Sunday, March 24, 2013


Disclaimer: Kris Vallotton is one of my favorite pastors and (if he knew me) would totally be disappointed in what I’m about to write because he’s all about community and not believing in lies about your identity but I’ll just write it anyway because this is just how my week has been.

I’m not a very social person. It’s just in my DNA, I don’t tend to make friends with everyone or go above and beyond to bond with everyone in a room. I talk to a lot of people and since I was a kid in kindergarten I’ve always been in the “popular crowd”, but mostly because I was friends with the most popular girl and they made me popular. But really at my core, I’m a loner, which is why it’s so weird now when I meet people from school they’re like, “I wanted to talk to you back then but you were always in that crowd and didn’t want to talk to me” when it’s me who felt like that.

That popularity gene started dying off in my 2ndyear of High School when I was friends with a popular girl and got BURNED! By then I’d kinda found my own niche and didn’t really feel the need to hang with so and so to feel good about myself. I enjoyed school a lot more after that although my extra-curricular activities still placed me in a position where I wasn’t too obscure.

Fast forward to today where...
to make friends I have to actively pursue it. These past years in college I’ve made some really good friends, but now as we’re leaving, I think the crowd is somewhat tapering off which is good in a way because there are some people who we just grew in different directions, but there are others who to be honest, this separation process is killing me.

Then there are the friendships that you try and make and try to bond with people but they just don’t seem interested in letting you in. I get that sometimes you’re kinda off in your own world, I’m like that sometimes, but it still hurts when someone isn’t receptive or returning the same courtesy when they don’t even know you – like, they aren’t interested in what you have to offer or they just don’t like you for whatever reason.
This is why this hurts me when I’m the one calling and texting and initiating conversations and the other person isn’t – it devalues me. I know this is where Kris V would say, your identity is in Christ, you have value because it’s God who assigns value.

It hurts me because I am a good friend, I care about people, I include people. Like now being in worship team, some people might perceive me as joining a “restricted clique” but I’m always quick to dismiss that and ask for their number to tell them when auditions come up. When someone looks like they don’t fit in, I go up grab their hand and include them. When my friends go through stuff, I care about them like it’s my problem. When it’s my friends’ birthday, I’ll throw them a party. I go above and beyond looking for gifts that’ll make that other person get that surprised-oh-my- gosh-I-can’t-believe-you-care-that-much-about-me-face. I LOVE that face!

All I’m asking is when will it be my turn.

I hate this excuse people give, “If they want to hang out with me, they should tell me.” I had a youth pastor who said the same thing, “If you want me to mentor you or advise you, you have to tell me I won’t look for you.” This same pastor did nothing to seek me out when my dad died. It’s a little extreme of an example but based on that premise, can I propose that it’s easier to open the door for someone on the outside from the inside than to have that person knock on the door standing out in the cold.

At youth group when I finally made it into “a circle” or when I passed my audition for worship team, I said in a couple of meetings, “Now that we’re here and we’ve made it, let’s make it easier for those who’ll come after us and include them and not make them feel like they’re stuck in the outside group when we’re in this other group.” 

I try to live by that, to live by caring for others and trying to care for them the way I’d like to be cared for, reaching beyond my comfort zone so they can feel free to reach beyond theirs. I’m hurt, I’ve been hurt this week because I feel like all that energy is flowing out of me, but none is flowing in. I get that God replenishes what we pour out for Him, but I need Him to do it through my friends.

God, I need friends who are family to me. I need to be surrounded by people who feel like I feel and do like I do, like you do. The biggest messes I’m in, I’m in because I didn’t have such friendships in my life or because I made dumb choices on who I allowed to be my friends. God, I need strength to keep putting myself out there even when I get knocked down because I just can’t and at this point I’d rather save my energy and not bother. Yes, this week has also been about fear but now I realize my biggest fears are about being disappointed in this area of community. The fear that you just don’t have the motivation to put me in enriching relationships and friendships; the fear that you don’t think I’m worth the ride or die friends. You see my dreams and visions are based somewhat on these connections and I just don’t think you’ll do it. So I’ve been afraid and I want(ed) to quit, but I won’t. You’ve made me see all this for a reason and I’ve just got to trust you and lean into that.

There’s a line between you saying, “Joanne trust me, I am not a human that I should lie or change my mind, have I ever spoken and failed to act or promised anything and not carried it through? I am all you need, put your trust in me,” and, “there are many parts in one body, seek out other parts.” (Numbers 23:19 and 1 Corinthians 12:12) So yeah, you might be teaching me how to walk this line, but as you are, please also pay attention to how I feel right now. My heart is just tired. I long for authenticity and pursuit not for any other reason, but simply because someone sees in me what you see in me and gives me a chance.


God Bless, 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Squiggly Line

I had a panic attack last night, except that when you're a Christian, it's not really a panic attack, it's a frenzied, emotional conversation with Jesus ;-) Anyway, I basically had a little freak out last night and I prayed and told God, this is crazy. I've been saying that a lot.

Anyway, I've been feeling like a  failure lately, like there's so much I want to do and be not for me but for my mom. She's done EVERYTHING for me. I won't even begin to explain or define "everything" because it truly is more than I can speak of. She's done so much and I just wish I could make her life better, make her proud to have me as a daughter. She's supporting my dreams and not once has she complained or told me this is impossible. I watched her do the math and count the cost and she said nothing to me and has shown me nothing but support. I wish I could do something, be something for her. I have this picture like she's my Naomi and I'm her Ruth but I'm failing at being Ruth.

It's just not fun this season of life, being stuck in circumstances I can't do anything about that's just holding me back from really enjoying and moving forward with this new phase of my life. I can' fully celebrate the best thing that has ever happened to me because the details are still so unclear. This is the biggest dream I've ever dared to dream let alone pursue and I'm still stuck dealing with problems that cropped up in the past, namely this whole business at uni.

I've gotten a bunch of answers from the Bible and from God and I'm thankful for that and waiting in hope. I've said before I will not despair and I mean it. God brought this picture to mind when I was on a walk this evening:

I found this on Pinterest and it totally describes what this season is. I hate the squiggly lines, being stuck in this maze and feeling like a failure or a disappointment at every wrong move, but this is a season to work on my faith and my identity as well.

I have a ton of insane dreams to change the world. It's going to take freedom, success, finances and good relationships. Right now I feel like I have none of that, but the truth is I have more than I need simply because God's my dad and He's already placed amazing people in my life. I don't see the end result, I don't have my ducks named and alphabetically lined up in a tidy row, it's squiggly and messy but God's with me and I am His child.

One of the things I need to remember is this:

Source: via Ashley on Pinterest

I'd love your prayers and please feel free to comment below :-)

Bless you,

Friday, March 15, 2013

Declarations Over Kenya

I had a post in mind to write, but after watching the news, I'm so deeply saddened. We prayed for peace, God granted us peace. We tainted it by creating war within ourselves by cutting each other down with our words and spreading propaganda left, right and center.

Heart conditions got exposed, tribalism reared it's ugly head, we lost friends and gained enemies. This time war hasn't started from the slums or the streets but from our pages and our profiles.

People have their hearts set on power and while the two bulls are fighting, the grass, that always gets hurt has decided to turn on each other, become fodder for the bulls, to enjoy their one second of life before being eaten up by greedy mouths. Tonight I've seen my school mates stirred up by politicians, from which faction I don't give a damn, turn on each other. Fight and cause chaos. It may not be my campus but it's my school. It may not be my friends, but it's my age-mates. So yes, I'm deeply saddened.

I'm a Christian, I know God reigns over everything, but what if we're pushing Him away? What if our hearts as individuals or collectively as a nation are so stubborn so held to our ways that it's not enough anymore?

These are the thoughts in my natural human mind. Thankfully though, I've been called into a purpose far greater and more supernatural than my human mind can comprehend. Does God reign over this chaos? Does God reign over stubborn hearts? Does God reign over our justice system? Is God superior to the evil hearts stirring up hatred? Is God stronger and more able than the war-mongers?


So tonight, though my heart is broken, my mind is swirling with fear and thoughts of doom, I will look at my spirit and say "spirit, do not be dismayed, my hope is in the Lord". I will look at my soul and say "soul, get up and dance like Christ is on the throne." I will look at this situation and give absolutely no glory to the devil nor acknowledge the work that he's doing, I will give glory to God who has overcome and who has made my beautiful home Kenya, His dwelling place.

Genesis 18:23 (NET) Abraham approached and said, “Will you sweep away the godly along with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty godly people in the city? Will you really wipe it out and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty godly people who are in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing – to kill the godly with the wicked, treating the godly and the wicked alike! Far be it from you! Will not the judge of the whole earth do what is right?" 26 So the LORD replied, “If I find in the city of Sodom fifty godly people, I will spare the whole place for their sake.” 27 Then Abraham asked, “Since I have undertaken to speak to the Lord (although I am but dust and ashes), 28 what if there are five less than the fifty godly people? Will you destroy the whole city because five are lacking?” He replied, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.” 29 Abraham spoke to him again, “What if forty are found there?” He replied, “I will not do it for the sake of the forty.” 30 Then Abraham said, “May the Lord not be angry so that I may speak! What if thirty are found there?” He replied, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.” 31 Abraham said, “Since I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty are found there?” He replied, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the twenty.” 32 Finally Abraham said, “May the Lord not be angry so that I may speak just once more. What if ten are found there?” He replied, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the ten.”

In the Kingdom, the math is different. As long as there's the smallest number of us earnestly praying and seeking God for favor for our country, there's legal precedent for Him to save us.

Yes, I'm saddened but I'm not hopeless. My hope is fully in the Lord. I know He has great things in store for me (and you) which are based on the success of this country.

I wanna end this with one of Bethel's offering readings I've posted on my sidebar. I want to make some declarations right now. (I've edited this for Kenya)


"Thank you Lord that You are the hope of KENYA and You will build Your church around the world.
We call to KENYA in the North, the South, the East and the West and we declare:
JESUS IS LORD! No weapon formed against KENYA will stand!
We release angelic activity with power, signs and wonders.
We cast down injustices, evil mindsets, corruption, poverty, disease and hopelessness.
We speak grace, peace, breakthrough and healing over THIS land.
We call for justice and reconciliation.
We ask that government leaders will have:
- Holy Spirit inspired, supernatural encounters and dreams.
- Wisdom, discernment, knowledge to make righteous governmental decisions.
We ask that church leaders and believers will have:
- Extreme hunger for God, new revelations, thoughts and ideas.
- Righteous decisions.
- Courage, wisdom, discernment, and knowledge of how to lead Your people. - Unity among the young and old.
- Demonic assignments broken and lives mended.
- Divine protection and favor.
- Abundance and provision.
- New leaders being raised up to carry revival fire.
- Extreme hunger for God, new revelations, thoughts and ideas.
Encourage and bless KENYA and Your people with peace and display Your extravagant favor and love to them.
We call for revival fire to come!"

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Prayer for Restoration

I have an issue I've been praying about for the past 4 years and to be honest, it's just getting worse and worse. I've been carrying this attitude that God's punishing me because of the mistakes I might have made that led to those issues coming up.

Last night, I was reading these miracles I've posted on my sidebar -> and I was just thinking about how amazing it is that those things happened and wondering how people feel when you're blind and suddenly you're not blind anymore, or you had cancer and you go back and the doctor tells you the cancer's gone.

I believe in miracles, I believe that when Jesus prayed "your kingdom come", he meant that it has come and it's going to keep coming for eternity. (Isaiah 9:7, Daniel 4:3, Daniel 7:18, Hebrews 1:8) As Christians, we're meant to re-present Jesus and His Kingdom on earth and do greater works than He did (John 14:12 I tell you the solemn truth, the person who believes in me will perform the miraculous deeds that I am doing, and will perform greater deeds than these, because I am going to the Father.)

One thing that struck me was the guy praying against the cancer said, "we're not going to pray any different because it's cancer..."
What he meant was that we can look at some miracles as small and insignificant like finding a parking space and others like cancer like, "whoa, I've gotta grab my tools and attack this with all I have."

So today I was thinking about this issue I have, and I said to God, "God, I know you're not punishing me, because I repented, my heart is in the right place now. I'm doing what I'm meant to be doing...for the most part. My priorities are in order. I know you're good and you only have good plans for me, and this, this is not good and cannot be in your plans for me."

I have to stop looking at sickness or disorder or chaos or discouragement as a token from God to teach me a lesson. That's bad doctrine. Don't get me wrong, God does allow certain things to come your way for a season to test you or to grow you but He only does that when He knows you're ready. The key is to know, when you're in that season, when it's over. It's difficult but not impossible to see the end when you're in the middle of a storm and that's where a right word from someone else at the right time comes in very handy.

I started looking at this issue as God's problem now. My prayer changed to, "Holy Spirit teach me what it means to rest in God. My hope is in Him, teach me what it means to have my trust based on Him too." I thought all day about what I've seen Bethel students or pastors around the world do when they're praying for God to heal someone from pain, to grow a limb out, to straighten a spine or whatever (again, check out these testimonies, it's amazing!) These guys pray, a simple prayer then then ask the person they're praying for to test it out, like if they couldn't move, to try and move. The person may respond that they still feel pain and the students pray again, simple prayer and ask again, they do this again and again as long as God leads them to and more often than not something happens. Wonders like the pain goes away or the limb straightens out or signs like the person gets an overwhelming sense of peace or love. God always moves.

I can't allow myself to fear the disappointment of not getting a miracle more than I fear God.

So these were my thoughts for today. Later on I watched a video on Youtube and Steffany Frizzell was singing a prophetic song with these words:

This is my word and I want to release the same prayer over you.

I pray for Heaven's gates to swing wide over you. That God will show you overwhelmingly why we call Him glorious. He'll pour out His goodness over you. That He'll show you again and again how much He loves you. That you will be as bold as a lion as you wait for freedom to be released in your life. That any situation holding you back will be broken off of you. That you will live His forgiveness out loud and know beyond any doubt that He is out to bless you not punish you. That you will remember Jesus died for your freedom and to take the punishment in your stead. That you will see restoration of all that was lost. That what was not seen will be seen right now! That your beginning will be incomparable to your end as the Lord restores a double portion of all that was taken from you. Lord, I release freedom and hope and love and success in the lives of your Children right now, those you've called your own in Jesus awesome name. Amen.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Speaking Out

I've been a little bit lost, mostly because I have been TOO found on Facebook and Twitter, especially over Election Week last week. (Thank you God for peace!)

Anyway, now that I'm here I wanted to share with you guys a couple of things God's taught me lately. I like to do this to share stuff that I've learnt that someone else might be going through and offer the same encouragement over the airwaves (is internet airwaves? haidhuru...) that I've received countless times.

Yesterday, 2 things happened, I was sitting next to a guy on the bus home and he struck up a conversation with me normally, I don't talk to people on the bus, but I'd just been reading a couple of Bethel stories like how students would go out in the streets and share Jesus with people, so I figured what the heck... he asked me if I have any talents, I said yes, singing and we got into all this stuff about where I sing and I told him I'm on worship team, so he asks me about Church, why I go and so on, and I told him. I tried to put into a 4 minute conversation why I live my life the way I do. At the end of it, invited him to come to church and that was that. Later on that night, I was trying to explain to someone on Facebook how we should quit looking at our neighbors through tribal eyes - he'd said some pretty tribalistic stuff about how people from my community were inferior to his and I was mad as hell, and that's how I know the words I spoke didn't come from me, they came from God, cause me, I would have cussed him out and told him a few choice words that might have rivaled Chris Brown and Drake feuds on Twitter. I was so frustrated that he didn't seem to get it, or at least I don't think he did because he didn't reply to my post. I tried to tell him, that change starts with us, me not labeling him with some stereotype and him doing the same.

I have to admit, that stuff that he said about me/people from my community hurt. Assuming that I'm a thief or that I'm selfish or violent because someone you know heard of who happens to be from my region is. IT'S RIDICULOUS! I was so discouraged by that and I wrote to my Pastor, because that's just what I do, when I don't have it figured out, I vent and I ask questions! Anyway:

So instead of staying discouraged by this guy's generalization of me and my family, I talked to my current sphere of influence:

Pastor M's reply just reinforced what I felt God telling me all night, which was:

I've said before I'm set on relevance of some form in my lifetime. I want my voice to count for something, maybe it's from me being the last born and struggling to make my opinions heard, whatever it is, I'm set on relevance of some form. I don't say it as a selfish/self-centered prayer, I just feel like that's one of the reasons God made me the way He did. With this desire, it's difficult still being in the preparation stage where quite frankly, nobody cares who I am or what I have to say, the day is coming and I'm quite happy to be here for now but in the meantime, I'm going to use whatever avenues I have to spread the fact that nothing else in this life compares to the fact that

1. God is in a good mood!
2. God is actively pursuing us to love us and to bless us. He doesn't relent no matter what we do, no matter how many skeletons we have stuffed in our closet. He wants us to be closer than friends and more intimate than lovers.

That's the message that "I've come to such a place as this" in my life to share.

When our lives flow out of our genuine love for God and an understanding of what that means. When we stop faking religion and start embracing relationship. The moment that we're able to encounter the goodness of all God is personally and share that corporately, that's when real change will happen. That's when no study will be needed to show that Kenya is 80% Christian, instead the world will know by the reflection of His glory shining bright in the face of the country. That's when our church-mates will shut every evil tribalistic tongue in their networks instead of helping propagate their lies by sharing their updates and liking their comments. Right now it may just be one voice crying out in the wilderness, but luckily, that's all God needs.