Wow! We have been together for the past eleven months. We are grateful to the Lord for blessing us and keeping us.
Now we are looking at the finishing line of the year 2016 to God be the glory. There are many who started the year with us who are now in the graveyards. What’s left of them are memories, a message of who they are, and a sign written RIP is now above the piece of ground where their remains have been laid to rest. They left the train of life and can no longer actively participate in the affairs of earth. Some are being remembered for their great contribution in the lives of their loved ones, work community, church community, academic community and wherever they left their foot prints. Some are being remembered for the pain and havoc they caused in the lives of others and even the pain they caused in their homes and spheres of influence.
My sisters, God has spared you and I, and allowed us to continue on earth for a purpose. His desire is that we may influence our world positively with the Gospel of love. Whether the past eleven months were good or bad or a bit of both, God’s plans for us remain good. We are still in this train of life with fellow passengers wherever we are. Let us conduct our lives in such a way that when our turn to leave the train has come, we will be remembered for the good that we did.
As we enter this season where we remember and celebrate the birth of Jesus and what He did during His stay on earth, let us emulate the example he left for us in all aspects of our lives. “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power and He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil for God was with Him” Acts 10:38. As we journey into 2017 let us determine to go about doing good for Emmanuel is with us. I wish you all a joy filled Christmas and a victorious new year. May the Lord bless you and keep you and cause His face and favour to shine on you, may He be gracious to you and your families.
How are you doing? Look what the Lord has done. We are now in the 11th month of the year. Before we know it, we will be bidding farewell to the year 2016. I just want to encourage you to keep on running the race and not grow weary whilst doing good.
Last week I was blessed by my young sister Joyce when she flew to South Africa to attend a wedding. The bride was like a daughter to her because she raised her up. Kuda's late father was an older brother of my sister's ex husband. Due to some difficult reasons Kuda's mum gave her over to her dad to look after when they broke up. Kuda was quite young so she ended up living with my sister and later on her biological mum passed away. This left my sister Joyce as her only mum.
Unfortunately my sister's marriage to Kuda's uncle failed for many reasons that left her no option but to leave. After the divorce my sister could have cut off ties with Kuda considering the pain she went through yet she chose not to be weary in supporting Kuda. She determined to care for her and be there for her. She really went the extra mile.
When it was time for Kuda to get married last weekend, Joyce went to support her. They had an amazing time as mother and daughter. Joyce chose to keep on doing good and not let marital failure stop her kindness.
My sisters as we prepare to come for the landing, let us determine to finish the year whilst still doing good.
I pray that weariness will not settle in and hinder us from harvesting when we have been sowing. Our due course is coming.
As we proceed and are looking at the finishing line let's keep on sowing good seeds.
Wow! We have come to the end of September. To God be the glory for all the great things that He did for us this past month.
My dear sisters we are blessed to have God as our loving Father who deeply cares for us. His faithfulness does not cease to amaze me.
On the 24th of September, as I was at my niece's wedding, I saw how God causes all things to work together for the good of those who love Him. My sister was widowed at a very young age through a tragic car accident on the 3rd of December 1994. When we buried her husband, we were all concerned about how she was going to raise the 3 young children suddenly left for her. We would not only weep for her but weep for her children too. My sister was so devastated, she felt as if her heart had been ripped to pieces and yet she had to deal with her personal grief and at the same time comfort her now fatherless children. We all had no clue how everything was going to work out. Her journey with her children was not easy but God brought her through. With the help of God and support from family and friends my sister migrated to the UK to come and work so she could provide for her children. To the glory of God all her 3 children are now university graduates, one is a lawyer, one is in the health sector and her only daughter is now in the accounts field and they all have decent jobs. All three are now married.
As my sister walked her daughter down the aisle, I said in my heart, “truly God is a Father to the fatherless and those who sow in tears shall reap in joy”. Even though weeping may endure for a night, joy comes in the morning. There was great joy at this wedding. We sang and danced and ate different types of foods. We celebrated God's goodness and faithfulness. God turned our mourning into dancing and our sorrow into joy.
My sisters, you might not know where the road to your future may lead but trust in the One who promised to lead us to the end. Our heavenly Father has got all of our lives figured out. Storms of life can rage but the Lord is in the boat with us. We are going to make it to the end! Not only has God got good plans for us, he has good plans for our children too. It shall be well with them.
As we proceed into the month of October, remember that we have a loving Father who always cares for us and he sent Jesus, the Captain of the boat of our lives therefore we will get to the shore safely.
Wow, we are almost halfway through the month of September and we thank God for all He is doing in our lives.
We are settling back into the UK after an awesome time at the Daughter Arise Conference in South Africa. The Lord did an amazing work in the lives of all those who were there and He ushered us into a new season.
One of the keywords in our theme is Arise which means upward movement. I want to encourage us with the same encouragement we received from the Lord. God is calling us His daughters to a season of upward movement.
Here in the UK, the academic year starts in September and there is upward movement across the board, including children who are attending school for the first time. You can imagine the hustling and bustling as parents prepare for new life and change for their little ones. Some have fears and insecurities coupled with excitement as they drop off their little ones at school. Students getting into their final year of school will be trying to get their heads around the reality of ‘final year’ exams. On the other hand, we have first year university students arriving in our city where they do not know anyone and are far from home. They don’t know this city and yet, they have to settle and get on with life outside of their comfort zone. This is the nature of upward movement. You will not always know your way around things but trust in the One who knows.
Sisters, even though upward movement is not always comfortable, there is no other option unless if we settle for downward movement. Upward movement brings growth and more influence to us, and our growth in turn causes us to be more effective in our various spheres of life. Initially we might experience discomfort as we make adjustments and develop strategies for change, but this should not hinder us. We should still determine to develop ourselves and move forward in every aspect of our lives.
There is capacity in us to do better and greater. Let us arise and shine and allow the Lord to use our lives to bless others. We can all choose to brighten the corner where we are. The sun does not require permission to shine because God has created it to shine. As God’s daughters we are also created to shine and excel in what we do. We do not need permission from anyone in order for us to be and do what our Father created us to be.
So as we move on in this new season, I encourage you to move upwardly and make a positive difference. Your light, Jesus, has come and He is the light that shines in you and through you. Go ahead and dispel the works of darkness for the Lord is with you.
We thank God for His love, grace and mercy towards us. He has allowed us to see a new month, we will rejoice and be glad in it.
We have just returned from an amazing time in His presence at our Rejuvenate retreat based on Psalm 23:3“He restores my soul…” To restore means to put back to former state, to give back, to bring back to original, to return to life and to re-establish. Some of the synonyms of the word restore are rejuvenate, rebuild, reignite, refurbish, refresh, reform, renew and revamp.
The prefix ‘re’ means to do something again or an action that has been repeated. With this in mind, we learnt that it is necessary for us to have a healthy soul because the quality of our relationships is greatly impacted (positively or negatively) by the condition of our soul. Our perspectives and attitudes in life are also affected or enhanced by the condition of our soul. This can also affect the most important relationship in our lives, which is our relationship with God and how we worship and serve Him.
We looked at some of the antonyms of the word rejuvenate, which include: quench, extinguish, devalue, damage, weaken, side-line, kill, rob, annihilate, unconcerned and suppress. We saw the importance of how we handle negative circumstances in our lives as this could lead to the damaging and weakening our souls. Reacting negatively to challenging circumstances can cause us to end up with bitterness, worry, fear, poor self-image, unforgiveness, resentment, insecurities, jealousy, strife, envy and pride. We learnt that we should respond to challenging situations using the word of God, prayer, being led by the Spirit, applying godly principles and we should also seek counsel if necessary. Rejuvenation comes from the presence of the Lord so we ought to continue to pursue His presence and to daily empty the contents of our hearts before Him. We also had a wonderful time as we fellowshipped and built new relationships with one another.
Sisters, as we proceed with this month of August, I pray that the Lord may refresh you, refurbish you and renew your strength so that you may accomplish all that He has planned for you this month. If there were any things that dampened or weakened your soul in the past month, it is my prayer that you will find the courage to let go and let God minister to your soul. The condition of your soul matters to God and to all those in your sphere of influence, starting from your home to the uttermost parts of the world. May the Lord who rejuvenated us at the retreat, rejuvenate you too.
I will be travelling to South Africa for the Daughter Arise conference taking place from the 12th - 14th August. Please pray for me and also for the team that will be going with me. Our desire is to empower our sisters and bring them the message of hope through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Much love to you all, Pastor Fatima
p.s. Here are some photos from our Rejuvenate retreat.