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Glory to God

By Lindi Amah

Give to the Lord the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come before Him. Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!
I Chronicles 16:29

It’s nice to hear someone tell you you’ve done something great or that you look awesome better yet that they like your name.

We tend to find ourselves sometimes seeking the praise of other people and maybe even longing for the day when God will tell us “well done, good and faithful servant” but yet maybe we don’t really do the same.

As we look at today’s passage, we see all the many reasons to praise God , for all the things he has done . Our main focus today is on praising and worshiping God for his name.

The name of Lord is not just a mere name but a name that Carries safety, deliverance, healing and power .

We see that Jesus also has been given the name that is above every name that every knee must bow at that name. (Philippians 2:9)

So why do we praise Him for His name? The passage above in verse 8 says call upon His name why ? Because He will answer us . 

Praise is the greatest tool that God has given us. Sometimes it may not feel like He is answering or He is there,  but sing to Him any way . You could maybe play some praise and worship music  or sing to yourself with an instrument or acapella. Rejoice and He will come through for you at the right time.

Today I choose to remember  to offer the Lord a song of praise and worship for His name.

Prayer

God I thank You for Your name , I thank You for the name of Jesus .

Thank You for giving me access to Your  name in my moments of despair when I do not know what to do God , help me to call upon Your name

But also in the moments when everything is going okay help me to remember to still praise You and sing and call on Your name. In Jesus name. AMEN

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The Lord Goes before me

I choose to remember that The Lord goes before me  and fights for me so I can be confident and undismayed. The Lord is mighty; He is my strength.

Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
Exodus 14:13 -14

In England we have received an Announcement for a national lock down, this brings its own set of fear and worry. Today we make a decision to trust in God’s ability to find fight for us. We choose to remember His knowledge of the future.
Its hard to be unmoved but the God who has seen the future makes us stand firm.

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Mary Did you know?

As I sit here and ponder the faith of Mary, I realise how intense it can be to fully trust God against all odds.  In 2018, I told my parents I had found man that I plan on spending and building my life with. We told our family and friends the wedding was set the marriage formalities fulfilled. Imagine Amid all the planning and deciding, Say I received a call to accept something beyond my imagination. Like Mary a baby, what would people say – its never happened before and it was a very strange request

I can imagine how my soon to be husband would feel betrayed, considering how Joseph was feeling about this news. Furthermore the reasoning behind it sounded absurd to say the least. This was not a small task for Mary, her life depended on it. The explanation of what was happening would have in fact sounded unreasonable.

There are moments when God approaches us with big asks, where He requires you to go the extra mile to defy the norms and cultures of society.  Its in these moments where we are called to boldly accept the task and not limit God.

Mary Answered, “how can this be?” I study this question intently and it allows me to discover I can ask God for revelation in moments where I am uncertain and He will provide the response.

When God entrusts us with is purpose and call, He will also provide favour for the journey. When Nehemiah heard that the walls needed rebuilding, He prayed that God would grant him favour with the king.  

We see Mary yielding totally and wholeheartedly to the unknown, in Mary’s bold move we see God protecting and vindicating Mary.

Reflection Moment:

Luke 1:26-80

Ephesians 3:20

Romans 4:17

What Tasks has God called you take but fear of the unknown causes you to limit God?

What cost are you prepared to pay for God to reveal His Attributes?

Thank you for participating in our 21 day journey to discovering the beauty of God. This is only the beginning of your journey as the attributes of God are inexhaustible.  Please share the page, most importantly take time to read and meditate on the word.  #IwillnotLimitGod

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Our race against time

I remember when I was in high school neatly writing down where I see myself at the various ages of my life, at all fronts I am an advocate of planning and setting goals. The problem comes in when we give God our plans, when we decide this is how I intend on running my life. We tell God – if you can just authorise the plans I have set out no surprises, and we will be okay.

During my periods of giving God my checklist and plans I found myself quickly tangled in a relationship that I was not supposed to have been in.  I found myself rushing God because I had a time scale of when I saw myself married. The pointers I prayed for in a husband that guy didn’t match them, but I figured that person would do because time was running out. I am grateful to God that he didn’t allow me to proceed with that relationship.

It’s crazy because sometimes we put these time constraints on ourselves or our environment or culture puts these pressures. I can see myself in Sarah, she was supposed to be a grandparent by now! Perhaps you can too, plans all set out but life is slowly drifting away.

From Sarah’s view point, Yahweh had provided them a list of promises and He was delaying. Fear encompassed Abraham he was aging; Eliezer would inherit his possessions.

Sarah quickly coins up a plan to help God, Genesis 16 ‘states Sarai had no children, but she had Hagar’ my translation states. Its interesting how she thought I have an alternative solution to this time delay. What have we decided as the alternative solution to our problem?

Her narrative is very damaging in that she believes the Lord had kept her from having children, so Hagar was the best alternative to solving Gods time lapse. We see a lot of blame in chapter 16 how Sarai tells Abram you are responsible for the wrong am suffering because Hagar starts to despise her. You see the thing about personal made plans vs a God’s plans is that we have finite knowledge and most times we can’t forsee how the reaction of other people or the fruit of our actions.

In Chapter 17 we see God return to reveal himself as the Almighty God ‘El-Shaddai’

He tells them walk before Him faithfully and be blameless. He goes further to change their names to mean Nations, multitude, fruitful.

 Despite this change of Name Sarah Laughs! But God reminds them ‘is anything too hard for the Lord, I will return to you at the appointed time next year!

Truly God keeps his covenant Sarah holds a baby in her Arms as the Lord promised

Reflection Moment

Genesis 17:16
Genesis 18:1-15
Luke 1:37
Ecclesiastes 3:11

How is my identity causing me to limit God?
How have I created alternative plans for God?
Have there been moments when I have prayed and quickly coined a plan apart from what I had pray for?
How have I used the concept of time to limit God?

Thank you for participating in our 21 day journey to discovering the beauty of God. This is only the beginning of your journey as the attributes of God are inexhaustible. Please share the page, most importantly take time to read and meditate on the word. #IwillnotLimitGod

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Quick tips on how to stay Active

By Belina Sithole

Its Monday and I’m waking up to the buzzing sound of my 7:00 am alarm. I roll over to switch it off and the sun rays shining through my curtains make me quickly pull the duvet over my head! I stay curled up in bed for a few minutes. “I really should get some blackout curtains” I say to myself. Anyway, it’s a lovely sunny morning which is rare in Manchester, so this motivates me to go for a run before I start work.

Regardless of the type of exercise you’re into, I think we can all agree that motivation, or lack thereof, is one of the biggest barriers to our fitness goals.

Of course, there are days when getting out of bed to work out is the last thing I want to do. Do you ever watch a YouTube home exercise video thinking I can do this, but instead of following along, you are just lying in bed or sitting on the sofa? Yes, I know…me too! There are a lot of articles and videos out there telling us how to work out and the importance of exercising, but we still struggle to maintain it or even start! As Apostle Paul wrote in the book of Romans 7:15 – “For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do“. Sometimes skipping a workout feels worse than just doing the 5km run or going for the gym class, the guilt is real.

To help us stay active and get over our individual fitness barriers, I thought I would focus and share from my own experiences on what not to do in order to maintain your workout routines. I’ll also share a few tips on how to stay motivated. Hopefully you’ll find one that you can adapt to suit you…so Leggo!

Don’t Set Unrealistic Goals
‘Start with the end goal in mind’ is probably a phrase you might have heard; This helps to maintain the motivation you need to achieve your goals. However, when you’re setting your goals don’t set goals you know are too difficult to achieve based on your current level. I used to struggle to drink at least 2 glasses of water in a day, so for me to say I’m going to drink 2 litres of water was just setting myself up for failure every day.

Set SMART goals instead – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely goals. Looking at my water situation above, I bought myself a time marked 500 ml water bottle and my goal in the first week was to have at least 2 bottles (1 litre).

If you struggle to stick to a workout routine,

  • Set yourself a weekly routine that you’ll enjoy – switch it up if you’re not enjoying it, it’s not set in stone!
  • Time yourself, work out for a specific time and try to stick to the set time for the first few days even if you feel like you can keep going. We will look at overdoing it in the next section
  • If you miss your workout, hold yourself accountable, how do you plan on making it up for the missed session?
  • Reward yourself when you stick to it!

SMART goals help you to focus your effort and increase your chances of achieving your goal.

Don’t Push Yourself Too Much

I learned this lesson the hard way, stop overdoing it! It’s good to challenge yourself because you’ll benefit from it, Romans 8:18 – “For I consider that our present suffering are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us“. I use this verse for perseverance.

It’s lockdown, I’m working from home, a notification pops up on my phone inviting me to join a running challenge…this was the beginning of an ongoing monthly challenge with a group of friends. I planned out how many km I’ll do each week in order to complete the challenge. A few days in, some people in the challenge had already covered what I planned to cover in a week. This is when I started doing 20km, 15km in a day to keep up with the competition. My knees paid the price and I’m still recovering.

  • Be disciplined with your workouts, don’t let competition or the feeling of guilt push you to do more than you can handle – know your limits
  • Plan in rest days and take the time you need to rest
  • If you’re injured, ease back into it and keep it simple until you recover, exercising through injuries will only make it worse

Don’t Struggle Alone

‘I work better alone’, ‘everyone else is busy’, ‘it’s difficult to find a time that works for everyone’ – I understand that coordinating workouts can be a pain but having someone or a group of people to exercise with will keep you motivated when you’re struggling to be keep up.

Some of the activities I like doing to stay active are not everyone’s preference such as hiking, but because I enjoy it, I’m self-motivated to go out alone. However, when it comes to full body workout, I need all the support from others I can get so I go to gym classes or join online sessions with friends.

  • Get the people around you to help you achieve your fitness goals, it is easier when you have someone holding you accountable
  • Try inclusive fun activities that are suitable for your family and friends. When you’re enjoying it, it becomes less of an obligation and time well spent with your loved ones
  • ‘Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing’1 Thessalonians 5:11

I would like to challenge you to think of one thing that you’ll change right now to help you stay active!

Belina is actively involved in a community of young women living and pursing their authentic lives according to God’s word. She holds a BSc and an MScR in Bioorganic Chemistry. She enjoys a wide range of fitness activities including tennis, running, cycling, hiking, Zumba, and Thai kickboxing.

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God In the midst of Chaos

By Esther Amah

“Even if when I don’t see it you are working 

You never stop, you never stop working 

Even if when I don’t feel it you are working 

You never stop, you never stop working” 

This song brings a message of hope that inspite of it all, God is still working. 

In the chaos, the pandemic, lockdown, uncertainty, God is still working. 

I had a conversation with a friend in March, when the lockdown fully hit Lagos, Nigeria. The funny part of this call was that I reached out to encourage her and it ended up being the opposite. Whilst talking, she said Esther, even in the chaos, God is still speaking and that hit me. It’s so easy to get over whelmed with the news, updates and scary happenings around us that we fail to hear what God is saying at the time. 

Coincidentally or rather intentionally, because God is always intentional, I stumbled on this song on Youtube – Way Maker | Steffany Gretzinger | John Wilds | Jesus Image Choir | Jesus ’19 (Yes, I love to listen to music and work) and it had the same reassuring message; even though we don’t feel it…. God is still working. 

Although we pray and we hope, it feels like COVID-19 is bent on becoming part of our lives… it feels like the darkness won’t go away…. it feels like the uncertainties will keep piling up…… it feels like our jobs are not returning…. this is just a kind reminder that God stays working. He neither sleeps nor slumbers… 24/7 God. 

So, I’ll just share a bit of my #LockdownChronicles to highlight a few things we can do now and also help us keep our hope alive. 

Working in this period has been “Amazing” … yes, I’m one of the few that has screamed ‘WORKING FROM HOME IS A SCAM’, yet almost every day, I stay grateful that I still have a job regardless of the pandemic and job losses. You may not have similar experience, but the lesson here is to stay GRATEFUL…. No matter how small you think it is, stay grateful and watch as your hope stays alive. 

I allowed myself breathe in this season, yes, I took free online courses (actually just 2) and that was on my terms. I chose to, I was not pressured to do so by social media or motivational posts on being lazy if you do not take an online course in this lockdown. Yes, I finished a novel and I have been on the other for a month plus now. Lesson? Breathe, Smell the roses, Be-You-To- The-Full (Be Beautiful), and yes, please take that class or read that book…. but not under social media induced pressure. 

Lastly, I did and I’m still determined to study the word and pray more – to do that, I joined a number of prayer chains on WhatsApp and Telegram to stay prayed up through the day and I joined a couple of other spiritual exercises – Worship and Lounge every Saturday by Authentic 

City Church and When Friends Pray on IG . The question you might ask is do I meet all targets? Nooooo…. but I pray for help when I feel weak and I go through the day again because hey! God is always working and part of that work is the help He provides through the Holy spirit. Lesson? It’s a great time to grow spiritually… one day at a time. 

Bonus Tip: Just because you read till the end…. You get a bonus tip…. Nothing beats having positive people around! I wrote a story this season because a friend pushed me to and I’m grateful for that…. Surround yourself with the right people, sounds cliché, right? Well that never gets old. 

You can listen to the song via this link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsypFJ5mNw0 

Thanks for reading. 

Esther Amah is a lover of God, family and all things that make people happy. She holds an MSc in Marketing from Covenant University. When she is not busy working as a Market Research consultant, she is busy being a personal jewellery shopper, giving a “joyelry” experience with every purchase.  She runs a personal blog inspired by her experiences and shares stories centered around God’s love. She is a huge fan of good gospel music and her favourite authors are; Ted Dekker & Francine Rivers among others. Many say she is complex, some say she is dramatic. To her, she’s just a young lady living her God-ordained story, one day at a time.