep properly.

This morning, rare for me, I got up before my first alarm, my thoughts centered on a project that I am currently at the tail end of. It has been a long couple of months and let’s just say that the last few days have not been easy as we draw closer to the end.

Early morning found me talking to God about the project and all the moving pieces that refused to settle as well as my health. For the first time in a while, I pulled up a Benita Washington medley to listen to as I completed my morning routine. I headed into the shower singing along to the worship medley. My shower time turned into a worship session. The thought that struck with me was:

No matter how dead your situation may seem, remember you serve a God who not even death could hold Him down. Our God is ALWAYS victorious.

God used this opportunity to remind me of the many dead situations that He had resurrected in my life. He reminded me of His story where not even death could hold Him down. He, Reigning King, had conquered death and the grave. He reminded me that He’s got me covered.

For the first time in a while, my soul felt still and comforted. I knew then that everything would be okay despite what seemed to be a storm.

Folks, God is simply better than slice bread. He always sends a word or shows up on time. Today worked out well and although there is still much to be done and there was a moment when things seemed really dark, He came through.

Then again, if He is a God who conquered death, why should I worry about seemingly threatening discombobulating situations. He has never lost a battle and is always victorious. Death couldn’t hold Him down!

XOXO,
Chañel.

What Do You Say About You?

On my first solo business trip, I had several experiences that made me realise something integral. I’ve always spoken about the fact that I am interested in doing all the good I can before I die. Why? I am deeply interested in shaping what I will be known for. In my first solo week-long trip, I realised that your actions can say a lot about you.
One of the things, I am very purposeful in doing is ensuring that I sincerely thank whoever serves me. This, sometimes, resulted in me internally cringing when I realise that throughout the course of a meal, I end up telling the waiter/waitress, thank you for:

  1. Pouring my water
  2. Taking my order
  3. Bringing my order (multiple times if the meal has multiple courses)
  4. Asking if I am ready for the bill
  5. Bringing the bill
  6. Processing my payment
  7. Removing my dishes

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Speak in Haste, Repent at Leisure

While I am a very laid back individual, I happen to have a temper button that few people know how to hit the right way. Over the last few years, I must admit that I have become a bit complacent as I went through life without coming across anyone who disturbed my gratifying peace.

The last two weeks found me under some immense stress. A lot of things were happening on all levels of my life and I had began short-changing myself in order to get them done. I felt weary and out-of-sorts. This was when the attack came.

Someone made some really snarky comments to me. In the moment, I read, put in the to-be-processed-at-a-later-date queue and went on with my life. That later date came Sunday morning, I re-read and felt annoyed to my core. I tapped out a response in seconds. Now let’s just say, when the old me (the fool) gets mad, her aim is generally to wind the other person up and make them madder by telling then the truth in blunt terms in a condescending manner. The old me (the fool) emerged in scathing form and succeeded beyond her wildest dreams. This verse was proven true in a negative way:

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. – Proverbs 25:11

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A Ziplining Lesson

Recently, I went on a work trip. Part of the trip took us to Y.S. Falls where I tried 5 ziplines for the first time. Like any first experience of that active nature, I didn’t quite know how to feel but as the experience continued, I picked up a couple lessons on the way.

Before we could start, we were locked into the relevant gear including helmets. As we stood waiting for all our team members to be geared-up, we had a couple of persons who had done it already and they were the ones who tried to alleviate some of our fears. However, in talking, these were the ones who made facing the experience even more fearful.My level of fear was slowing vamping up as I stood listening. I realised then that whilst God has not given me a spirit of fear, fear could be found within the uncertainty of excelling at the unknown and from external factors like well-meaning individuals. At that point I stopped listening and told myself that I could do it.

The walk to the first zipline was long especially since I haven’t done any exercise in months. Again I found myself wavering as my lungs struggled for air and my knees protested and threatened to buckle. Just when I was about to give in to my wavering mind and protesting body, I reached the top and it was beautiful! From this experience, another lesson emerged. The hardest step to fulfilling your dream is the preparation stage to beginning. Sometimes everything will seem to be against you as you try to put things in place. You may even consider giving up but if you hold out, your destination (starting point) will be incredibly beautiful. With everything in place, you will be filled with an incredible pride and satisfaction as you stand on the brink of conquering the world.

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The Serpent (Devil) is Still Active

I just want to share with you something that the Lord revealed to me while I was praying last night. I was a bit astounded when He opened my eyes but first let me give you some background information.

Over the past few months I have had a couple of dreams/visions featuring snakes. In one dream, I woke from a Saturday afternoon nap and when I looked down on my bedside carpet, a nest of snakes just moved around on the carpet in a perfect circle in sync.

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God is interested

I always find it so amazing when God pays attention to the little things in my life. It makes me realize just how much He cares about His relationship with us! Can you just imagine it? Having someone who listens to all your thoughts and worries and acts on them? It is incredible!

A few mornings ago, I got in a taxi. I didn’t pay much attention to who was inside because the taxi-stand was packed and I was more focused on getting to work on time.

When the taxi pulled away it took me a while to take stock of who I was commuting with. When the thought surfaced, I realized I was in a taxi with four men! The driver and three other male passengers! To make matters worse, I happened to be in the middle of the backseat.

Now I’m not the panicky sort but the moment the realization hit me, I grew uncomfortable. The thought, hoping for another female passenger flit through my mind. About 10 seconds later, the taxi stopped. The male in the front passenger seat got off and a female passenger got on.

Amused, I found myself asking the Lord if He couldn’t have let me complete the thought. To this He replied, “Well you asked.”

Isn’t God incredible! It was so great to be reminded that He cares about the little nitty-gritties of my life.When I’m sad, He is there! When I’m anxious, He is a constant presence!

My Daddy is ALWAYS INTERESTED!

XOXO,
Chañel.