Tuesday, 31 March 2009


It takes wisdom to build a house,
and understanding to set it on a firm foundation;
It takes knowledge to furnish its rooms
with fine furniture and beautiful draperies.

In a few hours, we will step into the month of April, the first quarter of the year. I can still clearly remember the merging of 31 December 08 into 01 January 09.

I also remember putting together a detailed year plan during the first week of January. A plan that contained all my dreams, goals and aspirations; all lined up according to my understanding of God's will for me this year. I spent the first month, meditating, obtaining and putting together tools and processes that, I prayed would hopefully encourage me stick to this same plan.

And how have I done so for I can almost hear you ask?. Well, upon a close and painful review of my actual progress against my baseline plan, the answer is "not as bad as I initially feared"! Praise God!!. I recognise that putting together a plan at the beginning of the year, backed up with all sorts of visual and technology reminders - which I wrote about in AS YOU MEAN TO GO ALONG , has helped my progression immensely, compared to previous years.

I also recognise the importance of fellow dreamers and planners; who realise the ramifications of planning to progress the dreams God has deposited within us. They were there to encourage or clip me around the ear, along the way. They were and are my accountability buddies and bring to life the meaning of Proverbs 15:22 which reads "Where there is no counsel, purposes are frustrated, but with many counselors they are accomplished."

However, despite my progress, I still came up short. There were huge chunks of results missing, tasks left undone, or half-done. There were quite a few things I hoped to have accomplished by now, but for some reason or another (which most likely included, laziness, procrastination and not consulting the plan or utilizing all the tools I set up, and I expect, so much more), have not been able to do so.
At this point, is the year progressing according to plan for you, or is it free falling, as it did in previous years?

To make sure we are on the right course and pathway to finish this year well, it is prudent to carry out a REVIEW of the plans we are working with. This is to review: our starting point, progress, destination, resources, success and indeed failures, that we have encountered so far.

The dictionary defines a review as thus:
To look back upon; view retrospectively.
To write or give a critical report on (a new work or performance)
To look over, study, or examine again.

I believe that reviewing (physically and spiritually) our plans and pathway through this journey called life is an important aspect of keeping within God's will. The process should be a continuous one at certain points along our way.

A review will help us to:
  • Understand our plan is definitely in line with God's will for us
  • Understand if our initial plan was over-ambitious (un-achievable)
  • Find out what mistakes we have made so far
  • Re-asses ways and means to avoid these mistakes (and many more) going forward.
  • Further understand the resources and support we might require to help us achieve our goals and dreams
  • Seek God's wisdom to further understand our purpose this year.
  • Revise the plans to reflect all the lessons we have learnt so far, improve it with renewed wisdom and understanding from God, in readiness for absolute success, as we make our way through the year.

As we move into the first quarter of the year, I would like to encourage us all to review our journey so far. Is our life going according to plan or have we made a detour and gone along with the plans of "free falling" and "going with the flow" of life.

The benefits of a review are numerous. It provide insights such as:
  • Visualising how far forward God has brought us from the month of January. To the natural eye, it might seem we have not progressed much. However, when we take a closer look, we might realise that we have covered a bit more ground than initially thought.
  • How we are maturing, continuously in the spirit; how we are being reformed to be like master Jesus.
  • Having the opportunity to congratulate ourselves (we rarely do this, rather we beat ourselves up for not doing as much as we should have - pointing finger to self) on how much we have accomplished to date.
  • The opportunity to challenge ourselves, and make a decision to work harder, better and much smarter, all for God's glory.

Proverbs 24: 3-4 reads "3Through skillful and godly Wisdom is a house (a life, a home, a family) built, and by understanding it is established [on a sound and good foundation], 4And by knowledge shall its chambers [of every area] be filled with all precious and pleasant riches."

So, have you worked and walked in tune to the plan you mapped out at the beginning of the year, in line with God's will? If so, I commend you. Well done. I encourage you to kindly share any tips that might help others.

Have you, like me, found out that you have progressed, but still, way off the mark? I commend you and say well done also. However, a review will help bring to light, the reasons for coming short; what went wrong and where the loopholes and stumbling blocks are; and with God's help, through his wisdom, implement steps to re-aligning and re-implement an improved plan to move forward with.

And finally, have you walked in the opposite direction of your plan, of the dreams God has laid within your heart? If so, DO NOT DESPAIR. The very fact that you created a plan, at the onset, is something to encourage and commend yourself for. Take that same plan and see if it fits into God's plan for you this year. If it does, ask God to show you where and how to start following the plan and sticking to it.

If you however, find that the plan you have is not in line with God's will for you, again, ask Him to help you put one together. A plan that reflects his will for you, and ask him to give you the strength wisdom and focus to see it through. He is a faithful God and He is waiting and willing to help. He will not rebuke you for asking help as we are encouraged in James 1:5, which reads "If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking."

On that note, here is me wishing us all happy review sesssions (no matter how painful), continous progression throughout the year, in God's strength, wisdom, victory, grace and favour.

I encourage us all to keep doing that which God has set out for us to do this year, one step and day at a time; making Him famous along our way.

Much Love

Remi Banjo

***Pictures by photobucket***

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Lessons from Isaac

"He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and
he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap"

Ecclesiastes 11:4

Back in the day, a long time ago, there was a great famine in the land. During this time, there was severe lack of a lot of things, one of the main things being water and seed. At that time, the world’s reaction to the lack in the land was to leave their dwelling and move to Egypt for the famine was not severe in Egypt. People responded in the natural and with natural inclination to the problem which they were facing.

However, there was a certain man named Isaac. During this time, he went down from the land of the philistines, to an area called Gerar, which belonged to the kingdom of Abimelec. In Gerar also, the famine was great. Like everyone else, Isaac, thought about moving to Egypt, but
God intervened and told Isaac not to go, but to stay in the land of Gerar. Isaac obeyed and set himself and his family up in Gerar. Through God’s guidance he started a farm and in the very first season he reaped 100 fold harvests. Through the blessings of God, Isaac becomes very wealthy.

However, because of his wealth residents of Gerar, became jealous and wanted him out. Isaac had dug up wells to help maintain and grow his livestock and families, and because of their jealousy, they destroyed his wells. The repercussions of this will mean no water for Isaac's farm, and livestock.

Isaac shrugged this off and moved himself, family and livestock, a few miles closer to the valley of Gerar, but still in the land of Gerar. Here he started all over again and dug yet another well. As soon as he did this, the philistines came round and seized this also. I can only imagine they were hoping that this would provoke Isaac to finally move out of Gerar completely. But Isaac was not going anywhere.

In response to this attack, Isaac moved over a few more miles to the left, still in the land of Gerar and set up camp there, and guess what he did?! Yes you got it, he dug another well. However, this time, the philistines, did not bother him, they simply left him alone. I personally think they must have thought, "we don’t have the time or the manpower to keep chasing this man across the land of Gerar, closing up every single wells he will end digging up"!
After they left him alone God spoke to Isaac and reminded him of the promises and the blessings of the land, that he had given to him, and the descendants God had given his father Abraham.
Genesis 26 chapter starts as thus: "AND THERE WAS FAMINE IN THE LAND… "

Fast forward to today…. And I can start this economic chapter we are in as thus... "AND THERE IS RECESSION (FAMINE) in the land"...

Isaac did survived recession and he became very prosperous, through God’s intervention. As we are in the same economic situation Isaac found himself in, many years ago, we really must look into how he not only survived these hard times, but thrived tremendously in them.

Some things we must learn from Isaac:
  • We should not move in the direction of the world: we should not follow the world's doctrines and ways of living, or respond to the natural events we face with natural instincts. We should not be easily swayed or get caught up in the winds of the world as we are taught in Ecclesiastes 11:4
  • We should seek God’s plan for our lives, which is relevant to each generation: Isaac’s father went to Egypt and God blessed him there. However, God did not want Isaac to go to Egypt, the plan God had for blessing Isaac was completely different from that of his fathers’. When we seek God’s plan for our lives he will give us the wisdom to come up with solutions and the ability and resources to implement them, even in the middle of recessions. We are assured of this in Proverbs 18:12, which reads “I dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions”.

  • We must stay faithful to God’s commands: The Lord blessed and brought to pass his promises to Isaac because he was obedient. When we are obedient to God, we will eat the good of the land, as we are assured in Isaiah 1:19 which reads "If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land"

  • We must sow generously during the time of recession (famine): Isaac followed God’s instruction and he sowed his precious seed as we read in Genesis 26:12, which reads "12Then Isaac sowed seed in that land and received in the same year a hundred times as much as he had planted, and the Lord favored him with blessings" when we sow precious seeds according to God's instructions, we must be rest assured that we will reap the rewards.

  • He did something he, or no one had ever done before: He dug up a well. In those days, that was never heard of, for they had streams of water, which they used, but this became dry due to the famine. However God bestowed unto Isaac the wisdom to dig up a well; a whole new invention (like inventing a new form of technology in our day), a whole new way of providing water for sustenance. What has God shown you that is lacking in this season that you are in? What has he told you to do? To the world's eye does it seem foolish, or as a good friend will say, "illogically insane" ? Trust God, it might just be the perfect plan to get you and your family moving towards his promised increase.

  • Isaac overcame resistance to his progress: The philistines fought him for the wells he dug, but he never gave up. Isaac kept pressing forward, he was persistent in doing what God has asked him to do, where God asked him to do it. Is God telling you to do something and you are coming against tremendous resistance? Do you feel like throwing your hands up and giving in? Well don’t!! If God has given you a plan, be assured it will work; persevere, be diligent and persistent.

  • Isaac did not strife with those opposing him: Finally, this is one of the hardest lessons we must learn from Isaac, more so during this season we are in. (personally, I am going through a learning curve on this very point, and no, its not an easy task!) Isaac did not get into any argument or quarrels or debate with those that were opposing him, that were making his life difficult as he was trying to obey God's instructions. You see, as long as we are moving forward with God’s plan, we will come across opposition. The enemy will do his best to distract and discourage us by throwing all sorts of stumbling blocks in our way. He will use people or situations. Why? This is because it is easier for him to attack a seed than a bountiful harvest! How we choose to respond to this opposition, will tell whether we keep walking and moving towards God's plan and indeed victory, or loose focus by being distracted.

So, I encourage us all today, whatever we do this season, we should remember not to get caught up in the spirit of panic to the news of recession the media is presenting to us, from all angles. We must not get swayed into 'trying out' all the ways the world's economy prescribing to overcome the recession of of the land.
We must remember that: God's way is the only assured way to rise and not just survive but thrive during times of recession.
Nothing is luck with God, its all about walking in obedience to his instructions. When we walk closely with God, he will tell us what actions to take; for example where to sow our precious seeds (remember we must sow on fertile ground Mark 4:8), where to reside and much more. And when he speaks, we must obey (remember, delayed obedience is still disobedience) . We must do what he tells us to do, no matter, how insane it might sound or seem in the natural, obey him we must do, all the same.

When we measure out our best to God, he will measure out his best to us, making us prosperous, even the middle of recession, showing the world that his ways are pure and sure. We in turn will use the blessing he bestows upon us to be a blessing to others, making him famous along our way.

***Pictures by photobucket***

Monday, 2 March 2009

Continous Praise...

“I WILL bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.”

Psalm 31:1

If most of us were asked the question such as “do you give praise to God ?” Our answer most definitely will be “yes, of course I do”.
If they asked us further, "did you remember to praise God the last time you went through that fire, that wilderness, lost your job, your home, your wallet, or when the car broke down, or when you lost that contract, and so on? Our answer might just be... "oops... eerm, I’m not entirely sure, I did pause for minute, too consumed starring at the problem at hand to give praise all the time, but I eventually got back on the praise train"

I guess we have all been there (pointing finger to self), where at some point in time or the other, we have been too overwhelmed with what we were going through, that we forget to praise God, continuously. In the verse above, the Psalmist David declares that "His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” This teaches us that PRAISE, is and should remain a constant and continuous thing that we do.

The most important key that opens new doors,
closes old ones and advances us in our
walk with God is Praise.

I read a book the other week, and it taught and re-affirmed to me that praise indeed, is the lost key to victory. It is the most important key that can bring us out of any trials and tribulations.

Yes, there are times when we don’t even feel like praising God, and all we want to do is hang our heads down and cry. However, we must learn from the man who went through disasters most of us would not even wish on our worst enemy, disasters that we only experience from a very far distance. I am talking about Job.

In one single day, Job lost all his material possessions through unthinkable calamities. Yet he did not give up on praising God. Praise was still coming forth from his heart, and falling off his lips.
Let’s take a closer look at the great man, Job and his devotion to praising God, regardless his immediate reality. In one day...
  • He lost all his oxen, sheep, servants, carmels and all life stock as we read in Job 1: 13 – 17.

  • The same day, he lost his sons and daughters as they were eating and drinking in their eldest brother’s house. Job 1:18

  • and in the process of them getting killed, he lost his house as well, for a great wind came from the wilderness and knocked that over killing his sons and daughters.

That entire calamity happened to Job in ONE DAY. In fact, bad news was queuing up at his very front door, each to deliver their message of doom. Yet, though deeply grieved, (which he displayed by shaving his head) he still found the strength from within, to praise, worship and bless God!!!

Job 1:20 - 21 reads: Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, Job 1:21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. Please read the whole of Job chapter 1 for completeness.

At this point, I must ask, how many of us will stare adversity right up in the face - eye ball to eyeball and keep confessing the goodness of God? Selah...

What did we loose that has suddenly stopped or kept us from praising God and giving him all the glory? Did we loose our jobs, houses, car broke down, even loosing a loved one? Whatever it is, no matter how difficult or heart wrenching or unfair the situation might be, I encourage us all NOT to give up praising God. It is that praise that is the key to the victory that we seek.

A few more reasons why we must praise are:

  • Praise turns our focus to God: When we don’t feel like praising, that is the exact time to jump up and praise, for it turns our focus away from our circumstance, situations and problems and turns them towards God. When we focus on our problems, we focus on ourselves and get stuck at that junction. When we focus on God, being the good God he is, he elevates us from whatever we are going through.

  • Praise helps to keep us to be humble: When we praise we humble ourselves to seek refuge at God’s feet. When we praise, with reckless abandon, we don’t care how we look to others or how they perceive us. We are humble enough to know that God is bigger than any of our problems.

  • God inhabits our praises: The dictionary defines inhabit as thus: to live or reside in or to dwell in, or to exist or to be situated within. From that definition it is not surprising the devil will want to keep us busy with many distractions. He wants to keep us from giving God praise. When we praise, God resides within our praises, and in his presence, there is no sorrow, heartache or problems.

God wants us to turn our hearts, minds and souls towards him, regardless of our situation or reality. When we focus our eyes (physical and spiritual) on God, and not on our problems or on our blessings (being obsessed by them), we will see all the glorious and wonderful things God is has already done for us, is currently doing and that which he has in store to do.

We will see with our own eyes the victory we already have in Christ Jesus, which means... that problem or situation is a whole bunch of nothing, after all.

So, today, I encourage us all as we start the week and indeed every single day, to put on our garment of praise. Let us praise and Dance like the psalmist David, declaring that "We WILL bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in OUR mouths.”

"Let everything that has breath praise the LORD"

Psalm 150:6

Have an awesome time, loosing yourself with reckless abandon, in praise and worship to God, the king of glory, from first the mornings light and indeed, throughout your day, making him famous along the way.

Pssst... Thanks Believer for the inspiration to conjure up this post...

Much Love


***Pictures by photobucket***