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I am still wiriting… October 7, 2009

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I discovered recently that there are a lot of people who still visit this blog and wonder what happened to me. A few of them have even asked me why I stopped writing as the last post on this blog is dated February. Well, I still write but I moved blogs from here to www.lifession.com it is the same blog but I now host it myself. The key message is the same and I am still writing on living Life With a Mission – Lifession. So, hop over to www.lifession.com and lets continue blogging together

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God On The Mountain February 20, 2009

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I woke up today with a song in my spirit. I kept on humming and whistling the tune as I went about my morning routine and even found myself trying to whistle as I brushed my teeth. As I drove to the church office, I begun meditating on the words of the song and decided to share with you the song and the truth from the word of God.

The song is titled, “God on the Mountain” by Lynda Randle and talks about how life is easy when we are up on the mountain. We have peace and fill all is well but things are very different when we are down in the valley surrounded by all manner of challenges and troubles. You see, things tend to be smooth and easy up in the mountain when we are enjoying life and really get to talk about faith and trusting God but when troubles come our way, when we have prayed and don’t seem to get any answers from God, faith begins to slowly fade away and we begin to think and behave as though God does not care or is not concerned about us.

It’s easy to think like the Syrians who in 1st Kings 20 verses 23 to 29 talked about the God of the Israelites being the God of the hills and therefore reasoned if they fight them in the plains, they will win. God spoke through a Prophet to the Israelites and told them that He is Jehovah and therefore not just a god of the hills. The Syrian idea that God is all powerful in the hills and powerless in the valley creeps very easily on us as we think of how God is all powerful during the good times but when difficulties and challenges come, we begin running all over trying to help ourselves forgetting that God, our God, is God even during the hard times and is ready and willing to walk with us even through those dark times. When we know that He is God of the valleys also, we will be able to say like the Psalmist, “though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil…” Our God is God of the Mountains and of the Valleys also.

Let’s march on with boldness and faith. Let’s quit looking at the challenges and problems we face and lift up our eyes to the Lord our God who is able to deal with all that comes our way. I encourage you to place your trust in the Lord and not to listen to the Syrians, Jehovah is God in the good times and in the bad times. He is God during the day but He is also God during the night when all seems dark, gloomy and scary. In the current economic crises with the cost of living rising by the day, let’s remember that God is still God. When your salary can’t pay all the bills and obligations, God is still God. When relationship go through challenges and we wonder if anyone cares, God is still God. When challenges assail us from every side and we do not know how we will go through, God is still God.

For as the song goes in the chorus, “when things go wrong, He will make them right and the God of the good times is God in the bad times, the God of the day is still God in the night”. Trust Him, wait on Him, depend on Him and know that surely He will take care of you. For He is God almighty and never changes.

Here are the lyrics of the song, as for me, I am still humming:

“Life is easy when you’re up on the mountain
And you’ve got peace of mind like you’ve never known
But things change when you’re down in the valley
Don’t lose faith for you’re never alone!

You talk of faith when you’re up on the mountain
But talk comes so easy when life’s at its best
Now it’s down in the valley of trials and temptations
That’s where your faith is really put to the test.

For the God on the mountain
Is still God in the valley
When things go wrong He’ll make them right
And the God of the good times is God in the bad times
The God of the DAY is still God in the NIGHT.”

Blessings

On a different note, ICC Mombasa’s Campaign, “Operation 500” aimed at mobilizing prayer and resource support is on and you can always get in touch for more info about it. Just send a mail back and we will be glad to furnish you with more details. I invite you to join in the campaign.

Edward M. Munene
Pastor
International Christian Centre Mombasa
P.O.Box 40794, 80100 GPO
Mombasa, Kenya
Tel: 254-20-2077311, 254-721-717104, 254-734-511793
http://www.icc-mombasa.org

The Key For Success January 26, 2009

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I am amazed by the number of books that are being printed every year on how to become successful in life and the number of speakers, experts and trainers on the same. I recently saw on our local newspaper an ad for a renowned motivational speaker seminar that really surprised me. The real surprise was not the speaker himself but the cost for attending a 3 hour afternoon seminar. It was priced at about 1000 USD or Kshs 75,000.

In my surprise, I begun imagining the people who can afford that kind of a price tag to hear a motivational speaker and who would be in attendance. You see, our generation is obsessed with becoming successful and it’s a good thing but I strongly feel we are looking for success in the wrong places.

Many of us are living each day frustrated because we are making more money than our fathers but it’s all being eaten up by inflation. The cost of living is up, hardships are pressing in from every side, the rate of unemployment is increasing and life seems to be getting harder and harder. The family unit is breaking and we cannot count on family to help us when the going gets tough.

With such a state of affairs in our generation and even worse as I have just gleaned the surface, the desperation to succeed in life, at work, in business and all is very high. Question is, do we succeed by earning more money? learning to play the stock market like a ball? driving the latest car? or looking at it differently, do we succeed by following seven keys to making more money? five steps for a happier you? ten principles of winning?

In Genesis 39, I read the story of a slave in a foreign land where he had to learn a new culture, new way of life and his parents were faraway. Forsaken by his brothers, this slave was a gone case, a failure at best. The odds for success were against him but he had one ingredient that turned the tide for him whether working as a slave or thrown in jail as a “slave prisoner”. Verse 2 of Genesis 39 tells us, “The LORD was with Joseph,…” and because the Lord was with Joseph, he succeeded as a slave in the house of his Egyptian master and excelled there. There were no ten steps to success for Joseph or five principles of winning. Only one thing made the difference for him and it was not hearing Egypt’s sensational speaker. The Lord was with Joseph and that made all the difference.

The key for success in life is the Lord being with you. It is the only key that is needed. If only we would take the time to seek the Lord and ensure He is with us as we go through life. If only we would take the time to walk in accordance to God’s will and seek to please Him each day. If only we would consider more what His word says and seek to live according to it more. When the Lord is with us, we can face any mountain and conquer, we can fight the challenges that come our way and win, we can survive the hardships of life and go through storms and come through victorious.

Let’s seek the Lord and live daily ensuring He is with us for when we do, that is the beginning of success, true success.

Blessings

Edward M. Munene
Pastor
International Christian Centre Mombasa
P.O.Box 40794, 80100 GPO, Mombasa, Kenya
Tel: 254-20-2077311, 254-721-717104, 254-734-511793
www.icc-mombasa.org

Hearing God’s Voice December 16, 2008

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What does God want of me? Should I go into ministry? change jobs? go to college and where should I go to school? Should I take this job, or is there something better on the horizon? Who should I marry?

In life, we find ourselves bombarded with never ending questions, series of choices and tough choices to make. How do we know we are making the right choice? Is it possible to actually make the right choices? Should we constantly read the stars or contact psychics and wizards?

This ,past week, a close friend came up to me wondering what to do in a situation where somebody had given them a personal prophetic word regarding a decision they had made and was in the process of following through on. My friend was totally shaken, had little peace and was wondering what to do. We had a little discussion and later on that night as I prayed for the person, I realized that many of us Christians struggle so much with hearing God’s voice. This struggle causes men and women who happen to tell us things about us that others didn’t know to appear “great” “holy” or super heroes. They are sought after and what they say is taken to be gospel truth.

Rather than teach people to hear God for themselves, many of us in the ministry want to tell people what the Lord is saying and hence attain the super status. Realizing this, I felt prompted by the Holy Spirit to write a few of the things I have learned over the years about hearing God’s voice and I pray it will be of help to you.

The truth is that God wants to speak to us, and yes, you can ‘know’ that you hear His voice.

God wants to fellowship and communicate with us in a two-way communication. He created us and desires to have a relationship with us.
God loves us so much that He sent Jesus to take our place and to die for us. He did this so that we could once again have fellowship with Him. The bible encourages us to enter into God’s very presence, “…having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way…” (See Hebrews 10:19-20).

God want to fellowship with us and has plans for us so that we can be a blessing and a reflection of His love, leadership and blessings. His plan is for good, for a hope filled future. (See Jeremiah 29:11). I am blown away every time I read John 10:27, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” What blows me away is the fact that the sheep hear the Shepherds voice. It means that I can hear His voice and know I am hearing God and follow His will for me. Notice it does not say some of the sheep will hear the Shepherd through the “bigger, better, stronger sheep”. Jesus stated that His sheep hear His voice.

We should therefore learn to earnestly seek after God, seek to hear His voice and to walk in His will. He promises us, “Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:12-13. We should not expect to hear a voice every time we seek God as He “speaks” or communicates to us in different ways at different times but our confidence should be in the realization that God wants us to know His will and walk in His ways.

So how can we know we are hearing the voice of God? Does the bible have certain keys or truths that I should know which would help me to test and confirm God’s voice? In my studying of the bible and reading on the subject, I have come across seven truths against which we should seek to judge every possible leading or word from “the Lord”. We are to carefully examine the thoughts and intentions of our hearts, the words of godly people who may have influence on us by their words and actions through the use of the following keys:

• The Bible: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (II Timothy 3:16-17). God does not contradict Himself and therefore He will never lead us to do anything that is contrary to His word.

• The Holy Spirit speaking to your heart: “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and I will write them on their hearts. and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen, and everyone his brother, saying, ‘know the Lord,’ for all will know Me, from the least to the greatest of them” (Hebrews 8:10-11).

• The peace of God: “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful” (Colossians 3:15). A friend of mine loves saying that peace is the rudder of a Christian. This is the inner peace that gives us the assurance that the word is indeed from the Lord.

• Godly counsel: “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14). Seeking Godly counsel is highly encouraged in scripture but many times we tend to think it is not important. There are many people who have shipwrecked their lives simply because they received a “prophetic word” which they held on to and refused to heed to godly counsel even when corrected.

• Prophetic Words (word of knowledge, word of wisdom, personal prophecy): “Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good” (I Thessalonians 5:19-21). We should not despise personal prophecy but we should also judge it in the light of God’s word. In the present day, a lot of people keep running from one minister to another seeking a prophetic word or even ministers giving out utterances everywhere. The problem with these approach to personal prophecy is that what is said is then taken as gospel truth without remembering the instruction of the Bible, to judge or test prophetic words. ( See 1 Corinthians 14:29)

• Witnessing Confirmations: “By the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed” (Matthew 18:16). Are there other people who have the same witness to what you are hearing? God does use other people to confirm His will and leading.

• Timing or Circumstantial evidence: “After these things he (Paul) left Athens and went to Corinth. And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, having recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. He came to them, and because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and they were working; for by trade they were tent-makers” (Acts 18:1-3) circumstances caused Paul, Aquila and Priscilla to meet and it resulted in one of the most important partnerships for the gospel in the book of Acts. There are people and circumstances that will work out right at a certain point in time and impact our lives greatly.

Many times the Lord will confirm His direction to us through three, four or more of the above keys, especially in those seasons when we are considering a career change, making important decisions or when feeling “stuck in the mud”.

Remember, we need to constantly pray and seek the Lord at all times and as we do so, we will learn to hear Him and to discern His will. I encourage you to do so during this Christmas season and may we all march into 2009 knowing that God is leading us every step.

I am praying for you.

Blessings

Edward M. Munene
Pastor
International Christian Centre Mombasa
http://www.icc-mombasa.org

Personal Blog page: http://www.lifession.com

Lessons I have Learnt as a Leader December 10, 2008

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Learning to quit things that don’t make a difference to do those things that do has been a big lesson for me. As a leader, I have realized that I can do many things and believe me, there are many things to be done in a church plant without a team of staff people and with little money.

I can be the receptionist, the messenger, the bookkeeper, the choir director and any other role you may think of but I have learned to ask myself, “What is it that must be done to make the greatest difference to the church?”

I have to choose to do what only I can do but I must also do that which will make a difference by resulting in church growth, people ministered to and the church built up. I have consciously chosen to stop doing everything. It feels irrsponsible and people wonder what is wrong with me but with time, the results begin to show and the truth is, we should not do everything.

Thing about your life, are there things you need to stop doing in order to do the things that will make a difference?
Blessings