Let your reasons sustain you

Questioning moments

Sometimes in life you have moments where you question yourself, question why you do what you do. You know, those moments when it seems like none of your plans are working out, and you tempted to think – maybe this was not for me, maybe I am not cut out for this?

It is in such moments that you need to have good reasons for doing what you do, for pursuing what you seek. That is the kind of person I am, I always need a north star to guide me forward, to a certain extent I am hopeless without it. Case in point – when I when to UCT to study Astrophysics, grinding those books, or being ground by them, it made one tired, and kind of drained the enthusiasm of studying it. So what I would do now and then is to remind myself about why I was putting up with that, so I go to the library, read Scientific American or Discover, pull up some biographies about famous scientists, etc…

Doing that would revive my motivation. In as much as I love science, I think it was my goal of being an Astrophysicist that made me enjoy Math and Physics as much as I did, ever since high school when I found out that was the prerequisite. So when I stopped pursuing Astrophysics (a story for another day), my marks didn’t do so well.

The Goal

This – being sustained by my reasons came to mind as I was preparing images for my social posts for my company this week, I bumped across the following image that reminded me of one of the reasons I am doing what I am doing – building a software company, continually improving myself to offer the best service I can and so forth.

What’s the reason I remembered? Well personally I want to build a school, particularly for disadvantaged children, there is such neglect of young ones in our academic programs that I personally want to make any difference that I can. But yeah, that requires money, a lot of it, added to that is that this is only one of many things I hope to accomplish. Though beginning this year I plan to start smaller initiatives.

I haven’t coded much this weekend, but I do feel tired, but this photo has given me the spark I will need for the coming week. I feel good about this year, but I know a lot of work still lies ahead, so such moments that remind me about why I am doing what I’m doing are really welcome.

2017 Goals

New Year’s Resolution

I’m not really a new year’s resolution type of a guy, but I must say that this year I have a few things that I would like to accomplish; some on the software side others in different fields.

I am one person that pushes hard when it comes to the work that I do, but I have seen how I tend to overdo that. One Instagram post I read hit the nail on the head.

Let's talk about health in engineering. It took me 5 days of rest to realize how much I messed myself up these last few months, no sleep, eating when I remembered to between 10 hour coding sessions, liters of coffee, only getting my ass up off the chair to do said eating activity. It's so easy to glamorize working your ass off on social media. You always DM me saying you admire my work ethic. You should work your ass off, you should make sacrifices, but working yourself to death will not yield better results because you'll have no body left to WIN with in a few years. Until we can transplant our brains into machines (can't wait) we HAVE to take care of the only body we have. I'd hate to think I'm encouraging people to go on 3-day working benders. It's taken me 5 days of intermittent sleeping and eating (that why I haven't been posting) to recover and this is the result. Programming culture portrays us as shaky coffee addicts who haven't showered for days, let's not do that guys, take some time for yourselves, breathe, sleep and eat good food, YOUR CODE WILL THANK YOU, 221216.

A photo posted by thecodeness (@thecodeness) on

I could not have said it better. That is what I have come to realize, incessant working is not a smart way of working, the level of inefficiency that exists when one hardly gets good R&R is staggering – personal experience. The mind, like the body, does need rest to be able to work at its best efficiency.

Working smart

With that being said, I plan to be less consumed with coding this year, because it really is not a good habit. The thing with me is, beside trying to push my freelance endeavors, I just like to constantly learn, whether it be a new technology or a new way of doing something, I must always learn.

I still plan to do that – learning that is, but less hectically this time round, but more efficiently. Here is the interesting thing – how efficiently one gets to learn something compared to the effort they put in is kind of like a bell curve, up to a certain point, more effort equals more learning, after which it starts to go down. That is the balance I want to find this year, to find the optimal level of working to learn, but not fry my nerves. With that I believe I will be able to learn even more than last year, while spending less time coding and importantly – enjoying life as I should.

I Know Who You Are

Oh man, this song captures my thoughts. I have had such thoughts about God, where things seems to dark, that one wonders why God allows the dark to persist, and you feel like “Lord I don’t understand You.”

I have found that the funny thing is that, things ought to be like that. Were we able to fully comprehend God, He would cease to be God. We must just humbly realize and admit that there are depths to God’s dealings we can’t fully appreciate, though we may say – “I don’t know what you doing” we can say – “I know who You are”.

He is a God of love, a God of mercy, a God who ever has our interests at heart; because of that, we can rest our trust in Him, even through the valley of the shadow of death.

When deep speaks to deep

light-house

Wells of Experience

I think I have at times stated that poetry is one of the ways God speaks to me, and its not just in the moment of writing, but even years later. Just read a poem I wrote some time back entitled Be still and know; I must say it was one that spoke to me this evening.

A reason why I am still touched by poems I wrote long back is because the feelings therein expressed are such that I still face later on in life. I guess that is how things are in general, it is hard to seek to bring comfort to a family that has lost their loved one, when you don’t know what such an experience is like. Yes one may sympathize, but sometimes only one that has walked the mile of the struggle can truly empathize and find the best words to bring comfort.

The deep feelings of past trials can understand the deep feelings ones experience in that moment. I remember a sister once remarking how cold sometimes brethren seem to be in speaking or dealing with, what are the weaknesses of others. Sometimes it truly is a matter of experience, when you know what it is like to be down and out, and seeking for mercy, you will later or at least should be, more open to exercising mercy toward others.

Mercy not Judgment

On the issue of sin. Does that mean to play down the sinfulness of sin? No, but the story of the woman caught in adultery is illustrative. Two parties are about the woman, both believe adultery is sin, and should not be practiced, both admit to the woman’s guilt, but both don’t act alike to the situation. One group is ready to condemn and dismiss her as a lost cause, the other looks with mercy and hope upon the woman, knowing the deep underlying reasons to her conduct, and knowing that truly there is in the heart a desire for something more, something more than the life circumstance may have led her to.

We know the conclusion, not merely “neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more” – but the powerful woman of God that she became, “Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.”

Another example I think of is John Mark, a young man passionate for the work of God, but when he met trials and terrors in the way he turned back. Later when he desired again to join Barnabas and Paul, Paul sternly refused – being unforgiving of the young man’s prior mistake, but Barnabas took him under his wings, and what was the result of that? Well the young man grew to be a true asset in the work of God, that Paul himself even said “11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.” 2Timothy 4:11

Both these cases show the potential that lies within people, question is who is willing to see the diamond in the rough? Not an easy thing, but were we to learn seek to look deeper, we might realize that the sins of others should not call forth our strong rebukes, but mercy and love. As children sometimes do bad things just to get their parents attention, sometimes one whom we may think to be a rebel is really a soul crying “can anybody hear me”.

My Soul’s Anthem

On another note. I came across a truly beautiful song today, it truly echoes the desire of my heart, such that I refer to it as the anthem of my soul, have never really referred to a song that way, but this truly expressing what I long for.

Reliance on self

A Journey of Discovery

In recent days and weeks I have been very distressed as I think of missionary work and challenge that it has been to solidify my plans for what I want to do. There is so much to do, that I think I sometimes probably push myself more than is good, trying to advance forward; so realized I need to take a break and reevaluate the whole situation.

So I am kind of on a journey of discovery, seeking to understand myself more and my calling more in God, I know my calling, but as to how God truly wants me to fulfill it, is something realize I need to personally reflect on more. I have really neglected my personal devotion with God thinking I know what to do, that I do not give enough time to simply sit at His feet and learn of Him, I have been a Martha, caring for many things, but not that which is most essential – communion with God.

Control Over Emotions

As I began this journey, one thing that I wanted was to learn to handle my emotions better; when ever I think about mission work and what needs to be done, and how little attention seems to be paid to this issue I find that to be very frustrating. Also I often try to put the need into perspective by thinking of the eternal consequences that are at stake, and when I think of the many souls that will be lost, its something that truly breaks my heart, yet – oh how the church seems to neglect this work.

Yes of course there those that are labouring, but even them I sometimes feel as though they aiming too low for the potential that they have. My personal view is that growth and expansion are necessary in the work of God, we cannot, we should not be satisfied with small incremental change, to truly make an impact that will hasten the coming of the Lord there needs to be a much broader view, and larger plans, yea I would say audacious plans laid. Is success a guaranteed? No, but one thing I have picked up from my profession is that it is good to fail and fail fast. In so doing you learn much quicker as to what works and does not work.

On my emotions, one thing I learnt quickly is that it is not bad to feel very intensely about soul saving, there is no such thing as too much zeal when it comes to such a work, there only thing is to have that zeal well directed. Don’t fully know how that shall be done but one thing is certain, one needs God at every step.

Independence

That is the other thing I am addressing, the independent spirit I have, sometimes too independent, that I don’t depend on God as I should. In mediating on the word this night it hit me that one of the errors of the angels that fell was to think that they can be holy without God, well that didn’t go down well. A error I have at times made, and I think others have to, is to think that one can carry on missionary work without complete dependence on God, as though our efforts can truly convert souls.

Oh what a fallacy, but yeah I am learning, changing some things, of which I pray will lead one to greater efficiency in the work of God and help me to do more.

Why is religion hated to much?

REPOST FROM ANOTHER BLOG. I still wonder why it seems “religion” has become the poster child of all that bad in spiritual matters.

The first poem that I shared here is in the form of a question – A Christian or not?. That question is one that has kind of been on mind recently, as I have observed different people that profess to be Christians, in different circumstances; I sometimes am left wondering – what does it mean to be a Christian?

To be a Christian, as I understand it, means – to be a follower of Christ, yet sometimes how far from that as people we seem to be. Christianity for some people is almost like a badge of identity, instead of a way of life; what do I mean by that? Growing up, if you asked me – “are you a Christian?” – I would have without hesitation said “yes”, but if you asked me – are you a follower of Christ? Well, in that case, I would have been more reticent to give an affirmative answer.

Did I read my Bible? Hardly, did I attend church? Seldom, Did I pray? Maybe when I said grace. So now, looking back I can’t say that I was a Christian, one that desired to be, sure, but not a Christian; it was an identity, not a part of me.

Now the question than is – did my non-conformity to Christianity, make Christianity not worthwhile? Or something to be looked down upon? No! Of course not – what a silly question you may think. Even if the great majority of Christians are not Christlike, you don’t judge Christianity by its people, but rather by it’s principles.

But here is something that I find interesting – in our day and age – there are so many people that are against Religion, not because of what any specific religion teaches, but because of how people that are seen as “religious” conduct themselves.

Now that is something I have a gripe with. It is something I have heard quite a lot. People like to say, I’m not religious, I’m spiritual. Personally I’m left wondering – what do you mean by that? Religion seem to be like a plague to be avoided. Generally, I am just left bewildered, and say nothing, but what got me to write this post is a poem I listened to – where the poet said Jesus hated religion and that Jesus and religion are opposites, and I’m like – how do you get that??

Here is why I have a gripe with that. As Christians, sometimes, because of not wanting to be associated with what is viewed as bad – we throw out the baby with the bath water. The concept of religion being bad, is a view trumped by the world, then, not wanting to be associated with this “bad thing”, we act like – hey I’m not religious hey.

Here is an issue though, if we going to cast disdain upon religion for everything done in the name of religion, then to be consistent, we must do the opposite as well. As Razer Aslan puts it (I don’t particular agree a lot with him, but this he stated well):

“If you going to blame religion for violence in the name of religion, then you have to credit religion for every act of compassion in the name of religion, you have to credit religion for every act of love in the name of religion, and that’s not what people usually think, they focus very much on the negatives”

Let’s be consistent!

Second point, this disdain of religion can lead to extremes. To explain that. Christianity is a religion that arose from a Jewish environment, and Jews were not particularly favourably looked upon in the Roman world of the days of the apostles, anti-Semitism is not new. Christians, because they shared commonalities with Jews – had the same scriptures, worshiped on the same day, were both monotheistic,etc. were classed in the same box as Jews. So seeking to distance themselves from this categorization, Christians later went so far as to change the day on which they worshiped from the Sabbath – to Sunday – no authority, or warranty was to be found in the Bible, but it helped separate them from being viewed as Jewish.

That is the same thing som


  1. e have started to do – because they don’t want to be seen as religious, they won’t even attend church, might pray, might not seriously read their Bibles, because they base their experience on being “spiritual”.To close, the biggest reason I have against this movement, is the fact that it is not Biblically sound. The Bible, in James 1:27 speaks about “pure religion” – which means that it’s acknowledged that there is not so pure religion. Here is what it says about pure religion “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” – I don’t see how that is opposite to Jesus.

 

Still more remains

And we are done! Well, at least for now. Finally wrapped up and launched the website that I have been working on for quite a while, the completion though I must say has been a bit of mixed emotions; on one hand I am definitely glad that I am done, less stress and more time to catch up on things I’ve neglected, people I’ve neglected. On the other hand, this marks not the end, but the beginning of the journey, now another form of hard work starts, getting people to use it, that is going to be a slow drawn out processes, but looking forward to it.

As I may have stated before, finishing this website was something that was like an itch that I just had to scratch, but through the process I learnt some key lessons for going forward.

If its worthwhile, its worth the risk

As Elon Musk, a man I respect for his daring and innovation puts it – “if something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it.”

That is something important to note because as humans we can be very risk averse. For me what was/is the risk? I spend all this time and energy, many late nights, many moments having to push my body when it didn’t feel up to the task, especially the last few weeks of the work; imagine, after all that, then people don’t like the website and don’t use it? For me that would be hard.

But at the end, the importance of the work is what compelled me forward, even if this ends up as an embarrassment – it is ok, it was worth the try.

Despise not the day of small beginnings

That is what I ended up reminding myself near the end. The last few days before launching, I was kind of dealing with anxiety, because I felt the website was not what it could be; I can be the most critical person of my work, I know my abilities, so when I feel I haven’t utilized them properly, I can be very critical on myself.

But in life we cannot expect to go zero to world class overnight, so its just the beginning, more is still to come, really excited about what is to come.

Quiet moments are needed

All who are under the training of God need the quiet hour for communion with their own hearts, with nature, and with God. In them is to be revealed a life that is not in harmony with the world, its customs, or its practices; and they need to have a personal experience in obtaining a knowledge of the will of God. We must individually hear Him speaking to the heart. When every other voice is hushed, and in quietness we wait before Him, the silence of the soul makes more distinct the voice of God. He bids us, “Be still, and know that I am God.” This is the effectual preparation for all labor for God. Amidst the hurrying throng, and the strain of life’s intense activities, he who is thus refreshed, will be surrounded with an atmosphere of light and peace. He will receive a new endowment of both physical and mental strength. His life will breathe out a fragrance, and will reveal a divine power that will reach men’s hearts.–The Ministry of Healing, p. 58.

In the rush of it all, neglecting that silent communion I saw is truly not wise, beside the spiritual refreshment and power one neglects, one fails to receive counsel that God desires to give concerning the work and how it should be carried forward. In those moments of sweet communion with God, are the moments that this work became clearer to the mind. That is not of the things I appreciate now with being done, to spend worthwhile moments in communion with my God, without the anxiety of wanting to finish the work I was doing.

Time is short

Sometimes when I think about the work that needs to be done and how little is being done, when I think about the souls that will end up being lost because the Church has neglected its duty, when I think of such I just want to cry to be honest. That is one of the source fuels for what drives me, I can’t, I won’t sit still while there is work to be done, while there are souls to be saved. I personally, feel frustrated that I am not able to do more, but I am seeking to use that which is at hand to do as much as possible.

In as much as time is short, we dealing the return of Jesus by our conformity to the status quo, drastic changes need to be made to take hold of current opportunities that may not be available tomorrow.

Life lessons

I have recently been thinking about how life experiences have had a moulding influence on one, and the below are things I have come to realise.

Life lessons:

1. We are moulded by the experiences and influences of life; but what affect they will have on us is our own determining. In as much as life may give us lemons, whether the bitterness is all that we shall know is up to us, as the saying goes when life gives you lemons – make lemonade.

2. “You can’t selectively numb feelings” – a sentence I would wish were not true, but so true it is. To numb pain, is to numb the capacity to show sympathy and empathise with another’s suffering. To numb sadness is to not fully experience joy (for ones guard is ever up to make sure it’s not spoilt). A reality I have experienced, seeking to numb my own pain, I have realised I’ve grown to be less sympathetic to others sometimes.

When I realised this, that is when I told myself I can’t continue to live in a guarded cage/not wanting to experience the disappointment and hurt of the past.

3. Life is like a rainbow – varied in its experiences, yet all form part of a beautiful whole. The tragedies of life at times are God’s ministers to teach us of the tender mercy that is to be found in Him.

4.Hope against hope. The coldest time of the night is just before dawn – so to also with life, the moment one seems ready to give up, may just be the moment when a change of fortune may come.

5. Cherish the small things of life – sometimes our joy is stolen not completely by trials, but by not appreciating the good that is ours in the midst of it all.

Some of the things I’ve learnt, and a talk listened to impressed more the need of recognising the negative/destructive thought patterns we allow to take root with us. The reason being – today one may experience a sea of pain, tomorrow it may be an ocean, and if you learn not to sail in relatively calmer conditions, you may just drown in more turbulent conditions.

Done Done Done – Well Almost :)

*sigh* – I can breathe now, well, nearly. At this point in time, I must say I am quite tired, the project I have been working on has taken longer than anticipated, but its nearly done though, definitely being released next week.

white logo with blue background
Sure Word Bible logo

The past 2-3 weeks have been most challenging, after many weeks and many long nights, my body really started a go slow, no matter how much I wanted to push it, it just did not want to respond; carried on nonetheless with the slow pace, took a break though when it became to strenuous. Now I can breathe easy, as pretty much all the functionality that was to be built is complete, just need to tie a few things together, then I am done!!! So excited about that :).

Question thought might be why did I push myself to such an extent though? That is a bit complicated, well not really, but don’t think words can express the reason well enough. This is a project I have had for a couple of years, since 2013/2014, which had to go on the back-burner due to illness. And because of that illness, I got removed from all missionary activities that I used to do, that sucked. Tried keeping active with the less demanding work of maintaining my apps, which due to chronic fatigue was limited itself.

In light of this, when I started feeling much better I started the project, doing it on and off, still not able to push hard on it. When I finally when I began feeling like my energy levels were what they used to be like, I set a deadline for myself to finish my Bible website. So it has been a burden I just wanted to release from my heart; the frustration had been this illness has taken to much from me, won’t allow it to stop me from accomplishing this goal I had set for myself. Might not have been the kindest person to my body, but I am glad for what has been made so far.

The funny thing is, its not even guaranteed that the ultimate objective of reaching souls through the website will be reached, personally believe it will be a great study tool though, nevertheless, missionary work is about scattering seeds, you never what could be of them, even if your own eyes never see the result. So we labour.

As tired as I am, I am glad I have been able to push it to completion http://www.surewordbible.com coming soon soon :). But I am also glad for the phase of this work, working on the content, have a lot to learn and so looking forward to that!