My Declaration For #UgandaAt55

I can only imagine but I can’t know for sure what motivated the late Monsignor Hilarious Kaijanabyo to formulate the Uganda Motto to be “For God and My Country” but what I do know is that he knew at the back of his mind, that the only stable foundation on which post independent Uganda could stand would be that on Godly principles. Whether or not this is a reality now remains a question for all of us to answer. We might not have arrived yet but we have definitely left and are on this Journey so as well celebrate the milestones we should also look at what is left to be done.

In The few years I have lived in this awesome country, I have to admit-Uganda’s religious freedom for me is second to none (That’s probably because Uganda is the only home I’ve ever known). It is not the sort of freedom that only exists in theory but can be seen in action all-round the country.

Just like every other country that has attempted to uphold religious freedoms there’s always the challenge of ensuring that all religions somehow forge a way to equally co-exist despite the fact that the foundational truths that each of them proposes are not entirely the same.

Religion is a word that over the years, I’ve grown to avoid because it’s meaning that has evolved overtime, but for the sake of this post, I’ll keep using it only as a description of a group of people that hold similar views on how best to relate with God.

While I respect the views of every other religions in Uganda I will only limit myself to the broader religion of Christianity in Uganda.

The past few years have seen the growth in the number of churches in the country and consequently the number of believers (Those who subscribe to a religion), if we were to use a scientific term for this trend, it would be what is called exponential growth.

Why is it that despite this growth, we’ve still not yet witnessed a similar shift in terms of morality? In contrast we have over the years seen an increase in immorality so much that one wonders whether we are a country that ‘Fears God’.

My celebration of Uganda cuts across many other areas but I feel that our religious values as a country far supersedes any other values we may have so for #UgandaAt55 I have chosen to celebrate Uganda’s Christian values upon which our beloved country was founded. The reason for this is that just as Psalms 33:12 declares that,

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord….

In context we can interpret this as “Blessed is a Uganda whose God is the Lord”.

Even with all the ungodliness (immorality) that’s going on in our country, it is possible for us to get back to the basics and appreciate the far that God has brought us. In “Amen”, a song released last year by The Collective, Chloe Koburunga and Sam Kimera did a very commendable job of calling us to repentance as a country. In the bridge of the song, there’s a 2 Chronicles 7:14 prayer that,

Now we Your people ,Called by Your name ,Humble ourselves ,And return ,To seek Your face ,Lord hear from heaven ,Draw near ,Heal our land.

As a reminder of what we need to be focusing on as a country, I believe this song should even be recognized as a national prayer or just maybe an Anthem.

Before we can start seeing the collective fruits of our effort towards leaning on God’s understanding, we must recognize that we have come short of his standard and be humble enough to admit that we need a savior because I can guarantee you that we can’t save ourselves.

The church as a whole needs to get out of the four walls and break out of tradition by getting involved in the marketplace especially leadership and politics. For us to see the ‘Fear of God’ resonate all through the country, we can’t afford to sit back in the comfort of our Homes and passover gatherings that happen every January 1st.

If you hold the same view about the need for our country to get back to fear of the Lord, then join me alongside many others in this cause and a few years down the road we will remember these days and give a testimony of “Thus far the Lord has brought us” (This would actually make a good theme for an independence celebration sometime ahead).

My declaration for #UgandaAt55 is that as a country in summary is that we;

  1. We appreciate that our founding fathers desired that we be governed based on Godly principles.
  2. We acknowledge that on our own we cannot save ourselves and therefore the need for a savior.
  3. We seek to find our individual contribution in this cause to see our country return to the fear of the Lord.
  4. We take the Gospel out of the comfort of the places of worship into the market place where it is needed most.
  5. We appreciate that our religious freedom is an opportunity to call the country to order rather than concentrating on fault finding.
  6. We need to recognize that we are the only usable vessels that God has placed here on Earth and in particular Uganda to bring his God’s will to completion so the sooner we take our rightful place, the better.
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Lyrical Eloquence (Mandisa-Bleed The Same)

You’ve got to appreciate when a modern day Christian celebrity admits that they have been though a struggle and not just any struggle but one that almost saw them committing suicide, Mandisa has just released a new Album dubbed ‘Out of the Dark’ which basically is a re-assurance that even when things get so hard, God always comes through at the end of the day. The Album has a couple of tracks in which Mandisa informs the world that she’s back from all the depression that had been tormenting her, it is what we can call a testimony.

All the tracks have a unique style and message but the one which stands out for me and as is custom, my current ringtone is ‘Bleed The Same’ in which she featured Toby Mac and Kirk Franklin. The lyrics in the track are on point and without   getting into the technicalities of the instruments and voices, in my simple understanding, the song is Awesome. If you don’t already have this Album, please get your hands on one or let me know and I can share with you this one track that has gotten me excited.

[Intro: Mandisa]
We all bleed the same
We’re more beautiful when we come together
We all bleed the same
So tell me why, tell me why
We’re divided

[Verse 1: tobyMac]
Woke up today
Another headline
Another innocent life is taken
In the name of hatred
So hard to take (hey!)
And if we think that it’s all good
Then we’re mistaken
‘Cause my heart is breaking
(Tell em’ Dis)

[Pre-Chorus 1: tobyMac & Mandisa]
Are you left?
Are you right?
Pointing fingers, taking sides
When are we gonna realize?

[Chorus 1: Mandisa]
We all bleed the same
We’re more beautiful when we come together
We all bleed the same
So tell me why, tell me why
We’re divided
If we’re gonna fight
Let’s fight for each other
If we’re gonna shout
Let love be the cry
We all bleed the same
So tell me why, tell me why
We’re divided

[Verse 2: Mandisa]
Tell me, who are we
To judge someone
By the kind of clothes they’re wearing
Or the color of their skin?

[Pre-Chorus 2: Mandisa & tobyMac]
Are you black? (black)
Are you white? (white)
Aren’t we all the same inside? (the same inside)
Father, open our eyes to see!

[Chorus 1: Mandisa & tobyMac]
We all bleed the same (we all bleed the same)
We’re more beautiful when we come together
We all bleed the same (we all bleed the same)
So tell me why, tell me why
We’re divided
If we’re gonna fight
Let’s fight for each other (fight for each other!)
If we’re gonna shout
Let love be the cry (be the cry!)
We all bleed the same (we all bleed the same)
So tell me why, tell me why
We’re divided

[Bridge: Kirk Franklin & Mandisa]
Only love can drive out all the darkness
What are we fighting for?
We were made to carry one another
We were made for more, said…
Only love can drive out all the darkness
What are we fighting for?
We were made to carry one another
We were made for more!

[Chorus 2: Mandisa & tobyMac]
We all bleed the same (we all bleed the same)
We’re more beautiful when we come together…
Let’s stand united!
We all bleed the same (we all bleed the same)
So tell me why, tell me why
We’re divided
If we’re gonna fight
Let’s fight for each other (fight for each other!)
If we’re gonna shout
Let love be the cry (be the cry!)
We all bleed the same(we all bleed the same)
Bleed the same
Let’s stand united (let’s stand united)
Let’s stand united!

[Outro: Kirk Franklin]
So Father God, I pray
That our families will come together right now
And seek your face
You will forgive our sins
And You will heal our incredible land
In the name of the only Savior, Jesus Christ
Amen

Welcome to Weirdville

In a world where our lifestyle has been informed by what we watch and what the internet has defined as trendy, any attempt to define your own lifestyle contrary to popular opinion in society will most definitely earn you the weird badge and if you are not careful, you might allow that badge to get to your ahead and influence you to compromise on your principles so that you can-like the rest of the world fit in society and be ‘normal’ like everyone else.

If you have found yourself having to explain why you live the way you live then you have most probably arrived at your ‘weirdville’ and as a citizen of this city for many years now I would like to welcome you to your new home and hope that during your stay, you’ll have a blast. I need to however warn you that during your stay, you will always receive invitations to return to ‘normalville’ so as a countermeasure to such invitations, I’d advice that you either cut all communication or at least set boundaries that your  pals in ‘normalville’ have to abide by if they want in, on your new lifestyle.

Once you purpose to grow in your relationship with God, please be prepared to take a trip to weirdville or better yet to permanently relocate there because it will be obvious to everyone around you that transformation has taken place -The same transformation as referred to in Romans 12:2 that describes a metamorphosis process which is not just a mere change but rather a total regeneration like what happens to the caterpillar when it transforms into a beautiful butterfly. This is accurately gives you a picture of what happens when you decide to put some effort into your relationship with God. Also note that am not referring to what happens immediately after the Romans 10:9 confession- No this is a continuous process that can all choose to go through in our walk with God till we get to heaven which is when we will see the end result of the beautiful butterfly.

Let us return to our caterpillar – butterfly transformation scenario. Imagine what the caterpillars think of butterflies- do they even think that they are related or that one even came from the other? Can they recognize each other? Is there any resemblance whatsoever? Am certain that if any of the other animals was to communicate to the butterfly and caterpillar to explain to them how they are related, one of them would have to obviously turn out as the weird one which would be accurate as there is no resemblance to suggest that one came from the other. Your guess is as good as mine as to which one is weird.

We all love to contribute to public opinion especially with the evolution of social media and for some it doesn’t just stop at contribution, it goes far beyond that to the extent that the standards set by public opinion begin to define their lives because they want to also be normal and fit into society but here’s the problem, society as a whole is not governed by Biblical principles except when it is convenient especially on that one day of the week, Sunday when all the media seems to focus the attention on God, this is when you will find Gospel music played, sermons aired, gospel shows given airtime and it would seem like on that day, we can all agree that we have given God some time, it is on this day that we all remember to dress our best, post those inspiring quotes about God but when it clocks midnight and Sunday is gone, many of us return to our ‘Normal’ lives.

One thing I have come to learn over the years is that we can’t profess to have a separate life outside of God and then also have a life in God, Acts 17:28 puts this way “For in him we live, and move, and have our being..”  This essentially means that all our lives should be lived in and through him and not apart from him. Consequently this will affect our whole view of the world and our opinion on different subjects. It will even require a change in lifestyle and habits. Personally am now very picky with what I watch, what I listen to, what I read, what I want to appear on my timeline, how I relate with the people around me, how I approach work, how and what I talk about and because of that I will often receive the ‘You’re weird’ remark especially when am talking to people that have had their minds sucked up with public opinion or even Christians.  This is not to say I don’t live in this world-No but I get to choose how I live in this world by looking at it through the eyes of a mind constantly being renewed (Romans 12:1-3) by God’s word. Have I done this perfectly? Not even by a mile but am humble enough to admit that something has to change and I have taken practical steps in that direction.

Being called weird actually does confirm that how I live my life is totally different and that’s okay, In fact it’s very encouraging and am not about to change it no matter how much pressure is exerted because my convictions to live in weirdville are grounded in Christ and how I live now becomes the fruit of my walk with God.  I want to able to live a life that is totally submitted to God so much that in everything I do, people can be able to see God In me and as a result they get to know who God is through my life. I don’t care what this will cost and I know it costs much but looking it in the light of eternity, the cost pales in comparison to what lies ahead.

Greetings from weirdville. We are looking forward to welcoming you all to join us here as we plunder hell to populate heaven.

Come See What God Can Do Through You.

It’s very easy to find people who believe that God is so powerful and mighty, they will even quote word for word a couple of scriptures that describe God’s power or better yet, stories of how God has been doing mighty things in their lives and the lives of those around them. At some point in my life, I was one of those people that for some reason (I’ve come to learn that the reason was my ignorance *Hosea 4:6*) thought that God couldn’t possibly choose me as a vessel for this power and for a long time I struggled to accept the fact that am actually a qualified vessel to be used by God.

We have trained our minds to esteem some people God has used publicly so much that we think these are probably the best picks and that they have some sort of special abilities that God ‘needs’ to be able to appropriately use them. The unanswered question here would be that why do we see God’s power working in these people more prominently than in others, let’s take an example of one of the most famous people in the Christian circles-we all know Joyce Meyer, don’t we? What is so special about her that differentiates her from the rest of the women? The answers to this question are very many and in the next few paragraphs I will attempt to share my though on why there are variations in how much of God’s power is manifested in different people.

God is very powerful, he is mighty, and glorious. This we already know and everyone would agree with those facts but it shouldn’t stop there, God’s power is useless if it’s just going to stay up there not being used yet the very reason why we were created is such that God( Creator) can move through us(Creation). We need to understand that we are the only vessels that are available for God to use. From the story of creation, we are able to see from scripture, God limited his authority here on each when he created Adam and delegated the Authority over the earth to him (Genesis 2:15) which consequently meant that God now needed to use us human beings to do his work on earth, he had already established spiritual laws by which he also had to abide. Our starting point is that we should acknowledge that we are the only vessels available for God to use and believe that we are usable. No matter how far off we have gone from God or what we may have done, all that God needs is surrendered vessels, those that will come to him as they are and trust that he will mound them into whatever shape he desires.  Believe that you are usable

It is one thing to believe that God desires to use is and it’s a whole different story for us to be submissive enough to obey when God instructs us. The easy part is believing but acting on what we believe has so far been the most challenging part even for me up until this point am on this journey taking baby steps. We need to first of all cultivate a lifestyle in which we are constantly being led by the spirit because it’s only through the Holy Spirit that we will be able to know what God wants us to do on his behalf. God’s word, the Bible only makes sense when we allow the Holy Spirit to interpret the scriptures to us because these scriptures were not written to our minds. as much we might be able to logically follow then chronology of the Bible, we need a revelation that only comes through the Holy Spirit which is where I will chip in a recommendation that you read Spirit, Soul and Body, a book by Andrew Womack that has a wealth of knowledge about the distinction between spirit, soul and body. (If you need the eBook copy please let me know & I will gladly share it.). We can see from the story of the prophet Elijah that even when everything in the natural pointed to the fact that his obedience wouldn’t yield any positive results, he still trusted God and obeyed, we see that every step of the way, God has already planned for how he would provide for Elijah but for it to work, Elijah had to obey and submit to God which I can guarantee you was against the natural circumstances at the time. The principles haven’t changed in the current times, we see many more examples in our generation of men and women that God used mighty but the common characteristic among all is that all these people had to take a deliberate step and Obey what they were being led to do by God.   Submit to the user (creator) and obey

Picture yourself very famous, on the covers of magazines, being featured on TV and the internet, being a household name just because you believed, obeyed and are now being used by God to touch millions of people all around the world, does that sound like someone you’d want to be? Well I’ll be honest and say that it wouldn’t be such a bad status to have, after all I would be expanding the kingdom of God. When God starts moving through us, we have a tendency to then start thinking that we are very awesome and we even go further to pull away from God and think we have now arrived at that stage in life where we are unstoppable, untouchable and special. It is when we are at this stage that we are truly tested to establish where our true allegiance is because when we are very successful, it is very tempting to attribute all the success to our own strength and might yet we ought to be pointing to God as the source of all the power and success, we need to remember that we were not chosen to be used because we were special, sinless , smart, eloquent and wise but rather because God loved us enough to use us despite our weaknesses since this would channel all the Glory back o himself as the creator instead of us the creation. Point to God as your source and return all the Glory to him.

In our quest to be used by God, we may also be tempted to choose for God how we want him to use us, forgetting that each one of us has a unique purpose for which we were created. I have seen a good number of Christians who are so excited about being used by God that they start to imitate what they see other Christians doing and in the process, they end up burning out because they are using their own strength and might to accomplish this rather than depending on God. I have been through this same cycle personally so I totally understand the pressure that comes with having been born again for some time and everyone begins to ask what ministry you are in and what you are doing for God. If your answer doesn’t fall in the category of the mainstream ministry areas, then there’s a tendency to fake it till it becomes reality but whom are you fooling?, it would only be matter of time and the real you will eventually come out. We see very many success stories of men and women being used of God and our admiration of their gifts takes our eyes off our individual stories. May we cultivate a relationship with God that will allow him to move through us in any way that he desires.

The title to this post was inspired by a sermon I watched last week by Steven Furtick of Elevation Church.