Why I believe the KACC should go to hell

You know how in court someone is asked to swear to say the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth? This usually doesn’t give you too many options. You cannot say less than the truth or add to it. I think great thought must have gone into wording this oath. Corruption has many definitions and angles to it. Corrupting something may involve reducing it or its purpose or adding impurities to it such that at the end of the day, it cannot be referred to as ‘the something, the whole something and nothing but the something’. Some things can also be counterfeited or forged to give an impression or expectations that are unreal or significantly different from the original. For purposes of this discussion I am going to refer to hell as the place reserved for the devil and his angels and that he roams all over earth and hell freely with no major visa or entry/exit restrictions. I am not inviting or welcoming any arguments or heated discussions about his itinerary or movement patterns or even whether he prefers hell or earth as his headquarters. I do not think any other creature is passionate about corruption or forgery than this guy. In fact I believe that if we got this guy, it would probably be as big a blow to corruption and counterfeiting as we would like to believe the death of Osama was to terrorism.

So what are the things that the devil corrupts or forges? Today I want us to look at three things that were intended for good by their creators, either God or man. Have you noticed that people do not forge things that are worthless or worth very little? Even when people forge money, the hardly will forge coins or low denominations. You will hardly hear of fake tissue paper going around. If a man engages in forging a ten shilling coin he probably has worked enough to just be allowed to get away with it. Most of the cases of currency forgery involve the high denominations like the 500 or 1000 shilling notes. People will forge highly precious minerals like gold or silver. Nobody will forge dung. In the same way, the devil has chosen to forge or corrupt only what is precious in our lives.

1. Power

Power is a good thing, In leadership, one can influence the direction of a family, an organisation, a nation, a continent or even an entire civilization depending on how they make use of the power their position comes with. However, recent events in Egypt, Tunisia, Cote d’Ivoire and Libya have highlighted for us the dark side of power. Power seems to have gotten into the heads of some leaders to the extent that they have ended up not being different from the leaders they once rose against. It has been said many times, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. There are times I have discussed bad leadership in our country and in the world at large, but later in the privacy of my thoughts, it has become clear that I would probably not be different from the leaders I condemn should I end up in the same position of power and authority. It would not be surprising to hear of a Danzo Primary School in every district, a Danzo Street or Avenue everywhere. Without submission to a sort of accountability structure, we would all lean towards autocratic and iron-handed rule.

2. Drugs

As we speak I am in the middle of a course of antibiotics. These drugs, I have been told are supposed to help the body fight an infection. But in a discussion with a doctor last week, he explained that many people do not follow advice about taking antibiotics. Doctors usually insist that you take the entire dose in the stipulated time whether it is 3, 5 or 7 days. Some people will stop taking antibiotics as soon as they think they are feeling better and don’t bother to complete the dose. If you have and maintain such a habit of not completing your dose, the body gets used to the drugs and their effects are compromised. There are some people who now have to take really strong antibiotics for them to be of any help. Many drugs, especially pain control drugs can only be dispensed on prescription simply due to the tendency to misuse or abuse them and also due to the high risk of addiction. I heard of a guy who would go to a local pharmacy and from the back office he would consume a whole bottle of cough syrup to start his day. I won’t even talk about the hard drugs like cocaine and heroin that are ravaging our youth and giving the like of Dr. Frank Njenga (The National Coordinator of the National Campaign Against Drug Abuse Authority, NACADA) sleepless nights (pun intended)

3. Sex

Wooooi, this one has so many way of corrupting it that I will even leave you to give us examples of how it can and has been corrupted. Adultery, fornication, prostitution, sodomy, pornography, rape, bestiality, the list is endless. I actually found a site that lists 35 types of sexual sin and perversion. I did not even want to go through the entire list lest I learn things that I am better off not knowing (!). I won’t even put the link here though I know you will google it! The media and advertising industry has taken advantage of the fact that sex sells and put all manner of sexual innuendo in their products, Whether you are advertising phones, healthcare, car batteries anything really, when you feature a semi-nude model on your billboards, they will make heads turn. Ban Maina Kageni and Mwalimu King’ang’i from talking about sex and perversion within and outside marriage and they would lose their market share of the morning radio industry (is there such a thing? Oh well, you know what I mean).

When we go to the root cause of all there abuses and corruption of good things, it is likely that the devil will bear the brunt of accusations and that is why I believe that if PLO and his team started with him, the ultimate Big Fish, storming hell and any other hideouts he may be in, the rest of their work will be much easier if not altogether unnecessary. Though I have said before that we are responsible for our actions, I think there are some cases where we would be right in saying “the devil made me do it”.

What other things can we fairly accuse the devil of corrupting?

Tuendelee kuongea

Mighty To Save

This is one of those songs you wanna listen to first thing in the morning. I prefer to listen to it loud, really loud in the car as I go somewhere and feel I need to be reminded how mighty our God is in the light of my current endeavour. Michael W Smith has a powerful voice and ministry.

Enjoy this one (Click to listen)

See you on Monday

Tuendelee kuongea

Here are the lyrics

Everyone needs compassion
A love that’s never failing
Let mercy fall on me
Everyone needs forgiveness
A kindness of a Savior
The hope of nations

My Savior
He can move the mountains
My God is Mighty to save
He is Mighty to save
Forever
Author of salvation
He rose and conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave

So take me as You find me
All my fears and failures
Fill my life again
I give my life to follow
Everything i believe in
Now i surrender

Shine your light and let the whole world see
We’re singing for the glory of the risen King…Jesus

Have you ever been deceived?

In a previous post I mentioned silly phases in my life when I have sort of gone off on a tangent only to realize, sometimes the hard way, that I don’t like the path I have chosen, then quickly try to get back on track. We all have those. Today’s story is about one of those. This past weekend was characterized mainly by the ‘end of the world’ predictions. So if you are reading this, I take it you weren’t ‘taken up’. Now, I don’t know Harold Camping and I may not even agree with the whole story, but I must say that after getting over all the fuss, you gotta hand it to him. That guy believed something and acted out of sincerity. He was sincere, but sincerely wrong (I have always wanted to say that). I have read many books dealing with the whole idea of human motivation and most say that we act not according to what we know as such, but according to what we believe. Some of those who spread deception, especially of a spiritual kind, are only pawns in a bigger game and may even themselves be victims of the same deception they are spreading.

Anyway, my story begins when I was a student in main campus (UoN). I had been part of a group of students who left Nairobi Baptist Church to join Pastor Oscar Muriu to be a part of Nairobi Chapel, then a very small stone chapel between hall 13 (my first hall of residence) and box (women’s hall of residence). It still is at the same location (obviously!) but a lot has changed in terms of size and use of space. The church that meets there now is Mamlaka Hill Chapel, a daughter church of Nairobi Chapel. We were a very close-knit group of students and though very different in terms of our courses, backgrounds and personality, we had such zeal and love for God (and each other) and ministry. We were very involved in each other’s lives and looked out for each other.

I used to like hanging out at the YMCA in my free time. I would sit at the restaurant overlooking the swimming pool and zoob and eat air-burgers ponder life and take notes. It was a great place for quiet time. So one day as I was hanging out there, some guy came and sat next to me quietly and thinking I was too engrossed in reading my bible for me to notice, he kept moving closer as if he was trying to confirm if my version of the bible was the same as his. Once in a while I would look up trying to figure out what I had just read and I would catch him pretending not to look. I think my frustration must have been obvious because he suddenly stopped pretending and just came out with it.

“Are you alright?”, he asked with a very concerned look on his face. At first I was taken aback by his African-American accent. I had been so sure he was a miiro.

“I’m okay, just can’t figure what this means for me, in today’s context,” I offered, referring to some portion of scripture that I was finding hard to grasp. I can’t even remember what verse it was but as we spoke, he seemed to really understand what I was going through. I explained how sometimes you just seem to be going through a dry spell where the word seems to be saying nothing as such. He took this term ‘dry spell’ and milked it for all it was worth (don’t worry if you don’t catch the pun/irony). He asked about how a true Christian who is connected to Jesus can go through a dry spell, unless he was somehow in the wrong environment, one in which the Lord was finding it hard to get through to him. As we talked he kept spewing out verses and he would always insist that I open my own bible and read to confirm that he was not just making things up. I was thoroughly impressed by his knowledge of the bible.

We kept meeting once in a while at the Y and he even once invited me to meet a few of his friends. They used to meet in a hall very near there and just fellowship and discuss and also pray a lot. I also found quite a number of Christians I knew from before. I think the people must have been really good at explaining things because after a while some things that they were saying began to look more true as I continued interacting with them, some of which sounded a bit strange and audacious at the beginning. Soon it was not even shocking to hear them claim that they were the only true Christians in Kenya. They showed me that I had been deceived into believing the lie that salvation could be so simple as ‘praying Jesus into your heart’. As I continued learning all these new things, it saddened me as it began to dawn on me that Pastor Oscar and all my friends at Nairobi Chapel were going to hell.

I was assigned a ‘discipler’ who would basically be my guide through this new life. He was also African-American. We had to meet daily and spend as much time as we could together. Even when we would be apart, like when I was in class or at home I would have to explain everything that I had done, how I spent my time, confess any impure thoughts and pray with my discipler. I was taught that in Matt. 28:19 when Jesus talked of making disciples of all nations, meant just that. So I was this guy’s disciple and when I had matured I would then have my own disciples. All this made amazing sense to me. This guy stuck to me like white on rice. I could not shake him off without feeling guilty. So guilty that I would confess it to him. Then he would pray with me and suggest that this was the devil trying to separate us so that I go and sin. It all made so much sense.

I was really making good progress over the weeks that I was with my discipler. We would audit my thoughts and so many times he would show me that I should be so ashamed of myself for having such thoughts, but that one day all would be well. He once introduced me to his discipler who told me that even for him is was not easy at the beginning. I had reached a stage (I think it was stage 12 or some funny but high number) in the course. They had become so free with me. I could now go to their houses, in posh neighbourhoods just to hang out and pray. I was no longer hanging out with my friends from school and church. One day I was told it was time for me to do the final task that would now confirm me into the church. This was to finally disconnect from the Nairobi Chapel. I was required to book an appointment with Pastor Oscar and go to see him together with my discipler, to formally relieve him of his duties as my Pastor.

I have also told you in the past that I believe that there is a plan being worked out in my life. On the day of the appointment, I was at home and my discipler called me on the land-line (there were no cellphones, and no, it was not in the 1940s). He told me that something had come up and he could not make it to come with me for the appointment. He also told me that under normal circumstances, it would be required to postpone the appointment, but since I had made so much progress, he felt that I was able to handle the appointment on my own. He asked me how I felt about going on my own and I assured him I could handle it.

Oscar was very glad to see me that day. He told me that there were some things he wanted me to take time to read before our meeting and handed me a stack of papers to go through before we sit and talk. He told me to take my time. He went into his office and I sat at the reception and started reading. I figured I would just humour him. I mean, look, here he was, about to become my former pastor (though he didn’t know it yet), it was only fair to grant him this last wish. The articles were about the International Church of Christ (that my guys were affilliated to). I read about mind control and so many other things that basically explained this whole story. By the time Oscar came out of his office I really did not know what to say. He didn’t say much either. He just told me that I should thank God that I have friends who truly care, that he and my friends loved me and had been praying for me for a long time. He also told me that he was expecting that I was going to do the right thing.

As in the story of Haman and Mordecai in the book of Esther, the same gallows that my ‘discipler’ had built for Pastor Oscar, he was hanged on it. (Esther 7:9,10). I booked an appointment with the guy and fired him.

Have you ever been deceived? What was it like?

Tuendelee kuongea.

No song today

Hey people,

I’m doing this post on my phone. I am in Kisumu on transit to Kampala. No access to good Internet. Sorry I can’t post the Friday song.

Will be back in Nairobi on Sunday in good time to post the Monday story though.

Blessings.

Tuendelee kuongea

5 Really Bad Customer Service Experiences

Just to get this out of the way early in this post, let me say that I really believe that I can be probably any customer care representative’s worst nightmare. So in many cases I am the really bad customer. Over the years I have mellowed down with age and also just a conscious desire/instructions to keep my blood pressure from going through the roof by carefully choosing my battles/opponents. In my younger days, and I know a lot of people who are still at this stage, I was what one would consider an activist. I would engage watchmen positioned at the entrances of city buildings in many arguments about how asking me for my identity card infringed on my rights as a Kenyan, a professional, a parent, a customer or whatever important hat I felt I was wearing at the time of entering the building. Depending on how the day had been for me so far, I would ensure that my presence is felt and acknowledged. In some cases I just kept going on and on because I knew that if I stopped and thought about the things I had said then I would realize how disrespectful, selfish and even childish I was. It is amazing the lengths people could go to to prove a point.

1. Kenya Posts and Telecommunications Co.

I once applied for a landline at my house. In the newspapers there were so many complaints about how long it took from the time you applied for a line to the time the line was actually installed. You would fill out the application form then be given a card acknowledging your application and informing you to wait until you were contacted by post (there were no cellphones at the time) about when your line would be installed. So I went to one of their offices, filled out the form and got the card and was told to check on them in two weeks. I insisted on being told why two weeks and the lady was a bit pissed off at this request that she referred me to her boss and warned that if I took my rudeness there, I would never get a line, ever. I had heard that there was a waiting list of about 800,000 applicants. I went to her boss and asked the same question. What are the two weeks for? He respectfully took me through the entire process from department to department that my application would have to go through until the line was installed. I counted seven offices that it would have to go to. I told him to do his part, which entailed only his signature and give me the form. I said I would personally take it to all those offices myself. The first two were easy, The third one required the transport department to allocate a vehicle to surveyors to come to my place. I said I would take them in my car if they were around. They were, so we went with them to my house and they did their thing. I honestly do not think they did anything but hey, what do I know?

On arrival back to their offices I went to the ‘stage four’ office where the occupant just told me without even looking up “put your form there and come back after a week”. I was a bit tired and decided I had made enough progress for the day and went home. I went back there the next week on Wednesday and I kid you not, the form was in exactly the same place I had put it a week before. When the guy saw me he just looked at it, signed it then told me to come back after a week. I refused. I insisted that he explains what he had done with the whole week I had given before and what he intended to do with this other one he was asking for. I told him that I needed the line for my work and since I did not have a line, I had no work so I would sit there and wait. He thought I was joking. I refused to leave his office till something was done. He asked me to excuse him and then he left me at the office, went for lunch for a whole hour and was shocked to find me still waiting when he returned. He laughed but I was convinced he had gotten my point. He proceeded to take me through all the remaining steps. In about a week I had my landline working.

2. Safaricom

There was a time their network kept dropping, and at some point it became so bad that I acquired a Kencell line (soon to be Celtel, Zain and now Airtel). I think there was even news of two guys who had gone to the extent of suing Safaricom. From that time on, I suspect that is why we have the ‘terms and conditions apply’ statement in most of the ads we hear from these guys. My Safaricom line has been postpaid for a very long time. A few months after acquiring a Kencell line, my Safaricom line was disconnected in error. I had paid a bill on time but between Standard Chartered Bank and Safaricom, that record disappeared and because of that my line was disconnected. For most of the morning that day I could not make phone calls on my Safaricom line. My Kencell line which was prepaid became the main line I was using for making calls and I made so many of them that by 12 noon I had used up a stupid amount of airtime, like 4k, calling Safaricom lines. At this point my blood was boiling. I decided I was going to go to Safaricom and camp there until my issue was resolved. I carried bank statements and cheque stubs indicating the date I made the payment and proving that my account had been debited and that there was no reason why I should be disconnected. From the moment I entered the building, you would have thought I had come there on behalf of all the workers of Bamburi, Kenya Airways and the NSIS put together. I screamed over and over at several members of staff trying to calm me down. After talking for a while with each of them I would scream “Can I talk to your supervisor? It is clear that you do not understand my situation enough to know what to do about it”. I was prepared to go all the way to Michael Joseph if that is what it took.

At home we once had a dog (silly digression, but humour me for a while). I remember how scared people would be on seeing it. One of the things we learnt as a family about dogs is that they can sense fear. If a dog senses that you are scared of it, it will get more aggressive. But if you speak with authority to it, showing no fear, it would in turn respect you if not even fear you. They can also sense if you dislike them and that also has the effect of aggravating them (ok so maybe this particular dog we had had issues but I think this may be true of most of them)

Anyway, at Safaricom, (like our dog), I found I was very aggressive against any person who came to calm me down but gave the impression that they were scared of me. At some point they even sent a friend of mine who was working there to try to explain to me what had happened. She told me that they had realized where the problem was and were trying to resolve it as soon as possible, but while they were doing so the entire network seems to have gone on the blink. So she had been sent to me to explain this. I uttered many words some of which I cannot remember but I think I must have sounded like a completely spoilt brat. After a while she came back and told me that because of the fact that I was there personally, they had connected me on a separate backup network that covers the likes of State House and other essential services temporarily while they sort out the normal network. I remember leaving the place feeling so important.

3. Kenya Power and Lighting Co.

Anyone who has spent time on twitter or facebook knows that this is an easy target and punching bag. KPLC has borne the brunt of all manner of jokes and insults in these social networks. From “mpango wa candle” to being named Kenya Paraffin Lamps and Candles. One dark time in our house, I got tired of the persistent blackouts that at one point I drove all the way from South C to Stima Plaza in Parklands at night and sat at their control room. I insisted that I they did not come to sort out the power in our house, they should show me a fridge where I would keep all our groceries especially meat until they did. The first two hours were easy. After that one supervisor who had passed me several times finally came and sat next to me and asked me what the issue was. I told him that in addition to being aggrieved as a client, I was now being ignored and it was only making things worse. He empathised with me so much. I could see that he felt me. He told me he was a Christian and could not imagine all the loss and inconvenience I was facing. At some point I thought he was going to burst into song. Long story short, he radioed some guys and I gave them directions to our place and we were able to save our meat.

But these are the big companies. I have also had bad experiences with very small establishments.

4. One of those “we cut up serviettes” restaurants.

I don’t know about you but it really pisses me off when I go to a restaurant and they serve food with half or a quarter of a serviette. It just reeks of mediocrity and is the clearest form of impunity I know in the food industry. If a restaurant will cut corners in such a blatant and visible manner, who is to say what other areas the are cutting corners in? Could they be serving donkey meat since it may be cheaper? Don’t even get me started on those that have cutlery that looks like it can be blown off the table by a gust of wind together with the miniskirt of a serviette it is wearing. I honestly wonder whether some of the owners of such restaurants can even sit in them and have a meal. In one of such experiences I asked to see the manager immediately. When she came I was surprised to see that she looked decent, actually smart. I bitched vehemently about sharing my serviette with three other customers and said it would even be better if they asked people to come with their own forks. I was really upset. Why would you invest so much money in equipment and staff then spend two shillings on forks and try to spend as close to zero as possible on serviettes? I assured her that if the business grew into something really big, it would not be because of savings on serviettes and that if it ever flopped it would not be because of spending too much on serviettes. She of course made all manner of apologies and promises of a better experience in the future but of course I did not believe her.

Pastor Oscar once said that if you want to know the standard of a restaurant, you should have a look at its toilets. If they do not take care of the places where all customers can see, you can be sure that they feel nothing about the kitchen which customers never get to see.

5. Photocopy shop

I once needed to make three copies urgently. I was served by a very tired looking pregnant lady. I could tell how much effort she was putting in pressing every single button and at some point I thought she was going to go into labour in the process. I even thought of helping her. When she finally finished and asked me for six shillings, her face changed when I handed her a one hundred shilling note. I was so sure her water had broken and I even looked down for evidence of it.

“Don’t you have small change?” she shouted.

I tried to explain that that was the smallest note I had. She would hear none of it. She angrily threw back my money and my original document, tore up the photocopies and threw them into the waste paper basket and told me to go get copies elsewhere.

I have no words.

What are your experiences like?

Tuendelee kuongea

Before the Throne of Grace

Point of Grace feature again. They have great voices and their songs are so deep.

Enjoy this one (Click to listen)

See you on Monday

Tuendelee kuongea

Here are the lyrics

Before the throne of grace I come
Humble and repentant one
With sorrow for the deeds I’ve done
Before the throne of grace I come

Before the throne of grace I fall
With a trembling voice I call
For pardon from the Lord of all
Before the throne of grace I fall

I love the Lamb who took my sin
Whose mercy makes me clean again

Before the throne of grace I hear
Your debt is paid, your name is clear
Such precious words of life, so dear
Find More lyrics at http://www.sweetslyrics.com
Before the throne of grace I hear

I love the Lamb who took my sin
Whose mercy makes me clean again
I rise with words of grateful praise
Knowing now the only way

Before the throne of grace I stand
Is all because the Son of Man
Bears my wounds in His feet and hands
So before the throne of grace I stand
Before the throne of grace I stand
I stand!
Before the throne of grace I stand!

Exactly how big is the internet?

I heard of a lady who once went to a cyber-cafe with a flash disk and asked the attendant to copy the internet for her so that she could read it at home. There are times I have wondered how big the world wide web is. How many websites are there on the internet? How long would it take me if I decided to diligently read everything there is on the internet so that I can get it over with and start doing something else. If you google this question, you’ll find that I am not the only one who has asked myself this question. Just do it. I won’t do it for you then start copying and pasting things here to dazzle you to make myself feel intelligent, but I get the feeling that if you started reading all the stuff there is on the internet today, let’s just say that by April 26th, 2094, around lunchtime, it is unlikely that you will have finished.

A couple of years ago I got myself a Blackberry. There was a time Safaricom had some sort of offer for the Blackberry 7130g. Now, if you still have a phone like this today, you need prayers, but at the time, whoa! you were the man! Like I have said before, I love gadgets like phones, computers and all manner of personal technology. In fact I remember once at a phone shop telling the salesperson I don’t like simple phones that you will sell me and then have a brochure or booklet or even a CD with the manual in the box, I want something that is so complicated that all you get is a url to go and download a one week tutorial to get you started. Anyway, I got this Blackberry smartphone (not too smart by today’s standards) and took it home. Later that week I discovered an amazing software called Viigo and the whole concept of RSS feeds. Basically with this software you could get news and info from blogs of your choice live on the go. Meaning that if any of the sites you selected got any new content, you would get it instantly. This software was free. Now let’s just talk about free for a moment. I am a developer and I write ‘expensive’ software. Free? You will be amazed at how much free software you can get on the internet. For me this was mind-boggling already. I have a friend with whom we share a passion for apps on the Apple AppStore. We refer to ‘free’ as ‘our price’. Anyway I digress. Through Viigo on the blackberry I subscribed to very interesting feeds about technology, bikes, cars, personal development, church, jokes and lots and lots of other stuff like newspapers. The Standard and Nation and most of our local media operators have RSS feeds on their sites.

I set my phone to download a maximum of 1000 articles for me to be reading when I got time. This would usually be in the evening before going to bed. So every evening I would get into bed and find that my phone had 1000 new articles for me to read. In the beginning it was fun and exciting. There was always something new to read. Some of the blogs I read had links and stories about other blogs that I would then proceed to subscribe to and add them to my RSS feeds. The next day by around 10 am the feeds would fill up again and I would have more articles to read. It began to get a bit overwhelming and I started skipping a few. At that time I also had several books that I was reading (actual, dead-tree version, paper books) but now I found I had no time for them. I noticed a very big change in my eating and sleeping habits. This phone became a job. When I would go to meetings and they asked me to wait, no problem. Long queues became a pleasure. I would read read read article by article.

Then the coincidences began. Every so often, I would experience, see or hear something that I had just read about. I became like google for some people. I began to feel so smart. It was not surprising to start conversations with “Hmmm… interesting that you would ask that, just this morning I was reading about…” I started asking myself “Man, where have you been, didn’t you know that all this stuff existed? Now read more and more, you have a lot of catching up to do”. I read voraciously. Nothing seemed to pass me. I had less and less time for anything else. Whenever the choice was offered about how I would like to spend my time on weekends, my blackberry won all the time. It did not take long before my wife uttered the four words every married man dreads. “We need to talk!” Now ladies, and you can google this, no man like to hear these words. As soon as you say this, aiii! It is like being summoned to the Hague. A man thinks about which are the best lawyers to engage, who are these people who have evidence against me? How can I get through this with minimal damage and many other similar thoughts. Before we even began this dreaded talk, I knew what it would be about. As she began talking in my mind I was thinking “Yes Sweetie, I know, I am hooked to this phone, I need help…” It was like an intervention, you know those meetings people have with relatives who are victims of substance abuse. Then I began to see if I could find articles about RSS feed addiction. Yes it was that bad.

But we did not even need to go there. I was already getting stressed. Articles were flowing into my phone faster than I could read them. I would feel inadequate for not having read them in good enough time. Articles older than five days old would be replaced by new ones. There was just not enough time in the day to go through all of them. Most of them had really good personal development tips and so every article I failed to read meant I had missed an important opportunity to improve myself. So I would end up feeling foolish and ‘undeveloped’. What a terrible, ‘personally undeveloped’ person I was becoming. In part of my wife’s ‘lecture’ I remember her saying “What is the use of all this good stuff you are reading if it is not benefiting you in any way and you don’t seem to be putting any of it into practice?” She was right. I needed to start practicing some of the things I was learning. I would try and fail and it would lead to even more stress. 1000 articles a day would mean only 365,000 in a year and every three years I would only cover about a million articles. There are about 200 million sites on the internet (add 600 million if you count each Facebook account as a website) and if we were to say that each has conservatively say, ten good articles that comes to about 2,000 million articles so at the rate of 1000 a day, I would need to live about 5 million years maybe more if you factor things like eating and showers. This is assuming there are no new articles being written, which is impossible since even this blog post is an article. Woooooi! It is like being given a herd of elephants to eat, three times a day.

Have you ever gotten yourself into something and realized it was more than you bargained for? No let me change that. What have you gotten yourself into that is now beginning to overwhelm and crowd out other important areas of your life? We all need balance. We do not have the luxury of dealing with each aspect of our lives on its own. One at a time. In personal development you need to multi-task. We have to juggle all areas of our lives at the same time. Work, family/marriage, finances, physical health, spiritual health, mental health etc. are all important. We cannot afford to drop the ball on any of them. If you succeed in one of them and fail in all the rest you cannot be considered a success.

Tuendelee kuongea

How You Live (Turn Up The Music)

I love this song by Point of Grace. Life is not a rehearsal. I have heard this so many times. Of course it has been misused many times as an excuse for indulgence or indiscipline but there is a bit of a point to it. A lot of us keep things like shoes, clothes, dishes etc. aside waiting for that special moment to use them. Sometimes, that time never reaches. Live for today, enjoy today to the fullest.

Enjoy

See you on Monday.

Tuendelee kuongea

How You Live (Turn Up The Music) – Point of Grace

Verse 1:
Wake up to the sunlight
With your windows open
Don’t hold in your anger or leave things unspoken
Wear your red dress
Use your good dishes
Make a big mess and make lots of wishes
Have what you want
But want what you have
And don’t spend your life lookin’ back

Chorus:
Turn up the music
Turn it up loud
Take a few chances
Let it all out
You won’t regret it
Lookin’ back from where you have been
Cuz it’s not who you knew
And it’s not what you did
It’s how you live

Verse 2:
So go to the ballgames
And go to the ballet
And go see your folks more than just on the holidays
Kiss all your children
Dance with your wife
Tell your husband you love him every night
Don’t run from the truth
‘Cause you can’t get away
Just face it and you’ll be okay

Chorus:
Turn up the music
Turn it up loud
Take a few chances
Let it all out
You won’t regret it
Lookin’ back from where you have been
‘Cause it’s not who you knew
And it’s not what you did
It’s how you live

Bridge:
Oh wherever you are and wherever you’ve been
Now is the time to begin

Verse 3:
So give to the needy
And pray for the grieving
E’en when you don’t think that you can
‘Cause all that you do is bound to come back to you
So think of your fellow man
Make peace with God and make peace with yourself
‘Cause in the end there’s nobody else

Chorus
Turn up the music
Turn it up loud
Take a few chances
Let it all out
‘Cause you won’t regret it
Lookin’ back from where you have been
‘Cause it’s not who you knew
And it’s not what you did
It’s how you live

‘Cause it’s not who you knew
And it’s not what you did
It’s how you live

Does your mother do that?

Those of my generation will remember a brown text book we used in Std. 7 called “Primary Level Mathematics”, it was written by Surjeet Singh Bamrah. So you can imagine my awe when I met him as I joined Jamhuri High School in 1982 and to realize he was one of the teachers. Then as if that was not enough he became my first mathematics teacher in secondary school. He was a very active old man. It was said he was in his seventies though in my mind he must have been a few years younger than Adam (Cain and Abel’s dad) but he was very active all the same. Another fascinating thing about Singh was that he had two pairs of glasses; one for outdoors and then one that he would change into as soon as he entered class. When he got upset, which was very often, he would ask questions like these

“Your behavior depends on your society, does your mother do that?”

“Your behavior depends on your society, do you live in a zoo?”

“Do you want me to impact you with a very fast movement of my fist?”

The Asian accent made it even funnier.

In the same year, I was diagnosed as short-sighted and was therefore required to be in glasses full time. Spectacles are not easy to get used to for a boy in Form One. They were a major distraction for me in class even though my vision was amazingly clear. Some times I would lodge my pencil on my ear and not feel it due to the spectacles and would spend the whole day in class without a pencil thinking I have lost it. Soon it was my protractor, and those set-square thingies they had in those Oxford Mathematical Sets. During one of the maths classes, Singh found me with all manner of mathematical instruments in my face and for some reason he did not find it as funny as my classmates did.

“Come, let’s go for a walk”, he said, more like a command than a suggestion.

Whenever Singh told you that, he meant he was taking you to the Headmaster’s office for caning. Now for the young ones who may not understand caning, this was a practice that your backside never forgot. Our headmaster seemed to have a collection of canes that were supposed to cause an extent of pain commensurate with the degree of the offence. As we walked with Singh towards the Headmaster’s office while he changed into his outdoors glasses, I pleaded with him, making all manner of promises and commitments to good behavior from then until I reach his age, but he would have none of it. About halfway to the office, we were about to pass a prefect but Singh stopped him and instructed him to take me to the headmaster instead.

“It does not make sense for the other boys to miss a class while I take this delinquent to be caned”, he reasoned. So I was handed over to the prefect and Singh went back to class.

In an amazing turn of events, the prefect who was now my “prison warder” happened to be the Chairman of the Christian Union and he decided to take the opportunity to tell me about Christ. He used my offence to help me understand sin, judgment and eternity. Of course I had heard all this stuff from my mum, my granddad and our Sunday school teacher. That was when I had one of the brightest ideas I have ever had in my life.

“I want to get saved now, I want to accept Christ as my personal saviour now.” I said to the prefect.

“What? Are you sure? Now? Here? Would you pray with me?”, he asked. I could see tears welling up in his eyes. He then proceeded to tell me things to pray after him and to this day I can’t get over how excited he was.

“Daniel, do you realize that right now there are angels rejoicing in heaven because of the decision you have made?” he said. I just nodded, scared that this grown man was about to burst into song. Now which prefect would then proceed to take heaven’s latest entrant to be caned? He told me to go back to class. I was saved. In more ways than one. Pure genius.

This was the beginning of my spiritual journey. I started hanging out with the CU chairman and he took quite a liking to me. I was more like his pet, he would introduce me to anyone he met as a new believer. I started attending CU meetings where I met a mzungu called Robin Tyner from an organisation called The Navigators. He would come on a motorcycle during lunch on Wednesday and would seek me out. He had me memorizing a pack of Bible verses on cards. He would get so emotional when I managed to recite a verse word for word including the reference in the Bible. This for me was getting a bit too much. Grown men almost crying for absolutely no reason. In days that I did not have the verse of the week in my head I would make sure Robin would never find me though. No need to make him cry for not having memorized the verse ama?

There was a time during CU that some guests from a charismatic Church came to preach. The guy preaching got a bit crazy and said that we will all “speak in tongues”. He said no one would leave the room without speaking in tongues. He asked all who did not yet speak in tongues to raise their hands. The guy was shouting and seemed quite upset so I decided to own up together with the others who did not have the gift yet. To this day, I don’t know why preachers shout so much even when they have a microphone. Some work themselves into quite a frenzy that can freak you out if you are not used to that sort of thing. Anyway, we went forward and while the main guy prayed, his assistants came to us “non-tongue speakers” and urged us to say whatever came to our minds to get started. The main guy repeated that no one was going to leave the room until we speak in tongues.

I looked at my watch and realized that if this tongues thing does not happen I was going to get home very late. What was I to do? I said whatever came to my mind

“Orranbbaaasshanndaaarraabaaabooos……” I began.

“Hallelujah, hallelujah!” the assistants exclaimed. “This one has started!” They shouted pointing at me. They were ecstatic. This Christianity thing was getting too emotional for me. I continued muttering incomprehensibles and even began to quite enjoy it. After a while I was allowed to go home. Pure genius.

To me this thing of salvation was one big joke.

Until sometime when I was in Fourth Form, my mum fell quite sick. She was admitted in Kenyatta Hospital.For the first time, our family had a problem that my dad couldn’t easily sort out. I would pray for my mum so much. I would walk all the way from Jamhuri to Kenyatta to see her. Sometimes the guards would refuse me to go in as visiting hours had not reached yet. I devised an interesting way of beating the system. I would put a piece of cotton in my arm and bend my elbow pretending I had just given a blood sample. Then I would pass quickly through saying things like

“Dr. Wekesa told me to go back immediately to get the results…”

and looking like i was in quite a lot of pain and in a big hurry. Sometimes the guards would even push people aside to make way for me. Pure genius.

During this time of my mum’s hospitalization, the sixty verses I memorized in Form Two started to work on me. I became quite convicted about sin, death and judgment for real. I began to understand the things my mum, my granddad and my sunday school teachers and even my CU chairman used to say. One time, in the privacy of my room at home, I prayed and for real accepted Jesus into my heart. No pressure, no person to impress, manipulate or to cry. It was just me, God and His word. Proving the following verse true

Isaiah 55:11 (New International Version, ©2011)


11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Have you met the Lord? If so how did you meet the Lord?

Tuendelee kuongea