Sunday, June 16, 2019

MY FATHER'S DAY PRAYER


MY FATHER'S DAY PRAYER

By Daniel R. Ruhweza


Thank you O God for the honour to be fathers
Thank you for the gift of children
Thank you for the comfort and support of our wives
Thank you for family-near and extended
Fatherhood is your idea O God

We ask for wisdom in the decisions we make
We ask that you open up our minds to knowledge of how to lead as fathers
We ask for humility to lead with honesty and integrity
We ask for supernatural helpers and mentors to guide us as we take on the mantle of priesthood and leaders of our homes
We ask for wisdom and open gates to create wealth and provide for our families
We ask for a hedge of protection over our families, children and extended neighbourhood and nation

O Lord that you will bless us
O Lord that you will expand our territory to nation continent and world
May we be men of influence and not look on when you ask and convict us to stand up and be counted... as influencers and change agents
Forgive us Lord where we have failed in our role as husbands ... as lovers of our wives...as role models to our sons....
Forgive us for ignoring our role as Priests and Kings in our homes
We ask this congregation to forgive us for our failures ... and to support us in this call to fatherhood

We also pray for grandfathers in their new responsibility
Yes, we specifically pray for new fathers and prospective fathers
We decree and declare that our sons will be better fathers than we are 
We decree and declare that we are renewed in the call to fatherhood
We decree and declare that we shall love our wives more, honour our parents more, pray over our children deeper, and influence our communities dedicatedly

.... and we shall do all this  in Jesus' Name

AMEN

Friday, June 14, 2019

FEARLESS 2019 HIGHLIGHTS ( Part 2)




This is the second part of my blog on my highlights from the FEARLESS SUMMIT 2019
4.     What is your mountain of influence?  There are various mountains of Influence.  John Enlow in his book The Seven Mountain Prophesy (which I highly recommend), shares these with us. These include  Government, Media, Religion, Arts and Entertainment, Business, Education and Family.  At the Fearless Summit, there were a few modifications without losing the essence of the message. For example, they talked about Environment and Agriculture which am passionate about too. So, what is your mountain? May the Lord help us as we prepare to take over these mountains for the Kingdom of God.



Lab Session - How Does Politics and Governance Affect Me. Fearless Summit 2019


5.     One of the Workshops that I attended was to do with Building Teams of Influential Men. I am particularly passionate about this area. Men are an endangered species. They confront quite a number of challenges but are never seen to wail or cry in public about these challenges. This is because society somehow expects men to know how to figure it out As a result, there is recourse to alcoholism, violence (including domestic violence) suicide rates amongst young men are high ( see Northern Uganda for example),  and other forms of anti-social behaviour. It is foolhardy to concentrate on the Girl Child and assume the Boy Child will somehow _by a miracle_ get it right. This reminds of a book I read – Why Men Hate Church. Whoever has time to read it and would like to discuss it later, please inbox. Point here is that there is work for and about men that needs to be done


6.     Lastly ( for now),  the theme for the Fearless Summit was timely and on point - Be Brave. I think in all that we need or ought to do, we need to be brave. It will not be easy. We need to conquer our fears as we confront the different mountains the Lord has called us to. 

     No picture describes this as well as when Samson killed the lion with his bare hands. He was certainly fearless. So was David who confronted the giant called Goliath. In there is yet another point - there is enough room for more giant and lion killers.
    

    We have not run out of lions and all forms of giants to kill. Just because some one has been able to accomplish something amazing for God (in a way that mesmerizes all) of us does not mean we are useless. Let us go look up our own lions and giants and be brave as we kill them. (Regardless of our size and experience)




I will conclude by passing a vote of thanks to the excellent team at Mavuno Hill City for organising this amazing Summit.  I also thank Moses Mukisa and his great team of administrators and assessors that ensure that Harvest Institute is running smoothly, but also make it a requirement for us to attend this Summit. I believe that the lessons learnt and the fires that were ignited or reignited ( even extinguished ) were all in the right direction. May the Lord give us wisdom as we confront our mountains. May we not leave this world the same way we found it. Amen.

FEARLESS 2019 HIGHLIGHTS ( Part 1)



FEARLESS 2019 HIGHLIGHTS


As part of the Harvest Institute ( Leadership Academy – emphasis mine), I attended the recent gathering of leaders from all over the world, at Mavuno Hill City, located off Mombasa Road at Stage 39, near Athi River Kenya.  It was very clear that a lot of time and effort had been put into preparing for this gathering of hundreds of leaders from all ages. A lot was said in the plenary sessions as well as the workshops/ labs. In this blog, I will reproduce just a few of the things that really stood out for me.



The name of the Summit is FEARLESS and the theme was BE BRAVE. These were very intentional words chosen to encourage us to DO IT AFRAID if need be. There are many examples in the Bible of Fearless, Brave men and women. Samson and the lion, David and Goliath, Deborah, Moses and Pharaoh, Joseph and Potiphar's wife, etc. They all confronted their lions and giants. They did their part. We ought to do ours.

1.     Apart from attending hundreds of church services, many conferences, Bible studies, workshops and reading my Bible countless times, what evidence is there that I am a Christian? If I am truly called to make disciples of all nations, to be the salt of the earth, to be a healer and an Ambassador of Christ, where is the evidence?  In essence, talk is cheap, what changes have I made if I am truly a representation of His Kingdom on earth? To this I can add that there are no excuses for me. I have all it takes to make the difference that the Lord requires. I lack nothing because I am a Child of God. So, if I am not doing it, it is either that I am being disobedient or disobedient. Nothing else. Ouch!!

2.     Related to point 1 above, the question to be asked is - Am I really the son of God who the earth is awaiting to manifest (have I manifested?) or am I NOT the one and they should await for another? _ouch! again_.  The people who made this challenge – Brian Kagoro and later supported by Bishop Masika – asked us to do something tangible with our call and gifting so that, come 2020, at the next Fearless Summit, we can be able to testify about the goodness of the Lord. However, for me, I do not need to face Bishop Masika with something tangible come 2020. If that was the case, then I have lost the point. While I do want to testify in 2020, it is about God. My accountability should be to God. No wonder the Bishop Masika said the angels are waiting and watching. Where will I hide?

3.     Is my language relevant to the times? The world is changing at a very fast pace. A lot of digital information is spreading and the media has a lot to do with the information that is being spread. While we are consumed by all kinds of messages, what messages are we sending out? Are we being meek and humble while the Scripture is saying – The Kingdom of Heaven has suffered violence and it is the violent that take it by force? Interpreted to mean – how violent or aggressive are we in ensuring that the message -of the centrality of the Church in social transformation – is being heard? Therefore, if my language is not relevant to the times, then I am useless to the Kingdom. I am reminded of Nokia.

   
    At some point, Nokia was outclassed by Samsung and Apple because it was either not listening or responding to the changing times with regard to communication technology. I notice that Nokia is slowly trying to come back to compete. SO should we. Digital Age is here. I better use it for the advancement of the Kingdom. So bring it on – YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. WE ARE HERE TO BE RELEVANT


To be continued....

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Bucket List



I first got to know about the word ‘Bucket List’ after watching a movie by Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman of a similar name.  The actors are terminally ill patients who agree to make a list of things they want to do before they kick –the- bucket (die).  Apart from the sad reality that death is coming upon them, the two gentlemen decide to have fun even as they tick off their list.  I would love to say more about the movie, but some of the readers have not yet watched it and I do not want to spoil it for them. I strongly recommend it though.

That said, a few days ago, while pondering about some of the things I want to do, but have continuously procrastinated about starting or doing them, I wondered as to whether my attitude or sluggishness would be the same if I was made aware that I was living on borrowed time and that my candle could easily be extinguished at anytime. This reality, which had for some reason been shoved into the back of my mind, has reignited in me, the zeal to do what I have to do it as soon as possible.


Therefore I am determined to love more, work harder, speak out more, forgive more, blog more, write that book, stop to smell the roses more, pay closer attention to the things I have often ignored, plant that/those tree(s), call up that long lost friend, spend time with my loved ones and inspire others more. The list is long. I am still trying to gather the courage to go mountain climbing and bungee jumping. That though is my list. What about yours?

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Seed and Soil


A thought has lingered on my mind these past two days. You see, I have this small garden at home on which I have experimented some gardening. I have planted quite a number of crops and trees in this garden, namely maize, plantain, passion fruit, cassava, beans, peas, amaranthus spp, tamarillos, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, moringa, avocado, pawpaw, sugarcane, jack fruit, et ce tera. I also have some mangifera indica (google that!) in the compound. Some of the plants have done well, while others have done averagely. I am often astounded to see how the same soil will support the sugarcane to produce something so sweet, while at the same time, support the  plain tasting amaranthus or the tangy tamarillo.


The above begs the question – is it the soil or the seed that is planted, which determines the type of fruit that will finally come out?  I guess no one – myself included- plants tomatoes and expects to harvest bananas. To that extent therefore, it can be argued that the seed that is planted in the soil determines the final product. 


Nonetheless, if the soil is not fertile or able to retain the requisite amount of moisture, the plant will most likely never reach its full potential. The soil therefore is the environment that is necessary for the plant to grow and excel. This reminds me of the parable of the Sower, where we are told that the seed that is planted in good soil bears fruit and produces; some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty (Mathew 13: 1-23). In all cases therefore, the seed ( read you and I), has a lot of potential to do exceedingly, abundantly, over what they can ever hope of imagine (Ephesians 2: 20 -21). However, if the seed is planted in poor soils, (read – wrong environment or growth spaces), it will never reach its full potential.


In the same vein therefore, it is no longer enough for today’s Christian to discover his or her full potential (the unique contribution he or she is supposed to make in this world). The Christian needs to go and ahead and produce fruit. To do so, he or she needs to be planted in (or surrounded by) good soil. This soil includes growth environments especially Acts 2 Churches, missional communities, discipleship and mentorship spaces, growth opportunities, intentional leaders, etc. 


It is such environments that enable the Christian to reproduce and excel. They equip the Christian with the necessary ingredients to grow and reproduce by providing solutions to the challenges in the world. These are found in the areas of either business and economics, politics and governance, media and the arts, health and the environment, families, education, or churches and mission (religion).  






I am currently attending such a growth environment at the Fearless Summit hosted by Mavuno Church in Kenya.  The speeches and workshops this year are geared at encouraging us to be brave and seek to not only find, but also DO that which the Lord has called us to do.

Dear reader, you are encouraged to look out for such growth and discipleship environments.  The Transform Leaders Conference that will be hosted by Worship Harvest Church in September this year (2019) and the Fearless Summit in June 2020 are some good learning environments.

Monday, June 03, 2019

Martyrs Day Musings ( Part Two)



... Back to answering the question at the vigil, we too ought to look further into the future. The Uganda we live in today might not be what we want or where we want it. In order to ensure that there is change, we need to become the missionaries today that begin to invest in these young basomi. The effect will be felt many years from today but it will come. 

So let the business man teach his skill and not merely donate money at the issue. Let the fisherman teach his skill and not just deliver a fish on a plate. Let the law teacher teach his analytical skill and not just the ‘right answer.’  Let the administrator not merely rubber stamp a decision but interrogate the rationale as to why it was made. Let the politician not merely seek political expediency but practice our motto - For God and my country. 

We need to help our young people to view themselves as actual agents of change. That they need not merely seek for easy money or quick fixes through zaala (gambling), obuloogo (witchcraft) or kondoism (robbery). Rather, our young people should be encouraged to develop the grit to work dedicatedly at what they are passionate about, and see the fruit of their labour grow the tree seedling to the fully grown tree that offers shade to all and sundry. Our youth should be encouraged to value the benefits of hard work and become self sufficient and not eternal beggars. That the phraseology Tusaba Govumenti atuyambe (we ask the Government to help us) should be replaced with Ask not what the Government can do for you, but what you can do for the Government.  Our young people should be helped to realise that the potential is within them to do exceedingly, abundantly, over what they can ever hope or imagine.(Eph 3:20-21).  

This is the call for the modern day missionary. It is a call, well cemented in the Judeo-Christian faith that we practice. We have a choice to invest and plant seed that we know will grow and germinate to what we want for the future and for our posterity. More so, we are encouraged that it is what God wants us to do for this season. We know it is not impossible when it is done with Him.

Happy Martyrs Day 2019

Ends

Martyrs Day Musings ( Part One)



At a recent vigil of a public servant, a friend asked me a question about what we need to do for or about our nation Uganda. This question came at the backdrop of a similar conversation i had  had that morning with a young man who always stops me for deep and profound conversations whenever he sees me. This particular young man is quite unique – he is deeply intellectual, very observant and forward looking. While his looks might be deceptive and misleading, his brain is not. I would never have discovered this if I had brushed him off at first sight – but that is for another conversation

The question at the vigil does invite very many answers and viewpoints. However, one of them that I talked about was to do with what we can do about our young people. I opined that it is important for us to invest in the future by giving quality time to our young generation. (While I am still reeling from the reality that I am no longer part of this young generation because I have climbed to the fourth floor as we call it now, it is clear to me that it is now -or never- for us to be more intentional about how we invest in these young people.)  

You see, as I write this post, our nation is celebrating Martyrs Day. This is the day when we remember the young men (23 Anglican and 22 Catholic) who were brutally executed (allegedly on the orders of King Muwanga of Buganda Kingdom). This was reportedly between the 31st of January 1885 and the 27th of January 1887. The reason for their death, which was carried out by a zealous chief called Mukajanga, was because they had chosen to practice a new faith. Their decision to remain true to their new found faith, was the seed that has now become the strongly entrenched tree of deep faith and religion in our nation. Indeed pilgrims from all over the African continent and the nation walk to the Martyrs shrine at Namugongo to remember this great sacrifice. A recent visitor to our nation did observe to me that he noticed that deep faith (or religious nature) of the Ugandans he had interacted with. The sacrifice of these young men must have contributed to this in one way or another.

The above notwithstanding, it should however be remembered, that for the young martyrs (or basomi (readers) to have the faith for which they were willing to die, missionaries from France and England had made the ultimate sacrifice of travelling the treacherous seas and unknown lands to bring this Good News of Jesus Christ, to these lands. These missionaries – like Alexander Mackay and Father Simeon Lourdel (nicknamed Mapeera) had arrived earlier in 1877 and 1879. The earlier group belonged to the Anglican Church Missionary Society (CMS) while the latter group was part of the French Catholic White Fathers. 


We often overlook the very important role that these Missionaries played in spreading the Gospel and creating this new culture of Jesus’ love and selflessness to these lands which would today be referred to as the pearl of Africa - Uganda. However, without them, it might be fair to say that there would be no Martyrs Day today.


 ..... To be continued

Friday, May 31, 2019

Do your part


You leave office in a fit. You have had an argument with your supervisor. How can he be so unreasonable!! You wish you could throw in the towel. You have had enough of this gu-man! You slump in your car seat in the parking lot. There was a slight drizzle in the afternoon. A stain of white droppings by the marabou stork makes it hard to use the car wipers lest you make it worse.  You jam the key into the ignition and jolt away. Hard. You need to pick your daughter from School. 


As finally hit the highway.  Little girl is in the back seat. The pedestrians are jaywalking while the cars are ignoring the trafficking rules. You try to distract yourself by listening to the radio. You switch on the radio and listen to the 6 p.m. news. Money meant for project X has been stolen. The members of parliament have given a tax holiday to other ’investors.’ Your favourite politician has been blocked from holding a rally or peaceful demonstration. You switch rain stations. A man has just beaten up his wife to a pulp. You stop suddenly just in time before you ram into the car in front of you. It is negotiating potholes. You slow down too. The roads are strewn with used dirty polythene paper bags. The public toilets nearby send a putrid smell. It hits your nostrils like a poisoned arrow. You pull up the window. Oba how do these people live? You wonder and shake your head


The driver of car number plate U.. dash.. dash...  etc etc has just thrown out a maize cob and dusted his coat.  He drives on ahead like nothing is wrong. He leaves you seething in anger. The boda boda rider cares not about the heavily pregnant mother. He brushes past her swollen leg and leaves a scratch. She shouts an expletive at him in the local dialect. You try to turn away as though you didn’t hear it.  Your daughter asks you what that means. You pretend not to hear. However, you are stuck in traffic jam. Yes. It is the evening snail stroll home. The engine gauge on your car is orange.  Everything seems to be going astray. You are livid.

What do you do about this? Rant on facebook? Call up your girlfriend and spew your anger at her? She listens on as you talk about the day. Then she asks you an unexpected question –

So, my dear what are you going to do about it? Keep angry or plan to make a difference in spite of the mess around you? You didn’t expect that question. Slowly you think of an answer and remember the preach in Church the Sunday before

.....For the creation waits in eager expectation for the revealing of the sons of God... (Romans 8:19)

You stop and think ....

TO BE CONTINUED