About ivanjosh

Life is like an adventure with many surprises, some of them exciting while others hurting. As we navigate the many unique paths in our journey on earth , each one of us desires that the best of events comes along . Unfortunately as most of us have discovered, this isn’t always the case . As we grow up we learn that co existing with fellow human beings and the rest of nature can only be enjoyable if we play our part of being loving, peaceful, helpful , content and patient . In doing so , we always hope that the rest will do the same though still this is not always the case. How we handle those who don`t is what makes us different from others. Ivan has grown up in many different ecological niches.A husband and a father, Ivan spent most of his life in Africa. The transition to North America has given him a different taste of climate, culture, friends and many more. One fact remains, the world is a beautiful place; God made it perfect for us to live in. As a Christian , Ivan shares his view of how to appreciate,celebrate and utilize the variety of pleasant experiences we encounter in life and how to handle the many complex real life challenges we face. As we read , we have the liberty to contribute through comments to the extent we fill comfortable.

The gift of life

Today, I`ve had one of the most important meditations of my life. I was thinking and reflecting about the gift of life. Life is an important gift God gives us.

If you are planning your next vacation, figuring out which school your children will go to, thinking about a job interview or even wondering if you will afford house rent in the coming months, then perhaps your focus is not about whether you are going to be alive next month. When life gets so busy and we feel less fortunate than our neighbors, we are forgetting about a large number of people who are unsure if they will be alive tomorrow. Some are even uncertain if they will be alive 3 hours ahead. Many may be craving for at least an extra day to see the smile on their little child`s face. Yes, someone may be needing 2 more months to attend their son’s graduation ceremony. While another may be wishing for an extra week in order to attend their daughter`s wedding.

May we take every day as a gift from God and strive to live as he would like us to. Let`s pray that God helps us in Jesus` name. Let`s present our bodies as living sacrifices. Read Romans 12:1



I feel there is no better time than this when everyone could use encouragement. People on the verge of death need much encouragement , but the same is true for those whose death does not seem imminent. Those with wavering faith in God need much encouragement too. Many people read this blog but only very few comment. My hope is that this post will stimulate comments from readers so we have a long thread of encouraging and faith building words. For this post, any one with a supernatural encounter with God is encouraged to comment. I also encourage those with miraculous experiences in their lives. Anything authentic but also supernatural, phenomenal or inexplicable by human wisdom is welcome. Of course , the result should be drawing readers closer to God. Please add your contribution by leaving a reply in the comment box at the end of this post. Please give a title to your contribution. I will start by rewriting 2 of my previous posts.

When death is seemingly imminent, what goes on in the mind?

“I have some bad news”. I listened carefully because these words were not familiar in this setting. Those that followed would set off a series of thoughts in my mind that I`ve never had before. “The left sided engine has got….” That’s all my mind could take in for a while as it came to reality that the left engine of the plane we had boarded had a problem, passengers seated on the left row remember seeing smoke coming from it. We all later felt the plane losing balance as the pilot said he was flying back to Johannesburg after only 20mins of being air borne. The shaking increased as we descended and the smoldering from the left engine continued.

The journey back was a terrifying one to all of us. I had never been so scared in my life. I went through the well-known stages of grief within 20 minutes only. This usually happens in individuals with terminal illnesses.

I know every one would like to hear the events that followed ,but what I want to share today is what went through my mind in those twenty minutes. I imagine many people think about the same when facing death. Before that trip I had many plans , just like many of us but one thing I remember is that only a few of the plans I had really counted. The financial, career, prosperity plans really don`t matter. The three things I remember thinking about are : What has my relationship with God been like?; What  have I done for the people I love most? And why have I wasted so much time running after things that don`t matter in life? A quick self-assessment showed me that I hadn’t been doing well.. As I went through the last stage of grief which is acceptance, I begged for forgiveness from God- I repented for all the sins that I had committed. I realized that God forgives those who repent of their sins (1 John 1: 9) and knew very well that Jesus forgives our sins. But then after “accepting” the imminent death , I wondered how my loved ones will take the bad news, and how life is going to be… I then begged God for another chance to live.

Since then I very much know that the many things we commonly chase on earth really don’t matter. We usually leave out the most important things in life and pursue the “perishable” and those that don`t matter. When we are facing death  what really counts is how we have lived our lives, whether God approves of them or not and how we have treated our loved ones and those we don`t know.

Divine Encounter

According to Romans 1:20, God`s invisible qualities have been clearly seen and are understood from what has been made so that we are without excuse.

Despite the above fact, many choose not to believe in God and our Lord Jesus Christ. Many skeptics will do whatever it takes to deny the existence of God and many go a long way to ridicule believers.

I hope this post will touch people`s lives and bring many to salvation. Share freely and widely to many others. Many people have died without salvation because of the denial of the existence of God despite the present evidence. Since creation, God has provided us with too much information about Himself and even to this day, miracles are happening but people still deny the divine nature of God and the Lordship of Jesus. Jesus is divine. He died for our sins so that we receive salvation. I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and savior and my life has been totally changed positively because of that.

My divine encounter begun as a dream and continued in the physical state when I woke up. Before I continue, I would like to let you know that I gain nothing from telling you lies. Any  skeptic who will tell you that what am writing is not true should know that I have no interest in telling you a lie. I don`t benefit anything by giving you false information.

The encounter occurred when I was 11 years old. It was a certain day in November. While I was sleeping, I dreamed that I arrived in heaven and found people worshiping God. I joined them. It was a joyous moment as we worshiped God.  Our focus was on God. I don’t remember the circumstances that immediately preceded my arrival in heaven.

My next encounter in heaven was a show.  The show was about what happened after Jesus arrived in heaven from earth after His earthly ministry.  I have no intention of casting doubt on any other person`s heavenly dream or other encounter. What I remember in the show is that Jesus was evidently filled with joy on arrival in heaven. My thoughts are that he was excited about his accomplishments on earth.  The accomplishments of salvation to human kind. I don’t remember what happened next during my stay in heaven, or if I stayed any longer in heaven. What I recall next was me awake in my bed on earth. The dream had ended.

I woke up with my head covered by a blanket, my blanket. At this moment , I was fully awake. I know when am fully awake. If I was not awake then, that would mean am dreaming right now while typing this post and it also means my entire day today I’ve been dreaming since the time I woke up in the morning. It would also mean my entire life is actually a dream.  I am emphasizing being awake to counter the skeptics who might want to say that what am going to write next was a continuation of my dream.

When I woke up,  my head was covered in my blanket. As I uncovered my head, I saw a white surface in front of me. I wondered if some one had poured a white substance on the floor a few feet away from my bed. As I opened the blanket further to gain better visibility, I realized that what I thought to be a horizontally oriented white surface was actually vertical and I was only seeing the lower portion. I then noticed that it was a white robe.  On realizing that it was a white robe in front of me, I got frightened. Because of fear , I chose to open the blanket slowly rather than suddenly throwing it away from me.  By opening slowly, I allowed my self to see small incremental portions rather than have an entire view all at once. To this day, I wonder why I did not throw off the entire blanket at  once. My usual response to my self is that I would probably be over come with fear. Whatever would happen I don`t know.

As I opened the blanket further, I clearly saw that in front of me was some one donning a white robe. The robe was very white. My estimation is that the person was not more than three meters away from me. The person had spread his ( at this moment allow me to use this pronoun to represent the person I was seeing )  hands away from his body. He stood still with both hands spread.  The robe was extending to the fore arms. I cant recall if it was reaching the wrists or the hands.  I then remembered that I had a dream about heaven before waking up.  I connected the dream to the vision. This increased fear in me. I was not prepared for what was happening. I started wondering what to do for me to get out of this situation. When I realized that in front of me was a person, I was not ready to see more. I did not open the blanket further to see the face. The person stayed there for sometime. I would cover my self and then open the blanket again. The person was still standing in front of me.

I don`t know why this happened. I have tried to recall if there was a special occasion immediately before or after the day of my vision but I do not remember one. What I remember though is that I gave my life to Christ at a young age. It was around that age that I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior ( I got born again ) . I cant recall with absolute certainty that I got born again at 11 years, but if not at that age, then it was not so long before or after that.

I remember telling my immediate relatives about this encounter when every body woke up. Its my mum I told first, before telling my other relatives. Later, I told a few friends. I did not tell many people because  I thought they would not believe me. So for the most part I kept it to my self. But along the way, I discover that many people don`t believe in the existence of God. I also know that some people who initially believed choose to stop believing. There are many reasons for this, but for some , its because they suddenly start doubting the existence of God. I am not suggesting that we should only believe after having a vision. God communicates to us mainly through his word, the Bible. And as I mentioned earlier, God`s invisible qualities have been clearly seen and are understood from what has been made so that we are without excuse ( Romans 1:20 ). This has been so since the creation of the world ( Romans 1:20 ). The reason for my post is the hope that some person(s) life might be touched and changed. I hope that some one/ people reading this will receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and savior or they will re commit their lives to Christ and the salvation He brought us. Visions are spoken about in the Bible. Joel 2: 28 says “…your young men will see visions.” Several other scriptures also talk about visions. In Acts 9:10, the Bible talks about the Lord calling Ananias in a vision. Vs 12 of the same chapter talks about Saul seeing Ananias in a vision, placing his hands on him to restore his ( Saul`s ) sight.

Do not worry about authenticating what  I have written. I have no reason to lie. I am not seeking for publicity. If I was seeking for attention , there are better avenues of me doing so than posting here.

On realizing that the person remained standing in front of me, I decided to spring out of my bed. I run to my mum shouting and waking her up. She woke up but the person in the white robe was not there any more. I then recounted what happened to her.  I think the reason for my fear was because I was not prepared for this. I am not giving an excuse for the fear, I wish I did not and I don`t think it was right for me to do so.

May God bless you all, in Jesus` name.

End approaching ?

If these are not the end times, then which ones are ?

If this is not the beginning of the end, then which one is ?

If the events happening now do not signify that the end is near, then which ones will ?

If we are not approaching the finishing line, then when will we ?

If you will not pause and reflect on how you have lived your life so far, then when will you ?

Is it likely that we are experiencing armageddon at the moment ?

If you will not give your life to Jesus Christ at the moment, then when will you ?

God is real

Yesterday I had a wonderful time in the presence of God. I came for prayer with a purpose of being close to God. I praised him and prayed and had a supernatural encounter towards the end of my prayer time.

Today Christians are facing immense pressure to abandon God. News and social media is full of articles that would shake many believers if they do not have a firm foundation. The pressure experienced by Christians to conform to the standards of this world is so great today that many have to choose either to stand by the word of God or become social outcasts. The world wants to you to change the truth as told by the Bible, in effect to have you changed. But they don’t want you to use the Bible to impact and change the world. The truth is that many believers give into compromise, distorting the word to suit their given situations, yet we know that the word of God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Every day believers are exposed to information that directly or indirectly aims to make them doubt what they believed in the first place. Many believers abandon the message of truth as written in God`s word, the Bible. As the direct pressure from the world mounts, the self imposed pressure by many Christians also increases. They start to wonder if what they believed in is true in the first place. The world wants Christians not only to abandon the word, but also to be apologetic for following what is written in it. And this is what the devil wants. I encourage you friends to stand firm. You can do both: love every one, but also stand firm with the word.

Mathew 24 vs 9 says “…you will be hated by all nations because of me.” Vs 10 says “…many will turn away from the faith and betray and hate each other,”, vs 12 talks about the increase of wickedness and the love of most growing cold. Am sure you have seen many of these things happening. And vs 13 adds on that “… but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. ” Vs 14 talks about the end coming after the gospel being preached in the whole world.

The Lord you believed in initially when you got saved is alive forever more. Do not give up. Some of you are starting to doubt creation. With the enormity of the galaxy and the intelligence God gave man, do you really believe that man has the ability to do all the intelligent things he can do , but no other being in the universe can? The advent of artificial intelligence, self driving cars, state of the art medical interventions to treat complex medical conditions etc., make you wonder and believe that man is very intelligent. But are you narrowing your mind so much and believe that all this can only be accomplished by man and no one else? And is there a possibility that what we think to be great civilization is actually far backward than stone age in the eyes of a greater being. Or are you so parochial in your thoughts that you have resigned into thinking that the current state of world civilization makes man a super being and no one is greater than him . You are wrong. If you believe that man can perform a heart transplant, why don’t you believe that a mighty being , with infinite knowledge is able to create life? The person am talking about is our creator, the one no man can ever match. Its being shallow and narrow minded to think that life could not have been created by someone with infinite knowledge and capabilities we cant fathom. Only God we believe in can and created life. Your lack of imagination of how He did so is no reason not to believe. You have never tried to imagine how man makes aero planes and how they fly, or how a heart is transplanted. Despite you not imagining these , you still believe that they are indeed true. Why then do you want to stretch your imagination into realms that are way beyond your comprehension. If you believe that man can do transplants then nothing stops you from believing that our almighty and supernatural God created the world and creates life, something only Him can do. Isaiah 40: 28 tells us that God`s understanding no one can fathom.

Towards the end of my prayer time an audible voice called my name ” Ivan “. The Lord says in His word that ” You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart ” ( Jeremiah 29:13, NIV )

Divine communication through a dream

Just before waking up on one of the days last week, I had an interesting dream. Although I tried hard to figure out the explanation, I did not get to know the meaning of the dream until the following day.

Understanding dreams is complex. Many dreams go without explanations and we pass them off as one of those events that did not mean much. Whether we should attach importance to all dreams, I do not know. But what I know as a Christian is that certain dreams for sure are means through which God communicates to us. We have many Biblical examples . In Mathew 1: 20 , we are told that an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him that what Mary conceived in her was from the Holy spirit and that she was to give birth to Jesus. Daniel Chapter 7 talks of Daniel having a dream.

One needs to know the context and setting to understand the meaning of dreams. In my dream, I was looking at a lady who I later learnt to have been a messenger from God. She spoke with authority which helped me to interpret the dream . Knowing the position of the person(s) one is interacting with helps with understanding the dream. She spoke as someone who knew me very well and she also spoke with full knowledge that I was responsible for fulfilling what she was about to tell me.

She instructed me with the words ” you have to take care of my son “. Thoughts quickly run into my head as I prepared a response. Which son was she talking about? She spoke as though I knew the son she was referring to. It was my responsibility to take care of her son. She was not asking me. She was telling me to take care of her son. From her point of view , I had the responsibility to do so and I did not seem to have any other choice. I quickly started to give my response but she never gave me the opportunity to do so. My response was going to be that I do not have a son. I only have daughters and I didn’t expect a surprise son because I have never been with any one else besides my wife.

The way she reacted was swift and firm. She successfully indicated to me that I had no explanation to give whatsoever. There is a Luganda ( Luganda is my vernacular language ) expression that people use when pushing back on someone trying to say something with the aim of showing them that what they are about to say does not hold any firm argument or is not worthy of mentioning. She used that expression that I find no direct translation for in English. She did not stop there. As I started to speak I began to lift my head from a recumbent position. I felt a heavy load on my neck and chest, as if some one heavy was stepping or sitting on me. I could not make any movements at all. I got scared and stopped talking. Immediately she disappeared.

I then woke up. I wondered what the dream was all about. What hurt me most was that this person neither gave me an opportunity to explain my self nor did she allow me to ask questions. It was a firm communication. I had to find out what she meant. And the way she stopped me from speaking seemed unconventional to me.

Less than 2 hrs into the day I started feeling epigastric pain. I wasn’t feeling good at all. I will not go into further details of the way I felt. I informed my wife that I was not feeling well. My entire day went on that way and I had a discussion with my wife about the need for me to make changes with what I eat. Because of my good BMI, I have not bothered so much about being extra careful with what I eat. I do not take alcohol and do not use any drugs. But still I could eat better. My wife has always told me to mind what I eat. My day was not good and I got worried about the way I was feeling. I was not feeling this way the day before.

As the day went on, I kept on wondering what the dream was all about. And it totally surprised me that this lady did not allow me to respond to her.

My wife and I were conversing early the next day as I prepared breakfast for the family. Suddenly I began thinking about the dream but my wife wasn’t aware of my thoughts. She then said ” you have to take care of your self “. I had heard this the day before only that ” my son”, was replaced with “your self”. It suddenly occurred to me that the lady in the dream was referring to me. I believe this was a messenger from God that He ( God ) had instructed to tell me to take care of my self.

As I drove to work after breakfast, I was reflecting about this. When I came back home , I told my wife about my dream.To my surprise she had no recollection at all of telling me that I had to take care of myself earlier that day. Is it likely that she was used to interpret the dream without her knowing that she was doing so. Possibly!

To summarize, I had a dream about something I was yet to experience. The dream was a firm message to me but I didn’t understand right away that it was directed to me nor did I know the meaning of the message. The setting of the dream, the presentation and tone of the messenger as well as my experience that day all played a key role in my understanding of the dream. The meaning of the dream was confirmed to me by my wife the next day even though she didn’t know that she was doing so.

Priority Disruptors

I wonder how many of you have not had priority disruptors. I imagine every one reading has been with a priority disruptor at one or more moments in their lives. Quick examples will get us going.

You are on your way to a friend’s wedding ceremony when your 68 yr old sister calls you to let you know that she has just been diagnosed with an osteosarcoma. The wedding ceremony was your top priority for the day, but the news of this bone tumor in your sister disrupts the plan.

Today you will be attending a job interview for a position as a business accountant. As you prepare to leave for the interview, a plumbing malfunction leads to a big flooding in your house. The walls and floors are made of wood and you have to act fast. Your priority for the day is the job interview but if you do not cater to the flooding a lot of money is at stake.

Your fiancee has just been involved in a road traffic accident. Your wedding is due to take place in 2 months time. You have been planning for the wedding and this was your top priority but now the priority quickly shifts to the health of your fiancee who has now been admitted to an ICU of the city’s main hospital.

You were mowing the loan when suddenly the roof top of your house is blown off by a strong wind.

I do not know what your priority disruptor was. You could share with us if you so wish. But I know our Lord God is a master comforter if we entrust our lives to him. Some of the worst things in life are certain to happen. Death is a reality that we do not give much thought as we move on in life and yet its a matter of time before we lose someone we know or someone close to us. Am not suggesting that we should be preoccupied with thoughts of losing a loved one or our selves facing death or encountering another less serious priority disruptor. But dwelling in the house of the Lord all the days of our lives keeps us safe in his dwelling in the days of trouble ( Psalm 27; 4-5 ). He will even set us high upon a rock.

I have personally witnessed how priority disruptors turned out to produce positive outcomes rather than the negative one the devil thought would result. Our strength and hope in Jesus makes the positive outcomes possible.

Jesus came to give us abundant life. John 10:10 informs us that the thief comes to steal , kill and destroy but Jesus came to give us life in its fullness. Let us abide in Him.

At the moment…do you feel like giving up?

At the moment, are you experiencing this ?

You may be at the verge of a marriage break down. Perhaps you and your husband or wife have failed to reconcile on a trivial issue. None of you wants to make the first move towards the other, because it will be perceived as a sign of weakness. Or it may be a far extreme situation. Your husband of 25 yrs has been sleeping with a coworker and you have just found out. Divorce seems inevitable.

You may have received news that after 8 yrs of being in remission, your breast cancer seems to be coming back. You are waiting for imaging results that your doctor ordered. You do not know what news to expect.

This day appears to be the last day of  your family living in your house. Last month you filed for bankruptcy and have just received a letter that you must leave the house you have  called home for the past 15 yrs. You are wondering how you are going to break this news to your 12 yr old son and 8 yr old daughter.

Or it could be that there seems to be no matching donor yet for your liver transplant. You have been waiting for so long and it does not appear like you are going to live any much longer as you wait.

Or perhaps you have just received news that your entire family has just been involved in a car crash. There has been no survivor. You have been preparing for your 10th wedding anniversary.

At 59 yrs your only child, a 30 yr old son has just succumbed to multi organ failure after a battle with sepsis. You are very stressed by this news and wondering why you have to see your son die and not vice versa.

Or perhaps you have just lost an appeal concerning a murder charge that you did not commit. The only alibi you have is your 9 yr old German Shepherd. The allegation attracts a capital punishment in your country and you have lost hope.

You have been running your business for 10 months now and for 10 straight months , you’ve not made a single profit. In fact you’ve been making losses month after month. You have staff to pay and other expenses to cater for. You are wondering if it was a good choice of business.

I do not have the best words to comfort you but I know our God and His son Jesus care. They know everything we go through and they are compassionate. Please don’t give up. Trust in Jesus and His love. According to 1 Peter 5:10, the God of all grace will restore you after the suffering and make you firm, strong and steadfast.













Is the end of the world near ?

In the night leading to Oct 31, I had an interesting dream. In this dream, I found myself floating in space. I could see many  space objects which could have included stars, planets and perhaps other bodies.  Despite the fact that the setting of the dream was during day time, I could still clearly see the space objects and was able to make out their colors and shapes. This is in contrast to what we are used to in usual life, only able to see stars at night.  One of the objects stood out with a different color from the others. It was red.

Just after I saw the red colored body, information came to me that it was about to let go of its stabilizing influence over the other objects. This meant that they would fall from the sky with an implication of the end of the existing state of affairs. Quickly, it occurred to me that this was to happen soon. Communication in such situations is not the same as our ordinary communication. One gets information that is certain but presented in an unusual way. Some times the way information is communicated is difficult to explain.

It does not appear like we have a long time before the end of the world. We need to repent and be ready for the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.


In the year of our Lord Jesus Christ

What is the date today?  All of us will chorus 25th  Dec, 2018. Every time we say 2018, we are referring to 2018 years from the birth of Jesus Christ. Our current knowledge of world history dates back to events that happened so many years ago. These events are generally accepted as truth. For those of you familiar with the historians` lingo, you are aware that historians will refer to “an event that happened as recent as 5000 years ago”. Yet skeptics will deny the existence of the very well recorded and accurate history of events that occurred  as recent as 2000 years ago.

The birth of our Lord Jesus is a true historical event. His redemption and salvation of human kind is real and His work and presence in our lives is on going. We give Him the glory.