Unwavering Resolve

In a world of compromise and indecision, God is looking for men and women of great resolve.

Esther comes in the kingdom at a time of great fear and a simmering holocaust. The king has just banished a queen who did not give in to a culture that saw women as objects of pleasure.

Esther has to be very careful how she will handle this demigod who could, at the snap of a finger, order her death. Yet the situation facing her and her kinsmen requires that she negotiate with him.

How would she do that? The gentleman has not even wanted to see her for a whole month. She is in quite some dilemma, I would say.

Yet it is this kind of dilemma that makes or breaks a leader. It tests the kind of mettle we are made of. Will we take risks or play it cool? Can we take a clear stand and be willing to die for it?

Esther did, and she saved the entire nation of Jewish people. “Please fast and pray for me. I will go to the king and if I perish, I perish.”

Oh, that we would have more men and women who would make that kind of declaration. Those who, like Esther, would have unwavering resolve, regardless of the cost.

The Almighty in heaven would not only grant your request. He would make all the hidden resources available for the accomplishment of His purposes through your determined life.

~ Ibrahim

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Photos of children needed

Calling all photographers, moms and dads, lovers of children and lovers of all things inspirational: I am in need of photos of children that can be used to illustrate the theme “Child-Like Faith”.

Just about any picture of a child-in-action (or inaction) that speaks of the wonder, innocence and enthusiasm of childhood would be wonderful.

 

Among the photos that are sent, some will be selected for a presentation and possible publication – but I would ask permission first.

Thanks; we hope to hear from you?

~ Diane

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Purity, No Matter the Cost

A pure heart is what God longs for.

In Daniel, we see a sixteen-year-old immigrant embarking on a journey that spans several dynasties. What drives him is God’s favor and a vow never to defile his spirit, soul or body. Daniel’s life of prayer and his commitment to be an example of purity makes his life an inspiration as God reveals to him not just the dreams and visions of those in power but also what is yet to come. None of this was based on Daniel’s ability. He had to trust God for the answers. He never expected to deliver wise words or accurate interpretations before waiting on God.

And even though a king may have forgotten him, God never did. When jealousy and envy from his detractors threatened his very life, Daniel still refused to compromise his life of prayer.

Even when confined to a lion’s den, it was another opportunity for God to come through and for Daniel’s pure motives to be vindicated. “My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouth,” he told the king.

May God find your heart pure in 2018. Let Him not only shut the lion’s mouths but also lead you to all the treasures that have been hidden until now.

~ Ibrahim

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A Man of Integrity

Integrity is a characteristic that God will always honor.

From the bottom of the pit and the dark prison cell, Joseph rose to the highest office in the land. How did that happen?

“The Lord was with him, and whatever he did prospered.” His life and testimony of integrity singled him out for God’s favor. Through the dark time, Joseph became a man whose word could be trusted. But getting to that point took time; it was not easy.Being thrown in the pit by his brothers did not line up with Joseph’s dreams of becoming a dominant bright star. It did not match his coat of many colors. It was as if God allowed him to sink to the very bottom and remain there–forgotten.

Many of us may have felt like that at times. But God will never forget us. In His timing, our dreams will come back to us.

Joseph’s rise to power was as sudden as it was sure. His integrity gave him both spiritual and moral authority which were then reflected in political authority. Through it all, he remained steadfast. All the wealth of Egypt was put at his disposal.

As you determine to cling to integrity at whatever cost, let God himself break the iron bars and make the crooked places straight. Let Him lead you to treasures of darkness and riches in secret places (Is 45:1-3).

Whether there might be a pit to fall into or a prison cell to visit, do not lose courage. The God who we trust is faithful.

~ Ibrahim

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Contagious Optimism

There are certain characteristics that God cannot help but reward lavishly; one of them is David’s optimism.

David breaks into the scene at a dark moment. Goliath the Philistine giant is spewing curses and abuses. The demonic spirits are on the loose and out of control. Fear has gripped the army, including the commander in chief, King Saul.

David the shepherd boy cannot take it anymore. He declares to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear and javelin. But I come

to you in the name of the Lord of hosts.” He could not be intimidated by any giant.

“This day,” he declares, “the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you.”

He lets that sink in, then adds with contagious optimism, “I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts, that the earth may know that there is a God is Israel.”

May that same God fight your battles this year. May He subdue and disarm principalities on your behalf. As you worship Him and declare His victory over the giants of your time, you will see their downfall. Let the Lord Himself reveal the hidden treasures of darkness and riches in secret places as you listen keenly and follow His lead.

Let our lives and our tongues declare His glory – that the world around us may know that the Lord God is our King and our Lord.

~ Ibrahim

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Treasures of Darkness

We are well in to 2018, yet these verses in Isaiah 45:1-3 keep reverberating in my heart as a New Year’s theme.

The Lord will uphold your right hand so that He may

  • subdue nations before you
  • loose the armor of kings
  • open before you the double doors
  • open the gates that are shut
  • make the crooked places straight before you
  • break in pieces the gates of bronze
  • and cut the bars of iron

Then He will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches in secret places, so that you may know (in 2018) that the Lord, who has called you by your name, He is the LORD of Israel.

There are treasures in secret places. They are stored up for God’s children—you and me. They will be released. But, they are also hidden. There is actually a seven-fold spiritual warfare to be waged before reaching these treasures.

Breaking through to the “life more abundantly”1 that Jesus came to bring us is not always presented on a silver platter. There are principalities to subdue and doors to open, bars to break and gates to shatter.

It is clear that some battles are just too big for us. This is one of them. Yet the Lord wants you by His side, on your knees as He releases His warriors for the fight.We also have a part in the warfare—through surrender. For sure, He requires a life that is fully submitted to Him for the battles ahead.

I believe that both the warfare and the breakthrough are our portion in 2018. How then do we fight and win? Stay tuned.

~ Ibrahim

  1. John 10:10
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TOO Many “Christmas-es”

Based on 33 years of living in Nairobi, I have come to associate Christmas with a deserted city — no traffic on the roads, no people in the shops, offices closed and staff not showing up to work. Things basically shut down. That goes on for one to two weeks.

This year we have already had two “Christmas-es”, and it is only October! But unfortunately, the reason is fear and insecurity instead of joy and celebration. READ: Elections.

The presidential results of the August polls were challenged in court and found to be errant. A landmark ruling, for sure. A re-run was scheduled for October 26. Several weeks prior to that second poll, the opposition candidate withdrew, saying basically that the upcoming process would be just as fraudulent as the first since nothing had changed in the electoral systems. Election day #2 came and went, with very low voter turnout as expected. Now, the powers that be are faced with the task of defending their unrealistic figures. The current President who is now also President-elect recognized in his acceptance speech that a court battle is still ahead. That process could take months!

Areas where DOVE has churches have been disproportionally affected by demonstrations, fires and police bullets (Kisumu, Kibera, Kawangware). The devastating part is that criminal gangs take advantage of the insecurity, and multiply it many times over. Several of our members have had to move out of their homes, and many have been under “house arrest” during these ordeals. At our service yesterday we heard disturbing reports of near-death experiences, but also of God’s protection and deliverance.

We are seeing that this is a battle at the gate: a spiritual battle for Africa at the eastern entry point. Yes, we are glad to be here for “such a time as this.” But please pray with us for calm, for justice and for God’s will to be done.

~ Diane

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