Put your chains on me


Lord I have fought you since I came to this earth
Like a restless beast I’ve desired to go my own way
Lured by the world and the desires of the flesh
Driven by the whims of the enemy I fought
But now I know my freedom is in your chains


I pray Lord that you’d hold me tightly on your grip
I no longer trust my freedom and clamour for it
Before I thought I knew what I wanted
I thought independence would be my freedom
But I’m never safe and free like when I’m with you
Put your chain on me and never let go


How strange that even now I try to escape
That after your liberation I desire to be enslaved again
I truly don’t know what is good for me
Left on my own I would totally ruin myself
Lord though I fight you still I would desire your rule


Give me the liberty of obedience to your word
Teach my heart the joy of submission to your will
Cause my heart to rejoice in your lordship
Let your will be done become the song of my heart
Not in words and songs only but in all I do


Put your chain on me and make me your slave
For though many desire liberty I have found mine in you
True liberty from self, this world, the flesh and the devil
I know I can only truly serve one master
So let that be you my Lord and Saviour Jesus
Put your chain around me and seal me as yours forever


Be the Lord of my Heart


We should watch the things that put us to tears
The anticipation that gives us sleepless nights
The dreams that catch us in broad daylight
They are our greatest worries or treasures
These indeed are our truest convictions


The headlines that captivate us the most
The things we admire and get jealous over
That which makes our knees to weaken
They say a lot about what we value in life
And our faith must start by captivating such


These are the songs we sing to our hearts
The teachings that our minds attend
Our hands cling to such than anything else
But such treasures or idols must first bow
Bow to the one who must own our hearts


Whatever holds our hearts owns our convictions
In there belongs true love, beauty and treasure
But also the idols of money, sex and power
The things we want and what we fear most
If Jesus be Lord of all he must conquer here


Lord help me to bow down my joys and fears
To let you be my greatest love and treasure
Help me to cast down my precious idols
Own my fears and liberate me to serve you
Be the Lord of my heart and with it everything


Praying for our own Discipleship

So often when we talk about prayer we think material things and don’t get me wrong there’s a place for that. We pray about jobs, financial needs and health matters. It’s a beautiful declaration of our dependence to our heavenly Father. We should pray for material things.

But it’s striking that we would see our need and helplessness in this and not in our need for discipleship. How often do we turn in prayer to ask God’s help to be like his son? When we read his commands do we ask him to help us obey them? As we fight sin do we ask him for help? As we pursue love for neighbor and godliness in our lives do we ask Jesus to create that in us?

Apart from me you can do nothing

Jesus speaking in John 15:5 that passage we love to quote says something striking in light of our own discipleship.

John 15:5-6 NIV
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
6 If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.

That last line of verse 5 is very important because it means whatever Jesus is asking his disciples here before his imminent death at the cross is something they actually can’t do. Yes you heard me right, on their own, whatever he says here they can’t do it.

Let’s see, in the previous chapters he’s asked them to follow his example; to wash each others feet in chapter 13. To love and serve others. By effect this means being willing to die to self to serve others. In chapter 14, they are not to fear but to believe in him who will walk with them and prepare for them a home in heaven. Every fear calls for a faith response. You could say fearing itself is an act of unbelief.

Here in chapter 15 he’s asking for fruit in their lives. He’s saying the branch that doesn’t bear fruit will be cut down and burned. Do you know what he’s saying strictly speaking? If you don’t bear fruit be ready for hell fire. Later he will tell them to be ready to be hated by the world like they hated and persecuted Jesus. Friends I hope I don’t need to convince you further that if you try this by your own might you’ll have a stressful time. It cannot be done.

That sentence, apart from me you can do nothing becomes very important. It means if we are to become true disciples who follow Jesus and bear fruit we need his help. If there’s any hope to obey and serve King Jesus we need his helping hand. So many times he echoes that in this section. That we can ask the Father for help and he’ll help us. The problem is we don’t ask.

But that’s the point friends, try approaching discipleship with your might and grit and see how far you go. It can’t be done. You can’t even do it yourself however committed you are leave alone discipling others.

Have you asked for his help?

So I ask again when is the last time you prayed for your own discipleship? Yes you can ask the Lord for all the material things you need. But have you lately asked the Lord for his help to love others? When was the last time you told Jesus, this sexual sin is becoming a serious thing, help me Jesus. Have you told Jesus you’d love to serve him but you find it hard to love and serve other people? Do you see how you’ve been setting yourself up for failure?

What do you think is missing in your own discipleship? What do you admire and perhaps even feel jealous about others? I know I would love to be more prayerful. But do you know what I realised recently? I had not before asked the Lord to do that for me. To come and say, Lord help me to pray more to you.

Perhaps you’d love to be more committed to his Word. To be like those people who read the Bible cover to cover every year. But have you asked Jesus to help you in this. Maybe you’d love to serve the church more, give more to mission work. A question for you, have you asked for the Father’s help?

Until we understand those words, that apart from him we can do nothing we’ll always try do something in vain. Alternatively, we’ll give up and conclude I’m just not a prayerful man. We might even theologise it that it’s for the Charismatics.

We’ll end up saying I’m not disciplined enough to read the Bible consistently. We can even argue and show why it’s actually not that effective. But before we get there we need to remember discipleship wasn’t meant for the disciplined and strong willed. It’s actually for those weak in spirit. It’s for those who tell the Father, I can’t do it Lord. Help me dear Father!

Respond to his commands with a prayer

Friends before you drown yourself with sorrow or harden your heart to the Saviour’s call ask for his help. Add to your prayers this prayer: Lord make me what you want me to be. Lord, bear in me the fruit you desire. Conform this selfish heart to love and serve others. Make your will what I crave for. Teach this heart to delight in your commands. Help me Lord to be like your son. Help me to obey him. Help me to say his will not mine be done. Learn to pray back what the word commands you before you get on with it.

I think it’ll be a good practice to pray every time we read his word or are convicted about a specific area of discipleship. That’s a good practice in all things but we need to make it true for our personal discipleship. To read Jesus commands and tell him honestly, fulfill that in me or it’s not going to happen.

He says love your neighbor. Tell him how selfish you are and ask for his help. He says we should commit to his mission, remind him how self centered we are and how we need his help. If discipleship will work, if change will ever happen it’ll take Jesus to accomplish it in us. Apart from him we can do nothing.

The old man of Darkness


When I walked in darkness it was my imagination that led me
I saw things dimly but got used to this world of darkness
I heard others whisper around me and knew I wasn’t alone
We were in this together and somehow that brought comfort


So we walked trying to figure out the way
But the more we stayed shut in the more we got used to this
Soon we knew how to live without light
We had become like bats and were okay with that


You’d have been struck hearing us plan the future
We had forgotten our greatest need for light
And we were content figuring life on our own
I dare say we now hated the light and rejoiced in darkness


When the flashlight lit the room our eyes couldn’t bear it
We were used to the darkness, how were we to handle such light?
But more importantly how were we to live in this new world?
Before we knew what we wanted but now everything had changed


If he didn’t hold my hand I doubt I would have come out
Many are those who chose to shut their eyes ignoring the light
So often I find myself going back to that habit
Choosing the darkness instead of his marvelous light


Now I am a child of the light but I live in a world of darkness
Lord if you didn’t hold my hand I would quickly shut my eyes
Teach my heart to love the light of the Gospel
To walk this new life with the torch of your Word


Hold my hand Lord for my heart is prone to wander and hide
The old man of darkness keeps knocking at my door
I would have him totally destroyed yet he seems to resurrect daily
Grant me the grace and strength to also kill him daily


I long for that day when the darkness will be no more
When my eyes will close and never see that old man again
I crave for the world above where your light rules the day
Lord, keep my gaze on that day when I see your light forever


Kill all my evil loves Lord!


You cannot truly love someone if other loves exists
Ours is not a truly generous heart but a selfish one
It says I can love all these and still love you
But true love sacrifices other loves for the one love
And none loves God truly who still holds on to his idols


Lord I seek that I would love you above everything
To love you more than the loves of this heart
But so often I hear the lie within saying I can do it all
That I can have you, my comfort, my sin and my idols
The loves of my heart won’t die easily and yet they must


When I stay in the reading of your Word I see your great love
You who left heaven, your comfort and security for this heart
Yet she won’t leave her loves behind to fully embrace you
I need help Lord for my loves hold so tightly on me
They lie to me I can love them and still love you


There are days I find great conquest on this heart
Times I feel I have killed all the enemies of my soul
Those times I hate my loves and life itself
But soon I realize they were not dead but only asleep
Only you can help me to kill these dear loves of my heart


I give you full permission lord, kill these evil loves
Conquer this heart with your word that I may love you truly
To love you not only with my lips but my heart and deeds
Make the loves of my heart the love of your commands
Give me a true love of you by killing all my other loves


Ours is the Life that Truly is life


As long as we are called to kill sin daily
To subject this body of sin to obedience
To go against the flow of this world
And wage war against the lies of Satan
Ours will always be a life of suffering


For to deny this man of sin won’t come easily
To reject the culture of our day won’t be welcome
The enemy of our souls won’t let us be
And doubt will easily creep in unnoticed
Yet ours is the assurance of the sons of God


It’ll be a battle that looks impossible to win
There will be days when we feel defeated
But we’ll rise to fight again and again
We’ll look foolish to deny our own cravings
But ours will be the true life of freedom


Ours is a hard calling, the call to wage war
Not with fellow man but within ourselves
To reject the ways of the natural man
To obey the Gospel and deny the inner man
But ours is the hope of everlasting life


Ours is the confidence to call God our father
The privilege to be God’s chosen people
To enjoy the freedom that only he can give
And to walk this earth with our Lord
Ours is the life that truly is life


When praying is hard


It is in our weaknesses he’s most sufficient
In our desperation he gives great comfort
And while the world crumbles he’s a sure rock
But it’s not always easy to walk up to him
At times we find it hard to knock his door
Many times we hide from our only helper
To do everything but seek him in prayer


It’s not out of ignorance we remain silent
No, we know we’ve nowhere else to run
Sometimes we’ve tried everything else
But the pride in us says I can handle it
Tomorrow I’ll pick myself up and fix it
I’ll rid myself of this need once and for all
Only it never works and we know it, don’t we?


Sometimes it’s the guilt of our self righteousness
We judge him by our own expectations
How would he receive us back we wonder
But he’s no fellow man and we know it
He knows us and yet chose to love us in Christ
If it was merit that opens his door none would ever enter
No, it’s the needy men like us that he embraces by grace


Lord forgive the trespass of seeing you like fellow men
The sin to think you only accept me when I do well
How low I would bring you to bribe you with my deeds
But you see me in Christ and draw closer in my need
Help me kill this pride that hides in good deeds
Crown me with the humility that prayer requires
Show me how desperate I am without you


Teach me to see you as a father not merely a teacher
To see I don’t need to earn favor to meet you
So often I go back to that old religion of works
But I would have the Gospel of grace bring me to you
Grant me the spirit of a child to run without care to my father
The humility to look to you first in my need
And a heart that sees my desperate need of you


Give us the gratitude of the Gospel


When I find myself wanting what my neighbor owns
When I crave to outdo my friends in everything
And to be the one everyone talks about
I miss a deep wound in my heart for my ambition
I need that Gospel that says you already have everything


Why do we so often miss the blessings the Lord has given?
Why do we murmur and complain when we are so privileged?
We get so angry that God has refused us our craving
We walk bitterly when he seems to bless others more
We need that assurance that says we are deeply loved


It’s not once that we celebrate others with a bitter soul
Wanting to look happy but dying with jealousy within
Our friends gets married before us and we hate them for it
They get that car or that job and they become an enemy
Dear Lord please grant us the joy of the Gospel


Help us remember what we already share in the Gospel
The great spiritual blessings we own together in Christ
Give us a genuine desire to celebrate with our brothers
Kill the the lust and craving to outdo each other
Give us the gratitude needed to genuinely rejoice with others


Rid our hearts off the bitterness of competition
Cause us to rejoice in the prosperity of others
Remind us the wealth we own in your heavens
Help us outdo each other in good works down here
Give us the gratitude of the Gospel in all circumstances

Made for more than the perfect Weekend

Ever felt like the anticipation of rest is more than the rest we actually get. You know when it’s a Thursday evening and you tell yourself just one more day and it’s the weekend. That feeling when you know Saturday morning lie in is coming. When you don’t need to snooze the alarm. It’s even better when you’ve had a long week. You can feel the dancing in your brain imagining all the rest you’ll get.

Unfortunately sometimes weekends don’t always deliver. Something happens that makes it hard to rest well. A sick child, a mourning friend or a bad quarrel with a spouse. Or you get that full weekend but perhaps the fear of the coming crazy week robs you the rest you anticipated. And even when we’ve got the perfect weekend we know it’s not going to last. Monday tends to come quicker than we imagine. And if you are unemployed rest becomes an unwelcome friend.

What is it with rest that is so fleeting? We want it so much but it always seem to escape us. The entertainment world tells us we can get it, just pay for Netflix. Go out hiking with friends or do nyama choma. But none of it seems to deliver on our wild craving for it. Are we just ungrateful people? It’s possible. Have we become too obsessed with rest that we miss the good occasional blessings of it? I think we have.

But there are also many things that make good rest one of those rare things despite God putting it in our weekly calendar. Perhaps the longing for perfect rest is like what C.S Lewis called a desire for something in the world beyond. It’s ingrained in us but can’t be fully realised in our present world. Perhaps we were made for rest because we were made for God. Isn’t it striking that we meet the idea of rest right at the beginning of our creation story.
Genesis 2 tells us;

2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. Genesis 2 NIV.

Of all the things you think about God have you ever associated him with rest? That he’s for rest and fun? Perhaps our pagan religious roots has made God feel like a man who hates rest and is anything but fun. We might even think a good Christian taking a day off is ungodly. It’s no wonder sometimes people can feel church is no fun. Like God is out to get me busy and heaven is all about Keshas and crusades. Well not really. The God we find in Genesis 1&2 works and after that enjoys his eternal rest. Actually our work is supposed to point us to that unattained rest. We were made for this rest with God.

The Hebrew author commenting on this says;

9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Hebrews 4 NIV.

Now that makes heaven fun doesn’t it? God isn’t calling us to a choir of angels flipping our wings up and down. He’s inviting us to take a holiday with him in his perfect creation. Just imagine going on a safari with Jesus with Paul driving. Man oh man! You must be like man I could do with that like now. Maybe you are not the outdoor kind of guy. Think about this then, playing a snooker game with King David. Or maybe it’s Timothy, David feels like the hunting kind of guy. Though he might enjoy a bit of dance for those with more than a left leg.

Now I know I’m making some of you uncomfortable with this but maybe it’s our imagination that needs a bit of work. I don’t for once imagine a boring heaven like our mystical religious world portrays it. Nor do I presume a hellish paradise with drugs and prostitution as the wicked man would want. I think the God who calls us to rest, the God who imagined the beauty of creation and one who really cares for his children is a lot more fun than we imagine. His is actually the right kind of fun. And in Jesus we can long for that perfect rest and for more than a weekend.

Listen to how Isaiah puts it and tell me if that’s not some perfect way to rest. Isaiah 25 says;

6 On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare
a feast of rich food for all peoples,
a banquet of aged wine—
the best of meats and the finest of wines.
Isaiah 25 NIV.

You heard that right. God is calling you to a heavenly party after party. Great meat, good wine, no tears, no death and no evil. If we got that even for a weekend it’d be worth everything wouldn’t it? Imagine having it for eternity. A life of fun with the Almighty and all knowing God. Imagine what his idea of fun is when you remove sin, death and Satan in the capture. I know I can’t wait. Can you?

This is our story


It was among the pigs where he found us
We were outcasts driven outside the city
Thinking we had it all but ours a kingdom of dirt
Garbage was our fortune and dung our treasure
Until he found us in this mess we called the good life


He didn’t wait for us to look for him
In truth we thought we had it all
He couldn’t send his highborn servants for us
No he walked down the dumping site
And embraced us despite our foulness


Why did he care about the rot of society?
Why would the son of God walk among thieves?
To love and die for a smelly people like us?
Surely it wasn’t for something special we could offer
We were helpless, blind and lost without knowing it


I would love to say mine was a better story
That among the street urchins I was the best
But what could a street boy offer the king of kings
If I was any better it was the zeal of my treachery
It was the multitude of my sins that begged his mercy


Ours is a story of rags to riches
Not that we’ve nailed the good life here and now
But the good Lord has bought us for himself
He’s clothed us with his robe of righteousness
And made us sons and heirs in his eternal house