Donnie McClurkin – The Prayer (Duet With Yolanda Adams)

This is a wonderful song about a beautiful prayer to the Lord. Wow!

See you Monday

Tuendelee kuongea

I pray You’ll be our eyes
And watch us where we go
And help us to be wise
In times when we don’t know
Let this be our prayer
When we lose our way

Lead us to a place
Guide us with Your grace
To a place where we’ll be safe

I pray we’ll find Your light
I pray we’ll find Your light
And hold it in our hearts
And hold it in our hearts

When stars go out each night
Stars go out each night
Remind us where You are
Remind us where You are

Let this be our prayer
Let this be our prayer
When shadows fill our day
When shadows fill our day

Oh Lord, lead us to a place
Guide us with Your grace
Guide us with Your grace
Give us faith so we’ll be safe

A world where pain and sorrow will be ended
And every heart that’s broken will be mended
And we’ll remember we are all God’s children
Reaching out to touch You, reaching to the sky

We ask that life be kind
We ask that life be kind
And watch us from above
And watch us from above

We hope each soul will find
We hope each soul will find
Another soul to love
Another soul to love

Let this be our prayer
Let this be our prayer
Just like every child
Just like every child

Needs to find a place
Guide us with Your grace
Give us faith so we’ll be safe

Needs to find a place
Guide us with Your grace
Give us faith so we’ll be safe

… and deliver us from public transport

This morning in the newspapers, Kenyans are waking up to news of the fourth road accident this month alone in which more than 10 people have been killed. There will be all manner of attempts to explain what is happening including some silly one that the Kenyan August jinx has moved to September. There are many possible reasons for such accidents but most of these are due to human error. Drivers, especially those of public service vehicles have been speeding, breaking many traffic laws with impunity, driving unroadworthy vehicles, overloading and many times bribing their way out of possible arrest.

I have always had a healthy disrespect for public transport. This has grown into an almost full blown phobia. Kenya has a notorious matatu culture characterised by gross indiscipline and impunity on the roads. I started actively avoiding public transport in the late 80s as a first year student in University. I was a non-resident student for most of my time there. I acquired a bicycle that I used to ride to and from school. Even though it was also dangerous, I figured I would be more in control. These days I feel as though when I board a public transport vehicle, I am willingly surrendering my life to a miraa-chewing gang of thugs who drive the way they want, bribing through police checks. The driver is, in my estimation a school dropout, overworking himself to raise enough money for the day for himself, the tout and eventually for the owner of the vehicle. I began to feel that I could only take public transport when it was absolutely inevitable or better still, if the driver allowed me to take the wheel. Don’t even get me started on the boda boda bicycle/motorcycle taxis. I remember taking one in Kitui and insisting that the rider becomes my passenger and he obliged. These have the notorious habit of carrying more than one passenger making it even more stupid and dangerous as it is even harder to control. Most motorcycle taxi riders are ‘promoted’ from disguised unemployment as bicycle taxi operators. Several incidents and experiences have only increased and reinforced my disrespect and mortal fear of public transport.

In 1994, I did a matatu trip to Murang’a during which I made the majority of my resolutions regarding public transport. I asked God to help me to never have to travel anywhere far by matatu ever for the rest of my life. I asked God to enable me to afford my own car, motorcycle, or whatever item of personal transport solution I needed so as to never have to surrender my life ever to these thugs. I boarded the matatu in Nairobi and made the silly mistake of sitting in the front seat next to the driver. Whenever I take a matatu, it is interesting to see the people, especially men in cheap suits, choosing to sit only next to the driver or let the matatu pass and wait for another one. It appears to be a more dignified seat, separating you from the ‘kawaida watus’ behind. Of course since the front seats three, including the driver, should another man feel too good to join the watus behind, you come out and let him sit between you and the driver thereby also insulating you from the driver’s bad breath and stupid stories.

For some reason, this time there was no passenger between me and the driver. After weaving through traffic, we joined Thika Road and the driver now wachiliad the vehicle to see how fast it could go. Everyone was quiet at the back and I assumed that they were so confident in the driver’s skills that many were even asleep. Blissfully ignorant, stupid sleep. It was a brand new vehicle and in my estimation from the registration number not more than a month old. The only sound I could hear that was not normal was a ticking sound near the driver which, judging by how regular it was, I assumed it was some over-enthusiastic analogue clock on the dashboard. As we passed Thika town, I discovered with great shock what the ticking sound was. It was the speedometer needle trying to pass the 180 kph mark! I sat up now, the little sleep coming up disappeared completely. I think I must have had the expression I have seen some people have in movies when they take their first roller-coaster ride. I became even more attentive to the driver’s stories and in my mind started taking notes about what to tell the police or newspaper reporters about the accident we were about to have if I survived it. The driver’s stories were not helping either. He was merely just pointing out spots where major accidents had occurred on that road.

“Unakubuka ire Marura iriuwa watu ichirini? Iriagukia pare, hata ire muti ndio irivuja” (remember the Marura bus that killed twenty passengers? It rolled over there, that tree is what stopped it)

I repeated my prayer more earnestly and braced myself. What had I gotten myself into? It also dawned on me so clearly that even if I made it to Murang’a, I would still have to endure the ride back. That realisation, obvious as it was, scared me more than sharing a sausage with a Doberman.

In the Moi years roads were terrible. I think part of Moi’s legacy of bad governance, alleged dictatorship and corruption were the dilapidated roads. Many accidents were actually caused by bad roads. Buses would lose control trying to avoid a pothole and end up killing people and injuring many others. Kibaki on the other hand, will leave us with some very good roads. These have also brought a lot of accidents due to overspeeding.

I recently drove on the Nairobi-Narok road. Beautiful road. I love driving, especially on a good road, in a good car listening to good music. Bliss. Suddenly, I was overtaken by, was it a plane? Was it a jet? No! It was a Nyamira Express! This bus, filled to capacity overtook me. I was doing 120kph and it passed me as if I was going in reverse. I was also overtaken by great anger and indignation. This driver, I tried to picture him, was carrying sixty possible funeral arrangements, stupidly shrubbing stories about miraa or bananas. I became so angry. I wanted to go past him, stop at the first police check and have the cops wait for him and arrest him while I took pictures. I’ve done that before on another road. I reached 140kph and gave up. I just could not catch him. I prepared myself to be interviewed by the media as one of the people who would arrive at the scene seconds after the accident. This one was going to be big, the President, the Prime Minister and even Kalonzo would disrupt their busy schedules and take helicopters to the scene. Surely even a day or two of mourning would be declared. Then surely September would be the new August, with the Sinai fire killing a hundred, Yokozuna killing and blinding others.

This, ladies and gentlemen is what we have allowed ourselves to become. Cargo that breathes.

What public transport stories do you have?

Tuendelee kuongea

STOP PRESS: Sad to hear about the passing of Prof. Wangari Maathai. RIP. True Legend

Point of Grace – The Great Divide

These ladies are just amazing. They have really used and grown their talent well. Behind the melodious voices is a wonderful message that is both pleasant and true. There’s a bridge to cross the great divide and there’s a cross to bridge the great divide.

See you Monday.

Tuendelee kuongea

The Great Divide Lyrics
Artist(Band):Point Of Grace

Silence
Trying to fathom the distance
Looking out ‘cross the canyon carved
By my hands
God is gracious
Sin would still separate us
Were it not for the bridge His grace
Has made us
His love will carry me

(Chorus)
There’s a bridge to cross the great divide
A way was made to reach the other side
The mercy of the Father, cost His son
His life
His love is deep, His love is wide
There’s a cross to bridge the great divide

God is faithful
On my own I’m unable
He found me hopeless, alone and
Sent a Savior
He’s provided a path and promised
To guide us
Safely past all the sin that would divide us
His love delivers me

(Repeat Chorus)

The cross that cost my Lord His life
Has given me mine

There’s a bridge to cross the great divide
There’s a cross to bridge the great divide

(Repeat Chorus)

Iphone 4 Baby!

Last week there was no post. It was a bit of a bummer for some people I know, but I really couldn’t do a post. On Friday of that previous week, I got the iPhone 4. It was a really good deal. I only had to give the dealer my old iPhone 3GS, my Blackberry 8800, my Nokia N70, promise to work for him for 7 years, and my children work for his for another 7 years (half-day though) and I have to pick him and drop him from anywhere to anywhere for 3 years after which I give him my car twice a week for 9 years. Good deal huh? Anyway, I’m kidding, my kids would work full day.

So I rushed the phone home and in about an hour, I had managed to have everything I had on the 3GS running perfectly on my new iPhone 4. The next 48 hours we spent, learning a lot about the iPhone 4 and myself. Here are the five things I learnt.

1. The retina display, wow!

Imagine having Lasik surgery and suddenly your vision is now completely perfect. Walalala! The display on the iPhone 4 is so crisp, clear and so distinct that if this is the only change from the 3GS, it would still be worth it. No eye-strain at all. The text on a web page or sms is just unbelievably clear. A pleasure to read. For the 24 hours I had both the 3GS and the iPhone 4, I was glad that after all the data transfer was over I was the one ending up with the iPhone 4.

The iPhone 4 960 x 640 resolution with 326 ppi trumps the 3GS 480 x 320 one with 163 ppi (pixels per inch) makes the display almost better than real life! Did I mention how clear this resolution is? It is “resolutionary”. Made from the same materials used in helicopters and high-speed trains, the Retina display glass is chemically strengthened to be harder, more scratch resistant and more durable than ever. The glass also features an oil-resistant coating that helps keep the screen clean. The screen is amazingly smooth to touch and scrolling is fun.

2. The camera and video recording

Though I must admit I do not do too much photography or video recording, I was thoroughly impressed with the changes made on the iPhone 4. This now has a feature that ironically, even the poor Nokia N70 I gave up as part of the deal had. A flash with the camera. The camera is now 5 megapixels as opposed to the 3GS which had a 3 MP one without flash. The LED flash is also quite handy with some applications able to turn the phone into a very expensive flashlight. The 5x digital zoom is also a pleasant addition. With tap-to-focus you can change the perspective and focus of various parts of a picture. The phone actually has two cameras as it also has a front facing VGA camera that can enable you to take effortless self-portraits and is handy for a new feature called facetime where you can call someone else with an iPhone 4 and you can actually see each other over WiFi.

The camera is also capable of making and editing HD movies on the phone.

3. Power, performance and battery


Though most smartphones have a lot of power issues due to the large screen and many functions and features that all sap the battery, the iPhone 4 boasts the following.

Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery
Charging via USB to computer system or power adapter
Talk time:
up to 7 hours on 3G
up to 14 hours on 2G
Standby time: up to 300 hours

Internet use:
up to 6 hours on 3G
up to 10 hours on Wi-Fi
Video playback: up to 10 hours
Audio playback: up to 40 hours

All these are an improvement on the 3GS.

4. Need for speed

It is hard to separate the features that the iPhone spots from a hardware perspective from those that it has from a software perspective. One of the things I love about the iPhones in general is that what you can do with the gadget is not purely dependent on the hardware. A lot of functions are actually achieved from a magical connection and synergy between the software and the hardware. “There is an app for that…” is a common sentence among iPhone users. I mentioned for example that a simple app transforms the LED flash at the back of the phone into a flashlight. The faster processor and other physical hardware features like the accelerometer, the proximity sensor, the ambient light sensor and the 3-axis gyroscope all contribute to amazing apps that just add to the overall user experience in gaming and other really practical software.

5. Enter the jailbreak community


So how come there was no post last week?

One of the things that fascinates me about iPhone users is the whole concept of a jailbreak community. I am unashamedly part of that community. Apple tries to control what you can install on your iPhone. A lot of times, the explanation they use is that they would like to maintain the quality of the applications you put on your phone. They do this by ensuring that you can only install and run applications that come from its app store. This is not a small app store as it has close to 430,000 apps and this year they hit 15 billion downloads.

However, about 3,000 or so apps are turned down every week, for “failing to meet quality standards”. The developers of these applications have proceeded to have their own store from where you can install these “apple rejected” apps, themes and features. A lot of them are very good and many are free. The main problem is that for you to be able to run these apps, you would have to “jailbreak” your iPhone. This involves a lot of software acrobatics and if you don’t know what you are doing you can end up with a dead phone (a brick). Most iPhones are also locked to a specific network and so many times the jailbreak will also require a carrier-unlock.

I have been part of this community (so sue me!) and of course I decided to jailbreak my iPhone 4. Walalala! I started this about 10pm on Sunday night and got so caught up in it that I did not even notice time moving. We prayed with the boys, sent them off to sleep and I continued with this effort. In what looked like a few minutes later, the boys were awake and came to say bye before going to school. I was still at it. I blacked out at 7am when the phone finally agreed to do what I was trying to get it to do the whole night. Now that is an interesting mix of passion, mang’aa, and persistence that, given the right challenge can change the world. Ama?

What do you think?

Tuendelee kuongea

Coffee & Cigarettes – Michelle Featherstone

In relationships, people try to accommodate one another, some bend over backwards to do so. But some relationships are bad habits in and of themselves so instead of trying to quit what you call bad habits, the only way to fully solve the problem you are having is to quit the relationship. Are you in a relationship that is just a bad habit?

See you Monday.

Tuendelee kuongea.


http://lyrics.stlyrics.com/lyrscroll.swf?page=http%3A//www%2Estlyrics%2Ecom/lyrics/onetreehill/coffee%26cigarettes%2Ehtm
Lyrics | Michelle Featherstone – Coffee & Cigarettes lyrics

DC Talk – What if I stumble

“The single greatest cause of atheism in the world today is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, then walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable”
Manning, Brennan

These are strong and thought provoking words to begin a song. Definitely caught my attention. I love this group. This song has a “Jars of Clay” feel to it.

See you Monday

Tuendelee kuongea

The Hague

This past week has seen the beginning of confirmation hearings at the Hague. Ruto, Sang and Kosgey are in for what is really a defining time in their lives. No matter how things go, their lives are never going to be the same again. These are some of the random thoughts I had as I watched some of the sessions.

1. Kenyans forget easily and move on

Being reminded of what happened in that dark period of our country’s history, I realise how easily we forget and move on. There are people now finishing close to four years in IDP camps. Many efforts have been made to resettle them but still, there are five year old children now whose life is entirely so far revolving around the post election violence. But many other things have happened and crowded out these from our agenda. We have found other ‘newsworthy’ issues to focus on. Kenyans for Kenya is currently sexier than Kenyans for IDPs. The ‘feel-good’ factor in helping IDPs and/or dealing with the issue has waned and we have basically learnt to live with it. As the events are now being recounted it really does sound like ‘a movie’ as Ruto put it when he first appeared at the Hague and we are reminded of how much and how quickly we have forgotten. Politicians and the media have taken us from one agenda to another at the speed of their convenience.

2. Many people want the charges confirmed

There is a focus primarily on Ruto and Uhuru simply because of their presidential ambitions. The media will spin this story and milk it for all its worth. Some politicians see the Hague as a tool being used by the Prime Minister to ‘fix’ these two. I think the PM and God get credit and/or blame for many things they have nothing at all to do with. Much as it seems he would benefit from these two being out of the picture next year, I cannot see how much influence he has on the Hague process. This thing seems to be out of his hands. In fact, he may be dragged into it by the ‘suspects’ -insert Trendafilova accent-

Many Kenyans also feel that this whole case is not about the violence but the culture of impunity. This is proof that despite being a sovereign nation, we are part of a global community and they will assert the right we have given them to be ‘in our face’ when we misbehave. It appears that if these charges are confirmed we will also be able to move on, with a sense, true or false, that we have now at least injured if not slain this beast of impunity.

3. What if the charges are not confirmed?


“Hata Hague ni chama?”. I don’t think so. I am sure many of these politicians will try and start a ‘wave’ thing and try to use it to surf into power. If they do, it will have to be without me. Your innocence will not be proof of competence for leadership. The criteria we use for choosing our leaders should not be suspended. My view is that maybe we should look at other new leaders who have emerged and thrown their hat into the ring. I am glad the field is now getting a bit crowded. At this rate we may end up with an A3 sized ballot paper but hey, choice is not bad. From Wakholi to Mutava, Karua to Wamalwa, Tuju to Ole Kiyiapi, twende kazi. What will get my vote is proof of ability to unite this country and move it forward.

4. Politicians will lie

Remember Reuben Ndolo saying, “What I said was, ‘weka tyre gari ipite'”? I watched this week as Ruto was being interviewed by Jeff Koinange and he castigated the PM and others who think that foreigners are the only competent lot. A few days later we watch a mzungu lawyer defending him. I was thinking, hmmm… who are you kidding? Also, just coz you can enumerate the kind of neighbours you have, by name and tribe, that does not make you any less a tribalist. This is one amazing thing that I think get weaker with every generation. Our parents are more keen than we are in knowing what tribe your friends and particularly potential spouse come from than we are. Our children even less. This, I believe is a good thing.

5. The truth will always come out

It may take long and the liar will even forget and seem to think he has gotten away with it, but the truth will always find you out. I have not seen any brain activity that is as tiresome as lying. You need to keep track of everyone you have lied to, the flavour of lie you used on them. Your lie needs to be consistent. If you work hard enough you will even create a parallel universe of beings who, including yourself, actually believe that what you are saying is the truth. If I lie to one person and then tell another the truth, I have to work so hard to ensure that the two do not meet and compare notes. I will need to generate an elaborate scheme that is believable and credible to justify myself in the event the unthinkable happens. I have a feeling that this is what Christ was talking about when he said that the truth will set you free and that he that the Son has set free is free indeed. Lying is hard work. It is also said that three people can keep a secret provided that two of them are dead. One day it will be clear what and who triggered and fueled the post election violence. One of them most interesting statements I heard at the Hague last week was this. “The devil did visit Kenya early 2008, but he did not visit at the invitation of my client.”

What do you think?

Tuendelee kuongea