Acappella – Better Than Life

This is a wonderful rendition of Psalm 63. Simply amazing. Enjoy. What do you think?

See you Monday

Tuendelee kuongea

In a dry and weary land where is no water
My soul is thirsting for you
I have seen you in the sanctuary
Beheld your power and glory
My lips will glorify you
I will praise you as long as I live
In your name I will lift up my hands

Your love is better than life
Your love is better than life
Earnestly I seek you
My soul is thirsting for you
Cause your love is better than life

Because you are my help I will be singing
In the shadow of your wing
I’m staying close beside you
Your right hand upholds me
I think of you through the night
With singing lips I will praise
And my soul will be satisfied

Repeat Chorus

Oh, God, you are my God
Earnestly I seek you
I’m longing for you
Oh, God, you are my God
Earnestly I seek you
I’m longing for you

Repeat Chorus


Ladies, 5 things your man wishes you knew but won’t tell you

This post is more or less the result of a chat I had with two lady friends this weekend. It was an innocent meeting that sort of became a very interesting interview with them trying to figure out how men think. We talked about a lot of things and my sincere hope is that one day, these things will help and save them problems in the future as far as men are concerned. Of course I will deny, or maybe plead temporary insanity or something if things backfire should they attempt to practice or live accordingly but I will also, naturally, accept all manner of gifts (preferably cash) if it works out well for them or any of you. This list is in no way conclusive or comprehensive. Many men will not even agree with me about all of these and others may come up with their own different lists. The order is also random.

1. I bond with men differently from how you bond with women

Just because you benefit greatly from hanging out with the gals, don’t come home so psyched and expect to get me to also hang out with my boys the same way so that I enjoy it the way you did with your gals. Long sentence, read it again. Most men have very few deep relationships with other men. Many have none. I believe the depth of men relationships should be measured in microns (a millionth of a metre), the way gold coating on some jewelry is measured. I can meet an old friend who went to the US fifteen years ago and our conversation could go something like

“Hey, how’s it going?”

“Oh, it’s alright I guess”

“Cool, that’s great”

then proceed to shoot pool all night and go home so happy that we were able to “catch up after such a long time”. The rest of the night is spent discussing many other things most of which are impersonal and ‘safe’ to discuss. From then on we will just take it from there and move on. If you ask me what he was wearing or whether he had a ring on his finger or the colour of his clothes chances are I will have no idea at all.

On a related note, don’t make your man have to choose between you and his male friends.

2. I get validated from solving problems

Ladies, I can bet all I have, that you have said this to a man.

“I just want you to listen, not solve my problems”

When you come to a man, his approach is that you have a problem that you want to discuss and find a solution to. So when you talk about your issues with your siblings, workmates and friends, he is working out a list of steps and a plan of action to embark on so that you can deal with it once and for all, to ensure you will never have to complain about these issues ever again.

It is very important to us that we be respected and seen as competent especially competence that I have spent a lot of time and energy, sleepless nights and gone through more stuff than google to acquire. Be impressed that I know that a Vitz in some parts of the world is a Yaris rather than disappointed I don’t know that mauve, lilac or lavender are colours. A man would go to great lengths, including out the door (!) to protect the perception of competence and to command your respect.

Having said that, don’t ask why I like solving other peoples problems but not my own. Don’t suggest that I look for help since in so doing you are actually implying that I am incompetent and uninformed. Yes I know the kitchen tap needs to be looked at, and I will get around to it, just not now. Right now I am dealing with Razor who stole my car in Need for Speed Most Wanted and I have to beat 14 other drivers on the blacklist to race him and then beat him to get my car back. Then I’ll deal with the tap. Ok?

3. I think of sex, all the time

This is probably the hardest thing for men to deny. Hard as in… oh never mind!
More men struggle with porn than women. Men love to look at naked women. Naked women acting naughty? Aiii. Don’t take it personally if he tries to deny it or hide it from you. It does always necessarily mean that he is cheating on you, many times it is just that he is embarrassed about it. Sex is in a man’s mind more times than he is willing to admit.

Our natural reaction when we see another beautiful woman is to look. Just coz I looked, it doesn’t mean I want her, or want you to be like her or anything. I just looked. It is a reflex. Don’t read too much into it. Don’t go all Nigerian drama on me, it was just a look. Kaos have an interesting saying.

Nasya ni nou ndinasya ithinzwe

It is usually very difficult to translate the exact meaning of such sayings, but it is a bit like this. Just coz I said it is fat, I did not say we should slaughter it. Basically, I was just giving an observation not necessarily suggesting a plan of action. I am just saying what it is not hinting that we do something about it.

4. I really am listening

Yeah yeah, I know men struggle with multitasking but just coz I am not nodding my head incessantly and saying things like “Ehe,”, “I see”, “Uh huh” and other things that women do, it doesn’t mean I am not listening. Challenging me to repeat everything you have said is not necessarily the best proof that I am listening. In fact many men can repeat everything you have said word-for-word and then proceed to ignore it, and you, completely. Don’t allow my lack of interaction to make you think I have tuned you out. Just coz I am quiet, it doesn’t mean I am not listening. You just need to relax and continue saying what you are saying.

5. Don’t set me up for failure

5 Things men dread hearing their wives/girlfriends say/ask

“Does this make me look fat?”
“We need to talk”
“What is your plan for…”
“Do you really love me?”
“How come I see other men do…”

Like I said at the beginning, this list is not conclusive. Your man may have a different version of this with maybe more points.

I didn’t make these up, don’t shoot the messenger. I am just stating an observation. Hey, “Nasya ni nou ndinasya ithinzwe

Ladies what do you think? Men, what more can you add to this?

Tuendelee kuongea

I Won’t Turn Back – a-1 swift

This is a song you really will not enjoy unless you have really good bass. The kind that some matatus have. I love bobbing my head to it while reaffirming that my mind is made up about Christ. I love this song by A-1 S.W.I.F.T. (Salvation Will Indeed Feel Terrific). Enjoy

See you Monday.

Tuendelee kuongea

Can’t find the lyrics!

Personal technology: 5 items I’d hate to leave home without and why – Part 2

3. My iPad

This is the latest addition to my gadget collection. I do not intend this to be a technical review as such, it is more of a personal observation based only on the meandering experience I have had with it over the last six weeks or so. How I ended up even owning this is a miracle in itself. I remember the prayer I said to God on my way home the night it became clear I had one (sometimes I walk by sight). It was a prayer of thanksgiving but in a sense out of realisation that God knew all along I would have one long before I got it. He knew I would though I never saw myself having one.

Anyway, I did end up with one. He truly is a faithful God.

Since the iPad came out (not in a gay sense of course, aiii, what’s happening to me?) I, like most iPhone users, assumed it was just a big iPhone and therefore unnecessary. Boy, were we wrong? (this also sounds gay but isn’t). When iPad apps started appearing (hey look, I didn’t say ‘came out’) they opened up a whole new world that had the rest of the IT hardware world start with their own ‘me too’ versions of the iPad. I think Steve Jobs, typical of him, took a big gamble, and hit big.

After the first two days with the iPad, it became clear that my trusty Blackberry 8800 had to go. It simply became unnecessary. The two main uses I had for it, mail, browsing and chatting (ok, so I can’t count) were quickly and aptly taken over by the iPad. The iPad now contains everything I have in the iPhone and much much more. The browsing experience is amazing not just due to the additional screen real-estate but a lot more. iBooks, the new book reading app enables one to carry a huge book collection and it is a great PDF reader too. Native iPhone apps can also run in the iPad but the resolution worsens when you expand them to fit into the wide screen. If you don’t own an iPad, trust me, after browsing on a borrowed one, you will hate browsing and reading on your iPhone.

4. My laptop

Are these even necessary anymore? At this point in the tech-world, I’d hate to be a laptop. After decades of gloating over the desktop PC about it’s portability, ease of use and other fancy additions that gave them a ‘whatever you can do, I can do better’ attitude towards the desktop PC, laptops are now facing a similar onslaught from smartphones and tablets and ‘the cloud’. I never thought that I would one day consider my HP Pavilion dv5 bulky and end up treating it much the same way like the desktop it replaced. With all the above gadgets, there are mornings when I decide I will not need to carry it. Apart from my software development which I do for the windows environment using windows tools, the HP is almost completely dispensable. In terms of my life, this gadget is hanging by a thread. Poor thing, I think it is even jealous that this post, and last week’s, I have done entirely on the iPad. This morning it told me it dreamt I renamed it my lapbottom.

5. My wallet

This is the odd one out. To put a wallet in a list of personal technology would be a stretch, but I insist. It is technology, mainly analogue but technology nonetheless. Together with the iPhone, this is another item I would turn back if I realised I had left home without. I don’t carry too much cash in it but a number of ATM cards, a k-card (which I highly recommend for those who value great fuel discounts), my original ID which I use to frustrate bank tellers, M-Pesa agents and overenthusiastic ‘denial-of-entry’ watchmen in some buildings when they think they have found a way of denying me services/entry when they assume I don’t have it.

I also carry in my wallet, photos of my wife and two boys. Fine they are so old (the photos, not my wife and kids). In fact almost every week I vow to find more recent ones. These photos, interestingly enough, sometimes wake me up and help me avoid impulsive spending habits when I am not with my family. It may be silly but a lot of the things we spend money on, we would not if we took a moment’s pause and consider the implications of the purchase on the family.

Again I ask, what are your five, must-carry, items?

Tuendelee kuongea

Acapella – When i say farewell

Acapella anytime! I really love this group. Often imitated but never quite duplicated. When I listen to these guys I don’t have to worry about singing something unbiblical (umbilical?!) since most of their songs seem to be scripture word for word. I like to listen to them LOUD, hearing each vocal track clearly. This particular song refers to Revelation 20:4-6. Enjoy

See you Monday.

Tuendelee kuongea

When I say farewell
To my life on earth
I will be with Jesus
No more tears (no more tears will fill my eyes)

Reigning with my Savior
Reigning with my Savior
Reigning with my Savior When I say farewell
To my life on earth
I will be with Jesus
No more tears (no more tears will fill my eyes)

[Repeat Chorus]

Personal technology: 5 items I’d hate to leave home without and why – Part 1

We all have that one thing that would make you want to start making your way back home if you found out, halfway to work that you have left it at home. For many it is their phones. This week I have been thinking about five items that if, for any reason, I found I no longer had even for a moment, my life would be really different from that day on. I am writing these, not in a braggy, ‘but do I say!’ kind of way, but more to reflect the extent to which technology plays a significant part in many people’s daily lives. In fact for me, each of these items has some sort of story of inspiration, learning and a testimony of God’s provision and sort of reminds me of what I call the monkey-proof plan God has in my life. Some of them I am still paying for, but nonetheless still miraculous.

1. Our car

I generally do not bond with cars the way I used to. I used to. But I don’t anymore. I don’t know whether it is about ageing or just that when you have a family, some things take a more corporate or group ownership. Maybe it is because of how when you are shopping for a car, you think about all members of the family, I don’t know. So we have this car that I call ‘our’ car that I feel I own a quarter of. We have not always been a one-car family but this time it is a conscious, agreed-on decision. There are several things we feel that would be more important to spend money on if we get it than another car. We also have seen the effect having two cars can have on a relationship. I’m not saying this happens with all couples, but for us, having two cars seemed to make us grow apart. We have also come to really cherish the time we spend alone together alone going to and from work. Having said that, I still spend more time in the car than anyone else in our family does. I like it because it is practical and gets the job done. Very well.

In the beginning, when we got the car last year, I felt kidogo self conscious since the Toyota IST is generally a ‘ladies’ car. I even once caught myself lying to some client that I had decided to come see them using my wife’s car. I also used to explain to people that it is the red ones that should be called a ‘ladies’ car. That the black one is more manly. Add to the fact that it is a 1500cc version with disc brakes all round while most are 1300cc with drum brakes behind. Or that it is not close to the Vitz or Probox that Kenyans enjoy bashing in social networks. These days it does not bug me at all. I once followed a conversation on twitter where some guys I follow were discussing

@A: So, are you still driving the Vitz I saw you with?
@B: No, I upgraded to the Merc C class
@A: Wow, congrats, so what did you do with the Vitz? Or is it now your keyholder?…
@B: Lol, no, I gave it to my sis.

Note, he said gave, not sold, gave. Aiii. Poor Vitz, it is bashed by people who jav (matatu passengers) and those who drive the Footsubishi (pedestrians)

2. My phones

Until about a month ago, I used to carry three phones. Yeah I know. Jang’o alert. To put them in order starting with the only one I would go back home for, i have the iPhone 3GS, a Blackberry 8800 which has now been retired and a Samsung SGH-D880 which being a twin-sim has taken over the blackberry’s sim card. I confessed before, I am a gadget freak. These three are the phones I have stayed with longest since I started using cellphones. At the risk of sounding like an apple fan-boy, I believe that apple have the best products in the market. The degree to which you can personalise an iPhone is out of this world. The apple app store has close to 300,000 apps. The iTunes store is unbelievable in terms of the kind of stuff you can find there. Many of the apps are free, a term I love the sound of. There are so many that are practical, terribly addictive and a lot of fun. I have built a great music collection using iTunes and ‘bought’ very, very many free apps. After almost two years I have not spent a single cent on an app and it doesn’t look like that is going to change soon. Using iTunes you can completely manage whatever goes into your phone from apps, songs, videos, books, pictures, podcasts and lots more. Syncing contacts and calendars is a breeze and every time you do, iTunes makes a backup of current content which you can restore should you need to. So what do I carry on my iPhone?

My oh my, where to begin? First off, the touch screen on the iPhone is the best there is. I think the closest the competition comes is with the Samsung Galaxy S II with it’s super AMOLED screen. Many have touted the Galaxy S II to be the iPhone killer but I think the jury is still out on that one. I have had the privilege of seeing the iPhone 4 as well and it’s retina display is quite something. A friend once quipped that when you switch from the 3GS to the iPhone 4, it’s like you have just had LASIK surgery. I agree.
So, on my phone I carry 1819 audio items grouped in playlists that include the audio bible, current audiobooks like Stephen Covey’s 7 habits of highly effective people. By current I mean the ones I am currently reading or re-reading, 398 songs that I have not listened to in six months (this is a smart playlist that updates itself with every sync), podcasts that include 1 year daily audio bible, 1 year daily audio bible for kids, Jon Courson’s searchlight, Saddleback church, Mars Hill, TED talks, and several others. With all these on my phone, and having hooked up a RCA to jack cable at the back of our car stereo, you can see that Maina Kageni and King’ang’i in the morning have no chance. Ok even Hope FM struggles to keep our attention on the way to work. I usually put the music I have to play in a random way though my wife hates it when I do that. She does not enjoy it when one moment we are singing along to Don Moen’s Shout to the Lord and then suddenly Kasupu by Zulukrew follows or a hit from Kanye West’s Late Registration. I smile quietly when interesting coincidences happen like when Michael W. Smith’s “Breathe” is followed by “Vuta Pumzi”, or when after Rihanna has asked Onana so many times what her name is, a group of sweet kids follow singing “Jesus, name above all names”.

I carry so many apps like an iPhone version of wordpress which allows me to do fancy things like approve/reply to comments on this blog and look at statistics of hits, an app called Gas Cubby which I use to record all expenses of fuel on the car, a ton of time-killing games that I enjoy with my kids, IM+ for chatting on yahoo, gtalk and msn.

Basically, I cannot leave this phone at home and try to make it through the day without it.

Next week, the other three, well, more like two and a half.

What are your first two ‘can’t-leave-home-without’ items?

Tuendelee kuongea.

PS: Sorry today’s post is late. I am in Kampala and needed to find an alternative to spending Kshs. 75 per MB for roaming Internet courtesy of Safaricom.

Love You So Much – Don Moen

I wish I had a good excuse for not having posted this earlier. I simply forgot!

Anyway, this has been a good week for us. Our son Jaymo graduated yesterday from Prep School. This means that when they open next term in September, he will be in secondary school. How they grow so fast! I posted a picture yesterday on Facebook.

This is the song that has been playing in my head all day. Enjoy.

See you Monday.

Tuendelee kuongea

From the Mercy Seat Album, Lyrics Below:

Hear these praises from a grateful heart
Each time I think of You, the praises start
Love You so much, Jesus
Love You so much

Lord I love You, my soul sings
In Your presence, carried on Your wings
Love You so much, Jesus
Love You so much

How my soul longs for You
Longs to worship You forever
In Your power and majesty
Lift my hands, lift my heart
Lift my voice towards the heavens
For You are my sun and shield

5 Types of Negative People I Try to Avoid

You have been told many times to avoid negative people. It has been said that you become like the people you hang around. These are my 5. I avoid hanging around such people for fear of becoming like them. It is not easy. Sometime I catch myself too late and already their effects are already showing in my own life, attitudes and habits. Thankfully the stains can be washed off. We all know these people, we all have them in our phonebooks. I have some of these people saved in my phonebook with their last name as “Don’t pick”. I use Mr in their title very loosely in that they hardly deserve that salutation and also in a universal sense i.e. they could also be Miss, Mrs, or Ms.

1. Mr. That-will-never-work

This guy may probably be the worst of the lot. Take any idea to this person and after your presentation, they are ready with 53 reasons why it will never work. They will give you examples of others who tried similar things in the past and failed miserably. They are perpetually frowning. In fact as they grow older the frown becomes a permanent sneer. He is a permanently wet blanket. They will even surprise you with their pessimism. They seem to have a fascination with disasters since most of the time they prove their point. According to a close friend of mine, you will never find these people in places where solutions are being discussed, sought or even mentioned. They take “mourn with those who mourn” to a whole new level.

Understandably many of these folks will be in bad relationships since by definition they are predisposed to be in them. But they have a perfect explanation why things are not working well and usually it is not their fault. What these people have in common is an ungrateful spirit. If this person was to win a car in the “Vroomisha na Ketepa” promotion, they would probably complain that they won a white car yet they really wanted a blue one.

2. Mr. Judgmental

Despite being sometimes very deeply spiritual, this one is a complete Pharisee. If you read through the new testament, these people were obsessed with looking good from a moral standpoint. They did this primarily by making others around them look worse. Check out Luke 18:9-14. They were showy in their acts of worship like prayer and giving. They would wash the outside of a cup but not the inside. Jesus once referred to them as whitewashed tombs. Strong words. These are the worst people to go to when you have a confession go make. Usually they are secretly guilty of the same thing they accuse others of if not worse. Holier than thou has nothing on these folks.

They can be summarised by a Facebook status I saw this week

‘the Kenyan pastor was so shocked to see a Ugandan pastor drinking beer that he swallowed his cigarette!’

3. Mr. I-have-it-all-and-you-don’t

We all know one such person. This is the kind of person who will invite you to their place not because they like you but because they have acquired something that you just have to see. Usually when you arrive you find you are one of forty guests. By the time you get there people have already been taken on a tour around the palatial home and have been shown the new gadget, gizmo, vehicle, achievement, acquisition and are now feasting on a sumptuous meal after which the emcee will give many an opportunity to heap praises upon this person. More often than not this person will be a politician or harbours political ambitions. It is easy to think that this kind of person will only be found in posh places like Runda, Karen, Muthaiga and such, but they can be found everywhere from Kawangware, Mukuru Kwa Njenga and Buru, South B/C as well. It does not matter where you are, after a while, one or two such people will crop up.

It should not be assumed that all rich people fall in this category, not at all. I know many pleasant rich people and I also know many unbearable poor people. What separates these people is their attitude.

4. Mr. Know-it-all

These are everywhere too. But you are more likely to notice them in places of work. They spend a lot of time reading things with the sole purpose of showing off. A lot of the stuff they spew out is not original and is usually a result of copy/paste ‘research’. Sadly, a large number of bloggers are in this category. A lot of these people owe their very being to Google. After spending an hour with such a person if you can manage that, you really wonder what you did in school. I don’t know what is worse than being such a person and also harbouring political ambition. On Facebook and twitter they sometimes can be ‘grammar-queens’ very quick to tell you that it is ‘I’m’ and not ‘Am’, ‘for whom’ not ‘for who’.

Again, it should not be assumed that all people who know a lot of stuff are in this category. Again, the difference is in the attitude. I have several friends who know a lot of stuff. These are people with whom I can spend hours just savouring their wisdom and learning at their feet. There is something very attractive about humility combined with wisdom.

5. Mr. Nisaidie, aka Mr. Naomba-Serikali

Of the lot, this one is most likely to be a family member, one of the people you go to church with or a member of your small church home group. He is a perpetual victim. He would be so far in life if only this or that did not happen. He will only call on you when things are bad. When things are ok he is nowhere to be found. He will borrow money from you when things are bad and never pay you back. Usually he is unemployed but if not he can hardly keep a job. He will resign in protest, seconds before he is fired citing unfair working conditions. This person can live on handouts for a long time. They always have drama in their life since they are hardly in control. This guy is perpetually guilting those around him to help him deal with what he does not seem to realize are the consequences of his bad choices. Taking responsibility for their actions is out of the question. Life happens to them.

Who are your notorious five? People you avoid and also avoid being?

Tuendelee kuongea