Guard Your Heart

Guard Your Heart II

Guard Your Heart.
Proverbs Four, verse Twenty Three, from the Amplified Bible, says Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
Why is this important, you might inquire.
This is necessary for at least three reasons:

  1. Because your heart is extremely valuable. We don’t guard worthless things. I take my garbage to the street every Wednesday night. It is picked up on Thursday morning. It sits on the sidewalk all night, completely unguarded. Why? Because it is worthless.

Not so with your heart. It is the essence of who you are. It is your authentic self—the core of your being. It is where all your dreams, your desires, and your passions live. It is that part of you that connects with God and other people.

Just like your physical body, if your heart—your spiritual heart—dies, your leadership dies. This is why Solomon says, “Above all else.” He doesn’t say, “If you get around to it” or “It would be nice if.” No, he says, make it your top priority.

  1. Because your heart is the source of everything you do. King Solomon says it is the “wellspring of life.” In other words, it is the source of everything else in your life. Your heart overflows into thoughts, words, and actions.

Uganda has an intricate collection of lakes, springs, rivers, rivulets, and water tributaries feeding different parts of the country, thus the tag line ‘Gifted By Nature’.

If you plug a spring, you stop the flow of water. If you poison the water, the flow becomes toxic. In either situation, you threaten life downstream. Everything depends on the condition of the spring.

Likewise, if your heart is unhealthy, it has an impact on everything else. It threatens your family, your friends, your ministry, your career, and, indeed, your legacy. It is, therefore, imperative that you guard it.

  1. Because your heart is under constant attack. When Solomon says to guard your heart, he implies that you are living in a combat zone—one in which there are casualties.

Many of us are oblivious to the reality of this war. We have an enemy who is bent on our destruction. He not only opposes God, but he opposes everything that is aligned with Him—including us.

In life, we are bound to find ourselves in situations that require a presence of mind. So much so that when faced with aggression or grief, we shall consciously choose to respond in a way that extends the other person grace. I am being taught, in moments of quiet solitude, that most times, all we are required to do, is rest in the truth that is His Word.

Trusting in Him with all your heart, and leaning not on your own understanding, acknowledging Him in all your ways, that He shall direct your paths, is such a cliché. Look around you, how many people can you read, that are in one anxious state or another, on account of money? Don’t be quick to judge anyone. Take a moment, breathe the space in, and slowly, almost methodically, pick out one or two signs around you, hat show the presence of anxiety, attributing it to money or the lack of it thereof. Share it with me in the comments section at the end of this blog, won’t you? Thank you.

I am learning to entrust Him with my doubts about myself and those around me, asking under my breath, that He’ll speak to me in a language that only I understand, do you see my need for His ability to call me by name, and that I may hear His voice and respond to Him, like the true Shepherd that he is to me. A moment-to-moment encounter of His presence is becoming my biggest desire of Him.

It is no longer enough for me to hear about Him through other peoples’ encounters with Him. I want to believe. Not because someone saw into the future and saw me, but because He is all knowing, and has loved us enough, individually, to take our place on the cross, was killed, died and was buried, and on the third day He rose again.

Permit me to share moments from the days this passed week.
The African Union marked it’s thirtieth, with H. E. President Paul Kagame ascended the echelons of that platform. My thoughts toward this sequence of events has me feeling optimistic, considering the press there is about Rwanda, I am yet to visit that beautiful nation. Have you been? What can you tell me about it? The technology savy cities and the food, mmm, street food? Drop me a line in the comments, won’t you? Thank you. I envision operationally efficient CCtv networks across the transport lines that cross the African Continent. I’m talking about railway grids, water ways, road networks, mention it.
Think about efficient medical drops by drones to far-to-reach areas. And will they still be far to reach, once the transport bottlenecks plaguing the continent have been automated and streamlined? You tell me. Thank you.

The doubts in my head might sound a little like the rhetoric at a taxi parks anywhere in Lang-ata, Or Down Town Kampala, taking place amongst the taxi operators and drivers, and you might not come away as hopeful, a few lines earlier.

On the program this morning, a colleague shared a video clip of a church minister admonishing the worship team for showing up with no bra on. Needless to say, she brought the house down with her take on the matter. The conversation then descended into a chorus about the people wearing the inappropriate wardrobe in spaces that do not warrant the attention that the raiment attract. What do you think, “Does it matter what cover the book bears before you determine that it’s one you want to read?” Feel free to run with that statement, in the comments below. I would like to read about where that took you.

It will depend on what’s filling your heart. Jesus said, ‘Out of the abundance of the heart [the] mouth speaks’ as taken from Luke Six verse Forty Five. A critical heart produces a critical tongue. A self-righteous heart produces a judgmental tongue. A bitter heart produces an acerbic tongue. An ungrateful heart produces a grumbling tongue.

“The words you speak will all depend on what’s filling your heart.”

But a loving heart produces a gracious tongue. A faithful heart produces a truthful tongue. A peaceful heart produces a reconciling tongue. A trusting heart produces an encouraging tongue.

So fill your heart with grace by soaking in your Bible. Soak in Matthew 5, or Romans 12, or 1 Corinthians 13, or Philippians 2. And be very careful taking in the words of death in the newspaper, the radio, the TV, or the blog.
And pray: ‘Set a guard, O Lords, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!’ as seen in Psalm One hundred and Forty One verse Three.

In conclusion, today, make your mouth a ‘fountain of life’. Be ‘slow to speak’ in general. Encourage more than you critique. Seek opportunities to speak kind, tenderhearted words. Say something affectionate to the loved ones at different times. Seek to only speak words that are ‘good for building up,’ that ‘give grace to those who hear.’

Be a person whose mouth is full of life.
#HI2018
#firstofmany
#easydoesit

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Something Happened At Work This Passed Friday.

My alarm went off at 3:00 hours.
Snooze.
It went off again at 5:00 hours.
I promptly put on my belt, breastplate, boots.
Shield at the ready. Helmet on. And Sword at the hip.

Out the door, I go.
No, there was no chariot to get me to work, so walk, I did.
#MaThree to the center of town, lone driver, no conductor to open the passenger service vehicle (psv) door for the passengers. There was the lone Mama, carrying some drink or other in a worn 5 liter jerrycan, I move to the middle seat between the driver, so as to free up the co-driver’s seat for her. She must’a thought, ‘I won’t be seated that close to the road?!’
“no?!” I seem to hear you think…. leave me a comment, if I’m right 🙂 .
She slides the door open, bundles in, and tries to slide it shut.
Bang! First try…. door is still open.

Bang! Second try…. door still is open.
I’m beginning to think… ‘I can’t seat through another “Bang…door still open!” moment.
My right hand didn’t wait for me the thought, my free hand flew passed my shoulder and ear, door is shut, we are mobile again.

We arrive in Kabalagala, and she disembarks as she hands the driver his 500 shillings transport charge, from Kansanga.
Another two passengers get on, we whiz past the American Embassy in Nsambya, turn left into the general Queen’s Way road intersection, when I disembark.
The money changing business at 5:45 hours is pretty slow. Driver dearest had mentioned earlier, that he had none, so I employ the money-changing services of one bodaboda gentlemen, who covers my fare with the psv.

We step onto the curb, can’t be in the line of ‘sleep-deprived #MaThree #MaTatu #14_Seater drivers, and proceed to agree on a route plan.
‘Pick me up’ from Javas, #Coffe #Mocha #WithCream and a #Cupcake , right opposite the Post Office, and a beeline for the station.

What Happened At Work Today?!

Easy….

The show was great, I will follow this post up with a clip, as soon as you leave me a post saying Post The Clip, no?! Oh well.

Today is Good Friday.

And if it wasn’t for today, what I’m about to share would be of little significance.

Towards the end of the show, I witness, through the window facing the Kampala-Bombo Road, passed the road, and into the gardens, that KCCA had a hand in designing and planting.
I spy with my little eye, someone flogging a tree stump…
That didn’t seat well with me. So I focus my vision on what is it about the tree stump that has this man this infuriated.

That’s when I see a pair of ashen, limp, flailing hands.
Not on my watch, I must have thought to myself.
I casually mention it to my co-hosts that I, was going over, to break it up.

Before I can think through the repercussions of what I’d just done, I was crossing the road.
By this time, the mob of angry people has ebbed away, I’m having to walk a little further than the gardens.
I cross the portion of the intersection nearest to me, break through the ranks of angry mob, and as casually as I’d told my colleagues on the show, I stood over her, shielding her with my frame, ever so temporarily, from the kicks and blows that the mob was raining down on her.

I try to reason with the point men of the mob, ‘Who died and made you judge?!’

In hindsight, that was all the time she needed to …. you’re going to have to wait for it 😉 .

‘What solution are you providing, when you are the same people meting out this injustice?!’

IS SHE REASONING WITH A MOB?!

I am pointed to the other lady, who is drenched in blood. Even before she can come into my full focus, my mind is looking at several possible options. Kill the visual!

Her right nostril is busted, into the right side of the right-most side of her upper lip.
I ask her to put pressure on it, while I lead her, and in tow – her 14 year-old looking daughter, clad in uniform, ever so surely, back to where I work, hoping to find a first aid kit, while I figure out what to do.

It is a public holiday at work, and the rest of the country, so there’s no one in office today, to help me make heads-and-tails of this.
I check back into office, and I’m advised to take her to the clinic. Across the road.
I’m not to keen on having to make the lady walk some more, especially after the cries from her about being dizzy.

I crouch by her chair, which the security guy was kind enough to give up, so she has been seated this whole time I’m trying to figure it out; and gently ask her to muster enough energy to cross the road one more time, promising to get her the help she needed.

This happened close to four hours ago, from the time I’m writing this out.

**The lady who flung the stone, which hit this other lady, had been offended by one of the rowdy drivers at the taxi stage, to the point where she felt, the most logical response to his transgressions, was to be on the receiving end of a pavers’ stone.
Alas, an unsuspecting mother, probably taking her child home from school, for the Easter break, walks right into the line of the projectile, and the damage spoke for itself.

That moment when I stood over her, gave her the window of time she needed to get away from the death-inducing blows of her judges, jury and executioners.
Did she survive it?!

In my heart of hearts, I hope she got away.

Thank you for reading through.

Till next time,
Easy does it 🙂

While I Wait…

#WaitingPurelyChronicles

You ever get into the car and make to go somewhere, only to get to a major intersection and be met with traffic that has You wishing You could drive on shoulders?
No?!
Okay, let’s try again, ever heard the theory that the queue You leave, to join a seemingly faster-moving queue,  is when the one you left, begins to move along quite efficiently well. You guessed it, the queue You joined just ground to a halt!!

Share some similar situations that You may have been through, if You may?

🙂

I think about You, and Your social skills.
Are You kind?
Do you consider others more highly than yourself?
And if I should get hot and bothered, do You have it in You, to let me down gently?

Those are some questions that run through my mind with You running circles around my anticipation of meeting with You.

Until next time,
Easy Does It 🙂

AM I THE PERSON YOU SEEK?

Am I, intentionally becoming the person that I’m looking for, is looking for?

I have listened to #Andy speak about

..and I’ll paraphrase at this point….

“Am I the Person that the Person I’m looking for, Is looking for?”

…fast forward so many years from the time the first draft of this piece, I came across who that might be. Bear with the pre-emble.

#AttributesOfThatMan

Finding a clear and precise definition of masculinity is especially difficult if we turn to the world, rather than to the Bible. Just consider for a moment what we learn about masculinity from our society. It generally doesn’t take long for a boy to encounter an erotic image, explicit story, or grossly inappropriate joke. Even if his parents successfully shield him from inappropriate content on television and online, his friends might pass along what they’ve seen and heard. A boy’s understanding of sexuality is often distorted from an early age, and that distorted view of sex deeply impacts a boy’s view of manhood.

Meanwhile the entertainment industry offers us one flawed depiction of manhood after another, glorifying the womanizing activities of James Bond, the stoic toughness and emotional distance of Jason Bourne, and the obsession for greed, power, and control of Gordon Gekko. As we get older we are sold a bill of goods by drug companies who suggest that if we have male performance dysfunctions, we have “lost” our masculinity and need a cure to gain it back.

How do we understand what masculinity is when it appears so convoluted everywhere we look?

God Makes Men

We need a better definition of masculinity, and who better to define what masculinity is than the Creator himself. When God created life, he reached down to touch and mold man from the earth. With care and intimacy, he created man in a distinctive way. Ultimately, we learn that God is embedding his own image into man.

The Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. (Genesis 2:7)

In the surrounding verses of Genesis 2, we watch as God defines the purpose of this sole man prior to the creation of woman: the purpose of his work, expanse of his authority, parameters of his obedience, and even the swelling of desire for a wife.

Masculinity finds its definition in God alone — not the world, not culture, not the workplace. Ultimately and completely, masculinity is defined by the God who makes men.

The God-Man

But the plot thickens.

In reading the grand story of God in the Bible, and searching for ideal representations of men among the kings, priests, prophets, warriors, and leaders we meet, we sense that something is never quite right. Sin has damaged the reflection of ideal masculinity. One biblical hero after another is shown to be wounded, broken, flawed, prone to disobedience and even to outright wickedness. And yet within the same men we see small glimpses of masculine glory: undeterred faith, unwavering conviction, humble service and sacrifice. But again only glimpses.

Until God himself breaks into time and space again to give us the model man. His Son, Jesus, is the perfect divine depiction of manhood. He defines true masculinity.

In looking at the life of Jesus, we find countless attributes and commitments that show us how to live as a man faithful to the Father’s call. If you are a man looking for true masculinity, consider whether these nine commitments (among many others) would make a significant impact on your masculinity if actively applied in your role as a leader, employee, husband, father, and son.

1. A man commits to following a greater authority.

[Jesus] said, “Follow me.” But [the man] said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:59–62)

2. He commits to sacrifice all else in the shadow of discipleship.

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26)

3. He commits to determined, joyful obedience.

After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:66–69)

4. He commits to spiritual discipline.

Rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, [Jesus] departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. (Mark 1:35)

5. He commits to abide in the word of truth.

Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31–32)

6. He commits to growth and production, especially spiritual fruit.

“By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” (John 15:8)

7. He commits to carry out God’s mission.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19–20)

8. He commits to love others faithfully.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34–35)

9. He commits to brotherhood and community.

Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24–25)

 

I’ll say this…it is a work in progress…

🙂
till next time,
easy does it.