Sermon Time – STOP the cycle

Yep! You guessed right. I just love the Old Testament. It’s like those stories were written for my spirit! Some notes I jotted from reading Ezekiel 16.

V3: Origins – it is VERY important to know where you come from. Some of us are stuck with fruits of seeds we didn’t sow and legacies we didn’t create because of our origins

V4: What conditions were you born into? Did people celebrate your birth or were you an inconvenience and a very unpleasant suprise? How has that influenced the person you are today?

The Restoration
V6: There is a real struggle going on here. You are bleeding, in pain about to just give up on life – you have faced consecutive failure, rejection, shame – your body, heart, mind and soul are bleeding – God says LIVE!

V7: Only after making the choice to live God starts the process

V8: Key word is “again” this restoration thing is a process

V9: Now that you are His, God washes off the blood that represents everything from your past and annoints you. Remember the woman with the issue of blood?

V10 – 14: Complete makeover!

And then… we forget V14 – 34

And so the cycle repeats
V38: Back to being covered in blood (V6)
V39: Back to nakedness (V7)
V44: Back to who the devil always wanted you to remain and keeps whispering “You forget your place”

NOW WHAT???

Stop this cycle!
Wherever you are God wants to make it right (V60)

He is the only one who can deliver you from this cycle – Rom 7:21-24. God is about eternal stuff (Isa 60:15) not “once off wonders”

God is not like humans who have thresholds – there is no “you are just beyond redemption”

He created you knowing you would be in such a state. Rom 8:1 no condemnation…

You are no one’s business but God’s – go to Him just as you are with your blood, shady past, receding hairline, brokenness – He loves You!

Amen!

Reflections: Forgive and Heal..

Ever had those moments when you feel fragile all the time? Its like a fly passing could easily set you off into a darkness of grief? Well, this morning was one of those moments. I can’t even remember the actual topic between my sister and I. I remember feeling this choking, trying to hold off matured tears from long lasting pain. I just burst out crying. That ugly cry! Then the words came and attached themselves to the tears. Words describing a much younger me.

As if God sent her an emergency whatsapp, my friend sent me a link about Tyler Perry sharing his journey with Joel Oesteen. Immediately I realised how harboring feelings of anger and unforgiveness about my childhood were eating me alive. That little broken girl wanted to be acknowledged. She was tired of being ignored. So I wrote her a letter.

Jesus said “come who are heavy burdened..” An invitation I chose to reject because I was busy building walls of “tough chick” around my fragile heart.

Today I gladly accepted the invitation and took my fragile heart to Him, so I can forgive and heal and tap into that abundant life Jesus promised. Here is the letter below. I pray that you can trust Him with whatever is festering in your mind, body, soul and spirit. He answered me. He will answer you. Call Him.

Dear 3 to 8 year old Erengai Elaine,

First I want to apologize for ignoring your cries for so long. I was too busy plastering you because I was afraid and ashamed to face you. Forgive me.

I have acknowledged your cries and I’m validating your pain. Feeling abandoned, rejected and unwanted at that age was not right. You couldn’t dream like the other kids or be free spirited as a child cos you were too busy trying to survive the “foster care” system.

I’m sorry for the validation statements you missed
I’m sorry for the fight or flight behaviours you had to learn to survive

I want you to know that you are loved and always have been – by your Maker
I know they said He was this judge waiting to send you to hell to some guy with a fork and horns – He is NOT

He is Love
He is Joy
He is Peace

And HE LOVES YOU!
Embrace Him fully
He wants to embrace you and make up for all those hurts
He validated you before you were conceived
He validates you each day through His Word
He is your Father
He is your God
You are created in His image

In the name of Jesus,
Forgive and Heal child

Regards,
The adult you

The Father’s Love: LOVE

So I’ve always wondered why Job said “thou He slay me, yet shall I trust in Him”. I was very confused about continuing to trust God when all I seem to be experiencing is pain and suffering. Recently it just felt like God forgot about what He promised me or simply didn’t care.

I am human and while my thoughts were wrong, they were real. I was so broken by this seed that I knew He planted but was not shooting out of the ground. This one afternoon I was having an anxiety attack. Everything was just closing in. “God forgot Elaine”, my long time enemy kept repeating. In that moment I was so close to agreeing with the devil and his employees.

BUT, I remembered a song called “uthando luka Baba”, simply translated as “the love of the Father”. Something about the lyrics of that song calms every storm in my mind, soul, heart and spirit. All I need is to hear someone sing it. The last time I experienced something similar I called my friend Sandra and asked her to sing it. This time I called a friend’s daughter and she sang those healing words.

I remembered God’s faithfulness. I cried. I healed in that very moment.

You see, love is the foundation of our salvation. “For God so loved the world…” As I write this, the storm continues to rage, life is still weird BUT I’m not falling apart. Love does that. Not only does it COVER my multitude of sins, it covers ME.

In this world there are sooooo many rubbish situations BUT God’s love is bigger. I had an option to run elsewhere with my pain, I chose Him. Why? Because over and over God chose me. He loved me at moments when I didn’t love myself and when no one shows up – He does – ALWAYS.

I could never understand or repay this kind of love. What I can do is accept it and live it. No broken heart, delayed dream, confusion and anxiety can separate me from the love of God.

Even though I feel like I’m limping through life right now, Father I choose YOU. It is the sacrifice of my praise because only YOU can love me in every way, everyday, all day! I am created in YOUR image and NEVER have you forsaken the works of YOUR hands – ME!

Let all the people say AMEN!

The Father’s Love: Arise and Live!

Ezekiel 16:6

V6: Live – remember those times when life itself had no meaning? When the pain was so unbearable you desired death? When you cried from the depths of your soul?

The bleeding spoken of in scripture may have been self-induced due to foolishness (everyone has had a run in with foolishness) or inflicted by others – it doesn’t matter – God says live!

We all have something that drove us towards Christ. For those who stayed IN Christ it’s because they have come to trust Him because He is faithful. When you remember where His Grace found you, you can’t help but just be in awe of Who God is!

1. There are still some sensitive places but our healing is in progress
2. Yes there is some scarring but we are alive to testify of His faithfulness
3. Yes we are still on Satan’s hit list – but none of Satan’s demonic weapons will prosper
4. Yes we are still limping – but God is our crutch
5. Yes there are still traces of shame – but God promised that shame will be a thing of the past
6. Yes everything is in ashes and looks dead – but God promised you beauty for those ashes

SO WHY EVEN BOTHER WITH FIGHTING TO STAY ALIVE?

1. Ps 27:13 (He wants me to experience His goodness while I’m ALIVE on EARTH!).

2. Deut 28:6 (Imagine walking in “blessings mode” 24/7, everyday, all day! – God says going IN and OUT)

3. Mal 3:10 (I look forward to having problems like not knowing where to store my blessings because there is no space)

4. All of Isa 54 (yes I’m ambitious)

5. My personal reason is to DIE EMPTY – I refuse to give up while I am producing fruit

So I will Jesus ninja my way to the Throne of Grace every day of my God-given life!!

Sermon Time: Grace

Genesis 38:6-30

V6-11:
1. Tamar was chosen by Judah
2. Tamar’s purpose was clear by now – raise up an heir for Er, Judah’s firstborn
3. Er and Onan are the ones whose wickedness is mentioned that led to their death. It is interesting though that Judah blames Tamar for their deaths hence he sent her home to protect his last born Shelah

V12-14: Time passes and Tamar is waiting for Judah to call her back. Judah didn’t. Before judging Tamar’s actions to fulfill her purpose, understand her situation at the time. She moved from wife to twice widow to rejected and abandoned. She is now living with her parents as a grown woman and probably dealing with shame, despair and grief. Yet, she focused on her purpose – produce an heir for Er

V15-23: Tamar became what she never imagined for her life to fulfill her purpose. It could have been any situation besides prostitution. The fact is she had to stoop that low all because Judah chose to forget about her. But God remembered.

V24-26: Now everything that happened in “secret” is in the open:
1. Tamar played the harlot
2. Judah bought her services
3. Tamar is now pregnant by Judah

Judah’s choice to deny Tamar an opportunity to fulfill her purpose ended up in such a disaster, BUT he was led to repentance.

V27-30:
1. For all her shame God gave Tamar a double portion – literally (Isa 61:7).
2. Her purpose was a generational one, she birthed not only an heir for Er, but sons who were in the genealogy of Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:3).
3. The journey to fulfill her purpose was filled with controversy and pain BUT God worked it all out for her good – that’s Grace.

I pray that you have come to discover your purpose. May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you.