Friday, 13 July 2018

Knit a Hat initiative



As a child I grew up with my aunt (mum’s sister) and her family and since I was 8 when I lost my parents she was mom and always will be. Mum used to have a knitting machine; I remember quite vividly that she made lots of income through knitting. During her knitting days, she taught me and my other two sisters how to knit using the knitting machine and later on we used to help her and the business grew quite well. Although she was the knitter, trust me she made us knit our own jerseys from primary all the way to high school. Thus knitting has always been a part of me growing up and I really enjoyed learning new patterns, and seeing a product coming together knowing I did my part to help. Later on mum left the knitting business and, I was off to college, but my knitting passion didn’t die though I just didn’t knit as often.



I then started a knitting initiative two years ago which I named ‘Knit a Hat’. With this, my goal was to knit hats for the less privileged for winter but this time using my hands, no machine. One would ask me, why not get donations and just buy the hats and my answer to that would always be, ‘God gave me the gift and placed that beautiful idea in my spirit and since the first time I knitted , I never stopped. It is an amazing feeling to do something from the bottom of your heart, using the gifts that God gave you to help others.



 The first year I started knitting that was 2016; I managed to knit the hats alone and gave them away to a charity organization named Called for a Purpose.  Winter of 2017, I approached a very good friend of mine Lisa, very passionate about knitting as well and she has been helping me for the past two winters. In 2017, we had an amazing group of ladies we put together and we knitted thrice the hats I had knitted in the first year and these were donated to an orphanage with disabled children called Kudakwashe.
For this year’s winter, we started knitting last year in December and chose to donate to Harare Children’s Hospital. We designed our donation flier and posted it on social media networks and the cash donations to buy the wool came from countless people around our social groups and they supported us for the months we were knitting.



 We managed to give away about 35 hats to the children at the Hospital and it was a very overwhelming experience getting to distribute  and getting to know some of them. Giving should not be about expecting something in return but it should be about the love we have for the people of God who need our help.

Deuteronomy 15:11 (NIV), ‘There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be open-handed toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.’



On behalf of Knit a Hat, I would like to thank all those who supported us in this year’s initiative; it might have been through donations, prayer or even knitting. May God bless you all and may the work of your hands be blessed. We don't stop now but continue knitting for next winter.

For more details about the Knit a Hat initiative please email us on alicenyampinga@gmail.com


Thursday, 14 June 2018

Hope and Faith




According to the Oxford dictionary, Hope is the feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen. It is an optimistic attitude of mind based on an expectation. Faith is complete trust or confidence in someone or something and it’s not based on proof.

The bible states in:
Hebrews 11:1 King James Version (KJV), Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Therefore it means that faith is the substance of hope and hope awakens faith. So much has been said about faith and hope. But what is hope and faith? What do we understand when it comes to hope and faith? Do we have hope and faith? How do I keep my faith strong?  I was reading on various articles on faith and hope and I came across one written by Greg Simons entitled *“How faith and hope work together to give you confidence in God* .” What caught my attention was the part he explained that, ‘When we understand God rightly then we can confidently say, “all things are possible with God.” When we rightly understand who God is and continue to grow in this understanding then our faith increases. On the other hand, when we misunderstand who God is, faith wanes and hope is not even in view.’ I also got to understand that one has to know who they are in Christ, to understand who God is and have confidence in His promises. Faith also grows through the revelation of God through the Holy Spirit, coming into agreement with what God is saying and hope then anticipates it into reality. Faith grows out of the word of God: Romans 10:17 King James Version (KJV), ‘So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.’ As Christians then we should read and meditate on the word of God day and night so as to grow our faith.

 Faith says it is so now and hope says in the future it could happen. So when we talk about faith we talk about now, the present and hope is the future. When you are sick, surely you wouldn’t want healing to come in the future but now, hence with faith one prays, ‘I am healed.’ And when it comes to hope one would say, “I believe I am going to own that Range Rover.” An interesting example of faith in action is that of George Mueller who lived from 1805 - 1898, was running an orphanage and would feed the children at times by faith. The story goes like this:

‘ _The children are dressed and ready for school but there is no food for them to eat, ‘the housemother of the orphanage informed George Mueller. George asked her to take the 300 children into the dining room and have them sit at the tables. He thanked God for the food and waited. George knew God would provide food for the children as He always did. Within minutes, a baker knocked on the door. ‘Mr Mueller, ‘he said, ’last night I could not sleep. Somehow I knew that you would need bread this morning. I got up and baked three batches for you. I will bring it in.’ Soon there was another knock at the door. It was the milkman. His cart had broken down in front of the orphanage. The milk would spoil by the time the wheel was fixed. He asked George if he could use some free milk. George smiled as the milkman brought in ten large cans of milk. It was just enough for the 300 children._


This is what faith is, believing without a single doubt in the power and greatness of God. I was moved by this story myself and started reflecting on those times I will be like yes, I believe God for something in my life right now, then moments later I here I am doubting  if I am going to go through the situation. I mean, so many of us go through those moments and most we get discouraged along the way if it somethings don't come to pass. The level of faith displayed by George Mueller that day is something I would say Lord, I want to reach that. Faith does not produce results if there is any seed of doubt no matter how small. James 1:6 says, ‘But when you pray, you must believe and not doubt at all. Whoever doubts is like a wave in the sea that is driven and blown about by the wind.’  As long as you know that the God we serve is almighty and powerful, there is every reason to have confidence in Him and believing everything we ask for with faith is already granted unto us.

One of my favourite books is the 4th Dimension by Dr David Yonggi Cho and he deeply explains how to activate faith in one’s life and I decided to share part of his teaching that helped me understand faith. It helped me understand what people meant when they said to me have faith. Dr Cho noted that there are several steps to make faith usable and experience great results in your life. The first thing is to envision a clear-cut faith goal and it should not be vague. This means that when you ask for something from God, be specific thus he gave an example of a time He prayed to God that he wanted a desk, chair and bicycle. Time passed but didn’t receive any of those things he asked until he had a conversation with God and he was told that he wasn’t specific. So he had to state what kind of desk, chair or bicycle. Same applies in our lives; don’t just ask for a car state the exact model and colour, you want a stand clarify where you want it. Thus he concluded that faith is the substance of clear cut things hoped for, powerful!


For faith to be usable one has to have the burning desire for a goal. That clear cut vivid picture of what you want plus burning desire to have it grows your faith for you to keep on seeing that goal already accomplished. On top of that we need to pray for assurance, clear cut goal—burning desire in your heart—kneel down and pray till you receive assurance. Lastly, we should show evidence of our faith, claim and speak the word of assurance for our word goes out and creates. Thus there is power in the words that come out of our mouths and at all times we should be aware of our thoughts and spoken words. There is power in the tongue, God spoke and the world came into being.

There is a lot to talk about faith and hope, I just touched briefly on it as I wanted to remind and encourage someone out there that faith is the currency to whatever we desire in our hearts and as long as we ask without a doubt all things will be given unto us according to the will of God and our belief in his power, word and greatness. We should not spend our lives wishing if we had this and that, or wishing if we were something we not now. Wishing is like hope without God and with no faith, hope is only a wish. We should have faith that cannot be shaken and our faith will be our currency to all things we hope for in our future. Hope this helped and encouraged someone out there.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

The Beauty of Perseverance



Perseverance is a major basic principle of life which in my opinion is one of the keys to success. I mean think about it, if you start a project and stumble into a few glitches, then you throw in the towel, at the end of the day what will you achieve? Success comes after a whole lot of commitment, determination, patience, endurance and dedication. What is perseverance? In simple words it just means keep on keeping on.

 Perseverance is the persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving it.  We all have big dreams of what we want to achieve in life, we even set goals that entail what, when we want to obtain results and how to go about it. However, I believe that in every plan one has to execute, God should be the centre of it all. Yes, during the process we might stumble and fall but that does not mean God is not in it, if we had put Him in it, in the first place. They are all lessons God teaches us in life in preparation of what is to come, in preparation of how to handle the success.

 James 1:12 (NIV): Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.







When I say, the beauty of perseverance, I mean what comes after the endurance and commitment. Of course the road wouldn’t be easy, even most of the richest people in this world didn’t have it easy. They had to constantly remind themselves that quitting is not an option, if there are delays then work harder. When you stay steadfast to your dream and goals, that’s when you will reap the benefits and enjoy the beauty of perseverance.   I like how perseverance is described on a premature baby, born before its time, put in an incubator, fed through tubes but fights for survival despite all of that. We all need that determination in our own lives. Situations such as relationships, education, serving in a ministry department, business teaches us a thing or two on perseverance or patience. Let’s take a look at a business, starting one is not easy and striking those major deals but does not mean it is impossible. Another person might be after the same contract you want as well, but hard work and determination topped with prayer will separate your proposal from the rest. Quitting is not an option because someone has an eye on what you want, but rather you show up and you show them. Success is a must.

Hebrews 10:36 (NIV): You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.


Optimism is a characteristic of perseverance in my opinion. Things may go south, but staying optimistic helps one to persevere and keep the eye on the price, knowing good things are yet to come. I also feel like perseverance involves faith as well. Faith that what I have started, I am going to finish victorious no matter the challenges faced along the journey. To keep our hopes and aspirations afloat, we need to be persevering and steadfast so as to reach our maximum potential and success.

Friday, 6 April 2018

Acceptance


What is acceptance? What does it entail? In human psychology it means a person’s assent to the reality of a situation. Recognising a process or situation without attempting to change it or protest it, thus it causes less suffering than struggling vainly against it. Another angle to look at acceptance involves the word ‘ask.’ When we ask, we expect some kind of acceptance for example: asking  for forgiveness , we expect to be forgiven thus accepted in one’s life despite of past events. Asking to join an  organisation or institution, we wait for  acceptance. So acceptance also revolves around finding recognition whether in a family or community. At times people want to be accepted thus   changing who they are in order to show a certain type of person they think is rightfully accepted in their community. However, I am saying why changing who you are so you can be accepted. Rather accept who you are and society will just have to accept you like that.  I mean its really sad how young people tend to pretend to be what they are not so as  to gain acceptance and recognition especially at college, high school even amongst a group of friends. Why would you want to put yourself through so much just to be recognised. We subconsciously ask to be accepted in life through success, marriage, nice houses etc. There is a sublimation drive from society which is the bottom line of most people’s actions towards being accepted in any way possible.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. ‘



Acceptance is the opposite of rejection. In my last blog, I tackled on the issue of rejection and I realised not so many people would want to be at the opposite side of the good things. Because some do not handle rejection well, they spend their  entire lives trying to prove a point that you rejected me once but you shall eventually accept me type of thing. In the end we compromise our standards and principals in the name of acceptance. I have heard of girls or even guys going to lengths just to be accepted by the other, why not stop think a little and say ‘If this is who I am, what I have, what I have done, there are people out there who will accept me as I am. ‘



The first incidence in the bible that shows the issue of acceptance is in Genesis 4 v 7- 8 
"If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him." Can you see what the desire for acceptance led to, the first murder case in the bible. Cain was not satisfied with what he had to present before God, and he became jealous of his brother Abel and slew him. 
Now ask yourself why do you want so much to be accepted? Is it because you are not satisfied with your looks? Are not satisfied with the what you currently posses in terms of wealth and property? Are you trying so hard to acquire all these things that it leads you to sin? It is not wrong to desire to look good or have wealth nor it is not wrong, but do not let it posses you so much until it leads you to sin all just to be accepted by society. 

 Another important thing with acceptance is the ability to take in and accept the things you cannot change. I’m not saying one should get over something but rather strive to minimise the significance of past events or what happened and how you are feeling about it. We can’t change death for instance, its something we have to accept that someone beloved to us is gone forever. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying we shouldn’t grieve, we should and then allow ourselves to accept that we can’t change death. Acceptance will bring healing and less suffering.

After all this has been said, it is a blessing to know that we are all accepted by God no matter how we look, what we have done through His mercy, grace and great love. 
Romans 14 v 18, “For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men."
He forever accepts as long as we come to Him with our own free will.

Friday, 23 March 2018

REJECTION





When the word rejection comes to mind all I think of is NO, I mean it is a no after all. The dictionary definition of rejection is the dismissal or refusal of proposals, ideas, applications etc. In all fairness, I mean who in their right mind would want to be rejected in any way, Nobody! But the hard truth is rejection is real and we can’t run away from it but best learn to process it. So I was thinking and kind of realised that if the size of our immediate social circle was small rejection would be limited right? Because I feel like nowadays due to the media, internet one is connected to a whole bunch of people thus risk of rejection is plenty plus. Though at the same time, isn’t rejection good to some extent?

To be honest, rejection is painful. It hurts so bad sometimes for some people continuous rejection results in depression and a whole lot of emotional stresses. According to Guy Winch, psychologists stated that, ‘The greatest damage rejection causes is usually self -inflicted. Just when one’s self-esteem is hurting, they go and damage it even further.’ Just giving an example most would relate to: you know very well that you asked this certain girl out on a date not once but maybe thrice and she said no, but you keep going back, that’s clearly self-inflicted hurt. Funny thing one continues trying their luck. We experience this because human brains are wired to respond that way. Apparently the pain felt when rejected is the same as physical pain and that is why even the slightest rejection still hurts more than expected since it elicits literal pain.



I have realised there are different ways of rejection; I mean I didn’t know myself. So for starters, there is unspoken rejection and this is just being ignored. I mean one would pour their heart in their personal life or professional life but nothing. No response whatsoever thus you wonder isn’t being told no or you not qualified even better than being ignored. I mean a flat no is still rejection, though better than being ignored but still stings. In most cases, people with low self-esteem suffer rejection deeply and take longer to get over it. Therefore, it is important to build one’s confidence and self-esteem. When you get a no, it’s not the end of the world, rather step back assess, see where you went wrong, identify your weaknesses and attempt again. One cannot know they are pushing their limits if not rejected once in a while. It means you are getting yourself out there, trying and not being too comfortable where you are originally, eventually you will be accepted.

Then there is that rejection that comes with suggestions for improvement. It’s more or less like polite rejection. Let’s say you applied for a certain position at a company, and in their response they note why you didn’t make it, further explain how you can improve for better chances in the future. I mean, let’s be honest, it still stings that you didn’t get the position then but looking at it, in another angle you got to know where and what your weaknesses are.

Basically I am saying, rejection is either good or bad depending on how you decide to look at it. If you let it define you and wallow in it, you will definitely drown.  Acknowledge the emotions rather than convincing yourself that it is no big deal and most importantly one shouldn’t let other people’s opinions define them, after all you are you and your life is yours not someone else’s. If you take rejection in some instances as a positive, it will assist you fix your negatives.

Friday, 9 March 2018

BAGGAGE



What is baggage? In other terms it means bags with your stuff you carry when travelling. But, what if that luggage you carry in your bags is that emotional stress, hate, anger and resentment you live with every day of your life. Won’t it be heavy to keep carrying around!? Won’t the weight be draining and stressful to be weighing down your shoulders?

 Think about it, I mean everybody has baggage from their past life myself included. It might be failed relationships, failed marriages, broken homes just to mention a few. It differs from one person to the next what they carry around deep down in their hearts or what they have experienced that triggers emotional issues.

Baggage is defined as unresolved issues of an emotional nature and as time goes on the emotions become detrimental to one’s life. So, where does this baggage come from? Personally, I have realised that most people tend to carry the negatives drawn from past experiences into future experiences, not only romantic but all kinds of relationship experiences even friendships and family. In doing so, we do not realise that we have already drawn a line of failure for future relationships and what chances of survival do they have, ZERO! After relationships fail, comes low self-esteem and self-blame that my relationships are failing because of who I am or what happened to me before.
One begins to self- question themselves, ‘Is something wrong with me?’ Do I deserve this?’ That inner thinking has to stop. I believe the issue is not the baggage but how it is handled. What am I trying to say? For example from my own personal experiences, I found a genuinely, loving and caring man in my life and just because the last one hurt me, I couldn’t shake the feeling that this one would do the same. It really created a lot of tension and uncertainties and unnecessary fights. But one day, it hit me hard and realised I was only pulling myself backwards and killing whatever good thing coming my way because of letting this ‘baggage’ control my emotions. I made a conscious decision that, I wasn’t going to let this baggage define me or affect my choices and decisions and trust me right now, I am the happiest girl in the world.

“Sometimes the past should be abandoned yes. 
Life is a journey and you can’t carry everything with you. Only the usable baggage”- Ita Jin

The most important question then would be how I dealt with this baggage of hurt and insecurities. First of all, it wasn’t easy, I mean I didn’t wake up cured but took it one day at a time. The important thing is I was aware of it; I owned it and handled it. Communication is the key and from what I have realised and gone through it really worked out for my life. It takes honesty to share deeply what’s going on. I came across a piece that mentioned that, most believe the “baggage” thinking breaks relationships but in some cases it actually is the lasting force that holds the relationship together. This is through communicating honestly. The intimate sharing of past events from the heart, and the decision to let the past stay in the past and knowing it ended for a reason and of course to achieve the ultimate goal of moving forward. Basically what I am trying to say is, baggage can either break you or make you. If you let it control your life, it will for sure and you won’t even know where the brakes are. But on the other hand something positive can come out of the realisation of your baggage and taking steps to handle it.



According to an author by the name Lila Warnoke there are ways she came up with to deal with baggage and hope they may be useful to someone who is struggling to let go.
1. Write down an honest list of thoughts, beliefs and behaviours that weigh you down
2. Reflect on each item and identify the source of thought or belief e.g. fear of relationships because an ex- partner cheated and hurt you. Acknowledge the painful memories and don’t wallow in them
3. Find at least one positive in each hurtful experience, I mean yes you might have been hurt but it doesn’t mean you have nada happy memories. Decide what you take from those positive experiences
4. Create affirmations to foster change and counteract negative thoughts e.g. I will speak with love, I choose happiness, I chose my future etc.
5. Practice patience and mindfulness because deep rooted habits take time to be changed and you find your identity in places you been hurt or in your scars and wounds.
I Hope this article will speak to someone and help them let go of the past experiences that are haunting their future. Let the past stay in the past and let the future flourish
#Baggageinthetrashbin
#Flourishingfuture

Friday, 9 February 2018

Sex, Drugs and Alcohol



Lets start today's article with the order in title, lets talk about sex first. Sex is one of the most controversial topics in the world. It's a shame to be associated with, people are shy to talk about it in public, however "enjoyed" in secrecy. How contradictory it is? Why is it loved, but yet a shame, disgrace but still enjoyed?

One of the worst sins in the bible is sexual sin, 1 Corinthians 6 v 18 reads "Shun immorality and all sexual looseness [flee from impurity in thought, word, or deed]. Any other sin which a man commits is one outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body." This is considered a bad sin because it affects the body which God lives in.

Well here God is not saying a married man and married woman in the boundary of marriage can not have sex. Yes! they can, it was created for them to enjoy and reproduce. But the sin part enters when sex is abused outside marriage, like adultery, having an affair or unmarrieds indulging in sex. That is what God labels as sin.


Now how can we help the ones caught up in this sin? Can condemnation or finger pointing save them, as we daily remind them of their sin, or actually come to a point where we relate with them, and get to find out what leads them to do that.
 Some people fall into this sin because of peer pressure, they are pressured in a relationship to show their commitment through that act until they actually become addicts and they need strong guidance from someone elderly who might have been through the same challenge, to bring them back.

Some fall into the sex sin because no one has ever told them it is wrong. Their belief of love is sex, so it's hard for them to show their love without any sexual activity involved.

Love is sex to many and when they talk about dating, if no sex is involved it is  simple friendship. It's a mentality that has corrupted our generation, and even young people still in school engage into sex because they associate it with love.

But that is not true, real loves comes from the heart and does not need to be demonstrated through sex. That kind of love is lust disguised as love and it does not last long. We need the church and elders to teach the young generation what real love is and also to teach us that marriage does not constitute of sex alone. Is that the reason to get married?

What is real love and how can one experience it without lusting.


Lack of knowledge and proper guidance leads to people indulging in sexual sin.



Same applies with drugs and alcohol abuse. I will treat them as one for the purpose of this article. To some it starts off as simple fun simply to have an experience, but then it later turns to becoming a monster which appears to be friendly until it eventually destroys them. Drug and substance abuse is common everywhere and  even in the church. Some people want a relationship with God for protection at the same time they want to enjoy that weird experience they get from drugs and alcohol. They do this until they are trapped forever and eventually drop all morals.

For one to overcome sexual sin, drugs and alcohol abuse, the first stage is to change your influences. These are friends, places you hang out or go to that encourage this immoral behavior. Also change what you listen to. It is not an easy decision but start from there by moving away from certain daily influences. You also need a renewal of the mind to understand the real source of happiness Romans 12 vs 2 reads "Don’t be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you can figure out what God’s will is—what is good and pleasing and mature.".


One needs to renew their mind from thinking happiness comes from sex, drug and substance abuse. Happiness comes from God and when you get to know Him and understand His ways, you will discover real happiness that cannot be replaced by sex, drugs and alcohol. They just bring a temporary feeling that lasts when intoxicated, after that one goes back to life's reality and depression kicks in, but God can take away that depression and give you peace Philippians 4 vs 7.

Lets us surrender totally to God, and
Jude 24 reads "To the one who is able to protect you from falling,
        and to present you blameless and rejoicing before his glorious presence,". Amen! Cry out to Him using this verse and He will keep you from falling, even if you stumble keep crying out He will pick you up.